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29 July, 2015 10:17:05 PM

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Celebrating International Friendship Day

Celebrating International Friendship Day

Fazle Rabbi Khan

Friendship is a unique relationship; it cannot be compared with other relationship. It is a kind of a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people or groups.

It is like a strong form of interpersonal bonding and communication among the friends. A World Happiness Database study found that people with close friendships are happier. So friendship is a sign of happiness. Honouring the relationship, the day has been celebrated as ‘International Friendship Day’ for many years. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.
International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating friendship. According to the Wikipedia, the day has been celebrated in several southern South American countries for many years, particularly in Paraguay, where the first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958. The idea was proposed on 20 July by Dr. Artemio Bracho during a dinner with friends in Puerto Pinasco, a town on the River Paraguay,  about 200 miles north of Asuncion, Paraguay. Out of this humble meeting of friends, the World Friendship Crusade was born. The World Friendship Crusade is a foundation that promotes friendship and fellowship among all human beings, regardless of race, colour or religion. Since then, 30 July has been faithfully celebrated as Friendship Day in Paraguay every year and has also been adopted by several other countries. Initially the Friendship Day was created by the greeting card 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 Asian region, such as India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Digital communication modes such as the internet and mobile phones may be helping to popularize the custom, since greeting friends enormously is now easier than before.
One thing needs to be mentioned, 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. However, some countries, including India, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 8 April each year. It is one of the most popular events of the world, especially to the youth community, who want to dedicate this complete day to their most special friends by sharing friendship day quotes and playing games like the invisible friend.
Friendship Day was originally promoted by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1930, intended to be 2nd August and a day when people celebrated their friendships by sending cards. The second of August was chosen as the centre of the largest lull between holiday celebrations. Friendship Day was promoted by the greeting card National Association during the 1920s but met with consumer resistance - given that it was too obviously a commercial gimmick to promote greetings cards. By the 1940s the number of Friendship Day cards available in the US had dwindled and the holiday largely died out there. There is no evidence to date for its uptake in Europe; however, it has been kept alive and revitalised in Asia, where several countries have adopted it.
Some friends acknowledge each other with exchanges of gifts and cards on this day. Friendship bands are very popular in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and parts of South America. With the advent of social networking sites, Friendship Day is also being celebrated online.
"On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family", said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
According to the United Nations, the International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The resolution places particular emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity. The day is also intended to support the goals and objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
On 27 July 2011 the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 July as "International Day of Friendship". 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.
Friendship Day is an occasion that calls for celebrating the presence of friends in the people’s life. So, friends used to celebrate the day with different types of activities. To make the day memorable one, some friends prepare themselves to happy his or her best friends to show how much they are special for them.
There are different types of friendship day activities and ideas of celebration, what you can apply. For example, go back to fifteen years back, when there was no ‘Facebook’, even no social media, write a nice card for your friend telling them how much you appreciate your friendship. Please be open in your expression and open your heart to them. Give your friend a Friendship Bracelet to symbolize your friendship. To touch your friend's heart buy or make them a small present such as flowers, chocolates, friendship bands, a cake, or anything that your friend will appreciate. You can make it more surprising, leaving the gift anonymously for added intrigue. Make it a point to call or SMS every one of your friends, old and new, on Friendship Day to let them know you care. You can ring up a radio station and dedicate a song to Friendship Day and your friends. A wonderful idea would be to make some new friends on the occasion. Buy your friend a ticket to the Cineplex or Blockbuster, so you can enjoy a great show together. And obviously capturing pictures of the hangouts is beautiful way to preserve memory, where ‘Selfie’ is the very popular trend nowadays.
Do call all those old friends you haven't spoken or contacted for many days. Send your dear friends an online Friendship greeting and add a special message through Facebook or any other social media. You can also make a special friendship book for your best friend. You may include photos, quotes and poetry telling your friends how special they are. Invite your closest buddies over for a stay over, you can watch movies together, plan out games and arrange for chips, chocolate, cold-drinks and other goodies. If possible bring some blankets outside and watch the stars from the roof. You may also plan a special day with your best friend. A picnic is always a fun idea and great for all ages. If your group loves adventure you may plan activities such as bowling, golf, boating, river-rafting, cricket or going to the beach. Nowadays Dhaka is so busy and full of traffic, so if you are all busy during the day, plan to go out to dinner with your friends. Dress up in your finest and have a fun night that's different and rocking. If possible host a Friendship Dinner Party at your home as well.
To celebrate the Friendship Day, different television channels broadcast different programmes based on friendship day. As there are so many television channels, young people can watch interesting tele-films and dramas on the day.
During the middle of last century Beauty Boarding of Bangla Bazar, Dhaka became the gathering point for the young cultural activists. Many among them later became leading figures of the socio-cultural arena of Bangladesh. To commemorate the friendship day every year there takes different types of programmes. Various young cultural activists and artists go there and celebrate the day. There youth can draw inspiration from the heritage of Beauty Boarding and play a constructive role in the development of the country.
As Teacher-Student Centre, TSC, is like a hub of University of Dhaka, it is also a very popular place to celebrate the day for the university. Every year the students of the university and even students from many other universities gather at TSC and celebrate the day.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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