NAIJA GOOD: GREETING IN NIGERIA
NAIJA GOOD: GREETING IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is a federation, it houses more that 500 ethnic groups; each with different cultures, attires, tradition, way of life, belief and languages.
There are so many things that all the ethnic groups share in common and one of these is -GREETING.
GREETING IN NIGERIA shows great respect and an amiable personality.
For the elderlies; when you greet them, it gives them the idea that you respect your elders, you have good home training and you can hang out with their children.
When you greet someone younger than you or same age group; they perceive you as level headed, friendly and wants to hang out with you.
Most elders pick offense when you don’t greet them; they would probably stop you to ask why you didn’t greet or report you to your parents.
While your age groups would think you are a snub, not friendly and arrogant.
So many of the ethnic groups take greetings seriously, they have a posture for it and different responses.
Some tribes kneel, some squat (north), some prostrate (south-west) and some turn their palms backwards and hit it severally (EAST -the Igbo older men uses their walking stick or staff to do this routine).
Though the elders don’t necessarily do these kneeling or prostrating postures amongst themselves, they just greet each other with esteem but the most important gesture in a Nigerian greeting is a welcoming smile as if you have known the person for ages, don’t rush the greetings and also ” How are you? How is work? How is family? ” are the courtesy greetings that follows but doesn’t mean you have to start mentioning all the problems bedevilling you and your family, it isn’t part of the greeting process! People expect to here ” I am fine, Thank you sir, well-done ma.”
The Yorubas are known for respect and applying it in their way of life. For example; No matter how much wealth a Yoruba man or woman has, when he or she is visiting an elder he must lie down straight on the floor with his chest touching the ground. It is called ‘ Dóbaalé ‘ in Yoruba. For the women, they lower their knees to the ground. In Yoruba it is called Íkùnlé.
Another example is; During a Yoruba wedding the son-in-law to be is required to dóbaalé and he won’t look up or stand up till his bride’s parents prays for him and gives him the permission to stand up. He Normally does this with all the male in his family.
Parents teach their children these postures from their very tender age so they get used to it and not loose a grip of where they came from.
~While growing up, I and my sisters always went on our knees to greet around. We would always say -Good morning, Good Afternoon, Good evening with our knees on the ground and now i have gotten used to the combo that I slouch on the street while saying those words, bending my knees forward a little even if they are young like me. But it is full Ikunle with family or guests at home.
Abayon, Abara, Abua, Achipa, Adim, Adun, Affade, Afizere, Afo, Agbo, Akaju-Ndem, Akweya yachi, Alago, Amount, Anaguta, Anang, Andoni, Angas, Ankwei, Anyima, Attakar, Auyoka, Awori, Ayu, Babur, Bachana, Bachere, Bada, Bade, Bahumono, Bakuluing, Bali, Bambora, Bambuko, Banada, Banka, Banso, Bara, Barke, Baruba, Bashiri, Bassa, Batta, Baushi, Baya, Bekwara, Bele, Betso, Benini, Bilei, Bille, Bina, Bini, Birom, Bobua, Boki, Bkkos, Boko, Bole, Botlere, Boma, Bomboro, Buduma, Buji, Buli, Bunu, Bura, Burak, Burma, Buru, But, Bwali, Bwatiye, Bwazza, Challa, Chamba, Chamo, Chibok, Daba, Dadive, Dayka, Dakarkari, Danda, Dangsa, Daza, Dagema, Dghwede, Dibu, Doemak, Ouguri Ebuira, Ebu, Efik, Egbema, Egede, Eggon, Egun, Eket, Ekoi, Epie, Esan, Etche, Etsaka, Etung, Edo, Fulani, Geruma, Gira, Gombi, Gude, Gwari, Gwoza, Ggbagi, Ibibio, Igala, Igbo, Idoma, Ijumu, Ika, Ikwerre, Isoko, Itsekiri, Jukun, Kafancha, Kanuri, Mambilla, Mobber, Nupe, Oron, Opwan, Ogoni, Oworo, Poll, Palli, Tiv, Tula, Urhobo, Yagba, Yoruba… And that’s not even all, the point is there are numerous tribes and therefore languages in Nigeria. We haven’t even listed all and you must expect that each of these has their greetings in it’s dialect.
Note: Although we are diverse in our languages here in Nigeria, we have lingua francas. English & Pidgin.
Here is how the greetings goes in these languages:
È Kaaró -Good Morning
(È is used when referring to an adult or more than one person. If it’s an adult you still have to put MA or SIR and he or she replies ‘Kaaró’)
È Kaasàn -Good Afternoon
È Kú Írolé -Good Evening
È kààlé -Good Night
Báwó ní -How Are You?
Báwo ní isé -How is work?
Awon ará ilé nkàn -How is your family?
Dáádáá ní/Mò wáá -It is good/I’m fine.
É kú ísé -Well done.
É káábó -Well come.
É kú ípalémó Odún -This is usually said during a festive season or when a ceremony is being carried out.
Ójó Métá -It means ‘Three Days”, this is usually said when you haven’t seen someone in a while. That is what is said even if it is more than three days, then the response is usually “Ójó kàn pélú” -it means ‘And a day more’.
Ésé – Thank you.
Ina Kwana -Good Morning.
Yaya dai/Kana lafiya? -How are you?
Lafiya lau -I’m fine.
Ina wuni -Good evening?
Yaya aiki -How is work?
Yaya Iyali -How is family?
Kwana biyu -Two days.W
Saida safe/Sai gobe -Good Night/Till tomorrow.
Thank you -Nagode.
Ibolachi/Ututu Oma -Good morning
Kedu Kadi -How are you
Odimma -I’m fine.
Ezigbo ehihi -Good evening
Kachi fo -Good night. The response usually is Ka obo o.
Kedu maka olu -How is work?
Kedu maka ezinulogi -How is family?
Dalu -Thank you.
Kudeladzhin –Good morning
Kupegidi -Good Afternoon.
Kubelodzuin -Good evening.
Kyewonor -How are you?
Migiyebo -I’m fine.
Kubetin -Thank you.
Damuwa Danbóa -No problem.
Mma Chi -Good morning.
Maneinor -Good Afternoon.
Mmaine -Good evening.
Abole -How are you.
Response: Obobe, Aba iyole, Mma Chi o.
Wu nder vee -Good morning
Wu pande vee -Good Afternoon/Good evening
Ngu nena -How are you?
Msuugh weeh -I greet you.
Alright, the greetings are much and it differs with the different locations. The thing to do is greet in english and below are some of the things to say to show you are familiar with the environment.
Ado -Ijaw in Bayelsa. You can also say Tobaroa, Nua, Botei or Ibasa
Ibaate -Kalabari in Niger Delta
Ushé-Ushé -Kanuri. Also used in former Kanem and Bornu Empire. Also “Awiyei” -informal.
Shóú -Izere language in Plateau state. Also, Dàkàzha
Isoko -Jibu in Taraba state
Me digwa -Isoko in Delta State. Redo is the response.
Agba -Igala, Kogi state. Response is Awa.
Wáá Súna/Yeni awo -Kaduna state.
As-salam ‘alaykum -Hausa, used by the Muslims.
Kekwanu -Igbo, you can say ‘Igbo Kwenu!’ if you are in the midst of a lot of Igbos.
Ndula kpe idi -Egba, Rivers State.
Ere Owuro -Itsekiri
All These means “Hello or How are you” or Greetings! Some means “Well-done”.
When you greet in English and say HELLO in this languages, you get a friendly response in return and these could hit off a conversation that could lead to a life long relationship.
When you greet an elder -wait for a response if none, greet again; for greeting in Nigeria shows great respect. You must be loud, make eye contact, don’t rush the process, let out a big smile and do this again when next you see the person.
The males in Nigeria shake their hands, the young ones do a fist bump or shake and clip each other’s fingers or tap each other’s back. The females like to hug each other or give high fives, sometimes ten. The most important thing is the smile and gist that follows.
Nigeria is a really friendly country and if you want to get on anyone’s good books -GREET THEM VERY WELL!
NAIJA IS GOOD.