November 18, 2009

Celebrations in Uzbekistan, Morocco, Latvia, Oman, Haiti, and the Wonderful World of Disney!

Flag Day – Uzbekistan
– This country is doubly landlocked.
What does that mean? Well, a landlocked country is one that does not border on any ocean or non-landlocked sea. A doubly landlocked country is a landlocked country that is bordered only by other landlocked nations. In other words, those in a doubly landlocked country must pass two national borders before they reach a coast...There is only one other doubly landlocked country in the world. What is it? (Answer at the bottom of the posting.)

Independence Day – Morocco – This African country was the first nation to recognize the United States as an independent nation, in 1777. The leader of Morocco declared that all American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate; this is the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty.

National Day – Latvia – This Baltic country in Northeastern Europe has a rich traditional folklore with folk songs that date back over a thousand years. More than 1.2 million texts and 30,000 melodies of folk songs (dainas) have been identified. Some of the songs have to do with Latvian mythology and The Godskeepers (Dievturi) religion. Latvians dainas often feature a droning singing style and zithers.

National Day – Oman – This Arab country is home to Wattayah, which is a Stone Age settlement around 10,000 years old. Scientists discovered stone tools, animal bones, shells, and fire hearths at this site.

Vertieres' Day – Haiti – This day commemorates the last large battle of the Haitian Revolution (or War of Independence) against French troops, in 1803. Haiti is the first Latin American country to become independent, and it is the only nation on earth to win its independence in a slave rebellion. It's also one of only two independent nations in the Americas that has French as one of its official languages. What's the other country?

Mickey Mouse's Birthday – The Wonderful World of Disney – Born in 1928, Mickey Mouse is 81 years old today! (His first cartoon with synchronized sound, Steamboat Willie, was released on 11/18/28.) Mickey was almost named “Mortimer,” but Walt Disney's wife suggested “Mickey.”

Celebrate today by...

  • Finding Uzbekistan, Morocco, Latvia, Oman, and Haiti on the globe.
  • Making a Mickey Mouse cake. (Split one of the two layers of a round cake in half, and arrange as ears above the the uncut circle / head.)
  • For teens and adults, watch the movie Casablanca (Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco) and listen to “The Marrakesh Express” by Crosby, Stills and Nash (Marrakesh is the third largest city in Morocco). (By the way, the lyrics to the song mention djellabas, which are traditional Moroccan hooded robes.
  • Aside from Antarctica (which has no countries) and Australia (which is a single country), there is only one continent that does not have any landlocked nations. Which continent?...Try to find at least one landlocked nation in each of the other four continents. (Suggested answers at bottom of post.)
  • Enjoy folk songs. Some can be heard here.

Liechtenstein in Central Europe is the other doubly landlocked nation.

Canada is the only other country in the Americas that has French as one of its official languages.

North America has no landlocked countries.

Bolivia and Paraguay, both in South America, are landlocked.

Nepal, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, Laos, and Mongolia, all in Asia, are landlocked.

Central African Republic, Chad, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Ethiopia, all in Africa, are landlocked.

Switzerland, Luxembourg, Andorra, the Czech Republic, Armenia, Belarus, and Hungary, all in Europe, are landlocked.

Other countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe are landlocked as well as those listed; as of 2008, there were 44 landlocked nations in the world.

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