European Neighbours’ Day is annually observed on the last Friday of May, and will be observed on May 26 this year. The purpose of the day is to encourage interaction and comradery among community members. It appeared that individualization, loneliness, and withdrawal were on the rise. Communities and neighbourhoods did not interact socially, nor did individuals network. European Neighbours’ Day encourages people to meet and get to know one another in order to strengthen community bonds. Despite its moniker, European Neighbours’ Day is observed globally. Due to its increasing popularity, it has even crossed European borders. There are 1,450 partner localities involved, housing organisations and associations from over 49 countries, and more than 30 million participants.
The background of European Neighbors’ Day
European Neighbours’ Day was the brainchild of Atanase Périfan and a group of his pals. They devised “Paris d’Amis” or “challenges for friends” in Paris’s 17th arrondissement. The majority of “Paris d’Amis” were successful and enthusiastically embraced. A variety of the organization’s causes received sponsorships. They assisted neighbours with financial difficulties, hosted Christmas celebrations for those without family, arranged transport for those without the means to get around, assisted the unemployed in finding employment and provided child care for children who required it.
Atanase Périfan and the “Paris d’Amis” Association introduced “Immeubles en Fête” in 1999. The objective was to strengthen neighbourhood ties, cultivate a sense of belonging to the same neighbourhoods, increase neighbourhood proximity, and combat isolation and exclusion. More than 10,000 participants from 800 apartment buildings took part. The following year, with the assistance of the Association of French Mayors and the Union Sociale pour l’Habitat, 500,000 individuals congregated for neighbor’s celebrations.
By 2003, Neighbours Day was able to unite three million Europeans, primarily in Brussels, France and Belgium. European Neighbours Day was officially established in 2004. Approximately 3,500,000 individuals participated in the launch in Europe, with over 3,000,000 in France. In 2012, over 14 million individuals gathered in approximately 1,400 cities across Europe and beyond.
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EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURS’ DAY ACTIVITIES
Your neighbours’ gifts
A straightforward gift would be wonderful for bringing a smile to their faces. It is a wonderful method to demonstrate your care for them.
Host a neighbour for a meal.
Invite your neighbour next door to dinner. You could also surprise them with a heated meal.
Discuss or post on social media about this special day. Encourage more neighbours to unite and participate today.
5 FACTS ON COMMUNITY
The word community derives from the Old French ‘comunet’, which is derived from the Latin ‘communitas.’
Humans are social creatures, and community involvement is beneficial to our health.
Children develop intellectually, emotionally, and physically through their relationships and community, which fosters a sense of belonging.
According to studies, those who lack strong social connections are also more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation, as well as a greater risk of suicide and premature death.
According to research, our minds function better when we interact with others and feel a sense of community.
EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS’ DAY DATES