Vienna, Austria—More than 200 guests, including Ambassadors for Peace and NGO leaders, attended a celebration of the 2017 International Day of Families.
The May 14 event was held at the Austrian Peace Embassy by UPF-Austria together with the Austrian chapters of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), two organizations that are affiliated with UPF.
The theme assigned by the United Nations to this year’s observance was “Families, Education and Well-Being.”
Native American elder Reuben Silverbird created a peaceful atmosphere by playing an Indian blessing melody on the flute. He also expressed his special appreciation for all the mothers present, as this was also the day on which Mother’s Day 2017 was being celebrated in Austria and many other nations.
Mag. Elisabeth Cook of UPF-Austria read excerpts from the autobiography of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon about the peacebuilding value of intercultural families. Then Mrs. Ururaci Szlezak—who herself has an intercultural family, being a native Brazilian with an Austrian husband and having raised four boys in Austria—made a point that there are only good mothers, explaining her thoughts about a mother’s love.
The second speaker was Mag. Xiaoyan Wang, trained in Chinese medicine and a teacher of Chinese language. She spoke about the Chinese family system and its values, especially about the so-called “tiger mothers” who do everything to make their children successful.
The third speaker was UPF-Austria President Peter Haider, who recalled the experiences that he and his wife had in raising their children. He highlighted the human experiences of love—as a child, as a brother or sister, as a partner in marriage, and as a parent, until finally we become grandparents. By experiencing these different kinds of loving relationships, we become the embodiment of the purpose of our Creator.
An Ambassador of Peace certificate was awarded to Dr. Nasir Khan, a professor of education from Pakistan.
The celebration closed with a prayer of blessing before all the participants had lunch together. The Vienna Peace Choir, conducted by Wolfgang Zewe, contributed several songs and created a beautiful atmosphere. We could feel heaven’s blessing on this day.