“Beautiful day, isn’t it?” is one of the ‘greeting lines’ I’ve seen in movies. Other than that, “hi” is the most common way to get started in a conversation with a completely random stranger. It could be anywhere: streets, beaches, bus stations, waiting rooms, you imagine it. It doesn’t hurt to engage in a conversation with a stranger and “hi” seems to be the nicest way to get started. However, in Bangladesh, this isn’t the case. Like the author of the post I’m reblogging here asks, “what makes me not say “Hi” to random passer-by”, it’s the attitude I’m likely to get from whoever I say “hi” to. In Dhaka, you’re most likely to get their eyebrows raised if you say “Hi” to anyone you don’t know. If the other person is a girl, they’ll immediately believe that you’re trying to pick her up and completely ignore you. If someone does respond, they’ll ask you back, “What?”This is also the case with most guys. If you say “Hi” to anyone, you gotta have something serious to talk about. Apparently, this is not the case in most other European and American states.
My baby girl says, “Hieee” to everyone she meets.
When we’re out and about, she flashes her 8 pearly whites and insists that every passers-by return her enthusiastic, “hieee!” Sometimes people are intrigued and engage in conversation. Other times they appear shy, or even uncomfortable, and try to avoid eye contact. But nothing deters my baby girl; she’s this unstoppable bundle of friendliness.
So this got me thinking, “What makes people suspicious of friendliness?” And do I have the guts to say “hello” to everyone I meet?
Now, I grew up in a small, hi-saying town in Africa, where people loved greeting each other with handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, kisses, hi-fives, or jolly “hellos.” In fact, it was considered rude to ignore a passer-by; you were deemed arrogant or a show-off.
Fast forward several years and I found myself living in North America, where people were generally more reserved and prided their…
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