Author Topic: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?  (Read 1693 times)

Esadal

  • Posts: 216
Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« on: September 09, 2016, 02:49:22 AM »
During the daily grind today, I found myself thinking about the culture of Zalanthas, mainly about how commoners greet Nobles.  Why is it that these commoners bow to the nobles?  Why is this the sign of respect that the people in this water-barren world have chosen as a greeting?

Wouldn't spitting be a better form of greeting for one you're suppose to completely respect, such as a noble?

Think about it.  In a world where water is scarce at best, wouldn't someone spitting at someone else's feet* be a sign of respect?  This person is literally sacrificing something that they require to survive, and likely have difficulty in finding.  Bowing, on the other hand, is something that almost anyone can do at the drop of a hat, and requires very little in terms of self sacrifice, except for one's pride.

While I'm on the topic of greeting people, why is it that people salute their superiors in some combat organizations?  Why do we salute in these groups, instead of bow or spit, or some other form of greeting?

I want to know what the origin for saluting is in Zalanthas.  In the world we all live in I hope, the origin of the salute is thought to go back to when knights raised the visors of their helmets to indicate that they were friendly, and resulted in the salute with the hand near the head in modern times.  In Zalanthas, the salute that I've seen most often is a fist to the chest.  Why did this type of salute become the norm for the people of Zalanthas, and why do we use it instead of a bow or a spit?

I realize this is kind of two topics at once..  Bowing to nobles, and the origins of the salute in the combat organizations.  But it's all greetings, so I'd love to hear what you all think about these topics!

* - Not to be confused with spitting on their feet.
How about a scavenger hunt?

The Warshaper

  • Posts: 135
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 03:26:18 AM »
Be the change you want to see!  ;D

Majikal

  • Helper
  • Posts: 3062
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 03:33:09 AM »
I've played some tribals that believed in bowing or spitting (showing they're worth the waste of water) to be respectful. Universally I've treated the act of sharing water to be a bonding one between my pc's, or the act of sharing shade out in the wastes, especially the ones that lived off the land. I always liked it.
A staff member sends you:
"Normally we don't see a <redacted> walk into a room full of <redacted> and start indiscriminately killing."

You send to staff:
"Welcome to Armageddon."

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1882
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 03:39:51 AM »
the fist to chest thing is a roman thing.

not sure why zalanthans do it.

cabbages prefer hand to head salutes.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

dravage

  • Posts: 394
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 05:56:57 AM »
I'd think there are certain things like saluting, sitting when you shit, and waving to people that we just accept as normal, that don't necessarily have (or need) background stories. They just are, and sometimes I feel if we try to impose origin stories on some of these things it may make them feel a little two dimensional.

If there are IC instances which really led to the fist salute, sweet! But if there's no particular reason, do we really need to think something up for it? :D

Dar

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 08:25:33 AM »
Well. There is no hand to head salute in Armageddon.  The saluting in Arm is about thumping your heart with your fist kind of thing.  Which seems like an easy way to make sound, thump your fist against a piece of armor. Much like bashing a weapon against the shield was a common thing in roman army, but since many of Allanaki military do not use shields, this has never become a standard thing in Zalanthas.

I do find it jarring when people try to insult others by spitting at them in Armageddon. I encounter that occasionally and my response is a complete befuddlement "Why are you wasting water like that?" blink blink.


Dar

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 08:32:53 AM »
Well. There is no hand to head salute in Armageddon.  The saluting in Arm is about thumping your heart with your fist kind of thing.  Which seems like an easy way to make sound, thump your fist against a piece of armor. Much like bashing a weapon against the shield was a common thing in roman army, but since many of Allanaki military do not use shields, this has never become a standard thing in Zalanthas.

I do find it jarring when people try to insult others by spitting at them in Armageddon. I encounter that occasionally and my response is a complete befuddlement "Why are you wasting water like that?" blink blink.


Desertman

  • Posts: 9490
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 08:42:03 AM »
The spitting thing is a direct draw from Dune as I understand it.

Why don't we spit?

Why should we spit?

Why can't we bow?

Why should we bow?

The long and short answer is....."Because that's the way the game has evolved.".

I don't see a problem with a new custom coming about if someone wants to spearhead it, but there is not reason for "Why we don't.", other than, "Because we don't.".
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 08:47:05 AM »
Its almost nitpicky in a way, but the reason few people think of water that way, is it ISN'T scarce.

It should be. Virtually, water is what all the game's economy is supposed to be based on. The amount of coins you have relates to how much water you can provide.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come across in game, because water really isn't scarce for PCs. When you have 4000 coins, you aren't think about how many barrels of water you can buy. You're thinking about that new heavy set of armor, or whether you can bribe that Templar to let you punch a Kuraci Recruit.

No, I don't have a solution for it, but I also don't think people are (in general) making their minds up about spitting because of the 'waste of water'. If we can't salute with a thump to the chest "because Romans did it" and "spitting shouldn't be a sign of disrespect even though nearly everyone in the modern world sees it that way", then ... yeah. Be the change. Don't expect everyone to follow along just because in your mind, thats how Zalanthans would do it. Everything in the game evolves organically, and mirrors the real world. Its not on purpose, you're asking a bunch of people playing an outmoded gaming platform to roleplay accordingly in an environment they may not have read about, or ever experienced.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 08:48:39 AM »
IMHO, you bow to a noble to sacrifice pride. The most dangerous individuals in the past have been proud ones, typically with two names, instead of one. Water isn't as scarce as power in this world, not on a relative scale. If Tek has a power of 100, then your average commoner has .01. And giving that tiny little bit over to the noble or templar when you, reassures them you know better than to be proud, or think you have any power.

T'zai Byn chest-to-fist salute is an expression of ferocity and duty (merc's idea of duty), what started as pounding one's chest evolved into 'putting your weapon hand -before- your heart'. Don't think about what your doing, don't feel for the enemy, fuck, don't feel period. You show your superior what comes first, and that's your first, not your heart. You need your mind to fight, but if you've any 'heart' left over after the first year, you'd best hide it.


Just a thought, and something one of my PC's a long time ago believed about the two subjects after long periods of introspection.


And the spitting thing. Water witches are too well known in the Known World as existing, and if I were a noble, I wouldn't want the chance of those filthy, abominable beings casting their fluids at -ME-, Tek's mercy, no. I'd rather have them all lower themselves down before me, exposing their back (because my dagger's ready for it) than to waste what poor pitiful commoners think of as a rare resource.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

valeria

  • Posts: 5527
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 08:55:38 AM »
Bowing places you in literally an inferior position to the person you bow to.  It exposes the back of your neck and shows a physical representation that you are lower than them, among other things.

I can think of a lot more cultures where bowing is a sign of respect than spitting, though I can think of at least one where people spit in their hands before shaking as a sign of respect.

Desertman

  • Posts: 9490
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 09:17:09 AM »
though I can think of at least one where people spit in their hands before shaking as a sign of respect.

Yeah well call them rednecks.
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

Patuk

  • Posts: 4147
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 09:52:53 AM »
If bowing to nobles and such strikes you as anachronistic, take it easy. History is full of niceties.
Quote
You take the last bite of your scooby snack.
This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

whitt

  • Posts: 1678
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 10:46:35 AM »
Saluting

Fist to chest - could have evolved from demonstrating to a military commander that one is attentive to commander's arrival.  The motion would need to be performable with or without weapon.  Hence, fist to chest - with or without  weapon in hand running parallel to the body.

Hand to Head salute - IRL evolved from the need of knights to raise their visors when greeting each other.  Not as likely in Zalanthas.

Bowing

Makes you vulnerable and literally lowers you below the level of the person you bowing to.  As such, a head nod rather than an at the waist, torso bow might be taken as an insult.

Spitting

I can totally see where you're going with this, but... I think the IRL implication of spitting would be jarring to get over just coming into the game.  Perhaps more likely would be to accept it as an even more dire insult.  Literally, I hate you so much right now that I'm willing to spill even my water to get at you.  Right up there with drawing weapons or "the kiss of death".
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

Cowboy

  • Posts: 465
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2016, 10:56:11 AM »
If spitting is a show of respect, sharing water..wasting water, than more is better, right?  So piss on their leg.  You just gave away more water so more respect.
I'd rather be lucky than good.

Reiloth

  • Posts: 4542
    • Corpse Pose: B&W Film Photography
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2016, 11:31:29 AM »
Bowing places you in literally an inferior position to the person you bow to.  It exposes the back of your neck and shows a physical representation that you are lower than them, among other things.

I can think of a lot more cultures where bowing is a sign of respect than spitting, though I can think of at least one where people spit in their hands before shaking as a sign of respect.

This. In India, there was full prostration between the lesser and higher castes. So you get down on your belly and place your forehead on the ground. Bowing is just basically a lesser form of this.

I've played Commoners (especially Elves) who do full body prostrations to Nobles or Templars to mimic this. And in the South especially, I do very full bows rather than polite little numbers. I view it as a requirement of oppression, just as Nobles can call you out for silk, they can call you out for an inauthentic bow.

While I like the idea of 'spitting' as showing a sign of respect, it's very Dune to me, and would be a little jarring to see everyone doing. Tribals, I can totally understand. But in the city, it's adopted more of the Anglicized offensive gesture. I guess we could reverse it, but it would seem arbitrary at this point.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 11:40:32 AM by Reiloth »
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~

Teacup Kitten

  • Posts: 38
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 03:31:31 PM »
Well, you can spit and drool on the floor while bowing at the waist or more, if we want a middle ground. But best to not get any of your spittle on that fancy nobles' fine silky silkness!

In Dreams

  • Posts: 138
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2016, 03:21:47 PM »
I see where this is coming from, but I think across almost all cultures, aversion to sudden fluids hitting your person, especially from someone else's mouth, has not historically been taken well.

Cleanliness has always been a sign of wealth, attractiveness, and power. I'm not sure there's many cultures out there that wouldn't see that to be a strike against cleanliness to spit on somebody else's boots, or on their floor, et cetera!

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2580
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2016, 03:34:35 PM »
My idea for why Zalanthians bow, atleast in Allanak.
When you see Red Robes I've heard it's a good idea to just full on face into the dirt in reverence/fear of them.
So anything lesser than them: IE: Nobles and Blue robes, means just...bow I guess.
Idk.
I like bowing.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

650Booger

  • Posts: 379
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2016, 05:17:17 PM »
the spitting thing does happen in arm in at least one cultural subset that I've seen
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Iiyola

  • Posts: 3893
Re: Bowing, Saluting and.. Spitting?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2016, 06:34:26 PM »
I admit I spat more than once IG to show my disdain for the other party. Spitting is not only an insulting gesture, it can also be dangerous with various diseases going around. And most commoners don't really have well maintained dental hygiene.
Sometimes, severity is the price we pay for greatness