Dear Non first-generation Canadian:
When you meet me and say ‘Hi’, I consider it rude. I actually think you are uncultured for saying ‘hi’ to me.
When you send me a mail and start with ‘Hi Dapo’, I wonder why you think that’s the right way to send a polite email.
When you meet me in the office corridor and you greet me with ‘Hi’, I wonder why you really had to bother. First, you ignored my name. Secondly, you did exactly what I was raised not to do. Really?!
When you meet me in the morning and say ‘Hi there’, I naturally wonder on which side of the bed you woke up.
When I hear you say ‘Hi Elizabeth’, knowing that Elizabeth is old enough to be your mum or perhaps your grandmother, I seriously look at you with disdain wondering what came over you. Whatever happened to ‘Good afternoon ma’? Addressing a person that old with hi and by first name is effrontery. In simple words, it means rudeness without a sense of shame.
I wouldn’t do that.
Because I am respectful.
Okay, scratch all that you just read.
That used to be me. It was how I felt years ago when I was new to Canada in 2012.
For some of us, it was a thing. A big deal 🙈.