Friday, December 19, 2008

Universal Human Rights Day In Gwangju

December 10 is celebrated as Human Rights Day and this year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. In most country, this event is celebrated that stipulates human’s fundamental freedoms. But it continues to be disregarded and neglected by governments who lack the political will to implement them. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK)–Gwangju Branch Office organized the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The program was held last December 10, 2008 at the Small Hall of the Gwangju Culture and Art Center.

There were two programmes:

1. 4 PM – 7 PM
The programmes include Christmas exhibition of human rights where pictures and other creative materials adorned Christmas trees. Different organizations distributed books, showed human rights films, etc. There were 22 organizations invited, among them The May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju International Center (GIC), etc. The Foundation put materials (books, CD, pencils, etc) as present for those who would write about human rights and democracy. Other organizations also have souvenirs for their guests.

2. 7 PM – 9 PM
Commemorative event and Cultural performances.

Each delegate from each organization put a Christmas ball to the four Christmas trees on the stage. It is a symbol their involvement in the struggle on human rights, democracy, and peace. The opening performance was presented by Korean theatre group ‘Sin Myeong’. They performed a theatre and dance number where theme was about pluralism on human rights.

Part of the commemorative event presented was the recitation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Cultural performances presented were of various kind of entertainments, there were Drama ‘A Special Bravery’, Congratulatory Poem, Accordion Performance, Creative Masked Dance Performance ‘So Mae’, Various Drum Performances, Accappella performances by children and their mentors , and Youth Musical ‘The Things We want’.

There were also supplement performances which are Fusion Percussion ‘Speeding’ and congratulatory performance.

Among the cultural performances, there was a National costume show from different Asian countries like Korea, China, Singapore, Japan, etc. It depicted the pluralism in the world even in Gwangju. As a hub Asian culture, Gwangju includes people from other countries (Philippines, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, United States of America, etc).

There was a drama presented by school students, the theme was economic problem especially in South Korea. Students have to study hard and find part time job to get money. It describes the situation of life at the present.

In the middle of the program, they showed video messages of Dr. Lenin (India) and Mr.Muneer A. Malik (Pakistan) on human rights day. Dr Lenin is a former winner of the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and Mr.Muneer A.Malik is the 2008 winner. There were also messages from different citizens of Gwangju.

On a message on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the Laureates of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award, they call for dignity and justice for all. They ask for stronger solidarity among civil society groups and leaders both local and international to protect the freedom and rights of all people especially the marginalized sectors in the society.

The program was finished at around 10 PM. Everyone went back home with their new spirit of democracy. Let’s us put high respect on pluralism and democracy, and abolished all kinds of discriminations!

Happy a human rights day.

By. Gregoria Barbarica K.R.
December 16, 2008


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