For this week’s Women of History feature, I’ve decided to go out of my knowledge base. I’m more well versed in Euro-American history and wanted to expand my horizons. So after asking around it was suggested I look into Yamamoto Yae, a Japanese woman who served as a nurse during Russo-Japanese war and was decorated for her service to Japan. She continuously advocated for what she thought was needed, and did not let the cultural ties keep her from doing so. Continue reading “Women of History: Yamamoto Yae”
Bookit Review: The Wedding Dress
Title: The Wedding Dress
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: 2012
My grade: A-
I really enjoyed this book, which is actually the first in the series. However, none of the books appear to be interconnected other than a few minor things. The third book, which I’m not reading at this time might have some more connections, however. Basically, you can read this book and The Wedding Chapel in any order and not be out-of-place. Continue reading “Bookit Review: The Wedding Dress”
Happy Mother’s Day
Today, April 14, is Mother’s Day in the United States. Its a day to remember and celebrate our Mothers and grandmothers – or any mother in our lives. For some its a day to spend with their loved ones, and some its a day to remember the mothers we have lossed. Its celebrated outside the US as well, on various dates.
The American Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in the early 1900s. She did it as a way to remember her own mother, who had served as a nurse during the civil War. She wanted a day where people would show their mothers their appreciation, by visiting or writing their mothers letters expressing it. She promoted it, campaigned for it, and saw it become a reality nationally in 1914. She was later against it because it became too commercialized in her opinon. I wrote about this before for last year’s Mother’s Day Post
However, it was not the first time motherhood was celebrated. Even in Ancient times, there were festivals to mother goddesses, and in early Christianity there was Mothering Sunday.
Ann Reeves Jarvis, Anna Jarvis’ mother, actually had a Mother’s Day of her own. It was a group of mothers who would work towards peace as well as help improve things. It fought to improve sanitary conditions, infant mortality rates and tended to wounded during the war. Julia Ward Howe had a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870 asking mothers to join together to be politically active in the fight for peace. What we consider Mother’s day wasn’t celebrated until 1908 in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
It is celebrated in various countries around the world at different times of the year and in different ways. Some have special days chosen so Mother’s Day is associated with another event. In Thailand, the date of Mother’s Day falls on the birthday of their Queen who is seen as a mother to her citizens. Some countries associate it with Christian celebrations such as Mothering Sunday (a day originally meant to visit your “mother” church) or days that celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the end, the sentiment behind the holiday is usually the same – to celebrate the women who are our Mothers, or took on the role in some way.
I wish all the mothers out there a happy Mother’s day. Including my own, who like Ann Reeves Jarvis is a nurse and will be taking care of people today.
National Geographic : “Mother’s Day Turns 100”
May has a lot of observances and awareness connections. I decided to write about some of them. There are of course many other observances during May, so here is the list from Wiki if you want to explore more. I am by no means an expert on any of these, so please research more on your own if you find yourself interested.
May is set aside for the awareness of several diseases and causes.
Celiac (or Coeliac) disease is a autoimmune disease where the small intestine can not properly digest gluten. It causes damage to the lining of villi, which help digest nutrients. It can range from discomfort to great pain and other health problems. This disease is probably getting more known due to gluten-free diet trends. Gluten can be found in wheat, Rye and Barley. It is a genetic disorder as well, so it runs in families.
Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder that effects the major organs, particularly the lungs. It is caused by a recessive gene mutation, which causes secretions like sweat, digestive fluids and particularly mucus to become thicker. There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, just treatments to treat the symptoms.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Awareness of Mental Heath issues is very important. Misinformation, ignorance of treatment and other factors have led to people not getting the treatment they need, or choosing to refuse treatment because they don’t’ want to be treated poorly for having a mental health issue. While societal views on mental illness have improved over the last few decades,we have far to go till its treated like any physical illness.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Month Observances
National Pet Month (US)
National Pet Month is basically a month to recognize the benefits that pets bring to our lives. It is observed in April in the UK and in May in the US. It also promotes pet adoption, and animal health.
Flores de Mayo
Flores de Mayo is a month long celebration in the Philippines. It has its roots in Catholic devotions to Mary including daily offering of flowers. On the last day of the month a pageant is held called the Santacruzan which honors events in Catholic history. In particular, it celebrates the finding of the true cross by St. Helena. Young women search for a hidden cross after attending a mass and the one who finds it is designated as Reyna Elena (St. Helena).
Flores de Mayo & Santacruzan – Catholics & Cultures
Single Day/Week Observances
Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday. In Mexico, it is a day of observance on a a military victory over French Occupation. It is usually observed with military parades. In the United States however it has become a day to celebrate Mexican-AMerican culture. There is debate on the ethical points of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, however, due to the fact that it was originally a Mexican holiday and the US celebration has nothing to do with the original Mexican. Also it has a tendency to promote stereotypes and racial issues.
International Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day (May 12)
Chronic Fatigue affects many people, though many go undiagnosed. Sometimes it is a side effect of another illness, but it can be an issue on its own. It is often hard to diagnose as there is no blood or lab test that can detect it. Awareness and research can bring more answers to the cause of Chronic Fatigue
CDC- Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day
Mother’s Day (May 14 in US)
There are several countries that celebrate Mother’s Day, and its on several different days of the month. However, since I live in the US I choose to note the date that the US is celebrating. I’ll be posting a separate post about this one when the day arrives.
Endangered Species Day (May 19)
Endangered Species day is a day to recognize the efforts that are out there to protect the wildlife on our planet. Many species have been lost in the last few decades alone, and there are many organizations out there trying to prevent more species from going from endangered to extinct.
US National Fish and Wildlife Service
Ramadan (May 26-June 25)
Ramadan is a religious observance by Muslims, and this year will start May 26/27. I am by far no expert on Islamic traditions, so I do recommend googling Ramadan and finding out more on your own. Ramadan is a religious rite that occurs for a month. It involves daily fasting and focusing on the Quran, their holy book.