Reformation Day is observed in Germany and Slovenia.

germanyf2t11x  sloveniC

Reformation Day is a religious holiday, which is celebrated in many countries of the world with a largely Christian population. It is celebrated on the last day of October every year and celebrate one of the most important and crucial Reformations to have occurred in the history of Christianity, the Protestant Reformation.

Read more about Reformation Day

With the Nordic countries dominating the new World Economic Forum’sglobal gender gap report
Global Gender Gap Index 2009, it seems that the rest of the world will always be playing ‘second fiddle’ or ‘catch up’ as the top four spots once again go to our Nordic neighbours. I’m disappointed to note that the UK slipped two places to 15th this year but it is still streets ahead of the USA who slipped 4 places to number 31!  Shame on us.

The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities. So, who of our friends in the North won top spot and how did the rest of the world measure up?

AmericasColumbus Day is celebrated all over North and South America on Second Monday of October.

Christopher Columbus, an Italian under the sponsorship of the Spanish Catholic Monarchs, set sail with his three ships on an expedition to find a new sea route to India. Eventually, on October 12, 1942, a sailor aboard the Pinta spied land. Children from English speaking countries rembember the day by chanting:

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” The ships were named: Niña, Pinta, and Santa María

At the time, Europeans were in search of trade routes to India and set forth on journeys in all different directions. Most of their journeys ended in vain either being shipwrecked by the violent seas, killed by pirates or killed by the natives of the lands they came across. Columbus was among the distinguished few who did live to tell their tales of discovery and brought unimaginable, fabulous wealth to the Spanish Monarchy and the unknown world into the maps of European travelers.

Find out more about Columbus Day

berlin wallIn a month from now Germany will be celebrating. On November 9th, 2009, Berlin celebrates the 20th anniversay of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a “Festival of Freedom”.  That is the day that has gone down in history as signalling the end of the cold war. It is one of those moments in histroy where those in Europe, at least, can vividly remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. What is little known is the story behind how the story first got out… a film maker, a vicar, and a nervous diplomat with a secret recording crossing to the West … which then lead to thousands of people on both sides of the wall converging on the crossing points, which lead to East Germany’s Communist ruler’s giving permission for the gates to be opened.

absolutely-interculturalI recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ann Fox of Absolutely Intercultural! And, being two interculturalists, we had LOTS to talk about. In this first part podcast Ann is asking me about intercultural communication and my speciality – how to shape your message when presenting to an international audience. Click on the link to find out more: how to present to international audiences.

Talking to Ann Fox about her award winning audio blog site was extremely interesting. Check out the site and see what a range of people and topics ther are on offer.

immigrantsWhat do migrants choose to take with them when they leave their homes and families forever – to help remind them of the life and the people they left behind? (I picked up this from an online resource  promoting global learning)

In Memento, a moving two-part documentary broadcast on 2nd October, the BBC meets four refugees in Britain who had to make that tough choice. For Fazli, an Afghan child refugee, it’s a pen given to him by his father. And for Fungayi, a political activist from Zimbabwe, it’s an mbira – a traditional musical instrument that reminds him of better times. They tell their stories through the keepsakes, or mementos, they treasure most. Find out more, and listen to the programmes at the BBC World Service website.

AfricaIngenuity, innovation and invention are words to use in connection with the efforts people in Africa have made in their use of recycled materials. Read the New Internationalist’s ‘Majority World Blog’ to see how much can be done with so little. It includes some great pictures of recycled products and links to websites for further info. Definitely worth a look – then go on to the home page and bookmark it as a major site for blogs from all over the world.