2022: A Time Capsule

<p>2022: A Year of Recovery | (Tanisha Agrawal) </p>

2022: A Year of Recovery | (Tanisha Agrawal)

In 2022, the world witnessed a plethora of problems, milestones, agreements and disagreements. With the pandemic mitigating and life largely returning to normal, 2022 can be seen as a year of recovery; a year that forced us to reflect on and absorb the mistakes we made. Here is a quick analysis of the moments that shaped 2022 into what it was, from pop culture and sports to geopolitics, economics, and health.

The realm of pop culture saw groundbreaking events, from the release of Taylor Swift’s record-breaking album ‘Midnights’ to that of the year’s highest-grossing film, Avatar’s sequel, The Way of Water. The live stream of the legal saga of the Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp case saw contrasting opinions plastered all over social media. The power of public opinion was reinforced here as the stigmas regarding domestic abuse and gender were challenged. And the beloved Beyonce shattered the record for most Grammy nominations earned by a woman by bagging 79 of them.

2022 is seen as one of the most hip and happening years for sports, with fans embracing new heroes and bidding farewell to legends (better known as GOATs). Tennis stars Serena Williams and Roger Federer announced retirement and soccer legends Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar proclaimed the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be their last. The Qatari World Cup is deemed the most controversial one, but with Argentina bagging the Cup millions of soccer fans around the world were satisfied. However, the death of Pele, the ‘Global Face of Soccer,’ left soccer lovers devastated. The Winter Olympics saw athletes breaking not only speed records but boundaries too: Erin Jackson made history as the first Black woman to win an individual speed skating gold medal. In its entirety, Norway topped the medal chart, securing 37 medals.

The geopolitics of the Western world saw intense action, especially the Russian-Ukrainian war and the controversial string of decisions leading to more European nations striving to join NATO. The war led to turbulence in terms of refugees, oil, and European alliances, and created ripple effects in the rest of the world. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict flared up with the death of the revered Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, angering millions across the world. Sri Lanka and Iran’s governments faced the brunt of people's power as protests to overthrow the governments’ gained momentum.

2022 was also a major year for the entry and exit of people holding significant leadership positions. In the East, India elected its first-ever president from the country’s tribal community: Droupadi Murmu. In Latin America, Brazil and Chile saw major political shifts to the left: with Lula winning the presidency in Brazil and Gabriel Boric as the youngest Chilean president ever. Britain saw a time of political turmoil, with Queen Elizabeth II passing away leaving the monarch to King Charles III, and Borris Johnson and Liz Truss resigning as Prime Ministers and finally being succeeded by Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first Prime Minister of color.

All corners of the world faced the detrimental effects of climate change: from floods in Pakistan, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, and South Korea to wildfires in Portugal and hurricanes in Florida. However, it wasn't all bad: the EU implemented a plastic ban and a landmark deal was agreed on at the UN Biodiversity Conference.

According to Chinese culture, 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit: a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. As we (now 8 billion earthlings) dive into 2023, let’s work towards being more sustainable. But most essentially, let’s make it the year we enjoy ourselves after the past exhaustive years that took a toll on global mental health.

Chinese Translation Here

Spanish Translation Here

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