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March 21 – Four in one

The Mutual Aid volunteers on their bilingual website under the Mutual Aid project of the European Solidarity Corps remind us of an interesting fact. March 21 is known as World Poetry and Puppet Theater Day. But it is not only on this day that the International Day of People with Down Syndrome and the International Day for Ethnic Tolerance are celebrated. It is today that the new volunteers for the third part of the project from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania arrive and start working.

World Poetry Day was established in 1999 by UNESCO. The purpose of the announced day is to recognize the public value of poetic art as a carrier of linguistic beauty, culture, free spirit and creative charge, which elevates us above the trivial and will always be a sign of a high human ideal. For Bulgaria, Poetry Day is October 1, which according to UNESCO is World Music Day. And since 1980 it has been celebrated in Bulgaria as a Holiday of Bulgarian singers and musicians.

In 2003, the International Union of Puppet Theaters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared March 21 as Puppet Theater Day. It is dedicated to the support and promotion of puppetry around the world.

For the first time, this day was marked as the International Day of People with Down Syndrome during the VI World Symposium initiated by the European and International Associations for the Prevention and Assistance of People with Down Syndrome, held in Palma de Mallorca in 2006. year. Since 2012, the United Nations (UN) has officially supported the initiative. The International Association of People with Down Syndrome encourages its members around the world to choose their own initiatives and events to attract attention and explain what the syndrome is, what it means to people affected and how they play an important role. role in our lives and societies. Down syndrome is a condition in which additional genetic material – the third copy of chromosome 21 – causes a delay in the development of the affected child. Therefore, the twenty-first day of the third month was chosen symbolically to show that the syndrome was associated with the trisomy (three copies) of the 21st chromosome pair.

Last but not least, on March 21, we unite in the fight against racism. The UN General Assembly declared 1966 this International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. On that day in 1960, 69 anti-apartheid demonstrators in Sharpeville, South Africa, were killed by police. Many were shot in the back. Among those killed are women, there are children. 180 people were injured.

Kofi Annan, a former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner, says: “We may practise different religions, speak different languages, have different skin colours, but we all belong to one race – the human race.”

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