International Friendship Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UN). On July 30, we step back and get thankful for those relationships worldwide, as they promote and encourage peace, happiness, and unity. The UN encourages governments, community groups, and other organizations to coordinate activities and events that celebrate those friendships that we keep close to us. Many events focus on reconciliation, bridging understanding and consensus, and finding comfort in those that feel like home.
History of International Friendship Day
We live in a tough world. Between miscommunications, mistreatment, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural discord, prioritizing peace seemingly has less of presence in 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 connecting is synonymous with bonding, and building those common bonds goes beyond sharing a trait, characteristic, or favorite past time 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 something as simple as a brief note, to a coffee hang out, a concert or a trip to the mall are all ways to find commonalities. Again, do have more in common that we all realize. And, any idea that minimizes the amount spread hatred and disdain is the kind of world we want shared. We’d like to think that something we all have in common.
Before the UN 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.
What are the reason behind International Friendship Day?
The International Day of Friendship is also celebrated to recognize meaningful friendship as a priceless possession in our lives. The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed with the objective that friendship between people, country, families can transpire and build relations across the world, few of the objectives given by UN for International Day of Friendship are :
- to foster education
- to promote sustainable economic and social development
- respect for human rights
- to ensure equal rights for all
- to attain international peace and security
- advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
How is the International Friendship Day observed?
It is a beautiful day to celebrate the beautiful bond of friendship not connected by blood, but by a beautiful heart. The day is celebrated by exchanging gifts, planning a day out to celebrate their friendship, and also ties friendship bands around each other’s wrists. A day when friends come together, reminiscing their friendship journey. Some popular customs on how this day is observed are:
- Sending bouquets of flowers especially pink and yellow.
- Throwing parties, with lip-smacking dishes and drinks.
- Sending greeting cards or gifts.
- Tying friendship bands or bracelets around each other’s wrists, to mark their friendship.
- Friendship Poems to express their gratitude and love towards one another.
- Flooding social media with old and embarrassing photos fuelling the sense of nostalgia and cherishing the good and bad times gone through.
Facts about International Friendship Day
- While July 30 is celebrated as International Friendship Day, there are some countries that chose to celebrate it a little earlier or extended like India, Bangladesh, South America, Malaysia, UAE, etc.
- Celebrating friendship started with hallmark, when hallmark introduced greeting cards back in 1930, the idea of reaching out to someone to let them know that they crossed your mind.
- Becoming a better friend, reflecting upon the critical growth, and standing up for your friend is important. This is a great time to step back and reflect on those friends that already exist in your life.
- Women’s friendship day is celebrated on the third Sunday of September.
- In the famous Hindu epic, Mahabharata Lord Krishna demonstrates the many colors of friendship, affection, gratitude, protection, and intimacy.
- The Bible reflects upon friendship as the bond that forms the foundation to human faith, trust, and companionship.