International Literacy Day was created by the United Nation’s UNESCO in 1965 in order to better educate the world and promote reading. The United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has been instrumental in bringing literacy to the world, teaching those who would not have the opportunity to learn otherwise. The value of reading should be obvious these days, when so much is going wrong in the world and we are trying to fix it. The idea of being able to communicate and share ideas is more important now than ever before.
How to celebrate – Support UNESCO. Visit the UN. Help promote literacy in your area.
So today we celebrate any two cultures that meet in the middle basically. We often think of the west and the United States, England, France… and the eat as Japan, China and Korea but you don;t really have to travel that far to meet different cultures and styles. Just use the United States as an example. Our East coast and our West Coast are markedly different from each other. These types of cultures often meet in a clash of competition in some way as well, whether it’s in a football game, food cook-off or even something as harsh as war. In the long run though we often find that people are the same everywhere. Even though there may be differences in what they eat, the way they talk or the clothes they wear, people all over the world have the same types of drive and desires as anywhere else. The only difference truly comes to be the method chosen on how to achieve what you want to end up with, which more often that not is the same thing.
How to celebrate – Compare the difference in the Western culture and Eastern culture. Think of all the countries that take the best of the East and the best of the West and combine them. Go to an East/West football game.
September 27th World Tourism Day
There is hardly a country in the world that does not benefit from tourism. Some do it better than others but it does seem to be an international piece of bread and butter.
The day was created by the United Nations who select a theme for every year, this year’s theme being: “Protecting Culture and Heritage.” The best way to learn about a country is to understand where they came from and what formed them to who they are today.
How to celebrate – Visit a country and study their culture and heritage. Research countries you want to learn more about. Plan a trip to visit several countries.
Chopsticks to me, are the leading diet tool in the world! It is okay to stab your food with a chopstick but a challenge when you are going after a pea. Never point at someone with your chopstick, never attack your food over the top with your chopstick, and please, they are not drumsticks.
Most of western society needs to be taught how to use a pair of chopsticks. They also need a mop and a broom while learning because more food is going to end up on the floor than in their mouths.
Asian food is supposed to be cut and presented to be mouth sized so that no knives are required to eat it. If you have ever tried to cut your steak with a wooden chopstick, you know why. Over 1/4 of the world’s population uses chopsticks to eat with and it has been this way for over 5,000 years.
In China chopsticks are called “Kuaizi” which translates into “Quick little bamboo fellows”. You do have to be quick if you use them though if you are hungry because you’ll have to make many, many quick returns to the dish for more food.
How to celebrate – Learn how to use chopsticks. Whittle your own chopsticks out of a tree in your back yard. Have an Asian inspired meal for supper tonight.
For centuries, the East and West stayed to themselves, neither wanting to know the other or share in their worlds. It doesn’t matter if it was the East Coast verse the West Coast or the Orient verse Europeans, neither trusted each other or wanted much to do with the others culture.
In fact in Japan, until 1860, sailing to a western port was a capital offense. It doesn’t mean that the cultures did not meet because they did. Many Japanese sailors ended up on the California coast because of shipwrecks and storms at sea. Unable to return to their native land, they settled where they were. I assume the same happened with Europeans in Japan and China.
The times began to change when Commodore Perry visited Japan in 1852. The Japanese were not all that thrilled to see him but looking at the guns on his ship they were persuaded not to argue too much.
During World War 2 the west meeting the east meant the end of the war in Europe. When Russian and American troops collided with each other thee was joy, but also mistrust. In fact there was a concerted effort to find all the artwork the Germans had hidden before the Russians could claim it. While things have changed over the years, there is still a great deal of mistrust between the East and the West. They are entirely different cultures with different values. It will stay that way until we all realize that we are people with the same basic needs and desires.
It’s sort of like a football game if you think about it. We have the East verses West compete to see who has the better players. The difference is, at the end of the game everyone shakes hands and goes back home hopefully with a better impression of the other side. Now if we could only apply the same thing to governments.
How to celebrate – Determine whether you are an Easterner or a Westerner. Look as see the differences between the East and West (No matter where you are). Determine where you think the world splits to East and West.