Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holidays for December 11th 2013

International Mountain Day

The year 2002 was the International Year of Mountains. As this year drew to a close, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed December 11 to be International Mountain Day. This observance, which is celebrated annually, aims to draw attention to the important roles that mountainous regions play in water and food supply.

Various activities are organized on and around International Mountain Day. These aim to increase awareness of and knowledge around the role of mountains and mountainous regions amongst the general population and professionals. Particular examples of events are: book fairs; symposia; themed lectures for students; workshops and press events. Mountaineering and explorations societies may hold lectures and social events on or around December 11.

The International Year of Mountains was held in 2002 and with the aim of raising awareness and triggering action on issues relating to sustainable mountain development. The leading agency was the Food and Agriculture Organization. The International Year of Mountains was launched at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on December 11, 2001.

On December 20, 2002, as the International Year of Mountains drew to a close, the UN designated December 11 as International Mountain Day and encouraged the international community to organize events to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development on this date. International Mountain Day was first observed on December 11, 2003. Each year International Mountain Day has a particular theme. Previous themes have focused on freshwater, peace, biodiversity or climate change.

The symbol of International Mountain Day consists of three equilateral triangles, each orientated with two points on a single imaginary horizontal line and one point directed upwards. The triangles are mainly black and represent mountains. The triangle on the left has a blue "diamond" shape at the top, representing ice or snow at the top of a mountain. The middle triangle has an orange circle at its center, representing resources that are mined from inside mountains. The triangle on the right has a small green triangle at its lower right-hand point.

This represents the crops that grow on mountains. Under the three triangles is a black stripe containing the words "11 December" and the words "International Mountain Day" in two shades of United Nations' use of the color blue. The symbol of International Mountain Day is based on the symbol for the International Year of Mountains (2002).

National Noodle-Ring Day

December 11th is National Noodle Ring Day, a day to bake and enjoy your very own noodle ring. A noodle ring is created by mixing eggs and noodles with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese, then molding it into a cake ring to bake. When it reaches a beautiful golden brown the baked mold is inverted, creating a tasty dish that can double as a centerpiece. If desired, vegetables or main dishes like creamed chicken may be added to the center. Noodle rings were popular in the middle part of the last century, but have all but disappeared from most modern cookbooks. National Noodle Ring Day is an opportunity to enjoy this simple and tasty “retro” dish.

I learned all about noodles a couple of months ago on National Noodle Day. However, while we celebrated that “unofficial” with an evening out to a local restaurant, we celebrated today’s by working in our very own kitchen. It took a little searching to find a good recipe since noodle rings aren’t exactly vogue anymore, but when I finally did find one I was glad to see that it was simple and inexpensive. In fact, the only ingredients we needed to purchase for our noodle ring were cheese and the noodles themselves!

After a busy day of cleaning and laundry I was ready for dinner a little earlier than usual. Around 5 o’clock I got started in the kitchen, gathering the few things needed for our noodle ring, and getting comfortable over the stovetop. After a few minutes Chris came over to help me melt the cheese, just in time to witness a stink bug commit suicide in our hot skillet; he was good enough to scoop out the affected area while I mourned the little guy’s untimely death. When everything was done we squished it into an angel food cake pan (we don’t have a bundt cake pan) and let it bake for a bit. When it was done we turned it upside-down, which is easier said than done, filled the center with onion straws and spam, and enjoyed our borderline bland, but still satisfying dinner. Now that I’ve experienced the noodle ring I have to say I like it’s ability to double as a centerpiece and side dish, but there does seem to be something missing from the recipe. Still, it might be a good one to experiment with. After all, noodles are the ultimate comfort food.

UNICEF’s Birthday

In the aftermath of World War II, the General Assembly of the United Nations votes to establish the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an organization to help provide relief and support to children living in countries devastated by the war.

After the food and medical crisis of the late 1940s passed, UNICEF continued its role as a relief organization for the children of troubled nations and during the 1970s grew into a vocal advocate of children's rights. During the 1980s, UNICEF assisted the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. After its introduction to the U.N. General Assembly in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child became the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, and UNICEF played a key role in ensuring its enforcement.

Of the 184 member states of the United Nations, only two countries have failed to ratify the treaty--Somalia and the United States. Somalia does not currently have an internationally recognized government, so ratification is impossible, and the United States, which was one of the original signatories of the convention, has failed to ratify the treaty because of concerns about its potential impact on national sovereignty and the parent-child relationship.