World Emoji Day: 5 random fun facts

World Emoji Day: 5 random fun facts

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Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Apple

In celebration of World Emoji Day, we answer some frequently asked questions about these helpful icons

Why is 17 July World Emoji Day?
If you look for the calendar emoji on your phone, it shows that exact date, which is the date iCal premiered at the MacWorld conference in 2002.

Why are there so many Japanese-themed emojis?

You see a Japanese demon, a love hotel, an onigiri, gelatinous rice cakes and the works. Officially invented in the '90s by Shigetaka Kurita, 'emoji' is Japanese for 'image character'. However, emojis only reached mainstream popularity when Apple released iOS 6 in 2012, featuring the emoji keyboard.

How was the hijab woman emoji created?

When 15-year-old Saudi woman Rayouf Alhumedhi joined a WhatsApp group chat and realised that there was no emoji representing her, she sought out to create one. After sending a proposal of the hijabi emoji in September 2016 to The Unicode Consortium (a non-profit corporation that reviews and develops emojis), she gained support from the likes of Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit who backed her online campaign, the Hijab Emoji Project.


Was Patrick Stewart in a movie about emojis?
Forget X-Men, Star Trek or Shakepeare. One of Patrick Stewart's most memorable roles was the snobby Poop in The Emoji Movie, which also starred T.J. Miller, Maya Rudolph, Ilana Glazer and James Corden. In an interview with Conan O'Brien, he said, "A lot of people have said for years, 'Patrick Stewart's acting is shit'. Now I'm going to prove to them it's true!" He's also been quoted as saying that the role has been a lifelong work in progress.

World Emoji Day 2018

How diverse and inclusive are the current emojis?
They're pretty diverse — with gender-neutral occupations and same-sex relationships — but representation could be better. Apple announced 70 new emojis to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a software update. Expect more hair options such as red and gray colours, as well as curly hair textures. There are even emojis for those who are bald. Earlier this year, Tinder launched a campaign called #RepresentLove to introduce an interracial couple emoji, so here's hoping for more. 

Check out stuff on Apple here.