Living in perfect harmony…

March 21 is Harmony Day.

Well it is in Australia.

Elsewhere around the world it’s known as the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

It was created by the UN following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 where 69 unarmed black South Africans were gunned down by police.

Harmony Day was introduced into Australia by the Howard Government in 1999 to ‘celebrate Australian multiculturalism, and the successful integration of migrants into our community’.

In 2019 the Morrison Government expanded this into Harmony Week.

According to the Department of Home Affairs Harmony Week is:

The celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds.

It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.​

Orange is the colour chosen to represent Harmony Week.

Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations.

It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect.

The words Everyone Belongs in black on an orange background.
This year’s theme is ‘Everyone Belongs’.

Sounds pretty good to me.

But there’s some concern the focus on multiculturalism takes away from the original day’s purpose which was the elimination of racial discrimination.

Personally I feel we should be able to address both as part of the week.

The world doesn’t seem a very harmonious place at the moment.

Just take a look at what’s happening in Ukraine and Gaza.

There seems to be so much anger and intolerance whether that’s aimed at someone’s colour, their enthnicity, their religion or their politics.

Or even down to the music they listen to (dare I mention Taylor Swift again?!), or the sports team they support.

So this Harmony Week, which includes both Harmony Day and the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, let’s try to be more tolerant of each other.

Be mindful of what you do and say to others.

Listen to what someone is actually saying, you might not agree with them, but their opinion and voice is as valid as yours.

Let’s show some kindness to each other.

Or do a random act of kindness for someone.

There is room for everyone and everyone belongs.

Ann 🙏

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