Every 30th of July, we celebrate the International Day of Friendship. To give you a short background, the International Day of Friendship was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2011 with the thought that friendship between cultures, countries, peoples, and individuals will inspire peace efforts and build bridges between groups. It emphasizes the involvement of young people as future leaders in activities that include various cultures and promote respect for cultural diversity.
Now knowing the background of the celebration, we can say that it’s not just about recognizing any ordinary friendship, but one that celebrates bonds and camaraderie with other cultures, religions, or countries.
So how do we celebrate World Friendship Day with our children? Here are some great ideas:
1. Celebrate with Friends
A great way to teach our children the value of friendship is by letting them experience celebrating and doing something for a friend. You can invite friends (or your children’s friends) over a meal, a movie, or any activity that will celebrate your friendship.
2. Share stories of friendship
Children love stories. It’s a great way for them to learn different values and lessons. On World Friendship Day, share with your child your own friendship story. You can also read a book about friendship. I would recommend the book, The Secret Garden of N. It’s the perfect children’s book for the occasion, sharing a delightful story of adventure, friendship, and culture.
3. Give friendship gifts
Teach your children to value friendship by encouraging them to give friendship gifts. Let them know that they don’t need to spend money to give a friendship gift. They can make their own friendship band or bracelet, make a card, write a poem, create a photo collage, or make a fun video for their friends.
4. Do a kindness activity
Kindness is a special quality you find in a friendship. Instill this value in your child by doing a kindness activity with them on this special day. Wonderful ideas include baking for your neighbors, reaching out to a friend your child has not talked to for quite some time, visiting a friend, and sending a get-well-soon greeting to a sick friend.
5. Join or start a community event
A community event is a great way to gather people in your community and begin friendships. Check out upcoming community events like food and music festivals that you and your child can join. This way, you can introduce your child to food and music from various cultures and interact with different people.
The International Day of Friendship is indeed very special. As we celebrate what we have in common with our friends, it’s also a day we celebrate the differences that bring us closer to one another.
To end this post, I would like to share with you an excerpt from TransCultural Group’s July 2022 Newsletter:
We can answer the call of the UN for the International Day of Friendship. We can make a conscious effort to build and celebrate friendships with people different from us, regardless of race, nation, religion, societal background, etc.: Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.