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Refugee Week | 14 – 20 June 2015

Refugee Week
Refugee Week | What It’s All About?

1. Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

2. The main aim of the celebration is to create a better understanding between communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.

3. Events during Refugee Week have included sporting tournaments, public talks, exhibitions, music and dance festivals, theatre projects and film screenings.

4. A wide range of refugee community organisation, voluntary organisations, local councils, schools, student groups and faith-based organisations host events during this week.

Who Are Refugees?

5. The most widely accepted definition of what circumstances make a person refugee, is stated in the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention which was created in response to the mass migrations (particularly from Europe) following the atrocities of the WWII.

6. According to the UN Refugee Convention a refugee is; any person who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, Continue Reading →

Ramadan and Eid | 18 Central Points

Ramadan

A family waits for the sun to set outside Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India. They are about to enjoy Iftar.

Ramadan and Eid | The Basics

1. Ramadan is anticipated by Muslim around the world, as it is their holiest month of the year.

2. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

3. Islam uses a lunar calendar—that is, each month begins with the sighting of the new moon (crescent moon). The lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar used in Western countries, therefore the dates of Ramadan can move a little from year to year.

4. In places where it is not possible to see the crescent moon, Muslims may begin fasting according to the closest place where the moon has been sighted, while other scholars rely on the calculations of astronomers.

5. In 2015, Ramadan began at sundown on June 18th. The fast is observed each day from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting and Spiritual Reflection

6. The Arabic word for “fasting” (sawm) literally means “to refrain” – and it means not only refraining from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours, but also from evil actions, thoughts and words. It is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.

7. Fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person’s body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Fasting helps Muslims feel the peace that comes from spiritual devotion as well as kinship with fellow believers.

8. Fasting serves many purposes. While they are hungry and thirsty, Muslims are reminded of the suffering of the poor.

9. Families get up early for suhoor, a meal eaten before the sun rises. After the sun sets, the fast is broken with a meal known as iftar. Iftar usually begins Continue Reading →

Korean Language, Culture and History

Korean LanguageKorean Language

• The Korean Language is spoken in North and South Korea. Although there are various dialects the language is generally understood everywhere.

• The Korean alphabet is known as Hangul in South Korea and as Chosŏn’gŭl in North Korea.

• The alphabet was created in the 15th century, until then aristocratic society used a different writing system to the public and the government. The aristocracy used Chinese characters which required a basic knowledge of several thousand characters.

• In the 15th Century the ordinary Korean people did not have the time or means to master Chinese and remained illiterate. Moreover it was difficult to express spoken Korean in Chinese characters.

• In 1446 King Sejong commissioned a group of scholars to devise a phonetic writing system that would represent the sounds Continue Reading →

Croatia and Language

Croatian beach15 Points to Help Clarify a Croatia’s Complicated Language History

Croatia Today
1. Today, the Croatian language is spoken by approximately 6 million people, primarily in the country of Croatia where it serves as the official national language.

2. In terms of nationality, Croats comprise 90% of the population. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious confession (86%), followed by the Orthodox (4.4%; mostly Serbs, who also form the largest national minority).

3. The Croatian diaspora (Croatians living outside of Croatia) worldwide, from Australia to North and South America and Western Europe, comprises over two and a half million people.

History
4. At the end of World War 1 in 1918, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro were put together to form a single country, named first the Kingdom Continue Reading →

Children’s Day in Japan| Kodomo no Hi

Children's Day in Japan12 Facts about the Customs and Origins of Children’s Day in Japan

Children’s Day Customs
1. Every May 5, it is Kodomo no hi or “Children’s Day” in Japan, when families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children.

2. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp. The carp streamers are hung by parents hoping their children will be successful, since the carp symbolize worldly success. On children’s day you can see koinobori flying almost everywhere you look.

3. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream.

4. Families with sons will also set out samurai warrior dolls gogatsu ningyo, which symbolize strength and bravery. Samurai warrior Continue Reading →