Thursday, October 11, 2012

School Today: Cultures and Greetings

In school we learned about how the world if full of people who vary in ethnicity, culture, beliefs, sizes, shapes, languages and personality. Everyone is different and created by God to bring Him glory through who He made them to be!

Our family is proof of this!
And we love it!

We focused on greetings and languages.

Greetings are something our culture doesn't put much value in. If you extend your hand, smiled, looking in someones eyes and say "Hello" you've done a polite thing. This would not be true in many cultures.

In the Baganda culture (the dominant culture/tribe of Uganda) it is polite to say a greeting, shake hands in a way that is appropriate for your relationship and to ask a person about how they are doing, if they slept well and to talk before you ever ask the question or request you need from them. If it is a person of age or respect you should show them that respect by kneeling on both knees and not looking at them, and bowing your head before them. I witnessed this on several occasions. One in court where an aged woman walked into the court room on her knees before the judge... it was quite dramatic!

All that said... we don't "get" the greeting thing in the Western world... we think it is a smile and a hand shake...

Here are the children practicing various cultural traditions of greeting...

 Baganda (Uganda) tradition of greeting by walking up to a respected person, 
getting on both knees and extending your hand, bowing your head.

 Indian tradition of greeting with hands in prayer and bowing head.

Japanese/Asian greeting of bowing and waist.

Western greeting of shaking hands.

French greeting of kissing both cheeks.

We also learned to say "thank you" in other languages:

Spanish - gracias
Italian - grazie
Africaans - Dankie
Mandarin - Xie-xie (syeh-syeh)
Japanese - Arigato
Swahili - Asante
Russian - Spasibo
Norwegian - Takk
Hebrew - Toda (Toh-dah)
Luganda - Webale nnyo (web-ah-leh nn-yo)

Where We Go For Info...
Usborne Quick-links
National Geographic
Greetings (older children)