Greetings

Last night we met with some Indonesians, several of them attempted to use the few English words they knew when they greeted us. When they shook our hands upon our arrival they said, “Good Night“!

“Good Night” and “Goodbye”
has the same meaning.

At first we were startled, but after a few seconds we understood what they meant. Logically, since the phrases “Good Morning” and “Good Afternoon” is used when you shake somebody’s hand while greeting, “Good Night” should follow suit…. but it doesn’t!

It’s totally illogical, but “Good Night” is only used for when we want to say “Goodbye.” It is used in the evening after 6:00 pm when people are going to leave one another. Never is it used upon the initial meeting of two individuals.

Every language has oddities like this. Many phrases or words in common everyday language cannot be explained why they are used the way they are. To try to make sense of these “oddities” is futile. We just have to accept it as it is and leave it at that!

Advertisements