So when is World Book Day?

I check out a few of the official Google blogs and today they had an interesting post. It’s regarding some work being done by various organisations and part-sponsored by Google to help improve literacy numbers. All well and good. But the article is “In celebration of World Book Day” – which according to the World Book Day website was back in March.

Then I did a little digging. The link above is the top link should you search for “World Book Day” in Google itself. Despite the use of the word “World” and the “.com” domain, it seems it’s more of a UK thing. In fact, it was kicked off by Tony Blair back in 1998 – five years before UNESCO’s version which is actually somewhat more international in flavour.

In fact, UNESCO’s version is actually more English than our own version – given that it’s celebrated on St George’s Day. This is actually one of the reasons for them picking the date. In Catalonia (a province / part / territory / autonomous community / whatever) of Spain, it’s traditional on this date for men to give a rose to their lover, who in return gives a book.

Regardless, can someone explain how we can have a World Book Day, and a World Book Day (UK and Ireland) which are on two different dates? We obviously didn’t make ours “world” enough, despite nabbing the better domain name, and we only seem to concentrate on initiatives within the UK anyway. So another chance to lead the world wasted by a pathetic Labour government. Kudos for the fantastic idea and great initiative – they just didn’t take it far enough.

However, check out the title of UNESCO’s effort – it’s formally called World Book and Copyright Day. Which, to me, sounds a bit of a gobful and slightly legalese. There’s no denying, though, that it’s more widely accepted worldwide than the UK version.

As an aside, doesn’t it gall many of the English readers that our national saint is celebrated more in other countries around the world (I’d somehow expect Georgia to have a holiday) than in our own?

Happy St George’s Day!

St George Cross
St George Cross

I appreciate that virtually no bugger will know about this as it’s just not “pushed” as much as Paddy’s Day. I’m all for making it a public holiday in England – not necessarily an additional one, but move an existing one. And, yes, the Irish should have Paddy’s Day off, the Scots should be able to get wasted on St Andrew‘s Day, and the Welsh ought to be free to bugger sheep and snort daffodils on St David‘s Day.

These days we’re losing our national identities. Europe’s swallowing us all up to some extent, but even within the UK it’s all going to ****. The Scots and Irish aren’t too badly affected, but England and Wales are being merged into one (partly as they’re always classed together). I also resent the fact that the Scots have their own parliament over which we have no say, yet they have a voice in a parliament that affects England and Wales.

If things are going to go that way, you can wave goodbye to Great Britain. We either need one single parliament again, or four separate ones for individuality plus one British parliament for decisions over the nation as a whole.

But what the hell do I know? What scares me is that the only party in the upcoming election fighting for a St George’s Day holiday (that I’m aware of) is the BNP. Don’t worry – I’m not that desparate to save my national identity that I’ll vote for those racist thugs.

Go celebrate your nation’s patron saint (if appropriate) by kicking crap out of a Combat 18, NF or BNP member today. They’re all the bloody same. Then go and read more about St George at Wikipedia, from where I pinched the attached image.

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