Johar’ greeting used by President DroupadiMurmu
Art and culture
29th Jul, 2022
The 15th President of India, DroupadiMurmu, assumed office with a ‘Johar’ greeting to the country.
- ‘Johar’, which essentially means ‘salutation and welcome’.
- It is used within the tribal communities of Jharkhand, and in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
- According to several tribal leaders from Jharkhand, the word ‘Johar’ also means ‘paying respect’.
- Tribal communities are nature worshippers and follow Sarna religion code, although it is not an official religion.
- "Juhar" is also one of the rituals of Nuakhai, an agricultural festival celebrated to welcome the new crop.
- It is a combination of two words - 'nua' means 'new' and 'khai' means 'to eat'.
The tribal communities that use the word ‘Johar’ for greeting:
- There are 32 tribal communities in Jharkhand who speak different dialects. Almost all, including tribal Christians, use the word ‘Johar’ along with some other words for salutation.
- Johar, is predominantly used by Santhali, Munda and Ho communities that share some similarities.
- People belonging to the Oraon community use the word ‘Jai Dharam’, apart from Johar, as a salutation.
Form of ‘Johar’ salutation:
- One of it is ‘DobohJohar’, which is used between people where one among them has a higher standing.
- In ‘DobohJohar’ there is a ritual where the person with a tumbler full of water bows in front of the person of higher standing.
- The person who bows will touch the earth and in return the other person will wash his/her hand (using water in the tumbler) and let the water drop on the earth.
- The entire exercise means that the hospitality being shown has been accepted.
- ChohJohar is a kind of greeting shown by the elders towards younger ones.
- ChohJohar is different for men and women.
- When a woman performs ChohJohar, she touches chin of the kid with both her hands and then pull it towards itself with the sound of kiss.
- This gesture shows that she is taking away all the miseries of the kid.
- When a men does ChohJohar he brings his right hand over his younger ones head and then take it back to its own head.
- This is a way of taking away all his sorrows.
- BalaJohar is a special type of Johar (greeting) done by parents and relatives of bride and bridegroom.
- Style of doing BalaJohar by men is different from that of women.
- When it is done by men they stand facing each other holding each other’s hand.
- Right hand is held by left and vice versa.
- Then they gently collide their chests five times in different angles.
- When it is done by women’s they bend a little and hold each other’s hand and gently collide their heads five times.
- This Johar is done when the relatives of bride and bridegroom meets.