Intergenerational Day


By Sharon Schweitzer


The idea for Intergenerational Day came to a teacher from British Columbia in Canada in 2009. The teacher was working with students on projects related to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Students were being taught about the respect, care, and love the elders in society deserve, and within one year, the passion for the projects gained so much momentum that 2010 saw the first Intergenerational Day being celebrated.

The concept for the day was taken up by the i2i Intergenerational Society and five other school groups from Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland, and British Columbia. The i2i is a nonprofit society that helps people and organizations promote initiatives related to connecting the elderly and the young. Since the day’s inception in 2010, it has been celebrated in 12 territories and more than 100 cities. In fact, the day is viewed with so much importance that the Toronto District School Board has mandated it through law.

Years of research have shown the lack of care and attention to our elders will leave the generation feeling depressed and developing physical and mental ailments. If a society’s elders are neglected, the younger generation will have a lot to lose in the form of culture, history, life experiences, and empathetic skills. Therefore, we must take care of the generations that need it the most. By helping the old and the new connect, we are securing our past, present, and future. You can play your part on this day by visiting old age homes and spending time with the elders there. Humans, at the core of it, do not require elaborate displays of affection. All they require is a social connection with someone ready to listen and be with them, and Intergenerational Day reiterates this message loud and clear.

Whether it’s spending time with grandparents, volunteering at a retirement home, or simply having a conversation with someone from a different age group, there are endless ways to celebrate this special day. So let’s come together and appreciate the beauty of intergenerational relationships!


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Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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