03 August 2017
Indonesia

The 7th Asian Youth Day is taking place in Indonesia

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Young people from all over Asia have gathered in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, Indonesia for the 7th Asian Youth Day (2-6 August).

They are being hosted by the Archdiocese of Semarang for this event. They have taken part in the ‘Days in the Dioceses’ (30 July–2 August) in different parts of the country, and now they have come together to celebrate with the theme “Joyful  Asian youth! Living the gospel in multicultural Asia”. Our Dicastery is being represented there by Elizabeth Hawkins from the Youth Office.

The first AYD was held in 1999 in Thailand. Since then it has taken place in Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Korea. All the countries that are connected to the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences are invited to send delegations of young people. The total limit is about 2,500 participants.

Preparations for this event have been going on for some time. The organisers from all over Asia and the Indonesian dioceses had their fifth preparatory meeting in March 2017. The local committees and volunteers have been working together to take care of logistical planning. Young people have been getting ready for the event by preparing their presentation of their local Church to be shared with the others, and also through a series of nine ‘pre-events’ which started last September.

These pre-events or modules were presented monthly on the AYD website (https://asianyouthday.org) and dealt with themes like sharing, diversity, participating, connecting, caring, etc. Activities were suggested so that the young people could do something practical connected with the theme. They were encouraged to write about their activity or record it and then share it with everyone else through social media.

Diversity for these young people does not only mean that they come from different countries and ethnic groups. They also wanted to invite young people of other religions, and so there are Muslims and others among the volunteers helping the event to run smoothly.

AYD will be followed by the Asian Youth Ministers’ Meeting (AYMM) from 6 to 9 August.