Namaste is a very widely used greeting in India. But, can it be used to say ‘goodbye’ as well?
The short answer to this question is: yes, Namaste can be used to say ‘goodbye’. This is because it does not mean either ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ but ‘I bow to the divine in you’. So it is a respectful and positive thing to say both in greeting and in parting. As with when it is used as a greeting, when you say Namaste in farewell you ought to accompany it with a bow.
Namaste is one of the first words that you may hear when arriving in India. It is not the only way of saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ but it is a popular one. It is important to remember that, though you can say ‘goodbye’ to people without saying ‘Namaste’, if somebody says the word Namaste to you it is polite to respond with the same word.