Peace Corps Challenge Game—Traditional Greetings
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- Subject(s): Social Studies & Geography, Cross-Cultural Understanding
- Grade Level(s): 3–5, 6–8, K–2
- Related Publication: Peace Corps Challenge Game
The world if full of different cultures with different traditions, languages, customs, and greetings. Students will explore several ways in which people around the world greet each other. The following teacher suggestion is designed to enhance the students learning from playing the Peace Corps Challenge on-line game.
The American culture has many ways in which people greet one another. This greeting can be as simple as "Good Morning" or a handshake. We are all accustomed to the proper way of greeting one another. In other cultures however, the greetings may be very different than our own. The way you hold your hand, the words you say, and the questions asked when you greet someone may be very different. In the Peace Corps Challenge students are given the traditional Wanzuzu greeting of: "I wish you warm greetings! I kiss the Earth. I hold your feet." To those of us playing the game, this greeting may seem strange, but to many other cultures, their greetings and customs may be quite similar.
- Initiate a discussion on how we greet each other in America. What are some of the ways in which we say hello to one another? Would you greet everyone the same? Does the age of the person make the greeting different? What are some of the more formal ways we greet each other?
- You can either have the students research on their own, or present to your class several other ways in which people around the world greet one another. Some examples are:
- In India an Nepal you greet one another by saying "Namaste" to another person, followed by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest.
- In Benin young men often snap fingers when shaking hands.
- In Botswana when people see each other they touch hands, and ask "How did you wake?"
- In Zambia some greet each other by gently squeezing a thumb.
- In Australia they say "Good Day Mate."
- In Thailand the traditional greeting is to say "Sawadee" which is very similar to saying "Aloha" in Hawaii.
- For a week or two have a new traditional way of greeting for each day of the school week. Monday can be a greeting from Japan, Tuesday students can greet one another with the traditional Benin greeting.
- You can also incorporate many other cultural traditions from the countries you "adopt" for the day.