Greeting and Respecting
Greeting and respecting
A greeting represents respect and politeness, so we have a lot of different type of greeting with each other, with older people and with younger people. Mongolian people live isolated and live in vast territory in a harsh climate. The greeting in Mongolia has a variety of hidden meaning. When you enter to nomadic family, you can say Sain bn uu? Which means are you being well? In the countryside, people greet by asking are you wintering well or are summering well? It depends on the season. We are nomadic people, who depend on climate and nature. So climate and nature is absorbed tightly in our culture. When you greet with a family, they will mostly smile and shake a hand with you. They will offer you traditional milk tea and dairy product or cookies.
When (old) man greets, they give you snuff bottle in the upturned palm of the right hand, while touching by left palm on the right elbow. Even when they give you tea, they give you it by their right hand while touching right elbow by left hand. Which means respecting a visitor by such hand gesture. The respecting gesture is common in our communication and greeting. The recipient of the snuff bottle takes a pinch of snuff with a tiny spoon-like scoop which is attached to the lid by fingers, and smell the tobacco. The greeting way of changing a snuff bottle represents talk and communicate openly. If you smoke, you know how nice it is to talk while smoking. But they, don’t smell the whole tobacco, just initiate small.
Snuff bottles are traditional items and, after his horse, one of the most valued possessions of a Mongolian man. Snuff bottles are carved from semi-precious stones or wood. And it indicates the wealth and status of their owners. Unless nomads, don’t possess heavy wealth, snuff bottle and saddle are important.