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Are you growing a moustache? – That’s one question I’ve been asked more number of times than any other in the last one month. Truth be told, being from the north eastern part of India, I am not very well endowed with facial hair. Despite that fact, beginning of November, like thousands across the world, I embarked on the Movember journey. For those who don’t know what Movember is, here’s a Wikipedia excerpt:
Movember (a portmanteau word from moustache and “November”) is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers; and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”
Movember was started by Adam Garone from Australia who worked in the web and mobile marketing sector. Garone’s career took a left turn in 2003 when his brother challenged him to grow out a moustache. The two wondered if they could bring the moustache back in vogue and, in the process, raise awareness for men’s health along with money for prostate cancer research. Thus began the Movember movement.
The Movember challenge is simple: men begin November 1st clean shaven and, for the next 30 days, grow out their moustaches while seeking out sponsorship for their efforts. The proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation as well as Livestrong. In 2011, Movember raised $126 million in 14 countries.
By encouraging men (which the charity refers to as “Mo Bros”) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run Movember events to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression, in Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, events were launched in Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United States. It has spread from Australia to South Africa, Europe, and North America.
In 2012, the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 NGOs (non-government organization) in the world.
Adam Garone in his TEDx talk in Toronto says, “Essentially, I am moustache farmer, and my season is November” to an audience that bursts out in laughter. Watch Adam Garone’s full TEDx talk:
And as in the end of Movember, all the Mo Bros gather to celebrate the end of the month, have fun and party, they also recognize the best and worst moustache grown during the month of Movember. I would hereby like to nominate myself for the recognition of worst moustache grown this Movember. And with that, end of Movember doesn’t mean we have to wait for a particular month or day in the year to do something good, make someone smile or to make a change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. has once said, “The time is always ripe to do right.” With or without a moustache, if each one of us decides to do our own little bit to make this world a better place, we will soon be living in a heaven on earth.
*Sources: ted.com, Wikipedia.org