Welcome to the October issue of The Monthly View.

If you use British Sign Language interpreters, you might find our tips in this issue useful. We also look at some Makaton training that The Language Shop helped to deliver. October is a busy month, with Diwali, the Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist festival that celebrates light, and a Chinese festival called Chong Yang. It is also Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and culture of African and Caribbean people in the UK. Take a moment to learn about helping to prevent suicide for World Mental Health Day, and read about a fascinating ancient language called Nǀuu.

If you would like to share news on upcoming religious/cultural celebrations or health campaigns with us, please get in touch with Amy Soutter at amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk or 020 3373 8771. We also welcome any feedback on this newsletter.
Makaton training makes communication easier
The Language Shop was delighted to provide 14 of our customer representatives with Makaton training. 

Makaton is a signed communication system, specially developed for those who cannot or would prefer not to speak, or whose speech is unclear. As well as helping people to communicate, Makaton can also aid in the development of essential communication skills, such as listening and recall of words. 

We are proud to have helped bring 14 new Makaton users into the workplace!
Find out more about Makaton here
1-31 October: Black History Month
Every year since 1987, the UK has celebrated Black History Month throughout October. This is a commemoration of the contributions made to this country by men and women of African and Caribbean heritage, who have historically been overlooked by the mainstream. 

Black History Month was started by a Ghanaian-born man named Akyaaba Addai Sebo, who had travelled to the US and witnessed their own Black History Month celebrations. He chose October (as opposed to February, when it is held in the US) because it is the start of the academic year, aiming to give schoolchildren of African and Caribbean heritage a sense of pride as they embark on their new year of learning.

Black History Month 2019 focuses on the contributions made to the UK by black women. It also continues to highlight the plight of those caught up in the Windrush scandal. However, the events are as diverse as the diaspora itself: there are academic talks, art exhibitions, food events, music and dance, poetry readings and more. 

Across the UK, many public bodies and organisations take part in the celebration, promoting the achievements of black people within their fields or hosting events that fall under the year’s theme. You can find out what is happening near you by visiting the official Black History Month website listings. Click here if you would like to order a resources pack to plan your own event.
Is your organisation celebrating Black History Month? We would love to hear from you. Please get in touch by emailing amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk

Don’t forget: The Language Shop can provide communication support for your events. Please get in touch with your account manager if you have any special requirements. 
Get the best from your booking: British Sign Language interpreting
If you have a service user who is Deaf and you do not have British Sign Language (BSL), you will need to book a BSL interpreter. Working with Deaf service users and BSL interpreters requires preparation and awareness; charity Action on Hearing Loss provides advice on how to get the most from your interaction: 

•    BSL interpreting is especially tiring. If your appointment is longer than two hours, consider booking more than one interpreter. Always offer regular breaks. 

•    Book as early as possible, as BSL interpreters are in great demand.

•    If you need someone with specialist knowledge, please let us know. The Language Shop has access to interpreters with a range of specialisms. 

•    If there is any information you can provide in advance, please do so.

•    Think about the layout of the room; the service user and interpreter need to be able to see each other clearly. 

•    If using visual aids, ensure that the service user has time to look at them as well as the interpreter.

•    Expect the appointment to take longer than if there were no communication support needed.

If you have any questions or need to make a BSL interpreting booking, please get in touch by calling 020 3373 4000.
The Language Shop provides support in any language you may need, including many of the rarer ones.

Please speak to your account manager about your requirements.
7 October: Chong Yang Festival 
Chong Yang Festival is a traditional Chinese celebration, but is also celebrated in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. It falls on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, so is also known as the Double Ninth Festival. 

The ancient legend behind the day tells of a man named Heng Jing, whose parents  had died from a plague in his village, which had been caused by a devil. Heng Jing travelled to find an immortal to teach him expert sword fighting. Then Heng Jing led the people of his village up a mountain, holding chrysanthemums. The devil returned but was kept at bay by the smell of the flowers, allowing Heng Jing to attack and kill him. 

In ancient Chinese mysticism, which categorises objects as yin (female, dark) or yang (male, light), the number 9 is said to have a yang character; so the 9th day of the 9th month provides an imbalance of yang. For this reason, the Chong Yang Festival was traditionally a day of danger. In order to ward off the danger, people are still to this day encouraged to climb to heights, such as the tops of mountains or towers, drink chrysanthemum wine, wear a flower called zhuyu and eat special commemorative cakes. 

In Mandarin language, ‘double ninth’ is pronounced in the same way as ‘forever’ (jiu jiu), so people also mark the day by visiting the graves of their ancestors and celebrating older family members. 
China is a country of many languages; The Language Shop can provide support in all of them. Please contact us on 020 3373 4000 for more information, or speak to your account manager. 
World Mental Health Day
The World Federation for Mental Health launched its first World Mental Health Day on 10 October 1992. The federation quickly realised that there was great interest globally in more information on mental health issues. In 1994, they began to focus on a different theme each year. 

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2019 is suicide prevention. Globally, it is estimated that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds. On 10 October, World Mental Health Day aims to: 

•    improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem

•    improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide

•    reduce the stigma associated with suicide, and 

•    let people who are struggling know that they are not alone.

You can download a leaflet here offering suggestions on ways to participate.
The Language Shop has interpreters who are specially trained to help in sensitive situations. If you have specialist requirements, please contact your account manager to discuss how we can help you. 
Rare language fact file: Nǀuu
Native to: Northern Cape province, South Africa

Number of native speakers: 3

Spoken by: The San people

Learn some Nǀuu: Nǀuu is very difficult to transcribe in English, as it contains so many sounds that we don’t have; watch a video of one of its last remaining speakers teaching it here.

Interesting facts: 
•    Nǀuu is one of the world’s most complex languages, with 112 sounds, including 45 clicks. It is also tonal, so the meaning changes depending on the tone of the word.

•    It is considered the original language of southern Africa, but the use of it was violently suppressed by white settlers, leading large numbers of San people to use Afrikaans instead. The last remaining speakers of the language are women in their 80s. Despite their age, they are trying to conserve the language by teaching it to younger generations of San people. 

•    The language has several names, including ǀǀ’Au and Nǀǀng, but Nǀuu is the easiest for English speakers to pronounce. The vertical slash represents a clicking sound. The closest sound in English is the sound ‘noo’, with a ‘tsk’ like click in the middle of the ‘n’. 

 
27 October: Diwali 
The joyous five-day celebration of light known as Diwali or Dipavali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists across the world. Its name means ‘row of lights’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit. The celebration symbolises the triumph of light – in this case a metaphor for knowledge and truth as well as light itself – over darkness. 

The dates of Diwali are decided by the lunar calendar, so it varies in the UK each year. It usually falls in October and marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. 

Depending on the part of the world where Diwali is being celebrated, the order of festivities varies. For most people however, the first day involves thoroughly cleaning their homes and making decorative patterns called rangoli on the floor, using dry materials such as coloured sand or flour. These are said to welcome the gods into the home. 

Celebrations peak on either the second or third day, and involve dressing up, lighting the house with diya oil lamps, attending firework displays, giving gifts and mithai (sweets) and worshipping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. 

In the UK, Hindu mandirs sometimes open to the public for Diwali celebrations. The famous BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir in Neasden, northwest London, holds the largest Diwali celebration outside of India. 
Please get in touch if you would like to tell us about your Diwali celebrations!
India is a very diverse country, with many languages. If you have a client who needs support in an Indian language, The Language Shop can help. Please get in touch with your account manager with any questions. 
This month's dates at a glance