Why we celebrate International Men’s Day, 2019 theme and how to do it right – art and culture


International Men’s Day, celebrated annually on November 19, is commemorated worldwide to focus on the efforts towards the welfare of men by making a positive difference and raising awareness of issues that men face.

International Men’s Day was inaugurated in 1992 by Thomas Oaster. It was conceived a year earlier. The day owing to its importance was then revived in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a history lecturer at University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Teelucksingh chose to host International Men’s Day on November 19 to mark his father’s birthday and also to celebrate how on the same date, a decade earlier (1989) Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer team had united the country to qualify for the soccer world cup.

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Instead of just making this day about celebrating gender, Dr Teelucksingh promoted International Men’s Day as a day to reflect on issues affecting men and boys worldwide. The day falling on November 19 every year also coincides with Movember, where men or Mo Bros avoid shaving and grow their moustaches and beards to raise money for men’s health.

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International Men’s Day includes topics around mental health, toxic masculinity, prevalence of male suicide, promoting men’s health, improving gender relations, to name a few. For 2019, the theme is “Making a Difference for Men and Boys”.

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If you are wondering how to celebrate the day, here’s an idea: On this day, donate to causes related to men’s health, or make/share posters that talk about men’s mental health and physical ailments, and join conversations on social media to spread the word.

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