Have you ever kept tabs on how you greet? Rather who you greet and why you greet them? Well, personally I have never given two cents about it. The only thing I keep track of is who I do not greet. (Chuckles) not so many but I would wish to add a few on that list who checked into the friend zone after stalking.
Greetings are like the appetizer then the main course kicks in in form of a conversation. They are like the gateway to how good, boring, sad, interesting and slanderous the tête-à-tête will be. No one really pays attention but the way someone responds to your hello determines whether it will be a hellnah or a wassup.
Different people have different ways of greeting. The French love a little kiss on the cheek with a sultry comment ca va? The Spanish love hugs and screams and a lot of hullaballoo that makes it seem like a wedding is taking place right there and then, accompanied by a Como te va todo? Red Bull for breakfast? Kenyans love that low key niaje niaje but you have to have realized the Spanish in our women. The high pitch Arianna Grande scream, the hands in the air being waved like they just don’t care buttered by a long hug as if you are Samson and you just found out Delilah left you. Spend one day in Kenya and you will leave with all your scars healed and all your money gone (let’s fight corruption).
When greeting a lady make sure it’s proper especially if it’s for the first time. This means no hugging, if you want a hug, go get your sister or a tree. There is no Hi-five, basically we are way past the diaper stage and you are not my grandpa. Nevertheless, it’s annoying, that weird finger-locking confusion where the thumb goes in between the middle finger and index finger so the whole greeting is kind of messed up as you cannot figure out whether to rectify the finger position or simply ignore and continue with the conversation. You feel me? The proper way is a handshake which no one in the varsity and whole of Kenya remembers. Treat every woman like a queen as they are a part of somebody’s throne.
When greeting an older person, do not curtsy as it’s not a performance. The same goes for bowing. But depending on different cultures, you must be well versed with what they consider etiquette. Do not bring a rude boy vibe to a Chinese restaurant; those chopsticks are deadly. Men normally do not have that much bodily contact and if they do, please call Caitlyn Jenner. She/ He will help you accordingly.
Women are naturally delicate (do not read as weak) human beings and we love to connect with everyone in general. Thus boundaries are easily marked if any and hugs, pecks, hi-fives are not really limited when it comes to fellow counterparts.
Mind your Hello, do not let it be a goodbye.