On a mild autumn day in the spirit of Peace and Harmony, an event was held to celebrate Harmony Day combined with the International Yoga Day.
This was sponsored by the United Nations Association (SA), the UNAA Peace Program, the World Peace Flame and Dru Yoga. The mild Autumn weather and the picturesque setting certainly added to the atmosphere for this event.
MC Amanda Blair gave the Welcome to Kaurna Country. She then explained the significance of the event in the following words:
We are here to celebrate Harmony Day which was on March 21st. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. It is a day for all Australians to embrace cultural diversity and to share what we have in common. The central message for Harmony Day is that ‘everyone belongs’, reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians.
The United Nations Association of Australia, SA Division, the UNAA Peace Program in conjunction with the World Peace Flame and Dru Yoga, have organised this occasion to bring together the concept of Harmony and Peace, together with the UN International Yoga Day which was celebrated for the first time 2 years ago on 21 June 2015.
Our Patron for Yoga Day, the Lady Mayoress of Adelaide, Genevieve Theseira-Haese, welcomed our Honoured guests Rachel Sanderson MP, Member for Adelaide, Danyse Crotti from Dru Yoga, Ruth Rohan Jones our Yoga instructor, the Artist Andrew Baines and the Monks and Congregation of the Zhulin Buddhist Temple.
And from Yorketown Area School for the second time in succession, we were joined by a group of students, teachers and parents who had come a long way for this occasion.
Amanda Blair then introduced the Buddhist Monks for the blessing. The Monks were led by the Abbot, The Venerable Jie Wen Shi of The South Australian Buddhist Association.
Following the blessing, Amanda Blair spoke about the Peace Bottle which provided part of the backdrop to the event, as a concept developed from an idea by artist Andrew Baines and planned to be sent to New York soon together with Peace messages from the community and schools.
The Lady Mayoress then received the World Peace Flame which was in Adelaide for the second time, as it is being held at Yorketown Area School. It was lit for the first time in Adelaide last year at the Yoga Day event and then at the United Nations Dinner in November of2016..
Amanda Blair asked two of the young people from Yorketown Area School together with Danyse Crotti the representative of the World Peace Flame to come on stage and join the Lady Mayoress to re-ignite the World Peace Flame on behalf of the City of Adelaide.
Amanda Blair introduced students from Yorketown who presented prepared speech for this occasion and also sang a song they composed. The speech explained how students took a successful initiative in tackling bullying in their school. The students then released the doves as a symbol of peace on behalf of those gathered.
Ruth Gent who has been practising yoga for 25 years, is the Regional Manager for Dru in South Australia led the gathering through a variety of Yoga exercises.
Lidia Moretti, President of UNAA South Australia, thanked everyone who assisted on the day and all those who attended. Presentations of flowers were made to the Lady Mayoress and Amanda Blair by Christina Devedzidis, President of UN Youth South Australia at the conclusion of the program.