How Igbo Women Greet

As a boy aunties used to come from the village and rushed into our house to hug my mother. They each had a unique way they greeted, some began by shouting hysterically from outside and calling my mother’s first name, dropping everything they had on the floor and not letting the car stop. And when they saw her they always knocked her to the ground in a melodious laughter that synchronised to sound like thunder reverberated corners of the room. Auntie Ugochi was almost 6ft, fair skin and bore resemblances with the Dogon tribe. She walked into the house and then stood tall, going into each rooms and calling my mother’s name once, when she found her they poised and eyed themselves as if battle-ready, war with words a little and right when you think they are about to throw punches they break into a sinister laughter and then hug each other. Auntie Oninye was the youngest and so she loved my mother more, whenever we called the village she cried on the phone that she missed Lagos a lot and when my mother told her to visit she became so happy. On getting to our flat she races into the house and hugs my mother to the ground where she finds her, even in the small spaced kitchen, knocking all the pots to the ground. Immediately they begin talking and reminiscing about the old times, their Igbo language sounding like water tinkling in a fountain. There were some who they first broke into a song, or did a dance, or knock their legs and hands together in a certain way, just to greet. And it was always beautiful to watch.