Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 39 -Let’s talk about Culture and .. International World Days – here Peace Day


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the Peace Day is: “It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies."

This is so very true that I could actually stop here, everything is said. It supports my idea of education.  Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September, at least it should be. This imperative day among many others was established in 1981 by the United Nations; in 2001 a resolution was established to declare this day a day of non-violence and cease-fire. I wonder if this resolution will be honoured and if it is, what is the moral value of it, if fighting continues even worse the next day.

In Cyprus the Worldwide Thought of Peace will be picked up by Folk Dancers who will reach out their hands to invite others to dance with them, dance groups from Greek Cyprus, Greece and the Black Sea. The news have reached me this day that the groups will meet and dance on three days in the Northern part, on September 1-3 in three different locations (see at the end of the text); it will not be on the exact day but I don’t think that matters at all. Please watch out for details in Cyprus Observer Cultural Events Calendar.


I don’t want to discuss peace here, we all know its values and the urgent need for it, but I want to find out what the establishment of such International Days stands for. In the course of one year you are ordered to concentrate and celebrate special days considered worth of worldwide observance. In August and September there are about 25 days listed for reasons that take me through all kind of emotions, from frowning to shaking my head, sadness and a fit of giggles. Let me pick out the remarkable ones: In August there is the International Beer Day, what for? People are drinking beer every single day of the year. International Lefthanders Day, what is that good for, they are recognized, aren’t they?....The Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade…I wonder what kind of people are getting together on such a day; in September the World Suicide Prevention Day; in the same month: the International Right to Know Day….can that be true? What about this young man sitting in Moscow after having told the world what we think is our right to know…. and the Blasphemy Day??…In October the International Day of Rural Women and the International Day of the Girl Child…ahh in October the World Kindness Day and some days later the International Day of Tolerance. Why can we not try and be kind and tolerant every day?

There are also whole weeks and months of remembrance established for example breastfeeding or ….haaa in November: National Novel Writing Month…people from all over the world trying to each write a 50.000 word novel in a month.

Let me see… whole year dedications for 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation….that sounds good for us in Cyprus…and for 2014, I find the International Year of Family Farming plus a Year of Crystallography, whatever that means. It even goes further in both directions, here into decades, most probably for the serious things which you cannot solve within a year and also hours are dedicated, for example the International Energy Hour…why only one hour?


What will happen on such occasions? Speeches, speeches and the appearance of political figures with a crowd of media people around. And what do we normal people do on such days? Most people don’t even know about it, except it concerns them directly, except for such events as the International Theatre Day which is duly celebrated in Cyprus and to which I am looking forward to excitedly,  or the Women’s Day with exhibitions and parties.

I mean it is nice to have a reason to celebrate something but it always needs people who do the thinking and organising. And I must say, in Cyprus they really set something up for some occasions often connected with charity.

The Day of Peace, a wonderful occasion to see that in your own circle of family and friends, your neighbours, peace is celebrated, husband says to woman: Let’s stop fighting and let’s do something nice together; that disagreements among friends, brothers and neighbours are forgotten and respect is established recognising the right to have a different opinion. That is working on the roots of the evil that prevents peace.

Have a nice Peace Day!


Programme: both evenings at 20:00 hrs

Sep 1 Lefkosa Ledra Palace

Sep 2 Kücük Kaymakli Sports Club


Children's idea of peace -pics are painted by children at GAU Primary School


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