9th October

Hangul Day (S. Korea celebrates invention of its alphabet, 1446) – find your name in Korean here.

Leif Erikson Day (Viking bringing first Europeans to America in the 10th century) – resources here, and the rune alphabet here.

Takayama Autumn Festival – more info here.

World Post Day (after Swiss Universal Postal Union founded, 1874)

Uganda Independence Day:

Learn Swahili!

Up until around 300 B.C., Ugandans were hunter-gatherers. Then the great lakes were ruled by the Empire of Kitara, or the Chwezi Empire, until the Luo and Ateker peoples of the Nile valley invaded.

From the 1830s Arab traders arrived, followed by British explorers, and from 1888 it was part of the British East India Company.

The Brits imported Indian workers to build the Ugandan railway. In 1900-20, two-thirds of Ugandans by the lakes died of a sleeping sickness.

From 1962 Uganda was independent from the UK and became part of the Commonwealth.

After that, as with nearly all post-colonial countries, democracy soon turned to violent dictatorship. The first voted-in government had a prime minister, Milton Obote, and a president  who was also king, Edward Muteesa II; four years later the prime minister booted out the king-president, changed the constitution, declared Uganda a republic and abolished the traditional kingdoms.

Idi Amin

In ’71 Obote was deposed, and a violent dictator Idi Amin killed 300,000 Ugandans and extradited all the Indians, ruining the country’s economy.

Eight years later Ugandan exiles joined with Tanzania, invaded and reinstated Obote. He was again deposed and replaced by Tito Okello in 1985, who six months later was deposed in a ‘bush war’ led by the current president Yoweri Musoveni.

If you’re a child, female or gay in Uganda, it’s pretty bad times. Children can be kidnapped to serve in Kony’s army, or work in dangerous factory conditions, and parliament is pushing for homosexuals to receive the death penalty. Because women are expected to do all the housework, looking after the young, ill and old, and also have to bring in an income, they work 15-hour days compared to the men’s 8-hour days.

Despite fertile lands, lots of mineral resources and untapped cruel oil reserves, Uganda owes $2 billion in foreign debts. Through open discussion, Uganda managed to reduce HIV cases from 30% in the 1980s to 6.4% in the 2000s.  In 2003 George Bush started financially supported ‘abstinence-only’ campaigns against HIV, and cases doubled. Nice one, Bush.

Make a handprint elephant.


Chung Yeung Festival (2016 Hong Kong: 9th day of 9th lunar month; ancestor-worship in cemeteries; they also hike to the highest points for good luck and eat ko cakes)



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