Today, is the first Sunday of August and we in India are celebrating Friendship Day. For many years, people the world over have celebrated Friendship Day.
It has become a popular tradition for friends to exchange gifts, flowers, greeting cards and wrist bands on Friendship Day.
Friendship Day was originally promoted in 1930 by Joyce C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards. He intended to celebrate it on August 2nd. Though the Friendship Day was initially promoted by the greeting card industry, the growth of the internet and proliferation of mobile phones have made it easier to greet friends than ever before. Advent of social networking sites, helps people to celebrate Friendship Day online/
On 20 July 1958 by Dr. Artemio Bracho was the first to propose the idea of a World Friendship Day during a dinner with friends in Puerto Pinasco, Paraguay. Out of this humble meeting of friends, the World Friendship Crusade that promotes friendship and fellowship among all human beings, regardless of race, colour or religion was born. Since then, 30 July has been faithfully celebrated as Friendship Day in Paraguay every year and has also been adopted by several other countries.
In 1998, in honour of Friendship Day Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nation. The event was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.
On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations drew a draft resolution on International Day of Friendship that designated 30 July as the International Day of Friendship:
International Day of Friendship
The General Assembly,
Recalling the goals and objectives of its Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), and all its relevant resolutions,
Recognizing the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world,
Bearing in mind that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and presents an opportunity to build bridges between communities, honouring cultural diversity,
Affirming that friendship can contribute to the efforts of the international community, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, towards the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation,
Convinced of the importance of involving youth and future leaders in community activities aimed at the inclusion of and respect between different cultures, while promoting international understanding, respect for diversity and a culture of peace, in accordance with the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace,
Noting that friendship-related activities, events and initiatives are observed each year in many countries,
1. Decides to designate 30 July as the International Day of Friendship;
2. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Friendship in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the culture and other
appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system.
Though the General Assembly of the United Nations designated 30 July as the official International Day of Friendship, some countries, including India, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August.
In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 8 April each year.
- International Friendship Day (en.wikipedia.org)
- United Nations General Assembly, Sixty-fifth session, Agenda item 15, Culture of peace (un.org)
- International Day of Friendship (timeanddate.com).