Say Hello To Our 2017 Performers


Folkmoot has eight international groups coming to the festival this year, and even though many of the performers can speak English, it is not the primary language for most of them. Our mission is to build lasting friendships on a global level and that begins with interaction! Take a look at common greetings used in the languages of our performers and don’t be afraid to say hello.



Group: Sentimiento Criollo

Hola (oh-la)

The official language of Argentina is Spanish. However Argentinian Spanish is different from Spanish spoken in Spain or Latin America. Spanish spoken in Argentina sounds similar to Italian. One distinct difference in Argentina Spanish is the use of vos instead of tu (the familiar Spanish form of you). Greetings between strangers or business associates consist of a handshake and greetings between friends is accompanied with a kiss on the right cheek.


Hola can be translated to “hello” in English.

Encantado (when directed at a male) and Encatanda (when directed at a female) can be translated to “delighted to meet you” or “charmed.”



Group: Utkarsh

नमस्ते Namaste (Nam-e-sta)

India has two official languages including Hindi as well as English. The Hindi language is spoken by nearly 45 percent of Indians. During the British Raj, English was used at the federal level, but in 1950, the Indian constitution envisioned that Hindi would gradually replace English, thus making Hindi the sole language of India.  This ideal was met with some resistance in certain parts of the country. Greetings can be accompanied with a handshake, however, greetings by placing both hands together with a slight bow are much appreciated and show respect for Indian customs. In Indian culture, men do not touch women in formal greetings.


नमस्ते Namaste (Nam-e-sta) can be translated to “hello” in English.



Group: Ayalot Hanegev

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom)

The people of Israel are linguistically and culturally diverse. Hebrew and Arabic are the two official languages in Israel and English is the second language and spoken by the majority of the population. The version of Hebrew that the Israeli population speaks is a modern language that is based on different dialects of ancient Hebrew and influenced by other languages such as English, Slavic, Arabic, and German. When greeting someone for the first time, a handshake is appropriate for both social and business settings.


שָׁלוֹם (Shalom) can be used as a greeting or goodbye and can be translated to “hello” or “peace be with you” in English.




Group: Dance Group Paloina Amsterdam

Hallo (Hall-Oh)

Most people from the Netherlands speak Dutch, which is the official language of the country. The Dutch language is a West Germanic language that originated from Old Frankish dialects. Learning other languages is popular and around 90% of the population is able to either converse in English, German, French, or Spanish. It is cultural etiquette to shake hands with everyone present at a business or social meeting.


Hallo can be translated to “hello” in English.



Group: Ogon’ki

Здравствуйте (Zdra-stvooi-te)


Russian is an East Slavic language and an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and many other territories. The Russian alphabet uses letters from the Cyrillic script and consists of 33 letters. Russians greet acquaintances with kisses on both cheeks, but when meeting someone for the first time, it is custom to shake hands accompanied with a simple nod.


Здравствуйте (Zdra-stvooi-te) can be translated to “hello” or “I hope you are well/healthy.”



Group: Koleda

Zdravo (ZDRAHvoh)


Slovenia is a linguistically diverse country due to its centralized location. The majority of the population speaks Slovenian, which is the official language, but Hungarian and Italian are also very well recognized and considered co-official languages. Immigration from former Yugoslavia makes Croatian and Serbian significant languages as well. Greetings in Slovenia are typically formal and initial greetings are combined with a handshake and a friendly smile. First names are only used by friends and family, others are addressed as titles such as “Gospodenia” (Miss), “Gospa” (Madam), or “Gospod” (Sir).


Zdravo can be translated to “hello” in English.



Group: Performing Art Department of Yung-ping Vocational High School

你好 (Nǐ hǎo)

The official language of Taiwan is Standard Mandarin Chinese as of 1945, following WWII. Before this time, Japanese was the official language of Taiwan. Taiwanese Mandarin is spoken at different levels according to the social class and situation of the speakers. Formal occasions call for the acrolectal level of Standard Chinese (Guoyu), which differs little from the Standard Chinese of the People’s Republic of China. Less formal situations may result in the basilect form, which has more uniquely Taiwanese features. Bilingual Taiwanese speakers may code-switch between Mandarin and Taiwanese, sometimes in the same sentence.


你好 (Nǐ hǎo) can be translated to “hello” in English.



Group: Thunder Bear Drum Group and the Dancers That Shift

ᏏᏲ Siyo (She-yo)

In 1821, a Cherokee scholar named Sequoyah invented a written Cherokee language. In 1828, just 7 years later, a Cherokee language newspaper began publishing, the Cherokee Phoenix, which was also the first published Native American newspaper. The Cherokee syllabary has 85 (originally 86) characters.

ᏏᏲ Siyo (See-yo) can be translated to “hello” in English.



Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!


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