Gladiolus is the traditional flower of August.

August 2021 Cultural Diversity Review

Cultural Diversity

The revolutionary spirit in July continues into August with a large amount of independence days taking place around the world as many countries threw off their colonial shackles during this month. The biggest religious festival in August this year is the widely observed, but not well known Christian festival of Assumption.

Month info: Originally called Sextilis by the Romans. In 8 BC it was renamed in honor of Augustus. It was chosen to honour his victories that took place in this month. The Anglo-Saxons called August “weod-monath” (weed month).

Featured Holiday in August

August 15th: Indian Independence Day

Indian Independence Day is always celebrated on 15 August. It is the National Day of India.

Also known as ‘I-Day’, this public holiday marks 15 August 1947, when India became a dominion within the Commonwealth.

Friction between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition British India, creating East and West Pakistan.

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Notable Holidays in August

August 1st: Swiss National Day

On August 1st 1291, three forest cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden signed the Federal Charter, which is seen as the foundation of Switzerland.

In German it is known as ‘Schweizer Bundesfeier’ ; in French as ‘Fête nationale Suisse’; in Italian as ‘Festa nazionale svizzera’ and Romansh as ‘ Fiasta naziunala Svizra’.

It was in 1891 that the date of Swiss National day was first decided upon, though it took over a hundred years before the Swiss decided to have a vote and give themselves the day off. Following the vote in September 1993, the day became an official national holiday in 1994.

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August 1st: Emancipation Day

This holiday marks the end of slavery in the British Empire.

It is a public holiday in several Caribbean countries and though the holiday commemorates events that took place on 1 August 1834, it may be celebrated in different days in these countries.

Slavery was finally abolished throughout the British Empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which came into effect on August 1st 1834. The territories controlled at that time by the East India Company, Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) and St. Helen’s were excluded. Slavery was not abolished in these regions until 1843.

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August 15th: Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a very important day in the Catholic religion. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Jesus Christ.

This feast day commemorates two events – the departure of Mary from this life and the assumption of her body into heaven.

The Church’s official doctrine of the Assumption says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. This is why there are no relics for Mary as according to the Catholic Church, she didn’t die and leave a body.

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August 30th: Janmashtami


This is one of the most important Hindu festivals, Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti) is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu who gave the vital message of the Bhagwat Gita – the guiding principles for every Hindu.

Across India, there will be ceremonies and prayers at temples dedicated to Krishna. The day before may consist of fasting and prayer up to midnight, the time at which it was said that Krishna was born.

Krishna was born in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. In this region, a common tradition is the performance of Krishna Lila, a folk drama consisting of scenes from Krishna’s life.

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National Days in August

25 countries have their national days in August. How many people in the company do you know from each country? Remember to wish them a happy national day!

Aug 01BeninIndependence Day: Independence from France in 1960
Aug 01SwitzerlandNational Day: Alliance against the Holy Roman Empire 1291, between Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden
Aug 04Cook IslandsConstitution Day: Self-government in free association with New Zealand in 1965
Aug 05Burkina FasoIndependence Day: Independence from France in 1960 and Change of name from Upper Volta in 1984
Aug 06BoliviaNational Day: Proclamation of Republic (independent from Spain) in 1825
Aug 06JamaicaIndependence Day: The Colony of Jamaica’s independence from the UK on 6 August 1962
Aug 07Ivory CoastIndependence Day: Independence from France in 1960
Aug 09SingaporeNational Day: Singapore became independent from the Federation of Malaysia on 9 Aug 1965
Aug 10EcuadorNational Day: Proclamation of independence from Spain in 1809
Aug 11ChadIndependence Day: Independence from France in 1960
Aug 14PakistanIndependence Day: Marks Pakistan’s independence from British rule in 1947
Aug 15IndiaIndependence Day: On August 15, 1947, India became a dominion within the British Commonwealth
Aug 15LiechtensteinLiechtenstein State Celebration: Commemorates the birthday of Prince Franz Josef II as well as the Feast of the Assumption
Aug 15Republic of the CongoNational Day: Marks Independence from France in 1960
Aug 15South KoreaLiberation Day: Gwangbokjeol. Liberation from Japanese rule in 1945
Aug 17GabonNational Day: Independence from France in 1960
Aug 17IndonesiaProclamation of Independence day: Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan R.I. Independence from Japan in 1945
Aug 19AfghanistanIndependence Day: Independence from United Kingdom control over Afghan foreign affairs in 1919
Aug 24UkraineIndependence Day: Independence from the Soviet Union 1991
Aug 25UruguayIndependence Day: Dia de la Independencia. Declaration of independence from Brazil 1825
Aug 27MoldovaIndependence Day: Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union 1991
Aug 30Turks and Caicos IslandsConstitution Day: The islands adopted a constitution on August 30, 1976
Aug 31KyrgyzstanIndependence Day: On 31 August 1991, the Kyrgyz parliament declared independence from the Soviet Union
Aug 31MalaysiaMerdeka Day: Hari Merdeka. Independence (within the Commonwealth) from the United Kingdom in 1957
Aug 31Trinidad and TobagoIndependence Day: Marks independence from the UK in 1962

Display your Diversity!

We have added several images to brighten up your backgrounds and highlight cultural diversity during August! For instance, If you are Malaysian and on a video conference on Aug 31, why not show your national pride and set your background to our Malaysian National Day background?

There is a Day for That!

Throughout the month, there are days set aside to observe all sorts of events, some serious and some not so serious. These days can provide interesting ways to engage employees in diversity issues. The table below shows a selection of these days with some ideas how you could use them within your organization.

4thNational Night Out DayDiscussion: What is your favorite night out?
12thInternational Youth Day  Action: Tell someone under 18 what you do and why it is important.
15thNational Relaxation DayDiscussion: What’s the best way to relax?
16thNational Tell a Joke DayDiscussion: Share a one-liner joke – keep it clean!
26thNational Women’s Equality DayFact: On August 26th 1920 the 19th amendment gave women the vote.

Visit for a full list of observances during August 2021