Tag Archives: 募金

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt: The Biggest Ever Easter Egg Hunt

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ある日、リージェント・ストリート近くでショーケースに入った大きな卵を見かけた。これは、「 Action for Children 」と「Elephant Family」という二つのチャリティ団体のための募金キャンペーン「The Big Egg Hunt / Faberge Big Egg Hunt」(スポンサーは宝石店のFaberge / ファベルジェ)の一環で、ロンドン各地に隠された200以上の巨大卵の一つ。ファイバーグラスで出来た高さ1mのこれらの卵は、アーティストやデザイナー、建築家、宝石細工人によって彩られた(卵のリスト)。

2010年のElephant Paradeに続き、カミラ夫人 (コーンウォール公爵夫人)の息子でフード・ライターの Tom Parker Bowles(トム・パーカー・ボウルズ)が、2011年11月にセレブリティが出席する「Eggs Faberge」スペシャル朝食会を開催したことをきっかけに、Big Egg Huntのコンセプトが誕生した。

この最大級のEaster egg huntイースター・エッグ探し)は、2月21日から開始。このイベントに参加すると、60もの宝石が埋め込まれた10万ポンド相当の18金の卵「Diamond Jubilee Egg」が当たるチャンスあり。参加方法は、各卵のケースに記されているキーワードをテキスト(80001)で送るだけ。1つの卵につきエントリーは1回のみなので、たくさん探せば探すほど、当たる確立は高くなる。12に分かれたzone maps(イベントマップ)はオンラインで入手可能。

展示されている卵は、「eggsclusive auctions」(exclusiveとeggをかけている)で手に入れることができる。約30の卵が3月21日のライブ・オークションにかけられ、残りはオンライン・オークションで販売される予定(4月9日まで入札受付)。オークションには手が出ないという人は、Selfridges(セルフリッジズ)デパートにあるThe Big Egg Shopで、手描きのミニチュアエッグやオイスターカード・ケース、トートバッグ、Paint-Your-Own-Egg packs(手描きキット)を買うことも出来る。売上げは全てElephant FamilyAction for Childrenに寄付される予定。

One night, I spot a big egg in a show case on a street near Regent street. This is  is one of over 200 giant eggs hidden across London, placed by a charity fundraising campaign “The Big Egg Hunt” or the “Faberge Big Egg Hunt“, in aid of Action for Children and Elephant Family, and sponsored by the jeweller FabergeThese meter high fibreglass eggs have been created by artists, designers, architects and jewellers (list of eggs).

Following the 2010 Elephant Parade, the Big Egg Hunt was first launched in November 2011 by a son of  Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and food writer Tom Parker Bowles, who created a special “Eggs Faberge” breakfast for the celebrities in attendance.

This largest ever Easter egg hunt launched on 21 February 2012. By participating the egg hunt, you can win an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Egg with 60 fine gems encrusted on this 18 carat gold egg, worth over £100,000! Each egg has a unique keyword at its location, and text this word to 80001 to enter (entries are open until April 3rd). 12 zone maps are available online. You can entry once for each egg, so the more eggs you find, the greater chance you will get to win the prize.

You can be the owner of one of these eggs through their eggsclusive auctions“; around 30 of the eggs are to be auctioned on March 20, and the others are being auctioned online, with bids closing at 5pm on April 9. If you cannot afford to buy on auction, you can also get the egg goodies including hand-painted miniatures of the Big Egg Hunt eggs, Oyster wallets, tote bags, and Paint-Your-Own-Egg packs at The Big Egg Shop at Selfridges. All profit go to the charities Elephant Family and Action for Children.

これが私の見た卵。彫刻家で「Society of Wildlife Artists」会長であるHarriet Mead(ハリエット・ミード)の作品。ウェブサイトで見てみたけれど、実際の卵には、くっついてるトカゲとバッタが見えないのだけれど??

This is what I saw. It is made by a sculptor and President of the Society of Wildlife ArtistsHarriet Mead. I checked her egg on the website, but I didn’t see the lizard and glass hopper on the actual egg??

Pray For Japan

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東北大地震から10日経った。イギリスは多国籍軍の中心メンバーであることもあり、メディアの関心はリビアへの軍事作戦に移っている。私は平和支持者という訳じゃないけれど、地震と津波によるあの惨事を目の当たりにしたら、どんな理由があるにせよ、人間自らの手で破壊行為を行ったり、人を殺したりすることが、阿呆らしいというか、何ともやるせなく思える。

Mはそろそろもう地震の事ばかり書かなくていいんじゃないかと言うけれど、復興は始まったばかり。いまだにたくさんの被災者の方々が避難生活を送っているし、福島原発の問題もまだ解決していない。だから、他にも書きたい事はいっぱいあるんだけれど、まだ地震以外の事は書けない。ロンドン情報を楽しみにしてくださっている方、申し訳ありません。

今日は、作曲家の未知瑠さんの音楽に、Kaori Onishiさんが書かれたイラストをのけた、可愛いビデオをご紹介します。またYouTubeに寄せられた、たくさんの日本への激励ビデオを見ていると、とても温かい気持ちになりますよね。

10 days after the Japan Earthquake & Tsunami, now Libya takes over media attention, as UK is a core member of the coalition force. I am not a pacifist, but after seeing the catastrophe caused by mother nature, I feel it is ridiculous and meaningless to destroy cities and kill someone with our own hands.

M told me that I don’t need to talk about the earthquake anymore, but the recovery effort is just started and still many evacuees are forced to live in gymnasiums, city halls and schools with insufficient help. I don’t know if Fukushima nuclear power stations will be restored, or if they can, when it will be. Therefore, please bare with me for a little bit more, though I have many topics that I want to talk about on my blog. I am sorry for some readers looking for information about London.

Today I found a video “Pray for Japan”, music by Michiru and illustration by Kaori Onishi. Watching many video messages to encourage Japan from the world cheers me up!

↓ 今日の支援情報

↓ Today’s Charity Information

It’s not the Money, it’s the Principle

誰かが掲示板に書いていたのを見たのだが、3月19日付のタイムズ紙に「Feel pity, but no need to give(同情するけれど、援助する必要は無い」という記事が出ていたそうだ。オンラインでは有料メンバーしか紙面を読む事ができないのでリンクは貼れないのだが、Disaster Emergency Committee(DEC:海外における主要な災害に対して効果的な人道支援を実施するための、独立した人道支援機関間のネットワーク)が、ハイチ地震の際のようなキャンペーンはしない、そして「イギリス赤十字はこれまで200万ポンドの義援金を集めたけれど、日本赤十字から海外からの援助は必要はないと言われた」とコメントした。

これに呼応する形で、British Democracy Forumというオンラインフォーラムに、「日本人は外国からの援助を嫌う。日本は『病的に』誇り高い国民で、海外からの干渉や助けを決して受け付けないから、時間の無駄だ」という、否定的かつステレオタイプなコメントが載せられた。

しかし日本赤十字社によると、これは全くの誤報だという。各国赤十字社がそれぞれ国内で受け付けた募金(救援金)は受け付ける旨を連絡しており、イギリス赤十字社を通じて集められた募金は、日本赤十字社が責任を持って被災者のために使うと言っている。

日本は世界でも有数の金持ち国だから援助は必要ないという声も多い。でも、先進国にしろ発展途上国にしろ、被災者のために何かしたいと言う気持ちは万国共通じゃないのか。ファイナンシャル・タイムズ (FT.com)は、どうしてアフガニスタンやベトナムといった貧しい国々が、日本を援助するのかと問うている。そして、それはお金ではなく道義の問題で、彼らの寛大さは将来忘れられる事はないと結論づけている。同感だ。助け合いの精神は人間が持つ美徳で、相手を思いやる心が、被害を受けた人たちを強く励ますと、私は信じている。インディペンデント紙の 「頑張れ日本、頑張れ東北」 と書かれた紙面が日本で話題を呼んだように、それは必ずしもお金である必要はないが、金銭的援助も「思いやり」の一つの形だと思う。日本人の美徳として、してもらったことは決して忘れないし、どこかで援助が必要な時には、必ず「恩返し」をするだろう。善意は回り回るのだ。今回の地震の際、海外から日本に多くの暖かい支援があったことをいつまでも心に留め、自分ができる事を、外国の人たちのためにもやっていきたいと思う。

↓ 今日の支援情報

↓ 東北地震&津波情報

There was upsetting article on the Times last Saturday with the headline, ’Feel pity, but no need to give.’ In the article, Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) comments that they don’t do a campaign like they did for Haiti, because the British Red Cross has raised £2 million for the Japanese Red Cross, which has a leading role in the disaster response, but, the Japanese charity itself said: “External assistance is not required.” I can’t link to the article, as only the paid member can read the Times online .

In response to the article, someone on the British Democracy Forum wrote “The Japanese have never liked aid from foreign countries, indeed if Japan had its own way it would cut itself off from the world. The Japanese are a proud nation of people (albeit a very sick one) and will never accept outside interference or help. Busy bodies should mind their own business and get on with it.” It is quite depressing to read such a negative (and stereotypical) comment about Japan.

However, the Japanese Red Cross insists that what the article says is not true. They contacted foreign Red Cross and informed that they accept any fund raised by Red Cross in each country. Japanese Red Cross also promised that they would be going to use all the money raised by the British Red Cross for victims suffered by the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

Some people say that there is no help necessary as Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. But I belive that helping people, no matter rich or poor, who are going through great hardship is universal,  and it is the virtue of human being. Financial Times (FT.com) raise the issue why poor countries such as Afghanistan and Vietnam are sending cash to the rich country like Japan. And it concludes that acts of generosity and solidarity that will not be forgotten – it is not the money, it’s the principle. I completely agree. The thoughts count, and the sympathy and compassion are great encourage for the people suffering. It doesn’t have to be money, that’s why many Japanese were moved by the Independent’s “Don’t Give Up Japan, Don’t Give Up Tohoku” cover, but money is one of a way to show your compassion. Japanese have a word “on-gaeshi,” which means “paying back to the kindness received”– they appreciate your help and will never forget what you do for them, and surely will return the favor you give them when you need help. Of course this is not only Japanese value but also universal, and goodwill will circulate itself – isn’t it beautiful? I will never forget the help Japan has received from so many people abroad, and I will help someone somewhere when it is necessary, as much as I can.

↓ Today’s “How to Help”

↓ Japan Earthquake & Tsunami information

Responses from British Red Cross for the “Small Print”

昨日書いた「但し書き」の続きです。掲示板からの抜粋ですが、何人かの方が送った疑問について、イギリス赤十字からの返答を転載させて頂きました。

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

寄付金が多く集まり過ぎた場合は他の事案に回すかもしれないが、過去に例はなかった。全ての寄付金は日本赤十字社に直接送られ、被災地のために使われるとのこと。

もう一人の方への返事はこういうもの。

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

但し書きに書いてあることは本当だが、経験上、長期間に渡るアピールの終わりにのみ起こりうる。そして、もし超過が出たとしても、災害直後に赤十字の貯蓄分から緊急支出された額を補填する目的のみに使われる。との説明。

過去にそういう例があったか無かったかは、二つのレスは矛盾しているけれど、この説明が本当なら、納得できる。British Red Crossも募金サイトやQ&Aでちゃんと明記していれば、私達も疑いもたずにすみ、質問状など送る必要は無かったのに。ちなみに私も質問メールを送っていますが、2日経った今、まだ返事は頂いていません。

A new information to my yesterday’s entry about “small print” of charities. Here are responses from British Red Cross to some people inquired about the issue, excerpted from the internet communication board.

Here is one.

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

Another response to a different person.

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

If what they say is true, I have no problem, though two responses conflict with each other whether any case of surplus happened in the past or not. However, the problem is that British Red Cross doesn’t explain the issue on their web page, either in the appeal or Q&A. If they do, we don’t have to be suspicious or waste some time to write to them and their time to write back. I also sent an inquiry to the Red Cross but I haven’t heard from them so far for two days. I guess they are busy at this time – another reason for them to clarify it on their website!

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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悲しいニュースが多い中で、心温まる話。涙を誘います。早く助けが来るといいな。

Heartwarming footage of the dog that refuses to abandon the wounded companion. Hope they will be saved soon…

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Read the “Small Print” on Charity’s Appeal

東北地方での地震発生から5日。まだ原発は危険な状態が続いており、各国政府は、被災地のみならず東京からの自国人の緊急避難を促している。被災地では寒さが続き、燃料不足と被曝への不安から物資が届かず、被災者の方たちの苦難は続く。国内外で不安がどんどん高まり、気分が滅入る。そんな絶望的な状況の中で、イギリスで支援の輪が増えてきたのが、せめてもの慰めだ。

ただ、インターネット掲示板などでも話題になっている事だが、いくつかの慈善団体が、日本への義援金集めと言いながら、目立たぬ但し書きで「もし必要以上にお金が集まった場合は、余剰の寄付金が他の案件に使われることもある」と書いている(イギリス赤十字Save the Childrenなど)。私が何とか力になりたいという衝動で寄付した時は、東北地震と謳っているからには当然集まったお金は日本の被災地のために使われると思い込んでいたので、説明なんて読まなかった。売買や契約などの際は、きちんと規約を読むようにしていたけれど、まさか慈善団体への寄付も、詳細を隅から隅まで読まないといけないとは思わなかった。どの慈善団体もそうなのだろうか?最後尾にせよ、募集サイト上に書いている赤十字は可愛いもので、Save the Childrenなどは、「寄付」をクリックしたあと、右側にある「Donation Q&As」から「What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?」を再度クリックしないと、表示されないという手の込みよう。

慈善団体は、彼らなりに今どこが援助を最も必要としているかを考えて、寄付金の使途を決めるのだろうが、特定の義援金集めを謳っている場合、人々は寄付金をその為に使ってくれると信じて寄付する訳だから、もしその他の事に使う可能性があるのであれば、そのことを人々に明確に告知する義務があるのではないか。これは掲示板からの抜粋だけれど、このことを赤十字に指摘したところ、返ってきた答えが以下の通り。

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money (though British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission), but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes, therefore, charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

その中で赤文字部分が気になる。日本赤十字社などとやり取りをした中でこう言われたのかもしれないが、あれだけの惨状を目当たりにして、「日本は先進国だから自分たちの面倒は自分で見られる、財政援助は求めていない」なんて無神経な事が、どうして言えるんだろう。財政援助はいらないと思うのであれば、寄付金を集める意味などないのでは?イギリス赤十字社のサイトに、目標額と現在の寄付金総額が記されていないのも、疑問が残る。しかも、28%のマージンまで取ると聞いている。まあ、疑心暗鬼になっていても仕方ないから、被災者の方々にできる限りの支援が届く事を信じるしかないか。

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

It’s been five days since the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. But nuclear fear still remains and many countries encourage their people to evacuate from not only affected area but also from Tokyo as well. It is freezing cold in Tohoku, but substantial amount of aid materials can’t be reached out to the evacuees due to lack of fuels and drivers’ fear of radiation. Fear and anxiety inside and outside of Japan has been heightened, and it makes me feel depressed. However, a little hope in such despair is that the circle of help in Japan is getting bigger in UK.

However, there is a concern being discussed on Japanese internet communication boards – some charities, such as British Red Cross and Save the Children, put “small print” on their Japan earthquake and Tsunami appeal, indicating that there is a possibility that the money raised may not necessary be used for Tohoku region, when the funds raised exceed the “need”. When I donated money to British Red Cross, I rushed to proceed without reading the description as I was so concerned, believing that all my money would be delivered to the victims in Japan. I always read terms and condition carefully when I sign a contract or purchase something, but I’ve never thought that even established charities use the same tactic that commercial companies use. Now I am confused if all charities do the same?! British Red Cross put the sentence on the same page of appeal at least, though it is all the way down the bottom, but Save the Children let us click twice to see it – it is on the second page after you click “give now”, then “What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?” from Donation Q&As on the right – clever way to make it less visible!

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money, apart from the fact that British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission, but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes. Charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

I am quite disturbed with the sentence in red. They might be told by Japanese Red Cross, but it is quite insensitive comment by such an established charity. Considering the intensity of the damage caused by massive earthquake, fierce Tsunami, and possible nuclear contamination, how on earth they can think that there is no need for financial help?! If they believe so, why they even try to raise funds for?? I also don’t like that their website doesn’t show project target and progress, as Ocado Japan Appeal does, so that I have a choice not to donate if the target is achieved and the further donation will be given to others. Well, no point to be overly suspicious, and I just really hope that enough help will be delivered to the victims in Japan…

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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How to Help Japan Earthquake Victims from UK

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ロンドンオリンピックまであと500日。トラファルガー広場に設置された大時計のカウントダウンが始まり(BBCニュース1)、チケットの販売が今日朝より開始された(BBCニュース2)。でも東北地震・津波の被害を思うと、日本人としてはお祭り気分にはほど遠い。原子力発電所問題がまだ未解決なので、こちらでもまだまだニュースで取り上げられているが、各国が表明した公的支援以外、メディアは一般人が貢献できる寄付や支援については、ほとんど取り上げていない。ハイチ大地震や東南アジアを襲った津波の際は、もっとニュースで支援を呼びかけたり、テレビCMや新聞広告を見たような気がしたのだが。その点、アメリカは日本の同盟国だということもあるのか、ネットで調べていても情報も多いし、セレブリティを含む人々の関心も高いと感じる。

その中で、何とか支援の輪を広げようと、慈善団体への寄付はもちろん、チャリティ・イベントやコンサートの企画、募金活動の組織、フェイスブックやミクシィでの情報交換など、頑張っている多くの在英日本人たちがいる。上のビデオは、日本人留学生が折り鶴を折って、LSE(ロンドン・スクール・オブ・エコノミクス)の前で募金活動をしている様子。日本人だけじゃなくて、イギリス人や他の国の人たちも、自分たちでも企画をしてくれると、もっと嬉しいんだけれど。

↓ 以下は今日集めた支援情報です。その他の支援については昨日のブログもご参照ください。

Today a giant clock placed in Trafalgar Square started counting down 500 days until the start of the London Olympics (BBC news 1), and 6.6 million Olympic tickets became available this morning (BBC news 2). But when I think about the victims of Japan Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami, I am not in a mood at all to celebrate all these Olympic stuffs. The media coverage is still big here in UK, as problems at nuclear power stations haven’t been solved yet. However, strangely the media rarely talks about help that ordinary people can do, rather than official aid from each country. I think I saw more TV commercials and newspaper ads, as well as information for charity on news programs for Haiti earthquake and Boxing Day Tsunami. On the other hand, I feel like Americans, including celebs, are more supportive and helpful, and more information for aids in the US – probably because USA and Japan are important allies.

There are many Japanese living in UK, trying to help the victims, not only donating to charities, but also organizing charity events and concerts, fundraising on a street, exchanging support information on local web community boards and SNS such as facebook and Mixi (Japan’s largest SNS community). The video above was taken from BBC London news, covering Japanese students making Origami cranes and fundraising in front of LSE. I wish the circle of support will spread, not only within Japanese community in UK, but also to British public and people from other countries – yes, Japan is the third largest economy in the world and you may think help is unnecessary, but the damage is enormous with astronomical cost or recovery, and the government has huge debt and the country is still in long-lasting recession. Of course Japanese government and people must help with each other too, but I am afraid it is not enough. Many people in the affected areas are elderly as young generation left for bigger cities and can’t afford to pay 30-year morgage, and fishermen and farmers on the coast are not millionaires as well…

↓ Here is additional information for help. Please also check yesterday’s entry for more information.


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Remembrance Sunday: National Commemoration @ Whitehall

CenotaphPoppy Appeal @ Oxford Circus

今日11月8日はRemembrance Sunday(休戦記念日曜日)、Remembrance Day(リメンバランス・デー/戦没者追悼記念日)の記念式典が行われた。Poppy Day(ポピーの日)、Armistice Day(第一次大戦の休戦記念日)、Veterans Day(退役軍人の日)とも呼ばれるRemembrance Dayは、第一次世界大戦とその後の戦争の死者を追悼する日で、1918年11月11日に連合国ドイツ帝国の間で休戦協定が締結されたことに因み、11月11日と定められている。当日11月11日にも2分間の黙祷が捧げられるが、通常、Remembrance Sundayと呼ばれる11月の第2週目の日曜日に、ロンドンのWhitehallホワイトホール)にあるCenotaph(慰霊碑)前で、王室関係者や政府要人が参加して行われる国の追悼式典のほか、各地の戦争記念碑(war memorials)で慰霊祭が行われる。

今日の追悼式典では、小雨まじりの曇り空の中、20分の宗教儀式の始めに、コモンウェルス(イギリス連邦)高官、首相、世界の宗教代表、軍隊のリーダーたちが見守る中、エリザベス女王を筆頭にポピーの花輪が次々と捧げられた。そして午前11時に2分間の黙祷。その後7500人もの退役軍人と1600人の一般人が、慰霊碑前でパレードを行った。→BBCニュース

この時期、イギリスでは、胸に紙製の赤いポピーの花をつけている人を多く見かける。これは、1921年にRoyal British Legion(英国在郷軍人会)が、戦没者への募金を集めるために赤いポピーを売ったのが始まりで、第一次世界大戦の激戦地・西部戦線(フランドル戦線)のあった、フランダース地方に多く生えている赤い芥子の花(フランダース・ポピー)に由来しており、赤い色は戦争で流された血を意味する。この紙製のポピーは、退役軍人によって作られており、英国在郷軍人会の名の下で、街角での募金活動やスーパーなどの店頭で販売され、収益は退役軍人のサポートに当てられる。上の写真はオックスフォード・サーカスの街角での募金活動。下の写真は、Angel(エンジェル)の街角で、赤いタータンチェックのキルトに身を包んで、道行く人と楽しそうに話しながら募金活動していたおじいさんをスーパーで発見、こっそり撮影させていただきました。

Today is Remembrance Sunday and the Remembrance Day national commemoration was held in London’s Whitehall. The remembrance day, also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day (the event it commemorates) or Veterans Day, is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of wars since the First World War. It is observed on 11 November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918, when German signed the Armistice. Although two minutes of silence are observed on 11 November itself, but on Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November), ceremonies are held at local war memorials nationwide, and the national commemoration is held at Cenotaph in Whitehall to remember those men and women who have died in action serving their country.

Under the gray sky at the this year’s national commemoration in Whitehall, the Queen Elizabeth laid the first wreath of poppy flowers at the start of a 20-minute religious service, in front of the prime minister, military leaders, representatives of the world’s religions, and Commonwealth representatives. After two-minute silence at 11 am, 7,500 ex-service personnel and 1,600 civilians marched past the Cenotaph. →BBC news

Around the Remembrance Day, you see many people wearing red poppy flower made of paper, as a sign of remembrance. The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies (Flanders poppy) that bloomed across one of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, with their red color which is an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare. This artificial poppies are made by veterans and are sold on behalf of the Royal British Legion on the street by volunteers or at the stores. The sale go towards supporting former soldiers. The photo above is the fund raising at the junction of Oxford Circus. The photo below is the old gentleman in red tartan kilt, who sold the poppies at the street corner of Angel and enjoyed chatting with a passerby. I happened to have a chance to take a picture of him (secretly) at the Waitrose supermarket.

Poppy Appeal


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