Saturday, September 15, 2007

Just say Hola!

September is always such a busy month, with many new beginnings ... especially this year, when this month began with taking my oldest child to college on the opposite coast and then starting a new university-level teaching position ....

And speaking of new beginnings, I have always said that just as a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the road to fluency in Spanish begins with a single word: Hola.

So I was delighted to read about an initiative to start a new holiday: "Hola Day", started by Myelita Melton, a Spanish teacher in North Carolina.

Celebrated on October 1st, right in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th through October 15th), Hola Day is designed to foster a greater appreciation for the use of the Spanish language in the US. It honors both native speakers and non-native speakers who commit themselves to learning Spanish as a second language and using it in their daily lives.

Many communities and states across the United States are signing on, with a proclamation.

“Participating in Hola Day is simple,” says Melton. “We are asking everyone in America to say something in Spanish to someone else on Oct. 1. What you say can be as simple as ‘hola’ and ‘adiós’ or as complicated as you wish. Also, the person you speak to doesn’t have to speak Spanish; the whole point is that you do.”

I love the idea, even if I didn't think of it myself! Myelita definitely gets my Viva la Chispa award!

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