A different greeting style

I had already posted a quote  from The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski here but his book is so rich that we could find in that book at least an excerpt per day. His words are freely although harmoniously flowing on paper and I can’t help but be caught in his passionate descriptive tale of culture, travels and Africa…

 Here is an excerpt on greeting in Africa, so different from our… :

” The course and temperature of the first greeting are of utmost significance to the ultimate fate of a relationship, which is why people here set much store by the way they salute each other. It is essential to exhibit from the very beginning, from the very first second, enormous, primal joy and geniality. So, for starters, one extends one’s hand. But not in a formal manner, reticently, limply: just the opposite – a large, vigorous gesture, as if one’s intention were not so much to offer one’s hand as to tear the other’s off. If, however, the other manages to keep his hands whole and in its proper place, it is because, understanding the ritual rules of the greeting, he has likewise executed the same broad, forceful gesture. Both of these extremities, bursting with tremendous energy, now meet halfway and, with a terrifying impact of collision, cancel out the two opposing forces. Simultaneously, as the hands are rushing towards each other, the two individuals share a prolonged cascade of loud laughter. It is meant to signify that each is happy to be meeting and warmly disposed to the other. “


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