Thursday, 27 October 2011

Aunty I dey greet!!!

O ga ooo

Na wa for me o

I can’t even keep up with this blogging thing. It’s been like....(counting)...4 months since my first post. I just wish I could be committed to blogging. I’ve been so busy with stuff and too lazy to write, but I’ve decided that even if it’s once weekly, I’ll post something on this blog.

So here’s my second post :

Greeting as a form of courtesy has been practised since time immemorial. I might not have any substantial evidence, but I know that way before when, man has always used greeting as a way of respecting people, showing them they matter, recognising another’s presence and for any other reason they could think of. I remember being taught in my Yoruba class when I was in primary school how men and women of various occupations and those in different situations are greeted in Yoruba land. To the woman who is a hair plaiter, Yoruba people greet “e ku oge”, to the pregnant woman, “e ku ikunra, a so kale anfaani o”, to the new mother, “e ku ewu omo”, and the list goes on.

Growing up as a child, I was taught by my family and inevitably, society to always show respect to my elders by greeting them and in the proper way too. Whoever one came across on a daily basis, one greeted, especially if the person was an older person. You referred to those who were not your parents, or any of your family at all for that matter as Aunty or Uncle, if they were a woman or man respectively.

However and however, as I’ve grown older and come of age (even if I say so myself) I’ve seen greeting move from being a form of courtesy (which it still is) to being a way of getting people’s attention and getting ‘something’ from them. One particular story my mother told me comes to mind, which I’ve polished a bit to illustrate my point. My mom usually takes her car to some car wash place (a lot of which are springing up quite a lot lately) close to home. She told me about her first experience there. She took her car for washing, fine. On her getting there the boys were so helpful and courteous, ending all of their sentences with ‘ma’. ‘Welcome ma’, ‘How family ma’, ‘Please sit down for a while ma’, ‘It won’t take long ma’, ‘E ku ijooko ma’, ‘should we buy you a drink ma?’, ‘mama the mama’. My mum was overwhelmed by their seeming hospitality, but she was definitely not new to this form of harassment which most people practised under the pretext of being courteous to and greeting one’s elders. She waited patiently as they cleaned the car and threw in an ‘E ku ijooko ma’ once in a while and dispensed good advice to her on how to take care of the car. Finally they were through and my mum was ready to leave. They started again, ‘mummy! Ah you’re going ma’ (apparently!!). My mum said she was so embarrassed with the way they were being so nice and helpful that she reneged on the promise she made to herself previously. She had more or less vowed at the beginning she was not going to give the boys any other money apart from the one meant as payment for washing her car. But, she had no choice. She felt guilty, just a bit. Oh, they made her feel guilty for attempting to leave without leaving a parting gift. To cut the long story short, she gave them an awesome tip that day.

I guess all their manipulative courteousness paid off! I shake my head. Some people are so hilarious!! I love this country!!!! Na real wa ooo.

People at one’s service, especially at their places of work, usually greet not because they are really wishing you a good day or they really want to know how you feel (as least not in this part of the world), but because they want you to drop ‘something’.  We usually experience this when we visit banks or eateries and security men are helping with getting one the ‘best’ parking space or opening the door. They greet you as you enter and as you are leaving. Some of them are not shy at all and will tell you how they really feel, “Aunty I dey greet na; something for the boys’. I love those types. They make me burst into laughter because of their candid attitude.

Anyways me I used to think I was still a small geh and that there was no way anyone was going to try to manipulate money out of my hands, when until recently I learnt the opposite. I recently just finished working at a community pharmacy as part of my training and during my stay there those security people did not give me any rest o. I would have thought they would be ashamed to ask a small geh like me, what with my stature and all, for money. But they were not o, even as old as they were. Well I never gave them money and I’m proud to say so, for after all they are paid for their job!!

I’m not wicked joor..

But that still doesn’t mean it’s every one that greets that way that wants ‘something’ from one. I’ve been guilty of judging some people that way until I realise they honestly just wanted to greet me.


That was long. Anyways bye for now