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Newsletter: 2018 January



Did you know ~2,700 years ago, no one had ever heard of the months of January (and/or February)? Back then, new years began in March, there were only 10 months in a year. January and February were the “unknown/unassigned” months during winter because there were little activities. Thanks to Numa Pompilius, the legendary Roman king, he added them and now we have our a “12 months” calendar.

January is said to be named after Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, beginnings and transitions, the month to start a new


Here is the answer for December Photo Contest:


The Dec photo was taken at the Hida Folk Village (Hida-no-Sato), Takayama (高山), a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture.

Click here if you want to know more about “Takayama, JAPAN”: and


A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

Since it is the beginning of the “Year”, I pondered over our “beginnings”. In our beginnings, we each came to this world “alone” (even if you were born twins or triplet or… the timing you arrived to this world is still unique to you, you stillarrived “alone” at a specific moment and place…)

We then joined our family, attended schools, started works, setting up our new families etc… Along our journeys, we made friends in our communities, workplaces, and gathered a network of people around us.

According to ancient wisdoms, our friends, our community define who we are. It traces the journey we have taken, and it leads us to where we may go next… so have you ever taken a look at this aspect and asked yourself:

  1. Where actually have my friends come from
  2. Where are they now?

Here is a simple and interesting exercise you can do:

First, get yourself a world map (you can download free images from the internet – type “world map” and do a google image search, or you can get yourself a sleek poster, here are some interesting examples: ).

Once you have the map ready, you can start working on it: Mark a “buddy-dot” for each of your human-connection on your map, (suggest to start with your most immediate circle, eg: your family members – in which country are they living now?).

You can use a different colour for the different relationship you have (eg: red = families and relations, blue = colleagues, green = school mates etc). Try going back to your childhood, trace each step of your journey and mark your dots on the map.


Set the task in steps:

Start with the first batch of 25 “buddy-dots”, followed by the next 25 and then on and on it goes… At each milestone, take a snapshot (use your smart phone) of your map. When you have finished (the whole exercise may take days), take a look at all the images – look at the patterns of the dots, and you will see how “YOUR WORLD” has evolved.

The pattern of your web may amaze you, you may be one who finds your “buddy-web” covering all the seven continents!

Your “buddy-web” tells how you are connected in this world. It helps you realise how diverse you are, and how you have made your “human-connections” in since your “beginning”. How many countries does it cover? Are they solely Anglo-Saxon or do you have a good cultural mix?


Now, for those who are technologically savvy, you may have built and stored your contacts on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Some of these provide demographic analysis that can give you a quick glimpse of your human-connection web. So, even if you do not have the time to work out a physical map exercise as suggested above, you can still get a quick idea on your “buddy-web” spread!

Are you a “Provincial-buddy”?,

or are you a “National-buddy”, “Regional-buddy” or a “World-buddy”?

Here is one idea on how to expand your buddy-web: Whenever you visit a new place, try to make a “connection” with someone from there – listen to their stories, take interest in them, exchange your contacts, and follow up with a social media connection to stay in touch.

Technology has made it so easy for us to expand our network globally. Aren’t we happy to know that we are no longer “alone”… Let’s start now, and take another look next year on how we have evolved…

Good Luck, and Good Sailing!