Although the people of Ondo Kingdom belong to the Yoruba race that have their peculiar ways of greetings that distinguish them from other tribes. In the older days male and female children in ONDO Kingdom are taught how to greet people by their parents. For instance in the morning the male usually prostrate full length on the ground to greet their fathers by saying “Ke Bai” why they do same to their mother by saying “Ke Yei”. The female on the other hand will greet their fathers and mothers with two knees on the ground by saying “Gbo i ja o bai” or” Gbo ija o Yei”. The greetings is not restricted to the parents alone children are also taught how to extend complimentary to elders or seniors which is demonstrated by using the word “Ke egi” or “Gbo ija egi” by males and females respectively
Again the Ondos have different ways of greeting for different reasons and events. For instance when somebody travels from home and leave people behind, people in the neighbourhood will greet those at home saying “A ku e kon li o”. However in the home of parents of new born baby the Ondos would greet the parents by saying “A yan tomo nen o” The method of greetings when two friends meet would be different from what have been written above as they would simply greet themselves by saying “Ken ti ri o” while the person who is being greeted will answer by saying “O san o”. However a person who has just returned from a journey would be greeted by an elderly person he or she meets at home with “Wok u bo atu gba o” while a junior person will say “a han ku bo atu gba o”
When somebody is involved in a minor accident or sustain an injury the Ondos will simply say ” le e” while the person who is being greeted will answer by saying “Wose”. In Ondo custom elderly are usually greeted in a special way with the word “wa dai gbo o bai or yei” for the male and female adult respectively. It is however gratifying to note that the above special ways of greetings and several others in Ondo dialect seem to have lost prominence in recent time as the people now prefer greetings in other dialects and English language. This situation has however called for great concern and a further request for a rethink by the present generation of Ondo people to prevent our people from being strangers in their homeland. Our language which is an integral part of our culture should not only be preserved but sustained as legacy for future generation. This step would help in no small way to prevent it from extinction.
Edited by Editorial Board Team, Ekimogun Descendant UK & NI.