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A Joyous Gathering for World Peace Day
Peace Pole ceremony September 2022

 

Each year, our community of students, teachers, and staff celebrates International Day of Peace—also known as World Peace Day—by adding a new language panel to our Peace Pole. This year saw the addition of our first African language, Swahili. 

Swahili is said to have originated thousands of years ago, when the Bantu people in the Central African region started trading with Arabic people, and their languages combined. Since then, Swahili has spread throughout Africa, slowly becoming one of the most widely spoken languages on the continent.

Students at our Peace Pole ceremony spoke to the assembled community, dedicating this year’s World Peace Day to honoring the many cultures, countries, and peoples who make up the continent of Africa. “Despite Africa’s historical contributions to human society, it has been neglected by modern history,” explained Chi O. ’25, “often being limited to stories of tribal men and women, hunting with spears and not knowing where their next drink will be.” Added Sarah W. ’24, “We need to change this Western perspective of Africa, and appreciate the diversity of the continent and the richness of each of its countries.”

“Adding Swahili to the San Domenico Peace Pole is a way to show students how common Swahili and other African languages are spoken here in the Bay Area, in the U.S., and in other western countries,” reflected Dylan Y. ’23. 

This year’s ceremony featured multiple musical performances, as well. The second grade class sang “Peace Like A River,” our Virtuoso Program Quartet played Mozart’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace), and Kailash B. ’29  sang, “Africa Must Be Free.”

In recent years, we have added panels to our Peace Pole in Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic and Pashto. By adding the Swahili words meaning “May Peace Prevail On Earth,” we as a community take one step closer to a better understanding of the world around us.

Peace Pole ceremony September 2022