Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Somali's greet each other by name or, in the case of relatives, by a word that shows their relationship (uncle, cousin, etc.). General greetings vary according to region and situation, but Nabad (Peace) is accepted almost everywhere. The common southern variation is Nabad miya? (Is there peace?). Its equivalent in the north is Ma nabad baa? The Islamic greeting Asalaamu aleikum (Peace be upon you) is a common formal greeting, to which the response is Aleikum ma salaam (And peace be upon you). Such phrases are followed by inquiries about the general health and welfare of the individual and an exchange of information. Iska warran? (What's the news?) and Maha la shegay? (What are people saying?) are used as a “How are you?” in some parts of the country.
Men firmly shake hands with each other three times before putting that hand to their hearts. Putting your hand to your heart is also the normal greeting in Arab countries.

In some southern areas, women shake hands with each other and then kiss the hand they have shaken. Somali of the opposite sex who are not related usually do not touch when meeting.

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