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Archives

13
Oct

Diverse Identities Within Borders

We often think of a country’s border as a defined albeit arbitrary demarcation of culture, language, traditions, mores, and values. A germane question to ask, considering the recent unrest in Catalonia surrounding an independence referendum from Spain is: what exactly is national identity? How do we define and understand it? What are the parameters and …

4
Aug

The Quirks of Shopping as an Expat

Suddenly, on your way home, you remember that you need some cashew milk, eggs, poppy seed bagels, and your favorite locally brewed IPA. You swing by your neighborhood store, grab a basket, head to your designated aisles, and check yourself out in under 10 minutes. Easy, simple, done. Now imagine you recently moved abroad to …

4
May

May Day – Traditions Around the World

The 1st of May does not seem like a special time to many people, but it actually stands as a holiday with ancient roots. Though it is also a Labor Day holiday for parts of the world, there are multiple types of celebrations for the day, often involving social activities outside the home with the …

13
Apr

Holy Week and Easter around the World

This is Holy Week – a time when Christians around the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Holy Week always takes place the week before Easter, but does not include Easter itself. Across the world, people will celebrate in different ways. Some have fasted from certain aspects of …

26
Jan

Weddings Around the World: Europe

It is about that time of year again. Soon Facebook and calendars will be filled with wedding invitations and pictures of elaborate ceremonies. Over the years, many countries have all conformed to a basic wedding structure, but many countries still maintain centuries-old traditions. This week, we look into Europe . . . German traditions start …

11
Dec

Christmas Traditions: Imported from Germany

WARNING: SANTA SPOILER ALERT! Many of the traditions that Westerners hold so dear during the holiday season actually stem from German folklore. A Christmas tree, commonly the evergreen fir tree, has been used to celebrate winter festivals (both Christian and Pagan) for thousands of years. Some pagans would use the tree or its branches as …

27
Mar

How Do You Celebrate Birthdays?

When US Americans think of birthday celebrations, images of parties, cake, blowing out candles, and the Happy Birthday song comes to mind. For a baby’s first birthday, some parents will even get the birthday child a smash cake, which the baby with play with, and hopefully eat, smashing it to pieces in the process.  However, …

13
Mar

Breakfast Around the World

Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your first meal provides the nutrients and energy needed to start your day and function earlier in the morning. When traveling or moving abroad, it is important to realize that common breakfast foods in your host country may be greatly different than what …