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Flag Day Mexico - F e b 2 4

Día de la Bandera ("Flag Day") is a national holiday in Mexico. Flag Day is celebrated every year on Feb24 since its ruary implementation in 1937. It was established by the President of Mexico, General Lázaro Cárdenas, before the monument to General Vicente Guerrero, first to pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag on March 12, 1821. When the Pledge is recited, it is customary to salute the flag with the raised arm Bellamy Salute while speaking. When the flag is being paraded, the arm is held across the chest, palm parallel to the ground.

Independence Day (1918) Estonia - F e b 2 4

Estonia (Estonian: Eesti), officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation (338.6 km). Across the Baltic Sea lies Swedenin the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia covers 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. The Estonians are a Finnic people, and the official language Estonian, is closely related to Finnish. Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic divided into 15 counties. The capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.34 million, it is one of the least-populous members of the European Union, Eurozone and NATO. Estonia has the highest GDP per person among former Soviet republics. Estonia is listed as a "High-Income Economy" by the World Bank, as an "advanced economy" by the International Monetary Fund and the country is an OECD member. The United Nations lists Estonia as a developed country with a Human Development Index of "Very High". The country is also ranked highly for press freedom,economic freedom, democracy and political freedom and education.

Etymology One theory is that the modern name of Estonia originated from the Aesti described by the Roman historian Tacitus

in his Germania (ca. 98 AD). On the other hand, ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to a land called Eistland, close to theDanish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian term Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name are Estia and Hestia. Esthonia was a common alternate English spelling prior to independence.

History

Prehistory:

Evidence has been found of hunting and fishing communities existing around 6500 BC near the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. Bone and stone artefacts similar to those found at Kunda have been discovered elsewhere in Estonia, as well as in Latvia, northern Lithuania and in southern Finland. The Kunda culture belongs to the middle stone age, or Mesolithic period. The end of the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age were marked by great cultural changes. The most significant was the transition to farming, which has remained at the core of the economy and culture. Between the 1st to 5th centuries AD resident farming was widely established, the population grew, and settlement expanded. Cultural influences from the Roman Empire reached Estonia. The first mention of the people inhabiting present-day Estonia is by the Roman historian Tacitus, who in his book Germania (ca. AD 98) describes the Aesti tribe. Tacitus mentions their term for amber in an apparently Latinised form, glesum (cf. Latvian glīsas). This is the only word of their language recorded from antiquity. In spite of this point, the Aestii are generally considered the ancestors of the later Baltic peoples. A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed with external dangers coming both from the Baltic tribes, who attacked across the southern land border, and from overseas. Several Scandinavian sagas refer to retaliatory campaigns against Estonia. Estonian pirates conducted similar raids against the Vikings. The "pagan raiders" who sacked the Swedish town of Sigtuna during the early Middle Ages, in 1187, were Estonians. In the 1st centuries AD, political and administrative subdivisions began to emerge in Estonia. Two larger subdivisions appeared: the province (Estonian: kihelkond) and the land (Estonian:maakond). The province comprised several elderships or villages. Nearly all provinces had at least one fortress. The defense of the local area was directed by the highest official, the king or elder. By the 13th century the following major lands had developed in Estonia: Revala, Harjumaa, Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Läänemaa, Alempois,Sakala, Ugandi, Jogentagana, Soopoolitse, Vaiga, Mõhu, Nurmekund, Järvamaa and Virumaa. Estonia retained a pagan religion centred around a deity called Tharapita. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia mentions Tharapita as the superior god of Oeselians (inhabitants of Saaremaa island), also well known to Vironian tribes in northern Estonia.

Middle Ages:

At the beginning of the 13th century, Lembitu of Lehola, a chieftain of Sakala sought to unify the Estonian people and thwart Danish and Germanic conquest during the Livonian Crusade. He managed to assemble an army of 6,000 Estonian men from different counties, but he was killed during the Battle of St. Matthew's Day in September 1217. In 1228, in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade, to the 1560s, Estonia became part of Terra Mariana, established on 2 February 1207 as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and proclaimed by pope Innocent III in 1215 as a subject to the Holy See. The southern parts of the country were conquered by Livonian Brothers of the Sword who joined the Teutonic Order in 1237 and became its branch known as Livonian Order. The Duchy of Estonia was formed in the northern parts of the country as a direct dominion of the King of Denmark from 1219 until 1346 when it was sold to the Teutonic order and became part of the Ordenstaat. In 1343, the people of northern Estonia and Saaremaa rebelled against the German rule in the St. George's Night Uprising, which was put down by 1345. Reval (known as Tallinn since 1918) gained Lübeck Rights in 1248 and joined an alliance of trading guilds called the Hanseatic League at the end of the 13th century. After the Teutonic Order fell into decline following its defeat in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, and the defeat of the Livonian Order in theBattle of Swienta on 1 September 1435, the Livonian Confederation agreement was signed on 4 December 1435. The Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia attempted unsuccessful invasions in 1481 and 1558. The Livonian Confederation ceased to exist during the Livonian War (1558–82). The wars had reduced the Estonian population from about 250–300,000 people before the Livonian War to 120–140,000 in the 1620s.

Reformation and Swedish Estonia:

The Reformation in Europe officially began in 1517 with Martin Luther (1483–1546) and his 95 Theses. The Reformation resulted in great change in the Baltic region. Ideas entered the Livonian Confederation very quickly and by the 1520s they were well known. Language, education, religion, and politics were greatly transformed. The Church services were now given in the local vernacular, instead of Latin, as was previously used. During the Livonian War in 1561, northern Estonia submitted to Swedish control. Southern Estonia in 1560s formed an autonomous Duchy of Livoniain the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under joint control of the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy, containing two voivodeships of present-day Estonia: Dorpat Voivodeship (Tartu region) and Parnawa Voivodeship (Pärnu region). In 1629, mainland Estonia came entirely under Swedish rule. Estonia was administratively divided between the provinces of Estonia in the north and Livonia in southern Estonia and northern Latvia, a division which persisted until the early 20th century. In 1631, the Swedish king Gustaf II Adolf forced the nobility to grant the peasantry greater rights, although serfdom was retained. King Charles XI withdrew large noble estates to the Swedish Crown effectively turning serfs to taxpaying farmers. In 1632, a printing press and university were established in the city of Dorpat (known as Tartu since 1918). This period is known in Estonian history as "the Good Old Swedish Time." The steady growth of the population continued until the outbreak of the plague in 1657. The Great Famine of 1695– 97 killed some 70,000 people – almost 20% of the population.

Russian Empire:

Following the Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia during the Great Northern War, the Swedish empire lost Estonia to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad. However, the upper classes and the higher middle class remained primarily Baltic German. The war devastated the population of Estonia, but it recovered quickly. Although the rights of peasants were initially weakened, serfdom was abolished in 1816 in the province of Estonia and in 1819 in Livonia. After the Russian revolution of 1917, Tallinn remained under Soviet control until 24 February 1918, when Estonian independence was declared.

Declaration of independence:

As a result of the abolition of serfdom and the availability of education to the native Estonian-speaking population, an active Estonian nationalist movement developed in the 19th century. It began on a cultural level, resulting in the establishment of Estonian language literature, theatre and professional music and led on to the formation of the Estonian national identity and the Age of Awakening. Among the leaders of the movement were Johann Voldemar Jannsen, Jakob Hurt and Carl Robert Jakobson. Significant accomplishments were the publication of the national epic, Kalevipoeg, in 1862, and the organization of the firstnational song festival in 1869. In response to a period of Russification initiated by the Russian empire in the 1890s, Estonian nationalism took on more political tones, with intellectuals first calling for greater autonomy, and later, complete independence from the Russian Empire. Following the Bolshevik takeover of power in Russia after the October Revolution of 1917 and German victories against the Russian army, between the Russian Red Army's retreat and the arrival of advancing German troops, the Committee of Elders of the Maapäev issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence in Pärnu on 23 February and in Tallinn on 24 February 1918. After winning the Estonian War of Independence against both Soviet Russia and the German Freikorps and Baltische Landeswehr volunteers, (the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed on 2 February 1920). The Republic of Estonia was recognised (de jure) by Finland on 7 July 1920, Poland on 31 December 1920, Argentina on 12 January 1921 and by the Western Allies on 26 January 1921. Estonia maintained its independence for twenty-two years. Initially a parliamentary democracy, the parliament (Riigikogu) was disbanded in 1934, following political unrest caused by the global economic crisis. Subsequently the country was ruled by decree by Konstantin Päts, who became President in 1938, the year parliamentary elections resumed.

National Day Kuwait - Feb 25

From the beginning, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah realized the threat approaching from the Ottoman Empire, the greatest Islamic government at that time, so he took a decisive step to protect his country from direct or indirect Ottoman intervention. In February 1897, he asked to meet Colonel Meade, the British Political Resident in the Arabian Gulf to ask for British protection to prevent the dominance by the Ottoman Empire over his country. Though the position of Kuwait was important to British interests and this importance had been known since 1775, Great Britain did not desire to protect Kuwait because of the required military and financial commitments, not to mention its inclination not to disturb its relations with the Ottoman Empire. owever, in 1898 many elements incited Britain to reconsider its policy towards Kuwait. Such as the Ottoman military activities near Basra, and the Russian and German plans that were threatening British interests in the region of the Arabian Gulf. Thus, on the basis of a decision from Lord Curzon, the British viceroy in India, British Political Resident Mead concluded a protectorate agreement with the ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah on January 23, 1899, which defined Kuwait as: "An independent Country Under British Protection" Britain promised to protect Sheikh Mubarak and his heirs, and in turn the latter agreed to conclude no treaties with other powers, to admit no foreign agents and to cede no part of Kuwait's territory without British consent. This agreement limited the rights of Kuwait to deal conclusively with its lands without British approval. However, the agreement did not give Britain the right to intervene in the internal affairs of Kuwait. In November 1914, Britain recognized Kuwait as an independent emirate that enjoyed British protection. Since 1934, Kuwaiti-British relations went beyond the Arab domain, They were influenced by other greater international influence due to the competition of American companies in drilling for oil in Kuwait and other emirates of the Arabian Gulf. On the internal scene, Kuwait witnessed advances both related to the rule and the local administration. In 1921, the State Consultative Council was formed by appointment. The second national regular school was established and called Al-Ahmadiya School. It was given the name of the ruler of Kuwait at that time, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The first national regular school had been inaugurated in December 1911. It was called Al-Mubarakiya School after the name of the ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah. The municipality was founded in 1930. The members of the city council were elected in 1932, when Kuwait witnessed the first election in its history. Life was difficult in this period. This was due to the fact that the traditional economy of Kuwait, like any other country or emirate in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, was closely based on the sea. Diving for pearls, fishing, shipbuilding and nets as well as other activities related to the desert, such as herding were the professions prevailing at that time. Kuwaiti society showed its sympathy for the cases of the Arab Nation, with the Palestinian case at the top. In 1936, Kuwait witnessed a donation campaign carried out by the Kuwaiti people for Palestine. In December 1934, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, the ruler of Kuwait at that time, signed an agreement for oil drilling with the Kuwait Oil Company (Anglo-American Company). In 1936-1938, the primary drilling operations proved that Kuwaiti lands were rich in oil, a matter that dramatically increased the importance of the country. Concerning the government, in June 1938, Kuwait witnessed the election of the first legislative council that was held from July to December 1938. In June 1946 the first shipment of Kuwaiti oil was exported. In the late forties (1949) a construction movement started in Kuwait with the building of some public utilities, a new hospital and roads. Simultaneously with this economic, cultural and population development, Kuwait proceeded towards progress and independence since the beginning of the fifties. The economic, intellectual and cultural movement flourished in Kuwait and the number of the literate people and the schools increased. In addition, more educational missions were sent to the universities all over the world. In this period, Kuwaiti society had to face many internal and external challenges as Kuwait evolved from a poor country to a rich one enjoying great financial potentiality. At many different levels, oil production was a turning point for Kuwait, a matter which intensified British interest in Kuwait, as its international importance increased. At the beginning of the fifties, Kuwait witnessed development and reformation in the local administration. The High Executive Committee was formed in 1954; then the Supreme Council and the Organizational Authority in 1956; in addition to governmental local councils such as the Education Councill, City Council and Health Council.

Declaring independence

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah realized that the protectorate agreement was no longer appropriate after the changes that had taken place in the conditions of Kuwait. At that time, Kuwait was heading for independence and had already taken large strides on its way. The Kuwaiti people no longer accepted the restrictions imposed by the protectorate agreement, though they realized very well that this protectorate had many advantages in this period. Yet, circumstances had changed, which necessitated cancellation of the agreement. Thus, the ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, expressed his desire to replace the old agreement with a new friendship agreement that went along with the development and changes that had taken place.

Libe r a t ion D a y Kuwait - Feb 26

Every year aside from their National Day, Kuwait also celebrates is Liberation Day every 26th of February. This official public holiday is celebrated in honor of the country’s independence from Iraq after the first Gulf War.

History

From the time Kuwait has been released by the British, The government of Iraq found Kuwait to be promising because of the discovery of large oil reserves of the country. In fact, on 1952, the country became the largest exporter of oil in the Persian Gulf Region. Being one of the wealthiest regions in the Arabian subcontinent, Kuwait’s economy sky rocketed and attracted several opportunities from foreign countries. However, it was on 1982 that Kuwait gone through a short period of deterioration in economic standing and prices in oil all went down. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Kuwaiti market finally recovered and even managed to fund Iraq for eight years on its battle against Iran. But conflict started to develop between Iraq and Kuwait when the latter refused to pardon the former on its billion dollar accountability. Disagreement developed between the two countries and on 1990, Iraq finally declared war and invaded Kuwait. Because of this, the Persian Gulf War was established which participated by over 34 nations who wished to dismiss the Iraqi rule over Kuwait. And finally, on February 26, 1991, Iraq’s authority over Kuwait was abolished declaring the country as independent and on full sovereignty.

Celebrations

The Liberation Day celebration of Kuwaiti is celebrated by the whole country with pride and salutation as the country was able to make a stand and run on its own. It is a whole day of public gatherings and parades participated and organized by many different civic groups and government organizations. The country also remembers the 605 Prisoners of War who are still in the hands of the Iraqi government up to the present time.

A nda lus ia D a y Spain - Feb 28

The Día de Andalucía ("Day of Andalusia" or "Andalusia Day") is celebrated February 28 and commemorates the February 28, 1980referendum on the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia, in which the Andalusian electorate voted for the statute that made Andalusia an autonomous community of Spain. In many municipalities and cities of Andalusia, people decorate their balconies with the flag of Andalusia and with bunting echoing its green-and-white bars. Cultural competitions are often held in conjunction with the day. In some cities, especially in the Malaga area, schools are closed for a Semana Cultural ("cultural week"), also known as Semana Blanca ("white week"). The Friday before is often a day of celebration in schools with a traditional Andalusian breakfast (desayuno andaluz), consisting of a slice of toast with a thin layer of olive oil and orange juice; students color pictures that refer to the symbols and insignia of Andalusia, its history and customs, put on plays and sing the regional anthem, the Himno de Andalucía.

Historic observances: 2007

The of the holiday in 2007 included a plenary session of the Parliament of Andalusia at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville to grant that years honor of Hijo Predilecto de Andalucía ("Favorite son of Andalusia") to José de Sousa Saramago, and the Medal of Andalusia to Miguel Báez Espuny 'El Litri', Real Betis Balompié, Carlos Cabezas Jurado, Bernardo Rodríguez Arias, Felipe Reyes Cabañas,Juana Castro, Ramón Contreras, María García Torrecillas, Eva Garrido ('La Yerbabuena'), Rafael Martos Sánchez ('Raphael'). and Javier Ruibal.

Pe a c e M e m or ia l D a y Taiwan - Feb 28

It started with a woman selling cigarettes. February 27, 1947: Lin Jian-Mai was peddling black market cigarettes at a portable stand on Taping Road in Taipei, Taiwan (then Formosa), when she was caught and arrested by antismuggling police from the “Kuomintang” (Chaing Kai-Shek’s Nationalist Chinese government). During the arrest she yelled and struggled with the agents, who had taken her wares and her cash. As a gathering crowd watched the commotion, an overzealous agent pistol-whipped the woman, hard. The angry crowd surrounded the officers, who then fired warning shots to make an escape for themselves. One of the shots hit and killed a pedestrian. Word of the incident spread. People were already angry at the corruption of the Chinese government, and the living conditions that had necessitated the black market. A mob gathered outside the police station, demanding the guilty officer be brought out. When their demands were refused by the captain, the crowd grew angrier and set fire to a police vehicle. The next day, February 28, amid anti-government demonstrations, the Governor’s security force fired upon the demonstrators with machine guns. Formosans rebelled, attacked mainlanders, and took over part of the city’s infrastructure. On March 7 Chaing Kai-Shek’s army arrived from mainland China for back-up. That’s when the slaughter really began. The beating of the cigarette vendor may have triggered the 228 Incident, but tensions leading to something like this had been brewing for two years, ever since Chaing Kai-Shek’s government won back Taiwan in 1945 after a halfcentury of Japanese control. Corruption and nepotism grew rampant. Taiwan was treated like a colony of the mainland. The Governor Chen Yi controlled the island’s economy and forced Formosans to pay unimaginable amounts for common goods. The Taiwan Company, for example, was run by Governor Chen’s nephew. The company bought coal at 200 yen a ton and sold it to the people for 4,000. “With his Chinese aides and ‘monopoly police’ [Chen] took over and expanded the Japanese system of government industrial and trade monopoly (sugar, camphor, tea, paper, chemicals, oil refining, cement). He confiscated some 500 Jap-owned factories and mines, tens of thousands of houses.” Chen ran everything from “the hotel to the night-soil business.” And that included the cigarette factory. It was in this crucible that Chen’s monopoly police beat a woman vending non-sanctioned tobacco—cigarettes that weren’t manufactured by Chen’s government-run companies. It was the spark that set the island aflame. When Chaing Kai-Shek’s troops arrived from mainland China, they engaged in: Three days of indiscriminate killing and looting. For a time everyone seen on the streets was shot at, homes were broken into and occupants killed. In the poorer sections the streets were said to have been littered with dead…There were instances of beheadings and mutilation of bodies, and women were raped,’ said one American witness.” Witnesses estimated as many as 10,000 people were killed. But there are no official tallies. The government banned Formosans from even mentioning what came to be known as the 228 Incident. The riots and massacres would trigger the era of “White Terror” in Taiwan. The violence was further fueled by the Chinese Civil War between Mao Zedong’s Communist army and Chaing Kai-Shek’s Nationalist forces. The Communists eventually won everything but the tiny island of Taiwan, which calls itself, the Republic of China. Even so, martial law in Taiwan didn’t end until 1987. I am reminded of the brief note I put down on my diary after seeing the movie, The Last Emperor. The note simply says, “A good and interesting movie, but a wrong title.” By a wrong title I meant that Pu-yi was not the last Emperor of China; there have been many since…One would include among them, Yuan Si-kai, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Each of the them certainly behaved as emperor and wanted others to so treat him. The tradition of authoritarianism of the ruler is still deeply engrained in the minds of both the rulers and the ruled in Chinese culture. A forceful example can be found as recently as June 4, 1989 at Tienanmen Square. For the rulers, only glory and power count. Human rights, freedom of equality or respect for the lives of people have to surrender to the might of the rulers.”

Baba Marta Bulgaria - Mar 01

Baba Marta (Bulgarian: Баба Марта, "Grandmother March") is the name of a mythical figure who brings with her the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the spring. Her holiday of the same name is celebrated in Bulgaria on March 1 with the exchange and wearing of martenitsi.

Baba Marta Baba Marta is seen as an old lady who has very contrasting

moods. This is related to the weather during the month of March, which is traditionally extremely variable in Bulgaria – warm and sunny weather means that Baba Marta is happy; when she is angry, the winter frost returns. The majority of the customs connected to Baba Marta aim to make her happy and so bring about spring all the fickers faster.

Baba Marta Day All Bulgarians celebrate on March 1 a centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi on what is called the day of

Baba Marta, which this year dawned with a shy sun, spelling relatively nice weather ahead. Eagerly followed on March 1 every single year, the tradition of giving your friends red-and-white interwoven strings brings health and happiness during the year and is a reminder that spring is near. Celebrated on March 1, Baba Marta (Grandma March) is believed to be a feisty lady who always seems to be grudging at her two brothers, while the sun only comes out when she smiles. As folklore often goes there are different versions of the Baba Marta tale. One says that on that day she does her pre-spring cleaning and shakes her mattress for the last time before the next winter - all the feathers that come out of it pour on Earth like snow - the last snow of the year. The martenitsa tradition is thought to have been inspired by Bulgaria's first Khan Asparuh, who sent a white string to his wife to tell her he survived a battle.

Martenitsi

"Martenitsi" are red and white coloured wristbands, or figurines, that symbolise health and happiness. They are given away to friends and family. People are supposed to take off their martenitsi when they see the first signs that spring has already come - a blooming tree or a stork. When the martenitsa is taken off some tie it to a tree - one that they'd like to be especially fruitful. Others place it under a rock and based on what they find there the next morning guess what kind of a year this one would be. The martenitsa now comes in all shapes and sizes - from Guiness-worth giant building packages to two tiny simple strings gently placed on a newborn's arm. Children usually compete who will get the most and often walk around more ornate than a Christmas tree. However, it always bears the same meaning - a lucky charm against the evil spirits of the world, a token for health and a sign of appreciation. Baba Marta folklore is present in southern and eastern Serbia where it is a usual reference as to the sudden and unexpected freezing weather change after a spring break.

Heroes' Day Paraguay - Mar 01

Every year, Paraguay (Officially, Republic of Paraguay), one of the landlocked countries in South America, celebrates Heroes’ Day on the 1st of March. It is also known as the Paraguay’s National Defense Day. The holiday commemorates the bravery of the country’s army and famous leader Marshal Francisco Solano López. Moment before his death as he sees his country is overtaken by insurmountable alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, he said, “I die with my country!”

HISTORY

Just like any other country in South America, Paraguay was one of Spain’s colonies starting on mid 16th century. Asunción, the country’s capital was founded on August 15, 1537 after the arrival of Juan de Salazar y Espinoza’s fleet. The Jesuits also operated in the landlocked nation lasting for more than one and a half century until the arrival of the Spanish Crown in 1767. After waging a fierce battle with Spain, Paraguay obtained its independence on May 14, 1811. Paraguay enjoyed years of independence but is marred by serious political instability and wars with neighbour countries especially Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. The War of the Triple Alliance, also known as Paraguayan War that happened between 1864 and 1870, caused so much death on the part of Paraguay. Before the war, the country was estimated to have around 500,000 to 525,000 people; when the war ended, the country’s population was reduced to more than 200,000. The cause of the War of Triple Alliance varies from historians to historians and country to country. Also, the relocation of Paraguay’s archive by Brazilian forces to Rio de Janeiro during the war made history (both Colonial and National) learning difficult. Paraguayan’s also waged war against Bolivia in Chaco War between 1932–1935 as part of Paraguay’s quest for expansion and control to natural resources of neighbour countries. Indeed, the history of Paraguay is filled with disputes, conflicts, and inconsistencies as each country and politicians have their own version of history. In the end, Paraguay was defeated by combined forces of the above countries which also led to the death of its leader Solano Lopez on March 1, 1870. The celebration of Heroes’ Day is disputed between the commemoration of Paraguayan forces that fearlessly fought in the battle of wars to which Paraguay started or the death of Solano López who never surrendered but fought the country’s enemies till his death.

Celebrations Paraguay’s Heroes’ Day is marked with public celebration such as parade, public speeches, concerts, cultural shows, among others. Various political groups may also hold demonstrations to remember those who perished in the war. Because it is a national holiday, it is work free and serves as a time for families for get-togethers.

Me m or ia l D a y Marshall Islands - Mar 01

Marshall Islands celebrates Memorial Day or Nuclear Victims’ Memorial Day every 1st of March every year. The holiday serves to commemorate those who perished in the nuclear done in Marshall Islands. The holiday was used to be called Decoration Day. The Marshall Islands were named after British navigator John Charles Marshall when he arrived in the Islands in 1788. Several countries managed to invade the Island, from Spain, Germany, Japanese, and later the United States of America after the latter’s invasion on the Island against Japanese Imperial forces in World War II.

HISTORY From 1946 to 1958, motivated by exploring the potential

of nuclear weapons in warfare, the US made Marshall Islands as test site for its various nuclear tests. The US approximately conducted around 67 nuclear tests in the Island which contaminated most of the Island country’s territory. The Bikini Island, known previously as Escholtz Atoll during the Second World War, became a test site for various nuclear tests by the US (Operation Crossroads). The US conducted atomic bomb tests in the area to determine radioactive fallout’s effects on naval vessels. Bikini and Enewetak, two of the country’s major atolls, were sites for this nuclear experiment. The Castle Bravo, the largest atomic bomb test ever made by the US in the island caused so much damage and contamination in the surrounding Islands with health effects lingering until today. Marshall Island and the US are in a dialogue for nuclear claims that had happened in the area during the Nuclear test era.

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES People in the Marshall Islands celebrate Memorial Day by visiting memorials and cemeteries to honor those who died in the nuclear tests in the country. Public speeches are conducted along with parade and cultural events.

Independence Day - F e b 2 7 Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square kilometres (18,704 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people. Taínos inhabited what is now the Dominican Republic since the 7th century. Christopher Columbus landed on it in 1492, and it became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country's capital and Spain's first capital in the New World. Santo Domingo can boast of some of the firsts in the Americas, including the one of the oldest universities (the oldest being Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco in Mexico, the first cathedral, and castle, the latter two in the Ciudad Colonial area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821 under the rule of a former colonial judge who maintained the system of slavery and limited rights for the mostly mulatto and black population. The ruler, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and "Dominican" slave revolts. Victorious in theDominican War of Independence in 1844, Dominicans experienced mostly internal strife, and also a brief return to Spanish rule, over the next 72 years. The United States occupation of 1916–1924, and a subsequent, calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara, were followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. The civil war of 1965, the country's last, was ended by a U.S.-led intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy, and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time after 1996. The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for sugar production, the economy is now dominated by services. The country's economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system. Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. The country also has "marked income inequality". International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues; the total population of Haitian origin is estimated at 800,000. A large Dominican diaspora exists, most of it in the United States, where it numbers 1.3 million. They aid national development as they send billions of dollars to their families, accounting for one-tenth of the Dominican GDP. The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean's largest tourist destination; the country's year-round golf courses are among the top attractions. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean's highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation. Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great biological diversity. Music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and song and baseball the favorite sport.

History

The Taínos:

The Arawakan-speaking Taínos moved into Hispaniola, displacing earlier inhabitants, c. AD 650. They engaged in farming and fishing, and hunting and gathering. The fierce Caribs drove the Taínos to the northeastern Caribbean during much of the 15th century. The estimates of Hispaniola's population in 1492 vary widely, including one hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, and four hundred thousand to two million. Determining precisely how many people lived on the island in pre-Columbian times is next to impossible, as no accurate records exist. By 1492 the island was divided into five Taíno chiefdoms. The Spanish arrived in 1492. After initially friendly relationships, the Taínos resisted the conquest, led by the female Chief Anacaona of Xaragua and her ex-husband Chief Caonabo of Maguana, as well as Chiefs Guacanagarix, Guamá, Hatuey, and Enriquillo. The latter's successes gained his people an autonomous enclave for a time on the island. Nevertheless, within a few years after 1492 the population of Taínos had Alcázar de Colón, located in Santo declined drastically, due to smallpox and other diseases that ar- Domingo, is the oldest Viceregal resrived with the Europeans, and from other causes discussed below. idence in America. The decline continued, and by 1711 the Taínos numbered just 21,000. The last record of pure Taínos in the country was from 1864. Still, Taíno biological heritage survived to an important extent, due to intermixing. Census records from 1514 reveal that 40% of Spanish men in the colony had Taíno wives, and many present-day Dominicans have Taíno ancestry. Remnants of the Taino culture include their cave paintings, as well as pottery designs which are still used in the small artisan village of Higüerito, Moca.

Spanish rule:

Christopher Columbus arrived on Hispaniola on December 5, 1492, during the first of his four voyages to America. He claimed the island for Spain and named it La Española. In 1496Bartholomew Columbus, Christopher's brother, built the city of Santo Domingo, Europe's first permanent settlement in the "New World". The Spaniards created a plantation economy on the island. The colony was the springboard for the further Spanish conquest of America and for decades the headquarters of Spanish power in the hemisphere. Christopher was buried in Santo Domingo upon his death in 1506. The Taínos nearly disappeared, above all, from European infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. Other causes were abuse, suicide, the breakup of family, starvation, enslavement, forced labor, torture, war with the Spaniards, changes in lifestyle, and miscegenation. Laws passed for the Indians' protection (beginning with the Laws of Burgos, 1512–1513) were never truly enforced. Yet as stated above, the Taínos did survive. Some scholars believe that las Casas exaggerated the Indian population decline in an effort to persuade King Carlos to intervene, and that encomenderos also exaggerated it, in order to receive permission to import more African slaves. Moreover, censuses of the time omitted the Indians who fled into remote communities, where they often joined with runaway Africans (cimarrones), producing Zambos. Also, Mestizos who were culturally Spanish were counted as Spaniards, some Zambos as black, and some Indians as Mulattos. Santo Domingo's population saw a spectacular increase during the 18th century, as it rose from some 6,000 in 1737 to about 125,000 in 1790. Approximately, this was composed of 40,000 white landowners, 25,000 black or mulatto freedmen, and 60,000 slaves. After its conquest of the Aztecs and Incas, Spain neglected its Caribbean holdings. French buccaneers settled in western Hispaniola, and by the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain ceded the area to France. France created the wealthy colony Saint-Domingue there, with a population 90% slave, and overall four times as populous (500,000 to 125,000) as the Spanish area at the end of the 18th century.

French rule:

France came to own the island in 1795, when by the Peace of Basel Spain ceded Santo Domingo as a consequence of the French Revolutionary Wars. At the time, Saint-Domingue's slaves, led by Toussaint Louverture, were in revolt against France. In 1801 they captured Santo Domingo, thus controlling the entire island; but in 1802 an army sent by Napoleon captured Toussaint Louverture and sent him to France as prisoner. However, Toussaint Louverture's lieutenants, and yellow fever, succeeded in expelling the French again from Saint-Domingue, which in 1804 the rebels made independent as the Republic of Haiti. Eastwards, France continued to rule Spanish Santo Domingo. In 1808, following Napoleon's invasion of Spain, the criollos of Santo Domingo revolted against French rule and, with the aid of Great Britain(Spain's ally) and Haiti, returned Santo Domingo to Spanish control.

Ephemeral independence and Haitian occupation:

After a dozen years of discontent and failed independence plots by various groups, Santo Domingo's former Lieutenant-Governor (top administrator), José Núñez de Cáceres, declared the colony's independence as Spanish Haiti, on November 30, 1821. He requested the new state's admission to Simón Bolívar's republic of Gran Colombia, but Haitian forces, led by Jean-Pierre Boyer, invaded just nine weeks later, in February 1822. As Toussaint Louverture had done two decades earlier, the Haitians abolished slavery. But they also nationalized most private property, including all the property of landowners who had left in the wake of the invasion; much Church property; as well as all property belonging to the former rulers, the Spanish Crown. Boyer also placed more emphasis on cash crops grown on large plantations, reformed the tax system, and allowed foreign trade. The new system was widely opposed by Dominican farmers, although it produced a boom in sugar and coffee production. All levels of education collapsed; the university was shut down, as it was starved both of resources and students, with young Dominican men from 16 to 25 years old being drafted into the Haitian army. Boyer's occupation troops, who were largely Dominicans, were unpaid, and had to "forage and sack" from Dominican civilians. Haiti imposed a "heavy tribute" on the Dominican people. Many whites fled Santo Domingo for Puerto Rico and Cuba (both still under Spanish rule), Venezuela, and elsewhere. In the end the economy faltered and taxation became more onerous. Rebellions occurred even by Dominican freedmen, while Dominicans and Haitians worked together to oust Boyer from power. Anti-Haitian movements of several kinds — pro-independence, pro-Spanish, pro-French, pro-British, pro-United States — gathered force following the overthrow of Boyer in 1843.

Independence:

In 1838 Juan Pablo Duarte founded a secret society called La Trinitaria, which sought the complete independence of Santo Domingo without any foreign intervention. Matías Ramón Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, despite not being among the founding members of La Trinitaria, were decisive in the fight for independence. Duarte, Mella, and Sánchez are considered the three Founding Fathers of the Dominican Republic. On February 27, 1844, the Trinitarios (the members of La Trinitaria), declared the independence from Haiti. They were backed by Pedro Santana, a wealthy cattle rancher from El Seibo, who became general of the army of the nascent Republic. The Dominican Republic's first Constitution was adopted on November 6, 1844, and was modeled after the United States Constitution. The decades that followed were filled with tyranny, factionalism, economic difficulties, rapid changes of government, and exile for political opponents. Threatening the nation's independence were renewed Haitian invasions occurring in 1844, 1845–49, 1849–55, and 1855–56. Meanwhile, archrivals Santana and Buenaventura Báez held power most of the time, both ruling arbitrarily. They promoted competing plans to annex the new nation to another power: Santana favored Spain, and Báez the United States.

The voluntary colony and the Restoration republic:

In 1861, after imprisoning, silencing, exiling, and executing many of his opponents and due to political and economic reasons, Santana signed a pact with the Spanish Crown and reverted the Dominican nation to colonial status, the only Latin American country to do so. His ostensible aim was to protect the nation from another Haitian annexation. But opponents launched the War of the Restoration in 1863, led by Santiago Rodríguez, Benito Monción, and Gregorio Luperón, among others. Haiti, fearful of the re-establishment of Spain as colonial power on its border, gave refuge and supplies to the revolutionaries. The United States, then fighting its own Civil War, vigorously protested the Spanish action. After two years of fighting, Spain abandoned the island in 1865. Political strife again prevailed in the following years; warlords ruled, military revolts were extremely common, and the nation amassed debt. It was now Báez's turn to act on his plan of annexing the country to the United States, where two successive presidents were supportive. U.S. President Grant desired a naval base at Samaná and also a place for resettling newly freed Blacks. The treaty, which included U.S. payment of $1.5 million for Dominican debt repayment, was defeated in the United States Senate in 1870 on a vote of 28–28, two-thirds being required. Báez was toppled in 1874, returned, and was toppled for good in 1878. A new generation was thence in charge, with the passing of Santana (he died in 1864) and Báez from the scene. Relative peace came to the country in the 1880s, which saw the coming to power of General Ulises Heureaux. "Lilís", as the new president was nicknamed, enjoyed a period of popularity. He was, however, "a consummate dissembler", who put the nation deep into debt while using much of the proceeds for his personal use and to maintain his police state. Heureaux became rampantly despotic and unpopular. In 1899 he was assassinated. However, the relative calm over which he presided allowed improvement in the Dominican economy. The sugar industry was modernized, and the country attracted foreign workers and immigrants, both from the Old World and the New. From 1902 on, short-lived governments were again the norm, with their power usurped by caudillos in parts of the country. Furthermore, the national government was bankrupt and, unable to pay Heureaux's debts, faced the threat of military intervention by France and other European creditor powers.

U.S. interventions and occupation:

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt sought to prevent European intervention, largely to protect the routes to the future Panama Canal, as the canal was already under construction. He made a small military intervention to ward off the European powers, proclaimed his famous Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, and in 1905 obtained Dominican agreement for U.S. administration of Dominican customs, then the chief source of income for the Dominican government. A 1906 agreement provided for the arrangement to last 50 years. The United States agreed to use part of the customs proceeds to reduce the immense foreign debt of the Dominican Republic, and assumed responsibility for said debt. After six years in power, President Ramón Cáceres (who had himself assassinated Heureaux) was assassinated in 1911. The result was several years of great political instability and civil war. U.S. mediation by the William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson administrations achieved only a short respite each time. A political deadlock in 1914 was broken after an ultimatum by Wilson telling Dominicans to choose a president or see the U.S. impose one. A provisional president was chosen, and later the same year relatively free elections put former president (1899–1902) Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra back in power. To achieve a more broadly supported government, Jimenes named opposition individuals to his Cabinet. But this brought no peace and, with his former Secretary of War Desiderio Arias maneuvering to depose him and despite a U.S. offer of military aid Juan Pablo Duarte is widely considered the architect of against Arias, Jimenes resigned on May 7, 1916. Wilson thus ordered the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic. U.S. the Dominican Republic and Marines landed on May 16, 1916, and had control of the country two months its independence from Haitlater. The military government established by the U.S., led by Rear Admiral ian rule in 1844. Harry Shepard Knapp, was widely repudiated by Dominicans. U.S. naval officers had to fill some cabinet posts, as Dominicans refused to serve in the administration. Censorship and limits on public speech were imposed. The guerrilla war against the U.S. forces was met with a vigorous, often brutal response. But the occupation regime, which kept most Dominican laws and institutions, largely pacified the country, revived the economy, reduced the Dominican debt, built a road network that at last interconnected all regions of the country, and created a professional National Guard to replace the warring partisan units. Opposition to the occupation continued, however, and after World War I it increased in the U.S. as well. There, President Warren G. Harding(1921–23), Wilson's successor, worked to end the occupation, as he had promised to do during his campaign. U.S. government ended in October 1922, and elections were held in March 1924. The victor was former president (1902–03) Horacio Vásquez Lajara, who had cooperated with the U.S. He was inaugurated on July 13, and the last U.S. forces left in September. Vásquez gave the country six years of good government, in which political and civil rights were respected and the economy grew strongly, in a peaceful atmosphere.

The Trujillo Era:

In February 1930, when Vásquez attempted to win another term, opponents rebelled, in secret alliance with the commander of the National Army (the former National Guard), General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, by which the latter remained 'neutral' in face of the rebellion. Vásquez resigned. Trujillo then stood for election himself, and in May was elected president virtually unopposed, after a violent campaign against his opponents. There was considerable economic growth during Trujillo's long and iron-fisted regime, although a great deal of the wealth was taken by the dictator and other regime elements. There was progress in healthcare, education, and transportation, with the building of hospitals and clinics, schools, and roads and harbors. Trujillo also carried out an important housing construction program and instituted U.S. Marines during the 1916 occua pension plan. He finally negotiated an undisputed border with Haiti in 1935, and achieved the end of the 50-year customs agree- pation ment in 1941, instead of 1956. He made the country debt-free in 1947, a proud achievement for Dominicans for decades to come. This was accompanied by absolute repression and the copious use of murder, torture, and terrorist methods against the opposition. Moreover, Trujillo's megalomania was on display in his renaming after himself the capital city Santo Domingo to "Ciudad Trujillo" (Trujillo City), the nation's—and the Caribbean's—highest mountain Pico Duarte (Duarte Peak) to "Pico Trujillo", and many towns and a province. Some other places he renamed after members of his family. By the end of his first term in 1934 he was the country's wealthiest person, and one of the wealthiest in the world by the early 1950s; near the end of his regime his fortune was an estimated $800 million. In 1937 Trujillo (who was himself one-quarter Haitian), in an event known as the Parsley Massacre or, in the Dominican Republic, as El Corte (The Cutting), ordered the Army to kill Haitians living on the Dominican side of the border. The Army killed an estimated 17,000 to 35,000 Haitians over six days, from the night of October 2, 1937 through October 8, 1937. To avoid leaving evidence of the Army's involvement, the soldiers used machetes rather than bullets. The soldiers of Trujillo were said to have interrogated anyone with dark skin, using the shibboleth perejil (parsley) to tell Haitians from Dominicans when necessary; the 'r' of perejil was of difficult pronunciation for Haitians. As a result of the massacre, the Dominican Republic agreed to pay Haiti US$750,000, later reduced to US$525,000. On November 25, 1960 Trujillo killed three of the four Mirabal sisters, nicknamed Las Mariposas (The Butterflies). The victims were Patria Mercedes Mirabal (born on February 27, 1924), Argentina Minerva Mirabal (born on March 12, 1926), and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal (born on October 15, 1935). Minerva was an aspiring lawyer who was extremely opposed to Trujillo's dictatorship since Trujillo had begun to make rude sexual advances towards her. The sisters have received many honors posthumously, and have many memorials in various cities in the Dominican Republic. Salcedo, their home province, changed its name to Provincia Hermanas Mirabal (Mirabal Sisters Province). The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed on the anniversary of their deaths. For a long time, the US and the Dominican elite supported the Trujillo government. This support persisted despite the assassinations of political opposition, the massacre of Haitians, and Trujillo's plots against other countries. The US believed Trujillo was the lesser of two or more evils. The U.S. finally broke with Trujillo in 1960, after Trujillo's agents attempted to assassinate the Venezuelan president, Rómulo Betancourt, a fierce critic of Trujillo. Trujillo was assassinated on May 30, 1961.

Post-Trujillo:

In February 1963, a democratically elected government under leftist Juan Bosch took office but was overthrown in September. In April 1965, after 19 months of military rule, a pro-Bosch revolt broke out. Days later, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, concerned that Communists might take over the revolt and create a "second Cuba", sent the Marines, followed immediately by the Army's 82nd Airborne Division and other elements of the XVIIIth Airborne Corps in Operation Powerpack. "We don't propose to sit here in a rocking chair with our hands folded and let the Communist set up any government in the western hemisphere", Johnson said. The forces were soon joined by comparatively small contingents from the Organization of American States. All these remained in the country for over a year and left after supervising elections in 1966 won by Joaquín Balaguer, who had been Trujillo's last puppet-president. Balaguer remained in power as president for 12 years. His tenure was a period of repression of human rights and civil liberties, ostensibly to keep pro-Castro or pro-communist parties out of power. His rule was further criticized for a growing disparity between rich and poor. It was, however, praised for an ambitious infrastructure program, which included large housing projects, sports complexes, theaters, museums, aqueducts, roads, highways, and the massive Columbus Lighthouse, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 to completed in a subsequent tenure in 1992.

1961.

1978 to present:

In 1978, Balaguer was succeeded in the presidency by opposition candidate Antonio Guzmán Fernández, of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). Another PRD win in 1982 followed, under Salvador Jorge Blanco. Under the PRD presidents, the Dominican Republic experienced a period of relative freedom and basic human rights. Balaguer regained the presidency in 1986, and was re-elected in 1990 and 1994, this last time just defeating PRD candidate José Francisco Peña Gómez, a former mayor of Santo Domingo. The 1994 elections were flawed, bringing on international pressure, to which Balaguer responded by scheduling another presidential contest in 1996. This time Leonel Fernández achieved the first-ever win for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), which Bosch founded in 1973 after leaving the PRD (also founded by Bosch). Fernández oversaw a fast-growing economy, with growth averaging 7.7% per year, a drop in unemployment, and stable exchange and inflation rates. In 2000 the PRD's Hipólito Mejía won the election. This was a time of economic troubles, and Mejía was defeated in his re-election effort in 2004 by Fernández, who won re-election in 2008. Fernández and the PLD are credited with initiatives that have moved the country forward technologically, such as the construction of the Metro Railway ("El Metro"). On the other hand, his administrations have also been accused of corruption.

Independence Movement Day South K or e a - Ma r 0 1

The March 1st Movement, or Samil Movement, was one of the earliest public displays ofKorean resistance during the occupation of the Korean Empire by Japan. The name refers to an event that occurred on March 1, 1919, hence the movement's name, literally meaning "Three-One Movement" or "March First Movement" in Korean. It is also sometimes referred to as the Manse Demonstrations (만세운동;Manse Undong).

Background The Samil Movement came as a result of the repressive nature

of colonial occupation under its military rule of the Korean Empire following 1905, and the "Fourteen Points" outlining the right of national "self-determination" proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919. After hearing news of Wilson’s speech, Korean students studying in Tokyo published a statement demanding freedom from colonial rule. Adding to this was the death of former Emperor Gojong on January 21, 1919. There was widespread suspicion that he had been poisoned, credible since previous attempts (the "coffee plot") were well-known.

Effects The March 1st movement resulted in a major change in imperial policy towards Korea. Governor-General Hasegawa

Yoshimichi accepted responsibility for the loss of control (although most of the repressive measures leading to the uprising had been put into place by his predecessors) and was replaced by Saito Makoto. Some of the aspects of Japanese rule considered most objectionable to Koreans were removed. The military police were replaced by a civilian force, and limited press freedom was permitted under what was termed the 'cultural policy'. Many of these lenient policies were reversed during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Women also found new opportunities after the movement to express their views for the first time in Korea. Ideas of female liberation were allowed to be printed after the rebellion. Such journals as the Sin Yoja (New Woman) and Yoja Kye (Women's World) were printed. The March 1 Movement was a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in April 1919 and also influenced nonviolent resistance in India and many other countries. On May 24, 1949, March 1st was designated a national holiday in South Korea.

International reaction

A delegation of overseas Koreans, from Japan, China, and Hawaii, sought to gain international support for independence at the ongoing Paris Peace Conference. The United States and Imperial Japan blocked the delegation's attempt to address the conference. In April 1919, the State Department told the ambassador to Japan that "the consulate [in Seoul] should be extremely careful not to encourage any belief that the United States will assist the Korean nationalists in carrying out their plans and that it should not do anything which may cause Japanese authorities to suspect [the] American Government sympathizes with the Korean nationalist movement."

Women of Color Day Wor ldwide - Ma r 0 1

In 1981, the National Institute for Women of Color (NIWC) was established to build a strong national network for women of African, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, Latina and Pacific Island heritages and to advance the issues of Women of Color. These efforts resulted in National Strategies Conferences for Women of Color in 1982 and 1983 in Washington, DC, 1984 in Reno, Nevada and 1987 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. NIWC also published three Fact Sheets on Women of Color and as well as several NIWC Brown Papers—researched writings on issues of concern to Women of Color. In 1986, in response to the suggestion of Pat Williams, Ohio University administrator, NIWC proclaimed March First—the first day of Women's History Month—as National Women of Color Day. Since that time, Women of Color Day Programs have been held across the United States and in other countries. In 1988, Suzanne Brooks, then Affirmative Action Officer of Penn State University, began developing a group of practices and traditions to be used when Women of Color Day is commemorated. Ethnic dress, for example, is a characteristic tradition at Women of Color Day events, as are awards presented to "Outstanding Women of Color." In 1991, as Director of the California State University Multi-Cultural Center, Brooks implemented the first Women of Color Day program in California at that university. She directed subsequent programs there until 1995. Thereafter, Brooks began the work of converting a national observance into an international one. In 1998, she developed a special cultural ceremony for Women of Color Day, providing a unique worldwide tradition to can be shared. In 1999, with funds from a New Work Award to her as a poet and support from a local restaurant, Brooks organized and implemented the first Sacramento Community Women of Color Day Program. In 2000, the program was moved to Sacramento public television station, KVIE-Channel 6. Programs for 2001, 2002 and 2003 were also held there. In 2004, the Sacramento Community Women of Color Day Program was held at the Cosumnes River College Recital Hall.

Independence Day - Mar 01 B os nia - H e r ze gov ina

Bosnian Independence Day (Bosnian: Dan nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovine, Croatian:Dan neovisnosti/nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovina, Serbian: Дан независности Босне и Херцеговине) is a national public holiday held on 1 March to celebrate independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Citizens of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the referendum that was held between 29 February and 1 March 1992. The referendum question was: "Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of equal citizens and nations of Muslims, Serbs, Croats and others who live in it?" Independence was strongly favoured by Bosniak and Bosnian Croat voters, but the referendum was largely boycotted by Bosnian Serbs. The total turn out of voters was 63.6% of which 99.7% voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The results of the referendum were accepted on 6 March by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Parliament then made the decision on 28 February 1995 that 1 March be the Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a national holiday. Two days later, on 1 March 1995, Independence Day was celebrated for the first time. On 7 April, the European Community recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state. The Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina is celebrated only in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Republika Srpska boycotts this holiday and celebrates its own Independence Day on 9 January. Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, has claimed that Independence Day "is a holiday of the Bosniak people and we do not dispute it, but it is not a holiday celebrated in the RS".

National Pig Day U .S. - M a r 0 1

National Pig Day is an event held annually on March 1 in the United States to celebrate the pig. The holiday celebration was started in 1972 by sisters Ellen Stanley, a teacher in Lubbock, Texas, and Mary Lynne Rave of Beaufort, North Carolina. According to Rave the purpose of National Pig Day is "to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals." The holiday is most often celebrated in the Midwest. National Pig Day includes events at zoos, schools, nursing homes, and sporting events around the United States. It is also recognized at "pig parties" where pink pig punch and pork delicacies are served, and pink ribbon pigtails are tied around trees in the pigs' honor. According to Chase's Calendar of Events, National Pig Day is on the same day as pseudo-holidays Share a Smile day and Peanut Butter Lover's day. The question of whether the holiday is a time to honor pigs by "giving them a break" or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham) is an open question.

Te x a s Inde pe nde nc e D a y U.S. - Mar 02

The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the text.

Background

In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution. However, within Texas, many struggled with understanding what was the ultimate goal of the Revolution. Some believed that the goal should be total independence from Mexico, while others sought the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (which offered greater freedoms than the centralist government declared in Mexico the prior year). To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836. This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico. Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-theBrazos on February 28.

St. David's Day U.K. - M a r 0 1

Saint David's Day (Welsh: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi) is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint ofWales, and falls on 1 March each year. The date of 1 March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David. Tradition holds that he died on that day in 589. The date was declared a national day of celebration within Wales in the 18th century. Cross-party support resulted in the National Assembly for Wales voting unanimously to make St. David's Day a public holiday in 2000, a stance supported by the Wales TUC. A poll conducted for Saint David's Day in 2006 found that 87% of people in Wales wanted it to be a bank holiday, with 65% prepared to sacrifice a different bank holiday to ensure this. A petition in 2007 to make St. David's Day a bank holiday was rejected by office of the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

The significance of St. David's Day St. David (Welsh: Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the fifth cen-

tury. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosin (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Sir Benfro, at the spot where St David's Cathedral stands today. David's fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine, and the most important centre in Wales. The date of Dewi Sant's death is recorded as 1 March, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. As his tearful monks prepared for his death St David uttered these words: 'Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen St David with me and heard, keep and fulfil'. For centuries the first of March has been a national festival. St David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. St David's day was celebrated by the diaspora from an early period: the 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys noted how Welsh celebrations in London for St David's day would spark wider counter celebrations amongst their English neighbours: life-sized effigies of Welshmen were symbolically lynched, and by the 18th century the custom had arisen of confectioners producing 'Taffies' –gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat - on St David's Day. In 2003 in the United States, St. David's Day was recognised officially as the national day of the Welsh, and on 1 March the Empire State Building was floodlit in the national colours, red, green and white. It is invariably celebrated by Welsh societies throughout the world with dinners, parties, recitals and concerts. To celebrate this day, people wear a symbol of either a leek, or daffodil. The leek arises from an occasion when a troop of Welsh were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy dressed in similar fashion by wearing leeks. An alternative emblem developed in recent years is the daffodil. In the poem Armes Prydain, composed in the early to mid-tenth century AD, the anonymous author prophesises that the Cymry (the Welsh people) will unite and join an alliance of fellow-Celts to repel the Anglo-Saxons, under the banner of St David: A lluman glân Dewi a ddyrchafant (And they will raise the pure banner of Dewi).

St. David's Day events Cardiff:

Every year parades are held in Wales to commemorate St. David. The largest of these is held in Cardiff. To mark St. David's Day, and their return from a six-month tour of Afghanistan, soldiers from the Royal Welsh Regiment provided The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Cardiff Castle’s south gate on 27 and 28 February 2010. On 1 March 2010, the seventh National St David’s Day Parade took place in Cardiff city centre. Celebrations included concerts, a parade and a food festival. The food festival ran from 26 February with the third annual Really Welsh Food Festival in Queen Street, featuring all Welsh produce. Following the parade, a number of Welsh entertainers performed from a bandstand and in the evening Cardiff Central Library provided free entertainment and food. St David's Hall staged its traditional St David’s Day concert in the evening of 1 March with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC National Chorus of Wales and youth choruses.

Other locations:

Public celebrations of St. David's Day are becoming more commonplace. In many towns an annual parade through the centre of town is now held. Concerts are held in pubs, clubs, and other venues. In the town of Colwyn Bay in north Wales, an annual parade through the centre of town is now held with several hundred citizens and schoolchildren taking part. Other events are centred around the parade. Swansea inaugurated a St David's Week festival in 2009 with a range of musical, sporting and cultural events held throughout the city to mark the national day.

Traditions Children in Wales take part in school concerts or eisteddfodau, with recitation

and singing being the main activities. Formerly, a half-day holiday was afforded to school children. Officially this custom does not continue, although the practice can vary on a school-to-school basis. Water in Swansea Castle Many Welsh people wear one or both of the national emblems of Wales on Square Fountain dyed red for their lapel to celebrate St. David: the daffodil (a generic Welsh symbol which St. David's day is in season during March) or the leek (Saint David's personal symbol) on this day. The association between leeks and daffodils is strengthened by the fact that they have similar names in Welsh, Cenhinen (leek) and Cenhinen Pedr (daffodil, literally "Peter's leek"). Younger girls sometimes wear traditional Welsh costumes to school. This costume consists of a long woollen skirt, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat. The flag of Saint David often plays a central role in the celebrations and can be seen flying throughout Wales. Cawl is frequently prepared and consumed on St. David's Day.

Martisor Romania - M a r 0 1

Mărțișor (Romanian pronunciation: [mərtsiʃor]) is a traditional celebration of the beginning of spring, on March 1. It is a tradition in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians and Aromanians. Almost the same custom can be found in Bulgaria (see Martenitsa), while similar ones exist in Albania, Greece and Italy. The name Mărțișor is the diminutive of marț, the old folk name for March (Martie, in modern Romanian), and thus literally means "little March". It is also the folk name for this month. Mărțișor, marţ and mărțiguș are all names for the red and white string from which a small decoration is tied, and which is offered by people on the 1st day of March. The string can also be black and white, or blue and white) Giving this talisman to people is an old custom, and it is believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be strong and healthy for the year to come. It is also a symbol of the coming spring. Usually, women wear it pinned to their clothes for the first 12 days of the month, until other spring celebrations, or until the bloom of certain fruit-trees. In some regions, a gold or silver coin hangs on the string, which is worn around the neck. After wearing it for a certain period of time, they buy red wine and sweet cheese with the coin, according to a belief that their faces would remain beautiful and white as cheese, and rubicund as the red wine, for the entire year. In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most of its talisman properties and became more of a symbol of friendship or love, appreciation and respect. The black threads were replaced with red, but the delicate wool ropes are still a ‘cottage industry’ among people in the countryside, who comb out the wool, dye the floss, and twist it into thousands of tassels. In some areas the amulets are still made with black and white ropes, for warding off evil.

History

Some ethnologists consider Mărţişor to have a Roman origin, while others believe it to have a Daco-Thracian origin. In ancient Rome, New Year's Eve was celebrated on March 1 - 'Martius', as the month was called in the honour of the god Mars. Mars was not only the god of war but also an agricultural guardian, who ensured nature's rebirth. Therefore, the red and white colours of Mărţişor may be explained as colours of war and peace. The Thracians also used to celebrate the New Year's Eve on the first day of March, a month which took the name of the god Marsyas Silen, the inventor of the pipe (fluier, traditional musical instrument), whose cult was related to the land and vegetation. Thracian spring celebrations, connected to fertility and the rebirth of nature, were consecrated to him. In some areas, Daco-Romanians still celebrate the agrarian New Year in spring, where the first days of March are considered days of a new beginning. Before March 1, women choose one day from the first nine of the month, and judging by the weather on the chosen day, they would know how the new year will go for them. Similarly, in other areas, young men find out what their wives are going to be like. The first 9 days of March are called Baba Dochia's Days, Baba Dochia being an image of the Great Earth Goddess. A sample generic Mărţişor The tradition says that you must pick a day from 1 to 9 March, and how the weather in that day will be, so it will be for you all year long.

Colours

Initially, the Mărțișor string used to be called the Year's Rope (‘’funia anului’’, in Romanian), made by black and white wool threads, representing the 365 days of the year. ‘'The Year's Rope'’ was the link between summer and winter, black and white representing the opposition but also the unity of the contraries: light and dark, warm and cold, life and death. The ‘’Mărțișor’’ is the thread of the days in the year, spun by Baba Dochia, or the thread of one's life, spun at birth by the Fates (Ursitoare). White is the symbol of purity, the sum of all the colours, the light, while Black is the colour of origins, of distinction, of fecundation and fertility, the colour of fertile soil. White is the sky, the Father, while black is the mother of all, Mother Earth. According to ancient Roman tradition, the ides of March was the perfect time to embark on military campaigns. In this context, it is believed that the red string of Mărțișor signifies vitality, while the white one is the symbol of victory. Red is the colour of fire, blood, and a symbol of life, associated with the passion of women. Meanwhile, white is the colour of snow, clouds, and the wisdom of men. In this interpretation, the thread of a Mărțișor represents the union of the feminine and the masculine principles, the vital forces which give birth to the eternal cycle of the nature. Red and white are also complementary colours present in many key traditions of Daco-Romanian folklore. George Coşbuc stated that Mărțișor is a symbol of fire and light, and of the Sun. Not only the colours, but also the traditional silver coin hung from the thread are associated with the sun. White, the colour of silver, is also a symbol of power and strength. The round form of the coin is also reminiscent of the Sun, while silver is associated with the Moon. These are just a few of the reasons why the Mărţişor is a sacred amulet. In Daco-Romanian folklore, seasons are attributed symbolic colours: spring is red, summer is green or yellow, autumn is black, and winter is white. This is why one can also say that the Mărţişor thread, knitted in white and red, is a symbol of passing, from the cold white winter, to the lively spring, associated with fire and life.

Relation to the Bulgarian Martenitsa

Romanian ethnographers consider Mărţişor and Martenitsa to be clearly related, and of Thracian origin. According to one of the several proposed legends about the Martenitsa in Bulgaria, the custom has roots in the late seventh century. This legend, first attested in the 20th century, says that the Bulgar Khan Asparukh wanted to send a message to Bulgars across the Danube. He tied his letter with a white string to the leg of a white pigeon. The Byzantines saw the pigeon flying and shot it with an arrow. The message was delivered but the white string was stained with the red of the pigeon's blood. The Bulgars then started to wear this thread.

Battle of Adowa Ethiopia - M a r 0 2

The Battle of Adwa (usually known as Adowa, or sometimes by the Italian name Adua) was fought on 1 March 1896 between Ethiopia and Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War, securing Ethiopian sovereignty and ending Italian attempts at its conquest for another three and a half decades.

Background

As the 20th century approached, most of 19th-century Africa had been carved up among the various European powers. The two independent exceptions were the tiny Republic of Liberia on the west coast of the continent and the ancient Ethiopian Empire in the strategic Horn of Africa. The Kingdom of Italy was a relative newcomer to the colonial scramble for Africa. Italy had only two recently-obtained African territories, both located near Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa: Eritrea and Somalia. Both were impoverished. Italy sought to improve its position in Africa by conquering Ethiopia, which would join its two territories. In 1889, the Italians signed the Treaty of Wuchale with Emperor Menelik II. A disputed article of the treaty made the Ethiopian Empire a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. As a result, Italy and Ethiopia faced off in what was later to be known as the First Italo-Ethiopian War. In late 1895, after advancing deep into Ethiopian territory, a small Italian-led unit was defeated by a much larger Ethiopian group at the Battle of Amba Alagi. The Italians were forced to withdraw to more defensible positions in Tigray, where the two main armies faced each other. By late February 1896, supplies on both sides were running low. General Oreste Baratieri, commander of the Italian forces, knew the Ethiopian forces had been living off the land, and once the supplies of the local peasants were exhausted, EmperorMenelik's army would begin to melt away. However, the Italian government insisted that General Baratieri act. On the evening of 29 February, Baratieri met with hisbrigadiers Matteo Albertone, Giuseppe Arimondi, Vittorio Dabormida, and Giuseppe Ellena, concerning their next steps. He opened the meeting on a negative note, revealing to his brigadiers that provisions would be exhausted in less than five days, and suggested retreating, perhaps as far back as Asmara. His subordinates argued forcefully for an attack, insisting that to retreat at this point would only worsen the poor morale. Dabormida exclaiming, "Italy would prefer the loss of two or three thousand men to a dishonorable retreat." Baratieri delayed making a decision for a few more hours, claiming that he needed to wait for some last-minute intelligence, but in the end announced that the attack would start the next morning at 9:00.His troops began their march to their starting positions shortly after midnight.

The battle

The Italian army comprised four brigades totaling 17,878 troops, with fifty-six artillery pieces. However, it is likely that even fewer men fought in this battle on the Italian side: Harold Marcus notes that "several thousand" soldiers were needed for support and to guard the lines of communication to the rear, so he estimates the Italian army to have consisted of 14,923 effectives. One brigade under General Albertone was made up of Eritrean askari led by Italian officers. The remaining three brigades were Italian units under Brigadiers Dabormida, Ellena and Arimondi. While these included elite Bersaglieri, Alpini and Cacciatori units, a large proportion of the troops were inexperiThe landscape of Adwa. enced conscripts recently drafted from metropolitan regiments in Italy into newly formed "di formazione" battalions for service in Africa. As Chris Prouty describes: They [the Italians] had inadequate maps, old model guns, poor communication equipment and inferior footgear for the rocky ground. (The newer Carcano Model 91 rifles were not issued because Baratieri, under constraints to be economical, wanted to use up the old cartridges.) Morale was low as the veterans were homesick and the newcomers were too inexperienced to have any esprit de corps. There was a shortage of mules and saddles. Estimates for the Ethiopian forces under Menelik range from a low of 73,000 to a high of 100,000, outnumbering the Italians by an estimated five or six times. The forces were divided among Emperor Menelik, Empress Taytu Betul, Ras Welle Betul, Ras Mengesha Atikem, Ras Mengesha Yohannes, Ras Alula Engida, Ras Mikael of Wollo, Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael,Fitawrari Gebeyyehu, and Negus Tekle Haymanot Tessemma. In addition, the armies were followed by a similar number of traditional peasant followers who supplied the army, as had been done for centuries. Most of the army was composed of riflemen, a significant percentage of which were in Menelik's reserve; however, the army was also composed of a significant number of cavalry and infantry only armed with lances. Also, in the Ethiopian Army there was a small team of Russian advisers and volunteers of the officer the Kuban Cossack army N.S. Leontiev. On the night of 29 February and the early morning of 1 March three Italian brigades advanced separately towards Adwa over narrow mountain tracks, while a fourth remained camped. David Levering Lewisstates that the Italian battle plan called for three columns to march in parallel formation to the crests of three mountains — Dabormida commanding on the right, Albertone on the left, and Arimondi in the center — with a reserve under Ellena following behind Arimondi. The supporting crossfire each column could give the others made the… soldiers as deadly as razored shears. Albertone's brigade was to set the pace for the others. He was to position himself on the summit known as Kidane Meret, which would give the Italians the high ground from which to meet the Ethiopians. However, the three leading Italian brigades had become separated during their overnight march and at dawn were spread across several miles of very difficult terrain. Their sketchy maps caused Albertone to mistake one mountain for Kidane Meret, and when a scout pointed out his mistake, Albertone advanced directly into Ras Alula's position. Unbeknownst to General Baratieri, Emperor Menelik knew his troops had exhausted the ability of the local peasants to support them and had planned to break camp the next day (2 March). The Emperor had risen early to begin prayers for divine guidance when spies from Ras Alula, his chief military advisor, brought him news that the Italians were advancing. The Emperor summoned the separate armies of his nobles and with the Empress Taytu beside him, ordered his forces forward. Negus Tekle Haymanot commanded the right wing, Ras Alula the left, and Rasses Makonnen and Mengesha the center, with Ras Mikael at the head of the Oromo cavalry; the Emperor and his consort remained with the reserve. The Ethiopian forces positioned themselves on the hills overlooking the Adwa valley, in perfect position to receive the Italians, who were exposed and vulnerable to crossfire. Albertone's askari brigade was the first to encounter the onrush of Ethiopians at 6:00, near Kidane Meret, where the Ethiopians had managed to set up their mountain artillery (so Menelik's adviser colonel Leonid Artamonov testifies, it was 42 Russian mountain guns with a team of fifteen advisers, but Britannic historians prefer another version about Hotchiss and Maxim pieces either captured from the Egyptians or purchased from French and other European suppliers). His heavily outnumbered askaris held their position for two hours until Albertone's capture, and under Ethiopian pressure the survivors sought refuge with Arimondi's brigade. Arimondi's brigade beat back the Ethiopians who repeatedly charged the Italian position for three hours with gradually fading strength until Menelik released his reserve of 25,000 Shewans and swamped the Italian defenders. Two companies of Bersaglieri who arrived at the same moment could not help and were cut down. Dabormida's Italian brigade had moved to support Albertone but was unable to reach him in time. Cut off from the remainder of the Italian army, Dabormida began a fighting retreat towards friendly positions. However, he inadvertently marched his command into a narrow valley where the Oromo cavalry under Ras Mikael slaughtered his brigade, while shouting Ebalgume! Ebalgume! ("Reap! Reap!"). Dabormida's remains were never found, although his brother learned from an old woman living in the area that she had given water to a mortally wounded Italian officer, "a chief, a great man with spectacles and a watch, and golden stars". The remaining two brigades under Baratieri himself were outflanked and destroyed piecemeal on the slopes of Mount Belah. Menelik watched as Gojjam forces under the command of Tekle Haymonot made quick work of the last intact Italian brigade. By noon, the survivors of the Italian army were in full retreat and the battle was over. According to UNESCO General History of Africa - VII Africa under Colonial Domination 1880-1935, the battle of Adowa was a remarkable victory for Menelik, King of Shoa and Emperor of Ethiopia: "During the battle, 261 Italian officers, 2918 Italian non-commissioned officers and men, and about 2000 askaris, or local troops, were killed. In addition, Ethiopian painting depicting 954 Italian soldiers were permanently missing; and 470 Italians and 958 the battle of Adwa. askaris were wounded. Total Italian casualties amounted to over 40 percent of the fighting force, which was almost completely routed and lost all its artillery, besides 11000 rifles. As a result of Menelik's victory, the Italians agreed, on 26 October, to the Peace Treaty of Addis Ababa, which annulled the Treaty of Wuchale and recognized the absolute independence of Ethiopia".

Immediate aftermath

The Italians suffered about 7,000 killed and 1,500 wounded in the battle and subsequent retreat back into Eritrea, with 3,000 taken prisoner; Ethiopian losses have been estimated around 4,000–5,000, but with 8,000 wounded. In their flight to Eritrea, the Italians left behind all of their artillery and 11,000 rifles, as well as most of their transport. As Paul B. Henze notes, "Baratieri's army had been completely annihilated while Menelik's was intact as a fighting force and gained thousands of rifles and a great deal of equipment from the fleeing Italians." The 3,000 Italian prisoners, who included General Albertone, appear to have been treated as well as could be expected under difficult circumstances, though about 200 died of their wounds in captivity. However, 800 captured askaris, regarded as traitors by the Ethiopians, had their right hands and left feet amputated. Augustus Wylde records when he visited the battlefield months after the battle, the pile of severed hands and feet was still visible, "a rotting heap of ghastly remnants." Further, many had not survived their punishment, Wylde writing how the neighborhood of Adwa "was full of their freshly dead bodies; they had generally crawled to the banks of the streams to quench their thirst, where many of them lingered unattended and exposed to the elements until death put an end to their sufferings." There does not appear to be any foundation for reports that some Italians were castrated and these may reflect confusion with the atrocious treatment of the askari prisoners. Baratieri was relieved of his command and later charged with preparing an "inexcusable" plan of attack and for abandoning his troops in the field. He was acquitted on these charges but was described by the court martial judges as being "entirely unfitted" for his command. Chris Prouty offers a panoramic overview of the response in Italy to the news: When news of the calamity reached Italy there were street demonstrations in most major cities. In Rome, to prevent these violent protests, the universities and theatres were closed. Police were called out to disperse rock-throwers in front of Prime Minister Crispi's residence. Crispi resigned on 9 March. Troops were called out to quell demonstrations in Naples. In Pavia, crowds built barricades on the railroad tracks to prevent a troop train from leaving the station. The Association of Women of Rome, Turin, Milan and Pavia called for the return of all military forces in Africa. Funeral masses were intoned for the known and unknown dead. Families began sending to the newspapers letters they had received before Adwa in which their menfolk described their poor living conditions and their fears at the size of the army they were going to face. King Umberto declared his birthday (14 March) a day of mourning. Italian communities in St. Petersburg, London, New York, Chicago, Buenos Aires andJerusalem collected money for the families of the dead and for the Italian Red Cross. The Russian support for Ethiopia led to the advent of a Russian Red Cross mission. The Russian mission was a military mission conceived as a medical support for the Ethiopian troops. It arrived in Addis Ababa some three months after Menelik's Adwa victory.

Ethiopian failure to follow up victory

One question much asked – both then and long afterward – is why did Emperor Menelik fail to follow up his victory and drive the routed Italians out of their colony? The victorious Emperor limited his demands to little more than the abrogation of the deceptive Treaty of Wuchale. In the context of the prevailing balance of power, the emperor's crucial goal was to preserve Ethiopian independence. In addition, Ethiopia had just begun to emerge from a long and brutal famine; Harold Marcus reminds us that the army was restive over its long service in the field, short of rations, and the short rains which would bring all travel to a crawl would soon start to fall. At the time, Menelik claimed a shortage of cavalry horses with which to harry the fleeing soldiers. Chris Prouty observes that "a failure of nerve on the part of Menelik has been alleged by both Italian and Ethiopian sources." Lewis believes that it "was his farsighted certainty that total annihilation of Baratieri and a sweep into Eritrea would force the Italian people to turn a bungled colonial war into a national crusade" that stayed his hand. As a direct result of the battle, Italy signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa, recognizing Ethiopia as an independent state. Almost forty years later, on 3 October 1935, after the League of Nations's weak response to the Abyssinia Crisis, the Italians launched a new military campaign endorsed by Benito Mussolini, the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. This time the Italians employed vastly superior military technology such as tanks and aircraft, as well as chemical warfare, the Ethiopian forces were soundly defeated by May 1936. Following the war, Italy occupied Ethiopia for five years (1936–41), before eventually being driven out during World War II by British Empire and Ethiopian patriot forces.

Significance

"The confrontation between Italy and Ethiopia at Adwa was a fundamental turning point in Ethiopian history," writes Henze. "Though apparent to very few historians at the time, these defeats were the beginning of the decline of Europe as the center of world politics." On a similar note, the Ethiopian historian-anglophile Bahru Zewde observed that "few events in the modern period have brought Ethiopia to the attention of the world as has the victory at Adwa;". The Russian Empire enthusiastically paid victory compliments to the Ethiopian army. One of the documents of that time states, "The Victory Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam. immediately gained the general sympathy of Russian society and it continued to grow." The unique outlook which polyethnic Russia exhibited to its ally Ethiopia disturbed many supporters of European nationalism during the twentieth century. The Russian Cossack captain Nicholas Leontjev with team of volunteers of participated in the battle as an advisor to Menelik. This defeat of a colonial power and the ensuing recognition of African sovereignty became rallying points for later African nationalists during their struggle for decolonization, as well as activists and leaders of the Pan-African movement. As the Afrocentric scholar Molefe Asante explains, After the victory over Italy in 1896, Ethiopia acquired a special importance in the eyes of Africans as the only surviving African State. After Adowa, Ethiopia became emblematic of African valour and resistance, the bastion of prestige and hope to thousands of Africans who were experiencing the full shock of European conquest and were beginning to search for an answer to the myth of African inferiority. On the other hand, many writers have pointed out how this battle was a humiliation for the Italian military. One student of Ethiopia, Donald N. Levine, points out that for the Italians Adwa "became a national trauma which demagogic leaders strove to avenge. It also played no little part in motivating Italy's revanchist adventure in 1935". Levine also noted that the victory "gave encouragement to isolationist and conservative strains that were deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture, strengthening the hand of those who would strive to keep Ethiopia from adopting techniques imported from the modern West - resistances with which both Menelik and Ras Teferi/Haile Selassie would have to contend".

Peasants' Day - M a r 0 2 Myanmar/Burma

Myanmar, also known as Burma, celebrates Peasants’ Day yearly every 2nd of March. It is incidentally the General Ne Win’s seizure of power in 1962. Ne Win is a military commander and politician of Myanmar. He served two terms as the country’s Prime Minister from 1958 to 1960 and another on 1962 to 1974. He was also the country’s head of state from 1962 to 1981. He also head one of the country’s powerful political party Socialist Programme Party from 1964 until 1988. The party was the only party allowed to exist during Ne Win’s strict military rule until he was ousted as a result of social unrest happened on 1988 known as the 8888 Uprising. During this day, various talks and development programs are laid down, discussed, and revealed for the improvement of the peasant sector which is the country’s flagship economy.

History

The peasant sector occupies around 70 percent of Myanmar’s population and undoubtedly the most productive workforce in the country. Because of this, Myanmar recognizes the powerful role of farmers in driving the country’s economic output. However, it is the farming sector which usually suffers whenever a power struggle happens in the country because rebels usually flew to the jungles of Myanmar to avoid prosecution and seek protection. The country has long been wanting to transform its country into a developed nation with plans of improving the industrial sector of the society, however, inadequate funding, corruption, and political instability halts the region from realizing its truest potential. The entire peasantry before 1965 experienced usury and inappropriate use of agricultural land. Farming lands were rented and many of the farmers cannot keep up with the rising cost of land rent. During this time, laws were passed to protect the farmers against this practice and led to massive land reformation and among them is the passing of protecting farmers against land renting. These acts were all made under the military administration of Ne Win and continue until today. Most of monumental reformation happened during Ne Win’s term and continued until his resignation on 1988 after a popular uprising. Today, Myanmar still focuses on the development of new technologies and laws to protect farmers from unfair land treatment and support their various causes as the whole country’s economy depends heavily on this sector.

Celebrations

During the holiday, Myanmar’s local leaders organize talks about reforms in peasantry around the country and present issues that challenges the development of the agricultural field. Since this is a national holiday, public companies are closed while some private companies may remain open. Families and individuals may choose to remain inside home or visit the local parks, pagodas and temples in the area. Also, trade and cultural shows organized around the country showcasing traditional crafts, culture, and arts.


HUNGARY Fr e nc h c om pa nie s s uppor t H unga r y ’s gr owt h: Pé t e r Szijjá r t ó (Online 21 Feb) French companies will play an important role in Hungary’s economic growth in 2013, said Péter Szijjártó, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations following his talks held in Paris. The State Secretary said bilateral economic relations are prosperous and there is at least one “French success story” in every sector of the Hungarian economy. He held talks, among others, with Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg and Minister for Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq in addition to meeting repre-

sentatives of major French companies with have significant investments in Hungary. France is Hungary’s fourth largest trade partner and foreign investor: some four hundred French firms are operating in Hungary, employing a total of 70 000 people. As French companies will greatly contribute to Hungary’s economic growth in 2013, Péter Szijjártó announced that the Hungarian Government is negotiating with regard to signing strategic partnership agreements with Dalkia Energia, which is constructing a biomass plant in Pécs, South-

General, last year’s biggest challenge for the office was the growth of illegal migration. Compared to previous years, more people arrived in Hungary without valid permission. She explained: it is not a new phenomenon and a challenge faced not only by Hungary, but by every single member state of the European Union. She added that increasing numbers of illegal immigrants arrive to the European Union from troubled regions, most significantly due to the situation is Syria. One of the main migration routes crosses the Hungarian-Serbian border, where many illegal immigrants try to enter the country, and illegal border crossing is helped by related human trafficking networks. She indicated that mainly Afghan, Pakistani, Algerian and Kosovar citizens enter the country, but most of them would like to travel further. Parallel to the growth of illegal migration, the measures taken by the authorities have also increased, including last year approximately 6500 expulsion orders, court decisions and police actions. According to the Director General, the Office of Immigration and Nationality took action in connection with 11 thousand law-breaking foreigners, while the police were involved in 12 thousand similar cases. She also mentioned that on average the number of people who apply for asylum within the EU rose by 7 percent, while the same figure in Hungary increased by 27

‘H unga r y is pe r f or m ing we ll’ be t t e r t ha n be for e : Vik t or Or bá n

ern Hungary, Michelin, which is planning to expand its production capacity and Sanofi, which is one of the most successful pharmaceutical companies in Hungary. He also highlighted that the Hungarian and French governments have a lot in common in terms of their economic policies. As examples, he mentioned job protection and the expansion of industrial production as two ways they have chosen to tackle the economic crisis as well as supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and gaining position in Eastern markets.

The EU is unit e d in t he ba t t le a ga ins t ille ga l m igr a t ion (Online 21 Feb) Minister of State László Felkai of the Ministry of Interior and Zsuzsanna Végh, the Director General of the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality, presented the Office's report on 2012, and last year's characteristics of the migrant situation at a press conference. According to Minister of State Felkai, the refugee issue currently divides Europe, since countries have been unable to find a “real, correct and morally standardized” way of treating the issue since 1990. He added, however, that at the same time European countries are united in the battle against illegal migration. In connection with this, he also mentioned that Hungary has to guard the Serbian and Ukrainian borders “very seriously against illegal migration”. He remarked that a very effective tool of protection will be the thermal camera system that will “cover” these border-sections. Zsuzsanna Végh talked about the alarming phenomenon that the number of underage children who arrive in Hungary without adult supervision increased by 200 per cent. She explained that these minors are not limited in their freedom by the authorities in any way, on the contrary: they are accommodated in Hungarian child protection institutes. However, they usually leave within couple of days in order to find their parents, relatives or acquaintances who live in other countries. According to the Director

Minister of Defence hands over first complex water purification and dispenser device

percent; the Hungarian authorities registered 2154 cases last year. Most of the asylum seekers arrived from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Syria and Somalia – mainly illegally. The office of Immigration and Nationality had a onebillion-forint budget last year, out of which they used almost 250 million forints as financial support. She also added that the host institutions are generally “highly occupied”, dealing with 547 people on a daily basis, 50 more than in the previous year. This data shows that more people arrive in Hungary and more people can stay for a longer period of time than before. In Zsuzsanna Végh’s opinion, significant percentage of those who apply for asylum chose to do so to abuse the system. The Director Deneral also mentioned the issue of legal migration. According to data from 31 December 2012, almost 214 thousand foreigners had a legal residence permit (exceeding 90 days) in Hungary. This is slightly less than in 2011, but some people who previously fell into this category have since become Hungarian citizens. She explained that mainly people from China, Ukraine, Vietnam, Serbia and Egypt applied for a residence or permanent residence permit and most of them wanted to seek employment in Hungary. She also added that the number of those who come to Hungary to study is also still high.

Hungarian-Macedonian economic negotiations

Photo: MTI, Kelemen Zoltán Gergely

(Online 20 Feb) Around half a million residents of 150 communities will have access to pure, controlled and healthy drinking water as a result of the work done by

as a result of the work done by the Ministry of Defence, the Hungarian Defence Forces and the 100 per cent state-owned private companies limited by

ment-friendly procedure, which is a wholly Hungarian development. Márton Ruck, the mayor of Medgyesegyháza said thanks for the installation of

(Online 22 Feb) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held his traditional state-of-the-nation speech on 22 February in Budapest, providing a comprehensive assessment of the past year’s achievements and paving the way for future steps of the country. “Hungary is performing well, better than before and is more successful in tackling the crisis than most European countries,” he said. Among the achievements he mentioned reducing everyday burdens for residents, improving lobbying positions, providing support for families and pensions as well as enhancing respect for work. Boosting the police

force, curbing superfluous spending, improving healthcare and social inclusion programmes are also areas where significant progress has been made, he added. The Prime Minister stressed above all that Hungary’s budget deficit will remain below 3 per cent in 2013, recalling that the country had successfully reduced public debt in 2012 and it keeps its finances under control. Viktor Orbán said the goals of the next 20 years have been laid down and they include putting an end to the country’s financial and energy dependence, rescuing those indebted in foreign currency and stopping the population decrease. Hun-

gary’s economy should be among the thirty most competitive ones, regional multinationals should contribute to strengthening the economy and public debt should be reduced below 50 per cent of GDP, he said. Furthermore, all Hungarians should be able to find work at home and more Hungarian universities should be among the top 200 in the world. Enhancing Hungarian people’s living standards is of primordial importance for the Government. In such an aim, the implementation of the job protection plan would continue and a new one to help wage-earners will be launched.

Government is sticking to its d e f i c i t t a r g e t : M i n i s t e r Va r g a Photo: MTI, Kelemen Zoltán Gergely the Ministry of Defence and the Hungarian Defence Forces. This announcement was made on February 19 at Medgyesegyháza-Bánkút during the handover of the first complex, containerized water purification and dispenser device. On February 19, Minister of Defence Csaba Hende handed over at Bánkút – a village which belongs to Medgyesegyháza – the first complex containerized water purification and dispenser device, whose development and production was managed by the Ministry of Defence. In his speech, Minister Hende stressed that the day provided a solution to a very long-standing problem, and that until June 30 the volunteer defence reservists of the Hungarian Defence Forces would set up and install the same type of devices in another 150 municipalities. With this, the supply of drinking water will be available for a total of around 500,000 people,

shares of the Ministry. Minister Hende reminded his audience that all this has been made possible through the purchase and further development of a Hungarian invention, and that the Hadik-plan – whose goal is to revive the Hungarian defence industry – was an important antecedent to the development and production of this device. Water purification is a definite military capability, so the present results have been facilitated by the antecedents within the Hungarian Defence Forces and the related conscious industrial development activity. “Water gives life, and we give water” – Csaba Hende said. Lajos Móró, the CEO of the MoD ED Co. stressed that for the time being, this was meant as a temporary solution, but the applied technology can be considered as permanent and may be used in the future too. This is an efficient and environ-

the device and for the longawaited clear water, which had not been characteristic of the region before. After the handover the Minister gave the mayor a contract on the free lease of the device to the community. In what followed, both tasted the water, then made the container available to the good many local citizens participating in the event. The implementation of the drinking water program is expected to be finished by the second half of next year – until then, the now installed device will supply the people of Bánkút with clear drinking water. For the residents of Medgyesegyháza and Bánkút, this provides a solution for a problem that has been dragging on for years. Following the February 19 handover, the rest of the containers will also be installed in the close to 150 municipalities concerned. At a later point, the filtering devices may be converted to provide a final solution to the problem.

(Online 22 Feb) "The Government is sticking to its previously adopted deficit target of under three percent", announced Minister without portfolio Mihály Varga on Friday in reaction to the European Commission's winter forecast. The Minister stated that it will soon become tradition that we begin each year with the European Commission questioning the Government prognosis for the given year. However, the result of the argument in both 2011 and 2012 was that the standpoint of the Hungarian Government proved to be correct. "The situation is the same now; the European Commission disagrees with our 2.7 percent forecast, but the Hungarian cabinet is sticking to this target", said the Minister without portfolio responsible for loan negotiations, according to whom the Hungarian prognosis may be underpinned in three ways. Firstly, it is only February, and it would be worth waiting at least four of five months before making a clearer analysis of the ex-

pected economic scenario for this year, he noted. Secondly, he continued, Government measures have since been defined with regard to several budget-related items disputed by the European Commission. These include the introduction of the electronic road toll and the online connection of cash registers to the tax authority, in relation to which a decision has been published in the Hungarian Government’s official journal that is aimed at speeding up their implementation. In the opinion of Mrinister Varga, these two issues will be "settled satisfactorily" during the first half of the year. Thirdly, this year the budget includes a significant, HUF 400 billion reserve to handle unexpected economic processes and problems. When 1.2-1.4 percent of the GDP is available in the budget as a reserve, it must certainly be enough to correct a 0.3-0.4 percent difference, if required, he said. The Minister reminded the press that the state of the deficit this year is especially important because it would

make possible the termination of the excessive deficit procedure put into place against Hungary. The winter report from Brussels "is of minor importance", he explained, because it will be late May when the European Commission prepares its more significant report, which may be used as a basis for decisions at the meeting of finance ministers in June. The Cabinet is committed to have the excessive deficit procedure, which has been in existence since 2004, lifted, Mihály Varga made clear. With regard to the fact that the European Commission had also forecast a 3.4 percent of GDP budget deficit for 2014, Mr. Varga stated that he felt it a little unjustified that the European Commission should publish such statements for as far ahead as 2014. It is true that EU growth data for the fourth quarter of 2012 was much lower than expected, but nobody can say for certain how and to what extent the latest growth data will affect things in 2014, the Minister stated.

Private sector wage increase exceeded inflation in December NATO member countries preparing for (Online 21 Feb) In Decem- does not take into account the previous year and is cura major European military exercise ber 2012, gross average the positive impact of family rently HUF 210 000. wages in the private sector increased by 8.3 percent, whereas net wages excluding family tax allowances were up by 6.2 percent, beating inflation, in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year – the Hungarian Central Statistical Office reported earlier this morning. The gross average wages of those in full-time employment was HUF 243 300 within the national economy in December 2012, which corresponds to an increase of 4.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Net wage – which was HUF 157 100 – increased by 3.1 percent compared to December 2011, which figure, however,

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy (Online 20 Feb) An energy cooperation agreement was concluded at the meeting of Hungarian-Macedonian Economic Joint Commission in Budapest. Following the negotiations, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI that the main fields of cooperation between the two countries were the energy industry, transport, agriculture and tourism. He said that the two parties had decided on meaningful cooperation regarding the Hungarian participation in the renewal, operation and maintenance of the Macedonian energy system, adding that the main efforts of Hungarian foreign economic policy concerning the policy of opening towards the East are to strengthen investments in the Western Balkan. He added that trade relations between the two countries are developing dynamically, reaching 120 million euros last year and that small and mediumsized companies have an increasing role in this process. The State Secretary emphasized that the Hungarian electric corporation MVM will have the opportunity to

participate in the Macedonian electricity system and the company will compete for tenders relating to Macedonian energy system management and maintenance. During the press conference, Mr. Szijjártó and Macedonian Minister of Economy Valon Saraqini signed the minutes of the Commission's session, in addition to which Deputy State Secretary Viktória Horváth and Chief Advisor in the Macedonian Ministry of Economy Biljana Dodevska Stojanovska signed an agreement relating to tourism. State Secretary Szijjártó said that the two countries would also cooperate in traffic issues while asking the Serbian authorities to accelerate the building of traffic corridor nr. 10 in South Serbia, adding that the authorities would cooperate in the opening of the airspace above Kosovo. The State Secretary pointed out that important infrastructural investments will be implemented within the framework of the Skopje 2014 program. In order to enable Hungarian companies to apply for infrastructure development tenders, the Hungarian Eximbank has begun negotiations with its Macedonian partner

about the opening of a credit line of 5-10 million euros. Macedonian Minister of Economy Valon Saraqini expressed his hope that economic ties between the companies of the two countries will become more intensive, adding that Hungarian businesses may participate in the implementation of Macedonian investments, and the number of tourists travelling between the two countries will increase significantly. The Macedonian Minister of Economy stated that there may also be opportunities within the field of education, as the Minister is confident that Hungarian and Macedonian enterprises will be able to appear together on the markets of third countries. According to the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency, in 2011 Hungarian exports to Macedonia increased 2.4 percent to 105.5 million euros and Hungarian import increased 8.6 percent to 6.8 million euro. Furthermore, in the first 11 months of 2012 Hungarian exports increased by 12 percent to 111.8 million euros, while imports increased by 30 percent to 8.2 million euros.

New impetus to HungarianSlovak relations

Photo: nato.int

(Online 22 Feb) The NATO member countries will hold a major European exercise in 2015, Minister of Defence Csaba Hende told Hungarian News Agency MTI. He is participating in the two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels which started on Thursday, February 21. Minister Hende told MTI that the ministers discussed how, after the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, the member states of the Alliance – and in addition, the NATO partner countries – can maintain a level of cooperation which has been established over the last decade during the joint deployment (interoperability) in Afghanistan. In order that the lessons learned in Afghanistan will not be lost, the capability of cooperation should be “preserved for a period when the operational tempo will probably be substantially lower than today”, Minister Hende said. He added that to achieve this goal, they must hold more extensive

joint exercises in greater numbers than before. Minister Hende informed MTI that on the first day of the ministerial meeting, the participants reached a consensus about the need for the NATO member states to reinvest in this capability development the resources that would be saved with the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Hungarian Minister added that although no sums or figures were discussed, all participants agreed that a largescale exercise should be held in 2015. The defence ministers took stock of the progress on the implementation of a package of measures (“Connected Forces Initiative”) approved at last year’s Chicago NATO Summit, which outlines the main directions for the development of NATO forces until 2020. In a time of financial austerity due to the economic crisis, the North Atlantic Alliance is striving to achieve as much as possi-

ble at the lowest possible costs. A good example of this is the Pápa-based Heavy Airlift Wing, which was established by pooling the financial resources of several member states. Speaking about this, Minister Hende noted that French General Jean-Paul Paloméros – NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation who is responsible for the strategic concept of military reform within the Alliance – would soon pay a visit to Pápa. Hungary is planning to convert the Pápa Air Base into a major NATO aerodrome and at the same time a “multimodal logistic hub”. It intends to open the aerodrome to civil air traffic, and to implement some related infrastructural projects such as the modernization of the main road between Győr and Pápa. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is going to pay a visit to Pápa in this summer.

Photo: Endre Véssey (Online 20 Feb) On Tuesday, Foreign Minister János Martonyi received Slovak Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Miroslav Lajčák, who accompanied the President of Slovakia, Ivan Gašparovič, on his two-day visit to Budapest. The two foreign ministers agreed that Hungarian-Slovak relations had gained new impetus thanks to the repeated meetings of the prime ministers of the two countries as well as to the latest meeting between President János Áder and President Ivan Gašparovič. János Martonyi declared that he would be paying an

official visit to Slovakia in March and would also attend the GlobSec security policy forum to be held in Bratislava on April 18. Both sides endorsed the approval of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework at the last EU summit, and consider it a success for the ’Friends of Cohesion’, an informal group of member states, which both Hungary and Slovakia belong to. They agreed about the need to improve border cooperation between Hungary and Slovakia with the aim to set up new bridges, border stations and energy lines. The two ministers announced that the legal ex-

perts of the two countries would continue their talks on citizenship issues in Budapest in March. The two foreign ministers stated that it was in the fundamental interest of both countries that the European integration of Eastern and Southeastern Europe should be furthered. They pointed out that the state of domestic politics in Ukraine and in the countries of the Western Balkans must improve before any progress can be made in relations between the EU and the governments in Kiev, Belgrade and Skopje.

A gr e e m e nt s igne d f or e s t a blis hing t he Eur ope a n U nif ie d Pa t e nt C our t (Online 20 Feb) The agreement on unified patent jurisdiction was signed in Brussels and thus the final stage of the five-decade long process aimed at establishing a unified European patent system has been completed, for the time being with the participation of 25 countries. The Unified Patent Court will be headquartered in Paris, however, actual litigation will take place in Munich regarding technical patents and in London concerning pharmaceutical issues. After the signing ceremony Minister of State Zoltán Cséfalvay pointed out that the Hungarian EU presidency in 2011 played a key role in establishing the unified patent system, as two milestones of the process – the decision on European patents and the adoption of the language regime – took place during that period. As Minister of State Cséfalvay highlighted, this may also be the reason why the document states that the education and further training center of patent judges shall be in Budapest. Thus after the European Innovation Center it will be the second EU institution in Budapest. As the Minister of State said, the first patents are expected to be registered in accordance with the new system at the beginning the April next year. Obtaining this new European patent

will be simpler and less costly, he added. According to data mentioned by the Minister of State, having a patent registered costs the equivalent of about 2000 EUR in the United States of America, while in Europe this amount is 36 thousand EUR. In the new system expenses in Europe will decrease to 5000 EUR. Zoltán Cséfalvay also mentioned that nowadays the issues of European re-industrialization and the need for improving competitiveness are widely debated. In his opinion the new patenting process may fortify European competitiveness world-wide. As the Hungarian Minister of State informed, at the meeting of top government officials responsible for competitiveness the issue of the planned reform of state subsidies was also discussed. As far as this topic is concerned, the European Commission proposes – backed primarily by Scandinavian countries – that state subsidies for large enterprises operating in the most developed regions shall be abolished as of next year. Germany, France as well as Hungary and other CentralEastern European countries, however, are against that. They argue that investments of large companies have a knock-on effect on small- and medium-sized enterprises. The executive body of the

EU for proposing and implementing legislation, the Commission in Brussels, currently tends to allow subsidies for large enterprise to continue provided these promote objectives regarding R&D, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Zoltán Cséfalvay said that further negotiations are expected in this field. Speaking to Hungarian journalists the Minister of State at the Ministry for National Economy added that the Government decided that in the fiscal period 2014-2020 the 60 percent of cohesion funds for Hungary will be directly spent on economic development, that is, on strengthening enterprises and stimulating economic growth. In the current seven-year period the corresponding figure was 16 percent. He listed among prioritized objectives the assistance of R&D, innovation and small- and mediumsized enterprises, the development of info-communication technology and the stimulation of employment growth. He also said that in the new fiscal period the supervision of cohesion programmes will be assigned to ministries in order to established harmony between relevant policies and execution. The ongoing programmes of the current period, however, will continue to be managed by the existing system.

Vik t or Or bá n pr e s e nt s a wa r ds t o Le ba ne s e bus ine s s m e n (Online 19 Feb) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presented two Lebanese businessmen with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for the development of Hungarian-Lebanese relations. Mr. Orbán emphasized that Hungary understands the East's message, and so has many prestigious friends in the East. On the proposal of the Prime Minister, in addition to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries, President of the Republic János Áder also presented the awards to former Lebanese Minister of

State and President of Fransabank Adnan Wafic Kassar and his brother Adel Wafic Kassar, the Vice President of Fransabank, for their role in organizing the Hungarian-Arab Economic Forum in Budapest last year. During the ceremony it was stated that Fransbank is one of the biggest banks in Lebanon with significant interests in France, Algeria, Sudan and Syria, in addition to Lebanon itself. The Prime Minister pointed out that the Hungarians never forget that they came from the East, so ‘we feel good in the East and we also feel

good in the company of people from the East’. Viktor Orbán stated that Hungary understands the East's message that both money and success are important, but that these are worth nothing without friendship, adding that Hungary may be considered a privileged country, because it has many friends in the Eastern region. Viktor Orbán concluded that Hungary has a bright future ahead of it and it is especially satisfying to award those who have always stood by Hungary through thick and thin.

looking forward with great expectations to the upcoming visit of Ukrainian Premier Mikola Azarov to Hungary, which he thought was going to have a beneficial effect not only on relations between the two states but also on cooperation between Hungary and the Transcarpathian region. He explained to his partners that the relations between Hungary and independent Ukraine now look back on a 22-year history and even if there are some issues, Hungary supports the strengthening of the sovereignty of Ukraine and the country's European integration efforts both bilaterally and on the international level. Zsolt Németh also mentioned that the Ukraine was most probably going to import gas from Hungary and this is going to be of great significance in terms of securing the energy independence of the country. In this respect, he highlighted that Budapest will raise the issue of renewing the Ukrainian energy system and possible assistance for this in the EU. With respect to bolstering Hungarian-Ukrainian relations, the Hungarian State Secretary considers it very important to develop border crossing infrastructure. He called on his hosts in Transcarpathia to intervene in Kiev with a view to increasing traffic and the number of border crossings between the two countries. Zsolt Németh explained that Hungary was going to assume the office of the Presidency of the Central

Employees in the financial and insurance sectors have continued to be top earners, followed by information technology and communication as well as energy industry sectors. Average wages were lowest in the hotel trade and catering sectors. Moderating inflation, the finalized proportionate flatrate personal income tax and the minimum wage increase continue to have a favourable impact on wages within the national economy. The reduction of public utility charges at the beginning of the year is expected to have an additional positive effect on the real incomes of families.

There are more things that unite us than divide us

(Online 20 Feb) In a speech in Budapest on Tuesday, Slovakian President Ivan Gašparovič said that Slovak-Hungarian co-operation is increasingly becoming an everyday reality, and that politicians from the two countries must strive to build good neighbourly relations. Following this, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics said in a short address that Hungary seeks to deepen co-operation in every area with its neighbouring countries. In his speech marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of HungarianSlovakian diplomatic relations, Mr. Gašparovič said that his first visit abroad in 2013 brought him to Hungary, which two decades ago was among the first countries to recognize an independent Slovakia. ‘The Republic of Slovakia is a success story. The special feature of this story is that the success of Central European states is a shared success. It is a shared success for Slovakia and Hungary,’ said Mr. Gašparovič, who added that over the last European Initiative and of twenty years the two counthe Visegrad Group, and that Budapest wished to use this opportunity to reinforce relations between Ukraine and the Euro-At- (Online 20 Feb) In Brussels lantic structures. He also on Tuesday the agreement mentioned that the Eastern on the Unified Patent Court Partnership Summit will be (UPC) was signed; thus a held in Vilnius in autumn, at process on creation of a uniwhich one of the most im- fied European patent sysportant issues on the tem which has spanned five agenda will be the signing decades has come to of the Free Trade and As- fruition – at present with the sociation Agreement be- participation of twenty-five tween the EU and Ukraine, EU Member States. which Hungary supports to- A long process of negotiagether with Poland. tion has led up to the signing From the Ukrainian side of the agreement, which is Oleksandr Ledida, the Gov- closely linked to adoption of ernor of Transcarpathia EU decrees on a European County thanked Hungary unitary patent system – itself for the support provided the result of strengthened within the framework of the co-operation. The fact that Eastern Partnership and for Budapest will be the locacooperation in general. As tion of the training centre for he emphasized, a lot of the Court’s judges (probably things have been made from 2014) is an important possible during the last recognition of the success year with the assistance of of Hungary’s presidency of Hungary. the Council of the European The Governor of the Union. Ukrainian county briefed his Hungarian partner on the implementation of the river management and flood protection program in the region as well as on the (Online 21 Feb) The Hunrelocation of the population garian-Flemish Joint Com– some Hungarians in- mission held its scheduled cluded – affected by the meeting on 21 January mine collapse at Aknas- 2013 in Brussels. The Hunzlatina (Solotvyno). garian Co-Chairman of the During the early hours of Joint Commission, Minister the evening, Zsolt Németh of State for Employment will visit the Hungarian Col- Sándor Czomba, signed an lege in Beregszász (Bere- agreement with his Flemish govo) and will inaugurate a partner, Secretary-General village museum built in of the Flemish Foreign MinNagybereg (Veliki Berehi) istry Koen Verlaeckt on the with assistance from Hun- work agenda for the upcomgary. ing period. A cooperation agreement was concluded between the Hungarian Government and the Flemish Government in 1994. The cooperation, which thus gained official form, and the exchange of

Hungary supports the European integration of Ukraine (Online 18 Feb) Hungary supports the European integration aspirations of Ukraine at all levels, and plans to continue the cooperation that began with the Transcarpathian region under the auspices of the Eastern Partnership programme; Hungary also wants to increase the number of border crossings between the two countries – said Zsolt Németh, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ungvár (Uzhgorod) on February 15, where he arrived for a two-day official visit to the Transcarpathian region. Zsolt Németh held talks with Oleksandr Ledida, the Governor of Transcarpathia County and with Ivan Baloga, the Chairman of the County Assembly. During the talks, the Hungarian State Secretary called the cooperation of Hungary and the Transcarpathian region excellent. As he pointed out, the parties have a very successful year behind them, after the signing of the cooperation agreement one year ago by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Transcarpathia County Assembly, which on the Hungarian side set out one million US dollars for renewing education, health and cultural institutions in Transcarpathia, which Ukraine complemented with the same amount. Németh highlighted that about two-thirds of the defined objectives had already been met. The Hungarian politician also said that Hungary was

tax allowances for children. In the year 2012, both gross and net wages reached their highest level in December. The net wage increase, which was slightly less dynamic compared to the pace of growth in 2011, was primarily a consequence of the larger influence of public employment schemes. The gross average wage of private sector employees amounted to HUF 260 200 in December, while net wages were HUF 167 700, clocking an increase of 6.2 percent. The gross average monthly wage for full-time employees at budgetary institutions – excluding public work employees – was up by 5.8 percent compared to the corresponding period of

tries have supported each other unselfishly on many occasions, knowing that this serves the interests of citizens in both states. In his opinion Slovakia must seek the answer to economic and social questions together with its neighbours. The President also said that the two countries continue to have differing views on a number of important historical events, and that the content of school history books frequently differs between the two countries. Mr. Gašparovič said that ‘At the same time this must not prevent us from developing friendly relations and concentrating on our shared future.’ In his opinion, the fact that in a shared book leading historians are seeking to clarify the most significant historical misunderstandings can protect younger generations from forming prejudices. ‘I think that this is the best investment in the future of our relations,’ he said. The Slovakian president also spoke of how the Slovakian and Hungarian minorities enrich the relations of the two countries. He

thinks that, while Hungary approaches the matter from a different standpoint, in relation to minorities Slovakia is fulfilling every requirement based on rights to individual liberty. He said that ‘It is important that the 1995 agreement between the two countries focuses on minority affairs, and that this agreement remains to this day the basis for dialogue in this area.’ He added that the life of minorities must be continuously improved, creating a favourable inter-ethnic climate. ‘I am not convinced that the latest legislation on Hungarian citizenship serves this end. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of us all to continue dialogue, and to find solutions to unresolved matters,’ he said. In a short address following the Slovakian president’s speech, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics said that Hungary is seeking to deepen co-operation with neighbouring countries in every area. Mr. Navracsics said that ‘We have the opportunity to show the world that there are more things that unite us than divide us.’

The agreement on creation of the Unified Patent Court has been signed The centre of the UPC will be in Paris, while cases related to mechanical engineering patents and pharmaceutical patents will be dealt with in Munich and London respectively. The new court will be the international judicial organisation dedicated to the conduct of litigation related to unitary European patents and the ‘classic’ European patents of individual Member States. Following the agreement’s entry into effect in Hungary, the new court will replace domestic courts and the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office in cases of patent violation, destruction and annulment orders related to European patents valid in Hungary. During a transitional period of at least seven years these proceedings can still be launched

with domestic courts and authorities, but following this the UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction in such cases. The series of negotiations related to the decrees on a European unitary patent system was one of the successes of the Hungarian EU presidency. On 17 December 2012, following support from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union adopted the package of regulations implementing reform of the patent system. Following the signing of the agreement the process of its ratification can begin, together with development of the new system. By as early as 2014 patents will receive protection in twenty-five countries (twenty-six with the accession of Croatia).

Hungarian-Flemish joint commission meets in Brussels

Military advisory team completes last joint operation with Afghan national army

experiences were crucial for Hungary’s preparation for EU accession. Since then, projects related to education, culture and environmental protection have proven to be the most successful fields of cooperation. It has been a telling sign of the significance of FlemishHungarian economic relations that trade with Flanders traditionally constitutes almost three-quarters of Belgian-Hungarian trade volume. Within the framework of the cooperation, the new work agenda for 2013-2014 sets out objectives in the following fields: improvement of economic relations, infra-

structure development, agriculture, environmental protection, regional development, water management, traffic and transport, in addition to proposing deepening cooperation with regard to applied scientific research and technical development and in relation to culture, education, healthcare, employment, labour and social issues. The work agenda now signed enables the development of Flemish-Hungarian economic and cultural relations through the elaboration of clear-cut projects, programmes and scholarships.

State Secrertary Bába opened new diplomatic training centre

Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák, MTI

(Online 18 Feb) The Hungarian–US Military Advisory Team (MAT) finished its last joint operation with the Afghan National Army (ANA) on February 14. During the three-day patrol, the around 180 Hungarian, US and Afghan soldiers and policemen combed four valleys where – according to intelligence – groups of insurgents and gunmen were reported to be hiding. (Report from the spot). The operation was preceded by a two-week planning phase, during which intelligence reports were gathered and evaluated. The soldiers of the MAT participated in the operation as advisors, monitoring the activity of the Afghan battalion. Over the last four years, the infantry battalion (kandak) of the Afghan National Army has been trained and mentored by the Hungarian–US Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT). As a result of this, last June the battalion was certified by ISAF as “capable of inde-

pendent operations”. Lt.-Col. Szabolcs Pécsvárady, contingent commander told us that they had found weapons and ammunition on each day of the operation. The three-day operation, however, has some results that are not so spectacular as finding weapons but at least as important as that, the MAT commander said. Through this patrolling, the ANA has demonstrated the presence of the Afghan government in the region and showed the local people that it was able to deploy to the place where it was needed. The OMLT commenced training and mentoring the Afghan National Army 209 Corps 2nd Brigade 3rd Infantry Battalion in Khilagay, Baghlan Province in April 2009. The work began with the individual training of Afghan soldiers, who learnt the maintenance and use of their weapons and the basic military skills (for example, on tactical training sessions, marksmanship training, land navigation

practice). The training continued with the practice of platoon-, company and then battalion-level tasks, while the Afghan unit was continuously participating in the current operations led by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Hungarian Defence Forces and the Ohio National Guard have successfully completed the task they undertook, which is also shown by the fact that the OMLT was converted into a Military Advisory Team (MAT) in December 2012 and besides performing its original duties, it started preparing for its new role, the mentoring the staff work of the Mazar-e Sharif-based Afghan National Civil Order Police and the Afghan border guards. The joint task execution by the troops of the two countries within the OMLT has become one of the greatest examples of American–Hungarian military cooperation, which has been developing continuously since the 1990s.

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

(Online 19 Feb) Administration State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iván Bába opened the Ministry's new simulative training centre on February 18. The new centre recreates the actual environment of a Hungarian diplomatic mission abroad, including the same areas, equipment and devices used at embassies and consular offices for the performance of diplomatic duties. Foreign Ministry employees can learn important practical skills at the centre,

such as how to process visa applications, seal diplomatic packages or handle confidential documents, so public servants employed by the Ministry can become familiar with their working environment before leaving for posts abroad. The opening event was attended by, among others, Patrick Child, the Managing Director for Administration and Finance at the European External Action Service (EEAS), Božin Nikolić, the Director of the Serbian

Diplomatic Academy in Belgrade, and Hans Winkler, Director of the Austrian Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. Following the opening remarks by State Secretary Iván Bába, the guests had the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the new training centre. (The centre's first client was Patrick Child, whose biometric passport was examined by the consulate computer system.)

Fr a m e wor k t o be de f ine d t o m onit or U k r a ine : St a t e Se c r e t a r y N é m e t h (Online 19 Feb) Zsolt Németh, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented Hungary at the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on Monday. Following the meeting, the Hungarian State Secretary declared that the Eastern Partnership was also on the agenda. There is a chance to conclude an association as well as a free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine by the coming summit of the Eastern Partnership this November, Zsolt

Németh said. However, Ukraine must fulfil certain requirements until then, he added. Next week's EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels will need to define a mechanism that would monitor Ukraine's democratic deliverance. On ties between the EU and its eastern neighbours, the Hungarian State Secretary said that the bloc should accelerate cooperation, rather than "follow cautious policies" with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. The foreign ministers of the EU

member states agreed to send almost 500 troops to Mali. About half of the troops will focus on training the army of Mali, while the other half will provide security for the military trainers. Hungary will contribute by sending 10 officers to the EU mission in Mali. The EU member states also agreed to increase the severity of EU sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions apply partly to the leaders of the North Korean regime and partly to trade transactions.

At the outset, I would like to extend my excessive happiness and my pride address to people of friendly Pakistan on the occasion of celebrations of the 52nd National Day and 22nd Libration Day of the State of Kuwait. On these two precious occasions my dear brothers and sisters I, avail this opportunity in extending my sincere felicitation and benediction to His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait God bless and protect him, and His Highness the Crown Prince Bless him, and Government and people of Kuwait, praying to Allah almighty to bless my country with beneficence of the peace and stability. The existing relations between Kuwait and Pakistan are exemplar honorable and model of mutual relations among these countries, based on commented and sincere historical ground and on common interest and mutual respect and firm cooperation in all fields and grounds. With congregation of our National Day celebrations we want refer to Pakistani stand in favor of the right of Kuwait and in opposing the occupation of my peaceful country from the claws of Iraqi extinct army regime in sending Pakistan army reflect their contribution and support to join the allied forces for the liberation of the state of Kuwait. At this stage we renew our confirmation for the continuity of the state of Kuwait to Pakistan for its financial and moral support referring to its role where the state of Kuwait was first among countries in extending its assistance of US$ 100 Million as contribution for reconstruction of affected areas from the devastated earthquake 2005. Moreover, the State of Kuwait has contributed its assistance for the affected Pakistani people of the last summer 2010 devastated floods in order to reduce their sufferance. Whereas, His Highness the Amir of the state of Kuwait God bless and protect him ordered to airlift between Kuwait and Pakistan for supply of goods for needy people on the state official electronic media in order to participate in campaign where all residence Kuwaitis and foreigners, males and females, young and older rushed for the motivation of their human being the Islamic sentiments all in their capacity to extend their support to Pakistani people in the time of their ordeal. We reassure the support of the State of Kuwait to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in its efforts to fight the terrorism and extremism elements, with our best wishes for the stability and peace in all over the lovely Pakistan. The State of Kuwait extends its keen importance in its Foreign Policy to the field of economic; therefore in this regard Kuwait has procession of its relations with most of the countries. The Government has adopted next four years investment plan almost 115 Billion US Dollars for developing and improving the level of services extended to the people and the residents of the State of Kuwait in particular, and moreover to divert the State of Kuwait to a Financial Centre in the region in order to execute the lofty instructions of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait God bless and protect him. The State of Kuwait is motivating its aim and its sincere interest for growth and development particularly in the fields of economic, Trade and Investment relations with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which reflects strength of the relations and aspires of two friendly countries and their people. At the conclusion I extend thanks for facilitating me this great opportunity, as well as I renew my thanks to the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its people for their graceful and kind hospitality.


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