Monthly Archives: April 2019

Fall of Saigon (1975)

On April 30, 1975, Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam and the capital of South Vietnam, was captured by the National Liberation Front and the People’s Army of Vietnam. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the reunification of Vietnam under communist rule. The city lost its status as the country’s capital and was renamed after what Vietnamese Marxist revolutionary leader and late president of North Vietnam? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Bow Street Runners

The Bow Street Runners have been called London’s first professional police force, as they were paid by the magistrate, using funds from the central government, to pursue and arrest criminals. The group was established in 1749 by the English author Henry Fielding, who had taken up law and been appointed magistrate after his plays satirizing political corruption had resulted in his effective banishment from the theater. Fielding’s force was established the same year that he published what novel? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sham el-Nessim

A national holiday and folk festival in Egypt, Sham el-Nessim has been observed for thousands of years as a day to smell the breezes and celebrate spring. While the date is set by the Coptic calendar, the holiday is now a non-religious national holiday observed by everyone as a family affair. Traditionally, people pack picnics to have outings along the Nile River or in parks. Certain food is specified for the occasion: the main dish is fessikh, a kind of salted fish, and it’s also traditional to have mouloukhiya (stuffed vine leaves) and eggs with decorated, colored shells. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

I Ching

One of the Five Classics of Confucianism, the I Ching is an ancient Chinese text whose title means “Book of Changes.” The main body of the work addresses the divinatory system used in the Zhou dynasty. A supplementary section of “commentaries,” believed to date from the Warring States period, is a philosophical exposition that attempts to explain the world and its ethical principles by describing all nature and human endeavor in terms of the interaction of what two principles? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Low Sunday

The Sunday following the “high” feast of Easter, this is also known as Quasimodo Sunday, Close Sunday, or Low Easterday. “Low” probably refers to the lack of high ritual used on Easter, and not to the low attendance usual on this day. The name Quasimodo Sunday comes from the Introit of the mass which is said on this day. In Latin it begins with the phrase Quasi modo geniti infantes—”As newborn babes….” The famous character Quasimodo in Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is said to have been found abandoned on this day, which marks the close of Easter week. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Yurts

Known by different names in different cultures, yurts are circular, domed, portable tents consisting of a framework of poles covered with felt or skins. Used by Mongolian and Turkic nomads of East and Central Asia, these dwellings are designed to be repeatedly dismantled, transported, and rebuilt. Today, the yurt also serves as a nationalistic symbol for many Central Asian groups. What part of the yurt is passed down from father to son and is featured on the Kyrgyz flag and Kazakh coat of arms? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Maryland Hunt Cup

A steeplechase that has been run in Maryland since 1894, the Hunt Cup is considered the premier such horse race in America and one of the toughest steeplechases in the world. It’s a timber race: the jumps are over stout post-and-rail fences rather than hedges as in the English Grand National. The course is four miles long and has 22 fences, none of which are jumped twice. Tailgate parties are held before the race, and a hunt ball after it is attended by riders, trainers, jockeys, owners, and members of the two local hunt clubs. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary