International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: History, Significance And All That You Need To Know

International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: History, Significance And All That You Need To Know

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New Delhi: International Nelson Mandela Day, held annually on July 18th, is a significant event dedicated to commemorating the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of the South African leader, Nelson Mandela. This year, the celebration marks the 105th birthday of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in South Africa, and grew to become a symbol of hope and togetherness in the face of hardship. His persistent devotion to social justice and human rights won him worldwide acclaim, resulting in the declaration of Nelson Mandela International Day on his birthday. 

International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: History

The roots of International Nelson Mandela Day can be traced back to 1962 when Mandela was arrested as a consequence of his role in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment, during which, he became a symbol of freedom and equality.  After spending 27 years behind bars, he was finally released in 1990, and eventually served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Commonly referred to as Mandela Day, this international day was officially established by the United Nations in November 2009. Since its inception, it has been celebrated each year on July 18th, honoring the remarkable achievements of Nelson Mandela and his profound impact on the 20th century, which continues to shape the course of the 21st century.

This day serves as a beacon that throws light on the legacy of a man who dedicated his life in pursuit of human rights, freedom, and justice. Mandela’s unwavering commitment to these values serves as a constant source of inspiration for people worldwide. He championed the cause of dignity and equality for all individuals, fostering engagement and solidarity across borders. Mandela’s tireless efforts towards equality earned him the esteemed title of the founding father of peace in South Africa.

This day motivates us to reflect upon Mandela’s enduring message of hope, justice, and the unwavering belief in the potential of every individual to create a more inclusive and compassionate world.

International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: Significance

According to UNESCO website, “We celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day every year to shine light on the legacy of a man who changed the 20th century and helped shape the 21st. This is a moment for all to renew with the values that inspired Nelson Mandela. Absolute determination. A deep commitment to justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms. A profound belief in the equality and dignity of every woman and man. A relentless engagement for dialogue and solidarity across all lines and divisions. Nelson Mandela was a great statesman, a fierce advocate for equality, the founding father of peace in South Africa.”

International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: Theme

The theme for this year is — The Legacy Lives on Through You: Climate, Food, and Solidarity.

This emphasises the relevance of Mandela’s legacy in addressing contemporary issues and highlights the urgent need to tackle climate change and food insecurity, promoting sustainable practices, and ensuring access to nutritious food for all. 

International Nelson Mandela Day 2023: Quotes

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

“It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

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