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Living in harmony with everyone else in neighborhoods, cities and countries is an important goal. This can be challenging when people of different cultures struggle to get along living in one place. Not everyone needs to be the same, and it’s the uniqueness of cultures that make the world so interesting! 

And that’s what Harmony Day is all about! Joining together to show respect and care for everyone in the world, remembering that everyone has something special to bring to the table.

History of Harmony Day

A day that finds its roots down under in Australia, Harmony Day can trace its history back to 1999. Its first celebration was strategically placed to accompany the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The idea was to promote a day of unity within the country of Australia, with an understanding that multicultural policy is needed.

The idea for Harmony Day was initiated under the leadership of then Prime Minister John Howard, in 1998, whose government was working to study and “understand the nature and subtleties of racism in Australia” during that time. Though Mr. Howard did not necessarily believe that there was racism in the country at the time, one conclusion of the study was that there was a need for an anti-racism campaign. This resulted in a push for living in harmony across the nation, and out of that Harmony Day was born!

The purpose of Harmony Day is to celebrate all of the cultures that are represented across the world, paying particular attention to original inhabitants and natives. People often wear orange as a way of showing support, and it’s also a time to attend events, learn about cultures and show respect to everyone. In some places throughout Australia, Harmony Day has become such an important celebration that it has been extended into Harmony Week.

How to Celebrate Harmony Day

Show support for anti-racism efforts and make a difference in being an agent of unity in the world on Harmony Day! Get celebrating with some of these ideas:

Wear Orange on Harmony Day

One super simple way to show support for Harmony Day is by wearing orange. Don that orange shirt, orange jacket, orange hat, or orange tracksuit. On Harmony Day, especially in Australia, it’s a great time to spot others who are also wearing orange in support of the day. So strike up a conversation with them, ask them about their cultural distinctions as a learner, or simply let them know that you, too, are in support of anti-racism as well as cultural unity and diversity!

Teach Kids About Harmony Day

Making the world a more unified and diverse place can be more easily accomplished when children are included in these goals. Parents, teachers and community leaders can celebrate Harmony Day by including child-friendly activities that are educational and beneficial. This is a great time for kids to learn about other cultures as well as being taught how to respond to racism and bullying.

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