In Swahili culture, greeting is very crucial. It is used in judging whether a person is well mannered or not. Normally young ones are supposed to initiate greetings when meet elders. The initiate word is “Shikamo” elder will respond “marhaba”

This culture of greeting in Tanzania differ from one tribe to another. Some tribes do bend or knell down as they greet respectable people i.e. Elders. It is done especially by women in many parts of Tanzania.

It is normal to shake hands when greeting each other. Agemate greetings are of different style like “mambo” which means how are things? The response is safi (nice) poa (cool)

Kiswahili greetings


Respectful greeting in Swahili culture Young ones initiate this greeting to any person above their age.

Marhaba .

Response of that greeting for some body elder than you.

Habari bwana (greeting to a man) and Habari bibi (greeting to a woman)

Habari za Asubuhi, News(habari)of (za) morning (Asubuhi)=direct translation

Good morning=Communicative translation

Habari za mchana , Good After noon = communicative translation.

Good Evening, habari za jioni = communicative translation

Mambo. how are things = communicative translation

Response can be safi(nice),poa ( cool) Shwari (fine),and good

Vipi ,How = Communicative meaning Response can be safi, poa, salama, Shwari, or Sheba


How did you weak up= communicative translation

Umelalaje, how did you sleep = communicative translation

Watoto hawajambo, Are the children fine?= Communicative translation

Hujambo. are you ok ,are you fine = communicative translation

Sijambo, I am fine (meaning that ,you have  no bad news) Communicative translation

Hajambo ( second person singular) he any news ( jambo)=direct translation

Is he or she fine?= Communicative translation. The response is “hajambo”

We will continue next time

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