Peace Mala Celebrates in Cardiff
08 Dec 2006
Launched in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace, the first Peace Mala NationalAwards for Youth brought together an eclectic group of young people,performers and religious figures, united in the common aim of creatingpeace.
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Launched in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace, the first Peace Mala NationalAwards for Youth brought together an eclectic group of young people,performers and religious figures, united in the common aim of creatingpeace. The Awards go to schools, colleges or youth groups who haveworked towards increasing peace, racial tolerance and understandingwithin their local communities.
Prizes were given to groups in two age categories. The first prize for5 to 11 year olds was presented to Pontygof Primary School and the 12to 18 category was won by Ysgol Gynradd Brynaman. Other entriesreceived special commendations. Throughout the afternoon, a colourfulvariety of performers entertained all the attendees. These includeddances from Sheikh Ahmad Dede and his Haqqani-Mevlevi Dervishes, aswell as a Native Canadian Hoop Dance by Rising Eagle.
‘Please all remember that the world’s most powerful weapon ofdestruction is fear,’ said Pam Evans, the Peace Mala’s Founder. ‘Fearis the source of lies and destruction. It builds walls and prisons. AsI see it, the future of our world lies in the hearts and minds of ouryoung people who, hopefully, will not be mani-pulated by fear andignorance ñ young people who will speak out for justice and mercy;young people who will say: Stop! That’s enough!’
Created after the events of September 11th, the Peace Mala is a doublerainbow-coloured bracelet which is a symbol of peace beyond thebarriers of race and religion. It cuts through all forms of prejudiceand celebrates what makes us different from each other.
The Awards ceremony was a unique experience and one that highlightedthe often unpublicised work done by young people to promote toleranceand accept-ance. Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Patronof Peace Mala pointed out: ‘So much in the news seems to be about howtension is mounting and how bitterness is being reinforced betweenpeople of different faiths and communities ñ but the truth is that atthe level of local communities and ordinary people, there is probablymore contact, understanding and co-operation than ever before inhistory. Never mind today’s headlines. It is you, young people, who aresetting the standards and hopes for the future, and that is atremendous joy and privilege.’
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