“Ikele Ekele”, which means “to greet” is a very important part of the Igbo culture and people who don't greet or return greetings are seen as rude and disrespectful. We have different greetings for different times and occasions. In Igboland, it is expected of the wife to first greet her husband in the morning and of course, the children greet the parents first as well. Generally, it is expected of the younger person to greet the older one first.
Different towns and villages have different dialects and different ways of greetings. For instance, the people of Onitsha say “ị putago ụla?”, Owerri says “ịsaala chi?”, Ngwa says “ịboola chi?”, Aguleri says “ị putawo ụla?”. Abiriba and Ohaofia say “kaa” and so on. It varies among people of different states and dialects, but all of them mean “Good morning”. In fact, the common “Ututu ọma” is not purely an Igbo greeting. It is the translation of the white man's “Good morning”. Before the coming of the white men, Igbo people didn't say “Ututu ọma” as a morning greeting.
There's no particular greeting for the afternoon, the way the white people say “Good afternoon” instead, Igbos say “Ndewo”. In the same way, as a night greeting, we say “Ka chi bộ”, “Boọ chi”, “Kachi fo” or “Rahu nke ọma”.
Some other greeting remarks in Igbo are:
“Kedu?” means “how are you?”.
“Ka ọ dị” means “Goodbye”.
“Ka ọ dị echi” means “See you tomorrow”.
“Ya gaziere gị”, “nwee chị ọma” mean “Goodluck”.
“Rie nke ọma” means “Have a nice meal”.
“Ji sie ike” means “Well Done”.
“Daalu” means “Thank you”.
“Ndo” means “Sorry”.
Greeting is an essential part of the Igbo culture; Igbo people show their culture through greeting.