Did you know that 21 September 2016 is the International Day of Peace? The United Nations has observed this holiday since 1982. I daresay we need it now more than ever. Here’s how people are marking the occasion, and how you can join in.
How the UN Celebrates International Day of Peace
The UN celebrates World Peace Day by ringing the Peace Bell at its New York headquarters. The Peace Bell is a bell made up of melted-down coins that were donated from around the world, from every contintent except Africa. It was given to the United Nations as a gift from Japan in 1954. Japanese characters on its side spell out Long live absolute world peace 世界絶対平和萬歳.
Also, each year’s World Peace Day celebrations have a theme. The activities for the year are centered around the theme. For 2016, the focus is on achieving peace through the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the UN’s Peace Day website:
Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper.
Meanwhile, according to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon:
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”
Additionally, the UN hosted a videoconference for students from around the world. They are also posting “Peace Day” videos from students on its YouTube channel. Most of the UN events happened earlier this month, on 16 September.
How International Peace Day is Being Celebrated Around the World
Want to celebrate today? There are events being held by independent groups across the world Options include group meditation events, concerts and protests. Use this map to find out what’s going on near you.
How to Say “Peace” in 35 Languages
In the spirit of World Peace Day, why not learn how to say “Peace” in another language? Here are 35 different options:
- Afrikaans: Vrede
- Aragonese: Patz
- Arabic: سلام (salām)
- Haitian Creole (Kreyol): Lapè
- Aymara: Hacaña
- Bulgarian: Мир (mir)
- Bengali: শান্তি (śānti)
- Tibetan: ཞི་བདེ (zhi-bde)
- Catalan: Pau
- Chamorro: Minaggen
- Cherokee: ᏙᎯᏱ (dohiyi)
- Welsh: heddwch
- Danish: Fred
- German: Friede
- Greek: Ειρήνη (iríni)
- Esperanto: Paco
- Spanish: Paz
- Basque: Baké
- Persian/Farsi: صلح (solh)
- French: Paix
- Irish: Síocháin
- Manx: Shee
- Hebrew: שלום (shalom)
- Hindi: शांति (śānti)
- Igbo: Udo
- Icelandic: Friður
- Japanese: 平和 (heiwa)
- Maori: Rangima’arie, Nohopuku, Rongo
- Dutch: Vrede
- Polish: Pokój
- Russian: Мир (mir)
- Scots: Pace
- Thai: สันติภาพ (santipap)
- Turkish: Barış
- Italian: Pace
How the Translation Industry is Helping
So, ringing a bell, going to a concert, meditating…that’s all well and good. However, we’re a long way from being anywhere close to world peace at this point.
For example, just look at the headlines for International World Peace Day (these are from the World section of the Telegraph):
New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami said he received instructions from ‘terrorist leaders… to attack non-believers’
Russia ‘targeted UN aid convoy on outskirts of Aleppo in revenge for earlier air strike on Syrian troops’
No good. But, as Mr. Rogers used to say, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
And the translation industry is helping. For example, on World Refugee Day we listed several organisations which focus on helping refugees get the translation assistance they need. Translators Without Borders has been a leader here, of course. Also, there’s the Rosetta Foundation. The Rosetta Foundation works ” to eradicate the knowledge gap based on linguistic discrimination with the support of friends and colleagues in the translation and localisation industries.” They are currently seeking donations and volunteers.
How will you observe the International Day of Peace? Let us know in the comments!