Sunday, 25 November 2012

... and where we go from here: additions and further projects

Dear All,

I would like to thank you for having made our 3rd FDU Peace Day such a wonderful event! A big thank you in particular to all the speakers, musicians, and dancers! You are totally awesome and amazing - and I very much hope we will hear and see more of your talents at future events!

Thanks also to those of you who helped organize the event as well as to the many volunteers who got food (which was delicious), helped with the decoration and set-up, and did all the other little things that are crucial to a successful event.

Last but not least, I would like to thank those of you who came out to our 3rd FDU Peace Day on Friday, Nov 23rd, 2012, and helped us think about peace and celebrate it. I am very happy that we are all in the process of working together in transforming the world into a happier, healthier, and more peaceful place.

I would also like to invite you all to continue the discussion. It would be great if you could post some additional material - including summaries of your presentations, pictures, and links to websites here to this blog. Please feel also free to post further peace projects you have in mind and everything else you find relevant.

Thank you!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Growing Peace

The 3rd FDU Peace Symposium & Fair

Friday, November 23rd, 2012
FDU Vancouver
842 Cambie Street
Room 130 & Coffee Lounge

Here the Peace Day Program & Poster!

Thanks to Deepika for creating the lovely poster!

And here the program in a bit more detail: 

Pages 1 & 2:

Pages 3 & 4


Please Post Your Peace Day Contributions!

Hi All,

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please post your Peace Day projects, contributions, and/or volunteer activities to this blog!!! 

I really need to keep track of what everybody does. Thousand thanks! If you can post the info today, Tuesday, Nov 20th, it would be best. Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 21st, is still okay as well.

Here a detailed explanation - with a description of all the steps you need to take - of what you need to do to post your Peace Day contributions to our Peace Day Blog. 

I think this should make it reasonably easy:

1) create a free gmail account - or sign in if you have one 

(I have heard that your fdu email is a gmail account and might work
-> so you can try using that first)
link to create a gmail account:

If you need more info about gmail, please also click here:

and if you still have problems, here a youtube clip that might help:

2) log into the peace day blog (that's the blog you are reading right now!):

3) look at the menu on the right side and find "October"

-> click on the little triangle in front of "October"
-> click on "Welcome to Growing Peace"
-> READ the text that comes up in the white box in the middle

4) scroll down to the end of the text in that white box

-> click on "Comment"

5) a second white box will appear that says "Enter your comment...."

-> enter the following information here:

a) your full name
b) the title of your project and
c) a 1-word description of your project (i.e. "song," "poster," "dance," etc)

That's it! It probably only took you one minute!  

If you still have problems, ask one of your computer-literate friends to help you!

I really would like to have all the Peace Day information together: I need it for the following reasons:

a) to make the detailed program for Friday (I.e. who is doing what when) - which I have to do on Wednesday night at the very latest, since I have other things to do on Thursday and no time whatsoever on Friday!

b) to look up later this term, when I make the final marks, what you have done for our global FDU community this term - and if you might get any bonus points for whatever you have done. I promise you already that I  will not remember what is not listed on that blog - even if you have emailed it to me 10 times (since I have about 170 students this term and several hundred email messages per day) unless your contribution was so outstanding that it made history. 

c) to track your global engagement: this is important if you are in the Global Scholars Program; however, it is now also important if you are NOT in that program because you can earn points for your global engagement. You only can get points if we have proof of what you have done. The blog is proof! If there is no trace that you have done anything, you will NOT get any bonus points, global points, or any other credit. 

Please post ideally today - but at the very very very very very latest by Wednesday (Nov 21st) midnight if you want to be part of this year's Peace Day - AND get credit for it! 


Thousand thanks for helping make this year's Peace Day successful!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Our 2nd Peace Day Preparation Meeting

... is planned for tomorrow, Friday, Nov 9th, 2:00 pm, 135. 

Please join us!

All those of you who love dancing: 

please remember to let Harleen Kaur know that you would like to perform! Email:

1-minute performances are also okay if you don't have time to work on something longer. We would like to have some international variety here! You can also just wear traditional clothing from your home country (or any other country you would like to represent), find some authentic music and walk down the aisle :) 

We still need... 

* more dancers, 
* some tables/posters with info-displays about aspects of peace
* some fun activities 
* people who help serve the food 
* people who help decorate the place
* people who help with the clean-up and recycling of the used dishes!

Also needed: 

... more people who get REALLY active and create a more sustainable environment at FDU! If you are interested in that, please feel also free to come to the Sustainability Committee meeting tomorrow, at 1:00 pm!

Hope to see you all tomorrow for our 2nd Peace Day Prep meeting! 

Our last planning meeting for Peace Day will happen on Monday, Nov 19th at 4:00 (not on Friday, Nov 16th). 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Welcome to Growing Peace!

Most of us will probably agree that PEACE and how to create more PEACE is one of the most important topics in today's world. Interestingly enough, it is also a topic that has global and personal implications at the same time. In fact, personal peace (or the absence of it) seems to have a strong impact on global peace (or the absence of it) and vice versa.

The good thing about this interconnectedness: we all can, individually, contribute to creating more global peace because our personal peacefulness will affect the world!

I therefore would suggest we all work together to create - or "grow" - more PEACE in this world - every single day for the rest of our life. One way of doing this, is, I think, to make more and more people become aware of the importance of PEACE and to encourage them to contribute to a peaceful world. Special events that are dedicated to promoting PEACE are among the many things we can do to raise awareness about this important topic.

FDU Vancouver has therefore organized special PEACE events for the past 3 years. 

Here a link to our 1st and 2nd FDU Peace Symposium and Fair:

Our 3rd FDU Peace Symposium and Fair will take place on Friday, November 23rd, 

from 2:00 to around 8:00 pm at FDU Vancouver, 842 Cambie Street.

I would like to invite all of you to contribute to the event and to GROW WORLD PEACE together with the rest of us!

We will have a 1st planning meeting on Friday, November 2nd, at 2:00 pm at FDU in Room 136.
Please come if you would like to be involved in a more active way!

This year, we would like to focus in particular on 3 areas of creating more PEACE:

1) Creating Global Peace through Cultural Sharing
2) Creating Peace with the Environment and with Other Species
3) Creating Inner Peace

Here some further information about each of these areas:

1) Creating Global Peace through Cultural Sharing

Hostilies and conflicts between different nations, countries, races, and cultures seem in most cases to be caused by fear of the unfamiliar "other," whose actions appear to be "strange," "unpredictable," and therefore "threatening." The consequence: prejudices and stereotypes arise that label the unfamiliar other as "immoral," "inferior," "uneducated," or "evil." The prejudices and stereotypes are in most cases based on projecting negative self-images onto the other. They therefore say more about the characteristics of the ingroup than about those of the cultural "other." However, the fact that the "other" is not known well increases the fear and makes it difficult to counteract the existing prejudices and stereotypes.

If people learn more about the "other" cultural, racial, or national group, they will soon discover three things:

a) that in reality the "others" are very similar to them, and that the differences are only minor differences 

b) that these differences are interesting and fascinating, and

c) that becoming familiar with the "other's" ways of life, including customs, ceremonies, music, art, literature, language, philosophy, political ideas, religions, festivals, clothing, housing, food, etc opens up new perspectives and insights that are extremely valuable and that enrich one's own life.

The "other" is no longer feared but admired and loved - and hostility is transformed into admiration and friendship.
One way of creating more global PEACE consists therefore in sharing aspects of our own culture freely with people from other cultures so that they will come to understand - and love - it as well! 

Particularly easy to share - as well as easy to appreciate - are: music, dance, visual art, literature, festivals, ceremonies, clothes, and food.

2) Creating Peace with the Environment and with Other Species

The mechanistic world view that has dominated many (in particular Western) societies for several hundred years now and that has made many humans believe that everything around them is dead matter that can be exploited and destroyed without any further consequences has led to global warming, climate change, pollution, loss of habitat and species, and other irreparable damage everywhere in the world. It has also tempted humans to torture, injure, kill, and exploit other sentient beings - beings who share not only over 90% or even 99% of DNA but also the same consciousness with them - in horrible ways in the food industry (dairy, egg, and meat production), fur and leather production, laboratories (not just for the advancement of medicine but also for the sake of lipsticks, dish soap, and other cosmetics and household products), as well as in circuses, zoos, and so-called "sports," and thus inflicted unbelievable suffering on other beings. 

If we want to survive as a species we do not only have to change our damaging behavior dramatically during the next weeks and months - and, if we have, years - in order to counteract the destruction of our environment. We also need to change our world view and adopt the new scientific insights about the primacy of consciousness over matter as well as abiyt the interconnectedness of everything with everything else.

Many organizations have done detailed research about the damage that has been done & suggest what we can do as individuals to act more responsibly in the present and future.

Here some links:

Organizations that focus on Environment and Wildlife:

Organizations that Focus on the Wellbeing of Animals:

c) Creating more Inner Peace

We usually pass on our emotional state to those around us. If we are angry, we yell at our mom - or the cashier in the supermarket, if we are happy, we smile at the person in front of the line-up and maybe make his or her day. It is therefore crucial to transform destructive emotions (anger, fear, grief, despair) into emotions that will make us as well as those around us happy and well. Of course, different people need different things to create inner PEACE. However, there are some things that have proven to work for many: creative expression, exercise, energy work (such as reiki and acupressure), breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation. Creating balance and harmony inside thus becomes the key to creating a happier, healthier, and more peaceful world outside us as well.

I would like to encourage you all to try some of the techniques mentioned above in order to become more peaceful inside. Your new state of being will be catching - and magically spread to the world around you!

Thank you - and I hope to see you all at our 1st planning meeting on Friday, November 2nd, at 2:00 pm - and then, of course, on Friday, November 23rd at our FDU PEACE CELEBRATION!

In the meantime, please share your ideas about peace as well as the projects you have planned for our 3rd FDU Peace Day here as a comment!

Thank you,