Say, “hello,” at Folkmoot 2016 in many languages

Say, “hello,” at Folkmoot 2016 in many languages.

你好   Hola   Moi   Bonjour & Salut   こんにちは    Cześć (Tch-esh-ch)  'Hello' in Cherokee script   & Hey y’all!


Folkmoot has 9 international groups coming to the festival this year and even though many of the performers speak English, it is not the primary language for most of them.

Be sure to see the complete schedule and purchase your tickets online here!

The Folkmoot Box Office can be reached by phone during business hours: 828-452-2997 , ext. 207.

Our mission is to build lasting friendships on a global level and that begins with interaction! Just as we did beginning with the 2015 festival, we will be taking a moment in each performance and often during events to say, “hello,” in the native language of our participants and visiting performers.

Take a look at common greetings used in the languages of our performers and don’t be afraid to say hello…


你好(Nǐ Hǎo)

Mandarin is the most widely spoken form of Chinese and is the predominant language in Gansu province, from which our Chinese troupe hails. Chinese language is written with symbols or characters and these characters represent the oldest writing system in the world. In China formal greetings are accompanied with a bow but handshakes are used in casual settings.

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

Say, "hello," at Folkmoot 2016Dominican Republic, Peru & South Texas 

Hola (oh la)

Spanish is the primary language of the Dominican Republic & Peru and among our dancers from South Texas.

Dominican Spanish has a distinct vocabulary including many ancient Spanish words. Dominicans are known for delivering their words at a very fast speed and local culture has produced new words that give them a unique form of Spanish.

Hola (oh la) can be translated to “hello” in English.

¿Cómo estás? (co mo eh stahs) can be translated to “how are you?” in English.

While Spanish is the primary language in Peru, the country takes pride in preserving Quechua, which is the language of the powerful Inca Empire. Quechua was made an official language of Peru in 1975 as the government worked to stop its extinction.

Try out this Quechua form of hello!

Nepaykullayki (nah-pie-coo-yah-key) can be translated to hello in English.



Even though Finland is a European country, the Finnish language is very different due to the fact that it is one of the only four national European languages that isn’t Indo-European. Greetings often include a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. When greeting a married couple it is polite to shake the wife’s hand first.


Bonjour & Salut

French, known as the language of love, is the primary language for France. French is the official language in 29 countries and the fourth most widely spoken tongue in the European Union. In France it is typical to greet someone with a kiss on each cheek.

Bonjour (bon-zhoor) is the most common French greeting and can be translated to “good morning” or “good day” in English.

Salut (sa-loo) can be translated to “hello” in English.


こんにちは (Kon-ni-chi-wa)

Japanese is the official language of Japan and is also a written language using 3 different types of characters. The types used in Japanese are hiragana (shown above), kanji, and katakana. The language focuses on politeness of speech that applies to people from different social statuses such as age, job, experience, etc. Proper etiquette in Japan is greeting someone with a bow.

こんにちは (Kon-ni-chi-wa) is a common greeting that can be used for people of any social status and can be translated to “good afternoon” in English.


Cześć (Tch-esh-ch)

Polish is a Slavic language spoken primarily in Poland and is the native language of the Poles. The language has 10 vowels and 35 consonants. In formal settings introductions are accompanied by a handshake as are farewells.

Cześć (Tch-esh-ch) can be translated to “hello” in English.

Cherokee (Tsalagi)

'Hello' in Cherokee script (Oh-see-YOH)

“Faced with the situation of elder speakers dying far more quickly than new speakers have been emerging, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is working to revitalize the Cherokee language,” explains the Cherokee Preservation Foundation (a Folkmoot sponsor).

“Speaking a language means we have a culture,” said an elder. “There is a big difference between people who have a culture and people with a history.” Cherokee Preservation Foundation is investing significantly in the complex effort.


Say, "hello," at Folkmoot 2016The 33rd Edition of North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival begins Thursday and runs through July 31, with parades (new parades in Asheville and Franklin), cultural events, festivals within the festival and – of course – those glorious, dramatic and colorful dance performances at venues all over Western North Carolina.

Named a Top 20 Event in 2016 in the Southeastern U.S., according to the Southeast Tourism Society and by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot is a ten-day event featuring more than 200 international performers from ten countries with performances in 12 Western North Carolina communities.

Lodging and accommodations can be found here and Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center is for the first time offering weekend hotel packages for Folkmoot visitors.

Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who are acting as cultural ambassadors for their home countries.

For the 2016 Festival groups will travel from China, the Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Japan, Peru, Poland, Romania and a special U.S-Mexico collaboration. The 2016 Festival will also include performances by the Eastern Band of Cherokee and other local Appalachian dance groups and bluegrass bands .

You can see them all, featured together and with videos, on our Folkmoot Performers of 2016 page.

Follow our social media posts for the latest updates on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat (mobile only). Please, always use #Folkmoot2016, the festival’s official hashtag,when sharing Folkmoot information and events or to search for the latest news.

Folkmoot, literally a “meeting of the people,” provides programs based on cultural exchange, designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity. Folkmoot creates opportunities for individuals and communities across the globe to build a deeper sense of connection, mutual respect and shared purpose.


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Say, "hello," at Folkmoot 2016