15 December 2017
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  • » 07/31/2017, 16.26


    Indians at Asian Youth Day, bearing witness to diversity in unity

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Some 83 young people represent India at the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7), which opened yesterday until 6 August in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Indian delegation shows a multicultural, multi-religious and pluralistic face and is an example of peaceful coexistence between religions and cultures.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – India is represented by 83 young people at the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7), which opened yesterday until 6 August in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Father Deepak K. J. Thomas, OCD, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Young People and director of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), said that three bishops and a dozen sisters have gone along with the young people. However, Fr Deepak himself was forced to stay home for health reasons.  

    His kids, he said, are happy to go. Many have attended World Youth Day before, but this time, AYD7 set limits on the number of participants from each country. All participants are paying their way, he explained.

    The ICYM met with all participants on 29 July in New Delhi before they left for AYD7. Young people keep in touch via e-mail, Whatsapp, and the ICYM app (for Apple and Android) with a special link to the AYD7.

    The 83 participants come from across the country, from the northeast to Kerala. Given their various traditions and cultural backgrounds, they are a showcase of diversity in unity, with a strong faith in a multicultural context.

    During the AYD7 main event in Yogyakarta, they are set to take part in the cultural show with elements drawn from western India and Goa, namely a 10-minute dance and music performance.

    “The contribution of the Indian delegation is huge since it comes with a multicultural, multireligious and pluralistic content,” Fr Deepak said. “It is an example of peaceful coexistence between various religions and cultures.”

    “Secondly, it is important that our delegation acknowledge the support given to the AYD7 by the Government of Indonesia. Despite different ideologies, it is supporting and cooperating for the Good. Humanity counts."

    However, “There is also great sadness among our youth,” said Fr Satish Kadam. Speaking to AsiaNews, the director of the Youth Commission of Nashik Diocese, Maharashtra, explained that “one of our youths killed himself and a young woman,21, has been bed-ridden for 18 months by transverse myelitis and her parents are so poor that they cannot afford the treatment she needs.”

    "No one from our diocese went," he said. “Our people are very poor, and their daily life is a struggle. The sufferings of our youth are great. Even going to youth meetings is difficult, but they have faith, strengthened by suffering. This is our youth, our Youth Day: a poor suffering Church, strong in faith."

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    See also

    28/07/2006 HONG KONG – ASIAN YOUTH DAY
    Card. Zen marks AYD opening with warm welcome

    The bishop of Hong Kong was speaking to 200 families who will host around 1000 Asian youth in the territory for the fourth Asian Youth Day. He called the families to mutual understanding and tolerance in the name of the Church, "a large universal family".

    Card.Zen: "Beijing banned Catholic youth from joining us"

    The cardinal yesterday accused four Chinese provinces of not giving Catholic youth permission attend Asian Youth Day, considered by Beijing to be "an anti-China event".

    28/07/2017 10:23:00 RUSSIA
    The Russian Orthodox Church and mission among the young

    The post Soviet period was initially marked by a religious rebirth. But now young people are succumbing to a new wave of secularism. In Russia, which today wants to be the most Christian nation in the world, the number of divorces and abortions is ten times higher than the average of the most secular European countries. Patriarch Kirill: Safeguard the family

    10/04/2006 VIETNAM
    More than 10,000 youth mark WYD in Saigon, refuting consumerism, atheism

    The pastoral committee for youth of the archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City organized an afternoon meeting at the Catholic cultural centre. "Consumerism and atheism are a threat to our society."

    06/07/2005 INDONESIA
    Photo competition for young Catholics
    The event is taking place as part of National Youth Year.

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