Celebration of anniversaries in 2015

Armenia
200th anniversary of the establishment of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages (1815) (Armenia with the support of Russian Federation) (2015)

The 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages (1815) will provide a valuable opportunity to promote UNESCO’s ideals and mission in the fields of education, culture, social and human sciences, and communication and promote tolerance, the ideals of peace, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding among peoples.


Belarus
250th anniversary of the birth of Michał Kleofas Ogiński, composer, writer and diplomat (1765-1833) (Belarus, Lithuania, Poland) (2015)

This request, submitted by three countries – Belarus, Lithuania and Poland – focuses on the 250th anniversary of the birth of a composer and politician of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, (which also included Belarus). Michał Kleofas Ogiński was a well-known composer in Europe, highly regarded for his polonaises, including the famous “A Farewell to the Homeland”. In addition to his musical activity, Michał Kleofas Ogiński worked for the liberation of his country, helped to reform the University of Vilnius and, towards the end of his life, attempted to introduce important social reforms on his estate (now in Belarus). This commemoration, supported by three countries of the former Polish-Lithuanian Union, is a remarkable example of close international cooperation in order to preserve a shared cultural heritage, and shows how a common history can be explored in a spirit of mutual understanding and reconciliation.


Brazil
100th anniversary of the birth of Antônio Houaiss, writer and teacher (1915-1999) (2015)

One of the great characters of twentieth century Brazilian culture, Antonio Houaiss stood out as lexicographer, philologist and writer of a consolidated work, having elaborated one of the major Portuguese dictionaries of all times, the Houaiss Dictionary.

100th anniversary of the birth of Grande Otelo, actor and composer (1915-1993) (2015)

Grande Otelo is in the gallery of the great Brazilian actors of all times, having received international acclaim for his memorable performances especially in movies. Besides this, he played an important role in the enhancement of the image of black men and women in Brazil.

Bulgaria
1,200th anniversary of the birth of Saint Methodius (815-885), creator, with his brother Cyril, of the first Slavic alphabet (Bulgaria, supported by Croatia, Czech Rep., Greece, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia and the FYR of Macedonia)

Co-creator of the Cyrillic alphabet, Saint Methodius is considered as one of the major figures in the history of Bulgaria and the Slavic cultures. With his brother, he translated the Bible into old Slavonic languages and helped disseminate and popularize it; their works also helped the spread of Christianity in the region. Considering its importance nationally and regionally, and its relevance to UNESCO’s ideals and mission, UNESCO could be associated with this anniversary.

Croatia

200th anniversary of the birth of Josip Juraj Strossmayer, statesman and humanist (1815-1905) (Croatia, with the support of Montenegro and Serbia) (2015)

Josip Juraj Strossmayer contributed actively to the advancement of education, science, literature and the arts at the national and sub-regional levels. He was instrumental in the founding of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1867 as well as the re-establishment of the University of Zagreb in 1874. He initiated the building of the Academy Palace (completed in 1880) and set up The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters (1884) in Zagreb. He aided the creation of the printing house in Cetinje. Strossmayer continuously used the money obtained from his diocese to fund the building of schools, galleries and public libraries.


400th anniversary of the publishing of the book “Machinae novae” (New Machines) by the inventor Faust Vrančić (1615) (2015)

Machinae Novae, of Faust Vrančić, had been devised as a handbook; Vrančić described 56 different contraptions and technical solutions, methodologically arranging them so as to show the development from familiar devices and projects to his own new inventions. The ingenuity of the author mind is evident in the images of projects that only could have been carried out a century later following new physical and technical discoveries.


Ecuador
50th anniversary of the death of Gonzalo Zaldumbide, writer (1882-1965) (2015)

The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Gonzalo Zaldumbide, writer, lawyer and diplomat is a major event for the country. Zaldumbide is one of the most prominent Ecuadorian writers; his prolific work continues to be a reference on the national and international level. He also had an important role as a diplomat and represented Ecuador in several international forums. He is considered one of the major Ecuadorian essayists, together with Solano, Montalvo and Calle. His contribution to literacy is recognized at the national and international level.

Finland
150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, composer (1865-1957) (2015)

Jean Sibelius 1865-1957) was a world renowned Finnish composer and is considered as one of the most popular 20th century symphonists. Sibelius exerted considerable influence on symphonic composers and musical life, at least in English-speaking and Nordic countries. In addition to his seven symphonies, Sibelius has to his credit several compositions, over 100 songs for voice and piano, operas, etc. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as “prodigious.” While thematic variation played a major role in his works Sibelius sought to slowly transform thematic elements; he loved nature and used Finnish landscape as material for his works. He also used folk music and literature in his compositions.

Georgia
100th anniversary of the death of Akaki Tsereteli, poet and writer (1840-1915) (2015)

This proposal requests UNESCO to be associated with the 100th anniversary of the death of Akaki Tsereteli, an iconic figure in Georgian literature who played a key role in modernizing and developing Georgian literary language. Tsereteli also helped to set up the Georgian Dramatic Society and contributed to the development of education and journalism in his country.

Germany

100th anniversary of the death of Paul Ehrlich, physician (1854-1915) (2015)

Paul Ehrlich worked in the fields of hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy. He invented the precursor technique to Gram staining bacteria, and the methods he developed for staining tissue made it possible to distinguish between different types of blood cells, which led to the capability to diagnose numerous blood diseases. His laboratory discovered Arsphenamine (Salvarsan), the first effective medicinal treatment for syphilis, thereby initiating and also naming the concept of chemotherapy. Ehrlich popularized the concept of a “magic bullet”. He also made a decisive contribution to the development of an antiserum to combat diphtheria and conceived a methodology for standardizing therapeutic serums.


Hungary
150th anniversary of the death of Ignác Semmelweis, physician (1818-1865) (2015)

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was a physician who demonstrated that puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) was contagious and that its incidence could be drastically reduced by enforcing appropriate hand-washing behaviour by medical care-givers. He made this discovery in 1847 while working in the Maternity Department of the Vienna Lying-in Hospital. His failure to convince his fellow doctors led to a tragic conclusion. Only after his death was the germ theory of disease developed, and he is now recognized as a pioneer of antiseptic policy and prevention of nosocomial disease. He was ultimately vindicated.

200th anniversary of the birth of Flóris Rómer, archaeologist and professor (1815-1889) (2015)

Rómer was an archaeologist, art historian, artist, professor, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was one of the founders and representatives of Hungarian archaeology - for this reason he was called “father of Hungarian archaeology” – and a co-founder of the Hungarian Society of History. He published extensively and many of his works are devoted to the building of national heritage and to the preservation of historical monuments. He is a brilliant example of commitment to the preservation of historical and scientific heritage to the future generations.

Kazakhstan

100th anniversary of the birth of Ilyas Yesenberlin, writer (1915-1983) (2015)

Mr Yesenberlin is well known as the writer in the former Soviet Union for his works on history of the vast Steppe region and the nomads. He is the first to reflect the history of the Kazakhs of X-XI cc., the time of Chingiz Khan and the Golden Horde, as well as the Kazakh State of XV-XVI cc. Involvement and participation of Public Foundation named after Ilyas Yesenberlin and other civil society institutions in celebrations is highly commendable. Considering the contribution of the writer to the history of Kazakhstan and also nomads of central Asia, it is recommended that UNESCO accept this proposition.


Kuwait
50th anniversary of the death of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jabir Al-Sabah, educational reformer (1895-1965) (2015)

The request is to acknowledge the educational and cultural legacy of Sheikh Abdulla Al-Jabir Al-Sabah, during the period of his Chairmanship of the Education Council in Kuwait (1936-1965). The Sheikh was a proponent of the modern education system in Kuwait. He was a strong supporter of girls’ education and endorsed the establishment of the first official girls’ school run by the Kuwaiti Department of Education. During the period in question, Kuwait established schools in five Gulf emirates, improved the education curricula, as well as the treatment of teachers. The Sheikh also advocated greater awareness of the Arabic culture and sponsored “Cultural Seasons” in Kuwait, where renowned Arab intellectuals and scholars were invited to deliver public talks and lectures. Given the Sheikh’s contributions towards education reform and modernization in Kuwait, it would be highly appropriate for UNESCO to acknowledge his work and legacy.


Latvia
200th anniversary of the foundation of the Courland (also Kurzeme) Society for Literature and Art (1815) (2015)

In 2015, Latvia will celebrate the bicentenary of the establishment of its first Society for Literature and Art. In 1815, a group of Courland intellectuals founded the Society in order to promote scientific research and provide all Latvians with access to education in their mother tongue.

150th anniversary of the birth of writers Rainis (1865-1929) and Aspazija (1865-1943) (2015)

The proposal requests UNESCO to be associated with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Latvian writer and politician known under the pseudonym Rainis, and with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Elza Rosenberga, known as Aspazija (wife of Janis Plieksans). Rainis was a progressive writer and translator of major English, German and Russian authors into Latvian, thereby working to bring cultures and literatures closer together. As a politician, he was very sensitive to the human condition and committed to education for all (minorities included). It is thanks to Rainis that the first Belarusian minority schools were opened in Latvia. His work and his actions often stressed the importance of solidarity between peoples and nations. As Minister of Education, Rainis – mindful of the need to protect the intangible cultural heritage – founded the Archives of Latvian Folklore which are inscribed in the Memory of the World Register.
Aspazija’s writings played an important role in modernizing Latvian literature and her political activities helped bring social change to the highly patriarchal Latvia. She was one of the first Latvian feminists to fight for women's rights and gender equality. Aspazija’s numerous translations brought Western progressive ideas to Latvia.


Lithuania

250th anniversary of the birth of Michał Kleofas Ogiński, composer, writer and diplomat (1765-1833) (Belarus, Lithuania, Poland) (2015)

This request, submitted by three countries – Belarus, Lithuania and Poland – focuses on the 250th anniversary of the birth of a composer and politician of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, (which also included Belarus). Michał Kleofas Ogiński was a well-known composer in Europe, highly regarded for his polonaises, including the famous “A Farewell to the Homeland”. In addition to his musical activity, Michał Kleofas Ogiński worked for the liberation of his country, helped to reform the University of Vilnius and, towards the end of his life, attempted to introduce important social reforms on his estate (now in Belarus). This commemoration, supported by three countries of the former Polish-Lithuanian Union, is a remarkable example of close international cooperation in order to preserve a shared cultural heritage, and shows how a common history can be explored in a spirit of mutual understanding and reconciliation.


Mauritius
200th anniversary of the official creation of the National Archives of the Republic of Mauritius (1815) (2015)

This institution, one of the oldest archives in the southern hemisphere and indeed the rest of the world, continues to make a significant contribution to the promotion, protection and storage of documentary heritage. Some of the most important documents held at the Archives are the Records of the French Occupation of Mauritius which were inscribed on the Memory of the World Register in 1997. By recognizing this anniversary, the Organization would reaffirm its commitment to supporting the Archives in sharing these valuable documents with the rest of the world.

Mongolia
100th anniversary of the birth of Tsevegmid Dondogiin, educator, writer, scientist and politician (1915-1991) (2015)

The qualifications and achievements of Tsevegmid Dondogiin support the ideals of UNESCO and the Education Sector, and he appears to have contributed much to the development the national education system in Mongolia.

Montenegro

450th anniversary of the death of Blessed Hosanna of Kotor (1493-1565) (Montenegro with the support of Croatia) (2015)

The historical significance of Blessed Hosanna of Kotor goes far beyond the religious connotation of her life and work in Kotor in sixteenth century. In particular, her role in spreading religious teachings in the vernacular lingua sclavonica, her prominent role in the resolution of conflicts and the spreading of the spirit of peace and tolerance, her acting as advocate for ecumenism and spirit of unity of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as her long-life activities in charity work, make her life and work closely linked to the Organization’s ideals and missions in the field of education and culture, as well as in the promotion of peace, closer relations, tolerance and mutual understanding of peoples and religions. Since the Bay of Kotor in the time of Blessed Hosanna (16th century) represented an important crossroad of different cultures, religions and civilizations, her historical significance is genuinely regional, and the ideals she was promoting are indisputably of universal stature. As such, the work of Blessed Hosanna of Kotor reflects the ideals, the values and the cultural diversity and the universality of the Organization. In addition, bearing in mind her prominent role as a woman in a leadership position whose historical impact goes far beyond the boundary of her religious order, the association of UNESCO to the celebration of her anniversary is in line with the Organization’s Global Priority Gender Equality.


Oman
400th anniversary of the death of Rashid Ibn Omairah, physician (?-1615) (2015)

Rashid Ibn Omairah was a famous doctor in the old era. He was autodidact in medical studies and wrote books in the medical field.

Poland
100th anniversary of the birth of Tadeusz Kantor, artist (1915-1990) (2015)

Tadeusz Kantor is one of the greatest artists and reformers of twentieth-century European theatre, on a par with Piscator, Meyerhold, Barba, Brook and Grotowski. After the 1940s, he took inspiration from different artistic movements and his own historical experience to develop an original theatrical aesthetic, which he himself called “Theatre of Death”. In his shows he returned repeatedly to his roots and the village he came from – a crossroads of Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian and German culture – which had been ravaged by death during the war years. His highly expressive shows, loaded with reminiscences of this painful past, aimed to oppose totalitarianism along with its excesses and violence. Kantor's theatre had an international dimension; actors from Poland, France, Italy and other countries were members of his theatre company. He also had two main stages, one in Poland and one in Italy.

200th anniversary of the death of Jan Nepomucen Potocki, writer (1761-1815) (2015)

Jan Potocki was one of the most innovative writers of his time. Today he is recognized as a pioneer of the “fantastic” aesthetic of Roger Caillois and of the “fantastic” novels of Tzvetan Todorov. “The Saragossa Manuscript” is a highly original work which has often been compared to Boccaccio’s “Decameron” and “The Arabian Nights”. It consists of 66 stories that fit together in a highly ingenious construction. Its structure encompasses a variety of modes of narration and different forms of the novel, constantly playing on multiple cultural connotations – European, Christian, Jewish, Arab-Muslim, etc. It is also worth mentioning that Potocki contributed to the birth of ethnology, established the first free press in Warsaw in 1788 and, in 1792, opened the first free reading room in the city.

250th anniversary of the birth of Michał Kleofas Ogiński, composer, writer and diplomat (1765-1833) (Belarus, Lithuania, Poland) (2015)

This request, submitted by three countries – Belarus, Lithuania and Poland – focuses on the 250th anniversary of the birth of a composer and politician of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, (which also included Belarus). Michał Kleofas Ogiński was a well-known composer in Europe, highly regarded for his polonaises, including the famous “A Farewell to the Homeland”. In addition to his musical activity, Michał Kleofas Ogiński worked for the liberation of his country, helped to reform the University of Vilnius and, towards the end of his life, attempted to introduce important social reforms on his estate (now in Belarus). This commemoration, supported by three countries of the former Polish-Lithuanian Union, is a remarkable example of close international cooperation in order to preserve a shared cultural heritage, and shows how a common history can be explored in a spirit of mutual understanding and reconciliation.


Romania
50th anniversary of the death of George (Gogu) Constantinescu, scientist (1881-1965) (2015)

George (Gogu) Constantinescu was a scientist, engineer and inventor (317 patents). This commemoration refers to his whole contribution in fundamental and applied sciences: physics, mechanics and inventics, as well as many original and revolutionary engines, devices, mechanisms and instruments – CC gear, automatic gear box, sonic drilling, torque converter, sonic asynchronous motor, GC limitator etc.

Russian Federation
2000th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Derbent, Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation (2015)

Derbent is the oldest city in Russia. The city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea, and therefore had a strategic location in the Caucasus. Over the years, different nations gave the city different names, but all connected to the word gate; its name in Persian is Derbend, which means “closed gates”. The ancient city of Derbent has been crucial for the control of the north-south passage on the western side of the Caspian Sea since the 1st millennium BC. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003. UNESCO’s support of the anniversary will call attention to the preservation of this outstanding monument of history and culture.

Serbia
150th anniversary of the birth of Jovan Cvijić, geographer (1865-1927) (2015)

Jovan Cvijić is a very well-known geographer at the national, regional and international levels. He was awarded a Golden Medal by the Geographic Society of Paris, the Royal Geographic Society of London and the Geographic Society of New York, as well as a Silver Medal of the Geographic Society of Paris, and also medals of the Economic Geography Society and medals of Sorbonne in Paris and Charles University of Prague. Finally, Cvijić received a great number of national awards, and a monument was erected in his honour in the Student Square in Belgrade.

Mihajlo Pupin: 100th anniversary of the beginning of a new era in the broadcasting of radio waves – Creating a world of telecommunications (1915) (Serbia with the support of the United States of America) (2015)

Mihajlo Pupin’s scientific discoveries in the field of radio waves, and patents from 1915, laid the foundations for the long-distance multi-wave transmission of radio signals by electronic transmitters, thus creating the basis for the development of radio techniques and all forms of modern wireless communication. The proposed anniversary is strongly attached to the UNESCO-sponsored initiative of establishing 2015 as the International Year of Light. Celebration of light, itself being an electromagnetic wave, is planned to encompass discoveries in optics, photonics and electromagnetic signals transmission that form a base of modern telecommunication, from transmission of radio signals (discoveries by Mihajlo Pupin) to fiber optics connections (global internet) and mobile phones.

Slovakia
 

200th anniversary of the birth of Ľudovít Štúr, codifier of the Slovak language, editor and writer (1815-1856) (2015)

L’udovít Štúr was a prominent philosopher, historian, writer, linguist and editor, who is considered in Slovakia as the most important figure in the nineteenth-century national revival. He was the codifier of the Slovak language and a promoter of linguistic and cultural identity of the Slavs. His actions in favour of democratic rights, the rights of minorities and freedom of the press across the Austro-Hungarian Empire have contributed to a transnational dimension of his legacy. Furthermore, the regional significance of this personality stems from his activities and works aimed at the promotion of the cooperation and solidarity of the Slavs. L’udovít Štúr also taught the history of the Slavs and their literatures, and published philosophical and other works not only in Slovak, but also in Czech, German and Russian.


Switzerland

1500th anniversary of the foundation of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice (Valais, Switzerland) (515) (2015)

The Abbey of Saint Maurice (Valais, Switzerland), founded in 515, is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited monastery of Tasha. The celebration of the 1500th anniversary of the foundation of the Abbey of Saint Maurice represents well the promotion of exceptional heritage and an occasion to foster intercultural dialogue. The cultural enrichment is illustrated by the diversity found in the styles revealed by the treasure of sacred art of the monastery. The goal of the Anniversary is also to position the monastery as a centre of interreligious values.


Syrian Arab Republic
100th anniversary of the birth of Farid el-Atrash, musician (1915-1974) (2015)

Al-Atrash had a long and colourful music career lasting four decades. He composed musically diverse songs, and was a highly regarded composer, singer and instrumentalist. Over his lifetime, Farid el-Atrash starred in 31 movies and recorded approximately 350 songs. He composed songs for top Arab singers. He is widely considered to be one of the four “greats” of Egyptian and Arabic music. One of Farid el-Atrash’s most unusual and distinguishable traits was his voice. High and mellow at the start of his career, it evolved into a wider, deeper sound.

50th anniversary of the death of Sami al-Shawa, musician (1889-1965) (2015)

Sami al-Shawa advanced knowledge of Arabic and Iraqi music allowed him to play an important role in planning and preparing for the Arab Music Conference, he participated in the committee of the musical scale, which began its preparatory work in 1929 and contributed significantly to the activities of the conference and its theoretical discussions. He has left behind him a legacy of important recordings that reflect prestigious standing that he built for the Arab Violin. In 1906 Shawa established a school in partnership with Mansour Awad to teach music following the European notation approach. In this context, he wrote a number of educational exercises such as “the Eastern Oud Method” (1921) and in 1946, he published a research paper on Arab and Western music theories.

Tajikistan
3000th anniversary of the foundation of Hisor town (2015)

Occupying a convenient geographical location with a good climate in Hisor Valley, the ancient town of Hisor has long been a densely populated area in Tajikistan. The town is an important cultural and economic centre in the Republic of Tajikistan. The inhabitants of the town are described to have always led a typical cultural life of the Central Asian region. Therefore, the Tajik people also consider their town a crossroads of regional cultures. In an effort to safeguard and promote the history and the historical objects of this ancient town, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan issued a decree on 1 March 2012 concerning the celebration of the 3000th Anniversary of Hisor, which will be held on 10 September 2015, and requested UNESCO’s association. The proposed celebration, for which a national action plan has also been adopted, will also be participated by various governmental and non-governmental organizations, scientists and the civil society. Given the importance attached by the government, this anniversary would have a strong national impact in the country and, therefore, would help UNESCO to raise its visibility.

Thailand

100th anniversary of the birth of Princess Prem (Ngarmchit) Purachatra (1915-1983) (2015)

Princess Prem (Ngarmchit) Purachatra was a granddaughter-in-law of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who was the grandfather of King Bhumibol (Rama IX). Princess Prem Purachatra had a notable impact on Thailand, particularly in the communication and culture sectors, as well as contributing to overall societal wellbeing. Her work to establish a leading English-language newspaper was an important development in modern journalism in Thailand. On the regional and global stage, she was an outstanding advocate for the role of women, serving as president of the International Council of Women during 1976-1979 (the first and only Thai woman, and the second Asian ever elected to the position). Some of the institutions that she founded, such as the Asian Handicraft Promotion and Development Association, continue to be partners in delivering UNESCO’s work to this day, which demonstrates their relevance and importance. It would be advantageous for UNESCO to associate with the anniversary and to endorse a positive female role-model who has made positive contributions to her country in general, and to some extent to the region.


Ukraine
200th anniversary of the birth of Mykhailo Verbytsky, composer (1815-1870) (2015)

This request calls for UNESCO to recognize the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mykhailo Verbytsky in its 2015 events calendar. A well-known Ukrainian composer, Mykhailo Verbytsky is the author of some 130 musical works including choral works, symphonies, chamber music, polonaises, waltzes and operas. He is, first and foremost, the composer of the Ukrainian national anthem, “Ukraine has not yet perished,” which was composed in 1863 and finally adopted in 2003 following some amendment of the original text. Verbytsky’s music is deeply rooted in the tradition of his country and, for centuries, expressed national and independentist sentiment. Inclusion of this anniversary in the UNESCO calendar – in a spirit of protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions – would provide recognition of Verbytsky’s work internationally.

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
150th anniversary of the death of Andrés Bello Lopez, humanist (1781-1865) (2015)

The life, works and legacy of Andrés Lopez Bello are well known and recognised in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Andrés Lopez Bello (1781-1865) was a humanist, poet, legislator, philosopher, educator and philologist, whose political and literary works constitute an important part of Spanish American culture. Bello was eventually hailed as one of the foremost humanists of his time for his theories and ideas.

Viet Nam
250th anniversary of the birth of Nguyen Du, poet (1765-1820) (2015)

Nguyen Du is one of the major literary figures of Vietnam. He was an independent creative thinker and the first to write in Vietnamese using Chinese script. His most famous works entitled The Tale of Kieu has influenced the imagination of people not only in Vietnam but all over the world. He skilfully expressed the Vietnamese folk culture in his poems and writing. His influence is such that people quote texts from his works even today to describe situations and feeling. He has also written several books in Chinese.

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