The Benin Kingdom

Greetings After A Meal

The Edo people have special ways they greet after a meal

  • KADA

    This greeting is especially directed to the Head of the home. But any other person, male or female is entitled to the salutation as long as they are older than the person offering the greeting and present it at the end of the meal.

    “KADA” is a prayer and an abbreviation of the phrase “KO DIARE”, which itself is an abbreviation of the sentence “U KOO UWA NE, U GHI DIA RRIOEE”. This is: ‘You have created prosperity, may you live long to enjoy it”.

    The man as the head of a household provides food, shelter, security, among others, to other members of the home. This prayer is given by the male children of the household, that he may live long and enjoy the fruit of his labors.
  • BUKPE

    This is a prayer by the daughters of the household after a meal like”KADA”. The full sentence and meaning of “BUKPE” is “U BOO UWA NE, U GHI KPE VBO”. This is “You have created prosperity, may you live long to enjoy it”. While male children greet “KADA”, female children greet “BUKPE”.
  • ERHE GHI GBUE

    This is a salutation by the wives of the household after a meal. After a meal, the wives will have to pray for their husbands and for every other member of the household who is older than they are.

    The full sentence and meaning is “ERHE GHI GBUE YE EMWIN NE U YA OBO RUE RU”. This means: “May you not fall victim to the plans of ill wishers who would not want you to enjoy the fruits of your labors”.

    These three greetings have the same undertone but are expressed differently. The one that comes out from the lips of the woman makes one to know immediately if she was a wife or a daughter of the house no matter the age. She is a wife when she greets “Erhe ghi gbue” even if she is only 20 years, and a daughter if she says “Bukpe” even if she is 50 years old.

Response
Aremegbe
May you be nourished by what you have eaten
I hoen koyo uruese
Yes, hello, thank you
I hoen Ovbimwen Akponmwen Osa
I hear my child, to God be the glory
I hoen otenmwen, Osa ruese ra Akpomwen Oghodua
I hear my brother/sister, we thank God
Note: "Erhe ghi gbue" is more popular amongst the female folks in these modern times because the daughters of a household copy their mothers in this particular greeting. Its high time we effect and know the difference to separate the wives from the daughters.