International Monkey Day

Probably if monkeys knew how men would turn out to be its quite possible, they would have stopped evolving. However, they did, and we lost our tails.

The monkey and snake panel

Somewhere in 2000 Eric Millikin who is a Pulitzer Prize winning occult and artificial intelligence artist, and Casey Sorrow an internationally published illustrator and printmaker scribbled ‘monkey day’ on a friend’s calendar at the Michigan State university. They then celebrated it with other MSU students creating monkey art work, wearing monkey costumes and imitating monkey behaviour. This holiday gained notoriety with every passing year. Sorrow and Millikin included Monkey Day in their artwork and alternate comics they published on line.

Since then, countries like Canada, Italy, India, Pakistan Estonia, The UK, Colombia, Thailand and turkey have begun celebrating it too. The tag line of Hallmark cards for this event is “when monkey business is actually encouraged.”

The Washington post sees it as a day to learn something adorable and highly intelligent primates. Or one could just use this day to act like a monkey. The monkey day is popular among animal rights and environment activists, visual artists and art institution also support the event.

Various ways of celebrating:

Like Pakistan does – at the Lahore Zoo there is an awareness drive which includes art competitions, educational events getting children to create and wear monkey masks. They have performances that high light the evolution of the primate and the current threat to it.

Estonia celebrates the day by auctioning art work created by chimpanzees and performing intelligence tests on Japanese Macaques.

India organizes programs to educate children about wild life issues and encourage people to adopt monkeys. This activity happens mainly in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park.

Turkey has events to create awareness of the declining monkey population. These events are held in the Faruk Yalcin zoo and Botanical Park in Darica.

The Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland hosts events including monkey story telling to raise the awareness of the danger to the primates of the world. The primatological APC celebrates the monkey day. Range of activities are held in National Zoo and Aquarium in Australia including educational talks raising awareness for all primates and raising money for conserving critically endangered species like cotton-top Tamarins of Columbia.

Prominent artists in addition to Sorrow, Millikin, like Rob Balder, David Malki have created Monkey day themed comics and artwork.  Millikin of course being the progenitor of the event, created a series the 12 stars of Monkey day series of paintings that was inspired by monkeys who rode into the stars on rockets leading the way for human to follow. In 2013 he created mail art and mailed it strangers. His mailing list included President Barack Obama and Koko the sign language gorilla. 2014 he created a 3D monkey experience and since 2016 he has been creating street art portraits of endangered animals created of plants.

Sorrow maintains a ‘monkeys in the news ‘blogs in addition to his monkey themed artwork.  The blog shares stories like monkey attacks, monkey smuggling. He also shares top 10 monkey and primate news highlights.

Fundraising for primate related issues is also done: in 2008 the fundraiser was an art show and silent auction to benefit the Chimps Inc. animal sanctuary. the painting auctioned included human artists and chimps Jackson and Kimie who are inmates of the sanctuary. the Biddle Gallery included free banana on each purchase on the International Monkey Day.

Various thematic parties are held involving the Monkey theme. Like speed knitting monkey dolls. Perform like a monkey, wear a monkey costume, Julius the Monkey fashions etc.

When this happens world-wide, me being the book worm can only think phrases around monkeys.

phrasewhat it means
monkey see, monkey docopying
I will be a monkey’s unclesurprise, disbelief
monkey on one’s backpersistent state of distress or worry
not giving a Monkeynot being concerned or interested.
As agile as a Monkeymoves swiftly
Porche Monkeylazy person
monkey businesssomething that is illegal, shady, questionable, tricky. waste of time, stupid, silly,
cheeky monkeyimpudent person.
Grease Monkeya Mechanic
softly softly catchee monkeyproceed cautiously and gently to achieve a target.
catch a target or prey without startling it.
monkeying aroundfooling around
monkey runa place where people congregate to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend
monkey wrenchA wrench that can be adjusted to grip different size of nuts.
Something unexpected or troublesome
throwing a monkey wrenchcausing trouble,
interfering or disturbing an operation that was going on smoothly.
phrases and uses around the word ‘Monkey’

At the end of the day to quote Malcom de Chazal ‘monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.





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