We are used to do the Shaka salute, a symbol of surfing and good vibes. However, did you know what it means?
All of us who practice surfing know that there are a series of rituals that, over time, have been passed down from generation to generation. Things that we know are there, although perhaps we have never asked ourselves why it is that they happen that way.
One of these is the Shaka greeting, a Hawaiian expression that was used for decades in the surfing environment, which is still valid today, not only in this area, but also in many others. In other words, we see it as synonymous with the beach and fun, but the reality is that it applies to many other sports and circumstances.
For example, soccer players often celebrate their goals by making the gesture, as is the case with Brazil’s Neymar. However, we ourselves also use the expression in different areas of life. So, what is the story behind this greeting?
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The origin of the Shaka, the surfing salute
The first thing to clarify is that the origins of this greeting are not very clear. However, the truth is that, as is the case with things for which there is not much evidence, there are several hypotheses to explain this phenomenon.
Some of them lie in the fact that it was used to count the number 6 with the hand in the business of Chinese traders living in Polynesia, until it was introduced in the islands by Spanish sailors to be able to “drink something”. In other words, a symbol of having a good time at the beach, something that surfers themselves adopted as a synonym for the joy of being on the waves.
Another possibility is to meet a popular Hawaiian waterman, who is known as Hamana Kalili. This person had lost his middle fingers, so his salute was made with the two remaining fingers, so this symbol spread in the community for its peculiarity, as well as a sign of admiration for this man.
The name Shaka, it is said, may come from a popular 1960s advertisement. Lippy Espinda, a car salesman, used the gesture and pronounced the phrase Shaka Bradah! Another important story is that it comes from Shark eye. That is, this popular gesture that involves opening the hand by extending the little finger and thumb represented the head of a shark, which meant a compliment, since the animal is respected in the region.
The importance of Shaka
Be that as it may, the Shaka is the coolest and most relaxed greeting on the planet. It is a true symbol of having a good time, as it expresses joy, satisfaction and a sporty spirit. In fact, his experience is not only in surfing, but is also used in different areas of life, such as politics. Barack Obama, for example, used to greet in that way, since he was born in those lands.
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Therefore, to make this surf salute, what you will need to do is hold your hand in a fist. Next, you need to extend your pinky and thumb in separate directions. After that, the back of the hand should face the recipient of the greeting. The gesture can be complemented with a phrase from your mouth.