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Today is also Bloomsday and the International Day of the African Child.
As the long lines at restaurants and large number of neckties received as gifts today attest, it’s Father’s Day in 74 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, India and the Philippines.
Even today’s Google Doodle honors the many roles fathers take on (see below).
But this day designated for celebrating fatherhood is not the only game in town.
Across the world, citizens are also observing the following annual events:
International Day of the African Child
The International Day of the African Child honors the South African students who demanded equal education during the apartheid era. On June 16, 1976, an estimated 10,000 students marched through Soweto to protest new rules requiring that black students be taught in Afrikaans rather than their own languages. While the protest began peacefully, the South African police fired warning shots and then directly into the crowd, killing nearly 176 students in what became known as the Soweto Uprising. The Organization of African Unity, now called the African Union, created the day in 1991 to raise awareness of the need to improve education for African children. In South Africa, June 16 is a public holiday called “Youth Day.”
In Ireland, fans of Irish writer James Joyce dress in Edwardian clothing and retrace the journey around Dublin that Joyce’s fictional character Leopold Bloom takes in his 1922 novel Ulysses, which is set on June 16, 1904. Others hold readings of the entire book, which can take 30 or more hours. Joyce enthusiasts in the US, Hungary, Italy and Australia gather at Irish pubs to read selections from Ulysses or present dramatized scenes from the book.
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