Today is a celebration of International Friendship Day. Such a day becomes more meaningful the more globally connected we get. Having online global friends helps develop empathy for different cultures, ideas, religions, spaces we live in, conditions we live under etc. Misunderstanding leads to racism, friction and conflict.
My good friend, Sebastian Panakal from Kerala India was going to link up his students with mine today to do an international wave. But, the school was unable to connect. As Sebastian stated:
The school has postponed World Friendship Day Celebration ( and the Skype wave to your students) on 30th July due to Ramadan Holidays. Unfortunately MOON on this day came a bit late and the Ramadan prayer had to be rescheduled..
Immediately, my class is getting a sense of a different religion, the importance of this festival to Islamic people etc without connecting formally.
At night, a request came over the HLW skype group from Brendah of Port Elizabeth, East Cape, South Africa, for someone to speak to her grade 4 class about subsistence and commercial farming in their country. As I live on a farm, it was of personal interest to me. 29 students from her class, with names that I could never have pronounced, participated in the skype linkup with me and had to work out what country I was from, then ask questions on farming. They all spoke their native tongue, learnt in English at school but also learnt Afrikaans at school.
To complete the linkup, they sang with great rhythm and passion, a song that nearly brought tears to my eyes. There was a time ….
What does International Friendship Day mean to you? How did you celebrate it?