Why we want everyone to celebrate Harmony Week
Harmony Week originated in Western Australia as an opportunity for Western Australians to recognise, discuss and celebrate our cultural diversity.
It began as 'Harmony Day' in 1998 and was celebrated on 21 March - the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The UN chose 21 March as it was the day of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre when police fired on a peaceful demonstration against apartheid in South Africa. Around 250 black unarmed protestors, many of whom were children, were either killed or wounded.
In 2003, due to community concerns about holding public celebrations on the date of the massacre, the WA Government changed Harmony Day to Harmony Week.
The WA Government wanted to celebrate this State's cultural diversity by organising events over a week. This means that we can celebrate the benefits of our cultural diversity for six days and reserve 21 March for reflection and discussion.
Click here for more information about Harmony Week.