September 2011

Note: The Terry Fox article referred to below is not posted on this site, as it doesn't really contain anything that that isn't already well-known and widely documented.

If you choose any day of the year, it's a special day somewhere in the world. As an example, consider September 19th. It's a national holiday in several countries, including Chile and the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

This year in Japan, September 19th is "Respect for the Aged Day". I think a holiday like this is a great idea. We should definitely respect older people. We should value them, too. People who have lived long lives have a huge quantity of knowledge, skill, and wisdom. Society can benefit from them in so many ways.

Back in January, I wrote about Terry Fox, and how he inspired people all around the world with his "Marathon of Hope" in support of cancer research. In Canada and many other countries, the Terry Fox Run normally takes place on September 19th every year. People young and old — children, adults, men, women, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers — run, walk, even ride wheelchairs, to raise money for cancer research in memory of Terry Fox. By Terry's own request, the run has no winners or losers, and anyone can participate. More than three million people take part in it every year.

But September 19th is also the date of one of the most interesting 'holidays' anywhere in the world: "International Talk Like a Pirate Day". It was originally invented as a joke by two men from the U.S., but it's become popular around the world. On September 19th, people are supposed to talk like pirates all day.

I don't really know how Japanese pirates talk (did Japan ever have pirates?) but in English, this type of speech has been made popular by the characters in the "Pirates of the Carribean" movies. It involves using a lot of sea and sailing terms, as well as calling people "matey", growling and saying "ARRRRR" a lot. I've never done this myself, but I've always wanted to try it. It looks like a lot of fun. But maybe people would give me strange looks if I started talking like that in public...

On the other hand, here in Japan I sometimes get strange looks when I talk anyway, so perhaps it wouldn't matter.

Return to my Japan page.