The odd tradition of greeting in Nacirema country is a complicated, yet important, art that one should master before arriving here. During my time in this strange land, I have had to learn the Nacireman greeting practices, so as not to startle the poor Nacireman folk by going off-script. To avoid blank stares, confusion and awkward moments, it is best to follow these two tips:
1. In Nacireman speak “Hello, how are you doing?” actually simply means “Hi.” The right response to this is “I’m good,” which also means “Hi.”
After various interactions with different Naciremans, I quickly learned that no one really cares about how I am doing. I came to this realization after responding with answers such as “I’m stressed about my midterm tomorrow, so I’m quite nervous,” or “I didn’t sleep very well yesterday so I’m tired.”
These types of answers ignite panic in the Nacireman folk. Contrastingly, in Kenyan culture if someone asks you how you are doing, they genuinely care and will stop to listen to what you have to say. If they do not care, they simply say “hi” and do not follow it up with a “how are you?”
Hence, in Nacireman country I have learned to simply say, "I am good," and save my real answers for when I speak to Kenyans.