I have such a fond memory of the holidays that people celebrated during my childhood, May First International Workers’ Day being one of them. Of course, what follows is June first Children’s Day. Back then, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I do now.
Only after I arrived and settled in America did I begin to appreciate and understand these holidays. I also realized how provincial and parochial the mainstream American culture is. To the extent that I really don’t want to be associated with this culture.
For this International Labors’ Day, let us remember the famous rallying cries of communism articulated by Karl Marx —
March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD).
I used to think of this international day originating from Europe and the U.S. was too provincial to join anything international.
Last week as I read more on this, I learned that the U.S. actually celebrated Women’s Day before the first IWD.
In 1909, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the U.S. on February 28, organized by the Socialist Party of America.
The next year, 1910 saw the establishment of International Women’s Day in Copenhagen to honor the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women.
The year 1911 witnessed the first huge IWD rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19.
It has been over a century since its first celebration. Of course, the world has seen a huge progress for women all over the world. But, given the treatment of women last year and remember many untold stories about women’s treated unequally, the world still has a long way to go before people can claim some sort of victory in women’s liberation movement.
“The May Day Riots of 1894 were a series of violent demonstrations that occurred throughout Cleveland, Ohio on May 1 , 1894 (May Day). Cleveland’s unemployment rate increased dramatically during the Panic of 1893. Finally, riots broke out among the unemployed who condemned city leaders for their ineffective relief measures.”
One interesting fact is this international holiday originated in the U.S.A, but the U.S. has not officially recognized this and some other international holiday. This shows (1) the labor force has never been strong in American politics. (2) The U.S. has been a very provincial, parochial country, opposite to open-mindedness.
Enjoy International Children’s Day! Or enjoy the memory of it if you are too old for that.
June will be a busy month for us.
By the way, I went to another site for KU physicals as part of preparation for KU takeover. When I mentioned June first International Children’s Day, none of these nice folks have ever heard of this. “It would be nice to have a day for the children” said one of the nice ladies. What do you mean? There is already such a day. Only it is not observed in the U.S.
Yesterday was International Labor’s Day. I talked to my family in Beijing. Normally people have a long holiday to celebrate this day. My mother thought we marked this day in America because it is an International Labor’s Day. Her head is still filled with Marxist slogan — “Workers of the world, unite!”
Here’s my explanation is her. Firstly, the U.S. is very provincial in that it never recognizes or celebrates any international holiday. In fact, my colleagues have never heard of May Day. Haven’t I told you that a nice lady in Texas taught me how to eat apple when I first arrived in the States?
Secondly, that Marxist slogan is very much idealistic. In reality, workers of one country unite against those of other countries. Because workers in U.S. see their counterparts in China or India or any other countries as their competitors who take away their jobs.
Karl Marx was a highly intelligent thinker. He expected American workers could figure out it was the capitalists who shipped their jobs to wherever labor was cheap and their counterparts in foreign lands were on the same boat as them–both were exploited by capitalists. That’s an unrealistic expectation. If they could figure that out, they would not be workers any more!
Today is May first International Labour’s Day. Just like March 8th International Women’s Day, America is an exception when it comes to any internationally marked day. It only oberves its own labor day.
Last week I talked with a colleague of mine on the folks that were recently laid off. I thought we could have avoided letting go of these people if we all either take a pay cut or take less work hours each week. It would be a win-win situation for both employee and the company.
If the company can manage to keep all these good people during economic downturn, it will save itself from the trouble and the money of hiring new people when things get better.
It makes sense from both humanistic and economic perspective. I can never figure out why we have to lay off people. Why can’t we think of some way to keep everybody afloat? Is it against American culture if companies manage economic downturn in a humane way?
Today is International Women’s Day, the day to celebrate the rising social and economic status of women world wide. The day was first marked among socialist countries and later widely accepted globally, with the exception of the U.S. A big tribute to this day is Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win the best directing Oscar, as her Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker took six prizes, including best film.
Last weekend was warm and nice. I had previously bought some plants and seeds and had given them my tender loving care.
I find gardening the most relaxing activity of all. No stress, no yelling, and no embarrassment. I can talk to the plants without the fear of saying something wrong, a feeling of safe with Mother Nature.
That’s why gardening is one of my favorite activities for weekend.
With 5 days away from the New Year comes over 500 Palistinian death. The year 2009 started with Israeli air attacks on Gaza, causing the loss of lives, bringing out a large-scaled protest and passion for revenge in the Middle East and throughout the world among Islamists, and further escalating the conflict between the two peoples. I am sure the peace-loving Israeli had all the good intention of maintaining peace, only accidentally resulting in mass-killing.
Events like this always provides loads of food for thought. Can we overpower people with advanced military technologies and the support of the most powerful country in the world. Can we make ourselves accepted and well-liked by using threat and gunpowder? When dealing with strong-minded normal IQ folks, I am not sure how much we can achieve with force. Of course, I am not the first one to discover this ancient truth, as I remember a saying from Sun Zi military book that the best way to conquer a city is through conquering the heart, not with gunpowder.
You cannot dissolve a conflict even with a rising tone, let alone air attack. On the contrary, soft-tone with firm voice and skilled diplomatics works better than what the powerful party often practises.
From the perspective of people living in that part of the world, peace has been so precious, yet has been so hard to obtain and maintain. It is getting harder to obtain with the loss of so many lives and sowing of so deep hatred among the living.
So much can be learned from this, sadly to say at the cost of so many lives!