Campaign aims to teach Swedes how to say 'hi'
Published: 01 Oct 2012 08:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Oct 2012 08:56 GMT+02:00
A housing company in southern Sweden is spending 1.3 million kronor ($197,000) to help tenants learn how to say hello to their neighbours.
The "Säg hej" ('Say hi') campaign was launched by the MKB municipal housing company in Malmö to help build a more friendly atmosphere among tenants.
Among other things, the campaign features a brochure with helpful tips on how to make small talk with neighbours.
One should avoid yes-or-no questions, for example, and try to prepare an open-ended greeting ahead of time.
"It's sometimes enough to smile, nod a little, or make a small gesture," MKB spokesperson Margaretha Söderström told the TT news agency.
"Basically, it's about noticing one another and not averting your glance when meeting others."
The campaign also features an accompanying Facebook page where tenants can share different ways to greet neighbours and receive additional tips about the art of making small talk.
"Sometimes you don't get a hello in return. That can feel a little so-so. As if you were invisible or not worth the little effort it takes to nod or say hi," reads one recent post.
"But don't lose your self-confidence or get annoyed when someone doesn't say hello to you. That someone doesn't say hello can depend on several different things."
The post then offers up several reasons for why someone might not say hello, including that they are daydreaming; they think you are saying hi to someone else; or they've been frightened by a "provocative and aggressive" t-shirt design.
According to Söderström, the 'Say hi' campaign is also about increasing tenants' sense of safety.
"We know that in the stairwells where neighbours known one another a little better and maybe speak to one another, things are both more pleasant and secure and there is less vandalism," she told TT.