Gandhi: A Spiritual and Political Leader

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

An advocate for peace, independence, and for the human rights of Indians, Mahatma Gandhi was always prepared to fight for these three things. Even if it meant using the method of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi was not a fan of violence, nor was he a violent man. He was the primary leader of India’s independence movement as well as the architect and pioneer of Satyagraha, a form of civil disobedience that would influence the world.

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Mahatma Gandhi: A Man of India. Photo by Biography.com.

The Birth of a Leader

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India
  • Date and Place of Passing: January 30, 1948, in New Delhi, India

Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, had studied law in England before travelling to South Africa in 1893 to fight for the rights of Indians there. Around 1914-1915, Gandhi returned to India and was given the titles ‘Father of the Nation’ and leader of Indian nationalism in the country, then ruled by the British. With this in mind, he became the leader of India’s independence movement and organized boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience.

The Fight for Liberation

This form of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience is known as Satyagraha, which he was a pioneer of, and with this, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Today, Satyagraha remains one of the most potent and worldwide known philosophies in freedom struggles.

In 1914, when Gandhi returned to India, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress, advocating a policy of non-violence to achieve independence for his country. His goal was to provide assistance to poor farmers and labourers to protest oppressive taxation and discrimination. He also struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women, and put an end to caste discrimination with the objective of self-ruling for India. As a result of his strong contention following his civil disobedience campaign, Gandhi was jailed for conspiracy from 1922 to 1924. In 1930, Gandhi led a march to the sea and collect salt as a symbolic defiance of government monopoly. After his release from prison in 1931, he attended the London Round Table Conference on the constitutional reformation for India. In 1946, he negotiated with the Cabinet Mission and recommended the new constitutional structure for India.

The Assassination

Once India received its independence in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi tried to put a stop to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Bengal. This resulted in his assassination in New Delhi at the hands of a Hindu fanatic by the name of Nathuram Godse. Even after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, his commitment to non-violence and his belief in a life of simplicity and devotion (making his own clothes, following a vegetarian diet, and fasting for self-purification as well as a means of protest) have become a beacon of hope for the oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.

The Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which falls today on October 2 is now a national holiday in India. It is a widely celebrated event as well as one that is commemorated by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence. Happy Birthday, Gandhi, and Happy International Day of Non-Violence to everyone! Let us enjoy the peace for just one day, love our neighbours the way we would love ourselves, and make love and peace, not war.

Support Gandhi and pray with him in our hearts by getting your posters at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus or purchase one via our Facebook page!

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Oktoberfest 2014: Bottom’s Up!

The time to drink and be merry has arrived once again in Munich, Germany, as the Oktoberfest kicks into full gear. The German locals as well as those who travelled far to participate in the Oktoberfest can feast on a smorgasbord of food served the traditional way, and washed down with big mugs of German beer!

The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival held annually in Munich for 16 days and attracts over six million people every year. About 1.5 million gallons of beer are consumed, together with 200,000 pairs of pork sausages and 480,000 spit-roasted chickens during the two-week extravaganza. My goodness, that’s a lot of food! The festival reinforces a stereotypical image of beer-loving, meat-loving Germans who dress for the occasion in dirndls and lederhosen, but most of the party-loving people are made up of visitors from all over the world. The Oktoberfest is one of Munich’s largest and most profitable tourist attractions, bringing over 450 million euros to the city’s bank books each year!

Did you know…

… that the largest Oktoberfest held outside Germany takes place annually in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterlook in Canada? That’s the residence to a large ethnic German population.

Did you also know…

… that the largest such event in the United States is the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which boasts half a million visitors each year! Phew!

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Oktoberfest: A festival of food, fun, and frolic under the beer tents. Photo by DrinkStuff (Beer Festivals).

The Origins of Oktoberfest

The first Oktoberfest began on October 12, 1810 after the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (who became King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. Five days after the marriage, a large festival was held in front of the Sendlinger Tor, one of the gates leading to Munich. The festivities included horse races that eventually became an Oktoberfest custom until 1938. An agricultural fair was added in 1811, and the first carousel, two swings, and beer pubs were included in 1818 along with performers. Oktoberfest gradually became a great tourist attraction and a way for visitors to learn about Bavaria and its people. In 1887, lederhosen and dirndls became the traditional attire of the Oktoberfest attendees. Beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries replaced the beer stands in 1896.

The Festivities of Oktoberfest

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Horse-drawn brewer carts during the Oktoberfest parade. Photo by The Travel Republic Blog.

The festival may have begun in October, but it is now held in September as the weather is milder then as compared to October. The festival lasts for 16 days, beginning on a Saturday in late September and ending on the first Sunday in October. Oktoberfest traditionally begins with a parade before noon, which includes the participation of the mayor and other civic leaders, followed by horse-drawn brewer’s carts, bands, and the townspeople wearing their costumes. The parade ends at the oldest private beer tent, the Schottenhammel tent, where the mayor opens the first keg of beer to kickstart the festival, and the toasting begins. The opening ceremonies are usually attended by more than 7,000,000 people.

The remainder of the festival site provides the space for a funfair. At the foot of the Bavaria Statue, there are carousels, roller coasters, and all the spectacular carnival rides for the enjoyment and excitement of the public. The festivities are often accompanied by music and dancing, followed by a program of events, including the Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Costume and Riflemen’s Procession, and a concert that involves all the brass bands represented at the “Wiesn”.

The Grub and Beer of Oktoberfest

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The big mugs of beer at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Photo by Jillian Wilson (uwishunu).

The festivities are not just the highlight of the Oktoberfest. The endless flow of beer and the wide array of food prepared for the partygoers make up the rest of the festival. The Oktoberfest beer is an amber-gold coloured lager with six percent alcohol with the addition of German hops such as Hallertau and Tettnang. Six major Munich brewers known to take part in the festival are Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner, and Paulaner. They can be found in the seven halls where live music can be heard from all throughout the day. The variety of food served during the Oktoberfest is far and wide, and includes meat such as beef, chicken, veal, and pork, as well as sauerkraut, potato salad, cabbage, onions, and pretzels.

This has been an entertaining Oktoberfest session, don’t you think? All this talk about food and drinks has made me hungry. For all the beer-lovers out there, we have posters on them as well as the country where Oktoberfest and beers originate from, and not to mention, our favourite cartoon character, Homer Simpson! He who drinks the most beer and still lives to tell his tale. Drop by our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus or our Facebook page to get your beery posters!

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Posters: How It All Began…

We’ve talked about posters, liking posters, and buying posters! But what is it about posters that we love so much? Is it the various colours, or the intricate designs, or the patterns and images that evoke imagination in our heads? Then we heave a sigh of contentment once we’ve bought them. It’s amazing how far we would go to buy our favourite posters, how much we would fork out just to buy them for our rooms. Who was the genius who invented this rectangular piece of happiness?

Posters: The Origins

The first posters were created in France in the mid 19th century as advertisements for new products, theaters, opera shows, and major events in Paris. In less than ten years, the use of posters spread from France throughout the rest of Europe.

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Taverne Olympia (1896) by Jules Cheret the ‘Father of the Poster’. Photo by WikiArt.

Did you know…

… that the first poster was invented by a Frenchman named Jules Cheret (image above) ? In 1867, Cheret, who was also known as the ‘Father of the Poster’, made the poster by using a four-colour lithographic process to create a highly stylized form of graphic art that intricately integrated texts and images onto a piece of paper.

In 1867, Jules Cheret was the first modern poster artist who created a theatrical poster entitled ‘Taverne Olympia’. His captivating depiction of the Parisian nightlife and its entertainers rendered in clear and radiant colours dominated Parisian displays for the last 30 years of the 19th century. Apart from Cheret, two other Frenchmen by the names of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard also designed numerous posters during the 19th century. The invention of the printing press relied on graphic arts, and paved the way for mass production of posters of various shapes and sizes. The method used to print posters is called ‘lithography’, by placing ink on a series of metal or stone (lithos) carvings, which are reliefs of coloured regions on the poster. In 1889, Jules Cheret, the creator of the first poster mentioned above, was awarded the Legion of Honor for creating a “new branch of art”.

Posters: The Original Purpose

Posters were one of the earliest forms of advertisements and only in the 19th century were they developed as a medium for visual communication. The term ‘poster’ is described as a paper panel printed for display as a work of art. But posters did not exist until around 1860 (during Jules Cheret’s time) when the invention of lithography paved the way for the cheap and easy production of brilliantly coloured posters. The invention of posters influenced the development of typography because they were meant to be read from a distance and this meant larger type of fonts had to be produced, usually from wood instead of metal.

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The development of typography was influenced by the invention of posters. Photo by Inspired Mag.

Posters eventually became a staple of the graphic design trade and its purpose expanded to being used as promotion of propaganda for various political parties, recruitment of soldiers, advertisements of products, and to spread ideas to the general public. Posters became the most effective tools for communication and their contributions to the design industry arose from efforts to create the perfect poster. Today, the popularity of internet posters are still being created for a wide variety of reasons.

Posters: What They Are Today

Posters quickly gained notoriety in the modern world, and are seen as eye-catching and informative media. They are frequently used as advertisements for events, musicians, and films, and to an extreme extent, as propaganda and political reasons as a means to communicate a message to the public. These days, posters are also used for reproductions of artwork, especially famous works with respect to the copyright laws, and are generally low-cost compared to the original pieces of artwork.

All this talk about posters is making me feel like going out there and buying a poster. What about you? Drop by our store at the Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus to have a look at the posters we have, or feel free to browse our extensive collection on our Posterific Facebook page!

To Malaysia, With Love

It’s understandable that most Malaysians can only associate with National Day which is celebrated annually on August 31. After all, it is a nation-wide event that has been marked as important to us ever since we gained independence on that fateful day.

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Happy Malaysia Day! (Selamat Hari Malaysia!). Photo by Say U Lov Me (Blog).

But wait, we have another national public holiday to celebrate and it is known as Malaysia Day! This equally important day is celebrated annually on September 16, and has been steadily gaining recognition. In 2009, the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak made the decision at the Malaysian Parliament to officially announce Malaysia Day as a national public holiday in 2010. This means that Malaysians now have two national celebrations related to the country’s independence. Sadly, not many are aware of the significance of the date. Come, let me tell you a story…

The Birth of Malaysia Day

The plan to officially declare the formation of Malaysia was initially dated August 31, 1963 to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the Malayan Independence. The formation of the country had initially  included Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya, and Singapore. Due to issues surrounding the Indonesian and Filipino objection to the formation of Malaysia, the date was postponed to September 16 that same year. Another reason given for the postponement of the date was to allow the United Nations time to conduct referendums in Sabah and Sarawak regarding the two states’ participation in a new federation. On September 16, Tunku Abdul Rahman was given the title “Bapa Malaysia” (Malay for “Father of Malaysia”), and the national flag was raised for the first time in all 13 states  (11 Peninsular states and two from East Malaysia). The formation of Malaysia was successfully made through the introduction of the Malaysia Bill to the Malayan Parliament on July 9, 1963 and consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on August 29, 1963. However, on August 9, 1965, Singapore officially announced its separation from Malaysia to form an independent nation on its own.

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Malaysia Day, so let us all celebrate this national event together with all our heart and soul. Happy Malaysia Day everyone! From us at Posterific!

Ground Zero Remembered

On September 11, 2001, two planes were hijacked by terrorists and flown straight into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The towers crumbled, crushing the occupants of the towers as well as killing scores of innocent bystanders on level ground and those who were nearby. A third plane intended for the White House changed its flight course and crashed into an open field after the passengers onboard fought back. A fourth plane was flown straight into the Pentagon. It was the darkest day for the Americans, and those who survived, lived to tell the tale that they had seen with their own eyes. Those who have gone to lend a hand to help out included the brave firemen and policemen, and while they were able to rescue others, some of them have lost their lives in the aftermath of the incident. The devastating attacks were caught on public television, shocking every other nation who tuned in to their local news channel and watched the whole event unfold before them.

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9.11.2001. The power to believe. The will to win. The strength to go on. Photo by Vicki Blackwell.

Today, we remember the brave firefighters who lost their trying to save people who were trapped beneath the rubble.

Today, we remember the courageous policemen who lost their lives trying to contain the terrorists and hijackers from attacking elsewhere.

Today, we remember those who lost their lives after being trapped in the towers as they desperately tried to escape, the innocent bystanders who lost their lives despite being outside the Towers, and the families who lost their loved ones in the horrific incident.

Today is the 13th anniversary of 9/11 (as it is fondly known as today). Today, we put our differences aside and pray for the victims and their families.

The Three Wise Men

When you think of Albert Einstein, you recall a crazy old man with frizzy hair sticking his tongue out. When you think of Mahatma Gandhi, you thought he had good life and why did he do this to himself. When you think of Martin Luther King, Jr., you tell yourself, “Oh no, it’s that black man again!”

Now before you think of something else to say, bear in mind that these men have contributed far more to society than we ever will in our lives! They may have died a long time ago but the impact their hard work had on our lives is so strong that it’s still remembered by everyone today. Albert Einstein was the genius behind the world of science and mathematics, while Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. shared one thing in common – fighting for human equality, freedom of mankind, and human rights by using non-violence in their protests. They proved that aggression and violence are not the answer to problem solving. These men should be respected, not mocked.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Science and Physics

Date and Place of Birth: March 14, 1879 in Wurttemberg, Germany

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Photo of Albert Einstein by Philippe Halsman (California Indian Education)

Did you know…?

… that during World War I, Einstein was asked to help the US Navy evaluate designs for future weapons systems? After moving to Princeton with his wife when life in Germany became difficult for Jews, he wrote a letter to President Roosevelt to develop an atom bomb before Germany did, and the letter became Roosevelt’s decision to fund the Manhattan Project.

Albert Einstein was one of the smartest people who contributed many of the greatest scientific inventions to society. His contributions included the field of science where space and time were absolute, and the speed of light was relative (light is constant and that it’s impossible to go faster than the speed of light), math where he explained how to calculate Avogadro’s number, and the idea of Quantum Physics (not to be confused with James Bond’s Quantum of Solace!). Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2, explains the link between energy and mass. As a result of his work, he was awarded the Noble Prize in 1921. Einstein died at age 76 in Princeton in 1955, from aneurysm (enlargement of the abdominal artery filled with blood and bled to death internally).

MAHATMA GANDHI: For Freedom and Identity

Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869 in Gujarat as Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi on Intellectual Revolution (Fans Share)

Did you know…?

… that October 2 is celebrated annually in India as Gandhi Jayanti to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the legend who united India under one god. This celebration is amongst the three national festivals of India. On this auspicious day, the whole nation (including the President, the Prime Minister, and other political dignitaries) pay tribute to Gandhi for his selfless work and love for the people of India by visiting the Raj Ghat (where he was cremated).

Mahatma Gandhi played a significant role in uniting India across the states, regardless of the differences in language, religion, caste, creed, and sex. He motivated everyone to come together and fight for freedom under the Indian National Congress banner. His contributions led to his success of leading the non-violent struggle to achieve India’s freedom. He was a great visionary with a mission to recognize the strength of Indian society that encompassed its ethnic differences in one nation. Gandhi used this to rally the masses and reinforced the country’s national identity and enabled the population to regain their freedom, pride, and dignity.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Equality and Non-violence

Date and Place of Birth: January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America

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‘I Have A Dream’ by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Philosophy Monkey)

When Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Jr.) was young, he was deeply saddened that he could not make friends with people who were not black. Despite knowing that just because people looked different on the outside, who they were on the inside as well as their character was what makes a person valuable. That was when MLK Jr. saw a social problem, developed a dream, and eventually took action to change the views of the United States as well as the world. His contributions included:

  • Leading the civil rights movement in the 1960s to work out conflicts with kindness and love as opposed to hate and violence.
  • Fighting for and achieving mandatory equal voting rights in the US for blacks and whites.
  • Leading lunch counter sit-ins for equal treatment in restaurants for people of all races.
  • Effectively and successfully using non-violent peaceful demonstrations and protests.

Because of MLK Jr., it is now illegal to segregate and/or discriminate based on skin colour in the US. Because of KLK Jr., the standard has now been set in stone for all nations to treat everyone equally regardless of skin colour. Sadly, a legend like him would have as many enemies as he has friends. MLK Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Feeling inspired? Then head over to our Posterific Facebook page and get your motivation from these awesome individuals in the ‘Albert Einstein‘ album and ‘Inspirational‘ album!

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