Namaste (English: /ˈnɑːməsteɪ/ NAH-məs-tay; Devanagari: नमस्ते; formal: Namaskar/Namaskaram) is a common spoken valediction or salutation originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a customary greeting when individuals meet, and a valediction upon their parting. A non-contact form of salutation is traditionally preferred in India and Namaste is the most common form of such a salutation. In Nepal, younger persons usually initiate the exchange with their elders. Initiating the exchange is seen as a sign of respect in other hierarchical settings.
When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture, called, Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana, can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning.