Friends, summertime is upon us, even though it might not always feel like it! As you might have read or heard, the Böög otherwise known as Zurich’s snowman effigy, predicted a fine summer this year so I for one, am holding it accountable should the weather turn drizzly and grey! With summer this year arrives a little glimmer of hope. Switzerland’s vaccination program is progressing at a steady pace, restaurants have reopened for inside dining, birthday parties are happening again, even singing is allowed! Everyone is filled with cautious hope and optimism.
Over in India, the catastrophe brought about by the second wave of the pandemic has opened up a floodgate with everyone doing everything that they can to help and to come to the aid of those that are suffering and their families. While the pandemic journey is far from over, it is certainly humbling to see the lengths that people will go to in order to ease the pain. For example, in Switzerland, experienced marathon runner, ultra-runner and scientist, Dr Indranil Bhattacharya ran for12 hours in the memory of his father and sister. Over 12 hours, Dr Bhattacharya ran 93.34 km while raising money for Covid-19 relief efforts in India.
While there is no doubt that 2021 continues to be an incredibly tough year, it is important to remember that every tiny little step that we all take towards the good, adds up and means something. You’re never too young to make a difference. As I write, a 14-year-old social entrepreneur by the name of Sir Darius Brown is making bow ties for shelter dogs to help them get adopted. Do you have a wacky idea that you could put to good use?
Now, speaking of wacky and wonderful, I recently learned of someone inspiring whose story I wanted to share with you. Some of you reading this may have roots in Chandigarh or may even have visited a very special place called ‘The Rock Garden’. Created by Nek Chand, who was once an employee of the Indian government and was also a self-taught artist, the Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a sculpture garden. In fact, he first started to create it as a secret and now, it is one of India’s most visited tourist spots. According to some reports, it ranks second only to The Taj Mahal. The Rock Garden spans over 40 acres of land and is completely and utterly created from industrial waste, home waste and other discarded items – glass, bottles, broken bangles, broken tiles, sinks, pots, pipes – you name it and you will find it there. In fact, Nek Chand is a pioneer of a movement called ‘Outsider Art’ which is an art by self-taught makers. It just goes to show that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
As I write, the world is preparing for World Environment Day which is celebrated on the 5th of June. Did you know that the European Union recently voted to ban all single-use plastic? That’s a tiny step towards the good. And there’s more…Scotland planted 22 million trees in order to tackle climate change while researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have recently observed that they have recorded 55 different blue whale sightings off the coast of the Antarctic island of South Georgia. This is a massive increase, especially when we consider that only back in 2018, they just spotted two. Do you like reading positive news like this? Do consider subscribing to Emily Coxhead’s ‘The Happy Newspaper’ or following them on social media. That’s where I get my monthly dose of happy!
But, of course, you could always come here to get your monthly dose of happy too and allow our batch of talented and bright creatives to inspire you. This month, Aashvi Shrivastav writes a poem based on the stem line ‘I am from’ and conjures up beautiful images of all her cultures. Adrita Sanyal pays tribute to her father – Swiss Father’s Day falls on the 6th of June while International Father’s Day falls on the 20th of June. Kanhai Vaidya and Ishaan Parameshwar both continue the monthly instalments of their stories while Adrita Sanyal and Adrita Ghosh share their art with us.
Would you like to create for Young Voices? Each month, we accept three articles (non-fiction, fiction, reviews, travel writing, recipes etc) and artwork. If so, please do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, stay tuned and let us know what you thought of this month’s articles and we wish you a very happy start to the Swiss summer.
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