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Newsletter: 2018 June


Already Mid-Year?

First, for those who have been with us, how I am glad you have chosen to stay in touch! To be honest, after we sent out our GDPR “Opt-in” email, it did dawn on me that if our readers were really interested to receive this Newsletter. For a moment, I was apprehensive, I had a mix feeling of both sadness and possibly relief (Yes, writing does take time and effort… for those who are no Jane Austen nor J.K. Rowling, you know what I mean). Alas, when we checked the responses, I must say my mix feeling turned into joy to know that many of you chose to “Keep in Touch”! Thanks so much to continue accompanying us in our journey, and listen to our stories! For those of you who are new to this, please know that you can unsubscribe using the “unsubscribe link” at the end of this email.

June! We are now in the sixth month of 2018! This year, summer solstice falls on 21st June for the Northern Hemisphere. If you wish to know how it feels to live the longest day and experience the “Midnight Sun”, you may still have time to plan a trip to Rovaniemi (Lapland, Finland) where the sun will stay up for 24 hours!

Now, let’s proceed to have fun with our June’s photo contest:

Where in the world was the above picture taken ?


Result of May’s photo contest:


The photo was taken in Berkshire, UK, before the crowd came in! Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest live in castle. Since William the Conqueror (the Norman King) built it in the 11th century, it has been the home of 39 British monarchs. It is said to have ~1,000 rooms…

In case you did not follow the Royal Wedding in May, and wish to discover the famous Windsor Castle, you can click on the links below: and

A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

In May, millions tuned in to watch Prince Henry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, and many more have googled and yahooed for the online tabloid news. Interest in the UK or England surged with the frenzy coverage by the media all over the world.

Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to do a “Cultural snippet” on the UK. To start with, have you ever wonder why there are so many different terms used: the UK, Great Britain, England, British Isles? Were you ever confused or are you already aware of the differences? Read on if you are interested to find out why:

Indeed, depending on what you want to talk about, the different terms apply as:

(1) UK’ or the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ is the sovereign state that comprises of 4 nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also include other smaller islands under the sovereign state.

(2) ‘Great Britain’ is in fact part of the United Kingdom (it refers to the island of Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales). Nevertheless, it is often used loosely for the United Kingdom as a whole. Therefore we may find country code ‘GBR’ instead of ‘UK’ in certain places.

(3) The ‘British Isles’ is not a country! It is a geographic area that comprises of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland (Rep of Ireland and Northern Island), Isle of Man and other 6,000 over smaller islands. This term is controversial because it is objected by the Republic of Ireland.


Then, if you have travelled to the UK, you may have noticed that the British 1 pound (£1) coin has many different versions. Each has a different emblem to represent a nation that is part of the sovereign state: England (the English rose), Scotland (the thistle), Wales (the leek) and Northern Ireland (the shamrock). Since 2008, a new version that combined all the emblems in its design was added to the circulation.

Finally, do you know that every nation has its own patron saint? It is easy to guess that St Patrick is the patron saint of Northern Ireland because of St Patrick’s day, and perhaps with the recent royal wedding, many should know that St George is for England. However, did you know that St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland? (perhaps you might if you are a devoted golfer, because of the famous St Andrews Old Course) and St David is for Wales?


Though there are quite some distinct cultural differences between the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish, and each nation taking pride and effort to preserve their own root identities, the people of the UK as a whole accept to be known as the British.

In fact, the same “uniting under one umbrella while keeping one’s own identity and governance” concept applies to many other “multinational-states”, such as the United States of America (50 states) and the United Arab Emirates (a federation of 7 emirates).

With that in mind, I wonder if ever one day, we shall really see the world truly as “ONE”?
That is the purpose when the “United Nations” was formed in 1945. Hopefully the lessons we learned through history of our humanity will guide us to better living in today’s global world. When the time comes where we can all harmoniously bridge our cultural gaps, and reach out to each other beyond boundaries, we shall all discover the gift and the true meaning of diversity! How nice shall that world be…

Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the ranges…Something lost behind the rangers. Lost and waiting for you. Go!

– Rudyard Kipling –

To learn about other Cultural snippets festivals around the world, you can also subscribe to TCG’s Youth’s Cross Cultural Competency course:


Wishing you a wonderful June!

There is more that we share in this world than those that divide us!