Father’s Day Across The World!

By
Sa’ad Ahmed Shaikh

Father’s Day has been around since the Middle Ages, when it was celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19th) in Catholic Europe. Over the years, many countries have adopted this tradition. Most countries like those in Europe and America celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, while a few like Spain, Portugal, and Latin American countries continue to celebrate it on March 19th. Let’s have a look at the varying traditions spread across the world concerning this significant occasion.

Germany
A special Father’s Day outing in Germany, the males dragging along the hand-driven carts filled with alcoholic beverages and traditional food. || Photo by Frank May(dpa), Web, 29 June 2017, source: dw.com

Father’s Day (Vatertag) in Germany is celebrated in a distinct manner, quite different from the rest of the world. It is observed on Ascension Day (the Thursday 40 days after Easter); it’s a federal holiday. It is also referred to as, Men’s Day or Gentlemen’s Day(Männertag and Herrentag). The traditional approach involves a male group embarking on a hiking tour, manually dragging one or more small wagons(Bollerwagen). The wagons are filled with alcoholic beverages and other traditional food. The opportunity is often used by men to get drunk.

Australia
Hugh Jackman, Australian actor, took to the social media to wish his father on Father’s Day. || source: Instagram

Father’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. The reason behind the September placement pertains to the retail and marketing sector. April to June is stacked with a number of holidays, as is December and January. Owing to this ‘holiday fatigue’, September proves to be the most convenient option and it also coincides with the beginning of Spring. The coming of Spring also seems to decide the various gifts related to the season, like camping, fishing, and sports equipment. Families come together for a meal and a day out to show their appreciation for fathers.

China
Children show their drawings for Father’s Day. || Web, 29 June 2017, absolutechinatours.com

In China, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, like most countries. However, it is not widely observed among the Chinese, though some expatriates may celebrate it. Before the People’s Republic, during the reign of the Republic of China(1912-1949), Father’s Day was observed on August 8th. Eight (8) in the regional language is ba(八); thus, August being the 8th month, the date would be spoken as ba ba, which colloquially sounds similar to the regional term for father(ba-ba, 爸爸). It is still recognised on this date in areas under the control of the Republic of China, such as Taiwan.

France
Old advertisement for Flaminaire lighters. || Web, 29 June 2017, source: hprints.com

France has an amusing history with its modern-day commemoration of Father’s Day. In 1946, a gas-lighter company, Flaminaire, was founded in Brittany by Marcel Quercia. Owing to the low sales, Quercia began advertising its lighters under the banner of Father’s Day in 1949 on the third Sunday of June, just like the American celebration. The slogans for the campaign read…

Nos papas nous l’ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire‘(Our fathers told us, for father’s day, they all want is a Flaminaire).

It gained traction and in three years Father’s Day was officially decreed into existence on the same date. Families gather together for the whole day to acknowledge the importance of the father-figure in the family. It is usually a quiet event.

Nepal
nepal
People gather in large numbers to perform traditional rites for Gokarna Aunsi. || Web, 29 June 2017, source: welcomenepal.com

Father’s Day tradition in Nepal has a religious significance in its majority population of Hindus. It is celebrated according to the lunar calendar and thus usually falls in late August or early September. The occasion is known as Gokarna Aunsi, where gokarna and aunsi literally mean ‘cow-eared’ and ‘no moon night’ in Nepali. Hindus worship the cow-eared incarnations of Lord Shiv,  and pay respects to their fathers. It is also called Buwaako mukh herne din which means ‘day for looking at father’s face’; this is because of the tradition where sons touch their father’s feet with their forehead before in his eyes, while daughters simply touch their father’s hand before doing the same. Fathers are also presented with gifts by their children. Many go to the famous Shiv Temple near Kathmandu where they bathe and perform rites on the day following the new moon. People whose fathers have passed away, too, visit to carry out Yearly Death Rituals.

nepal 2
A son makes Pinda, a traditional Nepali dish, on the occasion of Father’s Day. || Web, 29 June 2017, source: wikipedia.org

 

Thailand
Ratchadamnoen Road decorated in honour of Father’s Day, celebrated on the king’s birthday. || Web, 29 June 2017, source: bangkokhasyou.com

Thailand’s Father’s Day is honoured on the birthday of the king, the last event being held on December 5th, the birthday of the late king, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Though not widely practiced today, tradition had the people presenting fathers with the Canna Flower, which is considered to be a masculine flower. The whole country is decorated lavishly and the skies are brought alive with extravagant fireworks; it is a National holiday, unlike most other countries of the world. As the late king’s birthday fell on a Monday; people wore yellow as it was the colour of that particular weekday. The late king used to give his trademark birthday speeches addressing his subjects. People gather at main avenues in their respective areas to pay respects to the king.

The royal family of Thailand, addressing the nation. || Web, 29 June 2017, source: learnthaiwithmod.com

It is now well-established that Father’s Day all over the world, though differing in some key concepts, is a significant occasion: it celebrates the same core value of honouring the father-figures that play a pivotal role in any institution.

You’ll Know It When You See It

By
Lakesha Mathis

IMG_0212.JPG
City Walk. 2016. Lakesha Mathis.

I pulled into a parking lot to see a young man frantically rummaging through his vehicle. Wildly searching! Throwing things everywhere all the while yelling at someone on the telephone.

As I got closer I noticed he had a green rubber band tied around his upper forearm. At first I paid it no attention until I realized exactly what was going on.

The young man had obviously lost something. Suddenly it became clear that he’d lost his best frienemy, his passion stealer, his life drain; he’d lost the one thing that was taking everything from him; he’d lost his fix. His drug.

The Dream.JPG
the Dream. 2016. Lakesha Mathis

In that moment I saw the America that promised him safe passage slip out of his grasp. This young man, America’s future was chasing with great ferocious hunger his own death.

Drug abuse doesn’t have a face nor race. This witness only scratches the surface of a much larger issue. What is happening to America’s youth over and over again? Drug addiction didn’t begin its attack with Generation-X. It seems that something in life leaves us vulnerable to the sexy illusion drugs over and again. The reasons are numerous and varied. But without a doubt it’s present.

Scene of the Crime 04072016.jpg
Scene of the Crime Hometown USA. 2016. Lakesha Mathis

Somehow, this young man I witnessed in a has come to terms with his worthlessness. Which is false. He is worthwhile. We all are. We are all here to meet our purpose. A purpose that is tied to every other purpose.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (NIDA, 2016).

According to the NIDA iIllicit drug use in the United States is continuing to increase.In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older reporting using illegal drug in the past month. The good news is, there is help. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please contact a service provider on the list below.

 

Help For Drug & Alcohol Abuse

 

Data Sources

National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics. Last Accessed 4/7/2016.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends. Last Accessed 4/7/2016.

For complete findings, visit:www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm#3.1.2

For more information about drug use among adolescents, visit:www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends

 

 

Apr.Iss.2

A Look At The Socialist Party

By
K.G. Bethlehem 

Socialist Party USA - en.wikipedia.org
Socialist Party USA. en.wikipedia.org

The race for the presidency is now in the season of Spring. One could say “new life” is being renewed in the bid to be the President of the United States of America. This article will focus on the Socialist Party of the United States of America. First, lets look at the basic definition of socialism.

  • Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment.

The term has been thrown around a lot for the past few years and with the resurgence of socialist candidates like Bernie Saunders, it has been getting more attention. Mostly in a negative light, since most connect socialism and communism. Both have similarities and some circles would conclude that communism is socialism going 100mph, but there are stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems. Communism can not exist among other political systems; not at all. For instance; In communism all people are the same and therefore classes are illogical. The government should own all means of production and land as well as everything else. People should work for the government and the collective output should be redistributed equally. With socialism, all individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization and further progressive movement in society to enhance the whole in the long run. Major industries are collective efforts and the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

African People's Socialist Party-USA - History. Chairman Omali with Huey Newton at the
African People’s Socialist Party-USA – History. Chairman Omali with Huey Newton at the

With that out of the way, lets look into the Socialist Party of the United States of America. Their current platform is:

  • The Socialist Party stands for the abolition of every form of domination and exploitation, whether based on social class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
  • We are committed to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic socialist society based on compassion, empathy, and respect as well as the development of new social structures. Socialism will establish a new social and economic order in which workers and community members will take responsibility for and control of their interpersonal relationships, their neighborhoods, their local government, and the production and distribution of all goods and services.
  • For these reasons we call for social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society’s product, in accordance with individual needs.
  • As we pursue a socialist transformation of society, we join with others in making radical demands on the existing system: demands that challenge the basic assumptions of a capitalist market economy while pointing the way to a new society. Although reforms will not in themselves bring about socialism, the fight for them will advance the cause by demonstrating the inherent limitations and injustice of the capitalist system. As we build the socialist movement, we organize around a platform committed to our common and interdependent struggles and aspirations.

Revolution NOW

An example is their economic plan:

  • The Socialist Party stands for a fundamental transformation of the economy, focusing on production for need not profit. So-called fair trade is meaningless as long as the world economy is dominated by a few massive corporations. Only a global transformation from capitalism to democratic socialism will provide the conditions for international peace, justice, and economic cooperation based on the large-scale transfer of resources and technology from the developed to the developing countries.
  • The are in total agreement with federal minimum wage being raise to $15 per hour along with the cancellation of 3rd World countries debts.

Here is an example of their ideas on education:

  • The Socialist Party recognizes the right of students of all ages to a free, quality education in a safe and supportive environment, and of all school employees to good wages, benefits, and working conditions • We call for full and equal funding of public education; for the restoration of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including art, music, world languages, and physical education; for an end to all public funding of private schools; and for free tuition and full-time teachers with full benefits (not “adjuncts”) at the post-secondary level. This also includes equal access to higher education for all people and support publicly funded higher education.

Emidio Mimi Soltysik and Angela Nicole Walker

The Socialist Party of USA current President and Vice President candidates are Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik (P) and Angela Nicole Walker (VP). Here is an excerpt from their open letter expressing their commitment in being their party’s candidate for the presidency of 2016:

“The campaign’s focus throughout the upcoming year will not be on the candidates. The campaign’s focus will be on you. You are the mother, the father, the student, the worker. You are the community — the community that fights for the breath of dignity as the boot of oppression digs its heel into your throat – and you are the sacred, essential ingredient necessary for liberation. Capitalism and its defenders tremble when contemplating your power. That fear makes us smile, as we are seeing the dawn of a new era of equality, peace, and justice peeking over the horizon. Its light heals our collective wounds. It is the light of socialism.”

Emidio Mimi Soltysik (P) and Angela Nicole Walker (VP)

For more information please visit their website at: http://socialistparty-usa.net/index.html