The International Day for Tolerance will be marked around the world on Monday, November 16. The Lithuanian Jewish Community has prepared a virtual celebration called Darna which will run from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. that day, including well-known performers Jurgis Didžiulis, Erca Jennings, Afrodelic and Paulius Kibauskas. It will also include yoga and meditation activities, a discussion on the topic of tolerance and other activities.
The first Darna festival for celebrating the International Day for Tolerance invites the public to celebrate tolerance, harmony and concord, and to do so through the creation of art and community. The LJC had planned to hold the celebration as a real event, but decided to make it virtual because of concerns about the corona virus and to make an entire day’s worth of events available to those homebound.
Event organizer Rafael Gimelstein said: “We are trying to encourage the celebration of human ties and a harmonious and tolerant life through this event. We wanted to bring together all people who think the same way and to commemorate these values through creative work. To show we have very diverse and talented people who are united by a shared idea, and that tolerance is a very topical idea to them.”
The event is intended to spread the idea that there are many different groups of people living in Lithuania, they differ in terms of appearance, skin color, eye color, hair color, and they differ in the way they think. If we all adhere to the rule that differences are not a basis for discord, everyone can feel safe. Tolerance is the simply understanding that all of us are equal, people and creative individuals, and we have equal rights. To tolerate means to understand and recognize someone who has different features is not a worse, lower or less valuable person.
One of the main parts of the event is the discussion of tolerance in Lithuania which is home to members of ethnic communities and people considered at-risk and fragile. Discussion participants will include Lithuanian Gay League president Vladimir Simonko, MP Monika Ošmianskienė, Victor and Živilė Diawara and other active public figures.
Jurgis Didžiulis said: “Today we should talk not just of tolerance, but about everything which comes from that, moral behavior, living together, empathy and especially those things which are still lacking in Lithuania.”
In the meditation portion of the event Danutė Vilionytė, founder of the Sarani meditation and healthy living center, will teach participants how to meditate. Sultenė plant food studio founder Ona Jurkšienė will teach the basics of nutrition, and Rūta Kilmaitė will share the secrets of yoga.
For more information, see the Darna page on facebook here.