by Brooke Hartman
The typical greeting in Nepal is to press the palms together at the chest and, with a slight bow, say “Namaste.” This has several meanings and is a symbol for respect, reverence, and honor. Usually the younger or lower-caste person presents the Namaste first to the older or “superior” person, and it’s used to worship Hindu gods. It can mean “Not me, but you,” and “I salute your form,” and my yoga teacher once told me it meant, “The goddess in me greets the goddess in you,” which was confirmed by several Nepali.
Click here for a sound clip of Namaste
We were thrilled to learn from our Christian host family that for the 1.4% of Christians in the country, there is a Christian greeting: “Jai Mashai,” meaning “Victory in Christ!”
Click here for a sound clip of Jai Mashai