Only in France.
Only in France does it take an organized effort to get people to talk to one another. Today is “La Fête des Voisins,” National Neighbors Day, where people are encouraged to get to know their neighbors or, as is said in some New York neighborhoods, to “tawlk among yuhselves.” The official website (badly translated by Google from the French) explains:
“Residents Party – Neighbours Day” is the opportunity to meet our neighbors to develop camaraderie to break the anonymity and isolation that often prevail in our cities. In a society develops withdrawal and fear of the other, we just want to say that know your neighbors can live better together. Beyond an evening of celebration in the year, we want to strengthen the daily small services between neighbors and why not, neighborhood solidarity.
‘Nuff said. Or maybe not…
The 14th June 2013, backed by France in 1012 municipalities and social housing partners, was a great success. More than 7.5 million French attended.
This event exceeded our borders with the “European Neighbours’ Day”. In Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Dublin, Rome, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Nicosia, Vienna, London, Bremen in 1400 and European cities, 15 million neighbors have shown they want to build a more humane Europe, more friendly and supportive.
Fever has even spread to Canada, Turkey, Ukraine, Japan and Togo …
I support Neighbors Day wholeheartedly, although talking to your neighbor is already commonplace in America. Neighborhood block parties, which block off streets so you can’t get to your home. Office Christmas, er, Holiday Parties, where people get to know each other a tad too well. Or how ‘bout just borrowing that cup of (unprocessed authentic organic low-glycemic cane) sugar and being invited in for a cup of coffee? We’re well on our way. But in the spirit of Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité I suggest we open a bottle of good–or average–French wine and invite a few of our neighbors over for a good ole chat this evening. Maybe it will, in fact, make us more humane.
For more information about La Fête des Voisins check out the website: http://www.immeublesenfete.com. You can even order posters!