Did you know that November 21 is World Hello Day? Observed since 1973 in hundreds of countries around the globe, World Hello Day first came about as a way to encourage us all to use communication rather than force to settle conflict and discord. To participate in World Hello Day, all one needs to do is simply greet ten people. Easy!
There are many different ways of saying hello in languages around the world. In French, we might say Bonjour, or Salut. Spanish speakers would recognise Hola, or, more informally, ‘¿Qué tal?’. In Chinese, hello translates to Nǐn hǎo, and in Japanese Konnichiwa. In New Zealand, the Māori greeting kia ora, which translates to ‘have life’ and ‘be healthy’, is often used as a greeting for hello or hi. Yaama is a Gamilaraay language word for hello used in Northern NSW, not to mention, of course, the quintessential G’Day.
The words we choose to use to communicate with one another, and the manner in which we choose to express those words, as simple as they may be, can change the trajectory of someone’s whole day. For such a little word, hello can often be the difference between a positive interaction and a negative one. Here at Lovatts, we use our Hello columns to connect with our family of puzzlers and readers to delight in the shared pleasure of words and language.
What brings the various translations of the word hello together is the shared experience of greeting someone – whether that be an old friend, a loved one, or a stranger, a person whom you may like to know better. Sharing a hello is perhaps the quickest way to spread a little kindness and to wish somebody well. What are your favourite ways to say hello?
Until next time, happy puzzling!