It was June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger, a Union general during the American Civil War, issued General Orders No. 3, informing Texans that “in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’” This moment came about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, and became known as the holiday Juneteenth.
Ramadan is a time of year that most Muslims look forward to. It is a time to feel closer to God, become more charitable, identify with those who are less fortunate, embrace a sense of community and, of course, eat a large breaking-of-the-fast feast with friends and family.
ASDA’s Council on Professional Issues is thrilled to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development again this year on May 21. The council recognizes the importance of this day to reflect on the diversity of dental students, our colleagues and our patients.
Mardi Gras is a 300-year-old holiday, wrapped in rich tradition and celebration. It started in 1699 in the location of present-day New Orleans, after French settlers held a small festivity deemed Point du Mardi Gras. This unique holiday has gained quite the following in the United States over the last 100 years and is often synonymous with vibrant parties and spectacular floats.
If you search the word “normal,” the definition you’ll see resembles this: “conforming to a standard, usual, typical or expected.” In a world where labels and definitions are engraved in our minds, I am redefining normal.
Eid al-Fitr (“Breaking of the Fast”) is a Muslim three-day holiday, signifying the end of fasting during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar during which the Qur’an was revealed. In this month, it is obligatory for all able Muslims to partake in a month-long fast where they are to abstain from food and drink (yes, even water!) during daylight hours. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with a declaration of faith, five daily prayers, giving to charity and a pilgrimage to Mecca. The holy month is also used as an opportunity to build one’s spirituality. At night, Muslims line up to offer a number of optional prayers called “Taraweeh” while listening to and reflecting on the recitation of the Qur’an.
In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. In honor of this day, ASDA’s Council on Professional Issues asked dental students to discuss the importance of diversity and how their chapter celebrates members’ unique differences.