Category Archives: Events

Current Events – Maria’s Musings

Image result for current events

Maria Sanchez discusses current political events.

 

 

 

 

Click the link below to listen to the recorded podcast:

Brexit. What is the fallout?

Image result for brexit

The fallout from the Brexit votes continues. The Dow plunged 600 points on Friday. Prime Minister David Cameron tendered his resignation while other EU countries are considering their own referendum votes. Meanwhile, house Democrats staged an unsuccessful 25 hour sit-in to further gun control. And what have we learned thus far about Zika? Join us as we catch up on all recent world events!

Click the link below to listen to the recorded podcast:

The Race to the White House

shadow-politics-b

Maria and Senator Michael Brown look at the latest developments in the race to the White House. As President Obama, Jesse Jackson & the Democratic Party endorse Hillary Clinton, there is divisiveness in the Republican Party. Mitt Romney criticizes supporters of Trump stating the “GOP has broken my heart”. While other “Anti-Trump” Republicans attempt a last ditch effort to thwart his nomination at this summer’s convention. What are your thoughts? 

Click the link below to listen to the recorded podcast:

Happy Chinese New Year 2015 – Year of the Goat

Chinese New Year GoatLet’s Celebrate the Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in sheep years are often artistic, charming, sensitive, and sweet. It is known as the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac. Jane Austen, Boris Becker, Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Walters, Bruce Willis, and Orville Wright were born in the year of the sheep.

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and parades.

Although most Americans know today’s holiday as the Chinese New Year, the Chinese have been calling it the Spring Festival since 1912. That is because in 1912, they adopted the Gregorian calendar and moved to celebrating the New Year on January 1st. To preserve the holiday, they changed the name to the Spring Festival.

This holiday is one of the most significant in China, and originally developed as an opportunity to celebrate deities and ancestors. It was celebrated by gathering family together to feast, and consequently became an important opportunity for family to reconnect each year.

Australia Day is January 26, 2015.

Aussie beachThis year, Australia Day falls on the 26th of January. This day is intended to support and spread the values of Australians as a whole.

My youngest child and my only daughter has been living in Australia since June 2014. She has enjoyed her time there tremendously and experienced an amazing array of activities, events, travel, friendships and terrific employment opportunities. This picture is one that she sent me recently.

The only time I traveled to Australia was with my daughter on a cruise that originated in Hong Kong and traveled south, eventually taking us to Darwin, Brisbane and ultimately Sydney.

We fed koalas, kangaroos, toured the world famous Sydney Opera House, walked across the bridge and enjoyed the sights and the people.
The cost of living is tremendous there so it is very expensive to eat and drink. I remember taking us to a restaurant for ‘happy hour’ and a Smirnoff cocktail was $22 and that was Aussie dollars, which at the time was even more expensive then US dollars.

It is almost surreal when I look at her photos because the colors are so vivid and lustrous. We chatted on the telephone yesterday and she told me about all of the festivities that are involved in celebrating Australia Day.

Whether you are Australian or not, there are a variety of ways in which you can recognize the holiday, including but not limited to:

If you are interested in holding a public Australia Day event in your community, allow the Australia Day website to broadcast and promote your event!

If you are Australian, take a moment to think about what makes you proud to be whom you are. The Australian of the Year Awards acts as a nationwide celebration of the achievements of Australians.

Australians living in America can partake in an Australian Citizenship Affirmation ceremony where they can affirm their commitment and loyalty to Australia.

Are you simply an #AussieFan? Share the word on all of your social media pages describing what makes you passionate about Australia.

See Austrailia Day for more information.