are one of the corner stones of Manden culture.
Years ago, long before I thought of going to Europe or to America, I had a
French friend while I was in Monrovia, Liberia. One afternoon, as we were
having tea at a local sidewalk restaurant, another European passing by us
I could see that my friend was annoyed by the stranger's action. Later
that day he made a comment "why that person would greet us since he did not
know us". I, in turn, was very surprised that one would be annoyed or
be angered because of being greeted by a stranger. I didnít understand
his reaction until years later, after I spent some time in Europe, Asia, and
America. I realized that greetings can be an act of friendship, or one of
invasion of personal space; depending on the culture, or the situation.
contrast in the Manden culture one is expected to greet first before any
activity takes place, even if such activity is simply two strangers passing by
each other. It is considered an ill manner to pass by someone without greeting the
person. Any visitor to a Manden society should be careful to greet the host
engaging in any conversation for business or otherwise.
for greeting: Although the rules of greeting in Manden culture is not
easily articulated, one can observe with frequency the following:
transacting any kind of business or friendly exchange, one must first engage
in a period of formal or informal greeting depending; on the occasion.
person who is approaching, or who is moving while the other is standing still or
sitting greets first.
person who is entering another's domicile or place of business is the one to
greet the occupant first.
of the significant signs of how important greetings are in Manden society is the
length of time it takes to greet a friend or relative one has not seen a long
time. Such a greeting can take an hour or more before it is completed.
It will include asking about the person, asking about the family members one at
a time, the friends, and other acquaintances. It may also include sharing
the souvenir of one or more common events.
following are some common greetings. Be aware that the words may vary
slightly from locality to locality or from group to group; but they are,
nevertheless, part of Kangbe (the clear language).