Saturday, November 21, 2009

World Hello Day

Do you know what day it is today? It's World Hello Day! This day was started in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in 1973. People use it as a way to express their desire for world peace.

Today would be a great time to look at some different cultures with your kids. Dawn Morris at
MomsInspireLearning has some wonderful ideas for using Picture Books for Peace. To develop tolerance, we need to "walk a mile in another's shoes", and literature helps us understand how other people live, feel and dream.

How many different ways can you say hello?

I counted six for me:
Ni hao (Chinese)
Bom dia (Portugese)
Hola (Spanish)
Bonjour (French)
Guten Tag (German)
Selamat pagi (Bahasa Indonesia)

(Oh wait, if Pig Latin counts, I can do seven. But I've never met a latin pig!)

Kids love to learn snippets of other languages. I found
a page at the Internet Public Library where there are links to hello in several other languages, as well as the fascinating fact that if you want to say hello to everyone in the world, you need to greet 5,720,000,000 people.

[Actually, I checked that population statistic at
World Clock, and spent minutes gaping at the population changing upward before my eyes. Phew!]

A great followup activity would be to use an atlas to find some countries you know. Maybe you could pick one country your child would like to learn about and focus on discovering more about their customs, clothing and traditional dress, flag, food, geography etc. Can you improvise a costume or create one of that country's dishes?

Here's a fun hello rhyme to teach your kids. I use it as question and response, or as a choral piece with a class.

Hello Hello Hello Sir
Meet me at the grocer
No Sir
Why Sir
Because I have a cold, Sir.
Where did you get your cold?
At the North Pole, Sir.
Let me hear you sneeze, Sir.
Atchoo, atchoo, atchoo, Sir.

I also found a cute
Hello Song on Youtube, and The Beatles' Hello Hello with captions.

Another great family project would be to create a caption book called
Hello with your child. Choose pictures of him with things and people he loves, and use captions like "Hello bike", "Hello Nanny", "Hello horse" etc. Older kids could use a web tool such as Photo Peach to keep a record of all the foreign greetings they've learnt. They might also like to make a little quiz show to test their friends. Here's one I've begun - you're welcome to edit it and add your own.

World Hello Day on PhotoPeach

Photo credit above: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Extra photo credits in the slide show:

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