These Intimate Community Greetings Keep Us Spiritually Connected

Nothing warms the soul like being around your people. It’s how we hug one another because it has been too long or win or lose, how we hype each other up. The way we greet one another has always been spiritual and special.

These Intimate Community Greetings Keep Us Spiritually Connected
Via Unsplash

When we show love to our people, sometimes it’s in the form of a head nod, a dap, or a sacred handshake. There’s something special about acknowledging and making each other feel seen. Here’s how these ritual greetings keep our community spiritually bonded. 

We’ve been dapping each other up for generations. ‘The Dap’ greeting began in 1960s Vietnam, where Black soldiers stationed invented dapping as a greeting and community pact that committed them to look out for one another. 

In Afro-diasporic religions, these greetings combine faith, community, and commitment. 

One ritual greeting used in Lucumi or Santeria is “when you greet an-other practitioner, it is proper to cross one’s arms on one’s chest and then touch opposite shoulders—shoulder to shoulder on each side.”

In Trinidad, greeting looks like “...first touching alternate shoulders with open arms (though some may cross their arms), followed by placing one’s forehead against the forehead of the other person.”

These customs create a sense of spiritual ethnicity amongst our people across the diaspora. 

No matter how we do it, when we acknowledge and embrace each other, we move in solidarity and commit to protecting one another. It’s a beautiful way to lift our spirits, honor God’s will, and make our collective ancestors smile. 

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