Nelson Mandela's struggle to end the discriminatory apartheid regime in South Africa has been globally recognized. He fought for voting rights and equal social stature for black Africans who were treated as outcasts in their own country. Mandela professed the thought that voteless Africans should not pay taxes to a government that takes no responsibility for them. Eventually, South Africa gained freedom from colonial rule, and Mandela became the first democratically chosen Black president. Mandela Day is celebrated to commemorate his contributions.
History of Mandela Day
Mandela Day is also known as The Nelson Mandela International Day' and is celebrated on the 18th of July every year. In 2009, a resolution was adopted in the United Nations General Assembly for the official declaration of this international day. It acknowledged Mandela's peaceful efforts to usher in a democratic government, which was a source of inspiration for other oppressed nations. Born on July 18th, Mandela himself, on his 90th birthday, expressed the idea of such a day.
Significance of Mandela Day
This day is not a public holiday. It celebrates the tireless non-violent agitation waged by Mandela against oppression and discrimination based on skin colour, economic status, and ethnicity. People are encouraged to engage in community work and volunteering services to pay homage to the great soul.
Why Is It Celebrated?
On this day, Mandela's noble values and services to humanity are remembered from the perspective of the following ideals:
- Peaceful resolution of conflict
- A relentless struggle against racial discrimination
- Safeguarding human rights
- Protection of the rights of vulnerable social segments
- Bloodless reconciliation on hostile issues
- Fighting poverty
- Promoting social justice for all
Trivia About Mandela
It is to be remembered that Mandela was imprisoned from 1964 to1982 for treason. During this prolonged period, the government had offered to release him thrice on certain conditions, but he had rejected the offer. Mandela had negotiated with the then President of South Africa, Mr F W de Clerk, to end apartheid in 1990. In 1993, both Mandela and Clerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela was the President of South Africa from 1994 to1999.
Important Facts About Mandela Day
Here are some interesting facts related to this day -
- The first Mandela Day was celebrated on 18th July 2010.
- The day recognizes the contribution of Mandela toward promoting a culture of freedom and peace.
- UN Resolution No. A/RES/64/13 was adopted to recognize the day.
New Theme of Mandela Day
- The scope of Mandela Day was extended in 2015 vide resolution No. A/RES/70/175 for promoting humane conditions in prison, raising awareness among the general public that prisoners too are a part of society, and prison staff's service is equivalent to social service.
- Accordingly, from this day, the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners came to be known as the Nelson Mandela Rules' as Mandela had spent 27 years behind bars.
67 Minutes Mandela Day
- Another name by which this day is known is '67 Minutes Mandela Day'.
- '67 Minutes' implies that everyone must engage in welfare activities for 67 minutes on this day; 67 represents the number of years that Mandela had worked for South Africa.
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Mandela Day is observed to commemorate the contributions of this great revolutionary who never advocated armed struggle even in the face of great adversities. Eventually, he did succeed in accomplishing his objective. His life teaches us that persistence and peaceful resistance to the unjust always pay.
FAQs on Mandela Day
Q 1. On which date is Mandela Day celebrated?
Mandela Day is celebrated on 18th July every year.
Q 2. Why is Mandela Day celebrated?
Mandela Day is celebrated to remember the works of South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela, and his values.
Q 3. When was Mandela Day declared as an International Day?
The UN General Assembly had declared Mandela Day in 2009 as an international day, vide Resolution A/RES/64/13.
Q 4. What is the other name of Mandela Day?
67 Minutes Mandela Day is the other name given to Mandela Day.
Q 5. What is the importance of 18th July for Mandela Day?
18th July for Mandela Day is the birthday of Nelson Mandela.