Before I worked at Well Done Marketing, I volunteered with them for TEDxIndianapolis, handling social media and media relations. Not only was the project a great preview of the team I am now blessed to work with, it also was where I met Neelay Bhatt, a TEDx speaker who would have a profound impact on my view of Hoosier hospitality.
To find out how, you really should just watch the video.
But here’s the gist if you don’t.
“Hello” is a powerful word. Even more so when it is spoken in one’s native language. Neelay, who lives in Indianapolis but was born and raised in India, believes passionately that taking the time to learn a few words in many languages is the first step to breaking down the barriers that separate us.
And I passionately believe we could use fewer walls and more trust and empathy in this post-election season. If you aren’t ready to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, certainly you can learn Hello or Good-bye in their language.
Why not give “Thank You” a try on this most American of holidays?
Mandarin—Xie Xie (SYEH-syeh)
Kirundi—Urakoze (singular), Murakoze (for a group)
Thai—Khop Khun Mak (masculine) / Khop Khun Mak Kha (feminine)
Cantonese—Do jeh (tou yeh)
Dutch—Dank U wel
Iban—Terima Kasih (Tay ree ma Kaa she)
Irish—Go raibh mile maith agat (Go-rev-meela-mah-agut)
Myanmar—Jae Zu Din Pa De
Korean—Kamsa hamaida (kam’-sah hum-nee-dah’)
(In case you were wondering, this is only one-third of the 120 languages spoken by Hoosiers among us.)
Go ahead. Be bold. Make a connection. See the world through someone else’s eyes. As Neelay says, “Wouldn’t that be a world worth living in?”