International Peace Day was started in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly, two years before Folkmoot was incorporated. In 2001, September 21 become the official International Peace Day and Folkmoot has been practicing peace and understanding through folk dance, ever since.
September 21 is meant to be a day of nonviolence, a cease fire for war. Many celebrations are held to commemorate this special day, one of these centers around ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell. The Peace Bell was cast by Japan as a gift for the United Nations. Made with coins donated by children all over the world, the bell is “a reminder of the human cost of war”. Folkmoot staff members were gifted small peace bells from our 2016 Japanese performers, Hibiki Rengo-Kai and we will be ringing them today.
US news this week includes the apprehension of a terrorist bombing suspect in New Jersey; police shootings and Black Live Matter protests in Charlotte and Oklahoma and a hundred other examples of precious lives lost around the globe stemming from fear and misunderstandings between diverse cultures.
Today we ask you to do one thing, make a deliberate effort to make peace with someone who you disagree with or with someone who is different than you. Do you want the violence to stop? We all have a part in creating peace. It starts with a real conversation and we hope it continues with a folk dance.
Folkmoot is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that fosters the vibrancy of many cultures into one community. Folkmoot programs are based on cultural exchange and designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity.
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