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49 Int'l Soc. Work 5 (2006)

handle is hein.journals/intsocwk49 and id is 1 raw text is: 

International Social Work 49(1): 5-8p

Sage Publications: London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi
DOI: 10.1177/0020872806059396


Because I am writing this for the first issue of a new volume in a new
year, it seems appropriate to echo a greeting familiar to English
speakers, namely  'Health, wealth and happiness' to all readers,
although I am  sure we would  also want to express more general
hopes, particularly for peace and social justice. Additionally, it is
timely for some  of us to remind  ourselves that, of course, the
matter of when the New  Year starts, or indeed whether the year is
2006 or some other number, depends on the cultural (and often reli-
gious) background of individuals, communities and whole societies.
Despite the widespread adoption of the Gregorian calendar by large
numbers  of the world's population (not least those involved in trans-
national commerce  and  any form of international activity), there
are still significant proportions of societies, for example in China,
Ethiopia and Thailand  or the Jewish or Muslim diasporas world-
wide, for whom the western New  Year (and its associated number)
is an irrelevance or only a minority concern. It is one aspect of the
role of this journal to clarify cultural differences between societies
or groups within them,  and many  articles in this issue fulfil this
  Unfortunately, following the various disasters in 2005 noted in the
last editorial, we must also now add the earthquake in October in the
Asian subcontinent which  destroyed whole settlements and killed
thousands  of people. This was centred on Kashmir,  with effects
spreading to Afghanistan as well as adjacent parts of India and
Pakistan. Again, the issue of local and international aid to particular
communities  as well as transnational co-operation in an area where
border conflict is still an issue are in the forefront of news reports
and there is concern about the longer-term implications for sur-
vivors. Again it is clear that this event has touched the lives not
only of people in the region but also of those families and commu-
nities now located in other countries and continents. The psycho-
social needs of people directly affected by disasters are not seen as

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