The Google Doodle for December 12th celebrates Kenya’s Independence Day. Kenya became an independent country in 1963 and was admitted into the Commonwealth as a republic, or ‘Jamhuri’ (Swahili for ‘republic’) exactly one year later in 1964. Due to this, the 12th of December is also referred to as Jamhuri Day.
The history of Kenyan Independence Day
The 12th of December 1963 saw the African country of Kenya gain independence from the British after being under rule of the sovereign state since the late 19th century. According to Britannica, Kenya officially became a British colony in 1920 and African demands for more involvement in political processes were denied until 1944, when an African was included in the legislature.
The latest Google Doodle shows iconic Mount Kenya and colours of the Kenyan national flag
Despite this, disputes over land and cultural traditions continued, movement against colonial rule grew and the uprising of the militant nationalist group, Mau Mau, in the 1950s resulted in the country being forced into a state of emergency. However, this saw African political participation increase in the early 1960s and Kenya gained independence in 1963. A year after the first Jamhuri Day, Kenya was admitted into the Commonwealth as a republic in 1964 with Jomo Kenyatta as president.
As the Google Doodle states, Kenya's Independence Day is marked with a presidential speech at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium as well as parades and dances that showcase Kenya’s culture. All over the world, Kenyans will dress in ‘kikoys’ and ‘kitenges’ and eat ‘ugali’, a popular cornmeal dish or ‘irio’, made up of mashed potatoes and peas.
Another Google Doodle from 2015 celebrates Kenya's Independence Day or Jamhuri Day
The Kenyan Independence Day Google Doodle depicts the iconic Mount Kenya surrounded by the colours of Kenya’s flag, which itself alludes to the country’s path to freedom. ‘Black, red and green, along with the shield and spears of the Maasai warrior, represent the people, their fight for independence, and the country’s vast natural resources. Together, the mountain and the flag symbolize Kenya’s strength and resilience on this important day,’ the Google Doodle described.
What are Google Doodles?
Google Doodles are celebrations of events referenced in Google’s logo on the homepage. The first Google Doodle depicted a stick man standing behind the second ‘o’ in Google drawn by Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998, marking their trip to the Burning Man Festival that year.
2011 Google Doodle celebrates Kenyas Independence Day with Kenya's motto 'harambee'
Users responded positively to the changes to Google’s homepage logo and the Doodles became an everyday occurrence. Today, there is a team of ‘Doodlers’ - illustrators, graphic designers, animators and artists who work on the Google Doodles.
The most recent Google Doodles pays tribute to Max Born, Robert Koch and Jan Ingenhousz.
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Today’s Google Doodle marks Children’s Day which takes place on November 20 every year - the same day the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN in 1959.
The cute illustration shows six colourful acorns reading and playing together in a tree.
What is Children’s Day?
Established in 1954, the United Nations Universal Children’s Day aims to promote “international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare”.
To celebrate Children’s Day this year, UNICEF has invited children from around the world to take over key roles in media, politics, entertainment and more.
Spanish footballer David Villa, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and South Korean actor Ahn Sung-ki are among the celebrities marking the day.
UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth said: “From Auckland to Amman and from New York to N’Djamena, we want children to campaign in their schools and communities to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.
“World Children’s Day will be a day for children, by children.”
Meanwhile, UNICEF’s goodwill ambassador David Beckham is set to ask children about their views of the world and what matters most to them.
The French music group Kids United will release an inspirational new music video which was recorded specifically for Children’s Day.
You can follow Children’s Day activities all over the world on Twitter using #KidsTakeOver.
Today’s Google Doodle will be seen in the UK, Canada, Greece and a whole host of countries in north Africa and the Middle East.