“True friends are never apart, may be in distance but never in heart.”
International Friendship Day is a day in several countries for celebrating friendship. It is celebrated on July 30 every year across the globe. The day is celebrated to mark the importance of friendships and friends in promoting peace in various cultures across the globe, to cherish friendship and value the people in our lives.
The idea of World Friendship Day was first proposed by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 in Paraguay. He coined this term when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco. The dinner hosted by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho gave rise to the World Friendship Crusade, which is a foundation that encourages friendships across the world irrespective of race, color, religion, and ethnicity. In 2011, the Friendship Crusade, on April 27, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official International Friendship Day. It was initially promoted by the greeting cards’ industry, evidence from social networking sites shows a revival of interest in the holiday that may have grown with the spread of the Internet, particularly in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Mobile phones, digital communication, and social media have contributed to popularize the custom. It is also celebrated by exchanging gifts and planning outings with friends. In India, people celebrate this day by giving colorful friendship bands and flowers to each other.
Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in the honor of friends to have originated in the United States in 1935 but it actually dates back to 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards, and wrist bands is a popular tradition on this occasion.
Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July in 1958, by the World Friendship Crusade. On 27 April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. However, several countries celebrate friendship day in before and after the UN-designated date. In India, Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of every August. In Nepal, Friendship day is celebrated on 30 July each year. In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 9 April each year.
“Friendship is the base of every relation. It is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.”
According to the United Nations’ website, “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.” The UN resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity. To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations, and civil society groups to hold events, activities, and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding, and reconciliation.
“Freindship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”