The Dreamheron Diaries - স্বপ্নসারসের দিনলিপি

Thursday, July 13, 2006


In Afghanistan, when two men meet, they shake their right hands while each places the palm of his left hand flat against his chest. Alternatively, they shake their right hands, and then each places the palm of the same hand flat against his chest. In this way, what in the West is a mechanical act becomes a most beautiful gesture that says: I accept you in my heart.

In traditional Arabic, there is a very elaborate system of greeting, here described by the author Amitabh Ghosh (in his book Incendiary Circumstances, in the essay THE IMAM AND THE INDIAN) as he is meeting a village imam. The imam begins the sequence:

‘ “Welcome.”
“Welcome to you.”
“How are you?”
“How are you?”
“Have you brought blessings?”
“May God bless you.”
“Welcome to you.”
“You have brought light.”
“The light is yours.”
“How are you?”
“How are you?” ’

In rural Bengal, when someone takes leave, the following exchange takes place:

“Let me leave?”
“Not to leave.”