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L.Srikumar Pai
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 World Hello Day :November 21

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Columnists: Sangeetha Sridhar, Dr.Rajan Philips, Hasan Kamoonpuri


November 21is the celebrated as  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.

World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973.  Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

People around the world use the occasion of World Hello Day as an opportunity to express their concern for world peace.  Beginning with a simple greeting on World Hello Day, their activities send a message to leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.

31 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are among the people who have realized World Hello Day's value as an instrument for preserving peace and as an occasion that makes it possible for anyone in the world to contribute to the process of creating peace.

Brian McCormack, a Ph.D. graduate of Arizona State University, and Michael McCormack, a graduate of Harvard University, work together to promote this annual global event.

As a global event World Hello Day joins local participation in a global expression of peace.  The World Hello Day web site address is

World Hello Day : Communication that fosters goodwill
( Article published in The Observer newspaper )

REFLECTION -By Dr Rajan Philips - November 21st was observed as the World Hello Day in nearly 200 countries. On this day people greet and say hello to at least ten people. It is a symbolic gesture that highlights the importance of open personal communication. It sends out the message for world leaders to establish channels of communication that usher in peace and understanding rather than employing force to settle conflicts.

The event was shaped by two University research scholars Brian and Michael McCormack in the wake of the armed conflict between Egypt and Israel in 1973.

While we may find it easy to greet family members and friends we must be prepared to say hello to even strangers. The long-term value of the day to promote global peace and bridge barriers between nations, has been endorsed by peace loving international figures like John Glenn, Colin Powell, Kofi Annan and a host of Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Communication is the exchange of thoughts, ideas, information, or feelings between individuals using speech, writing, gestures and artistic expression. Often there is breakdown in communication. We blame the other person for this rather than trying to understand him. Attentive listening is a key prerequisite. This implies showing interest in other’s feelings and viewpoints even when we disagree. That is how we build trust and mutual respect. We live in an age of sophisticated technology that provides instant and incredibly convenient and effective means of communication. You can send and receive emails using your I-phones, chat with known and unknown ‘friends’ anywhere across the globe and be active members of the social networks.

And yet, isn’t it quite paradoxical that many complain of breakdown in communication between parents and children, spouses and among colleagues. Ironically, we seem to have no time for those immediately around us as a result of our compulsive professional and personal commitments and preoccupations. Modern gadgets like the TV and the computer take away a good chunk of our time and attention away from our dear ones. We are rarely left with quality time to carry on a meaningful conversation with friends or acquaintances.

The relationship between parents and children is probably worse, particularly when the kids are passing through adolescence. Mono syllabic responses and unpleasant grunts and nods of head by the teenager in response to profuse words of parental advice and admonition seem to be the order of the day. Though they live under the same roof the level of communication is incredibly low.

Communicating with a teenager is a tough task. If we can't "communicate" without raising your voices, there is something wrong with us. We cannot rely only on verbal skills. ‘Practise, not preach’, say great thinkers. As French writer Joseph Joubert put it: ‘Children need models rather than critics.’

It is not always right to blame the younger generation for the entire malady. The sad state of affairs may be the result of a similar pattern of poor interaction and communication between the spouses. Purposeful communication is what keeps any relationship alive! Effective communication reduces conflicts. Hello Day is to be viewed as a small but significant step that strengthens personal communication and contributes to greater understanding and thereby foster peace and amity among individuals and nations.

A few quotes:
Communication works for those who work at it.
— John Powell
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. — Peter Drucker

Articles by Dr.Rajan Philips

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