I was having a childhood flashback the other day.
When I was younger (haha, makes me sound old but it's true, some of you didn't grow up with this.) we had cassette players. I had a list of my favorite cassettes, and one of them was called Wee Sing Around the World.
I don't remember exactly when I began listening to it, but I never forgot the introduction song, which taught several ways to say hello. Gradually, as I got older, I began to associate the greetings with the countries they came from, and paid more attention to the words and songs. The Australian songs were my favorite at the time, I loved Australia and I loved listening to the Kookaburra song! I used to play it over and over again until my siblings got annoyed with me. ;)
Fast forward several years and we've gotten rid of most of our cassettes. We don't have a cassette player anymore, at least I haven't found one in my scrounging. But in the last couple weeks, that song, that oh so familiar song from the cassette kept coming back to my mind. And I wondered- do they have that on Youtube?
To my joy and surprise they do! It's not the same version I grew up with (the version I remember was a lot more twangy, think eighties), but it's still the same song. Though in this video a couple of the greetings are spelled like how they sound, not how they're actually spelled. They also have the CD available on amazon, but alas, Kookaburra isn't included anymore. :( Still, it tickled me to be able to listen to this song again and I am excited to show little sister R it, for she used to listen to it with me all the time.
I wonder what I would have thought about languages, cultures and geography if I hadn't grown up on this cassette. Would I have cared? Would the world have made that much of an impression on me? Would I be as fascinated with words and languages as I am now? Who knows? I do believe God created each of us with specific interests from the time we're born, but I also believe outside sources shape us into who we are now.
So enjoy my little walk down memory lane, turn up your volume and listen to Hello From All the Children of the World. It may not mean as much to you as it does to me, but I still hope you enjoy hearing how our friends around the world greet each other. Who knows? Perhaps you'll get the chance to greet someone in their own language after listening to this song. If there's one thing I've learned from teaching English from immigrants, it's this: nothing is more beautiful to them than someone who tries to speak their own language. They adore it and get so excited.
So learn a couple new words in different languages, greet someone in their native tongue, and see what sort of impact you can make on the world today! For as the good book says:
Matt. 28: 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
What a better conversation starter than to speak someone's language and have them ask you why you cared to learn their language? How many times I've been asked that when I've talked in Russian with the Slavics. Though I firmly believe in the movement of the Lord and that He'll tell us to speak when we're supposed to witness, I also believe in proclaiming our love for everyone in as many ways as possible, for our love comes from Christ.
So here's my challenge for you this week- if you meet someone who speaks a different language than you, and perhaps you may know a bit of what they're saying and may know a word or two, don't be shy, greet them in their tongue! I have never had anyone become agitated by my poor accent when I've greeted them in their own language, all I've ever received was praise and thank yous. Make someone's day this week, bless someone and show you care. :)
Have a wonderful and blessed day! God bless you!