So Nov. 21st was apparently World Hello Day. From the website:
November 21, 2008 is the 36th annual World Hello Day. Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace.
Kudos to the concept. Reaching out to randoms is an excellent step towards creating a more rewarding environment for all. But, forgive my French, what the devil does Hello mean? Not much, it turns out. Well, since we are going radical with this reaching-out business, why not experiment with the greeting a little bit?
Two greetings that I love and have come to cherish as I’ve grown up and moved away are Namastey and as’salâmu a’alaykum, originating from Sanskrit and Arabic respectively.
Namaste (pronounced Na-mus-tay) means ‘I salute the divine within you. The proper response is the same, Namaste. As’salâmu a’alaykum (pronounced Us-sa-laam-aa-lay-kum) means ‘Peace be upon you’, to which the apt response is wa’alaykum as’salâm (meaning-and upon you be peace, pronounced Wuh-aa-lay-kum-us-sa-laam). These greetings are applicable to any situation, audience and age-group.
Since World Hello Day aims to promote peace and mutual understanding, wouldn’t it be something if the greeting used was an embodiment of the goal? This approach might be a little tougher on the tongue, but it’ll work magic.
P.S: If you’re feeling particularly vengeful towards bye, you could try M3salama (means ‘go with safety’, pronounced Maa-aas-sa-laa-ma)