ਮਿਲਣੀਆਂ - Meeting people


When people meet they shake hands and exchange greetings. Ladies may embrace each other instead of shaking hands. When relatives with generational gap meet, the younger males touch elder's feet or knees as a mark of respect for them. An elder may touch the head of a younger one, including a female, with open palm facing down, as a mark of benedictions. An elder may also show affection by taking someone into an embrace. People of opposite genders generally avoid physical contact except when an elder showers affection or benedictions on a younger male or female. A progressive or westernised woman may extend her hand for a handshake but males generally wait for such gesture before extending theirs. Some greetings like 'namaste' involve folding of hands and bowing of head while the greeting is being delivered.

Formal meeting


When people of unequal status like an officer and a subordinate or an uncle and a nephew meet the meeting and conversation are formal. However when people of equal status like friends or cousins meet the meeting and conversation may be informal. In this page you will learn how people interact formally and informally. Various types of greetings will be introduced. Sample this formal meeting between ਦੀਪਾ-Deepa, the pupil and ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ-Gian Singh her teacher.

ਦੀਪਾ : ਮਾਸਟਰ ਜੀ, ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ
Deepa : Master ji, Sat Sri Akal.
ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ : ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ। ਦੀਪਾ, ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਕੀ ਹਾਲ ਹੈ?
Gian Singh : Sat Sri Akal. How are you Deepa?
ਦੀਪਾ : ਧੰਨਵਾਦ ਮਾਸਟਰ ਜੀ, ਮੈਂ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ।
Deepa : Thanks Master ji, I am good.
Vocabulay and explanations
Vocabulary : ਮਾਸਟਰ = a school teacher, ਜੀ = a word used to show respect, ਸਤਿ = true, ਸ੍ਰੀ = honorific for a gentleman, ਅਕਾਲ = the timeless = God, ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ is a greeting = God is the ultimate truth, ਤੁਹਾਡਾ = your, ਕੀ = what, ਹਾਲ = state (spirits), ਹੈ = is, ਮੈਂ = I, ਠੀਕ = good, ਹਾਂ = am.

Explanations : ਦੀਪਾ-Deepa, the student addresses her teacher, ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ-Gian Singh as 'ਮਾਸਟਰ ਜੀ - master ji'. The adage ਜੀ is a mark of politeness and respect for elders. She follows up with 'ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ - Sat Sri Akal', a formal greeting which literally means God is the ultimate truth. It is used both as a meeting as well as a parting greeting.

The greeting ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ by ਦੀਪਾ evokes a similar response from ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ. He follows it up by enquiring about his pupil's wellbeing 'ਦੀਪਾ, ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਕੀ ਹਾਲ ਹੈ - How are you Deepa'? ਤੁਹਾਡਾ means your. It is in plural case but in formal conversation is used both for singular and plural. A less formal alternative will be ਤੇਰਾ which is singular form of ਤੁਹਾਡਾ.

ਦੀਪਾ-Deepa responds by thanking her teacher. 'ਧੰਨਵਾਦ ਮਾਸਟਰ ਜੀ। She also tells her teacher that she is good - ਮੈਂ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ।'

Informal meeting


Now suppose ਸੁਨੀਲ-Sunil and ਸੰਜੀਵ-Sanjeev are friends and meet in a shopping mall. The conversation that takes place between the two will be informal and may look like this.

ਸੁਨੀਲ : ਹੈਲੋ ਸੰਜੀਵ।
Sunil : Hello Sanjeev.
ਸੰਜੀਵ : ਹੈਲੋ ਸੁਨੀਲ, ਤੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੈਂ?
Sanjeev : Hello Sunil, how are you?
ਸੁਨੀਲ : ਮੈਂ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ, ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀ ਹਾਲ ਹੈ?
Sunil : I am good, how are you?
ਸੰਜੀਵ : ਮੈਂ ਵੀ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ।
Sanjeev : I am also good.
When Sunil spots Sanjeev, in the mall, he addresses him with an informal 'ਹੈਲੋ ਸੰਜੀਵ-Hello Sanjeev' instead of the expected formal 'Namaste'. In the same fashion Sanjeev responds informally with a similar 'ਹੈਲੋ ਸੁਨੀਲ-Hello Sunil'. The manner of enquiry of other's wellbeing by both is also informal 'ਤੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੈ or ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀ ਹਾਲ ਹੈ - how are you?' In a formal conversation this could be 'ਕੀ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਠੀਕ ਹੋ? - are you good?'

Formal greetings


Greetings have many religio-cultural variants. ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ - Sat Sri Akal is used by sikhs. Other variants of greetings are

ਨਮਸਤੇ or ਨਮਸਕਾਰ
Hindus use these greetings which literally mean 'I bow to you'. These are generally accompanied with a gesture of folded hands and a bow of the head.
ਅਸਲਾਮਾ ਅਲਾਇਕਮ।
As-salama alaykum literally means 'peace be upon you'. Muslims use this greeting.
ਵਾਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ।
It literally means 'may the Khalsa order belong to the God-almighty and may the victory be His. This greeting is used by Sikhs.

In the above formal conversation Gian Singh responded to the greeting ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ - Sat Sri Akal with the same greeting. ਵਾਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ-Wahe gur ji ka khalsa, wahe gur ji ki fateh is also responded similarly. ਨਮਸਤੇ or ਨਮਸਕਾਰ - Namaste or Namaskar also evoke either of these two greetings. However ਅਸਲਾਮਾ ਅਲਾਇਕਮ - as-salama alaykum evokes a ਵਾ ਅਲਾਇਕਮ ਅਸਲਾਮ wa alaykum as-salam though ਸਲਾਮ - salam evokes a ਸਲਾਮ - salam



1. Ram Kumar, born and bred in a Hindu family and Prem Singh, borne and bred in a Sikh family, both being neighbours, meet in a shopping mall. Write a dialog of four to five lines depicting the way they greet each other.

ਰਾਮ ਕੁਮਾਰ : ਪਰੇਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ। - Prem Singh Sat Sri Akal.
ਪਰੇਮ ਸਿੰਘ : ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ, ਮਾਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਵੇਂ? - Sat Sri Akal, what are you in mall for?
ਰਾਮ ਕੁਮਾਰ : ਮੈਂ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਖ੍ਰੀਦਦਾਰੀ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਲਿਆਇਆ ਹਾਂ। - I have brought children for shopping.
ਪਰੇਮ ਸਿੰਘ : ਮੈਂ ਕੱਲ੍ਹ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਘਰ ਆਵਾਂਗਾ। - I will come to your home tomorrow.
ਰਾਮ ਕੁਮਾਰ : ਚੰਗਾ, ਮੈਂ ਇੰਤਜਾਰ ਕਰਾਂਗਾ। ਨਮਸਕਾਰ । - OK, I will be waiting. Namaskar.