Borough President Eric Adams hosted the borough’s fifth annual International Day of Friendship on Sunday, August 5.
The popular event that included hundreds of attendees began at 1 p.m.,with participants marching from Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue toward Brooklyn Borough Hall. It is the signature event in Adams’ “Embrace Your Hyphen” campaign that encourages Americans to honor their diversity. As in past years, New Yorkers from more than 80 countries carried the flags of 195 nations in a Unity Parade of Flags.
Following the parade, the festivities at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Columbus Park featured performances from a wide variety of local groups representing cultures from around the globe, as well as food from many nations.
Radio personality Roxie Digital from 103.9 FM emceed the event.
Due to the current political climate, this year’s event was a bit different. With the recent detention and deportation of immigrant New Yorkers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on their minds, speakers stressed the importance of multiculturalism in Brooklyn.
“International Day of Friendship is our opportunity to acknowledge the friendships we have,” said Adams. “No matter what happens nationally, locally is where it matters. We are all immigrants in America. If someone tells you to go back to your country, you tell them you will when they go back to theirs.”
“On #InternationalDayofFriendship, joined @BPEricAdams in Brooklyn to celebrate his campaign to #EmbraceYourHyphen,” wrote Lieutenant Governor of New York State Kathy Hochul, who was in attendance, on Twitter. “There is beauty in diversity, and the flags representing almost 200 countries worldwide show that Brooklynites are proud of their heritage.”
Attendees and participants also discussed the day of solidarity.
“WAW (WomenforAfghanWomen) joined Brooklyn Borough President @BPEricAdams at the 5th Annual International Day of Friendship Celebration along with other communities,” the group tweeted. “International Day of Friendship is celebrated around the world–the Brooklyn event celebrated this incredible borough’s diversity.”
“We had an awesome day representing and celebrating South Africa at the International Day of Friendship in Brooklyn hosted by @BPEricAdams,” an attendee wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to our Consul General, Mrs. Mathula Nkosi and Deputy Consul, Ms. Abeeda Solomon for all their great work and support.”
The celebration also presented a global dance party and Global Village, featuring tents from countries around the world showcasing their cultures, cuisines, and customs.
“We close out every International Day of Friendship celebration by uniting to sing ‘We are the World,’” added Adams. “Brooklyn reflects the beautiful diversity of the world, and more than ever we need to sing out.”