What’s in a greeting?
Epa, qué más? Qué hubo, qué me cuentas?
One of the simplest yet flavorful aspects of different cultures are their variations of saying hello. Even within the same language, a particular greeting can easily identify national or regional origins. The greetings above are grammatically Spanish but regionally Venezuelan. But even with their colorful variations, greetings are also universally positive, and relatively easy to do. Indeed, most language learners start with greeting phrases. Simply being able to start a connection with others with a few words is quite exciting.
The amazing part of this greeting-induced connection is that we indeed feel better after the exchange. Extending a hello to someone can make them feel welcomed, acknowledged, included, and eventually loved.
In Spanish, the word “saludos” simply translates to “greetings.” However, its extended definition is “a greeting that is used to wish health upon others,” as “salud,” or health, is included in “saludos.” Greeting someone then, is in fact much more than just saying hello. Greeting someone is an active declaration of your intent to improve their health.
And the best part of greeting someone is that, more likely than not, they will return the favor. They will also declare their intent to improve your health. And sometimes, they might even smile. And you might smile back. And in a simple exchange of innocent words, an essentially human connection was made.
Saying hello to Venezuela
Right now in Venezuela, there is a shortage of food, medicine, medical supplies, and economic opportunities. The consequences are dire, leading many people to perish in the crisis. But for those who are working to survive, these conditions can drive them to feelings of desperation and desolation.
And that was part of our realization at Saludos Connection. The people in Venezuela are suffering. But most importantly, we have the capacity to change that.
This second part is more elusive. The humanitarian crisis afflicting Venezuela is unprecedented in the region, and the surrounding political matrix further complicates the situation. However, as with a friend in need, we started with a meaningful and empathetic saludos. From there, it has been a matter of multiplication, amplification, and collaboration of many more saludos.
Multiplying our saludos
Here at Saludos Connection, we have actively declared to challenge this situation and its harmful effects on the health, nutrition, education, and culture of Venezuelans. But more than simply declaring, we are also extending our invitation.
We invite those who wake up every day thinking of Venezuela. Those who can’t sleep thinking of Venezuela. Those who were forced to uproot their lives and have suffered in this crisis. Those whose futures have forever been altered and their pasts forever become darker. Those who might not know any Venezuelans, but are insulted and moved by this incomprehensible situation. Those who tenaciously cling on to hope for Venezuela and for the world.
We invite you to collaborate with and join our Saludos platform.
We believe that meaningful collaboration is the key to progress, and building connections between individuals, institutions, organizations, businesses, and cultures is how we will be able change the course of Venezuela.