When is International Tea Day celebrated?

Re-emphasizing the call from the Intergovernmental Group on Tea to direct greater efforts towards expanding demand, particularly in tea-producing countries, where per capita consumption is relatively low, and supporting efforts to address the declining per capita consumption in traditional importing countries, the General Assembly decided to designate 21 May as International Tea Day.

The Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

Tea production and processing contributes to the reduction of extreme poverty (Goal 1), the fight against hunger (Goal 2), the empowerment of women (Goal 5) and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (Goal 15).

Moreover, there is an urgent need to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development and sustainable livelihoods and to improve the tea value chain to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Credit : United Nations

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Which are the strange events in history?

Sometimes, unusual things happen and remain etched in history for generations to wonder about. We are going to look at a few such events that are so unbelievable that they are worth remembering.

The height of irony

A fire that started in the U.S. Patent Office in the 19th century destroyed many patents, but one destroyed patent stands out. Ironically, the patent for a fire hydrant was among the patents that were destroyed in the fire. Imagine the feelings of the owner of the patent upon hearing the news!

A bad hare day!

“Napoleon and the attack of the bunnies”! Sounds like a picture book title, doesn’t it? But this really happened. Napoleon Bonaparte, the mighty French emperor, faced and defeated many an army, but he didn’t quite know how to deal with bunnies. After Napoleon signed a treaty marking the end of the war with Russia, they decided to celebrate in style by hunting rabbits. Except, the person assigned to round up rabbits for the hunt released nearly 3,000 tame ones. Instead of running away in fear, they began to hop about relentlessly around the men, literally driving them away.

The mega-successful spoof

We all get into the mood to pull a prank on unaware folks, and being the editor of Rolling Stone magazine and being solely responsible for the content that goes into the magazine gives you that extra prank power! Thus The Masked Marauders were created. The editor mentioned that the band was formed by Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger plus three members from the Beatles. Needless to say, this created a lot of attention and interest in the album. Thinking quickly, the magazine hired an unknown band to create the tracks. Believe it or not, 100,000 copies were sold!

Dreadful prank on the Dreadnought

In 1910, the crew aboard the English warship HMS Dreadnought received a telegram informing them about a visit from the Emperor of Abyssinia. Not wanting to offend the king, the crew did everything they could to throw a grand red-carpet welcome. This would have been appreciated if it had really been the emperor. Turns out it was a prank played by author Virginia Woolf and a few other pranksters who’d disguised themselves cleverly.

 The aliens have landed

In 1938, author H.G. Wells’ famous novel War of the Worlds was broadcast as a Halloween special radio programme. But people mistook it as real news about an alien invasion! And worst of all, there was no Facebook or Twitter where you could check with others whether it was true. Remarkably, it spread from person to person simply through word of mouth, until there was widespread panic and confusion.

A flood like no other

People are used to dealing with water, but what if there’s a flood of… something else? In 1919, in Boston, a tank contain millions of gallons of molasses somehow burst open during an unusual heat wave, releasing the molasses into the streets. Rightly termed the Great Molasses Flood, the sticky mess haunted the residents long after it was cleared up. During the rest summer, residents said they continued to smell molasses on really hot days.

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When was the Berlin Wall demolished?

In August 1961, the German Democratic Republic began under the leadership of Erich Honecker to block off East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means of barbed wire and antitank obstacles. Streets were torn up and barricades of paving stones were erected. Tanks gathered at crucial places. The subway and local railway services between East and West Berlin were interrupted. Inhabitants of East Berlin and the GDR were no longer allowed to enter the West. In the following days, construction brigades began replacing the temporary barriers with a solid wall, which stood in place for nearly 30 years. In November 1989, after weeks of discussion about new travel laws, the Berlin Wall was demolished.

Fact File:

With the end of communist rule in the USSR, many of the symbols of communism, for example statues of former leaders such as Lenin, were dismantled.


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When was the Cold War?

After World War I, the United States and the USSR emerged as the two main powers in the world – known as ‘superpowers’. Although they had fought together to defeat Nazi Germany, differences between the two superpowers soon led to the start of the ‘Cold War’.

The Cold War started in August 1945, and it was a political war between the USSR and its communist allies, and the USA and other non-communist countries. It did not involve any fighting, although there was a threat of military action on several occasions.

Fact File:

Mikhail Gorbachev introduced political, social and economic reform, known as perestroika, when he came to power in Russia.


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When did India gain independence?

Many Indians wanted independence from British rule, and a chance to build up industry and wealth in India itself. By the end of World War II it was clear that Britain could no longer ignore the demands of the Indian people. But negotiations were complicated by the demands of Muslims in India. Violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims, and Indians and British leaders eventually agreed to divide India into the two states of Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan.

India gained its independence in August 1947. Millions of Hindus and Muslims fled from their homes. As people tried to move to their new homes, hundreds of thousands of them were killed.

Fact File:

Mohandas Gandhi was known as Mahatma Gandhi. He was assassinated in 1948, at the end of India’s long struggle for independence.

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