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Monday, January 11, 2016

Calendar distribution ~ Chinese braving dangerous smog stand in queue

In tune with changing times, this too has changed – till a decade or so ago, New Year would be welcomed with them.  Many shops used to distribute and people in turn used to share with their near and dear ! ~ they have reduced drastically – how many did you get this year ? – before that do you imagine what queue is this ??

Methods of timekeeping can be reconstructed for the prehistoric period from at least the Neolithic. The first recorded calendars date to the Bronze Age,  to the Babylonians and more.  A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years.  The calendar in most widespread use today is the Gregorian calendar.  It could be monthly [or sheets having 2 or 3 or even 4 months]; daily sheet calendar and more – having pictures of deities, sceneries, animals, people and more ! … .. many traders and shops used to give calendars [with their names printed boldly of course] to their customers as compliments.

My maternal grandfather worked for a Company - Maschmeijer Aromatics, the makers of musks and fragrances.  They used to print colourful calendars which I used to distribute to the elite few close people of my grandpa. In Chennai and many parts of South India, Sundaram Finance calendar is a certainty in every drawing room !   Rani Muthu Tamil daily sheet calendar is a famous one; there have been many calendars with pictures of Gods – Lord Srinivasa, the Thirumala Devasthanam calendar.  Those days most of the captivating calendars would get framed and kept for worship – at home  We have Sri Parthasarathi Perumal [Mettur Chemicals calendar]; Maha Lakshmi in standing posture [ICI] …… 

We all like a handout, but not many of us would risk our health for free giveaway, especially when it’s a calendar. That’s exactly what local residents from east China’s Shandong Province did when they heard a local business was giving away complimentary year of the monkey wall calendars, reports the Daily Mail UK.

They queued for over three hours in Liaocheng city yesterday when smog levels were on a red alert - too dangerous to go outside. As well as the hazardous air pollution, outside temperatures were hitting minus five degrees Celsius. This at a time when locals wore masks to protect themselves from the hazardous air pollution in Shandong Province.

It was the business plant of a merchant in the area  who was giving the calendars away for a business boost. According to the report, the residents went to the People’s Square in the city where they stood in line and waited for their freebie. They arrived at 7am local time (11pm GMT January 9) and formed two long queues wearing masks and protective clothing. That morning, the Liaocheng Meteorological Bureau had issued a red smog alert warning and reminded children and the elderly to avoid outdoor activities.

People can be seen in pictures posted online wearing their masks and waiting patiently, then they are pictured looking happy with their new hanging wall calendars. The local Meteorological Bureau warned people to stay indoors when they gave a red smog alert.

It is the  Year of the monkey; the Chinese New Year falls on February 8. According to Chinese media, the calendars – worth about 20 Yuan (£2) - come from a local merchant, as part of his efforts to drum up business in the New Year. It is not clear what the PM 2.5 levels (particulate matter suspended in air) were at the time the residents queued for their calendars, but it was rated hazardous by local government, which is usually above 500 on the Air Quality Index (AQI).

So how many did you receive this year ? 0r how many did you give !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

11th Jan 2016.

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