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It's an ancient ritual to wish each other during the first days of January a happy new year. As a Catholic Patrician, I always wish everyone a blissful and blessed New Year. Something that we will wish a lot and something we will hear a lot in the coming days. Family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances: you hope that everyone will have a year of happiness and prosperity. Officially, you can give the best wishes for the New Year until Epiphany, on January 6, but there is some smuggling, as many New Year receptions take place after this date.


I arrive at Tribes Utrecht on the first workday of 2018 and after several New Year wishes I realize that it is actually a strange phenomenon. Why do we wish each other only on the first few days of the year, good luck and prosperity? Of course we wish each other best for the rest of the year, but why don’t we say that more often? Why aren’t we taking the Maori as an example, greeting each other through pressing the forehead and the nose against each other? The forehead is the seat of thoughts and memories and the nose symbolizes breath and live. Therefore, the Maori wish each other ‘breath and live’ with every greeting, throughout the whole year.


Now, some will of course be surprised if you suddenly would press your nose against theirs, so I won’t start ‘nosing’. However, I think it's a good idea to wish each other prosperity more often. We already are doing this in a way: have a nice evening, have a nice weekend... But ‘nice’ became a standard notion and I'm ready for something new. The best wishes are allowed until January 6 and I will wish everyone the best till this date. But after this date, I will follow the Maori and I will wish everyone 'breath and life’ all year long.


For now I can still say it, and I wish you a blissful and blessed 2018!