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Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Every culture in the world has their own way of greeting. From a bow to handshake or even a fist bump; greetings introduce you before you speak.

In the traditions, whenever we have someone visiting our home, temple or if they have come back home from a journey, we greet them by offering them a calabash of water to drink from. The responsible of the group takes the calabash, pours to the four directions, drinks the first sip, and passes the calabash to the rest of the group arriving. This is a customary welcome in the traditions, as it allows the travelers to show their gratitude for arriving safely to the Ancestors and the powers of Nature, and welcomes the group into the domain of the home after the journey.

The culture functions in this manner where even seemingly mundane things have a deep significance both in the seen and unseen- allowing a person within the culture to grow up understanding this important duality in their lives.

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Whenever I receive the calabash on arrival or offer it when those travelling arrive, it makes me pause for that moment in awareness and appreciation of the realities that have been present along the journey's to now. It's very grounding.

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