Growing up I dreaded the idea of walking around the neighbourhood with my parents not because my mum was the ugliest neither oldest at least but I hated the lengthy greetings.
Once she met akalomet, they slipped into this kind of staged back n forth swirl of conversation that was embedded in the lengthy greeting with asking how mum had been the last few days, how the children were fairing as well as studying and this came with precise mentioning of names of each child that mum would answer with this sense of childish pride glowing over her face. How dad was and how he manages to have such control of the village and why he missed xxx beer party thrown oba in who’s memory and how so and so is long missed as well as issuing my mum with notices not to miss the next village meeting. Then before you they would be talking about the chicken, cattle and how God has lately been cruel to the farmlands and animals as well the spread of certain diseases ravaging villages far off in the horizon among others. Then before you knew they would be updating each about the dead people at the village and whose grandmother was nearing her end as well as who didn’t deserve to live any more.
In my small mind I found this boring and not hip at all since me and my friends only greeted each other snappy HI and what sup dude’. So I took it unto myself to always dodge these village elders especially women for fear of running to such a scenario.
This lengthy greeting wasn’t a receipt for my area and home tribe those across even the other tribes had their own take on it. The Basoga in particular even added rhythmic sounds that made the whole scene look like two elders doing the opera with no stage lights. The sound was an ooohh that was increasing in pitch as it ran off your tongue and it was swinging back and forth till the sun went to sleep. Ending it was like a tag of war where none wanted to swallow the pill and close the chain of greeting so all you heard was ooohh ooohh for up to 1minute.
At the 5min greeting one would know the other person current status with no need to produce even with facebook or pull out your computer and run through their timeline. You would tell who died readily, fell sick and any other development plans. Just like the people who keep posting status updates on facebook all day but ghastly by the time you arrived I bet you were late as a salary.