LORD GANESHA GAYATRI MANTRA
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  • Om lambodaraya vidmahe, mahodaraya dhimahi,
  • Tano danti prachodayat. |
  • Om mahakarnay vidmahe, vakratundaya dhimahi,
  • Tano danti prachodayat. |
  • Om ekadantaya vidmahe, vakratundaya dhimahi,
  • Tano danti prachodayat. |
  • Om tathapurusaya vidmahe, vakratundaya dhimahi,
  • Tano danti prachodayat. |
  • - - - END |

Columbus Day History | Who was Columbus

Columbus day is celebrated on 8th of October every year. This is a national holiday in many countries of America and on this day many government bodies remain closed. It is not celebrated in the full continent of America. There are some countries that do not celebrate this day.

Happy Columbus Day

On this day Christopher Columbus visited America in the month of October in the year 1492. The arrival of Christopher is celebrated as Columbus day in the United States of America by the name “Dia de la Raza” (“Day of the Race”). This day is celebrated with a different name in different parts of America. It is celebrated by the name "Día de la Hispanidad" in some countries in Latin America. In many parts of the world, it is the religious festivity known as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay. In Italy it is celebrated by the name Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo. It is celebrated as the Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural in Argentina which means the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity. In Spain, it is celebrated as "Fiesta Nacional" and "Día de la Hispanidad".

Who was Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus was born in the year 1451 in Genoa (Italy). He was a colonist, navigator, an Italian explorer. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he had completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. He initiated the permanent European colonization of the Americas and it was the first European expeditions to South America, Caribbean, and Central America.

When Christopher Columbus was 42 years old, he wanted to find the new route to India, so he sailed across the Atlantic ocean from Spain in Santa Maria, with Nina and Pinta ships alongside. In the search for India, he did not reach India but instead, he found the new land. He calls the people that he met there Indians because he was convinced that he reached the series of Indies island. He wanted to reach India because the trade of spices and silk with India and China was very profitable and he could make a lot of money with it and could become incredibly rich. In those days, there was a misconception that the world is flat and there was no other way to reach India and China. But many people still believed that the world is not flat. Columbus also believed that the world was round and it was possible to sail to the west and reach India and China. He believed that he could reach Asia with half of the food and limited supply of resources. For this, he had appeared in many places to fund his voyage to Asia by traveling South. The people there did not like the idea and he got rejection from Genoa, Venice, and Portugal. But he had not stopped there. He went to Spain in the year 1486  and tried to persuade King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to finance his expedition. But they were at war and did not have time and money for exploration. So he was rejected there also.

In the year 1492, the war ended and they decided to give Columbus the money he needed. On August 3, 1492, Columbus began to sail to the West from Spain. After 2 months of sailing, Columbus reached Bahamas, landing on the island that he named San Salvador. He did not find enough gold in the San Salvador island. So he decided to explore other islands in search of gold. On the eve of Christmas in the year 1492, the largest ship, Santa Marina was sinking, so the ship had to be abandoned. Columbus left 13 crewmen in to start a settlement and hoped to find more gold. Columbus took some of the native people with him to Spain. Besides gold, he bought with him pineapple, tobacco, parrots, and turkeys. He did this just to prove that there were riches outside of Spain. He was given the title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea and he was also appointed as the Governor of the new land.

The news of the discovery of the new land which Columbus had found began to spread in entire Europe and many explorers had begun in search for more gold. This time Columbus set off with 17 ships and more than 1000 men. But gold was not found and the agreement was broken. The people were against Columbus and he was arrested and in 1500, sent back to Spain. Later, he was eventually freed but he lost his title and much of his wealth. But, here also he did not quit and in 1502, he started his new voyage. It was his final Voyage to the new world. He was still in search of the route to India and China.

 In 1504, he returned to Spain. And on May 20th 1506, Christopher Columbus died at the age of 54. He probably still believed that he had successfully sailed to Asia. Christopher Columbus was not the first person to discover America and also, he was not the first European to reach out to the new world. But the Christopher Columbus voyage had a huge impact in the world as he began the new period of trade and colonization. Animals, plants, diseases went back and forth across the ocean and have a long-lasting impact on every culture of the planet. It changed the way of trade, business and in an overall sense, increased the economy of the countries.

History of Columbus Day

Columbus day was first celebrated in the year 1792. It was celebrated when Tammany Hall held an event to remember the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. The Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began to organize annual religious ceremonies and parades in the honor of Christopher Columbus.On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage, the Americans were encouraged by the president, Benjamin Harrison in the year 1892, to celebrate Columbus’s achievements as a patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”Columbus Day is declared as a national holiday in the year 1937 by president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. It waslargely a result of influential Catholic fraternal organization, lobbying by the Knights of Columbus.On every 12th of October, this day was celebrated until 1971. But after 1971, it was changed to the second Monday in October. This day is celebrated with host parades by local groups and street fairs wear colorful costumes, music and Italian food will be there to eat. In many parts of America on this day, indigenous people are honored by setting up events such as dance events and lessons about Native American culture. There used to be many activities including pow and wows.

Why Columbus Day is not celebrated in some cities

There are many cities in the United States which do not celebrate Columbus day. They have their own set of perspective related to Christopher Columbus and so instead of celebrating Columbus Day in the month of October, the people of the cities celebrate the Indigenous day. Instead of honoring European explorer Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, Indigenous People’s day is celebrated so that the native Americans commemorate their shared culture. There are certain reasons why they don’t celebrate this day and chose to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Few of their reasons are listed below.

  • 1. First of all, Christopher Columbus was not American. Any other countries do not award a National holiday for a person who does not even belong to this country. And Columbus had never come to this country. He had not visited any part of the 50 United States
  • 2. Columbus’s idea was to reach Asia by traveling to the west. He thought that by doing so he can reach Asia faster and with less amount of food and other resources. He had considered the size of the earth 1/3 times smaller and disregarded Eratosthenes. Eratosthenes was a Greet mathematician living in Egypt about 1700 years ago in the 3rd century BC. He had already calculated the width and breath of the earth and from many years people used to follow his calculations. Columbus was totally wrong with his assumption that by traveling to the west he could reach Asia faster. He was rejected from many places including  Venice, Portugal, and Genoa. Then he visited Spain and after few years, the King of Spain accepted his idea and provided Columbus with the necessary resources for his voyage. It is still believed that the King of Spain had only accepted this idea so that to keep Columbus going for other Kings and to keep that idea as a backup plan. The King of Spain was not entirely sure of the Columbus idea.
  • 3.We only see the good side of Christopher Columbus. Columbus was cruel and his men used women and girls as sex slaves. There used to be girls as young as nine or ten years of age and they were used as slaves in the Columbus army.
  • 4.Columbus had killed many people who were not ready to accept Christianity. He used to believe that he was playing a divine part in Christianizing the world. “Bring them to the light,” and if people refused to change their religion, then they were getting killed, even if they did not understand what they were trying to tell the people.
  • 5. It is said that Columbus had discovered America but in reality, Columbus had not discovered anything. When he and his group of men came to the land, there were already people living there and he called those people as ‘Indies’. He just came there and started living there and as he had the army of men with weapons, he started to rule there forcefully.
  • 6. Many native people were tortured and murdered by Columbus. He used to cut the ears and noses of the people as a punishment. He had cut many people’s hand also for not bringing enough gold in every 3 months. As he had promised the King of Spain to bring more and more gold as the King of Spain had given him 17 ships and an army of more than thousand men and as he couldn’t fulfill the demand the inducement cited above. The Spanish people had to torture many Indians. They used to test their sword by cutting Indian people half in a single stroke. There used to be a competition among them to see who can do this thing and by a single stroke of the attack, the body should be cut in two pieces. “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James Loewen have a detailed description of this story. In the Columbus time, there used to be many butcher shops all over the Caribbean where the bodies of Indian people were sold as a food for the dogs. Monteria was a practice at that time also, known as manhunt in which Indians were hunted by war dogs. These dogs were fed human flesh.
  • 7. Most American used to celebrate this day blindly and many of them do not even know who Columbus was. They just blindly follow the pattern. It used to keep going like this until Washington Irving. He wrote A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in the year 1828. This is the popular book that describes the “Columbus sailed to prove the earth wasn’t flat” story. Christopher Columbus was not even known until a century later, Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization looking for a role model for Americans to celebrate. And when Franklin Roosevelt created Columbus day in 1937, then America’s new role model was born. And from then on Columbus day is celebrated.   

Columbus was above all an explorer, and his historic achievements opened America to trade and the eventual English settlements, settlements which grew into the most successful bastion of freedom and prosperity in human history, the United States of America. –Tom Tancredo


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