Namaste! Is that the only way to Greet in India- Well, 20 more ways unleashed!

Posted on October 20, 2020 by

While doing ‘Namaste’ (Indian Gesture to say hello), do you know that you are beholding the legacy of your country? What is the first thing you learn before going to any place? The greeting is a basic gesture that you need to show up at the airport, flight, travel destinations and taxi stands. You need to learn their greeting gesture and own yours also for unique identification. Your roots are something that defines your existence, and it nurtures you as a person on the whole! 

Why restrict the divinity and uniqueness of Indian Culture to only Namaste while there are plenty of other greeting ways that define ‘Us’. Here are the top 20 greeting ways to greet someone from somewhere in our Indian Style!

  • Namaste!- Not just India, but the world bows to the power of this particular Indian greeting way that can easily strike anyone when you meet them. It means ‘A divine soul bows to the divinity in you’. Even foreigners abroad take an opportunity to greet Indians with this beautiful gesture. Why go Universal when you have an identity? Stick to what influences you and retain the originality with your greeting ways. Other variants of Namaste are Namaskar when addressing multiple persons, Namaskaram in Kerela, Namaskaramu in the Andhra States, and even Nepal uses it for the common greeting. 
  • Ram Ram- Another way of Greeting in India ‘Ram Ram’ where they greet by chanting the name of a famous Indian Vishnu Avatar worshipped as God. If you happen to visit Mithila or Awadh (their birthplaces), the notion goes as Sita Ram, Sita Ram. While in Jharkhand and Bihar, people greet with Jay Siya Ram. Ram Ram warmly welcomes everyone to Harayana. Sri Ram or the Maryada Purushottam defines the epitome of ethical conduct that everyone confines with this way of greeting. 
  • Jai Shri Krishna in Gujarat- You can easily make out this simple way of greeting if you have travelled to Gujarat or even observed them in TV role plays. Jai Shri Krishna influences and rules the heart of every Gujarati located in or outside India. Nearby, there is Dwarka, the golden city when Lord Krishna ruled, and the greeting becomes ‘Jai Dwarkadhish’. 
  • Radhe in entire Braj Bhoomi- Entire Braj Bhoomi revolves around the ‘Radhe Radhe’ anthem which was a divine lover of Lord Krishna and the queen of Gopika’s in Braj Bhoomi. This greeting form is a complete emotion, and it does not require any other words for expression. Jai Sri Radhe is another variant for this greeting gesture. 
  • Punjab greets you with ‘Sat Sri Akaal’– If you even meet Sikhs or Punjabis, ‘Sat Sri Akaal’ is a common greeting gesture, and Sat refers to truth, Sri means honorific, and Akaal refers to timeless. Hence, they strongly abide by these gestures and incorporate its meaning in their lives. Guru Gobind Singh, their main Guru, gave the motivational quote of- Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal. 
  • ‘Vanakkam’ in Tamil Nadu- A heartfelt ‘Vanakkam’ welcomes people visiting Tamil Nadu as they respect to bow down in respect. The meaning of Vanakkam is the third powerful eye between the brows.
  • Rajasthan greets with ‘Khamma Ghani’- When I heard Khamma Ghani for the first time, it reminded me of the royal era in Rajasthan which they have restored beautifully in forms of art, Culture and traditions. If you are visiting beautiful royal cities like Jaipur, Udaipur or Jaisalmer; greet with ‘Khamma Ghani’ gesture. It means forgiveness if someone hurts by mistake as that is what real hospitality is like. You need to fold hands with respect and share this sweet greeting of gratitude. 
  • ‘Jule’ in Ladakh- Have you travelled to Lahaul Spiti Valley to road trips in Ladakh? Local people there greet with ‘Jule’ which is also known as Joo-Lay. It refers to ‘Respect’, and in fact, the basic notion of every Indian Greeting is to welcome with respect. Another meaning of Jule is to say ‘Thank You’, and Tashi Delek is also peculiar in many places of Ladakh. 
  • Jai Jinendra- Signifies the common Jainism greeting that Jain people all over India commonly use. Many people might not have heard it as Jains are in the minority, but next time someone welcomes you with ‘Jai Jinendra’,  know you are meeting a Jain. This greeting means victory of Tirthankar who won overall senses and acknowledged the power of real knowledge. 
  • Followers of Ayyappa greet with ‘Swami Sharanam’- Whenever the followers of Ayyappa meet and greet each other, they chant ‘Swami Ayyappa’. And this practice in common in Kerela and other states of South India. 
  • Aadab by Muslims- People who diligently follow Islam or speak Urdu mostly greet others with ‘Aadab’. It refers to the respectful welcome of someone you meet, and it pleasingly notifies the wonderful gesture.
  • Himachal greets people with ‘Dhaal Karu’– People going to Himachal can greet each other with ‘Dhaal Karu’ which sounds very pleasing and hosts of this state often welcome tourists with it. Its meaning is also similar to Namaste. 
  • Banks of Narmada echo with greetings of ‘Narmade har’- It means that all your sufferings and disgusts should come to an end. You can hear this wonderful slogan on the banks of this holy river. At Prayagraj, Rishikesh and Varanasi; people follow the greeting of ‘Narmade Har’. 
  • ‘Jai Jai’ in Bikaner- While on a trip to Bikaner, people greet with ‘Jai Jai’ and you can hear it at all airport, taxi and hotel arrivals. It accentuates the royal tradition and splendid Veer Rasa of this place. Also, the sweet sound is very mesmerizing and makes you feel very homely.
  • Indians greet elders with ‘Pranam’- Young people in India always greet the elder ones with ‘Pranam’. This gesture means touching the feet and taking blessings from elders to ensure that every auspicious goes around. Punjabis notify it as ‘Pairi Paina’ while the Hindi belt says ‘Pai Lagun’.
  • Varanasi greets you with ‘Jai Bhole Nath’- As this city has Lord Shiva in its every bit may it be temples, culture or belief and that is why ‘Jai Bhole Nath’ is a prominent greeting way over there. 
  • In Odisha and Puri, people greet each other with ‘Jai Jagannath’.
  • Ujjain greets people with ‘ Jai Shri Mahakal.’
  • Followers of Swaminarayan meet and greet with ‘Jai Swaminarayan.’
  • Followers of Devi convey their greetings with ‘Jai Mata Di’ that ascertains their belief in the divine power of feminine Goddess who can create, sustain and destroy every bit of the Universe. 

Final words

All the greetings stated above have their essence and aura. Whenever you visit any state or place in India, you are bound to collect and rejoice in such unique terms, ways of greeting, and cultural variations. India defines its diversity in every manner, and Greetings are just a part of it. It is always a fun venture for foreign tourists to cherish and learn the distinct cultural variations, languages, and other facts used in various parts of India. Only uniformity in Indian greetings is normally people fold hands to greet rather than hand-shake, and that signifies that exclusivity of our rich Culture!

One thought on “Namaste! Is that the only way to Greet in India- Well, 20 more ways unleashed!

Leave your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *