Kedụ ka ọ dị by Chukwukwe Eugenia Adaku


I have always been fascinated by greetings in foreign languages and what they mean. For instance in Hebrew, as well as a greeting, shalom means peace, completeness, prosperity. In Arabic as-salamu alaykum means peace be upon you (both languages share a common ancient Semitic root). In French, bonjour means good day, or similar is the Italianbonjourno (Romance languages, again, same roots). In many foreign tongues, the words of greeting have an intention behind them, to wish well of the person you are addressing. In English we have ‘hello’ which has no other meaning than as a greeting making it basically meaningless, an empty platitude.
In Igbo, the language of my people, we have two commonly used greetings, “Kedụ ka ịmere, Kedụ ka ọ dị?” translates a couple of ways ‘be how are you doing’ ‘how are you’’…



In life we all seek acknowledgement of our existence. We seek connection and validation that we are seen, that others respond to our existence. It makes sense, as social creatures we are dead without it. Think of the pain of being ignored or of feeling your voice is never heard, or how offensive it is if you greet someone and they don’t respond or they turn away from you, it is born of this desire for acknowledgement, such a basic human need. It is so powerful a thing, even as social dynamics shift in the modern era. Every like and reblog you get on this site is an acknowledgement of your existence,
every notification you get on Facebook or Instagram, or wherever you reside online is someone interacting with you. Even if those people never speak a word to you, their little hearts on your activity is that acknowledgement we all need, that sign of connection, that you’ve thrown out a lifeline and somebody has grabbed the other end. How are you doing?.. I see you, you are not alone.

Nnọọ, Dalụ, Ndewo. Kedụ Kedụ ka ịmere, Kedụ ka ọ dị, how are you my people..Ọ dị m obi ụtọ izute gị(pleased to meet you).

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