Hi and low: By greeting a perfect stranger, we greet democracy

 

Article Summary

The article is about what greetings represent in India. In India, in urban India at least, we don’t generally exchange salutations with people we don’t know. There is a well-defined protocol for the extending and receiving of greetings be it a ‘Hello’, ‘Namaste’, ‘Namaskaram’, ‘Ram, Ram’, or ‘Salaam’. Greetings are usually extended by the junior person to a senior, a senior in age or social position.

In the US, and other parts of the western world, the exchange of greetings, even with strangers, is a part and parcel of everyday life and this represents a liberal tilt of western democracies. In India on the other hand it signifies the class and social divide among our people.

 

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Words to learn from this Article:

Trumpet: proclaim widely or loudly.

Commonplace: not unusual; ordinary.

Agreeable: quite enjoyable and pleasurable; pleasant.

Salutations: a gesture or utterance made as a greeting or acknowledgement of another’s arrival or departure.

Unsolicited: not asked for; given or done voluntarily.

Perplexity: inability to deal with or understand something.

Protocol: the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions.

Egalitarianism: believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

Stratification: the arrangement or classification of something into different groups.

Hierarchy: a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.

Feudalism: was a system in which people were given land andprotectionby people ofhigherrank, and worked and foughtfor them infreturn.

 
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