Hugs and handshakes

Getting back to Ghor after too long away, I’ve had some catching up to do.Most importantly, this has involved greeting my colleagues, including all 60 or so of the ones currently in town for a training workshop.

The first few hours back in the office were a whirl of hugs and handshakes, with the men anyway.

Forget remembering names, the biggest problem was remembering who I’d hugged before, and with whom I’d been through the long greeting of chetor haste? jonjorestee? baherastee? khubastee? chetorhastee…? how are you? how is your health? how is your day? how are you? how is your family? are you well…?

With women, the hugs and handshake replaced with a simple right hand on heart, but the same long winded greeting.

It was exhausting, and slightly pythonesque entering a room and going through this warm and elaborate ritual with 20 odd people in turn, my Dari reduced to a stream of gibberish, brining forth cackles of laughter from all.

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