“Man is by nature a social animal” Aristotle. Man being a social animal requires communication with his fellows, family members, colleagues, relatives, and other people. It is an individual character that influences the culture, positively or negatively; How does a person greet, treat, behave, and Maintain relations in society? Sociolinguistics variables influence the greetings, behaviors, and relationships of people throughout the globe. People from all over the world follow their cultural, religious, and social customs while greeting others. Here we are going to discuss the ways of Greetings in Pakistan.
Role of sociolinguistics variables in greetings in Pakistan:
Role of sociolinguistics variables as age, gender, religion, culture, society, education is always present in our greetings. We do not greet all the people in the same way. There are two ways for greetings; Formal Greetings and Informal Greetings. We can hug, gag, and tap to our close friends and relatives. Sometimes we touch our fist and do not shake hands with our routine mates. We pass air kisses to our close ones and kids. We use a soft accent as well as a language while greeting Young ones. We bring down ourselves at their level so that they become franker to us. We always show different facial expressions while greeting different people.
Formal Greetings in Pakistan
However, on the other hand, we use a formal way of greeting our teachers, seniors, and elder relatives. We say slam respectfully, Shake Hands and bow our heads a little. We also say greeting of time as good morning, a good evening when we greet someone. We greet our relatives or fellow females differently. We only say slam and do not use the greeting style that we adopt for males. We also add the greetings of time politely and respectably with females. When we greet an illiterate person, as our domestic workers then we use the language, accent etc. that is convenient for them.
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Informal Greetings in Pakistan
We try to bring ourselves down at the level of those guys. We try to use the language, dialect, and accent as per the particular society or person to whom we are greeting. When we encounter someone many times daily, we even do not say slam and hello, hi. When Sometimes we meet and greet our Imam Masjid then we use very religious language and manners. We say Asalam-o-Alaikum-wa-Rahmatullah-wa-barakatahu. At every talk, we show ourselves so religious and use words Inshallah, Mashallah, and so on. As we mainly use the Punjabi language at home but when someone comes from outside, then we try to use the Urdu language with a little mixture of English Vocabulary.
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When we enter an office or join an educated community, then we greet people in a sophisticated manner. We use high-level formal words and facial expressions there. Here is the question, why we make changes in our language, vocabulary, and accent while greeting different people. These are the Sociolinguistics variables that play an essential role in our communication. We change our style, accent, vocabulary as per our Sociolinguistics needs. We make changes in our greetings so that other people can not feel embarrassed and we do not seem stranger in society.
Written & Reviewed by; Muhammad Asad Kasra,
M.Phil Scholar, Riphah Institute of Language and Literature, Riphah International University Lahore, Pakistan.