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Newsletter: 2021 September

TCG September Newsletter Greetings heart-shaped hands

“Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue;
it makes it a requirement for survival.”

- René Dubos, French American scientist, environmentalist, Pulitzer Prize winner,1901-82

September is a major holiday season for our Jewish friends. Starting with Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) on the eve of 6th Sept, followed by Yom Kippur on 15th-16th. After which, there will also be the celebration for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) on the 20th-27th. To learn more about the customs of these special days, you can click on this link: Jewish High Holidays.

Around the same time, our Brazilian friends will celebrate their 199th anniversary for their Independence Day on the 7th, while our Hindu friends celebrate the birth of the elephant-headed deity, Lord Ganesh, on the 10th (Ganesh Chaturthi). This year, the 15th day of the 8th lunar month falls on the 21st. Many Chinese and Confucius-influenced cultures (Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.) will celebrate the “Mid-autumn, Moon-related” Day with families and friends. To learn about this festival, click this link: Mid-autumn Festival.

21st Sept is also the International Day of Peace. Will it remind us to practise tolerance and compassion towards one another? For Socrates once said, “no one does wrong on purpose.” Will we follow his wisdom and find a better way to deal with conflicts? Indeed, in our ever-connected and challenging world, tolerance and understanding are becoming pressing necessities for humanity to flourish and survive.

May the tender September sun bask and soften 

our hearts this autumn (spring)!

TCG food


A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

A delicious meal with good company is one of my favourite moments in life. Growing up in South East Asia, I was fortunate to have been introduced to a wide variety of cuisines, notably Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western. Later, as I explore the larger world around me, discovering new cuisines have become part of my “Savoir Vivre” pursuit.

When new acquaintances meet me over a meal, they often ask which cuisine I enjoy best and what I usually cook at home. The questions seem simple, but the answer can be complex because food tells many things about a person’s culture. Different people from different parts of the world eat different types of food, and traditional dishes hold the history of how a person, family and community shape a culture.

For me, I toggle between French and Chinese cooking at home. But I have an “always happy to have” meal list, with many dishes I love from places I’ve lived and visited. Like every traveller who moves from one country to another, I often find a dish cooked in different countries tastes slightly different from its original version. Instead of questioning its authenticity, hidden behind the dish can be the migration story of a community, where ingredients in the new country replaced the missing ones from its homeland. Food fills our stomachs and bonds our hearts. Enjoying the stories behind the dishes can be part of the fun when dining, and many long-lasting friendships form around a meal when stories are shared.


Let me share one of my “always happy to have” meals with you: “Poule au Pot,” a traditional dish made famous by King Henri IV of France in the 17th century. It has a noble tale – After decades of religious war, the king, in his attempt to address the famine, proclaimed, “If God grants me life, I will see that every labouring man in my Kingdom shall have his chicken to put in the pot (for their Sunday meal).” Yes, the Good King Henri did bring peace and relative prosperity to his country, and the “Poule au Pot” or “Hen to the Pot” became a French national dish many households love. And, if any historians were at your table, this story could soon lead to the enthralling tale of the real “War of Thrones” in Europe.

So, the next time you dine with your foreign friends, be it a social or a business meal, other than taking the opportunity to taste the food from their countries, perhaps you want to ask about the origins of the food. You can also do so with the owner or the service staff of the restaurant. It is an easy ice-breaker, and you may strike a good conversation as you nourish your curious mind with some cultural discoveries.

TCG cavemen

Bonus for this month:

Everybody has had a Hamburger, but did you know this popular fast food has a rich cross-cultural journey? From Mongolia to Germany, Germany to North America, and now returning to conquer Asia.

Now, want to be the gourmet expert knowing the stories behind some of these “global” food? Take a look at TCG’s “Food around the World” clip below; These stories can be informative to adults and children as long as you do not mind the cute little animals speaking with different accents depicting their origins. Start your journey with the introduction clip: TCG SEC SK Modules 01 Introduction Video EN.

If you love our effort, please give us a “like” and subscribe to our “YouTube” channel (at no cost)! Thanks to also help share it: Crossing Cultures – Beyond Boundaries.

The world is fascinating simply because differences exist!

Join us to spread the words, share the vision, and do our parts.

At TransCultural Group (TCG), we are determined to play our part in making the world a better place. We have launched an e-book for Youth. A book recounting the enchanting adventures of two children from China into the world of an old French family as they explore their cross-cultural friendship. Please click here to find out more

Crossing Cultures – Beyond Boundaries

Secret Garden of N

Keng Keng Tan
Founder & CEO
TransCultural Group