Culture – Sign of Grief

Going Where?

Where are you going?

The last cultural question was about the traditional greeting in Papua New Guinea. With over 800 languages and cultures in PNG there is bound to be different greetings, but the most common one is “Where are you going?” or its relative “Where are you coming from?”. I’ve spent many hours thinking about why this is the common greeting in PNG and why Americans (my culture) ask the question “How are you doing?”. My guess is that both greetings, for its culture, answers the question of “What are my cultural obligations?”.

In a village setting the answer to the question of where they are going tells you what is happening, if you should help them, and even to some extent how people are doing. Traditionally in the U.S. the answer to how someone is doing would lead you to the same information.

This cultural question has to do with how some people show grief.

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