International Day of Friendship

July 30 is the United Nations International Day of Friendship. Read about the importance of friendship and find out why the UN decided to give it a special day.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

The importance of friends

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. They may be someone we met as a child, a classmate at school, someone we met at work or through other friends. They may be friends who live at a distance in another country or virtual friends we've made online. Whoever they are, however we met them, there is a special connection based on a shared history and interests, enjoying doing things together or simply talking and understanding each other. Friends are there to help us at difficult times and to celebrate the good times. Doctors say that friends are very important for both our physical and mental health at all stages in life. 

Declaring an international Friendship Day

But friends are not only important on an individual level. Friendship can also be important on a global level. Friendships that cross borders can help bring peace and avoid war. Learning to think of other people, people who are different from us, as our friends helps us work together to build a culture of peace. That's why the UN declared 30 July as its official International Day of Friendship.

The origins of the day

An international celebration was first suggested by the World Friendship Crusade. This organisation was founded by Dr Ramón Artemio Bracho and his friends in Puerto Pinasco, Paraguay, in 1958. They wanted to support the power of friendship and its importance in creating a culture of peace. So, in the same year, they decided to celebrate Friendship Week in Puerto Pinasco and other places in Paraguay. The following year, they repeated the week and finished on 30 July, which they declared as Friendship Day. From there, celebrations of friendship grew and spread across the Americas, then the world, and eventually the UN declared an International Day of Friendship in 2011.

Friendship Days around the world

The International Day of Friendship on 30 July is not the only day celebrating friendship around the world. A number of countries, such as Paraguay, also celebrate on 30 July, but other countries have different dates. For example, Argentina, Brazil and Spain celebrate Friend's Day on 20 July, while in India and the US, they celebrate it on the first Sunday in August. In Finland and Estonia, Friendship Day is celebrated on the same day as Valentine's Day, 14 February.

What do people do on the International Day of Friendship?

Wherever it's celebrated, the celebrations are very similar. Friends meet up to spend time together. They may eat out or have a meal at home. They give each other small gifts: books, flowers, simple jewellery such as a friendship band (a simple bracelet). Some people send each other cards and greetings online. Whatever form the celebration takes, the spirit is the same – to remember the importance of friends and the power of friendship.

Source

Discussion

Download
Worksheet87.81 KB

Language level

No votes yet
Do you need to improve your English?
Whether you need better English to travel or meet new people, our online English courses will give you real practice. Join thousands of learners from around the world who are making great progress with their English level with our online courses.

Submitted by Nony123 on Sun, 18/09/2022 - 15:13

Permalink

It’s ecstatic paragraph!
I view point , The friendships is wonderful word and two body in one soul that’s mean connection for each other in sad life or happy life . They connect in life together that’s a good friend, ❤️

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 16:34

Permalink

Following on from what I mentioned earlier, I'd like to add that the question is about ''who first thought of declaring an international Friendship Day'', not about ''who first suggested an international celebration''.I mean that only an organization like the UN could ''declare an International Day''.
Anyway, this was rather another chance for me to try to express my greek thoughts in English.
Many thanks again
Nikos

Hi Nikos,

I see what you mean. Even though Artemio Bracho probably didn't think about declaring it himself, I think it's reasonable to assume that he thought about the day being declared as an international day. If this were a comprehension question on an exam, I'd look into changing it, but since it's a quick exercise to follow up on the text, I think it's OK as is.

Thanks, though, as always, for your helpful suggestions.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 10:16

Permalink

Dear Team,
congratulations for the interesting and important texts you chose in the Magazine zone.
Please, could you check the right answer in Task 1,''Who first thought of declaring an international Friendship Day?''.In the second and third paragraphs, it says that the UN declared the specific International Day.
Thanks a lot
Nikos

Submitted by meknini on Thu, 14/07/2022 - 09:42

Permalink

'Friends' carries a very broad definition that needs to be properly defined individually as what is deemed as a friendship wouldn't fit another's. Generally, most tend to group: peers, colleagues, officemates, co-workers, neighbors and casually known persons, as friends while others are more selective. I, for one, am quite restrictive in calling anyone as my friend since a friendship to me should be a lifetime of shared tears and joys.

Submitted by _AngryCupcake_ on Mon, 18/04/2022 - 21:09

Permalink

Before reading this blog I wasn't informed that actually there exists a day dedicated to friendship. This fact made me so happy because my friends play crucial role in may life, but I always felt that their importance was underestimated in the eyes of the society.
I think that friendship is a reciprocal relationship where every person must invest time, care and effort in order to receive the same thing. (But be careful, it's not called friendship if you give a lot but don't get anything back). Nowadays it is often confused with a business deal, where you call someone "friend" only while they can fulfill your interests and then, after a short period of time, you disappear or maybe act like they never existed.
What can we do to change this? Well maybe make the International Day of Friendship more popular and promote real life stories of successful friendships, those who have resisted time and obstacles of life, those which may serve as a role model and strengthen the hope that real friendships still exist.

Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 15:52

Permalink
"Whoever they are, however we met them, there is a special connection based on a shared history and interests, enjoying doing things together or simply talking and understanding each other. Friends are there to help us at difficult times and to celebrate the good times." Unfortunately, a friend of mine can never find a "best friend" because he plays both sides of the field or he might just try to be everyone's pet. A good friendship cannot exist without thinking by getting closer to others' feelings in others' shoes before taking actions. Don't be spoiled!!!

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 05:03

Permalink
Yes, I agreed that that friends are important to us. It's because sometimes friends can be a stress buster and problem solvers in our life. We can share our personal problems without any obstacles. Friends always support us in any way and be a good motivator to succeed. They share our happiness and sadness. We can be friends and make friends with our own family members, neighbors, and cousins. Happy is the definition of a friendship.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Mon, 05/07/2021 - 06:07

Permalink
Yeh,I absolutely agree that! Friends are very very important in our life. Without any friends,I don't think we can be successful and solve many problems along our life.We can say friends are the greatest gift of God.
Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 13:17

Permalink
I have a friend in my mind. I talk to him everyday. He laughs at me everyday. That's the way we talk with. ;)