The 30th July 2021 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Friendship, an international day established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2011.
Even though some countries commemorate the International Friendship Day the first Sunday of August, such as the United Arab Emirates, the US, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia, in the rest of the world the date is marked on the 30th of July.
Why did the UN establish the International Friendship Day?
One of the main goals of the United Nations is to promote peace and solve international disputes. The International Friendship Day has the aim of building intercultural bridges, solve disputes, praise cooperation and embrace diversity. Friendship is one of the main pillars of human solidarity and it follows the UNESCO Culture of Peace principles adopted by the UN in 1997. The International Friendship Day is directed towards individuals, countries, peoples and cultures, but the UN puts a special emphasis on the actions of young people, since they are the world’s future and hope.
It is interesting to note that the first country that celebrated the World Friendship Crusade was Paraguay, in 1958, before the date was internationally proclaimed. In 2011 the UN decided to mark the same date as Paraguay’s first International Friendship Date: today, the 30th of July.
Why does friendship matter?
Because real friendship can shape your life in many ways. It is a blessing to be surrounded by friends who support you, motivate you and are always there for you through ups and downs. As social beings, humans need each other, and friendship is a way to fulfil our basic emotional and material needs.
How do we find international friends?
When you live in Europe, there are a lot of opportunities provided for you to meet international friends. An exchange program such as Erasmus+ is one of the ways you could choose to go abroad, experience another culture and of course to build meaningful friendships. Other than that, you can also join some international community online, per example through a discord server, as they may have some channel dedicated for people to find friends and for those who share common interests, for example language-exchange friends.
How do we maintain friendships?
The key of real friendship is consistency. It might be hard to keep contacting each other everyday, but you can schedule a call with them every two months, for example. To make the friendship more meaningful, you can send your friends some postcards from where you have a vacation. That will for sure be a great addition to your beautiful friendship.
How will you celebrate International Friendship Day today?
Tell your closest friends why they matter and why they make your life much more fulfilling. You can thank them with a card, planning a nice meeting, giving them a small gift or just a quick notice by a phone call or text message… the options are many.
In Proder we celebrate International Friendship Day worshiping the value of solidarity, intercultural exchanges, social commitment towards help and peace construction with our young international team.