Thursday, September 01, 2005

Malaysian greeting

The Thais have the wai. The Japanese and Koreans, the bow. The Malays, the salam. The Indians, the namaste. The Chinese, the nod.

What then is a Malaysian greeting? Our tourism practitioners have their own style. A hand placed diagonally across the chest, with palms pointing towards the right (or is it the left) shoulder. But they're the only ones doing it. Nobody outside the hospitality industry practises it.

Is there any way we can amalgamate all three gestures; the salam, namaste and nod into a graceful and meaningful one? Maybe if Tourism Malaysia comes up with a contest offering a national car as top prize, some pretty good ideas may come up.

Here's a short piece on greetings around the world.


Nadia said...

you know what lydia..actually thinking about it, we might be able to combine all of it into one long gesture hehehehe

first we start with salam and after retrieving our hands, continue on to namaste and then end with the nod. It's actually quite continuous with no break in flow. what do you think? heheh thanks for shoving this one up my brain ;)

interesting though how the chinese nod(actually I just found this out..never seen one in action though) and the koreans bow halfway and the japanese all the way.

Lydia Teh said...

Hi Nadia

Very muhibbah, but kinda long isn't it? By the time we finish our greeting, our greetee would have nodded off. Then Malaysians would not only have the distinction of having one of the most number of public holidays in the world but also the longest greeting ever. Maybe we should submit it to Guiness Book of World Records, ya?

If nobody else can come up with a better idea, then yours it is.

Actually I hadn't thought of the Chinese's greeting as a nod until I read that factmonster article (already put up link to it). That was like a Eureka moment. However, it's not so much of a nod as a tilt of the chin in the direction of the greetee.

Kak Teh said...

i want to wblog abt how different nationalities greet each other - eits so funny! While we Malays ask ' what's news' as in apa khabar and Chinese usually ask whether you have eaten - some actually ask, have you had a bath, or have you moved your bowels!

Lydia Teh said...

Ya ya, Kak Teh. That'll be a funny one.

Anonymous said...

In Maleisië groet ons mekaar graag terwyl ons na mekaar buig met ons handpalms teen mekaar. Dis ons teken van respek vir mekaar. En ons sê vir mekaar : “Selamat Datang!” Vrede en welkom! (Dit word uitgespreek as sa-la-mut dar-tung).