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International Literacy Day, September 8th

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated September 8th as International Literacy Day.  Intended to raise awareness for the one in five adults who are not literate as well as the 75 million children who are not in school.

The day was designated in 1965 and celebrated for the first time the year after.  Many events are held though out the world in hopes that people will begin to see this as a real issue.  Literacy impacts peoples lives in so many ways and the lack of it can be a major factor in the quality of life a person leads.  Not only does the ability to read impact what a person is able to do for a living or what entertainment they may be able to enjoy but things such as medicine, directions from government or charity organizations and even laws.

There are even those who intentionally keep literacy from people, keeping them subject to authority they can not know how to oppose.  With two thirds of those lacking literacy being women, this subject has huge implications for the rights of women all around the world.

While those who are able to read this also have access to the vast resources of the internet and all the good it can bring it may seem unimaginable how crippling the inability to read can be.  It is we those who have this amazing power of literacy that must help those that it has been denied to because ironically the ones this day is set aside for are those who will not know.




Ghost Festival, September 3

September 3 of this year corresponds to the 15th day of the 7th month per the lunar calender making it the day of the Ghost Festival in China.  This is a day when ghost are free to walk the earth and many activities are provided for their benefit.  Monks will throw rice into the air to feed them, shops will close to keep the streets clear for the ghosts and even entertainment is provided for them in the form of concerts and plays.  While some people may think this is a scary time it is much more a reflection of the past and honoring ancestors.  People do things for the benefit of the spirits such as at the concerts the first row is left empty for the ghosts.

Another Editor's Note

I know that it has been awhile since I have posted but I have not forgotten the blog or podcast and actually there have been two podcasts posted that just did not make it to the blog.  I am still working on my data base for holidays and looking ahead I am not find much to report on but how this will change soon.

I do have somethings in the works:

First off I am hoping to have a booth in a local festival, The Festival of Nations.  I am will be getting interviews and information to share with you all.

Second, I have been contacting both United Nations and Embassies in the United States looking for help and have had some responses so that is good.

With these two things going I hope to fully relaunch the blog and podcast fully soon.  Also expect a redesign sometime in the near future as I have a friend who will be working on my logo and (cross fingers) my website.  She is studying graphic design so I know will do an outstanding job.

Editor Note

My posts have been absent for awhile but I have been working behind the scences to make it better.  I am also working on reaching out to people to help me with having more and better information so will be back up and running soon with the blog and the podcast.

Happy Holiday!


Icelandic National Day - June 17

Coat of Arms of Iceland Coat of Arms of Iceland

Iceland celebrates June 17th as their National Day each year commeorating when, in 1944 the island disolved it's union with Denmark. In 1918, the Act of Union allowed for a revision of the relationship between the two areas in 1940 and then three years later the union could be disolved. Due to World War II and the country of Denmark being occupied at the time there was no resistance from there to Iceland's actions but the forces that occupied the country at the time requested that they still wait the three years which they did. King Christian X of Denmark sent a letter congratulating Iceland of forming their republic on June 17th.

Jon Sigurdsson Jon Sigurdsson

June 17th was also chosen for the day as it is the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, who is credited as being one of the major voices in independence of the region.

Today the country celebrates with parades lead by marching bands and scouts as flag bearers and major figures give speeches. After the official celebrations then parties start with bands playing and people just enjoying themselves.