Humanists around the world are once again celebrating World Humanist Day. In 2014 the day falls on a Saturday and IHEU Member Organizations in several countries have taken the opportunity to hold events throughout the day.
The annual World Humanist Day is an opportunity for individuals to learn about Humanism and for organisations to advance their work, to promote the values and ideas of Humanism, or simply to get together in community and celebrate!
Here’s a selection of events from our Member Organizations around the world.
In the state of Victoria, Stephen Stuart reports that the Humanist Society of Victoria made a sober consideration of how to mark the day given a deeply pressing topic hotly discussed in the country. “As World Humanist Day is only one day away from World Refugee Day, this year the Humanist Society of Victoria (a member of CAHS) prefers to join a public demonstration in Melbourne against the Australian government’s inhumanity towards asylum seekers.”
Humanists in the Netherlands are as ever very active on World Humanist Day!
“Our theme of the year is: iHuman: I am online, therefore I am.
“How do Facebook, smartphones, Google determine our lives? How can we deal with new media and ICT in accordance to our values and humanist life stance?”
With events all over the country and the big iHuman World Humanist Day Festival on the 21st of June in Haarlem, there will be live TV recordings of a popular philosophical TV program and a key-note speech by American futurist and filmmaker Jason Silva, creator of Shots of Awe and much more.
A map of all events and further information are available at the dedicated website: www.wereldhumanismedag.nl.
In Belgium, deMens.nu have launched a campaign to inform people about what freethinking humanism is, and what deMens.nu stands for in Flanders. The campaign is running on several radio stations, all local television stations and on the internet.
The splash image across the demens.nu website advertising World Humanist Day says: “Freethinking humanist people have a lot of questions. You can’t fool them. They need proof in order to believe. That’s why a freethinking humanist prefers other people rather than some god. Even if they speak another language of follow a different route. A freethinking humanist chooses his own path. The goal of all this? A happy life. Date and place? Here and now. Say “Yes!” to life. Especially today.”
As in Australia, there is a sober element to this year’s World Humanist Day. Veerle Cannoot of Demens.nu tells us, “Freethinking humanists will assemble at Tyne Cot Cemetry to honour those who fought during the First World War to protect our freedom. Later in the afternoon, experts will discuss several topics concerning the First World War.
“Finally, there will be a piece of theatre. In a monologue a teacher who fought during the war is presented along with all his doubts and inner conflicts. The war changed him profoundly and he realizes that the official version of history clashes with his own experiences.
“At the end of the day, all those present will reunite, drink together and celebrate life!”
- Berlin, 15:30: there is a big gathering with music, buffet and drinks at Alte Pumpe (map)
- Hannover, 15:00: another gathering at Humanistisches Zentrum Hannover (the German equivalent of the Dutch “Huis van de mens” or a “Humanist House”) (map)
- Nuremberg, 18:00, another gathering at Humanistisches Zentrum Nürnberg (map)
- Brake/Westermarsch, 16:00, same as above at private location (contact)
- Pohlheim/Gießen, 15:00: A barbecue (map)
The Indian Humanist Union are celebrating World Humanist Day on 21 June 2014 with a talk at the India International Centre in Delhi, alongside the Radical Humanist Association and the Indian Renaissance Institute.
The talk on “Human Rights and Secularism” will be given by Mr Virendra Dayal, former member of the National Human Rights Commission, with Air Marshal Vir Narain, chairman of the Indian Humanist Union, in the chair.
The Freethinkers Association of Switzerland (Freidenker-Vereinigung der Schweiz) is holding a public meeting of the freethinkers with a movie, a presentation, an exciting panel discussion and a subsequent concert of African musicians.
The full program in Zürich on “Development aid from a humanistic point of view: From missionary work to effective altruism” is available on the dedicated website at: welthumanistentag.ch.
Apart from the programme in Zürich there are also events in Einsiedeln and Basel.
The British Humanist Association’s choir will be holding a “One Life” concert in London, “a variety show for the non-religious in celebration of the one life we have.”
The evening will be compèred by Stu Richards with guest speakers BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson, science writer Simon Singh and actress, writer, and comedian Lucy Porter.
Google Doodle campaign
With the growing popularity of World Humanist Day, IHEU has this year endorsed a volunteer-led campaign to lobby Google for the promotion of the day via one of their famous “Google Doodles”. This year the campaign ran very close to the event, but will persist in 2015!