Food from around the world, singing and a football match are among the activities planned to celebrate World Hello Day in Lincoln this week.
People and organisations across the city are getting involved in marking the international day of greeting on Saturday, November 21, and also on Friday, November 20.
This is the third year City of Lincoln Council has marked the day by helping to co-ordinate a variety of events encouraging people to get to know each other and find out more about their neighbours and communities.
Now in its 42nd year, the purpose of the day is simple: to promote peace all over the world and remove barriers between every nationality.
Everyone can get involved by making it their goal to say ‘hello’ to at least 10 people they normally wouldn’t speak to, and a number of schools, groups and organisations are going one step further.
Among the schools involved are The Meadows Primary School, St Peter at Gowts, St Giles Academy and Bishop King Primary School, where pupils have celebrated the day since 2013.
Headteacher Kate Rouse said: “We are lucky to have a school community that comprises children and staff from a wide range of different cultures, languages, backgrounds and faiths. More than 20 languages are spoken at our school.
“The message of World Hello Day is one that we should teach and encourage all year round, but having a day to emphasise the importance of understanding, tolerance and celebrating our differences is a great chance to spread this message, and our children always enjoy it.”
The Mayor of Lincoln Cllr Andrew Kerry and Cllr Rosanne Kirk, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion, will be saying hello at as many of the events taking place as possible.
Cllr Kirk said: “Saying ‘hello’ is the first step towards getting to know people, understanding them and creating a more inclusive society in Lincoln. We need to support each other.
“The council’s Community Cohesion strategy shares the main aims of World Hello Day: Improving our understanding of each other, promoting tolerance and respect through better communication.
“It’s not too late to get involved. Everyone can take part just by saying hello to someone new.”
This year, activities include:
Friday, November 20
- Speak to Voluntary Centre Services at City Hall - 10am-2pm
- St Giles Neighbourhood Office - fruit tasters from around the world 10.30am -4pm
- Ermine Community Hub - coffee morning - 10am - 2pm
- Boultham Community Hub and Library - Coffee morning - 10am - 12pm
- Birchwood Community Hub and Library - Competitions and coffee morning - 10am - 2pm
- Age UK - lunch with the mayor - 12pm
- Compassionate Lincoln - Live music and food to launch the appeal to help Syrian refugees - St Mary’s Guildhall, High Street - 7pm -10pm
Saturday, November 21
- Harvest Festival, organised by Green Synergy with other community groups. VCS, Tentercroft Street, 11am - 2pm
- Football tournament organised by Lincoln City Football Club Sport and Education Trust -11am-2pm
- Interfaith Walk - annual walk starting at Lincoln Cathedral - 2pm
Pupils at St Giles Academy will be making a video, to be published on YouTube, Twitter and the school website, sending greetings in various languages, while Lincoln College, LEAP and Busy Days are among other organisations celebrating the day in the city.
World Hello Day was begun in 1973 by Brian and Michael McCormack in response to the Yom Kippur War. Since then, the day has been observed annually by people in 180 countries.
Get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #worldhelloday and #helloLincoln, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofwelcome.