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A Short History of Thanksgiving Day: Part 1 – Separatists in England


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States and many people celebrate the day with religious significance. Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November.

Several instances of Thanksgiving that were held in early New England have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving.”

The modern Thanksgiving Day celebration is traced to the autumn celebration held in late 1621 at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The feast known as “The First Thanksgiving” was not known as such to the Pilgrims. “Harvest festival” would be a more proper term because a bountiful harvest prompted the 1621 Plymouth feast.

Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s carried the tradition of Thanksgiving with them to New England – a solemn ceremony of praise and thanks to God for the congregation’s good fortune.

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The first Thanksgiving likely included wildfowl, corn, porridge and venison. (Bettmann / Corbis)
The first Thanksgiving likely included wildfowl, corn, porridge and venison. (Bettmann / Corbis)

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The Pilgrim holidays celebrated in Plymouth in 1621 for a plentiful harvest, was probably held in early October 1621. It was celebrated by the 53 surviving Pilgrims, along with Massasoit Sachem the leader of the Wampanoag, and “Massasoit” of the Wampanoag Confederacy and 90 of his men. The celebration lasted three days and featured a feast that included waterfowl, wild turkey and fish brought by the colonists, and five deer brought by the natives.

Three contemporary accounts of the event survive: Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, Mourt’s Relation probably written by Edward Winslow, and New England’s Memorial by Capt. Nathaniel Morton, Plymouth Colony Secretary and William Bradford’s nephew.

The Thanksgiving in 1623 was held in response to the good news of the arrival of additional colonists and supplies. The latter event probably occurred in July 1623 and consisted of a full day of prayer and worship and probably very little revelry.

The Pilgrims

The story of the Pilgrims seeking religious freedom has become the central theme of the history and culture of the United States and the Thanksgiving Day.

The Pilgrims were the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Their leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownists” (named after Robert Browne), a common designation for early English Dissenters, and Separatists from the Church of England before 1620.

The Puritans were a significant group of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, including English Calvinists. Puritanism was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England and maintained their membership in and allegiance to the Church of England. The term “Puritan” was coined in the 1560s, as a term of abuse for those who found the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559. Puritans did not originally use the term for themselves.

From the late 16th century onwards, the word “Puritan” was applied to a number of Protestant churches, and religious groups within the Anglican Church. However, the
members of churches that did not agree with the Puritans knew themselves as members of particular churches or movements.

In this essay, I use the term “Brownists” and “Separatists” for the English Dissenters who separated from the Church of England in the 16th and 17th century who were not “Puritans”.

Robert Browne of Lilford

Robert Browne of Lilford
Robert Browne of Lilford

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Robert Browne (1550 – 1633) considered ‘The Father of the Pilgrims‘ is important in American history because his concept of separation of the Church from the State initiated the first step in American democracy. Hence, he is also known as ‘The Grandfather of the Nation‘.

He was born at Tolethorpe Hall in Rutland, England, into a wealthy, prominent Northamptonshire family, the Brownes (Elmes) of Lilford.

By 1580, Browne became a leader in the movement for a congregational form of organization for the Church of England. He rejected the puritan view of reform from within the Church and started to look outside the established Church. In 1581, Browne attempted to set up a separate Congregational Church in Norwich, outside the Church of England. In April 1581, while preaching in the Bury St. Edmund, Suffolk area, authorities arrested Browne for unlicensed preaching and imprisoned him by the order of Bishop Freake of Norwich. William Cecil, Baron Burghley, his kinsmen, interceded for his release.

Between May and August 1582, due to hostility from the local church authorities most of the congregation moved from the politically volatile England to the relatively calm and tolerant Middelburgh in Zeeland, Holland. On arriving in Holland, members of the congregation suffered from illness. There they formed a church on what they conceived to be the New Testament model. However, within two years the community in Holland broke up due to internal dissensions.

Robert Browne published at Middelburgh two of his most important works: “A Treatise of Reformation without Tarying for Anie” in which he asserted the right of the church to affect necessary reforms without the civil magistrate’s authorisation; and “A Booke which sheweth the life and manners of all True Christians” which set out the theory of Congregational independency.

Both books were immediately banned in England by the English authorities. By the middle of 1583, they issued a Proclamation against buying, selling or possession of the works of Robert Browne. At Bury St Edmunds, the authorities arrested, tried, and hanged John Copping and Elias Thacker, former members of Browne’s Norwich congregation, for selling Browne’s seditious writings.

Browne was an active Separatist from 1579 to 1585 only. He returned to England and to the Church of England and got employed as a schoolmaster and parish priest. Browne’s companions and followers who hung on to his earlier separatist concepts now looked upon him as a renegade.

However, the term “Brownists” became a common designation for early Separatists from the Church of England before 1620. The Brownists are briefly mentioned in Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night written around 1600–02, where Sir Andrew Aguecheek says: “I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician‘ (III, ii). The Browne family seat, Tolethorpe Hall, is now home to the Stamford Shakespeare Company.

Richard Clyfton

Richard Clyfton was born around 1553 near the Nottinghamshire village of Babworth. Ordained as a minister in 1586, he was named pastor of All Saints’ Parish Church in Babworth, near East Retford, Nottinghamshire, England. He held this position from 1586 to1605.

In the 1590s, Clyfton started to preach dissenting religious views and conducted services using prayers that were not in the officially authorized Book of Prayers. He soon gathered followers from the surrounding towns and villages. His congregation held Separatist beliefs comparable to nonconforming movements led by Robert Browne, John Greenwood, and Henry Barrowe. In 1593, Barrowe and Greenwood were hung at Tyburn for sedition.

William Brewster of Scrooby and William Bradford of Austerfield who later launched the “Pilgrim adventure” were inspired by the preaching of Richard Clyfton.

Unlike the Puritan group who maintained their membership in and allegiance to the Church of England, Separatists held that their differences with the Church of England were irreconcilable and that their worship organized independently of the trappings, traditions and organization of a central church such as the Church of England.

In 1593, Barrowe and Greenwood were hung at Tyburn for sedition.

William Brewster

William Brewster

Scrooby is a small village, on the River Ryton and near Bawtry, in the northern part of the English county of Nottinghamshire. At the end of the sixteenth century, William Brewster, the Archbishop’s bailiff, who was also the postmaster of the village occupied the Manor House at Scrooby belonging to the Archbishops of York.

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Part of William Brewster’s home, Scrooby Manor, still exists today
Part of William Brewster’s home, Scrooby Manor, still exists today

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William Brewster, heard Clyfton preach. Impressed by Clyfton’s services, Brewster joined Clyfton’s Babworth congregation and participated in Separatist services.

Around 1602, young William Bradford, living in the Yorkshire village of Austerfield some ten miles from Babworth joined Brewster “to enjoy Mr. Richard Clifton’s illuminating ministry.”

From 1595 to 1606 Brewster served Archbishop Matthew Hutton who was sympathetic towards Puritans but not to the Separatists.

In 1604, the Hampton Court Conference denied substantially all the concessions requested by Puritans, save for an English translation of the Bible. In 1605, following the Conference, Clyfton declared a “nonconformist and nonsubscriber” was deprived of his position at Babworth. Brewster invited Clyfton to live at his home.

Services were held with Richard Clyfton as pastor, John Robinson as teacher and William Brewster as the presiding elder.

In 1606, Brewster arranged for a congregation of Separatists, led by John Smyth in Gainsborough, to meet privately at the Scrooby manor house. John Smyth, about 20 years younger than Richard Clyfton was an ordained minister and graduate of Cambridge University. In 1600, appointed as a preacher of the city of Lincoln, he lost the position soon afterwards because of his unorthodox views. Even though both the Scrooby group and the Gainsborough group were Separatists, their views were not entirely and necessarily the same.

Around this time in 1606, after Archbishop Matthew Hutton’s death, Tobias Matthew, one of King James’ chief supporters at the 1604 conference was elected as his replacement. Mathew promptly started a campaign to purge the archdiocese of nonconforming influences, both Separatists and those wishing to return to the Catholic faith.He replaced disobedient clergymen and confronted, fined, and imprisoned prominent Separatists.

Scrooby member William Bradford, who kept a journal of the congregation’s events that was later published as Of Plymouth Plantation wrote:

But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood.

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Next → Part 2 – Life in Holland

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A Short History of Mother’s Day


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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The tradition of honouring Motherhood has its roots in antiquity.

Osiris was the lord of the dead in the ancient...
Osiris

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According to the primaeval Egyptian mythology, divine Osiris, the eldest son of the Earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut was the god of fertility, the afterlife, the underworld and the dead.

Osiris was a wise king who brought civilization. His siblings were Horus the Elder, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys. His younger brother Seth was the god of the desert, storms, darkness, and chaos. He was hostile and outright evil. Though they were brothers their diametric personalities made them adversaries.

Osiris was happily married to his sister, Isis while Seth married his other sister Nephthys.

Though Osiris and Seth were brothers, their diametric personalities made them adversaries.

Seth, the envious brother slew Osiris, dismembered him into 13 pieces and scattered the remains all over Egypt. He usurped the throne of his dead brother.

Isis
Isis

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Isis collected the dismembered body of her brother-husband Osiris, reassembled the pieces. As the archetypal mummy, Osiris reigned over the after-world as a king among deserving spirits of the dead.

Isis used the embalmed corpse of Osiris to impregnate herself to conceive posthumously. She gave birth to Horus. She then hid her baby son amidst reeds lest Seth slaughtered him too . Horus grew up as a natural enemy of Seth, defeated him and became the first ruler of a unified Egypt. Isis, thus earned her stature as the “Mother of the Pharaohs.

In ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, Isis was one of the four most widely venerated deities. The ancient Egyptians held an annual festival to honor the goddess Isis as the ideal mother and wife.

The worship of Isis spread throughout the Greco-Roman world as the patroness of nature and magic; friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the poor. The rich aristocrats, rulers and maidens prayed to the goddess who was also known as the goddess of children, and protector of the dead.

Despite being a foreign deity, the Romans venerated Isis and reserved a place for her in their temples. The Romans commemorated an important battle with a festival in her name that lasted for three days with female dancers, musicians and singers marking the beginning of winter.

Black Madonna

Societies around the world celebrated symbols of motherhood as mythological goddesses and not real human mothers except the Christian Church. The Mother and Son imagery of Isis and Horus, where Isis cradles and suckles her son, and that of the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus is astonishingly similar.

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Celebrations in England and Europe

By the 16th century, due to the spread of Christianity, people in England and Europe moved away from the ancient roman religious and cultural traditions. Hilaria, the ancient Roman religious festival celebrated on the vernal equinox to honor Cybele gave way to Laetare Sunday – the fourth Sunday of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar (the 40 days of fasting preceding Easter Sunday), once known as “the Sunday of the Five Loaves.” Christians in England used this Sunday, to honor the Mother of Christ and decorated the church in which they were baptized, which they knew as their “Mother Church” with flowers and offerings.

In the 17th century, a clerical decree in England referred to the Laetare Sunday as “Mothering Day.” The decree broadened the celebration, from one focused on the “Mother of Christ” and the “Mother Church,” to include real mothers. It became a compassionate holiday toward the working classes of England. During this Lenten Sunday, the masters allowed their servants and trade workers to travel back to their towns of origin to visit their families. Mothering Day also provided a reprieve from the fasting and penance of Lent. Across England family members, living far away came home to visit and enjoy a family feast. The children presented cakes and flowers to their mothers.

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Celebrations in America

The first English settlers, the Pilgrims, who came to America discontinued the traditional Mothering Day. They fled from England to practice a more conservative Christianity without being persecuted. In the new land, they lived under harsh conditions and worked long hours to survive. Due to their devotion to God, they ignored secular holidays. For them, even holidays such as Christmas and Easter were sombre occasions that took place in a Church stripped of all extraneous ornamentation.

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Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe conceptualized the first North American Mother’s Day with her “Mother’s Day Proclamation.”

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Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe

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Julia Ward (May 27, 1819 — October 17, 1910) born in New York City was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet. She wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” after she and her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, visited Washington, D. C., and met President Abraham Lincoln at the White House in November 1861.

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American Civil War soldiers

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Twelve years later, distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War, she called on mothers to protest what she saw as “the futility of their sons killing the sons of other mothers.” She wrote the following “Mother’s Day Proclamation” and called for an international Mother’s Day to celebrate peace and motherhood:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonour, nor violence indicates possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means Whereby the great human family can live in peace, Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient And at the earliest period consistent with its objects, To promote the alliance of the different nationalities, The amicable settlement of international questions,

The great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace, but June 2nd was designated for the celebration.

In 1873, women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s Day. Initially, Julia funded many of these celebrations. Most of them died out when she stopped funding. Boston city, however, continued celebrating Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day for the next ten years.

Despite the failure of her Mother’s Day, Julia Ward had nevertheless planted the seed that blossomed into the modern Mother’s Day.

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Mother’s Day in 1908

In Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis (1832 – 1905), a social activist, led a women’s group that celebrated an adaptation of Julia Ward Howe’s holiday. She and her daughter Anna Marie Jarvis (1864 – 1948), are now recognized as the founders of the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States.

Ann-Maria-Reeves-Jarvis
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis

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Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis was born in Culpeper, Virginia, on September 30, 1832 to Rev.  Josiah Washington Reeves and his wife, Nancy Kemper Reeves. The family moved to Barbour County in present-day West Virginia when the Rev. Reeves got transferred to a Methodist church in Philippi. In 1850, Ann married Granville E. Jarvis, the son of a Philippi Baptist minister. Two years later, Granville and Ann Jarvis moved to nearby Webster in Taylor County.

In the 1850s, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis lost eight of her 11 children before they reached the age of seven due to poor health conditions in the area. With the help of her brother, Dr. James E. Reeves, she organized “Mother’s Friendship Clubs” in Webster, Grafton, Fetterman, Pruntytown, and Philippi, to improve health and sanitary conditions.

Thousands of women learned nursing and proper sanitation. Among other services, the clubs raised money for medicine, hired women to work for families in which the mothers suffered from tuberculosis, and inspected bottled milk and food. In 1860, local doctors helped to form Mother’s Friendship Club in other towns.

During the American Civil War, this noble woman urged the Mother’s Friendship Clubs to declare their neutrality and give relief to both Union and Confederate soldiers. The Club members nursed and cared for soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

Following the end of the war, she called on her club members to help mend the wounds of the war by reuniting the Union and Confederate families who fought on opposing sides by holding a “Mother’s Friendship Day.”

The Andrews Methodist Church built at Grafton, West Virginia and dedicated in 1873 was built under her husband’s leadership. Ann Maria Jarvis’ life revolved around the church. She taught Sunday School at the church for more than 20 years. After her husband’s death in 1902, Ann moved to Philadelphia to live with her son Claude and daughters Anna and Lillian.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis died on May 9, 1905, in Bala Cynwyd, in southeastern Pennsylvania, bordering the western edge of Philadelphia.

Anna Marie Jarvis
Anna Marie Jarvis

After Ann Maria Reeves Reeves’ death, her daughter Anna Marie Jarvis, began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States to honor her mother’s wish that there be a day set aside to honor all mothers.

In 1908, Anna Marie petitioned the superintendent of the church where her mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday School to hold a memorial service to honor her mother who died three years before. Her request was accepted, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, and at a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event in Grafton drew a congregation of 407. Anna Jarvis had arranged for her mother’s favorite flower – white carnations. Two carnations were given to every mother in attendance.

At present times, people use white carnations to pay tribute to deceased mothers, and  pink or red carnations to honor living mothers.

In 1912 West Virginia was the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day. 

President Woodrow Wilson
President Woodrow Wilson

On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, a friend of Anna Marie Jarvis, signed a Congressional Resolution setting the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Portrait

Soon, other countries too adopted Mother’s Day of Anna Marie Jarvis.

However, by the 1920s, Anna Marie Jarvis felt disappointed with the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

A Speech Purported to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay About Indians


Myself .

 By T. V. Antony Raj

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A century ago, the name Macaulay was often associated with cultural withdrawal of ethnic Indians from their Hindu-based traditions. It began with the incorporation of the Indians into the then expanding English-speaking civilization.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, a British historian and Whig politician held political office as Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841 and Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848. He was also an essayist and reviewer. His books on British history were hailed as literary masterpieces. Between 1834 and 1838 he lived in Calcutta and served on the British “Supreme Council for India”. His “Minute on Education,” touches on the relation of Western and Indian civilizations.

Today, I saw the following message posted on Facebook:

Lord Macaulay's Address to the British Parliament on February 2, 1835
Speech purported to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay about Indians

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I felt tempted to share this with my Facebook friends. However, as usual, I delved into the matter and noted a few anomalies in the quote. First, the language is modern. Second, Lord Macaulay was a devil’s advocate of the British empire who considered Indians as an inferior race compared to the British.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of “The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay,” Vol. 4 (of 4), by Thomas Babington Macaulay, is a compilation of speeches of Lord Macaulay from March 2, 1831, to June 1, 1853. I quote from his Preface:

I therefore unwillingly, and in mere self-defence, give this volume to the public. I have selected, to the best of my judgment, from among my speeches, those which are the least unworthy to be preserved. Nine of them were corrected by me while they were still fresh in my memory, and appear almost word for word as they were spoken. They are the speech of the second of March 1831,… The substance of the remaining speeches I have given with perfect ingenuousness. I have not made alterations for the purpose of saving my own reputation either for consistency or for foresight. I have not softened down the strong terms in which I formerly expressed opinions which time and thought may have modified; nor have I retouched my predictions in order to make them correspond with subsequent events. Had I represented myself as speaking in 1831, in 1840, or in 1845, as I should speak in 1853, I should have deprived my book of its chief value. This volume is now at least a strictly honest record of opinions and reasonings which were heard with favour by a large part of the Commons of England at some important conjunctures; and such a record, however low it may stand in the estimation of the literary critic, cannot but be of use to the historian.

However, I could not find the quote: “I have traveled across the length and breadth of India …” anywhere in this volume or elsewhere other than in social websites such as Facebook, where this quote is widely circulated among Indians, and blindly shared by many self-styled ‘Indian patriots’.

I have reproduced below what Macaulay said on Indian education and his chauvinistic attitude towards Indians and their traditions. This passage also shows clearly that Lord Macaulay said things directly opposite to the quote attributed to him:

On Indian Education

We now come to the gist of the matter. We have a fund to be employed as Government shall direct for the intellectual improvement of the people of this country. The simple question is, what is the most useful way of employing it?

All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India, contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are, moreover, so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them. It seems to be admitted on all sides, that the intellectual improvement of those classes of the people who have the means of pursuing higher studies can at present be effected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them.

What then shall that language be? One-half of the Committee maintains that it should be the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems to me to be, which language is the best worth knowing?

I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic.-But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed both here and at home with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is, indeed, fully admitted by those members of the Committee who support the oriental plan of education.

It will hardly be disputed, I suppose, that the department of literature in which the Eastern writers stand highest is poetry. And I certainly never met with any Orientalist who ventured to maintain that the Arabic and Sanscrit poetry could be compared to that of the great European nations. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded, and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.

How, then, stands the case? We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue. We must teach them some foreign language. The claims of our own language it is hardly necessary to recapitulate. It stands pre-eminent even among the languages of the west. It abounds with works of imagination not inferior to the noblest which Greece has bequeathed to us; with models of every species of eloquence; with historical compositions, which, considered merely as narratives, have seldom been surpassed, and which, considered as vehicles of ethical and political instruction, have never been equalled; with just and lively representations of human life and human nature; with the most profound speculations on metaphysics, morals, government, jurisprudence, and trade; with full and correct information respecting every experimental science which tends to preserve the health, to increase the comfort, or to expand the intellect of man. Whoever knows that language has ready access to all the vast intellectual wealth, which all the wisest nations of the earth have created and hoarded in the course of ninety generations. It may safely be said, that the literature now extant in that language is of far greater value than all the literature which three hundred years ago was extant in all the languages of the world together. Nor is this all. In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. It is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is likely to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are rising, the one in the south of Africa, the other in Australasia; communities which are every year becoming more important, and more closely connected with our Indian empire. Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature, or at the particular situation of this country, we shall see the strongest reason to think that, of all foreign tongues, the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.

The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language, we shall teach languages in which, by universal confession, there are no books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own; whether, when we can teach European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, whenever they differ from those of Europe, differ for the worse; and whether, when we can patronise sound Philosophy and true History, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines, which would disgrace an English farrier [note: a horse shoer] -Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long, and Geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.

We are not without experience to guide us. History furnishes several analogous cases, and they all teach the same lesson. There are in modem times, to go no further, two memorable instances of a great impulse given to the mind of a whole society,-of prejudices overthrown,-of knowledge diffused,-of taste purified,-of arts and sciences planted in countries which had recently been ignorant and barbarous.

The first instance to which I refer is the great revival of letters among the Western nations at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. At that time almost everything that was worth reading was contained in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Had our ancestors acted as the Committee of Public Instruction has hitherto acted; had they neglected the language of Cicero and Tacitus; had they confined their attention to the old dialects of our own island; had they printed nothing and taught nothing at the universities but Chronicles in Anglo-Saxon, and Romances in Norman-French, would England have been what she now is? What the Greek and Latin were to the contemporaries of More and Ascham [note: English humanists of the 16th century] our tongue is to the people of India. The literature of England is now more valuable than that of classical antiquity. I doubt whether the Sanscrit literature be as valuable as that of our Saxon and Norman progenitors. In some departments,-in History, for example, I am certain that it is much less so.

In one point I fully agree with the gentlemen to whose general views I am opposed. I feel with them, that it is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.

Source: Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Minute of 2 February 1835 on Indian Education,” Macaulay, Prose and Poetry, selected by G. M. Young (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), pp-721-24,729.

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The Legend of Saint Valentinus the Patron Saint of Valentine’s Day


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Myself .

 By T. V. Antony Raj

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Saint Valentinus

On February 14, the Valentine’s Day lovers exchange sweets, candy, chocolates, flowers and other gifts all in the name of St. Valentine, a mysterious saint.

Most people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and a few in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and many countries around the world celebrate the day. However, this centuries-old holiday remains a working day in most of the countries.

February, cherished for centuries as a month for romance contains vestiges of both Christian and pagan Roman traditions. Moreover, no one knows for sure who the real patron saint of the day is. Why? Because the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different martyred saints named Valentinus.

According to the most popular legend, Valentinus was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young soldiers as he reckoned that single men made better soldiers than those married and having wives and children.

Valentinus thought the decree was not just, and he decided to defy the Emperor. He performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Eventually, the Emperor became aware of the marriages performed by the priest, and his ministry among Christians and ordered that Valentinus be put to death.

The legends say that during his imprisonment Valentinus healed the daughter of his jailer named Asterius and converted 46 members of his family to Christianity. He then fell in love with the young girl who visited him during his confinement, and before his execution wrote her a farewell letter and signed it: “From your Valentine.”

Other stories state that Valentinus was condemned to death for attempting to help beaten and tortured Christians escape from Roman prisons.

These murky legends portray Valentinus as a sympathetic, heroic and a romantic person. In the Middle Ages, due to the reputation created as a legendary hero, Valentinus became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

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“You’ve Got Mail” by Judith Baxter


Being an Indian now I wonder when the Republic of India would be given such a notice of revocation of her independence. – T.V. Antony Raj
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Judith Baxter

By Judith Baxter

Posted on July 9, 2012 in I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Queen Elizabeth

Here is today’s email..

To            The Citizens of the United States of America
From       Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Subject   Greetings.

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’  Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up ‘vocabulary’
  2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of  ‘-ize.’
  3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  4.  You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  7.  The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
  12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  14.  An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
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ICC T20 World Cup 2012: Super Eight Stage Points Table as on October 2, 2012.


ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Points Table and Team Standings for Super Eight stage as on October 2, 2012:

Super Eight Group 1

TEAM M W L P

NRR

Sri Lanka (E1) 3 3 0 6

+0.998

West Indies (E2) 3 2 1 4

-0.375

England 3 1 2 2

-0.397

New Zealand 3 0 3 0

-0.169

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Super Eight Group 2

TEAM M W L P

NRR

Australia (F1) 3 2 1 4

+0.464

Pakistan (F2) 3 2 1 4

+0.273

India 3 2 1 4

-0.274

South Africa 3 0 3 0

-0.421

Next stage:

SEMI-FINALS

4 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

SRI LANKA  vs PAKISTAN

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

5 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

AUSTRALIA  vs WEST INDIES

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

FINAL

7 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

SF1 WINNERS vs SF2 WINNERS

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012: Super Eight Stage Points Table as on October 1, 2012.


ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Points Table and Team Standings for Super Eight stage as on October 1, 2012:

Group 1

Teams Matches Won Lost Points
Sri Lanka 3 3 0 6
West Indies  3 2 1 4
England 3 1 2 2
New Zealand 3 0 3 0

Sri Lanka and West Indies have entered the semi-finals.

Group 2

Teams Matches Won Lost Points
Australia 2 2 0 4
Pakistan 2 1 1 2
India  2 1 1 2
South Africa 2 0 2 0

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Cricket Tournament Super 8 Matches Schedule


 

ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2012 Super 8 Groups and Teams have been finalized with 2 groups having 4 teams in each group.

Starting from September 27th, teams in the Super Eight stage will fight for a place in the top 4 that would play semi finals.

Date and Time

Match

Thu Sep 27
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT
13th Match, Super 8, Group 1
Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Thu Sep 27
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
14th Match, Super 8, Group 1  England Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Fri Sep 28
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
15th Match, Super 8, Group 2
Pakistan Vs South Africa
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Sep 2814:00 GMT | 19:30 local10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT | 07:00 PDT 16th Match, Super 8, Group 2 Australia Vs India
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 29
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
17th Match, Super 8, Group 1
England Vs New Zealand
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Sat Sep 29
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
18th Match, Super 8, Group 1Sri Lanka Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Sun Sep 30
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
19th Match, Super 9, Group 2 Australia Vs South AfricaR. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 30
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
20th Match, Super 8, Group 2
India Vs Pakistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Oct 1
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
21st Match, Super 8, Group 1
New Zealand Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Mon Oct 1
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
22nd Match, Super 8, Group 1
Sri Lanka Vs England
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Tue Oct 2
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
23rd Match, Super 8, Group 2 Australia Vs Pakistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Oct 2
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
24th Match, Super 8, Group 2
India Vs South Africa
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Oct 4
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
1st Semi-Final – TBC Vs TBC
(Super 8 Group-1 1 Vs Super 8 Group-2 2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Oct 5
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
2nd Semi-Final – TBC Vs TBC(Super 8 Group-2 1 Vs Super 8 Group-1 2
)R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Oct 7
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
Final – TBC Vs TBC
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Cricket Tournament Schedule


The inaugural match between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka would take place on September 18, 2012 at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota. The tournament would conclude on October 7, with the finals played at the Premdasa Stadium, Colombo.

The 12 teams that are participating: Sri Lanka (the host), Zimbabwe, Australia, Ireland, Afghanistan, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, West Indies, Pakistan and England.

Click this link to watch live cricket streaming on crictime.com 

Initial Groups Super Eight (S8) Groups
Group A – England, India, Afghanistan
Group B – Australia, West Indies, Ireland
Group C – Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Group D – Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh
Group 1 – A1, B2, C1, D2
Group 2 – A2, B1, C2, D1

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Date & Time Match Details
Thu Sep 13
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 1st T20
Ireland vs Zimbabwe
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Thu Sep 13
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 2nd T20
Sri Lanka vs West Indies
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 3rd T20
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka 
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 4th T20
Australia vs New Zealand
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 5th T20
Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe
Colts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 6th T20
India vs Sri Lanka
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 7th T20
Australia vs England
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 8th T20
Bangladesh vs Ireland
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 9th T20
New Zealand vs South Africa
Colts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
14:00 local | 08:30 GMT
Warm Up : 10th T20
Afghanistan vs West Indies
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
14:00 local | 08:30 GMT
Warm Up : 11th T20
India vs Pakistan
R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Wed Sep 19
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 12th T20
England vs Pakistan
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Tue Sep 18

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group C : 1st T20
Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Wed Sep 19

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group B : 2nd T20
Australia vs Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Wed Sep 19

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 3rd T20
India vs Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Sep 20

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group C : 4th T20
South Africa vs Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Fri Sep 21

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group D : 5th T20
New Zealand vs Bangladesh
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Fri Sep 21

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 6th T20
England vs Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 22

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group C : 7th T20
Sri Lanka vs South Africa
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Sat Sep 22

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group B : 8th T20
Australia vs West Indies
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 23

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group D : 9th T20
New Zealand vs Pakistan
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sun Sep 23

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 10th T20
England vs India
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Sep 24

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group B : 11th T20
West Indies vs Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Sep 25

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group D : 12th T20
Bangladesh vs Pakistan
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Thu Sep 27

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 13th T20
TBC vs TBC (C1 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Thu Sep 27

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 14th T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v B2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Fri Sep 28

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 15th T20 – TBC vs TBC (D1 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Sep 28

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 16th T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v A2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 29

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 17th T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sat Sep 29

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 18th T20
TBC vs TBC (C1 v B2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sun Sep 30

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 19th T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 30

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 20th T20
TBC vs TBC (D1 v A2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Oct 1

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 21st T20 –
TBC vs TBC (B2 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Mon Oct 1

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 22nd T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v C1)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Tue Oct 2

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 23rd T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v D1)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Oct 2

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 24th T20
TBC vs TBC (A2 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Oct 4

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
1st Semi Final T20
SE Group-1 1 v SE Group-2 2
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Oct 5

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
2nd Semi Final T20
SE Group-2 1 vS SE Group-1 2
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Oct 7

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
Final T20 – SF1 WINNERS vs SF2 WINNERS
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
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2012 Olympics – First Joke


London Olympics 2012

At the gate to the London Olympic Games 2012 , a Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman want to get In, but they haven’t got tickets………………..

The Scotsman picks up a manhole-cover, tucks it under His arm and walks to the gate.

“McTavish, Scotland ,” he says, “Discus,” and in he walks.

The Englishman picks up a length of scaffolding and Slings it over his shoulder.

“Waddington-Smythe, England ,” he says, “Pole vault,” And in he walks.

The Irishman looks around, picks up a roll of barbed Wire and tucks it under his arm.

“O’Malley, Ireland ,” he says, 

“Fencing.”

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Reproduced from A Daily Thought (July 7, 2012)

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