November 21, 2010 is the 38th annual World Hello Day. It is a great opportunity to focus on the messages of communication and peace.
World Hello Day was started in 1973 by Brian and Michael McCormack in response to the conflict between Egypt and Isreal in 1973. Today, World Hello Day is celebrated in more then 180 countries.
The concept is very simple: make it a mission to say hello to 10 people today. It is a simple act that anyone can do and reminds us all that communication is more effective then conflict.
There are lots of activities you can do to celebrate World Hello, no matter what your child’s age. Here are some ideas:
Saying Hello: Even young children can understand the concept of hello. Ask how it feels when someone takes the time to say hello to them (sometimes adults tend to ignore kids). Explain the concept of World Hello Day and go on a mission to say Hello to at least 10 people – for an extra challenge, besides saying hello, share the concept of World Hello Day with those you greet.
Do you live in an area with different ethic populations? Are there people in your life with different backgrounds from yours? You could learn to say hello in that person’s native language. If your neighbor is from Turkey, you could greet them with “Merhaba,” Hello in Turkish. This is a great way to introduce different languages to your child as well as foster the spirit of global communication and understanding instead of conflict.
There are other ways of saying hello too, try learning how to say hello in Braille, Morse code and sign language.
A great resource for learning how to say hello in different languages can be found at The Internet Public Library
What is “Peace”: World Hello Day is a great opportunity to explore the concept of “peace” with your child. Is peace getting along with your brother? Or school mates? What about on a global level? Help your child come up with their own definition of “peace.” Older children could create a skit, a poem or an art project. Younger children can draw pictures or make a collage by helping you choose pictures to cut out of magazines (they can glue or tape!).
World Hello Day – Everyday – The concepts of World Hello Day do not have to be confined to one day a year. You can keep the spirit going by communicating often and consciously. Say hello to people when you are out and about – you never know the effect a kind hello and a smile will have on someone.
Say hello to those you know. Keeping in touch with those you love is important but can often be forgotten when life gets busy. Pick up the phone, send an e-mail, note card, or letter for no other reason then to say hello. This is a great habit to get into and will serve you especially well after your kids grow up and leave home!
How will your family celebrate World Hello Day?