• A Step Ahead

International Day of Non-Violence

written by Jakeline Laureano


It means nothing to us. Nobody even knows about it. The information about this commemorative day hasn’t reached us yet. Since I was born, there hasn’t been a single day when I haven’t had to be face-to-face with violence.

I believe the idea of a Non-Violence Day is good, although the word should have been spread worldwide more efficiently. I reckon at some point someone made a huge mistake. The point is, when you set up a day of something, it’s to spread the word about it... If they did, it didn’t get to us.

It would be interesting, though, if we had a ceremony to acknowledge the day, similar to Black Conscious Day, which is a holiday in Brazil. In school, the kids get to know about it, and we perform activities to make the kids aware of what not to do. It’s a day to remind us of everything that black people have been passing through all these years, especially when there was slavery.

Only if there could be a day when we could raise the white flag and it would be a reminder, wouldn’t it be awe-inspiring. It would give a spectacular message to our kids that it is really possible to have peace. As the generations come, they could improve it, just like we did coming from kidnapping people and enslaving them, to returning their freedom, and now, having a Black Conscious Day to celebrate that.

The kids here are seeing violence every day, whenever they cross the street, whenever they step out of their houses, all the time. I’ve been living in Rocinha for 32 years so far. I’ve faced many territorial wars. The way I see it, I can’t wait for them to spread the word and finally have the International Day of Non-Violence celebrated here.

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