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5 Unique Ways To Celebrate ‘Friendship Day’ During A Pandemic

5 Unique Ways To Celebrate ‘Friendship Day’ During A Pandemic

Friendship Day is on 30 July but Malaysians celebrate on the first Sunday in August.

Maya Suraya

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There are many things the pandemic has taught us, one is a true test of friendship.

Partly due to social and physical restrictions, people were inadvertently choosing the friendship that was most important to them. This made them feel freer than before as all the “obligational catch-ups” were replaced with meaningful time spent.

A year and a half into it, we may have realised our social circle halved, and you know what? That’s ok.

A day of friendship

Credit: UN.org

As you count your current social circle on one hand (as opposed to both hands pre-pandemic maybe?), did you know there is a day that celebrates friendship?

Friendship Day is exactly what you’d think it’d be about, a day to celebrate friendship!

Founded in 1919 by American card-greeting company Hallmark, it was intended to be a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards, but it gradually phased out in the 40s.

In 1998, Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations (UN) and three years later, the UN officially recognised 30 July as International Friendship Day; although most countries like Malaysia celebrate on the first Sunday of August.

Friends are important

Having friends is more important than you think and according to science journalist Lydia Denworth, the way you can sustain friendships in a pandemic is by recognising their importance.

Some people might be content without having any friends, but Lydia says research suggests that friendship can help us find purpose and meaning, stay healthy, and live longer.

5 unique (pandemic-friendly) ways to celebrate Friends Day

Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean we can’t “hang out” with friends.  Here are some ways to celebrate that is not only meaningful but fun too!

(1) Teleparty for a movie party

Formerly known as Netflix Party but is now named Teleparty with major updates to include not only Netflix, but Hulu, HBO, and Disney+.

It is a free extension for the Google Chrome browser that can host up to 1,000 friends. The only thing is all parties need to have an account of whatever platform you’re watching on.

(2) Let those happy hormones run wild

Screen capture of YouTube Fiesta in action

And when we say happy hormones, we mean endorphins – the chemicals released when you exercise.

With thousands of free workouts on YouTube, YouTube Fiesta allows you to chat and watch videos in sync with friends. All you need to do is be the host, share the link with friends et voila!

If you’re keen to watch each other in sweaty moments, there is always the option to share your video screen on free video communication platforms like Zoom or Google Meets.

(3) Nothing says ‘friendship’ like food and drinks

Just because we’re not allowed to meet up for a nice meal or drink now, doesn’t mean the spirit of “belanja” (treating) can’t be practised.

Malaysia is spoilt for choice with food delivery options. You can either opt to send food and drinks to your friends via popular services like Grab Food and foodpanda or support your favourite food establishments directly. A lot are pivoting to Instagram for example.

If you really can’t find them online, just call them up directly and ask what the best way is to order food to deliver to a friend.

(4) Free mobile games to unleash your competitive spirit

  • Psych! is a fun game about tricking your friends with silly answers to real trivia questions with the intention of “psyching” or fooling them.

Download the game on your phone on the App Store or Google Play.

  • Houseparty is a social networking app that allows up to 8 people to chat and play games. The app itself hosts games like Heads  Up!, Trivia like ‘Finish The Song Lyric’, Quick Draw, and Chips and Guac.

It’s available on Chrome, and the App Store or Google Play.

(5) Take an adventure together with a virtual experience

Last but not least, since we can’t travel (yet) – the next best option is to take your besties to an Airbnb Online Experience.

The platform allows you to enjoy live, interactive activities led by expert Hosts where you go anywhere and learn anything from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

Choose the gift of experience by filtering your price and adventure. It could be learning all you need to know about Geisha Culture in Japan with Kana to making handmade pasta with Italian grandmas.

READ MORE: Go On A Live Virtual Date With Crocodiles, Sunbears, Monkeys, And A Magician Too!


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