Descriptive Revolutions

Revolution at the Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain.

Recent uprisings in nations around the globe have captured my attention.

While there is nothing uplifting about death and violence in the public squares, fighting for a better form of government for your nation is ennobling.

I think the descriptive nouns applied to some of the revolutions are interesting and say something about the people who bring about sea change in society.

History has given us some great names such as “The Glorious Revolution” (England, 1688), “The War of Tatters” (Brazil, 1835-1845), “The Carnation Revolution” (Portugal, 1974) and even “The Red Eyebrow Rebellion” (China, 18 A.D.).

However, recent times have provided the best descriptive names for revolutions.  In fact, it seems as though the media is now racing to find colorful titles for each of the current uprisings in the Arab world.

The Lotus Revolution

The trend started in earnest during the breakup of the former U.S.S.R. and its satellite republics and continues up to the present day:

  • The Singing Revolutions — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  • The Velvet Revolution — Czechoslovakia
  • The Log Revolution — Croatia
  • The Bulldozer Revolution — Yugoslavia
  • The Rose Revolution — Georgia
  • The Orange Revolution — Ukraine
  • The Tulip Revolution (sometimes called ‘The Pink Revolution’) — Kyrgystan
  • The Jasmine Revolution

    The Cedar Revolution — Lebanon

  • The Blue Revolution — Kuwait
  • The Purple Revolution — Iraq
  • The Green Revolution — Iran
  • The Lawyers’ Movement — Pakistan
  • The Revolution From Below — Armenia
  • The Denim Revolution — Belarus
  • The Lawyers' Movement

    The Saffron Revolution — Burma

  • The Jasmine Revolution — Tunisia
  • The Lotus Revolution — Egypt
  • The Pearl Revolution — Bahrain

The “Singing Revolution” in the Baltic States piqued my curiosity.  The term was coined by an Estonian artist and activist named Heinz Valk, following spontaneous night-singing demonstrations at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.  This practice apparently spread throughout Latvia and Lithuania.

The Baltic Way

Another peaceful form of protest from this revolutionary movement was “The Baltic Way.”  Approximately, 2 million people linked hands throughout the three republics to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometers.

When looking back on the mass demonstrations going on in Wisconsin right now, I wonder which fanciful title historians will apply to this movement.

The Cheesehead Revolution?

— The Major


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