On a recent trip to India we travelled around in a bus clearly marked “Tourist”. One of my lasting impressions is the amount of people, young and old, who waved to us with a beautiful smile and the feel- good effect this had on me.
Since my return, I have found myself waving to people who are on the other side of the road, or travelling by car, many of whom I do not know. I get great enjoyment when I receive a wave back in return. I started to think of the therapeutic benefits of waving. In Bob McAlister’s article in the Banbridge Review, which states that the simple act of waving creates a sense of connection. see http://www.bainbridgereview.com/opinion/120421369.html
He writes about an experiment by five of his students, who found that if they smiled before they waved they received a better response. They all spoke of “the pleasure in getting a wave returned. “
He writes that as a result of their simple act of waving hello “finding community in a world of strangers” and …..it broadens our connection to other cultures and other people, which includes our neighbours.” So one souvenir from India that I will use is the act of waving to say hello and like the Indian people we met will smile before I wave.