Friday, 27 January 2017

History is Made…Daily!

Did you know that February is History Month? It’s also Black / African Month, and in my quest this year to learn more about the people that live in Canada, I’ll definitely be blogging about that too.

But today, I’m reflecting on the past. Maybe because it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I know I’m not American, but the inauguration (big word, I know!) of President Donald Trump has—and will—impact us all, maybe in ways we haven’t even realized. (We even talked about it at school!) For instance, on January 21, thousands of people around the world “marched” in support of women’s rights. Even members of MY family in Canada joined in.

At first, I didn’t understand why. I thought the Women’s March was in protest of the new President—but my mom explained that it was about so much more than that. She said it’s an important message about gender equality—and making sure we don’t go back in time to when things weren’t very equal at all. Did you know that until 1916, women in Alberta weren’t even allowed to vote?

History was made then—and it was made again on January 21, as the Women’s March became the world’s largest “peaceful protest.” This really opened my eyes. Because I didn’t realize women have historically had to fight for equality, maybe because I’m surrounded by some of the smartest, bravest, and most amazing women in the world. (Yes, even my sister, who loves to tell me EVERY day how much she knows!)

As part of my quest to learn more about Canadian people and their cultures, I’ve decided to spend some extra time in February learning about my country’s history, too. If you’ve read the Superman Duffy comic Fields of Home, you already know the fascinating history of canola in Canada. Plus, in Tasting My Story,“the other me” travels back in time (four times!) to learn about the evolution of Canadian foods over the years—and the importance of family history, too. (Not to mention, * I * dug up some great recipes from the past that are still delicious today!)

A simple Google search has already given me plenty of Canadian history to ponder, and I’m just getting started. Look for my random facts throughout February on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or the blog! 

And don’t forget to celebrate the Year of the Rooster this weekend—tomorrow is the beginning of Chinese New Year. Check out my past post on it here! And be sure to send me pictures if you attend any celebrations. They could be published on my social media.

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Who Is Robert Burns And Why Does He Get His Own Special Day?

Yesterday in class, my friend Robbie said that his family will be making haggis on Wednesday as part of their annual Robert Burns celebration. First, I had to ask him what haggis was—turns out it’s a kind of pudding made with sheep’s heart (or liver or lungs), minced with herbs, spices and oatmeal. And then, I asked him who Robert Burns was, and why was he was so special that he got his own day dedicated to him. Spoiler alert: Robert Burns is Scottish and my friend was named after him!

According to Robbie, Burns was a famous poet in Scotland, and every year on his birth day, January 25, people gather to eat haggis and celebrate his works. Not just Scottish people either! Apparently, he was so well known that he is celebrated throughout the world—even in Alberta, there are events happening!

In class, we’re even reading some of his (a bit confusing) poetry. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone is bringing in haggis.

Talking to my friend Robbie about Robbie Burns Day got me thinking about why it’s such an important day for Scottish people, and I learned that the event is meant to celebrate Burns’ significant contribution to Scottish culture. Neat, right?

This year, during Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, there will be tons of events to help honour the people who have contributed to this country’s very diverse culture. Instead of haggis, there will be bison burgers, Evans’ cherries, and fries cooked in canola oil (a true Canadian food!), for example. I can’t wait.  

I’ve already learned so much about the traditions and cultures of other people who live in Canada—and it’s only January! I’m looking forward to a year of learning.

Have you ever tried haggis? And if you could celebrate ANY poet, who would it be, and what would you eat? I’d probably pick Robert Frost, and we’d eat snow cones. Get it? <grin>

Gotta Jet! Have a great weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday the 13th: Very Superstitious…Or Not?

If you’ve been reading my blog (or the Superman Duffy comics), you know that I LOVE Friday the 13th. It’s not just because I like reading horror stories and watching thrilling movies, although that IS part of it. I also love to bust myths, and perhaps no other day has more superstitions and myths surrounding it than Friday the 13th.

IF you live in North America, that is.

Did you know that Friday the 13th isn’t a big deal in other parts of the world? While North Americans are busy ducking ladders, avoiding black cats, and going to Triskaidekaphobia’s Annonymous meetings (Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th), it’s just another day for people in other parts of the world. 

In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, TUESDAY the 13th (otherwise known as martes trece) is considered bad luck. Same with people in Greece. In Italy, the number 13 has nothing to do with bad luck—Friday the 17th is the day to watch your step. The number 13 is actually considered lucky in Italy. Who knew?

That’s interesting for sure—and great research as I continue on my quest to learn more about the cultures and traditions of people that live in Canada—but I think I’ll still avoid the mirror today…just in case I break it. (Er…any chance it’s actually crazy hair day, too?)

Luckily, there are only two Fridays in 2017 that land on the 13th! What superstitions, if any, are you paying attention to today? Or is Friday the 13th just one big myth?

Gotta jet. Good luck and have a GREAT weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy