21 September 2017 marks the UN International Day of Peace. Each year since 1981, this day has been voted and declared by the United Nations, and in 2001 the general assembly voted again to create this period to be a day of ceasefire and non-violence. Member countries of the UN join together to help create this period of solace and communities around the world share in this objective. In honor of this special day, Siam University has begun a tradition by holding a ceremony on campus to honor the day of peace. Each year the Siam administration, staff and students gather to listen to a variety of speeches delivered by their peers as well as some special invited guests. This year focused on becoming a better individual and focusing on finding inner peace to share with the world.
At this years event our President, Dr. Pornchai opened the ceremony with some special words about how we all have to work together to create a world of peace. Following our President’s welcoming remarks, the video of the UN Secretary General, H.E. Antonio Guterres of Portugal, was shown to all those in attendance.
The first speech was given by Mrs. Mona Faraz, a Pakistani Refugee and graduate of the International Master’s in Business Administration Program. Mrs. Faraz shared her story and feelings about coming together to achieve peace in a difficult world where there is conflict and pain. She also expressed her gratitude to Siam University for becoming a part of her dream to complete her education and help to reshape her life. Also, some students were selected to share their feelings about peace and what it means to them and the importance to find it within and share it with their families and communities. These students were from a variety of countries and backgrounds, Sumit of Nepal, Han Lay of Myanmar, Michael of Nigeria, and Roderick of Finland. Each student expressed their own version of peace, what they are doing to achieve it, and a message for all to work together to share it with the world. All of these speeches were touching and expressed the importance of finding peace and the difficulties to overcome in order to achieve it.
After the speeches have been completed, the audience was given a blank sheet of paper where they were asked to write down their own message of peace. This portion was a fun and easy way for everyone to realize how easy it is to share their own message. Once everyone completed their messages, they were asked to create a paper airplane with those sheets of paper. When everyone was finished, they were asked to stand up and throw their paper airplanes around the room and each person was to pick up an airplane that was not theirs. We then passed around the microphone to the entire audience and each person read aloud another’s message of peace. Everyone laughed and enjoyed this little icebreaker/sharing activity.
Once all the messages were shared, everyone took part in singing songs of peace together with the Superstar Academy of Siam University and also to enjoy one of their peers sing and play the guitar. Students and staff alike joined together in singing and clapping. To complete the event, all students dressed in their national dress and our administration and guests came together for a group picture to mark another successful celebration of the UN International Day of Peace at Siam University
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