I've developed a greeting that has over time become a hallmark of getting to know me. It's derived from the African American Hip Hop Hug and Arab hugs and kisses evolved in an American context. With an emphasis on touch and interaction I call it the Shoulder Tap. After years of being shrouded in mystery I am revealing the secret history behind this powerful hand shake, the methods of properly executing a Shoulder Tap, tips and tricks and the motivations behind this incredible social door opener.
This video includes some video of me shoulder tapping various people in a variety of positions and excitement levels. The last shot is of me shoulder tapping Carl Bass the CEO of Autodesk, he seemed to take it well!
I hope this Instructable encourages you to consider the way touch, body language, and other nonvocal communication you employ affect people around you and the situations you get in. Good luck with being awesome! Here we go!
Step 1: Shoulder tap evolution - Arab American Hip Hop Hug
If you're from Dearborn, you know the type I'm talking about. Sure there's the real mafioso's like the late Ghadaffi, a real gangster in the most awful of ways. But the ones I'm talking about have lined up haircuts, pretend to be in gangs, and have loud rap music pumping from their hooked up Honda Civics. This isn't to belittle or undermine the importance of the resonance that comes from two oppressed communities finding a common language in rap music, speaking out against oppression and... dark shades in clubs.
This combination of cultures has brought forth some arabic hip hop. An example of which is Qusai
For those of you who don't understand the arabic rap part of this song. Let me tell you his arabic is flawless, sounds like poetry and is very classical. That's what you get when you have a background from Saudi Arabia I guess :D
And also extends into greetings. The Hip Hop culture's "pound hug" is also known as:
Luckily for me there is an awesome video which breaks down the hip hop hug into it's various categories:
Scroll to 0:38 to see the classic example of the hip hop hug.
Pay attention to two facts of the hip hop hug:
1) It starts with a grabbing of each others thumb, not a standard handshake. This is to facilitate pulling your partner in for the hug.
2) They follow through by pulling each other closer, and following through with a one handed hug and one to two taps on the back.
Encountering these hugs growing up in Michigan I was a frequent recipient and originator of the HHH (hip hop hug). Let's now move look into understanding what touch based greetings look like in other cultures, specifically how Arab hand holding, hugging and kissing probably led to the ease of adoption of the Hip Hop Hug.