Week of Peace in Nepal

Nepal-2010-09-21-Week of Peace in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal - The Universal Peace Federation of Nepal partnered with UNICEF, UNESCO, Peace Education Network of Nepal (PENN), Nepal’s Ministry of Education, and Save the Children in a week of activities called “Peace Week.” From September 14 to 21, events were held throughout the Kathmandu Valley, the capital region of Nepal.

A press conference kicked off the week of peace activities on September 14. Over the course of the next six days various programs were held, including talk show programs, service projects, street theater, oratory competition, an interactive program (which brought together students, teachers, educators and parents), a peace song program, and the culminating celebration on September 21, the UN International Day of Peace.

Dr. B.N. Sharma, President of PENN and the main organizer, said these events were designed to commemorate the United Nations’ International Decade of Peace (2000 - 2010)  to establish a “Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World.” September 21 also marked the UN’s International Day of Peace.

At the function on September 21, PENN released its annual report and future plans for 2011. Dr. Sharma highlighted the report saying, “PENN is working with youth for the transfer of peace education skills to train peace activists and work in the rural areas.” He noted that networking efforts are essential to work at the grassroots level. PENN has built a network of nearly 30 government and non-government organizations with similar objectives.

The State Minister of Peace and Reconstruction, Mr. Dilli Bahadur Mahat, was chief guest at the concluding event at City Hall. He emphasized that children must be given character and moral education, saying, “Education is incomplete without peace and civic education.”

Dr. Robert Kittel, Director of Education for UPF-Asia, explained why peace must begin in the family. Filial piety (a Confucian virtue meaning respect, obedience, and care for one's parents) brings unity and peace within the family. This is due to two feelings that spring forth from children’s love. First, the sentiment that, “My parents are the best parents in the whole wide world.” This sentiment is natural and good and something we should all experience. When this emotion arises in our hearts, it fosters a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the family. Filial piety generates a love so deep that children would sacrifice even their lives out of love for their parents.

On the national level, the virtue is called patriotism. The same two feelings well up in the hearts of the citizens. First, every patriotic citizen has the feeling, “My nation is the best nation in the whole wide world.” We should all have these affections toward our motherland. And secondly, the patriotic spirit fosters a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the nation. It generates a love for one's country such that patriotic citizens would even sacrifice their lives to protect their homeland.

In the family, we learn that love is more than a feeling; true love creates the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the greater good. This spirit is essential for peace at every level of society – and it is first learned in the family. The family, therefore, is the womb of world peace.


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