It’s a time to celebrate the coming together of countries, a symphony of cultural and political borders that joined forces back in 1949 to create an arrangement of continual prosperity across 52 member nations. The yearly event, which occurs on the second Monday in March, marks this day with a particular theme, whose melody varies from year to year. 2019’s Commonwealth score will be playing a tune that brings people, cultures and countries together, ‘A Connected Commonwealth’. Given this era of volatility and uneasiness spread across the world, the keynote seems rather apt. This year’s theme hopes to ‘offers opportunities for the people, governments and institutions of this richly diverse family of nations to connect and work together at many levels through far-reaching and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill’.
Public events unfold across the globe; with London playing centre stage given that Queen Elizabeth II is the lead conductor of this global Commonwealth orchestra. During this celebration, the Commonwealth ensemble inclusive of individuals, organisations and communities, as well as non-member nations, take this opportunity to pick up their 16-core valued instrument and play out their beliefs in peace, democracy and equality, as well as rejoice in the association’s layered diversity. The one thing that stands out on this international stage is the celebration of shared heritage. And what is even more special about this particular Commonwealth Day is that 2019 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Commonwealth’s formation.
Formerly known as ‘Empire Day’, Commonwealth Day was born in Canada in 1898 and was originally celebrated on May 24th in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Given all that this day stands for, it is rather a low-key affair as public holidays go. Nevertheless, the key players of the day are as follows: –
In essence, Commonwealth Day is a day in which to remember and appreciate the melting pot of cultures the member nations offer, as well as help everyone gain a greater understanding of how the world is a fascinating and wonderful place in all its rich diversity. In turn this helps promote unity across the board in the hope of a more peaceful and stable world.
By Madeline Prusmann, Project Manager March 2019
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