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House of Erasmus of Rotterdam at the Nelson Mandela Festival
an article by Rein Heijne
House of Erasmus of Rotterdam

The 8th of July was a bright sunny day. In a large park in the city of Rotterdam the yearly Nelson Mandela Festival was celebrated. The park was crowded with a mass of young people and adults who originate from many countries all over the world. There were also a variety of booths and colorful tents both for information and for eating and drinking.

The Festival is a tribute to Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the many subscribers of the call to promote a Culture of Peace and Non-violence. House of Erasmus in Rotterdam organises several activities each year to contribute our mite to this call. Our policy is largely based on the thoughts of Erasmus, the great Dutch philosopher born in Rotterdam in 1469. Erasmus has inspired a lot people, both scientists and citizens, not only in Holland but also in entire Europe and other parts of the world. As a humanist he did plea for tolerance, respect and solidarity, etc. He certainly was also an apostle of peace and non-violence. A famous book of him is "The complaint of the (goddess) Peace" and his saying "Nice is war only for them who don’t know it" is frequently cited.

On the stage in the park various groups presented songs from all over the world. But one of the highlights was the performance by our musical group the "BLOX" who presented themselves with the slogan "Peace and understanding".

In their songs they called Mandela and Erasmus the champions for peace and summoned to those present to join House of Erasmus to promote a culture of peace. House of Erasmus is the place to be. Violence is a matter of impatience and doesn’t solve your conflicts, so stay calm and solve your problems with words. The whole world is your fatherland so put all weapons aside. Our ideals are respect and tolerance so don’t give weapons any chance. Like Erasmus we feel ourselves citizens of the world. Let us make this world a safer place.


Question(s) related to this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?,

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This report was posted on July 20, 2007.