here is perhaps only one leader whose physical greetings are talked more about than the “clasp and yank” handshake of Donald Trump.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Prince William’s hand white after taking it in a vice-like grip last year and has become well-known for his vigorous hugs of other world leaders.
When they met at the White House on Monday, therefore, all eyes were on the greeting. Would it be a handshake or a hug.
Modi’s affectionate-bear style of handshake combat has totally overwhelmed Trump’s moray-eel style,” one handshake watcher noted on Twitter.
“What a move from Modi. New take on the anti-Trump handshake,” another commented.
Some noted Mr Modi was reluctant to let go.
“Watch Modi execute the double-handed pull on the hug exit. Concentrated force on opponent’s point of weakness. The work of a true craftsman,” one user tweeted.
Mr Modi’s embraces have become a hallmark of his meetings with world leaders and dignitaries.
In particular, his encounter with the then French President Francois Hollande last year lit up social media.
The prime minister appeared to move Mr Hollande aside by placing his hands on his hips. In photographs, however, it looked like a remarkably awkward hug from behind.
His warm embrace of David Cameron, the then prime minister, in 2015 took place at Wembley Stadium in front of 60,000 people during a rally.
He’s trying to tell the world that he’s an equal, a friend, and he’s very affectionate,” biographer Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay told the BBC in the past. “Mr. Modi is a performer.”
Mr Trump, meanwhile, is a self-admitted germaphobe who preferred tossing his trademark red baseball caps into crowds at campaign rallies over shaking numerous hands along the rope line. But he has been willing to express America’s special relationship with a select few.
The president sent social media into a frenzy in the past after his aggressive handshake with the new French President, Emmanuel Macron, and his “awkward” 19-second handshake with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
With many viewing such encounters as diplomatic power plays, the president’s encounter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was viewed as a diplomatic victory for Canada on social media.