International Day of Friendship was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (U.N.). On July 30, we step back and get thankful for these relationships worldwide, as they promote and encourage peace, happiness, and unity. The U.N. encourages governments, community groups, and other organizations to coordinate activities and events that celebrate the friendships that we keep close to us. Many events focus on reconciliation, bridging understanding and consensus, and finding comfort in those friendships that feel like home.
We live in a tough world. Between miscommunications, mistreatment, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural discord, prioritizing peace seemingly has less of a presence in the global society. There really is no reason for the world not to exist in some harmonious form. We have the United Nations to thank for helping to remind us all that there is some good in this world. We were first introduced to International Day of Friendship in 2011; this special day goes beyond connecting people and builds bridges among cultures, countries, and even ideologies.
Friendship and connections are synonymous with bonding, and building those common bonds goes beyond sharing a trait, characteristic, or favorite pastime with another person or group, but also includes promoting a global commitment and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Even in our differences, we can find common ground. Physical appearances, differences of opinions, political views, tastes, music, and more are not reasons to separate people. Relationships are bigger than that, and the UN works to promote kindness and togetherness every July.
Celebrating friendships through things as simple as a brief note, a coffee hang out, going to a concert, or taking a trip to the mall are all ways to find commonalities. Again, we have more in common than we all realize. And any idea that minimizes the amount of hatred and disdain spread throughout the world is the kind we want to be shared. We’d like to think that something we all have in common.
Before the U.N. made its designation, the very first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade, which is an international civil organization that campaigns to foster peaceful culture through friendship.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FRIENDSHIP TRADITIONS
On International Day of Friendship, those friends who are there for us, call us out on our stubbornness, sacrifice their time for us when everyone else is busy adulting, show up in the middle of the night to cheer us up, and even our long-distance friends whose friendship has sustained across borders, are celebrated.
The meaning of friendship is different for everyone. And the bond of friendship also varies. People we have known for a long time may not be close to us, whereas, we may consider someone who we have only known for a short period of time as a best friend to us. This is why traditions and celebrations are different for everyone. There are low-key ways to celebrate the day like simply hanging out with friends and doing our ‘thing,’ or more elaborate ways like hosting parties, exchanging presents, and expressing how important they are in our lives. Another common tradition on International Day of Friendship is to reach out and reconnect with friends with whom we haven’t been in touch for a while.