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GREETINGS IN KANNADA
|eenu cennaagiddiraa?||Are you alright?|
|heegiddiira?||How are you?|
|tumbaa saNNagaagidiraa||'You have become so lean.'|
elli tegedu koNDri? siire tumbaa cennaagide
'Where did you buy this saree, it is very nice.'
GREETINGS BETWEEN OPPOSITE GENDERS
However, the greetings between members of opposite genders are not the same. When a woman achieves upward mobility in present day urban society as a result of education and economic independence, she tends to discard essentially the feminine greetings in favor of greetings that are more commonly used by men. An educated urban woman, who is gainfully employed, for instance, no longer turns her back or covers her face while greeting a male. She would, however, greet him by saying namaste /namaskaar, or hello, and sometimes along with greeting gestures like folding hands, shaking hands, etc.
OTHER CATEGORIES OF PERSONS
A husband and a wife generally do not use formal verbal greeting terms for greeting each other. The same is true among children.
Sometimes, employees of lower status do not use modes of greetings for greeting their superiors. But today times have changed and we have some common verbal and non-verbal greetings. Usually the distance maintained between the greeter and the person being greeted shows the deference the greeter has for the person being greeted.
Note also that the verbal expression namaste/namaskaar may be substituted by a non-verbal expression such as just a smile, nodding, closing of eyes, bowing down of head, or folding hands, etc.
GREETING OLDER PERSONS
In greeting, the age of the participants has a significant role to play. The usual practice as well as the norm is to extend greeting to the person who is older in age to the person who is greeting. Touching of feet, bowing salutation are common features in Hindu culture. But other gestures like kissing, embracing are also used in specific contexts. Kissing on forehead or cheeks is possible in a context when parents greet their children. When two persons having close familial relations or close intimacy meet occasionally they generally hug each other. This is more common among adults and old people as well as children.
GREETINGS BETWEEN PEOPLE OF EQUAL STATUS
Educated people of equal status and same gender shake hands and greet by verbal forms like 'hello.' In certain formal situations, the greeter and the person who is being greeted fold hands, and sometimes shake both hands. Friends of equal status always greet each other by verbal greeting forms and gestures like handshake, pat on face or back, closing of eyes, etc. Age factor is not taken into account where there is close intimacy.
GREETINGS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN
In the contemporary modern society, we see parents greeting the son and in response you get the same or different greeting.
Hello mummi 'hello mummy' 'hello mom'
Hello pappaa 'hello daddy' 'hello dad.' Etc.
Old traditions still continue.
In a formal situation, a younger person may fold his/her hands or may touch the feet of elders uttering,
namaskaara atte 'namaste aunt' or
namaskaara kaaka 'namaste uncle '
AVOIDANCE OF GREETINGS
There are some situations wherein we usually tend to avoid verbal greetings which might involve disturbance to others. These situations include occasions such as watching a play, a movie, listening to a lecture, or any other type of action in progress, etc. Physical distance and intensity of emotion also prevent the use of verbal greetings. In such situations, non-verbal greetings like smiling, nodding of the head, facial gesture, and lifting and waving of hands are used.
Like verbal greetings, nonverbal greetings are also used in formal as well as in informal situations.
EDUCATION AND OCCUPATION AS IMPORTANT FACTORS
Education and occupation are the other important factors, which influence a mode of greeting. For example, a person educated in Western ways of life, would prefer to be greeted with expressions such as Good morning, Hello, or a handshake. Though this is not a common phenomenon, a few people do expect or prefer this type of greetings.
Occupation gives shape and meaning to one's identity, role and personality. Linguistic behavior is also influenced by the occupation. David Crystal has drawn our attention to the distinct voice and tone in English peculiarly belonging to people in various professional capacities such as the lawyer, street vendor, sports commentator, radio announcers, etc. For example, the mode of salutation used by the cloth merchant is different from that used by a priest or a cop. If by chance the same individual has to play various occupational roles, then he immediately switches to different kinds of greeting appropriate to the role and situation. The same greeting is said with a variety of paralinguistic features like pause, stress, volume and tone of voice combined with gestural expression of face, while uttering the word namaskaar conveys different degrees of deference and reveal different kinds of relationship.
ACTIVITY BASED GREETINGS
We have some greetings, which are governed by some activity or festivity. Some special activities have special greetings tied to them. As examples of activity governed greetings, we may refer to different festivals, rituals, ceremonies etc. These greetings in return have some blessings. Again these are governed by age, sex, context, socio-cultural situations, etc. These are relatively new coinages based on models available in English. They may also be derived from some existing greetings as an extension to cover new occasions. So, several of these new coinages continue to sound somewhat odd. For example,
dasaraa habbada shubhaasaya 'Wish you happy Dasara'
hosa varshada shubhaasaya 'Happy new year'
GREETINGS AS BLESSINGS, OR BLESSINGS AS GREETINGS
However, the traditional greetings are traditional modes of blessings. During marriage time a traditional blessing is showered as greetings on the bride and groom when they touches the feet of the elders for blessing. The elders usually bless by a greeting mode expression:
mane tumba makkaLaagali
nuuru varsha sukhavaagiri
varshadalli gaNDu maguvina tandeyaagu, etc.
Blessings in the name of gods are also used by elders in their responses.
deevaru ninage oLLeyadu maaDali
'May gods do good to you.'
ellaa avana daye
'All is his (god's) mercy.'
deevara dayeyinda ninage oLLeya kelasa sigali
'By god's mercy, may you get a good job!'
avana daye/aaSirvaada iddare ellaa nimma manassinante aagatte
If his (god's) blessing/grace is there then everything will take place as per your wish.'
When younger people bow down to touch the feet of elder ones, the elders give their blessings of good health, prosperity and longevity.
nuuru varsha cennaagiru
'Live for a hundred years.'
ninna aaSe ella iDeerali
'May your desires be fulfilled.'
oLLeya kelasa sigali
'May you get a good job!'
ninne nenastaa idde
'I was full of thoughts about you.'
nuuru varsha aayushyu ninage
'May you have a life of a hundred
There are some greeting forms used to greet elders for whom respect is intended. These are also combined with the gestures like bowing or touching the feet. When greeted thus, the elders, in their response, may use gestures like laying their hand on the head giving blessings.
THE ROLE OF THE LEVEL OF INTIMACY
Intimacy is also an important factor in greeting. Relationship can be studied in terms of intimate-non-intimate, or formal-informal relations, depending upon the social and ceremonial distance between the greeting participants and also the duration and frequency of contact. The greeting expressions used here may enquire about the general well being of the addressee, indicate respect towards the addressee, or indicate affection, good wishes or blessings.
The examples of formal and non- formal greeting expressions are given below.
The person who greets:
'How are you ?'
'Are you all right?'
The person who is being greeted:
eeno nimma daye
'by your kindness'
'by your blessings'
'I am alright.'
'We are alright.'
yaake saNNa aagidiiya
'why have you become so thin?'
The person who is being greeted:
illa haage iddiini, niivu tumbaa dina aadameele nooDta iddiira ashTe
'No I am just as I was, you are seeing me after many days.'
'heege naDiitaa ide
'How is everything going?'
The person who is being greeted:
eeno deevara daye ellaa cennaagide
'By god's grace everything is alright'
Welcome forms combined with terms of good wishes are also used as modes of greeting.
banni banni oLage banni
kuLitukoLLI eenu tumbaa aparuupa
'Sit down what a rare surprise'
eenu ishTu duura
' what you have come so far
Greeting terms like namaste/namaskaaraa are used by a large number of both educated and uneducated people. These greeting forms can be used by persons of any rank, age or gender.
TERMS OF ENDEARMENTS AS FORMS OF GREETINGS
It is a common feature among conservative and traditional people to make compliments like
eenu ii taraha aagiddiya
'What you have become like this'
'I just could not recognize you.'
eenu uuTa maaDtiiyo illvoo
'What do you eat, food or nothing!'
Not that the question is about the eating habits or the sudden loss of weight, but it is just an enquiry expressing endearment.
ninna nooDooke aagataa illa 'I just can't see you, it is so difficult to look at you in this condition of having lost weight, etc.'
The above types of greetings are used as terms of endearment, when individuals meet after a long period of time. Here intimacy or the relationship is to be noticed.
The function of a greeting is ultimately derived from a certain communicative intent, or the purpose for which the two parties are engaged in interaction. A greeting, therefore, is used not only to convey a sense of respect but also to win a favor, to seek a pardon, to express gratitude, or to establish communion, etc.
It has often been observed that when a favor is to be obtained from someone, that person is accorded greetings in a most deferential manner. It is a custom to greet a person after he has shown some favor. Here greeting does not convey respect but a sense of gratitude. When one in distress gets a helping hand, or when a man's child is saved from an accident, etc., here greetings shown are expressive of heartfelt gratitude.
Often when a person is seeking forgiveness, he seizes with both hands the feet of a person he is addressing, if the crime committed earlier is considered unpardonable in easy terms, and he relaxes his hold when pardon is granted. The two gestural greetings - folding hands and touching feet are usually used for seeking forgiveness.
kai mugidu beeDikoLtiini nanna tappaayitu
'With folded hands I ask you to forgive me.'
Sometimes a greeting serves as a mode of phatic communion "a type of speech in which ties of union are created by a mere exchange of words.' The principle of greetings in such contexts is the establishment of social ties by a set of verbal conventions.
When two passengers are there at a bus stop, some common opening phrases are used,
yaava bassige kaayutta iddiira
'For which bus are you waiting?'
yaava bassige hoogabeeku
'Which bus have you to go?'
eshTu caLi ide ivattu
'It is very cold today.'
These are some of the common phrases used as per the situation or context just to create a communion for the time being.
Modes of greeting, beside tied to conventions, are also the natural product of an interplay of factors which characterize the sociocultural life of people. Quite a few greeting phrases have undergone change. Greetings, therefore, cannot remain unaffected by social change and borrowing.
The picture presented here is not an exhaustive study. There are still various ramifications of the subject that need to be handled with sharper and more sophisticated tools. Nevertheless, this sociolinguistic study may give some insight into the nature of the sociopsychological organization of our community, its rights and obligations, duties and privileges, attitude and beliefs. A strong 'verbal lubricant' in its own right, a greeting provides a bridge between individuals.
LANGUAGE ATTITUDE OF THE ORIYA MIGRANT POPULATION IN KOLKATA | CORPUS BASED MACHINE TRANSLATION ACROSS INDIAN LANGUAGES - FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE | ISSUES IN MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF NORTH-EAST INDIAN LANGUAGES | GREETINGS IN KANNADA | LANGUAGE POLICY OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS DURING THE PRE-PARTITION PERIOD 1939-1946 | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR
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