Bergamo, Italy—International Day of Families was celebrated in the northern Italian city of Bergamo under the theme "The Value of the Family for the New Millennium.”
A “Festival of the Families” was held at the Spazio Polaresco conference center on June 10, 2017. The event was organized by UPF-Italy in collaboration with a number of organizations: the Ghanaian Community of Bergamo, the Christ Victory Church of Seriate, the Sikh Community of Bergamo, the Congregation for Krishna Consciousness of Chignolo d'Isola, and the Mission of the Church of Scientology of Orobie.
UPF’s affiliated organizations Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) were also active in organizing the program.
The moderator, Carlo Chierico, after an initial greeting introduced his father-in-law, Ettore Fiorina, who offered a series of poems dedicated to the whole family sphere: the children, the couple, parents and grandparents.
On the topic of "The Value of the Family for the New Millennium," UPF-Italy President Carlo Zonato presented the UPF vision of peace, which promotes the family as vital for the realization of peace in the society, nation and world. This is the ideal that God as the Universal Parent of humanity wants to see expressed.
Several couples belonging to different communities, ethnicities and faiths gave testimonies about their family life:
- Eliseo and Mariella Pitzalis, the chair of the Sardinian Association of Bergamo, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary
- Isaia Catalano and Stefania Oprandi of the Church of Scientology, who affirmed the fundamental value of their unity as a couple and a family
- Vladimir and Natali of the Hare Krishna community with the experience of their conversion which led to their engagement to be married
- Satwinder, a young spokesperson for the Sikh community in Bergamo, who told of his family experience as a child raised in Italy but based on Sikh tradition and culture
- Wesam, a young Muslim mother who was born and raised in Italy in the Islamic tradition and is awaiting her second son, expressed her deepest gratitude for the family values received by her parents, who remain a reference point for her educational engagement.
The testimonies of all these individuals and couples supported the irreplaceable value of the family.
The testimonies alternated with moments of musicality and dance that further enriched and cheered the meeting: the polyphonic group Vocalincanto, directed by Daniela Cattaneo; Ronaldo Vidal, a Peruvian author and composer; the youth choir of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; and the dance group Geetanjali of the Ganga Indian Dance School.