History & Significance of Labour Day
Labour Day is celebrated on the 1st of May in many countries – India, Nigeria, Mexico, Jordan and Chile, to name a few. As the name suggests, it’s a day dedicated to labourers and workers. While most countries observe labour day on the 1st of May, the occasion is commemorated on other days in various countries – for instance, it is celebrated on the first Monday of every September in the United States.
Popularly known as May Day, Labour Day helps us take a pause and celebrate the people that toil to serve us. Further, it encourages them to be aware of their rights. One might very well ask, what is the history of Labour Day? Read on to find out this, and more.
History of Labour Day
May Day coincides with the US Labour Movement that took place in the United States in the 19th century. On this very day, several labour unions across the United States went on strike. Their demand: a standard workday of eight hours. While the protests did not prove to be immediately effective, the exercise ultimately bore fruit – 8-hour workdays became the norm in countries across the globe.
Importance of Labour Day for Kids
Learning the importance of labour day for kids is something that will hold them in good stead in their future years. When we are raising our children, one of the first things we want to do is inculcate in them a sense of the dignity of labour. While your child might be travelling comfortably in an air-conditioned car, the last thing you want is for them to demean those that are less fortunate. For instance, they should have respect for the poor man cleaning the windows of their car. Even though that might not be a regular job, it is honest labour, after all.
The best way to impress that idea of ‘dignity of labour’ on your children, is to foster in them a sense of gratitude for all that they have. They should know that while they might be enjoying luxuries in the here and now, those very luxuries can be taken away in the whisk of an instant. Help them understand that a lot of labourers have toiled to help them enjoy things like the cars they move around in and the houses they live in.
Facts about Labour Day for Kids
Here are some interesting facts revolving around May Day, that you would be pleasantly delighted to know.
Who actually founded Labour Day? While it is unclear who the actual person was that founded Labour Day, there are records that indicate that Peter J. McGuire, who was the General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labour, actually suggested having a holiday that celebrated the working class.
People traditionally wear white clothes on this day. The history of Labour Day is pretty interesting as it dates back to the late Victorian era when the wearing of any white clothing after the summer officially ended on Labour Day. Of course, this tradition is not followed by most people; but it’s interesting to note, nonetheless.
In India, it was an appeal that did it! In India, May Day was officially declared as a national holiday after an appeal made by the MDMK chief Vaika, to the then-president VP Singh.
It throws light on the harsh injustice in the world. According to a study, there are around 30 million people in the world who suffer from slavery, working in hazardous conditions and getting paid far less than they should, for the great amount of hard work they do.
Most of the exploited labourers are children. Yes, a whopping 200 million children are estimated to be working in the world today, and out of these, around 120 million have been working in extremely dangerous conditions.
Significance of Labour Day
While the importance of May Day is well known to us, do we actually comprehend the true significance of Labour Day?
In reality, Labour Day is not merely a holiday where people think about the importance of labourers for a scant few moments and then forget all about them until the next Labour Day. Unbeknownst to many, there are several events that are organized around the world on this day, to help remind people of labour rights. Further, messages are conveyed across various television channels, to shed light on the same.
At EuroKids, we believe firmly in the dignity of labour. Right from the upper echelons of management, to the people who clean our various classrooms scattered around the world, we pay a great deal of respect to every employee. We strive to have this ethos rub off on your children, with a view to making them grow up as respectable members of society.