Danube Day 2007
International Danube Day 2007 celebrates cultures and cooperation
25 June 2007 - The rich and varied history and traditions of the countries sharing the Danube River Basin will be at the heart of festivities marking the fourth annual International Danube Day (June 29).
Under the theme, ‘Celebrating Danube Cultures’, a large number of educational, entertainment and recreational activities will be held this week to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994.
Numerous governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout the Danube River Basin are partners in the celebration of Danube Day 2007, including the `Green Danube Partnership`, which has been formed between Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in 2005.
“Throughout history, there have been many cultures living in what is today a vast river basin shared by 19 countries,” says ICPDR Executive Secretary Philip Weller. “As the peoples of the Danube become more aware of the need to respect and manage the basin as one whole, they are also realizing the need to unite their many cultures into what we would like to call one ‘Danubian identity’, cooperating and working to protect Danube waters.”
Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, board director of Coca-Cola HBC, said, “The active engagement in the protection and preservation of vital water resources is an important commitment our company is making, not only in connection with Danube Day, but through our operations across 28 countries. We recognise that it is only through genuine and meaningful participation by companies such as our own that truly sustainable development can be achieved for the benefit of today’s and future generations.”
Among the many cultural characteristics to be heralded on Danube Day will be the spectacular variety of lifestyles that contribute to the Danube’s richness, such as historic monuments including castles, palaces and monasteries, many gracing the banks and cliffs of the Danube River itself as well as its tributaries. Numerous languages and dialects that complement traditions and customs related to song, dance, religion, crafts and cuisine will also be featured, as well as Danube cultures crucially linked to the ways in which humans have interacted with the Danube’s waters to sustain their livelihoods -- from fishing methods passed down over generations to carrying cargo by ship to harnessing water for power through medieval mills.
To celebrate Danube culture, a series of national and local events will be held this week in different countries. Ship’s captains will blow their horns at exactly 14:00 Vienna time on June 29 all along the river; special displays will be mounted by museums in Belgrade, Budapest, and Linz. In Romania, a barge will cruise down the Danube into the beautiful and fragile Danube Delta, presenting a miniature ecosystem for children to experience. The 4th annual ‘Danube Art Masters Competition’ will also be held for children, organized by the ICPDR, national ministries and the Danube Environmental Forum of NGOs.
Another feature of this year’s Danube Day will involve raising awareness about the ‘Joint Danube Survey 2’, the world’s biggest river expedition of its kind in 2007 costing over one million euros. Three ships will travel down the length of the Danube River and its main tributaries to test pollution and water quality from mid-August until late September.
Danube Day has been initiated by the ICPDR, composed of Danube Basin country representatives, responsible for basin water management of the river basin that is acknowledged as the most international, and one of the most beautiful, in the world.
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