Designated by the United Nations to strengthen tolerance across the globe and bring awareness to the diversity of cultures and peoples around the world. Uniting the world means understanding others and showing tolerance for those who are different.
“Tolerance is an act of humanity, which we must nurture and enact each in own lives every day, to rejoice in the diversity that makes us strong and the values that bring us together.” — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay
History & Details of International Day for Tolerance
The International Day for Tolerance was first observed by the United Nations and UN Member States in 1996. The year 1995 was declared the United Nations Year for Tolerance after the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance on November 16, which stated that we should have respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and human expression, among other things. The International Day for Tolerance is a good day to remember how people are naturally diverse, and we should strive to tolerate them in order to keep diversity alive.
In 1995, UNESCO established a prize called the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. It was not only in celebration of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, but also the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. The prize was named in recognition of Madanjeet Singh, who devoted his life to harmony and peace. It is an award to award the promotion of tolerance and non-violence in the fields of science, arts, culture, and communication, given every two years on the International Day for Tolerance.
How to Celebrate
On the International Day for Tolerance, you can show kindness and respect for those who are different from you, regardless of gender, religion, race, or otherwise. You could join a diverse social community online or in-person, read about a person or group of people that is culturally different than yourself, listen to music from a different culture, or try to make any sort of cultural dish. Because culture is so diverse, there is an endless amount of ways you can learn to understand and respect different people and cultures.
It is important to remember that we are all human, no matter our differences. No matter black or white, Christian or Jewish, gay or straight, we all live on this earth together and live through many of the same experiences. On the International Day for Tolerance, as well as every other day, we should be respectful of one another and give each other the respect we would like from others.
“Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”--Albert Einstein