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A Modest Update

Cross-posted with Modesty Blase.

Due to modest demands on other aspects of my life, I  have not been blogging as regularly as I had hoped. With Mr Blase’s encouragement, that’s about to change and you’ll be reading more of me. Here’s a few choice tidbits of things going on recently….

Iranian medallist refuses to shake hand of Duchess of Cambridge 

When paralympian Mehrdad Karam Zadeh moved forward to receive his silver medal, the demure Duchess of Cambridge gently placed it around his neck and took a couple of steps backwards. He bowed reverentially and put his hands to his heart in a show of appreciation. There was no handshaking and no air kissing. It was totally respectful and actually quite refreshing. There was a bit of a media fuss, but it quickly dissipated after newspaper reports suggested that Kate had been briefed on Iranian cultural codes that forbids physical contact between men and women who are not related to each other. A bit like us really – Israeli politicians and public intellectuals are familiar with these codes of conduct  – when the talented Or Asuel won the Bible Quiz in 2010, PM Netanyahu understood that shaking her hand would be inappropriate and he deftly handed her the winner’s trophy instead. There’s something refreshing about those who understand that the frisson of a momentary touch is something to be savored, and not handed out like candies at a children’s party.