Hostels around the globe have organised to celebrate Sleep for Peace, an annual event in honour of the International Day of Peace to be held on September 21. Travellers staying at many Hostelling International hostels will have the opportunity to engage in activities, discussions and walks – from film screenings, live music and gardening events to community meals and dance productions.
“Sleep for Peace was established two years ago as a way to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace and to recognise the important role our hostels play in sparking global conversations among diverse travellers, building friendships across borders and promoting tolerance internationally,” Russ Hedge, chief executive for Hostelling International USA (HI USA), said in a statement.
HI USA is a nonprofit, member network of hostels in the United States.
Personal connections among global citizens, the group said, often provide new perspectives on issues and ideals of peace that promote cultural understanding and cooperation.
Events in some locations will be held on the days before and after September 21, and many hostels open up the activities to local communities in which they are located.
For example, HI-USA’s newly opened HI Richmond, a 58-bed hostel housed in the former Otis Elevator building built in 1925, is inviting guests and members of the community to write messages for peace on a banner and to discuss them over a dinner.
Here’s a sampling of what is planned this year at participating HI USA hostels:
• HI New York City plans to host a Peace Song Swap, where travellers can share in conversation and music, and will offer special tours and activities centered on peace building locations in Manhattan. Tours include visits to the United Nations and the Imagine Mosaic in Central Park. Newer Sounds will perform live at the hostel on September 25.
• HI Hyannis is hosting a community dinner on September 21; local artisans will create custom key chains for travellers made with stones collected from the beach in Cape Cod.
• HI Boston is hosting a peace-themed series of panels, discussions, and a fair to engage the public in sharing perspectives on peace. Topics in mindfulness and meditation, conflict de-escalation, and human rights will be explored; a screening of the film “No,” which recently won a human justice award at the Cinema for Peace Awards in Berlin, is scheduled.
• HI Chicago, The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel will host activities all week long, including guest speakers, musical performances, yoga, community service projects, and a variety show. Special outings around the city will also be arranged for guests.
• HI Houston, The Morty Rich Hostel will celebrate the cultures of its 17 Sister Cities hosting a dinner for guests featuring entrees from the countries where these cities reside. The evening will also include a beer tasting with beers from those countries.
• HI Madison will greet each guest on September 21 with a paper dove, encouraging them to write on it a dream or action to build peace, which will be displayed at the hostel. Guests will also be invited to a community dinner, followed by a screening of “The Day After Peace.”
• HI Malabar Farm will do its own rendition of “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Sheets,” as well as provoke conversation through its “What Gives Me Peace” bulletin board and peace puzzle.
• HI Point Montara Lighthouse is hosting its 2nd Annual Garden For Peace, where members of the community and guests at the hostel are invited to work together to beautify the natural area around the hostel.
• HI Point Reyes is leading guests to the ocean for yoga on the beach.
• HI Portland Hawthorne and HI Portland Northwest are teaming up to host Bike For Peace, a cycling event through the local community.
• HI San Diego Point Loma is hosting a sing-along of peace-themed songs on September 20. Guests and community members are invited to participate in making an original video while singing “Give Peace a Chance.” Dinner will be provided for all participants.
• HI San Francisco City Center kicks of the Sleep for Peace weekend on Friday, September 18, with its 2nd Annual No Sleep For Peace: Nightmare on Elm Street all-night movie marathon. On Saturday, guests can join an organised group to the Peace in the Parks event in Golden Gate Park during the day, and then head to Skate for Peace at the Church of 8 Wheels at night for a roller disco. and a visit to Glide Memorial Church to serve meals to the poor, followed by Sing for Peace in the evening, featuring live gospel music at the hostel and dinner.
• HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf will lead a group to the Peace in the Parks event in Golden Gate Park on September 19, followed by live music and dinner.
Click here for more details about which US hostels and countries are participating in Sleep for Peace.