MotherTongues: Wear Words, Celebrate Cultures

about words, languages, cultures, travel

Mandela Day: what will you do? June 9, 2011

Wikipedia image: Nelson MandelaJuly 18 is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He will be 93 this year. A couple of years ago, the United Nations adopted the day as an annual Mandela Day. But it is more than a celebration of Madiba’s (his Xhosa clan name and how he is affectionately known in South Africa) life and legacy. Mandela Day asks us all to embrace Madiba’s values and honor his legacy through an act of kindness. How?

Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for social justice: serving his community, his country, and the world at large. Mandela Day asks us to donate 67 minutes of time to doing something good, in a small gesture of solidarity with humanity. Can you spare 67 minutes of your life on July 18 to support a charity or serve your local community?

Last year, my mom’s retirement community in South Africa got together on Mandela Day to knit dolls for kids living in poverty. That’s when I realized the influence Madiba had on our country. If the generation who put him behind bars for 27 years, could now serve their communities as an act of honoring Mandela, we’ve come a long way.

Now go do something good. *

* You can find some ideas of what to do, here on the Mandela Day website.

“It is time for the next generations to continue our struggle against social injustice and for the rights of humanity. It is in your hands.” – NELSON MANDELA

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