Sunday, April 18, 2010

El Dia del Niño-The Day of the Child

Image from
El Dia del Niño (Day of The Child) is celebrated in Mexico on April 30th. Our service-learning partner, Casa de los Angeles, will be sending our ASL class a variety of photos of this celebration taken at the daycare center. So, check back in early May to see these photos.

Since 1925, this annual holiday honors the importance and well-being of children in society. Celebrations can include cultural events, parties, parades, piñatas and fundraising for the benefit of children. Many communities in the United States also celebrate El Dia del Niño, some in unique ways, such as libaries launching literacy campaigns.
El Dia del Niño is celebrated not only in Mexico, but in other Latin American countries as well. Below is a video clip of the Festival of El Dia del Niño Añu in Venezuela. This ethnographic film was funded by the Anthropology Dept. at UC Santa Cruz. The filmaker describes the video as follows:

"This is a short ethnographic exploration of the annual "Day of the Añu Child" festival held in the Sinamaica Lagoon in July. The Sinamaica Lagoon is located in Venezuela's Zulia State, adjacent to Lake Maracaibo, which is the largest body of freshwater in South America. Its home to the Añu indigenous community, members of the group live in small houses built on stilts rising out of the lagoon's brackish waters.

The main form of transportation for the Añu is by lanchas, small shallow boats powered either by small outboard motors or paddles. The ancestors of the Añu were the first South American inhabitants to make contact with Spanish colonials.

Today they practice a religion that is a hybrid of catholic faith and animistic religions that pre-date Spanish influences, as in the representation of the Virgen de Carmen as both the Virgin Mary and Madre del niño Añu" (

On an international level, UNICEF and other non-profit organizations raise awareness of the rights of children, for example, by celebrating World Day Against Child Labor, this year on June 12th.

"World Day Against Child Labour, celebrated on 12 June, this year highlights the continuing challenges to eliminating the worst forms of child labour, with a focus on exploitation of girls. Here is a related story. KIPUSHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, 12 June 2009 Covered in powder, Sylvian, 2, sits alongside his mother, pounding rocks with a mallet in an ore heap in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rocks, dust and sun: This is the only life Sylvian has known. According to Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to be protected from economic exploitation. Through the efforts of Group One, a UNICEF-supported Belgian non-governmental organization, this is starting to happen in DR Congo. Group One and UNICEF are working to remove children from the hazardous working conditions in the quarry and get them back to school"
(UNICEF: June 12: World Day Against Child Labor from ( This summarizes the following video on the subject.

Do you know of any other countries that have similar celebrations of children? If so, please feel free to share your comments.

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