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Singaporean Styles

Fashion is an integral part of the culture of a country. From religious and traditional outfits to day-to-day casual wear, fashion and clothes are an important part of society…
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Those Days in London

La Dolce Vita (sweet life) of a student… Recently, after a long hiatus, I picked up a PG Wodehouse “Jeeves” Omnibus. PG Wodehouse is the genius behind the much-loved character, Jeeves. Jeeves became so entrenched in the popular imagination, that there was once (before Google) even a search engine named “Ask Jeeves”. Jeeves, a gentleman’s personal gentleman, or rather, a butler, is known for his vast repository of knowledge, and his uncanny ability to craft schemes to help Bertie Wooster out of sticky situations. As I read the book, I cannot help but become a bit nostalgic about my 3 years in London. I graduated from King’s College London in 2009. I still remember feeling overwhelmed the first time I landed at Heathrow Airport in September 2006. Thankfully, my mother accompanied me to help me transition into student life in a foreign country. We would shop at John Lewis or
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From Behind the Counter

While it’s wholly possible to develop culture shock or be completely unfamiliar with the way things are done while living in a new country, I managed to carve out a little space of my own…
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An Indian Wedding (Part 3)

In the eyes of my friend … In part 3 of the Wedding Series, I interview a British friend who attended my wedding in Jodhpur, India. Her responses allowed me to see my wedding through a foreign lens! 1. Was this the first Indian wedding you attended? Yes, this was the first Indian wedding that I attended.   2. What did you find intriguing about your first Indian wedding? British weddings normally comprise of a wedding ceremony followed by a reception, both within the space of a day. I was intrigued to see the various different aspects of the Indian wedding and how the celebrations would be spread over a number of days.   3. What cultural aspects surprised you? The cultural aspect that most surprised me was when the bride and groom left following the wedding ceremony. All the guest gathered to see them off, and as part of
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Searching for Solitude

Once in a while, I find my inner being longing for meaningful aloneness. So on one such occasion, I packed my bag and left the city for a quiet weekend in Cybulin, with my long-time companion, Vidoudez…
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An Indian Wedding (Part 2)

Whirlwind of a happy celebration… Our wedding took place over the course of two days in December 2014. Guests flew in from all over the world to the charming city of Jodhpur in India – also known as the “Blue City”. The city is called as such because, if you walk over to the highest point in Jodhpur, at the top of Mehrangarh Fort, and look down from here, there will be a sea of blue houses as far as the eye can go. The name Jodhpur is also synonymous with “Jodhpur” pants, primarily worn during horse-riding, an activity that is popular amongst Royal families. The weather in December was just perfect. For more than half of the year, Jodhpur is unbearably hot, given its location in the Thar desert. As a kid, I would visit my grandparents in Jodhpur during the summer holidays for 2 months; my cousins and
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Sports in India (Part 2)

Previously, I started talking about some of the oldest sports in Indian culture, some of which began as means of battle and combat. In this section, I’m going to tell you more about casual sports that are played today in India…
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Sports in India (Part 1)

Sports and games are an integral part of Indian culture. In ancient mythological scriptures, battles have been won and lost over games of dice, and even the Mughal rulers enjoyed their games of live chess…
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An Indian Wedding (Part 1)

Where do I begin … I got married in the lovely Rajasthani city of Jodhpur in India in December 2014. I had an arranged marriage. We met in person over 3 days in April 2014, and we said “yes” to each other on the second day of meeting. I can sense the collective gasp from many of you reading this. How can anyone make such a huge decision in 2 days? They must have been under so much pressure to decide! How is this even allowed anymore?! Well, to be fair, it wasn’t an arranged marriage in the truest sense of the word. Allow me to explain. See, back in the days when my parents got married (more than 30 years ago), their families made the decision for them. The boy’s family would get references for good matches, and then once they like a match, they approach the girl’s family
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All You Can Know

The world we live in is like a buffet with an “All You Can Eat” sign at the door. There is such an abundance of information available to us, giving us the privilege of choosing…
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My New Home (Part 2)

Notes from Silicon Valley We live in a deeply interconnected world. Thanks to the likes of Google, Facebook & Twitter, we now have easy access to information for all. These companies, and more broadly speaking, the Valley as we call it, is a place that is deeply admired (and at times envied). People everywhere wonder what it is like to live and work in the hotbed of technological revolution. To understand how or why the Valley is so innovative, I think it’s important to take a closer look at the kind of culture that is fostered here. Take firstly companies such as Google or Facebook. When I first walked into the Google office at Mountain View, California, what amazed me was how casually everyone—right from a high-level executive to entry level engineers—were dressed. The nerd look, comprised of backpacks, hoodies & sneakers, was à la mode! While certain clothes or
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Codeswitching

The timbre of my voice, whether I string my words together or chop them up with little breaks in between, the speed of which I convey something, and if the sentences come out in a single language or multiple ones – it all depends on who is on the receiving end of what I’m going to say…
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