Santhal Greeting,Etiquette and Words of Welcome


Santals are generous and thoughtful, during formal occasion it is common for the people to greet with traditional verbal greeting of  'Johar'. When a person visit Santal house, he is asked to have sit then woman of the house brings a brass pot filled with water and put in front of him. Then each member of the house greet him with 'God-Johar' also called 'Dobo Johar'. It is a common hand gesture to show respect to the elders and God.

There are various types of 'God/Dobo Johar' for elders and younger and have different way of doing for man and woman.


  • Choh Johar is a kind of greeting shown by the elders towards younger ones. Choh Johar is different for men and women. When a women perform Choh Johar, 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 Choh Johar 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.
  • This type of Johar is shown to the elders with respect to age and relationship. The way of salutation is quite different from one sex to another. When a boy salutes to his senior or superior, he stands in front of him and then bows down his head with his folded hand, but a girl sits in front of the superior and bows down her head with the touching of feet with her joint palms followed by a pan full of water for washing.
  • Bala Johar is a special type of Johar (greeting) done by parents and relatives of bride and bridegroom. Style of doing Bala Johar 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 there 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..

Some Basic Etiquttes

  • Elder First

    Santals highly value and respect the wisdom that come with age. When eating they're served first .Even during village meeting, Elders mostly old aged Santal Men/Women are consulted. They are regarded as the person of guidance who possess ancestry wisdom,they know more songs than anybody in village.And hence they are called 'Hadam' and 'Budhi' respectively.

  • Traditional Attire
  • Words of Welcome