By: Ritee Karmacharya
Our 12th Annual International Peace Day – “Buddha’s Birthday Celebration” will take place on May 7, 2022. Please join us. This is a collaborative project of the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition and many community organizations. If you like to be a sponsor of this event, please let us know. http://www.sccdiversity.com
This is a prayer we each chanted into a microphone while waving all the flags of the world in the air at an annual International Peace Day event organized by the FONNJ (Friends of Nepal New Jersey), Rotary District 7475, Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition and the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara.
People said the prayer in any language they preferred. Whether someone said it in English, in Spanish, in French, in Chinese, in Hindi, in Nepali, or any other language, it ultimately means the same thing. “May peace prevail”. These three simple words that convey a powerful message for everyone who participated in this event. This prayer is a vision and a powerful tool for healing our people, our states, our countries, our planet, our universe, and most importantly, our minds.
Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan
“The main reason a “World Peace Day” celebration is to bring people of all races together as one and share the unique attributes of each country. There were a variety of performances presented during the event; the singing of national anthems, reciting prayers of different religions, singing songs in different languages, and many other distinctive portrayals”.
Participants also had an opportunity to taste food from around the world. A mixture of different foods, ranging from Italian dishes to Indian sweets. Everyone had a chance to light a candle to pray for the world. A peace walk was also arranged in the event. Dr. Maharjan struck a Tibetan Singing Bowl while everyone took a silent walk in the woods. The walk was a way to release all the tensions that you were holding, to let it all go and be in a peace of mind.
The Mayor of the Franklin Township, New Jersey also attended the event and presented proclamation to create the Franklin township “Peace Zone”. He declared the day to be World Peace Day annually in the city.
After the walk, each person attending the event was given a flag of a country and everyone walked three circles around the large statue of Lord Buddha. There was a flag for every country in the world. As everyone walked around, each person spoke a prayer for peace into a microphone. They were free to speak in any language of their preference. This celebration helped people relax and try to come at peace in their minds and with each other. This gave people time to think about their well-being and others around them.
I really enjoyed this event because it was free of stress or worry. It was a lot of fun seeing all the different performances by different cultures and trying diverse foods. I also had a chance to plant a tree in the Buddhist Vihara. With the help of my grandfather, we planted a tree in the beautiful garden. It was a very enjoyable experience for me, and I really loved this event. I would definitely recommend going to this event next year.
There should be more events like this more often around the world to spread peace and harmony to all.
-Ritee Karmacharya is a youth editor of the Friends of Nepal-NJ. http://www.fonnj.com