You are Welcome in any language
You may notice our sign which says ‘welcome’ in many languages. It is in our dining room right where your food is served. Quite an apt place to say ‘welcome’ don’t you think?
People come to the Centre here at Collaroy from all over, and wherever you are from, we want you to know we are really glad you are here!
It is interesting to look at the some of the origins for the words for welcome around the world:
welcome (English)/welkom (Dutch)/willkommen (German)/bienvenue (French) – one whose coming suits another’s will or wish
üdvözlet (Hungarian) – compliments/regards
degemer mat (Breton) – good day
yokoso (Japanese) – good to arrive at a place or institution
Accogliere (Italian) – receive and accept you
nau mai haere mai (Maori) – ‘Walk in my direction, come hither’
Namaste (Hindi) – ‘I bow to the divine in you’
huānyíng guānglín (Mandarin) – ‘to meet with joy as light enters’ – using the light that comes into a room when a door opens as a metaphor for appreciating the person coming through it.
Bujarri Gamurruwa – Gadigal words for ‘Good day’ the language of the original owners of this land.
You are Welcome at any Time
All of these have in common that you don’t need to know the person you are welcoming. We are a Christian organization, which sometimes leads people to think we might be closed off or suspicious of others who don’t believe in God or Jesus. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Jesus told a story about a great feast where the invited guests didn’t want to come, so the King who planned the feast sent his servants and found anyone, literally anyone, and bought them in to share the best food and drink he had on offer.
That story is designed to show us how God welcomes us, and how we should welcome others. And that is exactly what we do today in the Savlos. We welcome people from all situations to our shelters, our recovery and community support centres, our stores, our churches and here to Collaroy. Over a million Australians every year engage with The Salvation Army.
No judgement, no conditions, we welcome them and we welcome you.
PS: …and we love to get to know our visitors – if you have a chance to meet someone on staff, don’t leave a stranger!