World Day of Greetings is marked on Thursday and all you need to take part in it is to greet ten strangers. This is the way that millions of people have been marking that day for almost thirty years now.
Greetings is the first rule of etiquette. Throughout the millennia it acquired the most diverse forms for different peoples. In Russia since olden times people have been asking each other about their health. This tradition has not changed to this day. There are many versions of greetings in the country. The most neutral and widespread is "zdravstvuyte" which is the Russian for "be healthy." Between people who are well acquainted with each other, it can be replaced by "privet", or "hello." In official circumstances people say the high-flown: "Allow me to greet you."
Older people sometimes say: "My deep regards!" or "Good health!" A person who is working may be addressed with "God help you!" and a newcomer with "Welcome!" There is even a special greeting for people coming out of a steam-bath.
It is customary in Russia to ask an acquaintance about how he is doing. You can ask: "What's new?", "How are you?" "How are things?" And there are also very simple but magic words which will force your interlocutor to smile: "What a nice meeting!" "How glad I am to see you!" "What a surprise!"
Though they bear no information, greetings possess a tremendous magic force.