Dubai: Hello? I hear you. Telling someone that you care couldn't be any simpler.

Read, write, rent a pigeon - communicate with 10 people if you, too, are celebrating the 36th Annual World Hello Day, on Friday.

It was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in 1973 - to promote peace and conversation as a means to resolve differences.

Little did Brian McCormack and Michael McCormack know that their initiative would continue to sustain 36 years later.


Legend has it that "hello" was the first word spoken by Alexander Graham Bell after the launch of his invention - the telephone.

Many historians dismiss the theory. Some believe that Mark Twain in his work Roughing It first used it, in 1872. Today, there are as many as 800 different ways of saying hello.

Although the emotions associated with the greeting may vary, it is highly unlikely that the greeting would not get a person's attention.

Gulf News reader Mumtaz Younus said: "I usually start a conversation with a smile or a hello. It says everything.

"I think the World Hello Day is an excellent idea. We need more such causes to promote goodwill and understanding among nations. I will be celebrating it," he said.

Since its inception, people in 180 countries now celebrate the World Hello Day. However, there are many who are not familiar with the idea.

Gulf News reader Jessica Heid said: "I have never heard of a day dedicated to 'hello' before."

The German expatriate added: "There are just too many 'special' days nowadays. It would have been better if the event had had better exposure."

Celebrities marking the day

Celebrities who celebrate World Hello Day include Barbara Bush, Colin Powell, Henry Ford, Hosni Mubarak, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Queen Elizabeth II, Ravi Shankar, Ronald Reagan, Stevie Wonder, The Dalai Lama and Whoopi Goldberg, among others.

In Hungary, Szia and Szervusz can mean either 'hello" or 'goodbye.' This explains why Hungarians who speak English sometimes say hello when they are leaving, instead of goodbye.

In different languages

- Afrikaans (Southern Africa) - Goeie dag

- Amungme (Indonesia) - Amole Kitaitirivi

- Arabic - Marhaba, Ahlan

- Aragonese (Aragon, Spain) - Ola

- India - Namastey

- Ugandan - Yoga

- Bole (Nigerian) - Use