Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father’s Day in at least 72 different countries around the world, everywhere from the United States and the UK to Zimbabwe. But how did Father’s Day get started, and why do so many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June?

Father’s Day was the brainchild of Sonora Smart Dodd, a twenty-eight year old woman who helped her father raise her younger siblings after her mother died in childbirth. Only two years earlier, Mother’s Day had been established as a holiday in the US, and she felt that fathers deserved similar recognition.

The first Father’s Day was a local celebration held on June 19, 1910 by the Spokane Ministerial Alliance in Spokane, Washington, where the family had settled.  Father’s Day didn’t really begin to take off until the 1930’s, though, when Dodd returned from school and began promoting it again. She wasn’t alone in her fight, and while some of her allies (like the tie/menswear industry) had less-than-altruistic motives, they had the money and national clout needed to gain acceptance for the holiday.

The third Sunday in June was made an official US holiday in 1966, by President Lyndon Johnson. It’s since spread around the world, and even countries who aren’t celebrating it today generally have a day set aside on the calendar for it.

Perhaps the most unusual way to celebrate Father’s Day comes from Germany (though they celebrate it on Ascension Day instead of the third Sunday in June.) Here, it’s tradition for men of all ages to band together and go out hiking, pulling a wagon filled with beer, wine and food behind them. These days, however, many German fathers eschew this tradition in favor of more family oriented celebrations. After all, when your family is trying to celebrate your virtues as a parent, it’s simply bad form to get smashed.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! Are you celebrating? How?

Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by LadyDragonflyCC

Translation to Spanish, Holidays and Robbery

Travelling is great, it offers you the opportunity to see something else, explore a different country than yours, be open to another culture and overall try new things. Food, people, landscapes, habits, animals, nature, clothes…everything can be completely different from what you have experienced before. Landing in a new country is like landing on a new planet where some changes can affect you for the rest of your life, you even might want to stay there forever because you feel that you fit better in this new land than your home country. Who knows!?

However, for the majority of us, this is just a stopover in our daily life, break the habits for 1 week or 2 and escape the reality thanks to a change of scene. Leave the routine to come back fresher, relaxed and happy. I think we all need that from time to time and I’m definitely always up for a trip abroad. However, there are always few rules to keep in mind when travelling to a foreign land: get a medical insurance, check that you have all your ID and important documents with you, make sure you have enough money to survive over there (plus put some cash in your pocket in the local currency), buy a guide, book an hotel or a backpack, bring a dictionary and learn few basics in the local language if you can.

Last one is very important because if you want to be able to understand and be understood, it’s always handy to know few expressions in the language your hosts are speaking. What happens if you don’t? Well, let me tell you the story about a Spanish couple who was in holidays in France… Read more

6 Major Shopping Days Around The World For International Business

In the United States, the holiday shopping season officially started on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping holidays in the world, but it’s certainly not the only one, or even the biggest one.

If your business is marketing to international customers,  you need to know the days they plan to shop. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 6 of the biggest shopping days around the world. Read more

Translating the Language of Flowers

Today is Valentine’s Day, and that means that florists around the globe are rejoicing in their increased sales. These days, giving flowers to a woman simply shows that you care about her, but the roots of this tradition are far more complex. Centuries ago, exchanging flowers was a way for men and women to speak in code, expressing emotions that would have been socially unacceptable to voice any other way. Each flower had its own meaning, and different flowers could be combined to make more complex “sentences.”

As you shop for flowers this year, consider what your bouquet would say in this old-fashioned “language.” Here are the hidden meanings behind some common blossoms:

Red rose: True love, passion

White rose: Eternal love, innocence, secrecy, “I’m worthy of you.”

Yellow Rose: This is a mixed bag, with potential meanings that run the gamut from “true love” and “friendship” to “jealousy” or “I cheated. I’m sorry.”

Tulips: Red tulips are a declaration of love. Despite their sunny appearance, yellow tulips indicate “hopeless love.”

Sunflower: Appreciation, pride or “pure and lofty thoughts.”

Daisies: Innocence, loyalty, or a promise of silence.

Carnations: A striped carnation was traditionally used to turn down a suitor, while a solid colour was used to say “Yes” to an offer of romance.

White Lily: Purity (are you sensing a pattern here?)

Orange Lily: Careful with this one: Wikipedia (and most other sources) says “desire,” while this guide from Texas A & M says “hatred.”

Orchid: You are a refined beauty.

Hydrangea: You are frigid and/or heartless.

Gardenia: “You are lovely,” or to declare a secret love.

Lest you think this is a lost art, The Daily Mirror reported that Kate Middleton used the “language of flowers” to create her bridal bouquet: “lilac to indicate first love, solomon’s seal for confirmation of love, blossoms for spiritual beauty and beech for prosperity.”

Image source: Attribution Some rights reserved by jimw