International Affairs Forum

This has been a hectic week, but I didn’t want to spend another day without thanking you for your support to @consultculture
Thanks to you we’re growing. Thank you very very much.

https://www.ia-forum.org/Content/ViewInternalDocument.cfm?ContentID=8893

Taiwan I: Goddess’ tears

Taiwan was a long overdue expedition for me. Its history and culture have always attracted me with a magnetism I can’t quite define with logic. And the opportunity to visit this fascinating place, presented itself when I least expected it, as a gift from the Gods themselves.

Taiwan’s history is longer than I imagined, it was a surprising realization to discover that agriculture was developed 3,000 years ago and that the aboriginal occupants of the island presented more than one unshakable obstacle for the forays at conquering many tried.

Taiwan I: Goddess' tears

In Asia, the calendar indicated the beginning of autumn, but not in the tropical Taiwan, where there’s sun, mango ice cream, and tea everywhere to ease any discomfort its everlasting summer might cause to its visitors.

According to legends and myths I came across, Taiwan was created by the tears of a goddess. And its women were born from the ashes of bamboo trees. However, whatever its origin, there is something undeniable special here, and lucky us, the Gods have blessed this journey.

Odawara: Its treasures and pinky ninja

The first time I visited Odawara, I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I saw it,  I fell in love, metaphorically and literally.  And even now after so many years, it still speaking to me.

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And to many people, because even the samurais stop to take photos in front of it (Odawara castle)

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Its solid wooden gates welcomed me as it has welcomed thousands of people before me.  And will continue to do so until the end of times. Perhaps.

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And with the brave “pink” ninja who kindly posed  for my camera before I left, I said goodbye to Odawara castle once more.

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Without internet: Could you work?

 

“I’m telling you when I started my career, we didn’t have internet, we didn’t even work with computers” was saying, my middle-aged colleague.

 

I stared at my colleague while holding my fork halfway to my mouth.
My colleague’s words shocked me because, although, I interact with technology every day, as most of you, it is shocking to be reminded that it was not always the case.

 

My colleagues started talking about telephones, faxes, and notebooks and pens.

“Can you imagine? I even had to go to a seminar to learn how to send e-mails?” My colleague was saying in a low voice as if making me a confidence.

 

My colleague’s words resonate with me because in the back of my head, I still remembering the world without internet, perhaps my generation is the last generation to have grown up without it (internet). Yes, I am that old 🙂

I still remember the boring Sunday afternoons and the horrible silence in the streets when the children went back home for dinner.

 

In other words, I remember daily life without internet. But business without internet, I have never experienced..!! and I think that is a huge (very big) challenge.

 

Just think about it, you are only giving a notebook and pen. And you can use the office’s phone and fax machine as long as the other thirty people, who work with you, are not using it 😫

I don’t know you, but I couldn’t work properly. Or maybe I am just spoiled.

 

Working without computer or internet, I have never done. And that’s why I take my hat off (I want to show my respect) to those colleagues who have achieved so much without technology. Thank you, and I hope one day, I can be as good as you are.

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Latinoamérica: La camaradería

 

Mi vida fuera de mi amada Latinoamérica me ha forzada siempre ha escribir en otros idiomas. Asi que hoy quise rendirle un merecido homenaje a mi tierra linda, a mi gente. Y sobretodo refugiarme en el cálido idioma nuestro.

La vida fuera de Latinoamérica puede ser estimulante intelectualmente y profesionalmente, pero la calidéz de la gente, es algo que no se encuentra fácilmente fuera del territorio Latinoaméricano. Se encuentra amabilidad, gente educada, gente de la que puedes aprender mucho. Pero no hay esa conexión de la que disfrutamos.

Y una de las cosas que más se extraña de la tierra bendita nuestra son los saludos, por simple que parezca, el mágico hola que se da a diestra y siniestra, es unas de las características más propias de nuestra cultura. Y por supuesto tiene algunas reglas implícitas. Ya que el “hola” siempre debe de ir acompañada de una hermosa sonrisa, porque sino no es un hola de corazón. Y si un hola no es dado de corazón entonces no es válido, o peor aún, no bien visto.

Fuera de Latinomámerica, no habrán nunca un “chino de la esquina” o un “gordo de la cuadra”. Ni escucharemos nunca el famoso “habla chato” cuando saludamos a los amigos. Todos esas saludos llenan la atmósfera de alegría y camaradería. E incluso la manera que tenemos de hablar. Sí, nosotros los latinoaméricanos tenemos una manera de hablar que puede hasta parecer ruidoso y hasta escandalosa para personas de otros culturas. Pero para nosotros el hablar con voz alta, significa alegría. El abrazar y besar al saludarnos, es una manera de dar la bienvenida a amigos, amigos que son como familia y a desconocidos que ya son amigos. 

La riqueza de la cultura Latinoaméricana empieza con un hola al dar la bienvenida. Y no sabe nunca decir adiós. Sino que se queda calada en alma de aquellos que tienen la dicha y la suerte de entender sus enigmas.

Bendita cultura Latinoaméricana.

original post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/latinoamérica-y-la-camarader%C3%ADa-yoneko-shiraishi-

Lunch with myself: Learning to live in the present

 

For a hyper person such as myself, who always wakes up with a to-do list every morning living in the moment is a challenge..!! 

Oh boy..!! And to make things worse, I have a great memory..! So if you ever told me the story of your life, I will probably remember it the rest of my days. 

So ask to my brain to live in the present is a challenge, almost a mission impossible. 

But I am slowly learning to trick myself into living the present. Mwahahaha..! (This is my evil laugh 😝)

And how am I accomplishing this great conquest? 
Well, I am starting for taking myself out for lunch. For no reason, or whatsoever. And believe it or not, as silly as it sounds, those moments with myself make me slow down, appreciate my time and somehow find inspiration. 

You probably should know that I like talking to strangers.

That’s right..! I randomly talk to strangers 

So now that you are here, tell me: How are you? Everything ok? 😉

China town: A walk on a Sunday afternoon

 

It was Sunday, I was alone at home so I decided to take my camera and travel to China town in Kanagawa-ken, where I used to live few years ago. 

 

 

And the energy hasn’t changed at all 

 

Maybe it (the energy) has increased. 

 

 

 

 I also made new friends 

 

 

And before I went back I stopped by the police box (koban in Japanese) 

 

 

It was a lovely afternoon indeed. 

 

Ikeda Manabu: And her rebirth

When you see Ikeda’s painting “rebirth” you can’t help but think of a child’s dream, with its vibrant colors and hidden mythical creatures that seem to be laughing and playing in the painting. You quickly forget they are drawings because they look alive. And before you realize what it is happening, they (the drawings) invite you to play with them. Lucky me, I visited Ikeda’s exhibition with Nick West from gensojapan.org, who kept me from getting lost in the painting and took amazing photos

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Every corner of it (the painting) speaks of innocence, and  you can feel it (the innocence) playing around the room like a cheeky little boy looking for attention and cuddles.

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Every stroke tells a different story

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If you are interested where to find Ikeda’s “rebirth” click here

The Empress: Her tea house, her lake and her garden

As soon as you step into the garden, something changes in the atmosphere, I don’t know if it is the temperature, the cicadas that sing in unison with the wind. Or the voices of visitors that become a mere whisper in the distance. I have no idea, what it is, but something changes. Or maybe it is the Empress Shōken herself welcoming you to her garden.

I see the lights on in Empress Shōken’s tea house, and I can’t help but feel naughty, as if I were spying on someone. But I imagine that if Empress Shōken discovered me outside her tea house, instead of getting upset, she would invite me to drink tea with her. Because I think she was indeed a generous soul.

I just imagine her (Empress Shōken) sitting there in her tea house, looking at the little lake in front of it (the tea house), letting her maids entertain her, and ask them to leave as soon her husband arrives. Of course, nothing of this is written anywhere. I just like to imagine it.

A few shots of the empress’s lake little lake, where the water lilies imperceptibly move with the soft afternoon breeze.

A shot of the tea house from the little lake

I distractedly (without paying attention) walk through the garden and, as always, my feet take somewhere I didn’t mean to go and I arrive to Kiyomasa-Ido well, which is famous for the purity of its water.

But I am afraid it’s time to leave, because I am the only person  in the garden now.  Or maybe I’ll just stay a little bit longer so I can make Empress Shōken company, at least for a little bit longer.

NOTE: Although, Meiji jingū gyoen (Meiji jingū inner garden) existed before the construction of Meiji Shrine, according to the Meiji Jingū gyoen brochure, I always think of the garden, as Empress Shōken’s garden, because the tea house that adorns this secret garden was built especially for her.