One of my colleagues at work, an Ewe man who speaks twi with a thick accent greeted me this week saying: “yɔnko dɔ” (tr: the love of friendship?). He said I was supposed to respond “biako yɛ” (tr: unity). The whole greeting and response thing made me laugh, but I laughed even harder when he mentioned that the greeting is for the Presbyterian Church close to his house. It reminded me of the Methodist church I used to attend. Their greeting was “Hail Savior” with the response “Prince of Peace”. In that church, the “hail savior” was badly butchered by the less schooled of the church members; It was not uncommon to hear “hey savior”. Then the women’s fellowship also had “Nyame edwuma na hwɛ” (tr: focus on the work of God), the response was “ ama wo dze akɔdo”(tr: for yours to prosper?). The Sunday school (children’s service) greeting was “good news” with the response “Christ died for you and me”.
Do you know if other African countries also have church greetings? I don’t remember hearing anything like that in American churches. Anyway I thought it would be interesting to do a blog entry that would discover /collect Ghanaian church greetings and responses. I’m sure you have some killer ones, and funny stories about how some people say those greetings.