Hmm. This one might need to be filed under "swine flu hysteria gone amok." Did you know that last Thursday was the 2nd annual Global Hand Washing Day? The holiday designation is part of a campaign from UNICEF to deliver the message that this simple measure is the most effective way to prevent many deadly diseases, including H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu. Don't get me wrong, I applaud UNICEF's global effort to encourage hand washing. But do we really need a holiday to celebrate the message?

Apparently, the Japanese think so. In the nation where every day is hand-scrubbing, mask-wearing day, the Japanese got into the spirit of Global Hand Washing Day with a special dance, DVDs, posters and pamphlets. The video above depicts a special global hand washing dance composed by well-known Japanese choreographer Kaiji Moriyama.

But even though I scoff at the idea of a global hand washing day, I have to admit I see the need for such a designation. Almost nine million children younger than 5 die of preventable illnesses worldwide. How can these diseases be prevented? You guessed it...hand washing. So if it takes a silly You Tube video and a global holiday to spread the message, I'm all for it. Just don't make me don the ridiculous hand washing costume, OK?

See also:

Hand washing: The Hows and Whys

Did you celebrate Global Hand Washing Day?
DVDs, posters, and a special hand washing dance took hand washing to a new level.