What’s Special about September 2022 ?
This particular September not merely ushers in a new season but also the first September to be free from lockdowns and travel restrictions (in most countries) ever since coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a pandemic ravaging humanity, even though Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic resulting in Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity have worsened.
It is indeed the first September during which there has been the dramatic escalation of outright exploitation or oppression, heavy-handed suppression or persecution, and unmitigated invasion or annexation, all of which have transpired via or within the regulations, procedures and operations of social institutions both within and between entities, states or countries, most notably those undergoing significant disturbances or seismic shifts in their sociocultural, political and media landscapes and information ecosystems, as well as those engaging in a series of aggrieved contests and existential tussles between (the autonomy of) self-governance and (the autocracy of) an authoritarian alternative. Many regions across the globe are poised between runaway inflation and impending recession, if not already ravaged by climate change, natural disasters, energy crisis, food insecurity, economic instability and the like. The world seems to be entering into an uncharted territory of facing multiple social, political and environmental quagmires.
Moreover, the September of 2022 has paramount importance in history as it is the very month during which people across the globe witnessed the end of the second Elizabethan era, as they bade their final farewell to Her Majesty The Queen👑. Ongoing concerns around royal privilege and social inequality aside, there now exist the questions and challanges regarding the continuity and legitimacy of the (supposedly nonpartisan, politically voiceless and uncontentious) constitutional monarchy both within and without the United Kingdom of Great Britain comprising England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, let alone the fallout from Brexit. Nevertheless, the tradition associated with the royal institution may be tailored to suit the zeitgeist, and be commensurately transformed to better gel with the evolution of social values. Conscientious English teacher, Paul Fornale, who has been a veteran of “written editorials and advocacy essays”, reflected on the legacy of the British monarchy as follows on the 20th of the month:
Illness kept me home from school yesterday, and I watched the BBC’s coverage of the state funeral for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. The grandeur, the pomp, the ceremony, and the tradition of it all reflected the importance of the monarchy to the people of the United Kingdom, as well as to the nations of the Commonwealth, for whom Her Late Majesty served as head of state. As her son, King Charles III begins his reign, we can anticipate that his coronation, whose date is as yet unannounced, will take place on a comparable scale.
Naturally, all of this raises once again the question of whether the U.K. should simply retire the monarchy as an institution. Apart from the fact that it costs taxpayers over £100 million per year, many critics protest that the institution can never separate itself from Britain’s brutal colonial legacy. Though many British colonies gained independence during Elizabeth’s 70-year reign, this liberation too often came as a result of armed struggle as the British government showed great reluctance to relinquish control over lands that had brought wealth and prestige to the British Empire, always at the expense of the people suffering colonial oppression.
British colonialism lasted roughly four centuries, and the Empire committed injustices from seizure of people’s properties to oppression of workers to environmental devastation to murder and genocide. For many people who inhabit the former colonies, the monarchy represents an inhuman legacy. Even prior to colonialism, the British throne thrived on a barbaric feudal system that dehumanized and exploited its own subjects, and British sovereigns came to rule Scotland and Ireland as the result of campaigns far more devastating than the one Russian President Vladimir Putin currently wages in Ukraine.
Sadly, Elizabeth remained mostly silent on all of this. The occupant of the throne has little role in government, and of that little the vast bulk takes the form of ceremony. Nevertheless, ceremony carries significant symbolic power, which, properly and judiciously applied, could earn the crown legitimacy and enable it to earn a status beyond that of a vestigial remnant of an outdated, shameful monolith.
As Charles becomes the latest figurehead for the kingdom, opinion polls generally show that a majority of British subjects support keeping the Royal Family as a public institution. However, a majority of young adults — those in the 18 to 24 age group — believe [that] the time has come for an elected head of state. Should later generations voice the same views, the British monarchy could find itself obsolete by the middle of this century.
For the moment, most Britons love and value this institution. If it has any meaningful value, King Charles has the burden of making that value clear. He also inherits an invaluable opportunity to address the historical atrocities that have brought his predecessors — and now himself — to the throne. His subjects will ultimately decide whether the U.K. remains a kingdom, and they will do so based on the case [that] the king builds for the monarchy’s legitimacy.
Another blog post also published on the 20th September as Paul Fornale’s is that of Rebecca Parnaby-Rooke, a writer and blogger who lives with long Covid and works with marginalised and disabled people as well as those alienated or discriminated against by churches. Comprising “the text of a sermon [that Rebecca] gave to The Ordinary Office community on Sunday 18th September 2022 about grief”, the well-written post entitled “Grief & Joy” reflects not merely her ongoing search for a more inclusive church community and progressive theology but also her understanding of the wide-ranging public reactions towards the passing of the longest-reigning British monarch whose monarchical legacy and posthumous reckoning have been thrown into sharp relief and high contrast by the chequered history of imperialism superimposed with the glorious pageantry of royal aristocracy, which was simultaneously encapsulated by the sombre expression of grief witnessed at the state funeral on the one hand, and the tacit embodiment of joy about the deceased’s seven-decade reign with indefatigable dedication on the other:
We are surrounded by [grief] at the moment. The very public grief of the royal family as they have lost their matriarch. For many of us, our own grief at the loss of the Queen, a constant in our lives. For others of us, we may have personal griefs [that] we are trying to hold while we are surrounded by [wall-to-wall] ritual, rites and memorials. Patients on palliative care pathways reminded of what is to come for their loved ones as they face their own [end-of-life] journeys. We know [that] grief is powerful, for even Jesus wept in the presence of Lazarus’ tomb. The world is so very heavy right now.
Grief comes in many forms. For example, over the summer I managed to get back to my hometown, and the beach [that] I grew up by. Getting my toes back in the sand was heavenly. Realising [that] I could only get a few metres onto the sand before it was too much, was crushing. I had to sit and watch from a distance as my family collected shells, plodged in the surf and enjoyed their freedom. I have learned to value what I have; dozing on the sand hearing the waves and feeling the breeze on my face was blissful. But oh what I would have given to get my feet in the water. My overriding emotion that day was grief.
Sometimes we hold our own personal grief. Sometimes, it is shared. On Monday as we witness the State Funeral of the Queen, there will be much shared grief. But we also recognise the grief of those who have had appointments cancelled. The grief of those who have lost income when their bank accounts are already worryingly low. The grief of those who are completely overwhelmed by the upheaval in the world and just needed the day to be routine – yet business[es] are closed, carers are absent and they sense tension in the atmosphere. Perhaps not comparable to the grief of losing a Queen. But to someone whose world consists of their immediate sensory experience, who has no concept of a Queen let alone who she was, the disruption and desperateness is not comparable at all.
It is 70 years since the last death of a monarch in Britain. Since that time we understand so much more about grieving. About inclusion, trauma. About human contact, such as holding a loved one[’]s hand through their hardest of days. Why, I wonder, has Operation London Bridge not taken such developments into account. As King Charles has been under intense pressure, travelling the UK, scrutinised over pens and had his demeanour analysed, should he not be curled up under the duvet with Camilla sorting him out hot chocolates and rubbing his feet while they binge watch the latest Bridgerton? My last bout of grief, I spent a week playing Little Alchemy 2 and getting up to 625 items from the basic 4. No regrets – although I haven’t touched it since. And I certainly wasn’t in a fit state to be doing the household admin, let alone conduct matters of state importance.
For some the collective expression of grief has been helpful. The pilgrimage-like scenes [that] we have witnessed as people queue to see the Queen’s coffin have been incredible. For others, it has all been too much, and that must be respected too. We can learn from the experiences which differ from our own. For those who saw the Queen as proactive in oppression and colonialism, we should listen to their voices and seek to understand. If the treatment of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex isn’t enough evidence [that] systemic racism is embedded throughout the fabric of our country, I don’t know what is. A person’s life is never made of a single thread, but woven with multiple strands.
Wherever you personally sit on the scale of grief, be it overwhelmed with emotion or barely interested, be it related to Queen Elizabeth or something else. Know that you are not alone. This is where the strength of collective expressions of grief come into play. When we all pause together, as we have the opportunity to do on Monday, we can reflect on the Queen’s life, our own lives and anything else on our hearts.…
In the East, the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival, Chinese Lantern Festival, 🥮Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a very popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. Similar holidays have long been celebrated in numerous countries such as Japan (Tsukimi), Korea (Chuseok), Vietnam (Tết Trung Thu), and other countries in East and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. In 2022, the festival falls on the 10th of September.
Around the globe, there are several multinational festivals and holidays in September:
- Rosh Hashanah: usually September, sometimes early October see “Moveable”
- Yom Kippur: late September, early October see “Moveable”
- Sukkot: sometimes late September, usually October see “Moveable”
Looking beyond the 🌎Earth into 🌌outer space, one can attest that this is the first September to benefit from the James Webb Space Telescope after it was launched on 25 December 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. In addition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has conducted its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on the 26th by intentionally crashing a probe into Dimorphos, the minor-planet moon of the asteroid Didymos.
The Birthstone for September is Sapphire💎, which is not just the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Virgo and Libra but also the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary or a 45th wedding anniversary. On 6 February 2017, Queen Elizabeth II👑 became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne. The Birth Flower for September is Aster🌼. Last but not the least, there are plenty of excellent Poems📜 and Songs🎶 composed specifically for September, the best of which have been specially chosen by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ for you to celebrate and commemorate this highly eventful and memorable month.