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Harmony Day 2015

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by Jenny Rossiter (subscribe)
Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
Event:
Show your True Colours
Harmony Day is a day to celebrate Australia's Diversity. It is held on March 21 every year. It coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day to respect your neighbour, co-worker and child-minder and be intentionally inclusive; a time for community participation that promotes a sense of belonging for everyone.

Origins

Harmony Day began in 1999. It has spread from schools to sporting organisations, community groups, kindergartens, child care centres, local government, churches and businesses. In the last fifteen years more than 55 000 Harmony Day events have been run.

Harmony Day, orange, multicultural, Harmony Day 2015
Have a Heart for Harmony Day


Facts and Figures

Learn a few statistics about Australia's diversity and add some cultural flavour to your next conversation.

Did you know:

• around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or are the child of a parent who was born overseas

• 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism benefits our country

• the most common languages spoken in Australia after English are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi

• over 60 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia

• 92 per cent of Australians feel a deep sense of belonging to this country

Harmony Day, orange, multicultural Harmony Day 2015
Hands up for Harmony Day


What does Harmony Day stand for?

The central message for Harmony Day is that 'everyone belongs'. The theme for 2015 is 'It's our Birthday!'

Orange has been the Harmony Day colour since the first Harmony Day in 1999. The colour orange traditionally relates to social communication, and stimulating two-way conversations. It portrays the development of new ideas, encourages self-respect and the respect of others.

Harmony Day, orange, multicultural, Harmony Day 2015
Dress Orange for Harmony Day


How can I be Involved?

• Register a 15th anniversary event or find out what's happening near you.

• Like or follow Harmony Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for event ideas, ways to get talking and more.

• Organise a cultural-themed dinner where each guest brings a dish from a different country.

• Start a multicultural book club.

• Take cultural dancing or music lessons – eg, belly dancing.

• Describe what cultural diversity means to you by using #harmonyday.

• Talk to your kids about your family roots. You might show old photographs of family members and tell stories of how they came to be in Australia.

Photographs by J A Rossiter

Harmony Day 2015, multicultural, community,Harmony Day
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Why? Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity.
When: 21 March 2015
Phone: 1800 33 11 00
Cost: Free
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