One of the more recent terms to gain momentum is ‘bagel girl’, a term which refers to a woman with a “baby face and a glamorous (read, “curvy and mature”) body”. The idea of a girl who has a childlike face, while flaunting the sexualized body of an older woman, is certainly alarming on many levels, as the trend lends itself to the sexualisation of young girls.
Our Cairo Correspondent Iman Ali is not only a hard-at-work scholar, but a true traveler at heart. She recently penned this short poem "Precious Moments" which embodies the notion of experiential travel. We're sharing it with you in hopes that you beat the Winter blues, and get started on planning your next trip in 2013.
An interesting observation I have made is the mentality when it comes to money and commercial talent. In America spending has priority before saving. And When consumer spending is low the economy goes into recession. In Norway the shops are closed by law on Sundays. Commercials on TV were first allowed around 1990, and the volume is low and strictly regulated compared to the US and particularly New York. The "shop for the fun of it" mentality is not as great in Norway as in the US. I believe that in New York there is always someone after my money. There is an offer on each corner and the creativity of each hawker to get me to make a purchase is constant and enormous.
Photography is a dangerous sport. The convenience of iphones cameras, and rapid access to wifi and social media platforms means that many of us can discretely snap or upload images of anonymous strangers while we travel, usually with little thought to the subject’s privacy or personal space. With the immediacy of twitter and apps such as Instagram, we can distribute street photos in a snap, without any thought to how this image may be culturally inappropriate or perhaps degrading to the local people.
As a translator, the term monozukuri always causes me problems. It literally means “the making of things” but it encompasses aspects of craftsmanship, meticulousness, pride in the production process and an affinity for the creation of goods that are carefully considered and of the highest possible quality. Monozukuri also contains a sense of pride in a job well done and an affinity for vocation akin to a calling. It’s not just folks making things for a pay check. It’s people engaging in work that gives their working lives meaning.
When Manuela worked in a public hospital, she became a witness of the violence perpetuated against female patients. Doctors overused C-sections in order to make more money. Some forced sterilization on many women because they saw mothers who were constantly pregnant as careless. One young lady once told Manuela that she did not want to come in for post-natal care because her doctor treated her poorly. Manuela said to me, “Many doctors view these women as culprits and burdens on society, but in reality these women are victims. They simply do not have knowledge of their own right
Gangnam Style is stylistically or culturally grounded in Korean themes, and how it might be reflecting some of the social issues in modern Seoul life. Regardless of my own personal speculation and my loose contextualization, I would not encourage anybody to view ‘Gangnam Style’ too deeply or cynically. It is, after all, a catchy horse dance with a hypnotic beat. Let’s start dancing.
To a foreigner, perhaps a North American foreigner especially, an exhibit on the Holocaust does not seem particularly different, current, or interesting. We’ve seen Holocaust museums before. European tourism bureaus already cater to history buffs of the Second World War and Holocaust memorials have long been established throughout Europe. France alone contains more than 40 different exhibits and museums on the genocide of the Jews. But “They Were Children” is different, and its story’s fundamental difference has been the source of great controversy and deep division in France since the war.
For these reasons, women’s sports are never watched, let alone televised, and there is little advertising that caters towards female athletes instead of female “fitties” (who practice Zumba, yoga, job etc). In fact, I have been told that around 80% of all female Britons do not even own a sports bra, and my own team certainly reflected this statistic. This is why I was nervous for London 2012.
On my mother’s fifty-sixth birthday, I called her from Indonesia to wish her a happy birthday. “Oh, You remembered!” Her flattered response made it seem like I never remember her birthday. In the same call, I told her that I had received and accepted a fellowship that would keep me in Indonesia for one more year. My news is met with silence. I couldn't tell if she was taking time to gather her thoughts, or if the long-distance call had been dropped.
"I am freakin' out. It is one week before departure. Quick! Write more articles so I can feel ready" That was the Facebook message I got from Bob, a friend and former student who is moving to Japan this week to start a teaching job. Bob knows some things about Japan in an academic way. He studied the language for a few years and took a culture class. He plays lots of video games. He has enough familiarity with Japan to know that he is getting himself into something vastly different from the life he currently knows. And now, with one week until take off, he is feeling a little anxious. So Bob, this one's for you.
As we enter the dark, small hut in the open-air museum, the guide points to a small, penned area in the corner. In it, thirteen light brown, fluffy little critters: cuyes. He explains that they are kept to keep those with bad energies, and thus an omen, out of the home. When faced with negative energy, or aura, the cuyes would respond in panic, making noises and fleeing away from the bearer of bad energy. This would signal to the homeowners that they needed to get rid of that person as soon as possible.
As an Australian woman living in Korea, many people often ask me if it is hard to live in Seoul as a foreigner. When I initially moved to Korea three years ago, I might have answered “yes”. These days, however, after having interacted with Korean culture on a more substantial level, I feel like any social problems I may face in Korea are not related so much to my nationality or “foreignness”, so much as they are a result of my gender.
The Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) is an institution built around the idea of an ethnic and political body known as Arabs. And in a nation that has great difficulty discussing ethnicity under the vanguard of liberté-égalité-fraternité, the sight of such a poster is a paradox.
Today, Bussières acts as a traveling photographer with an anthropological methodology, and is stationed back and forth from Quebec to the north coast of California continuing to develop her projects. Her knowledge of social anthropology reminds her that a subject’s context is crucial to understanding their culture. She describes her artistic process as capturing and reconstructing moments in a way that both reflect emotions and realities, but still accounts for their unique contexts.
As a foreign woman who has lived in Korea for over three years, I have come to realize that getting plastic surgery in Korea is one of the fastest, most accessible, and most popular services in Korea. This comes as no shock, as South Korea is the highest ranked country in the world for plastic surgery, according to the New York Times.
They were a way out of a life I wanted to escape. Eventually these things that I made were what gave life meaning. There was no question that this would be the focus of my days and nights. If this all sounds ridiculously narcissistic and introspective, it was, and is. But I look around more now, and the world is stranger than anything I've seen in any painting or fantasy novel. Much more interesting too.
Names are important. In the very first poem of the Man-yôshû, Japan’s first poetry anthology dating from the late 8th century, the emperor-poet Yûryaku implores a young woman picking herbs on a hillside “Tell me your name!” Whether it’s an ancient emperor, The Zombies, Lynyrd Skynrd or Jesse McCartney, getting someone’s name is the way you start to make a connection. One of the first sentences you’re likely to hear in Japanese is “Onamae wa?, meaning “Your name is...?” It seems like the answer would be simple enough, right?
But something happened. In that moment between stops on the Metro, between Blanche and Place de Clichy, the social code was broken. Some passengers seemed to express silently that “whoever that is, just shouldn’t do that,” or “not here, not in public.” In that moment, the unspoken, ignored truth had been quietly—if temporarily—accepted. Half the Metro car is white. Half is not.
We are thrilled to launch our new series; SLG Perspectives. Our team of expert travelers will share knowledge and stories from the cities and countries they know best. Rather than provide a "City Guide" or a "Must Do" list --- these columns will provide insight and understanding to the most fascinating cities, traditions and people.
All of this taking off and putting on of shoes makes you rethink your shoe choices. If you know you will be going in and out of homes or visiting a restaurant with the type of seating that requires you to take off your shoes, you learn pretty quickly that wearing Converse All Stars or boots with lots of lacing means you’ll be tugging your shoes on frantically while everyone stands around and waits for you before the group can move.
People want to be remembered and they want to remember you; it's a feeling that we can all relate to. Nobody likes to be forgotten, nobody likes to be from the outside looking in, or in the case of Burma, from the inside looking out. The Burmese people don't want to lose that thread that has given them a connection to the outside world.
Then grandma asks, What are you doing outside anyway, my child? Come inside, it is too sunny. “I’m getting some sun on my face!” Uh oh, I realize too late.. wrong answer! A sun tan in India? Am I out of my mind? The fairer you are, the prettier you are. You can even buy ‘Fair and Lovely' cream to make your skin look lighter. It’s not like in the West, where often a tanned skin is considered pretty. In India, dark skin traditionally implies you have had to work outdoors in the scorching heat to earn a living, and that notion endures.
As I gave up and sat down to smoke (yet again), a woman with her traditional basket approached me for a cigarette. She sat down besides me smoking away and I took the opportunity to take some photos in exchange. She asked me for booze. I politely declined. She asked me for dollars. I laughed and walked away.
I am of Mediterranean origin (olive skin, black curly hair) and I live in a very multicultural environment in the UK. I have had several instances where complete strangers, particularly South Asian men, stopped me on the street or approached me on a bus or in a restaurant and enthusiastically proposed marriage. It is quite befuddling - one of them managed to explain that my skin tone (relative fairness?) Made me desirable. I vaguely understood that this has some links to the caste system. In all three cases it proved very difficult to extricate myself from the situation gracefully. The men were very insistent.
Gone were the olden days where an urge to eat Goan Sausages meant a trip to the center of town. Paremsan cheese, gongesela sauce, soya bean paste, smoked ham, fresh basil, crisp lettuce, broccoli – exotic food, largely unknown to the Indian palette went from being novel to regular - at least for the affluent. Purchasing power increased. For the first time, people in their twenties were buying houses, cars, travelling abroad, living the lives that their parents were only able to afford in their 50s.
Our personalized travel coaching will help you devise an action plan for your trip, tailored to your specific needs. We’ll find the best guesthouses and accommodations according to your budget and interests. We’ll connect you with other travellers, movers and shakers in your field. And we’ll ensure that you know the best local restaurants, nightlife, and hotspots outside of the tourist enclaves.
SLG wants to answer your tough travel questions... whether you actually dont want to try those bamboo worms (and that's ok) or if you just want to understand how to make amends after committing a major cultural faux pas we are here for you. Are you planning a trip and need to know what to expect, or are you wondering how to be culturally sensitive? Meeting the extended international family for the first time? We have tips for you. Ask the Globe-Trotter is a column featuring our travelers in the field answering your toughest cultural questions from at home and abroad. Got a question for our pool of Globe Trotters? Email us at email@example.com
I'm also wary, though, of the way that this individual-targeted heroism can be a bit too ego-driven, prize-money-driven, recognition-driven, and does not necessarily encourage thorough community engagement, research, or critical thinking before the launch of another “save the BLANK” effort. It also may encourage people to go into situations not adequately prepared to deliver the help they idealize, and may end up causing harms they never intended. Doing “good” is a really messy business, and kids who engage in social entrepreneurship can grow up in that messy work to either really become stronger from inevitable failures along the way, or be really broken by the process.