It was the morning of 3rd April 2008, and the Mojito Nile Cruise of Sakkara Travel Group, was sailing full steam ahead, from Aswan towards Luxor, on the River Nile – the lifeline of Egypt. What a pleasant morning it was in the land of Pharaohs, most of the tourists had gathered in the dining hall for their breakfast, and were all smiles. The dining hall floor was below the water level of the river Nile by about 1 to1.5 meters. The blue water of Nile was shimmering. The transparent large size glass windows allowed everyone to enjoy the beautiful sight of rhythmic crests and troughs of the moving waves and their changing colours. The view was fascinating and transported everyone present to a world of dreams and poetic imagination.
The group included people from various corners of the globe with all types of skin tones that we see in any international gathering. This included our own group of eleven from India comprising five couples including me and my wife.
Suddenly we all noticed a Canadian lady loudly wishing ‘bonjour’ to nearly everyone in the queue for the breakfast buffet. Few understood the term ‘bonjour’ but replied back nevertheless with a ‘bonjour.’ A few kept looking at the unknown lady with curiosity, mainly because of her fresh ‘Colgate’ smile and her energetic disposition.
Incidentally some knowledge of French language acquired during my stay for about two years in Madagascar, Africa, was still alive in my mind. Taking that as my strength I picked up courage and wished her ‘bonjour madam,’ to which she replied ‘bonjour monsieur,’ and gave me a sweet smile. But I extended the conversation a bit further, hearing my ‘Comment-allez- vous?,’ she jumped back with the loaded plate in her hand and came closer to me after walking back a few steps. She was full of pleasure, happiness and elevated energy level and said ‘Très bien, mercy, et vous?’ My entire group and many others in the queue became a witness to the whole sequence of events.
My friendship with this lady from Quebec (Canada) continued during the entire cruise trip in Egypt, and even now we are in touch with each other.
I realized, as to how just a few phrases of greeting in a common language can bind people as good friends, irrespective of their native location in the world. This inspired me to work further on such a lovely and meaningful subject.
In our book ‘Breaking Barriers – The Power of Gestures’ we have included 19 greeting & gestures from around the world. The book presents phrases of greetings in 24 Indian language and 16 foreign languages duly vetted by the native speakers. That covers all the 22 recognized languages in India and the six languages used in the United Nations. We have also tried to touch on the varying social, cultural and religious aspects of those people.
Write up about the Authors:
B B Lal, is a retired Telecom officer, he has travelled extensively within India and around the world, and has made many friends along the way.
Vineet Srivastava, works for a multinational company in a senior management position. He is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore and he picks up new languages with ease, is also fluent in Mandarin.
Their extensive travel and experience interacting with different cultures and communities from within India and around the World has made them realize the importance of knowing the basics of greetings and gestures from around the World and within India and how it can pay rich dividends both socially and in the business world. It is this outcome that encourage them to write the book Breaking Barriers so they could help others too break barriers by familiarizing themselves with basic greetings and gestures from across India and the world.