Alexander Pschera

Alexander Pschera, born 1964 in West Germany, studied German, Philosophy and Music in Heidelberg. He is an author, publicist and translator.

Source: No disgrace: Expressing fundamental respect for the other

Endangered Gestures:Raising the Hat

A practically extinct habit.

Strictly speaking, raising the hat is not an endangered, but an already extinct gesture. For a hat can only be raised if one is wearing such an item on one’s head. The disappearance of hat-raising is linked to the disappearance of the hat as the obligatory male headgear, which must have happened sometime in the late 1960s. Since then gentlemen no longer have an opportunity to show fleeting deference towards people they meet on the street. For the hat was not only raised for acquaintances, but also for strangers, to express a fundamental respect for the other. In the animal world this is still the case: When two cats or dogs encounter each other, they perform a greeting ritual. People today walk past each other without offering acknowledgement or respect and are thereby socially less obliging than the animals, which is basically a disgrace. As is generally known, the baseball cap and the hipster hat have replaced traditional headgear. But who raises a baseball cap? And not even indoors is the hipster hat removed.

Translated and adapted from: Cato Magazin

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