How is this for a Christmas message? This is one of those heartwarming moments that shows the importance of small gestures that put smiles on faces.
The video shows a man taking a little time out to celebrate a homeless woman’s birthday in Colombia.
Her reaction – squealing with delight and amazement – is surely enough to bring tears to your eyes. Then, when he asks her to make a wish, she is at a loss of what she could ask for. In the end she says simply, “Let us all be happy.”
It was filmed by a 24-year-old photographer from Bogota, Emilio Aparicio Rodriguez, who appears to have used her as the subject in one of his works and has returned to give her a copy.
An interview on Colombia.com shows Rodriguez has done a series of street photographs, and says he always pays his subjects and gives them a copy of the photo. “They felt valued,” he said. “No one has given them anything before.”
Andrea’s reaction in this video says it all, but because the dialogue is in Spanish I’ve also done a hasty translation.
“Share this video so that others make nice gestures too,” says the tagline. So here it is…
Emilio: Happy birthday!
Andrea: Aaaaaahhh! Emilio! Aaaaah!
Emilio: How are you? How have you been?
Andrea: Good. Aaaah!
Emilio: I have brought you a few little things. How have you been? Good? Sensible?
Andrea: [squeals with excitement]
Emilio: First, we have to put on the birthday hat.
Andrea: No, look… [reveals short hair under her cap]
Emilio: It doesn’t matter. [Puts it over her cap and gives her a garland too]
Andrea: [Laughs] Does it look good?
Emilio: Of course. Look, I bought you the photo too. Remember?
Andrea: The same one?
Emilio: Yes, of course. Here it is, señora, the one from before. So you can keep it.
Andrea: Aahhh, the one where I am by myself
Emilio: I bought it so you can keep it. Now, wait a moment. We are going to sing happy birthday to you.
Emilio: [shouting to public] Will anyone help sing happy birthday to her? Does anyone want to help me today? No one?
Andrea: No one
Emilio: Nevermind. Nevermind.
Passerby agrees to sing
Passerby says Andrea deserves it
Andrea: [clasps hand to mouth in disbelief]
Emilio: Of course! Of course! Her name is Andrea.
The assembled group sings happy birthday
Andrea: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, it’s so kind. Thank you everyone!
Emilio gives her the balloon and tells her to make a wish
Andrea: But I don’t know what to wish for
Emilio: Whatever you want. It’s your birthday so you can make the wish.
Andrea: But I don’t know what to wish for!
Emilio: It doesn’t matter. If you can’t think of a wish, just let it go quietly.
Andrea: I wish that we can all be happy.