Smiling is infectious
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
And someone saw my grin,
When he smiled I realised,
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile
Then realised its worth,
A single SMILE just like mine
Could travel round the earth.
So if you feel a smile begin
Don’t leave it undetected,
Let’s start an epidemic quick
And get the world infected.
Taken from the book Golden Apples by Bill Cullen
This January, as well as the New Year, many countries
around the world will be celebrating their independence.
Happy Independence day to you all!
Cameroon, Western Samoa, Haiti, Sudan (January 1st), Burma (January 4th), Chad (January 11th), Australia (January 26th) and Nauru (January 31st).
Yes! There is even a World Toilet Day. So, how precious are our loos?
It’s hard to imagine life without something we take for granted, but this is the daily reality for 2.6 billion people. 40 % of the world’s population does not have access to adequate sanitation. Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection. World Toilet Day aims to highlight the plight of those without access to sanitation. However, to bring a note of lavatory humour to this subject…
I recall a client of mine who made an inglorious cross-cultural marketing blunder and then asked me why. The client, a well-known pharmaceutical company, launched an advertising campaign in Japan, for a medicine to settle a bad stomach. In Japan their advert ran along the following lines… showing someone feeling ill, taking medicine and feeling better.
But it failed miserably… Any idea why? Click the link for the cross-cultural marketing blunder answer. Just for fun on World Toilet Day here are a few toilet signs that will make you smile:
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There has never been a greater international need to stop and think about tolerance and understanding. Today is the International Day of Tolerance. The Day of Tolerance was created in 1996 after the 1995 United Nations Year of Tolerance.
The day is all about promoting tolerance between all people across the globe. It is vital for the sake of the environment, the economy, and our society that we create a tolerant world, where we can cooperate without prejudice or hatred.
In 2005, The World Summit Outcome document was updated. The document outlines a commitment by heads of state and government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress. It also encourages tolerance, respect,dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilisations and peoples.
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Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights
Diwali is a five-day long celebration and means as much to Hindus as Christmas does to Christians. Diwali signifies the renewal of life and heralds the beginning of winter – when sowing crops can start.
Diwali is also a Sikh festival, especially celebrating the release from prison of the sixth guru, Hargobind, in 1619. However, Sikhs had celebrated Diwali for many years before that. The foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of Moksha (Nirvana, or eternal bliss) by the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavira.
Find out more about Diwali.
“We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to
understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.”
Edward T. Hall
11th Hour, of the 11th Day , of the 11th Month.
Armistice & Veterans Day is commemorated, especially in Europe and North America, in rememberance of the ending of the First World War. 11am on November 11th was the date chosen to end formal hostilities. The day is now used to remember all those who have lost their lives during war times. Although not a public holiday in Europe, a one-minute silence is observed at 11am. The nearest Sunday to the 11th traditionally is Remembrance Sunday when town officials place wreaths of poppies on their town’s memorials.
In Poland, 11th November is a national holiday and, besides Remembrance Day, it celebrates Polish Independence Day. In the USA, if Veterans’ Day happens to fall on a Sunday, then the following Monday is declared a public holiday. This is considered to be one of the most important holidays in America. Comemorated in Italy on 4th November.
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The World Science Day for Peace and Development is an annual event
celebrated all over the world to recall the commitment made at the UNESCO conference on science in 1999. Its purpose is to renew international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science, for the benefit of us all. It also aims to raise awareness of sciences importance.
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Halloween Day is celebrated as a festival around the world.
Especially celebrated by the younger generation, this festival of All Hallowes comes about as a practice followed among the Christian population and has its origins as a Pagan Celtic festival – Samhain. It’s celebrated the night before the Christian Festival of All Saints Day. Adults create laterns for their children made from large pumkins which have been made into ghoulish faces. Children play ‘trick or treat’.
However, in the Nordic countries this is the evening when friends and relatives who have died are remembered. People often go to the cemetary and place lit candles in the snow. The sight of hundreds of candles burning in the dark, illuminated by the white snow is quite a sight.
Find out more about Halloween
Find out more about All Saints Day
Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year festival, marking the Jewish
month of Tishri, also celebrated as the Birthday of the World. In fact, Judaism has four “new years” which mark various legal “years”, much like 1 January marks the “New Year” of the Gregorian calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts. The Mishnah also sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years and sabbatical (”shemitta”) and jubilee (”yovel”) years. It lasts for two days. This holiday is the first of the ”Yamim Noraim” (“Days of Awe”), the most solemn days of the Jewish year.
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