Diversity and Difference
The Dean of Students Office Recognizes Important Events in January
January 13, 2014
Coming of Age Day in Japan
The day honors young Japanese who will reach the age of 20 at any point during the year. Twenty is the age of majority in Japan, and people who have reached this age gain the right to vote in elections as well as to drink.
Local governments usually have a ceremony known as a seijin shiki (adult ceremony) to honor the "new adults". The ceremony is held in the morning and all of the young peopke who live in the area are invited to attend. Government officials give speeches, and small gifts are handed out to the new adults.
Women celebrate the day by donning special kimonos in which the sleeves are long as compared to the kimono with shorter sleeve portions worn by mature, married women. Some women will also wear hakama (baggy pants).
Most young woman cannot put on a kimono themselves, and have to go to a kimono kitsuke who dresses them. They also go to a hairdressers to have their hair done the day before or early in the morning. Many women rent their kimonos because of the cost of buying one.
Most young men wear business suits, although sometimes men wearing dark-colored kimonos can be seen. Certainly, It is much less expensive day for the young men than the women.
January 19, 2014
World Religion Day
World Religion Day was founded in 1950 by the Bahá'ís of the United States, and since has spread worldwide, becoming an officially recognized event by many municipal governments and officials. It has since incorporated speakers and performers from the majority of the worlds religions and cultural backgrounds, and events are organized yearly by a coordinated effort from members of all religions.
The aim World Religion Day is to foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony amongst all religions. World Religion Day seeks to promote understanding and dialogue between the followers of all religions, to call attention to the common foundation of their spiritual principles, and to emphasize that "Religion must be the cause of unity". The day is observed with gatherings in homes, public meetings and events, campus activities, and panel discussions.
To learn more about the Bahai'i faith visit www.bahai.org
Check out bostonbahais.org/site/ to learn more about the Boston Bahai'i community
January 20, 2014
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Each year on the third Monday of January, America honors the birth, life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a time to remember the injustices that Dr. King fought. A time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all races and peoples through nonviolence. Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist and a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States.
Dr. King is widely regarded as America's pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950's and '60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. While others were advocating for freedom by "any means necessary," including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly impossible goals. He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.
At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest male and the third Black man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech is among the most acclaimed in U.S. history, and his soaring close "to let freedom ring" still resonates today and inspires those who are moved by his dream. Explore the dreams of others inspired by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at www.thekingcenter.org/dreams
Check out www.thekingcenter.org to learn more about The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the first institution built in memory of an African American leader.
I Have a Dream Speech www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
January 27, 2014
International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
The Holocaust, or Shoah is the term used to describe the deliberate murder and desecration of millions of people prior to and during World War II in Germany and German occupied areas in Europe. Many of them were Jewish but the Roma people, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, ethnic Poles, people with disabilities, homosexuals and political and religious opponents were also killed. Many people died in concentration and death camps spread across Nazi-occupied Europe. One of the most notorious camps was Auschwitz-Birkenau, near O?wi?cim, Poland. More than one million people died in Auschwitz-Birkenau before Soviet troops liberated it on January 27, 1945.
A UN resolution was drafted to designate January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The resolution called for education programs on the Holocaust to help prevent genocide. It also rejected denials that the Holocaust occurred.
On January 27 each year, this global observance commemorates those affected by the Holocaust during World War II. The day also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945.
Check out www.ushmm.org for information about events and online exhibits at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
2014 Calendar of Holocaust Remembrance Events www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/2014/calendar2014.html
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