Happy Friendship Day!!!

Written by: Nishitha Mohandas
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"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
Walter Winchell
On the first Sunday of August, bonds of friendship are redefined. Considering the valuable role friends play in our life its deemed to fit to have a day dedicated to friends and friendship. Who is a friend? To Oscar Wilde its " Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success. "

Trust, support, loyalty, understanding, empathy, intimacy, conflict, anger—there are more emotions to this bond than words would allow. Each moment spent with a friend is a moment added to time—moments that give us in turn an understanding of who we are, why we exist, what our purpose is in living. The insight is an enriching experience of recognizing how friendship can be the means and ends to our lives. Friendship Day celebrates this outstanding bond of human kind. Celebration of friendship is knowing this marvel that we call by so many names—chums, pals, buddies, mates ! They come in many sizes, shapes and guises. From school pals to work colleagues, from siblings to partners, parents to pets to neighbors to internet friends—let the feeling grow manifolds to the appreciation of this alliance.

Today friendship is all about buddies on social networking sites like orkut, hi5, WAYN– unknown people meet up and enjoy a hi-bye relationship.

Gift shops also keep themselves prepared for the demand this season. The most common items are friendship bands, cards, quotations, soft toys , wind chimes , key chains , mementos and special pendants - to name a few.

Friendship Day History

There is not much literature on Friendship Day history as we celebrate today. However, there are numerous folktales and several instance in mythological legends that shows that friends and friendship have been valued since the beginning of civilized world. As an intrinsically social creature, men love to make friends to further this process of socialization.

The United States Congress, in 1935, proclaimed first Sunday of August as the National Friendship Day. Since then, celebration of National Friendship Day became an annual event. The idea of honouring the beautiful relationship of friendship caught on with the people and soon Friendship Day became a hugely popular festival.

Following the popularity and success of Friendship Day in US, several other countries adopted the tradition of dedicating a day to friends. Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated by several countries across the world including India.

In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie - the Pooh as the world's Ambassador of Friendship.

Importance of Friendship in Bible

The Bible, reflects upon friendship as the bond that forms the foundation to human faith, trust and companionship. Following verses from the bible aptly portray the importance of friends:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13-15

Besides, there are several tales from the Old Testament and the New Testament about the value of friendship and how true friendship is a treasure to unearth. A noticeable point is that, both the versions make a difference between the two broad meanings of friendship- one is a mere acquaintance, the other is a more affectionate relation.

In the Old Testament, Abraham is called the “friend of God" because of the intimacy of his relations. God speaks to Moses face to face “as a man…unto his friend" (Ex 33:11). The romantic friendship of Ruth and Naomi, the devotion of the subordinate Hushai for David, or the mutual relation between David and Jonathan - the Old Testament is replete with these interesting tales of friends and friendship.

In the New Testament, the relationship between Jesus and his disciples clearly depicts how human friendship can constantly grow. From being teacher and disciple, to lord and servant their relationship finally grew to an unparalleled friendship.

Importance of Friendship in Mahabharata

In the famous Hindu epic 'Mahabharata", Lord Krishna demonstrates the many colors of friendship - affection, romance, brotherhood, protection, guidance, intimacy and even teasing. Friendship is all about these and much more.

Whatever be the history. Friends and friendship always matters to us a lot. We need some one to hang on. A person who will be there when we feel to be alone. Somebody to catup with.....

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend."

May be these quotes are over used and worn out ones. Still I wish to dedicate these to all friends. Wishing all our readers a very Happy Friendship Day!!!

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