“Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime; For oh, it is not always May!””
- Henry W Longfellow, American poet, educator, 1807-82
On the evening of the 2nd, we will start with the festival of Fast breaking (the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the 10th Islamic month) for Muslims, Eid Al Fitr. “Eid Mubarak” is the Arabic term for “Blessed feast/festival” to greet Muslims from different countries during their festivals.
Seventy-seven years ago, the world marked the end of WW II (1939-1945) on 8th May. This year, the 8th is also the 2nd Sunday of the month, a day to celebrate the selfless loves of mothers, for it is International Mother’s Day. The 16th is the holiest day for those who follow the teaching of Buddha. Vesak Day commemorates three significant events of Buddha’s life: his birth, enlightenment, and the achievement of Nirvana.
Twenty years ago (Dec 2002), the United Nations declared 21st May the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. According to the UN, three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. Make 21st a special day. Share your culture, such as its cuisines, traditions, taboos, etc., with your friends, colleagues, and the younger family members; listen to theirs and start a dialogue.
As Henry W Longfellow, the American poet, once proclaimed, May is special; live it to its best:
May the sweet scent of roses enrobe your days!
A Journey A Month…
Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.
Have you come across the African word “Ubuntu”, which translates to “I am because you are”?
The African Journal of Social Work gives it a fuller definition: Ubuntu – A collection of values and practices that people of Africa or African origin view as making people authentic human beings.
While the nuances of these values and practices vary across different ethnic groups, they all point to one thing – an authentic individual human being is part of a larger and more significant relational, communal, societal, environmental and spiritual world.
It doesn’t matter if we are of African, Asian or Caucasian origins; we all have the same construct of being humans. While we may appear differently from our looks because of our genetic make-ups, each cell still contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. And like the life-giving water that makes up ~ 70% of the body and covers ~ 71% of the earth’s surface, we are interdependent and interconnected on this planet.
This month, we mark the end of historical WW II; it is troubling that many lives continue to perish at war. Have we not learnt the lessons? How have we evolved into who we are today? “What makes us HUMAN?”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the award-winning filmmaker from France, spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in more than 60 countries, searching for answers. The result is a powerful documentary. The film has some spectacular aerial scenes of the earth as we dive into a profound quest for humanity.
Intro (4mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Full version (~3 hrs, it is worth watching if you want to “feel” the meaning of simply being HUMAN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
By watching the film, we may realise we are infinitesimally small yet tightly connected to this larger whole. This feeling may help us find the answers to our modern-day challenges and conflicts as we continue our evolution as humans.
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. We have also uploaded the complete series of “Food around the World” on our YouTube channel.
Please share it If you love our effort, and please give us a “like” and subscribe to our “YouTube” channel (it is free!) Come support us!
Crossing Cultures – Beyond Boundaries
Keng Keng Tan
Founder & CEO