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Cross-cultural

Life Coaching with Neelambika Kasad: My first Life Coach - My Father

In my work as a coach, I have noticed the important influence of role models in shaping people’s lives, including their work ethic. Parents are usually the key role models, or it could be a favorite teacher, uncle or a grandmother.

Role models influence our attitude towards work, what values we hold dear, how we make decisions, or resolve conflict. I also observed, that people are unconsciously and powerfully influenced by their role models, often more than expert advice from other sources.

Toe Ring And Closed Shoes

I was on a holiday with my family in Salzburg, Austria recently. On one of the evenings, my son was insistent on a boat ride in the Salzach river. Being a tourist season, we had to wait in a queue to get in. Standing just next to us were two young Tamil-speaking couples. I say young, because they looked recently married and did not have any children with them.

My left, your left; Your right, my right uh..huh !

About 80% of the world learns the difference between left and right in the age of 5 or 6. But then there is another 20% inclusive of me, who can’t tell their left from right. Well, to start with, I am a medical researcher and have had an excellent formal education since schooling. Like any other weird and strange person on this planet, I perform tasks like anyone else and have certain set of qualities that makes me stand apart. Time and again, I have proved myself that I don’t know left from right.

High school in the US with the World Exchange Program

Twenty-six years ago, two best friends in Belgium had an idea – a cross-cultural exchange between high school students in Belgium and the US with local families hosting students. At the time, one of them, Olivier Joris had already started to invite young Americans to Belgium for a semester or yearlong student exchanges. He himself had been an exchange student at high school in Massachusetts and had loved the adventure of exploring and discovering a different way of experiencing the world.

A Few Minutes Of Creative Stillness

My mother draws a Kolam every morning at the front door. A ritual, that I remember her doing ever since my first memories. And I have rarely seen her miss a day so far.

It is hard to describe what a Kolam is in a language which cannot capture its cultural nuance. Kolam is an artistic pattern drawn on the floor usually in front of the house or near an altar. It is usually drawn with dry rice flour and sometimes with a powder made of a particular stone. In some parts of India it is called Rangoli.

TC Chats with Yuge Ma - Part 2

At the age of 10, Yuge Ma set out alone, on the first of a series of train journeys to explore her home nation. By the age of 14 she had travelled across all 31 provinces of China by herself with the full support of the parents. After graduating from Tsinghua University in China, she joined Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi to study development and environmental change.

TC meets Yuge Ma

TC chats with Yuge Ma

At the age of 10, Yuge Ma set out alone, on the first of a series of train journeys to explore her home nation. By the age of 14 she had travelled across all 31 provinces of China by herself with the full support of the parents. After graduating from Tsinghua University in China, she joined Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi to study development and environmental change.

We Are Angry

India’s rape crisis inspires new way of storytelling

Two years ago a swell of revulsion spread across India, and the world, as details emerged about the barbaric gang-rape in New Delhi on December 16, 2012. Revulsion had quickly ruptured into anger with outpourings of grief, protests, memorials and debates.

Then came reports of a 5-year-old girl who faced a similar fate. And another.

#IHaveADaughter

In India, a billion people are ending the annual high festivals of Navratri and Diwali. Enthusiastic people there worship Devi in all her forms, Devi being the personification of the divine, feminine creative energy in Hinduism. The same celebration of the feminine halves of the human whole, the yin of the eternal yin-yang, however, does not seem to percolate from the arena of faith to reach the zeitgeist of today’s workforce.

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi

I happened to pass through Gulbai Tekra in Amdabad (Ahemdabad), during my recent trip to India, and realized Ganesh Chaturthi was around the corner. I remembered always seeing these beautiful Ganesh idols being crafted every year, in this large slum area, starting about 2 months before the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. I told my daughter that this slum is known as Hollywood, not knowing why. My daughter curiously googled this area and to our amusement found that Google maps also lists it as “Hollywood basti”!

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