World Hello Day 2016 – Another year of greeting strangers

Credit: National awareness
Credit: National awareness days –

Say ‘Hello’ to World Hello Day. What began as a personal communication challenge in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in 1973, has grown into a global attempt to bring people closer together.

World Hello Day has expanded in the last 44 years, spanning populations in over 180 countries and an annual hashtag. Recognised as a worldwide event, it aims to ‘demonstrate the importance of personal communication for preserving peace.’

Anybody can participate in the event by simply greeting ten people, preferably strangers, throughout the day. Although it may seem easy to complete on paper – or Twitter – the practice of speaking to strangers is daunting for some.

After my own initial self-esteem plummet, once individuals begin to say ‘Hello’, ‘Good Morning’, or ‘How are you?’ to strangers, you might find, like I did, that it is a mood-booster.

According to research from Mind, Mood & Memory Journal interacting with others can help deter depression as well as promote mental wellbeing. Also a study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that connecting with people face-to-face is more beneficial than any other form of communication.

On The World Hello Day website letters are featured from celebrities, royalty and religious leaders from over the years.

‘For such a little word, hello can have a terrific impact. Hello doesn’t even have to be verbalized,’ wrote Whoopi Goldberg.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also passed on their greetings and sent their ‘best wishes’ in 2012.

Mother Teresa wrote in 1981: ‘May God bless your organisation and may you promote True Peace – that comes from love and respecting the rights of every human being.’

After successfully completing my own greeting task this morning, I can already feel the positive effects. I have no doubt the next 44 years of World Hello Day will continue as positively as they started.

For more information on how to get involved visit The World Hello Day website.

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