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Monday, March 9: Day 322 – Celebrations

International Woman’s Day

International Women’s Day was yesterday on March 8. I didn’t know that was a thing and celebrated around the world. Supporters wear purple on this day. The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is – I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. “When girls do better, we all do better.”

International Women’s Day has been observed and celebrated for over 100 years. In 1977, the United Nations invited member states to recognize March 8 as International Women’s Day. (By the way, International Men’s Day is November 19.)

So women, let’s thank those women that have been good examples in the past and be good examples to the next generation of girls.

Australia vs. India

Woman’s World Cup for Cricket was scheduled for March 8th. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, following by soccer, with 2.5 billion fans.

Cheerleader: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

Response: Fight! Fight! Fight!

There are 11 players and Australia won the toss. They elected to bat. Before the match, three anthems were played. The first one was by the traditional owners of the land. Next was the National Anthem of India followed by the Australian National Anthem. Now I know why there is a countdown to the start. 5-4-3-2-1.

There are two batters at a time. They alternate batting and putting up scores until one gets out. Then another player comes in. The word “wicket” would flash up on the scoreboard when a fly ball was caught.

There were 86,174 fans in attendance. When things got a little dull, a section would start The Wave. They call it the Mexican Wave because it originated at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. Everywhere that English is spoken it is called the Mexican Wave except for North America. Is this political correctness on our part or a failure to acknowledge the country of origin??

At one point, the song C’mon Aussie C’mon by Allen Johnston was played and everyone sang along.

It was an exciting game and a decisive victory. Australia was clearly the better team.

Katie Perry

Just on the heels of announcing her pregnancy, Katy Perry performed the pregame and postgame show with an International Women’s Day theme.

There was a giant purple woman symbol that she used for the stage.

Another reason to celebrate this weekend is because today is the Australian Labor Day. This country loves to party!!

There is a four-day Moomba Festival.

It was thought that Moomba is an Aboriginal word that means “let’s get together and have fun” but Aboriginal linguists confirm that it really means “Up your bum”. Moom means butt and ba means up. So…maybe this festival that has been celebrated since the 1950’s has been a big laugh for the indigenous people.

What’s in a name? We will have a good time no matter what the name means.

Moomba is a colorful family celebration of who you are and getting out with friends and neighbors to have fun. One of the premiere events is the Birdman Rally. This is where people design aircrafts to sail across the Yarra River. The winner is based on the distance that the craft has traveled, the amount of money raised for their chosen charity, and audience approval rating.

No one has ever made it across. It is more of a creative dunking booth. And, yes, there is a carnival with games and food.

The stuffed animals are unusual to us. Instead of teddy bears, there are wombats, sloths and lamas.

A parade full of colorful traditional costumes and lively music from the country is a fun celebration. Check out these pictures.

See the lady in the tree. They design floats for the following year. I believe that this design won last year and became a reality this year.

These women are called Royal Phoenix. They are participating in the sport of leisure marching. Hmm. Maybe I can start a group in the USA. This was the debut. Lookin’ good.

What would a parade be without a giant poisonous frog. One man said that Australia is the unlucky continent since it is known as home of the deadly. I prefer home of the free!!

Each culture comes out with beautiful traditional costumes like these.

Shrine of Remembrance

After the parade, we continued with the crowd to the Shrine of Remembrance.

What is the difference between a memorial and a shrine? A shrine is a holy or sacred place. This is the honor that they bestow on their war dead.

We wondered when the first war memorials were erected. WWI seemed to start a flurry of them. In those days, soldiers killed in battle were not returned home and buried where they fell. In fact, only two were buried on Australian soil. The bodies are those of the ‘unknown Australian soldier’ who lies at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and Major General William Throsby Bridges who died at Gallipoli.

While strolling down ANZAC Avenue on our way to the shrine, we noticed an older monument to fallen soldiers of the Boer Wars in South Africa. Hmmm. When did people start building war memorials? We have certainly had wars since the beginning of time. You would think that the land would be covered with them!!

There is a Service of Remembrance every half hour which recreates what happens on the Day of Remembrance on November 11. At eleven o’clock, a sunlight beam travels from the top of the shrine and moves across the plaque for 11 minutes. It took 142 pages of calculations to ensure that a light will pass over the plaque for the next 5,000 years.

The verse is from the Bible in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

All of the 62,000 names are hand written in remembrance books in alphabetical order.

When the shrine was opened, over 303,000 people came to attend the dedication. This was one third of the population of Melbourne. Everyone had lost someone in the war.

This Shrine of Remembrance is modeled after the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It is made from local stones.

Below the Shrine was an excellent war museum. Here are just a few things that we saw and learned.

In WWI, there was a Camel Corp. People were put into this division if they were ill mannered and badly behaved. They were kicked out of horse brigades. Around 62,000 Australians died during the four years of WWI. ANZAC Day is the most prominent day on the Australian calendar.

This political cartoon by William Dyson, was prophetic, and WWII was imminent.

A WWII pilot needed the hands of an octopus, the brain of a calculating machine, the courage of a lunatic. They were placed in command of machines and situations of great complexity, long before they were properly equipped, emotionally or technically, to cope with them. Half of them had never even driven a motor car.

What is a war museum without a plea for peace.

Global Peace Index uses 23 criteria to determine on a relative scale how peaceful a country is.

According to the interactive map, Iceland is on one end of the spectrum with Syria on the other end. I will let you guess which end!

You can read about determining the GPI of a nation from this Sydney-based company by clicking on the following link:

Global Peace Index

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