"October is about trees revealing colours they've hidden all year. People have an October as well."
- Jim Storm, American actor, photographer,1943
October is a busy month for many of us. Almost 50% of the world’s population has something on during the first three days. It starts with China’s Golden Week celebration for its national day (1st-6th), India’s Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (2nd), and Germany’s Unity Day (3rd), followed by the Canadian Thanksgiving (9th), National Days for Spain (12th), Austria (26th), and Turkey (29th), and finally ends with Halloween (31st).
Here are some fun facts for this October:
Q1. Do you know the Eiffel Tower could have belonged to Spain?The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of France, but there is an interesting historical story with Spain. Gustave Eiffel originally submitted his design, featuring an iron structure known as the “Galerie des Machines,” for the 1888 World’s Fair held in Barcelona, Spain; the city turned it down, worrying it would be an unwieldy eyesore. He then pitched the project to Paris and eventually built the 300-meter-high iron marvel for the 1889 World’s Fair. The rest is history. (source: Google Arts and Culture, Wikipedia.)
Q2. Where and when was Red Bull, the famous energy drink, founded? The drink originated in Thailand and was inspired by a Thai beverage called “Krating Daeng,” which means “Red Bull” in English. Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, came across “Krating Daeng” during a business trip to Thailand in 1982. He recognised its commercial potential and partnered with the Thai owner. Together, they founded the company Red Bull GmbH, and the first cans of Red Bull were sold in Austria on April 1, 1987. Red Bull is now one of the world’s most popular energy drinks, known for its distinctive blue and silver cans and its association with extreme sports and events (source: Wikipedia)
Q3. Where is Turkey? About 97% of Turkey’s land area (Anatolia) is in Asia. The remaining 3% of Turkey’s land, including its largest city, Istanbul, is in Europe. Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, is a city that spans both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus Strait. This unique geographical position makes Turkey a bridge between Europe and Asia and gives it a diverse cultural and historical heritage. (source: Wikipedia)
For more fun facts about Spain, Austria and Turkey, and about festivals and countries featured in our past newsletters, please click:
Spain Hispanic Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Oct 2022 Newsletter: https://transculturalgroup.
“Have a colourful and joy-filled October!”
A Journey A Month…
Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.
In Korea, the 9th of Oct is a national holiday. Known as Hangeul Day, 한글날 (Hangeulnal), Koreans celebrate the proclamation of the native script of the Korean language, Hangeul (or Hangul). The creation of Hangeul is often considered one of the most significant linguistic innovations in history.
During King Sejong’s reign (15th century), the Korean people used complex Classical Chinese characters, which were too difficult for the commoners. The Great King wanted to increase his people’s access to knowledge and education, believing that language was a tool of empowerment, making connections and enabling the exchange of ideas. Hence, he embarked on the project to create a new writing system to improve literacy among all people, regardless of their social status.
Hangeul was a departure from the complex characters of Classical Chinese, and it was designed to be easy to learn and use. The script was revolutionary in its simplicity and effectiveness. Over the years, Hangeul has evolved to 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels, which can be combined to form syllables. The modular LEGO bricks immediately came to mind when I first encountered the innovative script. According to scholars, it is one of the easiest languages to learn, and the design of the new Korean script became a masterpiece of inclusion and accessibility. King Sejong has managed to transform his country through Hangeul, fostering a sense of national identity and unity. Here is a clip to help you understand Hangeul (2’43”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Today, K-Pop (Korean Pop) has become a global cultural phenomenon. Besides music, fashion, dance, entertainment and cuisine, many people are discovering the Korean language. It is evident that King Sejong’s vision also benefits modern-day non-Korean natives to learn Hangeul. Much like the vibrant colours of October, embracing the natural world with beauty and transformation, the drive of a simple idea from the King who wished to unite his people continues to shine through beyond his original intent.
Here is a clip to help you understand Hangeul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
“October paints the world in hues of gold and crimson, and nature’s canvas whispers to our souls: ‘Change can be the most beautiful masterpiece of it all. “
The world is fascinating simply because differences exist!
Join us to spread the words, share the vision, and do our parts.
At TransCultural Group (TCG), we are determined to play our part in making the world a better place. We have launched an e-book for Youth. We have also uploaded the complete series of “Food around the World” on our YouTube channel.
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Crossing Cultures – Beyond Boundaries