As the signature event in Borough President Adams’ “Embrace Your Hyphen” campaign that celebrates Americans who honor their diversity, International Day of Friendship consists of a series of cultural identity-oriented festivities that begins with a Unity Parade of Flags, featuring the flags of 195 nations; led by Borough President Adams, marching down Fulton Street from its intersection with Flatbush Avenue toward Brooklyn Borough Hall. Following the march, which consists of representatives from more than 80 countries as well as a number of dancers, drummers, and stilt walkers, the festivities at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Columbus Park run through the day and feature a series of cultural and artistic performances from a wide variety of groups represented in the borough, as well as a taste of international cuisine.
The Unity Parade of Flags kicks off the International Day of Friendship celebration. In the spirit of friendship, youth and country delegates carry the flags of all 195 countries that are member states of the United Nations. Delegates and parade marchers walk from the Fulton mall to Brooklyn Borough Hall where each country stand and hold hands, with youth from all neighborhoods across Brooklyn forming a human chain around Brooklyn Borough Hall. As parade marchers stand with their country’s delegate there is a ceremonial handing off of the flag to show the significance of bridging the gap in generations and throughout the world’s people.
Culture is a cornerstone of national identity and pride. International Day of Friendship highlights performances specific to continental regions to expose Brooklynites to the rich diversity found in their backyard. Organizations are given the opportunity to highlight their country’s culture through reading, dances, or music.
International Day of Friendship gives Brooklynites a unique treat; there are tents set up and filled with delicious food from around the world.