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Newsletter: 2023 March

TCG newsletter March 2023 greetings

“March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection.”

- Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer, poet, philosopher, artist, 1883-1931

While you would have thought we finished the New Year celebrations with February’s lunar new year, you’re mistaken. Here are some other new year celebrations this March:

#1 In ancient times, March 1, Kalends Martius, was the start of the Roman calendar year and was considered spring’s first day. Besides being the god of war, Mars was associated with agriculture and fertility. Therefore, March was an important time. Over time, January 1 replaced March 1 as the new New Year. Today, in Romania and part of Moldova, an ancient Roman tradition known as the exchange of Martisors (red and white amulets) still takes place on March 1 as a symbol of good luck to celebrate the arrival of spring.

#2 Nowruz: Also known as the Persian or Iranian New Year, it is one of humanity’s oldest holidays. Nowruz begins on the spring equinox (when days and nights are equal lengths), after which days become longer, signifying the arrival of spring. This year Nowruz is on the 21st. Besides Iran and Central Asia, Parsi communities worldwide also celebrate Nowruz.

#3 Cheti ChandUgadiGudi Padwa, etc. These new year festivals take place around the Indian subcontinent on March 22. Each has its unique traditions and customs, with feasts, processions and prayer services, again, to welcome the arrival of spring.

Ramadan, the ninth month, one of the holiest of the Islamic lunar calendar, starts on March 22 this year. A deeply spiritual month during which Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. If you have friends, colleagues or business partners of the Islamic faith, or you operate in a Muslim country or community, be respectful and considerate of this practice. It is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection on the importance of compassion, generosity, and gratitude.

Other key days in March include International Women’s Day (8th), Holi – the Hindu Festival of Colours (8th), International Commonwealth Day (13th), St Patrick’s Day (17th), and Greek National Day (25th). Since we mentioned St Patrick’s Day for the Irish, we should not miss out on St David’s Day (1st) for Wales.

Happy March!


A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

By now, virtually everyone must have heard of ChatGPT, the latest Artificial Intelligence sensation that has taken the tech industry and investment community by storm. Friends frequently ask if I wrote my newsletters (Yes, I write them myself), so I thought I should give some attention to this latest chatbot.

man in megaphone icon -AI

Having worked in the IT industry, I cautiously created a test account. Soon, I was able to dialogue with my new AI friend. Minutes into it, I was impressed. It is clear why this chatbot triggered “Code RED” @ Google; how it works will disrupt the current search engine-advertisement business model altogether. Here, take a look at the poem my new GPT “assistant” created in less than a minute for you:

AI bot
AI-generated poem

The world of AI and robots is here. Many are beginning to find it challenging to understand AI algorithms because it models our brains, and not many of us are neuroscientists to tackle such a complex subject. With trepidation, we ask: Will there be a difference between “them” and “us” as they learn to be more “intelligent”? Will AI beings eventually replace humankind?

I think (at least for the moment) there are some distinct differences between us (humans) and them (AI beings): (1)we (humans) function with intent, (2)we (or most of us) are naturally curious. (3)we (or most of us) are social and desire to connect. If humans retain these differences, we will have the upper hand in managing AI in the human world. Else, machine-learning technology may very well overtake us. I’ll share more on this next time.

Meanwhile, here are some fun facts for you to discover this month:

TCG newsletter March collage

Q1. What is Holi? Holi is known as the Festival of Colours, the Festival of Spring, and the Festival of Love. Holi celebrations start the night before with Holika Dahan; people gather, perform religious rituals before a bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed, like Holika, the sister of the demon king, killed in the fire. The next morning on Rangwali Holi (Dhuleti), people rejoice and celebrate by smearing and drenching each other with colourful powders, water guns etc.(source: Wikipedia.)

Q2. What is Haftsin (Haft-seen)? Haftsin (Persian: هفت‌سین) is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the letter “س” (pronounced as “seen”), the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet; “haft” (هفت) is Persian for “seven”, traditionally these seven symbolic items are displayed at Nowruz, the Persian New Year festival. (source: Wikipedia.)

Q3. What is the national animal of Greece? Greece is a maritime nation with over 2,000 islands and millennia of seafaring. The dolphin is its national animal because it symbolises compassion, hope, help, and allegiance, qualities the Greeks hold in reverence. Two other birds are also associated with Greece. One is the little owl symbolising wisdom and knowledge. Today, you can find this sacred owl of Athena with an olive branch on the Greek euro coin. The other is the Phoenix, a mythical bird with the message of rebirth and eternal life, representing endurance. (source: Greece Travel Ideas.)

For more fun facts, you can click and watch the following Youtube clips:

With so many cultural celebrations, March gives us the opportunity to reflect on our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion. Do not let AI derail us; let’s enjoy being humans! Be curious, take an interest and create a bond with our fellow humans.

Have fun exploring and connecting!


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

Secret Garden of N

Keng Keng Tan
Founder & CEO
TransCultural Group