The 21st of September, which we know as the Day of Peace, is celebrated in the Russian Orthodox Church as the Birthday of the Virgin Maria - Mother of Jesus. They believe it to be the Great Day of the World Joy. She was born when the moral state of humanity was at the crucial point of degradation. Her birth became a Beam of Hope and Salvation.
We in Russia have double celebrations on this day. For years, the 21st of September has been celebrated as the Day of Peace in a few places of Novosibirsk. It was raining, so we decided to have the Celebration of the Day of Peace in the office of the City Kazak Organization (in the Tsarist times since the 14th century, Kazaks were a kind of a special Order\Fraternity of citizens, always ready to protect the Motherland.) Today there is a process of reviving Kazak traditions and ways.
So, the representatives of a few city NGOs came together to celebrate the Day of Peace. The agenda was interesting: participants shared stories of how their NGO is promoting ideas of peace. Kazaks made a short survey of their activity in creating friendly relations between representatives of different nations and religions in our city: organizing educational programs, city concerts, costumes and art exhibitions. There were three members of the “Siberia. Golden Age”, who represent URI “Euro-Asia” Cooperation Circle as well. Galina told the audience about the last peaceful initiatives of URI and about Parliament of the World Religion coming in October 2015. Then she demonstrated a photo exhibition of the Cooperation Circle activity promoting peace through Spiritual Culture. Nadezhda spoke about a few projects we have done under the slogan: ”When family is strong - then the State is strong too.”
A video story by Dmitriy Ofitserov (a representative of UPF) told us about his very interesting volunteer participation in the World Initiative of Peace Road. “Three men in a car” decided to undertake a peaceful rally “Peace Road” through Russia, which is as long as 10,000klms. On July 23, 2015 they started from St. Petersburg and ended their rally on August 17 in Vladivostok. During three weeks they stopped in many cities: Moscow, Rayzan, Ufa, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and further on… up to Vladivostok. Their wives and children (9 children for 3 families) let them go, for they liked the idea and the aim of Peace Road - to spread ideas of Peace on the way. The Peace Road “project” was done without any financial support, for they stayed with the families of friends, and were welcomed everywhere.
In the video we saw that their stops in the different cities became celebrations for local people, and “three men in a car” were welcomed heartily everywhere with singing, amateur concerts and tables laid with tasty food. Dmitriy even joked that had put on weight during the rally. In big cities, TV crews organized interviews, asking about the goals of this Initiative. One of them said that, “…we are fathers and want a happy, peaceful life for our children. We believe that the time will come when there will be no borders between the people, and we can visit any country the same way as we are passing through Russia by car.” Besides this, with their Peace Road Initiative, they wanted to support the State program of Siberia and Far East Development. And, of course, it was great fun for them and all the people on the Peace Road they have met.
We thanked Dmitriy for his interesting presentation and came to the conclusion that wherever we go, whatever we do, we all are on Peace Road…
Galina Ermolina-Coordinator of URI “Euro-Asia” CC (Novosibirsk, Russia)