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Overlooking Istanbul


‘in-between’ Multicultural, multiethnic, mixed-race and geographically mobile populations (like immigrants, refugees and Third Culture Kids).







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26 China’s Eileen Gu is the New Face of Professional Skiing Say hello to the brilliant star on the slopes.

58 Six Incredible Movies and Roles That Didn’t get Nominated for an Oscar How does a movie nab Hollywood’s ultimate prize?

66 Old World Splendor Destination: Turkey.


14 The Cross-Cultural Sport of Ice Fishing for Beginners The ice fishing culture.

20 Spam Musubi Blends Asian and U.S. Cultures Into a Delicious Snack A delicacy in Hawaii. Not mystery meat.

30 Life Lessons as a TCK Taught Shaquille O’Neal Empathy Multicultural experiences help Shaq reach people beyond sports.

35 Third Culture Kid Poster Series Brené Brown.

36 How the Outdoors Can Soothe the Turbulence of a Chaotic Cross-Cultural Lifestyle Wherever you are, being outdoors offers physical and psychological benefits.

40 Living the Dream 50 years of women’s sports equality.

76 Istanbul’s Pets A photoessay of the city’s love of cats and dogs.

82 Turkey/Syria

86 What is the Current


Value of a Passport?

Devastating earthquake in Turkey.

As of 2020, 3.6% of the global population are migrants.


Must Know: The Expats


Must Read: ‘Belonging: a Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love’


Must Watch: ‘Naatu Naatu’


Must Go:

‘Joy Ride’


Must Try:

Why knowing your DNA adds 15 years to your life.




Publisher’s Letter


Editor’s Letter


Just Under the Surface


Tech and trends


Behind the scenes

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023




I love that you are expanding the conversation and showing us how much more we all need to keep understanding and learning about this global topic of growing up with the cultural fluidity you name. I at the head of the line of wanting to hear more from this growing group of diverse voices whose TCK/CCK experience has had far more cultural complexity than mine ever did... the layers and nuances of the long term effects of growing up among and between and in many cultural worlds are continually evolving which is why we can never rest on the past understandings alone! — R. Van Reken , Co-Author, "Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds," via LinkedIn Love this episode. As a fellow daughter of a diplomat, the fact that significant challenges can coexist with meaningful privileges really resonated with me. Connect with Culturs on social:


xotv.me, channel 312


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

BTW. the podcast was totally adorable! — Cherise via Whatsapp, regarding Destinations with Doni podcast episode 27

— L. Lee via Instagram, regarding Destinations with Doni podcast episode 29

Mom and I just finished watching the podcast [video]. So fun!

I received the Culturs box and it is fantastic!

— Stephanie via Whatsapp, regarding Destinations with Doni podcast episode 27

— T. Policelli via email

Thank you Culturs for the spotlight! — Lumpia Movie via Facebook, regarding 'Lumpia' movie article

Loved it! — Vicky via Whatsapp, regarding Destinations with Doni podcast episode 27

Spring 2023 www.CultursMag.com Volume VI, Issue XIX

Thanks for your contibutions to the field about people from culturally fluid backgrounds and, especially for people of color. A much needed voice!


— P. Bethel via LinkedIn

EDITORIAL Thanks @Cultursmag for featuring our work. — @madewithblackculture via Instagram

This magazine is packed with great articles and valuable information! What a great magazine


— B. Shelton at Capstone Colorado via Alignable

Hey there, I'm loving the podcasts. Topics always good.

— S. Clarke via Facebook

First principles — your sister friends are like cord blood — continuously regenerating and giving you life! — V. Levy via Facebook

Andy Roberson Jake Sell COLUMNISTS Andrea Bazoin Hayden Greene


PRODUCER Katie Mitchel



— T. Milligan via LinkedIn

So thankful to Doni Aldine for making our milestone, bucket list safari/beach resort extravganza last year even more fabulous by memorializing it in her beautiful magazine, Culturs, and with a conversation on her podcast. You can feel the celebration of life, love, friendship and sisterhood in both mediums. This is so cool! We're on the cover!

CONTRIBUTORS Oğuzhan Ates Romita Bulchandani Kathleen Gates Antoinette Lee Toscano Samantha Nordstrom


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Niara Hardin WEB DESIGN Internet Growth Systems

McMillion Multimedia SOCIAL MEDIA Kahlea Wright KSW Social Media

SUPPORTERS ADVISORY BOARD Chumba Limo Brooke Martellaro Gregory Moore Donna Musil Linda Thomas

Brooks Antionette Williams SPECIAL THANKS: Colorado State University Journalism and

Media Communication Kami Guildner Coaching

Connect with Culturs on social: @CultursMag Clubhouse: @CultursMag

Did you get a chance to listen to this one? Doni Aldine has a way of pulling out stories that I haven't shared publicly before ;) — M. Fox, via Facebook regarding Destinations with Doni podcast episode 26

XOTV.me: Channel 312

SUBSCRIPTIONS: www.cultursmag.com/subscribe. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Contact advertising@cultursmag.com. MEDIA INQUIRIES: Contact press@cultursmag.com. CULTURSTM magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3. Copyright Culturs Global Multicultural Philanthropic Lifestyle Network. All rights reserved. Published quarterly; Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, by Simply Alive, LLC, 242 Linden Street, Fort Collins, CO 80525. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Culturs magazine, 1800 Wazee Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80525. Reproduction in whole or part without express written consent is strictly prohibited. Simply Alive LLC does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photographs, and other material submitted. Culturs makes every effort to provide accurate information in advertising and editorial content, however, does not make any claim as to the accuracy of information provided by advertisers or editorial contributors and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information. PRINTED IN THE USA

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


Culturally Fluid Definitions n the 21st century, assessing someone’s background from outward appearance isn’t enough as hidden, rather than visual, diversity means people increasingly bring more to the table than meets the eye.

Whether through nationality, travel, race or ethnicity, many straddle culture in myriad ways. From Cultural Fluidity, to Third Culture Kid, Expat, Third Culture Adult, Cross-Cultural Kid and more, the language to describe our in-between community is of

Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) A term coined by author Ruth Van Reken in 2002, is a person who is living, has lived, or meaningfully interacted with two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time during the first 18 years of life. This includes minority individuals living within majority culture.

Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK)

utmost importance. Knowing the vocabulary creates understanding and deepens our sense of belonging and connections to others with similar experiences. Here’s a quick overview so you can follow along any of our articles with ease:

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) Coined by Sociologist Ruth Useem in the 1950s as a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The first culture is considered an individual’s passport culture, while the second culture consists of the culture(s) in which the individual has lived. The third culture is a result of the person’s life experience; this is the culture to which they most belong. The third culture often is where individuals feel community with others of similar experience.

An adult who grew up as a Cross-Cultural Kid.

Domestic TCK Cultural Fluidity/Cultural Mobility

Illustration by Diana Vega

A term coined by Culturs founder Donnyale Ambrosine to characterize hidden diversity created by people who don’t or didn’t grow up in a homogenous cultural environment. Culturally Fluid individuals may straddle nationalities, ethnicities, race or culture. The fluidity created allows understanding between or among their foundational areas of meaningful experience. It also may hinder sense of belonging to any one area.

Children who moved to various regions within the same country while growing up, often having to re-learn ways of being, especially as regional differences in dress, speech and action are heightened in formative years when it is important to be accepted.

Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK) An adult who grew up as a TCK.

Third Culture Adult (TCA) Missionary Kids Children of missionaries who travel to missions domestically or abroad.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

Coined in 2002 by Psychotherapist Paulette Bethel to signify individuals who travel extensively and are immersed in, or live in global locations after the age of 18 (after identity has been solidified).



Internationally nomadic group not characterized by a parent’s occupation. Displaced from their homeland forcibly or by choice, often having fled for varied reasons — violence, politics, religion, environment, etc. Refugees typically do not return to their origin country.

Those who travel expecting differences among intra-international or international culture, however, not immersed in these cultures for extended periods of time, or long enough to integrate local cultural norms as their own.

International Business Kids Immigrants People who, for varied reasons, immigrate to a country different than their homeland to stay permanently. Many return to their home countries to visit, though some do not.

Children whose parents work with multinational corporations that take them to faraway lands, often in professional fields surrounding oil, construction and pharmaceuticals.

Borderlanders Expatriate (Expat) As defined by Merriam Webster — to leave one’s native country to live elsewhere; which also sometimes means to renounce allegiance to one’s native country.

Military B.R.A.T. Children of military who move with parents to different places within or outside of their home country. They often experience other cultures within the confines of a military installation or compound that possesses traits of the home country.

Non-Military Foreign Service Children traveling with their parents to various countries in non-military government roles, diplomatic corps, civil service, foreign service, etc.

Diplomat Kids Children whose parents are members of the home country’s political framework while living on foreign soil.

Described by author Ruth Van Reken in the book “Third Culture Kids,” a borderlander is a citizen of one country that lives close to another. Often the norms, customs and traits of each country’s culture seeps into the other, creating a cultural experience separate from either original culture, while allowing inhabitants keen knowledge and insight into their own culture as well as the other.

Multiracial People whose family consists of two or more races to which the individual identifies. With race often come cultural norms, slang language and attitudes that can greatly differ. Many multiracial children, though not all, have the unique opportunity to learn norms of all the cultures they comprise.

Multiethnic; Multicultural People whose family consists of two or more cultures to which the individual identifies. Even when belonging to the same race, differences in culture may exist between ethnicities, tribes and other cultural contexts.

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Turkish OĞUZHAN ATES is a freelance photographer from Istanbul, Turkey. His typical work includes portraits, but in his free time he loves to photograph Istanbul with its streets, Bosphorus Strait and animals, especially cats and seagulls. He has taken landscape photos and videos in many countries, including Ukraine, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Chilean-Nebraskan CCK ANDREA BAZOIN (say “Bah-Zwah”) is a human resilience activator, which means she works with individuals and teams to identify and dismantle the practical and personal barriers that keep them from thriving in our everaccelerating future. Her family ties span the globe and include the U.S., Chile, Argentina, Australia, and France. She currently lives in Colorado, U.S.A. with her French husband and culturally fluid son. Learn more at www.andreabazoin.com.

Indian-American CCK ROMITA BULCHANDANI a.k.a. Glitter Explorer, is a former Fortune 200 leader turned Spiritual Life Coach. She leans in on her 15+ years of leadership experience for Fortune 200 companies like The Walt Disney Company and Marriott International. Romita left the corporate space to conquer her own mental health. She has been traveling (28+ countries) worldwide, exploring mental health from various perspectives. Inspired by her travels, Romita founded Glitter For The Soul to help depleted humans reconnect and master their souls so they can build wealth and change the world.

France-based Third Culture Adult KATHLEEN GATES picked up a volleyball at eight years old and has since used sport as a vehicle to see and explore the world. She was a four-year starter and three-year captain of her university volleyball team. After booking a one-way ticket to Italy to play professional volleyball, she continued to play in France for seven seasons, with three championship titles (Quimper 29 Volley, Volleyball Club de Chamalières) to her name. She now lives in Clermont-Ferrand, France and is a PR consultant for Athletes Abroad SE, promoting women’s volleyball in Europe and the United States.

U.K., Trinidad & Tobago TCK HAYDEN GREENE is a pop culture columnist and director of multicultural affairs and student development at Manhattan College in New York City, U.S.A. Known as Brooklyn’s favorite polymath, he is a prize-winning fine art photographer, voice over talent and Trinidadian from the U.K.


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U.S. Based TCA and ACCK ANTOINETTE LEE TOSCANO, MBA — an American Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK) and Third Culture Adult (TCA) with family ancestry in Nigeria, Ireland, Spain, China, the Indigenous Arawak of Jamaica and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Toscano is an outdoor industry influencer, model, consultant, writer, philanthropist and motivational health and wellness speaker, delivering the “New Normal Big Life” talk and blog. One of her passions is talking about how outdoor recreation is at the intersection of health, wellness, conservation and adventure.

Guatemalan-American TCK JOHN LIANG is an Adult Third Culture Kid who grew up in Guatemala, Costa Rica, the United States, Morocco and Egypt before graduating high school. He has a bachelor’s degree in languages from Georgetown University and a master’s in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Liang has covered the U.S. military for two decades as a writer and editor for InsideDefense.com, and is also managing editor of Culturs Magazine. He lives in Arlington, Va., U.S.A.

SAMANTHA “SAM” NORDSTROM loves storytelling about amazing and diverse people, places and events, and she strives to appeal to audiences around the world. Nothing makes her happier than spending the night in the mountains after a long day of hiking, sipping on a cup of coffee and staring into the stars, or taking a spontaneous road trip to a new city for a day of shopping and exciting exploration.

ANDY ROBERSON is a digital content creator and multimedia innovator who moved from his native Texas to Colorado early in his developmental years. Roberson’s goal is to write and create engaging content that helps demonstrate his cultural fluidity. He loves experiencing new moments in sports and presenting them through his own lens of

JAKE SELL provides a fresh perspective on topics of culture. He grew up in a rural area, which provides him with opportunities to observe culture in depth and with an open mind. Having grown up in a cultural bubble, Sell is able to report on most cultures for the first time without bias or preconception.

Mexican TCA DIANA VEGA is a Third Culture Adult. Born in Mexico and passionate about design, they studied architecture and started a small business after college. Interested in entrepreneurship, Vega moved to Colorado, U.S.A. to earn an MBA at Colorado State University. Now repatriated to Mexico, they are a graphic designer and illustrator for Culturs Magazine.

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Cappadocia, Turkey

Not everyone likes change, but often change is good.


ulturs is used to change, as we’ve been growing quickly and have

had to adapt just as quickly. With growth comes new faces, new subscribers and an enhanced community. The Culturs crew is so excited to welcome our new Editor-in-Chief Judy Howard to the fold! Judy brings a breadth and depth of experience in journalism and corporate, not to mention a love of writing and travel. 12

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As we change the guard, she will take over our next issue, as the team continues to bring you the “in-between” cultural goodness you’ve come to love -- with hopefully a few surprises along the way! We’re excited to continue to grow our distribution and readership in print, digital, on the web and with our podcast and video offerings as well. Reaching millions of people each month provides fuel to keep going, and offering even more ways for you to connect to a community of people who understand your cultural “in-between.” Stay tuned for more product launches, exciting media enhancements and the birth of our brand ambassador program,

all coordinated to bring you the content, tools and resources you need, when you need it and in the manner that best suits you. Thanks for being part of the fold as we welcome our newest team member and embrace her leadership of the print publication. We look forward to continue growing with you. With enduring gratitude,

Publisher, Culturs - the global multicultural magazine CEO, Culturs Global Multicultural Lifestyle Network


The Alluring Vibe Of New Beginnings


ew beginnings. I’ve always loved them. That sense of adventure. The deep breath before jumping. The precious moment when you step foot in a destination that sits high on the bucket list. New beginnings matter because they set the tone for everything that comes next. Over the years, a love of new beginnings helped me navigate as a midwesterner in the United States through daily newspapers in Upstate New York, Texas and Colorado. The changes helped me grow from reporter to editor, and I learned how to build rapport in unknown places.

Understanding the value of a wonderful new beginning also guided me when I started my business. It taught me how to work with global teams and discover alternative paths of learning when I added technical writing and business analysis to my career portfolio. New beginnings helped me gain knowledge, pivot and scale up. Finding purpose in new beginnings enabled me to pursue a multidimensional life that drives me forward with curiosity and courage. New beginnings challenge me to savor the present and to finish well — the proper prep before starting again. Joining the Culturs team is another new beginning with fresh terrain. I have opportunities to explore, build friendships and serve readers. Thankfully, I join a skilled, high-powered team brimming with enthusiasm for delivering robust stories about the nuances of cultural identity. I look forward to learning from each of them.

As Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, the ever-vibrant Doni Aldine has led the Culturs team with a passion for a global, multicultural magazine that celebrates cross-cultural identity and offers a home for those who live outside of traditional cultural boundaries. Doni leaves huge shoes for me to fill as the new Editor-in-Chief. What that means is that I must get ready for another adventure and lean in to that inviting, beautiful vibe of a new horizon. Onward. Judy Howard Ellis Editor-in-Chief

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Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

Beginner ice anglers ICE FISHING ESSENTIAL GEAR Ice fishing is a calorie-burning, strength-conditioning and mobility powerhouse activity. Unfortunately, the average cost to get started, not including ice fishing lessons from a fishing guide, is about $800. But the gear, apparel and equipment could last more than five years with proper upkeep. And you can find significantly discounted and gently used gear at a local consignment shop or online. Check out the next page for a list of the essential beginner ice angler gear.


ard water fishing or ice fishing emerged from a hunter and angler’s survival skill in climates worldwide where lakes freeze during winter, trapping fish beneath four, 10, or more inches of ice to become a much loved cross-cultural winter sport. However, learning the sport of ice fishing can be a significant barrier. So, we are making it easy for beginners to go ice fishing this season by teaching you the essential ice fishing gear, etiquette and the sport’s Indigenous history.

ICE FISHING SAFETY First, always assume that unsafe ice conditions may exist, and you should create a habit of checking the weather conditions, ice (thickness) reports and barometric pressure. If you are near mountain slopes, check the avalanche reports for the area. Next, adventure sports like ice fishing have some risks. Beginner ice anglers should remember to go fishing with a buddy. And tell one or more people where you are going, the route you are taking and what time you will

should remember to go fishing with a buddy.

check in to tell them you are safely home. If you do not contact them and they cannot reach you at the check-in time, they will send help. Lastly, always jab your spud bar into the ice to check that it is solid and firm. An experienced ice angler will tell a beginner that “clear ice is the safest.” Milky ice is typically where ice has gone through freezing and thawing or recent snow froze to the ice. Four inches of ice is considered minimally safe to walk on, but at least six inches is better for an inexperienced ice angler. A beginner ice angler can drill a few test holes to measure the ice thickness before venturing too far out on the ice. www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


WHAT TO DO IF YOU FALL THROUGH THE ICE According to Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, you have about 30 minutes before becoming hypothermic. But here is what you can do to survive a fall through the ice. Pro Tip: remember the 1-10-1 principle: “One minute to get control of your breathing. Ten minutes of meaningful movement. One hour before you become unconscious.” — Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht You have just fallen through the ice into the water. The cold water might send you into shock for one to three minutes. Know that you have time, so control your breathing and do not panic. Pro Tip: Rescue measures are unnecessary when you understand ice thickness, find reliable ice reports and monitor the weather before going ice fishing. To save yourself, spread your arms to your sides like a letter Y, tread water for a second to catch your breath, kick your legs up to the surface and pull yourself onto the ice. You can also have ice picks around your neck that you can jab into the ice as you pull yourself out of the water. A buddy can throw you a length of rope or a throw bag. Reach for the rope, not the bag, throw it over your shoulder, turn away from your rescuer and kick while they pull you from the water. Finally, get out of your wet clothes, put on dry clothes and 16

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get under an emergency blanket, by a fire or into a heated vehicle as quickly as possible. Drinking a warm beverage can also help raise your body temperature and prevent hypothermia. Pro Tip: Practice rescue drills with your fishing partner before ice fishing.

ICE FISHING CULTURE Like any affinity group, anglers and ice anglers have a culture and language that is unique to the sport. To learn more about fishing culture in general, check out the video ‘Fishing Etiquette and More.’

THE COMPLEX HISTORY OF ICE FISHING’S ORIGINS First, although historians are unclear where and when ice fishing began, the oldest carved lures dating back 2,000 years were

found among the Inuit, First Nation and other Indigenous peoples of Greenland, Canada and the United States. Pro Tip: Fishing lures are artificial objects of various sizes depending on the species and size of fish you want to catch. Lures are attached to a hook, tied to a fishing line and made to look like and mimic the behavior of injured smaller prey in the water. However, the tradition of ice fishing on Chagan Lake (Chagan Hu) in the Mongolian Autonomous County of Qian Gorlos, Songyuan City, Jilin Province of China also claims a 2,000-year tradition of ice fishing which lasts today.

The Ojibwe peoples of the U.S. and Canada occupy land surrounding the Great Lakes region, which includes Ontario, Canada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the U.S. The Ojibwe, Chippewa or Saulteaux peoples used ice chisels to cut a hole in the ice and spearfishing techniques using “dark houses” and simple fishing rods. Winter fishing became more productive for the Ojibwe when they developed the “jig and net technique,” which allowed anglers to catch more fish in a shorter time on the ice. About 523 years ago, European explorers learned about dark house ice fishing from the Ojibwe and brought the concept of ice fishing back to Europe around 1500, according to archaeologists.

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Next, the survival skill turned sport of ice fishing became a cross-cultural winter activity among Indigenous folk and Europeans worldwide. However, since the Inuit people of Greenland, Canada and Alaska also ice-fished 2,000 years ago, some Europeans claim a 2,000year ice fishing tradition. Although Greenland is geographically a part of the North American continent, it is politically and culturally associated with Europe. However, Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. As you can see, the origins of ice fishing have a complex heritage. 18

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Today, regardless of ice fishing’s long tradition among Indigenous people, only “over 9 million people of color fished in the U.S. (in 2020) out of the 50 million who went fishing,” according to AnglingTrade.com. Nonprofit organizations, fishing equipment, and apparel manufacturers are working to introduce ice fishing to new anglers, including anglers of color, through targeted marketing and sponsored learning events.

We’re just not meant to be sedentary, screenstaring and meaningdevoid creatures.

THE WORLD’S BEST PLACES TO ICE FISH If you ask three ice anglers — ice fishing men, women and folk where to find the best ice fishing, you will likely get two lists. The third person would say it depends on the fish you want to catch. According to Debbie Hansen of ‘Take me fishing,” here are the top six places in the world to ice fish: Kangerlussuaq Fjord — Greenland for an extreme fishing adventure, ice fishing for arctic char. Lake of the Woods — Ontario, Manitoba, Canada and Minnesota, U.S.A. are renowned for catching walleye.

Lake Simcoe — Ontario, Canada, offers yellow perch, lake trout, northern pike and whitefish. Lake Gogebic — Michigan, U.S.A. in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a top lake for finding jumbo yellow perch. Devil’s Lake — North Dakota, U.S.A. produces an abundance of walleye, northern pike, and white bass. Lena River — Siberia, you can find epic perch or roach on the 11th longest river in the world. This writer would add fishing anywhere in Wisconsin, U.S.A., as one of the best places to ice fish. Pro Tip: Practice “catch and release” fishing and treat the fish delicately when removing hooks. This practice allows you to enjoy the sport and return healthy fish to the lake for the next angler to catch.

no friends, and 56% of Gen Zers report loneliness in the past twelve months, according to the Institute for Family Studies. “We’re just not meant to be sedentary, screen-staring and meaning-devoid creatures,” Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D. writes in his new book, “Digital Madness.” Instead, Kardaras says, “Psychologists have known for decades that the best nonpharmaceutical antidepressant is physical activity — taking a walk, riding a bike, jogging, playing a sport.” #GetOutsideAndAdventure and tag us @cultursmag on your next outdoor experience.

HEAD TO THE WATER FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Becoming a beginner ice angler is a great way to defend yourself against the “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder — SAD. Worldwide, deaths of despair — suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related deaths are at record levels. According to the Institute for Family Studies, a Centers for Disease Control report stated one in five millennials report having

For more info about learning the cross-cultural sport of ice fishing, as well as a link to a video on the topic, scan the code below: cultursmag.com/the-cross-cultural-sport

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023




Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

Hawaiians created an inexpensive, portable delicacy out of what some call ‘mystery meat.


rish-Italian-American photographer and all-around outdoorsman Matthew James

Berrafato, a Third Culture Adult (TCA), missed the Hawaiian islands he had grown to love while living and working there for four years. During the COVID lockdown, while staring at a case of Spam and wondering how to create a delicious meal with it, Berrafato remembered his Hawaiian culture. He recalled how the Hawaiians used Spam lunch meat to cook Spam Musubi during a period of food insecurity on the islands to create a portable, inexpensive Hawaiian delicacy. Today, Berrafato calls Spam Musubi his favorite backcountry meal on the go.

Spam is considered a mystery meat in U.S. culture. Spam consists of only six primarily natural ingredients — pork with ham meat added, counted as a single ingredient, plus salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrite. The sodium nitrate gives the unrefrigerated meat a best-by date of three years. The word “Spam” is a portmanteau for spiced ham. The pork product was created by Hormel Foods Corp., a U.S. food processing company founded in Austin, Minn., U.S.A., in 1891 by George A. Hormel. During World War II, 150 million pounds of Spam was bought, shipped and served to the U.S. military, according to “American in WWII” magazine. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, the U.S. military fought its way to the Pacific islands of Guam, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea, bringing Spam with it. For this reason and others, Spam has made its way into Asian cuisine throughout these regions, including the 50th U.S. state — Hawaii, in the central Pacific Ocean.

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“When there’s a civil emergency, people flock to the supermarkets to hoard toilet paper and Spam. It’s one of those things. During the holidays, there [were] fights over those Black Friday Spam specials. People go crazy over Spam,” says Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon of the Tin Roof restaurant in Maui, Hawai’i. On some islands in the Pacific Ocean — including Hawaii — Spam became necessary for survival for many residents due to food rationing and restrictions during the war.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

In addition to photography and adventure sports like fishing, ice fishing, whitewater kayaking, hiking and camping, Berrafato loves food. “I’m careful about what I eat. Sometimes I’ll spend ten minutes looking for the perfect lime, even if it’s one small ingredient in a grilling and smoked meats recipe. I grow many of the vegetables that I cook on the grill from scratch at home and in the backcountry,” Berrafato says. “I enjoy the slow process of smoking and grilling meats, vegetables and sides on a classic Weber Kettle grill at home because I love barbeque. But I don’t have hours to slow-cook an elaborate meal when I’m kayaking class-four rapids or hiking into the backcountry to photograph a scenic location all day.”

When there’s a civil emergency, people flock to the supermarkets to hoard toilet paper and Spam. It’s one of those things. During the holidays, there [were] fights over those Black Friday Spam specials. People go crazy over Spam.

Berrafato hosts “Smokin’ with Matt” in his spare time on AdventureTV on the XOTV.me platform. Through his series, Berrafato is helping backyard meat grillers and smokers “level up their barbecue game” from scratch-made recipes with stepby-step video instructions. “When I cook, I like to blend classic American meals with ethnic spices from the cultures that I’ve grown to love, like my Korean barbeque ribs recipe,” he says. “During the pandemic lockdown of 2020, I saw social media posts of single men over 40 and millennials who talked about not knowing how to cook and their dependence on restaurant takeout, which wasn’t available to them. And I noticed their reliance on microwaveable meals and processed foods with very little

When I cook, I like to blend classic American meals with ethnic spices from the cultures that I’ve grown to love, like my Korean barbeque ribs recipe.

nutritional value and decided to share my love of home-cooked meals,” Berrafato says. However, Berrafato found that Spam Musubi (pronounced Moo-Sue-Bee) is a great, naturally gluten-free source of protein and carbohydrates meal or snack to take on a backcountry adventure. He makes Spam Musubi the day before, stores it in a Hot Bento, self-heating bento lunchbox, and enjoys a hot meal on a frozen lake while ice fishing. Berrafato says you can also eat Musubi cold. And Spam Musubi recipes span from basic and quick to more elaborate gourmet snacks.

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During the pandemic Barbara Funamura, a JapaneseAmerican woman born in 1938 in Lihue, Kauai County, Hawaii, U.S.A., is credited with inventing Spam Musubi. Spam Musubi (rice ball) is a slice of grilled or pan-fried Spam on top of a triangle of rice, wrapped together with sheets of nori seaweed. Funamura later used a rectangular-shaped plastic box which was the perfect size for the sliced canned ham. And the rectangular sandwich became the familiar shape that Berrafato came to love. Funamura passed away in 2016 at the age of 78. One cannot help but think that she might love the idea of sharing her recipe with the outdoor community.


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lockdown of 2020, I saw social media posts of single men over 40 and millennials who talked about not knowing how to cook and their dependence on restaurant takeout, which wasn’t available to them.

To read more about how to get started in adventure sports like Matthew James Berrafato, check out the article in this issue on “How to Learn the Cross-Cultural Sport of Ice Fishing for Beginners” or scan the QR code below. cultursmag.com/the-cross-cultural-sport-of


Have to More kicks of f lavor. More smiling snackers.

®/©2022 Tyson Foods, Inc.




By Jake Sell


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

Before her debut at the


Winter Olympic Games in 2022, Gu had already rofessional skier Eileen (Ailing) Gu has truly made a name for herself

over the past year, and is the new face of professional skiing. At only 19, she has won three Olympic medals, represented the United States and China and achieved feats which most people can only dream of.


won two gold and one bronze medal at the X Games, two gold and one bronze medal in the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships and 2 Crystal Globes in the FIS Freestyle World Cup.

Born in 2003 in San Francisco, Calif., U.S.A., Gu is no stranger to the exceptional. She was raised by her mother, a first-generation Chinese immigrant to the United States who instilled in her a strong work ethic and competitive ferocity. Participating in skiing competitions at an early age, Gu quickly amassed a number of titles and medals while simultaneously honing her skills. www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


Before her debut at the Winter Olympic Games in 2022, Gu had already won two gold and one bronze medal at the X Games, two gold and one bronze medal in the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships and 2 Crystal Globes in the FIS Freestyle World Cup.

THE OLYMPIC DEBUT Gu recently made waves at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, where she officially became the youngest gold medalist in Olympic freestyle skiing history; she also became the first skier to win three medals at the games. An impressive trick known as the double cork 1620 landed Gu with the gold, giving her a whopping score of 188.25 over three runs. Feats like these are no small thing, and Gu knows this. In considering her cultural influences and her ability to elevate noble causes, Gu decided to represent China in the Olympics and not her passport country of the United States.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

REPRESENTING CHINA The representation of China in Gu’s Olympic debut has caused mountains of controversy — and praise — in the United States and China alike. Though Gu was born in the United States, she saw an opportunity to popularize snowsports in China, a country which has a relatively small presence in the snowsports world. In particular, Gu intends to speak to the youth of China. “My biggest goal is for some girl to be sitting at home watching freeskiing for the first time and thinking, ‘Maybe that

My biggest goal is for some girl to be sitting at home watching freeskiing for the first time and thinking, ‘Maybe that could be me some day.

could be me some day,’” Gu said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Maybe she sees someone who looks like her doing it and thinks, ‘Hey, I can do that, too.’” Gu has also faced backlash for her decision. Fox News commentator Will Cain, for example, notoriously stated that Gu’s decision to represent China was “shameful” and “ungrateful,” suggesting that she had come to her decision to make money from Chinese sponsorship deals. In any case, Gu is a polarizing figure, yet one who is changing the face of professional skiing by the day.

A NEW FACE AND A BRIGHT FUTURE Aside from her renown in the world of snowsports as the new face of professional skiing, Gu is also incredibly talented in other fields. Though she currently acts as an informal diplomat between the United States and China, Gu has already been given pre-acceptance to attend Stanford University, her mother’s alma mater.

Gu is also a nationally renowned model who works with various top-tier fashion organizations. Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Fendi and Gucci have all featured Gu. She can also be found on the covers of numerous magazines such as “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Elle” and “Vogue,” among others. Gu seems to live with her feet in two different worlds. She plants one foot in Chinese snow, and the other on the slopes of the United States. In an interview with “The New York Times,” Gu said, “When I’m in the U.S., I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese.” It seems that Gu still has a bright future ahead of her. If the 2022 Olympics and her way with diplomacy are any indication of Gu’s abilities, she will be impressing the world in new ways for years to come.

Scan the QR code below or visit the link: cultursmag.com/chinas-eileen-gu

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Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

By Andy Roberson

Photo by Dan J. Solis.

B U.S. Air Force.

etter known simply as “Shaq,” Shaquille O’Neal is famous worldwide for being a professional basketball player and veteran sports commentator. Last year, O’Neal was an executive producer for the Academy-Award winning “Queen of Basketball,” the heartwarming short documentary about the life of legendary Lusia “Lucy” Harris. She was an Olympian and also the first woman to be officially drafted to a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise. However, people tend to overlook O’Neal’s Third Culture Kid (TCK) experiences — experiences that have helped him navigate diverse situations before, during and after his NBA career.

Born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A. the 7-foot-1-inch United States NBA Hall of Famer has used his size and personality to become successful in music, education, acting and business. O’Neal’s successful career was partially shaped through TCK experiences during childhood. Being a Military B.R.A.T. and having a multicultural family (more on that later) helped add dimension to O’Neal’s personality. No doubt, the layering of experiences allowed him to reach an audience beyond professional basketball.

NEW JERSEY BEGINNINGS O’Neal’s biological father Joe Toney played basketball at Seton Hall University but was imprisoned for a drug possession charge when O’Neal was a toddler. As a kid, though, Shaq discovered the Boys and Girls Club of America, which gave him a safe place to stay while his mother and stepfather worked to

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


O’Neal’s successful career was partially shaped through TCK experiences during childhood. Being a Military B.R.A.T. and having a multicultural family (more on that later) helped add dimension to O’Neal’s personality.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

provide for the family. “I was already a low-level juvenile delinquent. I mean low-level, I was a little mischievous, getting into trouble. Stealing gum, a follower and not a leader,” O’Neal said in a 2016 interview on NJTV News (New Jersey Television News). According to an NJTV News article, O’Neal attributes staying on the right track to Cynthia Banks, who at the time of the interview was vice president of operations at the Newark Boys and Girls Club of America. “She’s like everybody’s aunt, everybody’s mom, everybody’s grandmom,” Shaq told the outlet. “She just made sure that all the kids went in the right direction.”

THIRD CULTURE KID EXPERIENCES Eventually, Toney was released from prison but relinquished his parental rights to O’Neal’s stepfather Phillip Harrison. Harrison is Jamaican and O’Neal’s mother is from the United States. Having access to these cultures within his household provided a multicultural family experience that most likely helped Shaq become more empathetic and understanding of different cultures. Harrison’s career as an Army drill sergeant required the family to move to Germany when

O’Neal was 12. There, he spent three years navigating German culture as a Military B.R.A.T. and TCK. “In junior high in Germany, I fought kids all the time. I had such a bad temper, I almost got thrown out of school. A few lickings from my dad got me out of that scene. He wore me out with a paddle,” O’Neal said in a 1991 Sports Illustrated interview. O’Neal’s bad temper could have resulted from frustration with a drill instructor stepfather. For example, during a high school game, Harrison grabbed O’Neal by the shirt and ordered him to tuck in his uniform shirttail, according to this Sports Illustrated interview. Harrison also believed O’Neal needed a college education in case basketball did not work out. Ultimately, these TCK experiences made Shaq culturally mobile.

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


Photo by Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0]

To this day, O’Neal praises the Boys and Girls Club of America in RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES

Having access to these cultures within his household provided a multicultural family experience that most likely helped Shaq become more empathetic and understanding of different cultures.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

When O’Neal turned 15, his family returned to the United States where Harrison was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. O’Neal attended Cole High School where his basketball career began to take off after a 32-1 junior year and a 36-0 senior year season. After high school, O’Neal attended Louisiana State University (LSU) where his basketball career continued, until his skills offered him the opportunity to leave college early and start a career in the NBA. O’Neal was drafted to the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He also continued his education after becoming a professional player. To this day, O’Neal praises the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark for giving him a place to cultivate his dreams, learn how to accept criticism and provide motivation in everything he did at a young age. O’Neal has continued to support and provide fundraising leadership for this organization.

Newark for giving him a place to cultivate his dreams, learn how to accept criticism and provide motivation in everything he did at a young age.

Scan the QR code this story or visit the link below: cultursmag.com/basketball-great-shaquille

TRUE belonging

doesn’t REQUIRE YOU TO change who you are, IT REQUIRES YOU


www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023






Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com


ife can be stressful for a person who consistently straddles multiple cultures and environments, regardless of how or why, because it is always changing. Third Culture Kids (TCKs) or Cross-Cultural Kids (CCKs) may struggle to find stability within the chaos of their cross-cultural lifestyles. Luckily, there is a solution: By spending time outside, a surprisingly constant environment compared to the turmoil of modern life.

One can always step outside and expect to feel the sun warming their skin or feel the wind blowing. One can see a glimpse of the moon, peeking out into the night sky, surrounded by glimmering stars, or listen to the gentle sound of rain or snow pattering the ground. Even the clouds, soft and serene, float across the sky in a constant motion. Whether one is rock-climbing on a mountain or simply taking a walk in the local park, spending time outside has numerous physical and psychological benefits. And the best part about it is that regardless of a person’s identity, physique, financial situation or geographic location, anyone can access the outdoors.

THE OUTDOORS OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Peggy McAllister, an outdoor leader at Colorado State University’s outdoor program, says the outdoors offers something for everyone. “I think there is a culture that says it’s not and that you have to be really strong or really abled or

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


really normative to be in the outdoors,” she said. “I think people, no matter how normative or able-bodied they are, can all get something from it.” McAllister grew up in Iowa, U.S.A., before moving to Colorado, U.S.A. After attending a summer camp in midwest Wisconsin, U.S.A, she became very interested in the outdoors, even though she grew up in a state where outdoor activities weren’t as prevalent. McAllister’s job as an outdoor leader is to instruct people on how to do various outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, skiing, rock climbing and more. “I love being able to see what [people] take out of it because everyone takes something out of the outdoors,” McAllister says. “I’ve had so many impactful leaders, especially women, that showed me that the outdoors could be super empowering and strong, and all these things that I felt as a kid. If I could be that person for someone else, I love being able to be that person.” Whether a person is consistently on the move, settling in an unfamiliar place or living in the same place they were born, the outdoors is usually steps away. And although the environment can vary, one can easily find ways to enjoy and appreciate being outside regardless of what the terrain may look like.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

COMMON OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES The most common outdoor activities include outdoor sports and games. Still, the types of sports and games vary depending on the environment. An online blog aimed at educating world citizens highlights outdoor activities in different countries. According to the blog, in colder regions, such as Canada and some states in the U.S., winter sports, including skiing, ice-skating and tobogganing, are common. In mountainous areas, people often enjoy hiking, climbing and cycling. If equipment is scarce, it is just as enjoyable to spend a day outside enjoying the snow and cooler weather. Those residing in warmer regions such as Sri Lanka and Australia enjoy activities in and out of the water, according to the blog. Those on the coast often spend their time on the beaches, swimming in the ocean or collecting seashells. Other popular activities in large bodies of water include swimming, surfing, fishing and kayaking.

If water activities aren’t an option, there are plenty of dry-land activities, including outdoor sports such as soccer, tennis and cricket as well as other pastimes like biking, scootering and spending time at local parks or wildlife reserves. Even taking the time to simply sit outside and savor the weather is perfectly enjoyable. In areas where access to equipment is limited, such as the Philippines and Cambodia, there are plenty of ways to spend time outside. In fact, according to a website about traditional Filipino games, Filipino children created at least 30 creative outdoor games using materials they find in their environment. One of the most common outdoor activities in Cambodia is simply eating outside. It doesn’t matter how a person chooses to spend time outside, as long as they enjoy themselves.

blood pressure, protects eyesight, boosts immune systems and promotes a healthy sleep schedule. Additionally, being outside reduces stress and mental fatigue, releases endorphins that elevate moods, helps fight mental disorders and increases productivity. Ultimately, the outdoors is where a TCK, a CCK or anybody experiencing a cross-cultural lifestyle can find peace and stability. Regardless of where a person is in their life, being outside is an accessible and versatile pastime that can offer something for everyone.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING OUTSIDE The outdoors represents a pocket of peace within a crosscultural lifestyle because of its numerous health benefits. According to an infographic promoting the benefits of the outdoors, being outside exposes people to vitamin D, a hormone triggered by sunlight that helps prevent multiple diseases, disorders and cancers. It also reduces inflammation, lowers

To access the blogs and resources mentioned in this article, scan the code below: cultursmag.com/being-outdoors

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LIVING THE DREAM By Kathleen Gates


o be able to live out a passion, to compete in front of thousands of fans, all while traveling around the world, perhaps a new country or team every nine months, and be fully immersed in the culture while getting paid to do it, it’s a dream right? This is what thousands of athletes do when they decide to pursue a global professional athletic career. The glossy, catchy title of “professional athlete” makes most people stop, want to take pictures, inspires others, unites communities and even the world during the few weeks of the Olympics.


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

A little over 50 years ago, Title IX passed in the United States, which translated to hundreds of thousands of women being able to compete at the university level and millions more on high school teams.

But if you’re a woman, people often are shocked that this is an option, as parodied by Ilona Maher’s USA Rugby 7’s recent video on Tiktok, where most reactions are “Oh really, that’s an option? How long have they been doing that?” And it hasn’t been an option for women for that long. A little over 50 years ago, Title IX passed in the United States, which translated to hundreds of thousands of women being able to compete at the university level and millions more on high school teams. In the same year in Europe, one line was written into French law that people should be paid for “equal pay/equal work,” regardless

of gender. The U.S. Open is celebrating 50 years of equal prize money largely due to the fight of Billy Jean King and the original nine. This past year, the U.S.’s Equal Pay Act was passed after years of litigation, and the U.S. women’s national soccer team finally will be paid equally to their male counterparts. The founder of the modern Olympic movement, Pierre de Coubertin, once said that “the real Olympic hero, in my eyes, is the individual adult male. At the Olympics, the role of women should above all else, like at the ancient tournaments, to crown the champions.” Despite his overt disdain for women practicing sport, de Coubertin’s fellow compatriot Alice Milliat fought for women to be recognized in the 1928 games and now Paris 2024 will be the first Olympics in history that there will be full gender parity on the field. Undoubtedly, great strides have been made to close the equality gap between men and women in sport, yet how do female athletes compete and train at the highest level compared to their male counterparts? What obstacles persist that prevent true parity? In France, there exists two professional men’s divisions in each sport to every one that exists for women. In addition, the men’s leagues and clubs are more stable, often having branded sponsors for the leagues and the men’s teams have their own

facilities and media rights. Women’s clubs rely more heavily on government subsidy support and funding and rarely make the jump from an association to a professional franchise. For French volleyball, Ligue Nationale de Volleyball (LNV) also negotiates TV rights for both the men’s and women’s league. This season, the men have a guaranteed primetime spot each weekend, while the women settle for a livestream on

Undoubtedly, great strides have been made to close the equality gap between men and women in sport, yet how do female athletes compete and train at the highest level compared to their male counterparts?

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


Twitch with, at best, one camera attached to the gym wall with an amateur commentator. This exacerbates the disparity seen in pay and media. Ninety percent of sports writers are male and less than 4 percent of media coverage reports on women’s sports. Thus the vicious cycle of less media exposure, less advertising, less revenue and resources for women’s professional teams. It comes then at no surprise that for an equal amount (or more) of work, female athletes are compensated only a fraction of their male counterparts. Then comes the pressure of how to negotiate a female athlete’s career when it comes to personal goals — can she start a family? Would she be able to and then come back and compete? It’s a question that male athletes have rarely had to grapple with. Looking past the disparities, most female athletes agree that it is an unbelievable opportunity to compete at the highest level, something the grandmothers of these athletes could scarcely dream of and experience. Furthermore, women’s sports will continue to experience growth as people see that it’s good business to invest in women’s sports. The growth of the W Premier League in England after the European Championship in 2022 has also set up future success and hope for women’s football. Records continue to be broken for attendance during the regular season and this year’s 42

Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

With Paris 2024 around the corner, this will hopefully lead to more unprecedented growth in

upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand looks to break even more records. With Paris 2024 around the corner, this will hopefully lead to more unprecedented growth in all women’s sports and to the media shedding light on these incredible athletes and their compelling stories. If not, it would be the disappearance of many women’s national teams, which is exactly what happened after London 2012.

all women’s sports and to media shedding light on these incredible athletes and their compelling stories.

To read this story online, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/living-the-dream

From shows to watch and songs to hear, to artistry, shopping and things to explore, know and do, here’s a specially curated list of things we recommend as MUST experience items for the culturally fluid.


www.CultursMag.com | Winter 2022






Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com



hat happens when expats return to the United States, adjust and unexpectedly leave the States again to settle into a new culture on another continent? For Kynon and Juanita Ingram and their two children, it’s an unforgettable journey.

“The Expats: International Ingrams” documents the lives of a Black expat family. At first, the Ingrams live in London for five years and travel throughout Europe before they move back to Carmel, Ind., U.S.A. The children are doing well in school, and Juanita is thriving in her career as an attorney and as the producer of a new legal talk show, “Legal Notion.” She’s also finishing up an international book tour. Family life takes yet another major turn when Kynon Ingram’s employer asks the pharmaceuticals executive to pack up again and move his family to Asia. “Being African-American and choosing to live abroad is always steeped in change and navigating through the unexpected,” says Juanita Ingram, the show’s executive producer, attorney and creator in a news release.

This series tackles tough and relatable issues in an educational yet entertaining way.

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023



Trailing spouse syndrome/depression is real and navigating through it is a journey!


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

“This series tackles tough and relatable issues in an educational yet entertaining way,” she says, “all while breaking stereotypes and increasing a more inclusive representation of expats of color.” Moving internationally can also put pressure on a marriage. The series documents Juanita Ingram making career changes to follow her husband. “As a trailing spouse, reinvention and flexibility are a must,” she says. “Trailing spouse syndrome/depression is real and navigating through it is a journey!” The show covers an array of challenges the Ingram family faces. They grapple with raising Black Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and addressing issues such as colorism, global social justice and

pandemic-related grief. Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. A highlight of Season 2 is when the series documents how the Ms. World Corporation crowns Juanita Ingram, who already had won the competition as Mrs. Singapore, as Mrs. Universe in 2022, making her the first Black woman to hold the title. The series has received many awards, including being the Official Selection in 2022 at both the Diversity in Cannes Short Film & Web Series Showcase and


The show covers an array of challenges the Ingram family faces. They grapple with raising Black Third Culture Kids and addressing issues such as colorism, global social justice, and pandemic-

the 30th Annual Pan African Film Festival. Juanita Ingram independently produced the reality show through her 501(c)(3) production company, Purpose Productions, Inc. According to a news release, Dress for Success Greater London and Dress for Success Chattanooga are designated as recipients of portions of the streaming proceeds. Both charities help women find economic freedom and combat poverty for families.

To watch a trailer for the show, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/black-expats

related grief.

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023




Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com



Perhaps, as my father


or readers who love their stories plainspoken and true, this memoir promises to be a must read. Miller, the effervescent CBS Saturday Morning co-host and Emmy Award-winning journalist, reveals a complicated family story. Born in 1967 in a deeply segregated Los Angeles, Miller was the product of an extramarital affair between a Black surgeon and a light-skinned Latina hospital administrator who presented as white. Miller’s mother abandoned her at birth, and her father, Dr. Ross Miller, and his mom, Beatrice Bessie Burson Miller, raised her.

suggested when he urged me to explore the unknown, this is the task we must each engage — to find our lives.

When she was 22, Miller’s father urged her to find her mother. Miller took up the search, which helped define the contours of her voice as a Black woman in white newsrooms. “Perhaps, as my father suggested when he urged me to explore the unknown, this is the task we must each engage — to find our lives,” Miller says in a press release. “We are each, after all, born to a quest whose starting point is set by the providence of where our star is cast, and we must place our feet upon the path where we awaken, and follow it home.”

To buy the book, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/belonging-a-journey-through

Miller’s father attended to Robert F. Kennedy the night of his assassination in 1968, shortly after the he won the California Democratic primary. The surgeon was also the first Black city councilman in Compton. www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023







Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com


A LITTLE BACKGROUND “RRR” is the most expensive Indian movie to date. It tells the story of Bheem (played by N.T. Rama Rao Jr.), the local hero of a remote village in India who is trying to recover a young girl taken from the village to Delhi by the British occupiers. Rama (played by Ram Charan) is a police officer trying to climb the ranks in the British occupying force as an Indian man. Typical dance numbers and over-the-top stunts are a staple of this genre of movie and “RRR” is a prototype. “Naatu Naatu’s” dance battle comes as the British high officers are trying to devalue the local traditions but as usual there are layers here.

O Photo by ©A.M.P.A.S.®

ne of the most common byproducts of listening to music is dancing, or just the need to dance. There are those songs, however, that implore you to shake a tail feather, do a jig, cut a rug, scrub the floor or just get down and boogie. That’s the category that “Naatu Naatu” falls into. It was written by Chandrabose with music from M.M. Keeravaani and the Oscar-winning song is the energy behind an epic dance battle in the movie “RRR.”

NOT BOLLYWOOD There is an inclination to call all movies that come out of India Bollywood movies. The Bollywood genre is a specific group of films and generally based out of Mumbai on the west coast of India. There are a few other hubs of Hindi cinema and “RRR” is an example of that. The song and movie is in Telugu, one of the many languages and dialects spoken in the country. The film’s location is also in Delhi as opposed to Mumbai, which is another major distinction.

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THE BRITISH OCCUPATION The foundation of the story of “RRR” is the British occupation of India. The British were an occupying force in India for centuries. More specifically, the East India Company set up a governance to fortify their trade efforts. In 1957, Indians stage a revolution and begin to forge towards independence.

DANCE AND THE ERASURE OF CULTURE One of the most nefarious tenets of colonization is the erasure of the local culture. This is the scene that is played out in the song “Naatu Naatu.” The British high society ball that Rama and Bheem are invited to is a recreation of European rituals and culture. Rama and Bheem are out of their depth here and their response is to challenge these high society members to a traditional Indian dance. Initially, they scoff at the


Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

“unsophisticated” dance but when the crowd starts to catch on, their pride forces them into a dance battle. This is a phenomenon that a lot of Third Culture Kids (TCKs) encounter when they bring their culture to a place that may be unaccustomed to it. It’s ridiculed at first, and then as it grows in popularity, the dominant culture wants to be the one controlling the culture and a battle ensues. Hip Hop with its roots in Jamaican dance hall culture was vilified for years before it was accepted and glorified in the United States.

JOY, PURE AND SIMPLE IN DANCE Rheem and Rama are asked whether they can waltz or tango and their faces show that they find them boring. To them, dance needs to be an expression of unbridled joy. Why dance if your frowning, especially at a party? The “Naatu Naatu” dance is just that: an explosion of joy. This much joy in the face of struggle and strife is a hallmark of oppressed people and often it confuses oppressors. How can such joy exist in a people under the thumb of colonization? How can enslaved people sing and celebrate in the shadow of the next whipping? How can an immigrant people sing and dance to songs of hope and festivity while living in squalor in the left-over parts of a city?

Culture does that. Heritage and tradition do that. A love for who you are and where you come from is what keeps the fire in oppressed people and those living in foreign lands, regardless of the reason for leaving. When we listen to “Naatu Naatu,” even if we don’t speak the language, you can feel the joy of story in the song and the scene in the movie is full of energy and love for India. It’s great that the song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song because it puts the movie on new viewers’ radars. While “RRR” should have been nominated for some other categories as well, see it for yourself and tell people whether you agree. “RRR” can be streamed on Netflix.

Scan the code below to watch the “RRR” trailer. cultursmag.com/on-the-delight



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catch glimpses of popular comedies like “The Hangover” and “Girls Trip,” “Joy Ride” takes the funnies up a level, says “The Hollywood Reporter” in its review. Not only is the film a “raunchy, rowdy comedy with genuine heart,” the film “sets out to prove (or re-prove) that populations still marginalized by Hollywood (women, people of color, queer folks) can be just as unapologetically brash, bold and rowdy,” according to THR. A special bonus for audiences is watching actress Stephanie Hsu after her Oscar-nominated performance in the Academy Award-winning “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”

“Joy Ride” premiered at South By Southwest. In April, the cast will receive the CinemaCon Comedy Ensemble of the Year Award during the Big Screen Achievement Awards in Las Vegas, Nev., U.S.A. The comedy hits theaters in July.

To view a trailer for this film, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/joy-ride


dele Lim, from the “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” screenwriting teams, makes her directorial debut in the new comedy “Joy Ride.” The film focuses on four Asian-American friends who travel to China for their grand adventure. Along the way, one friend, adopted as a child by a white family in the U.S.A., searches for her birth mother as they travel. Incredible situations face the four friends thanks to comedy writers Teresa Hsiao and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong of “Family Guy” fame. While viewers may


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(L-R) Cherry Chevapravatdummrong, Sabrina Wu, Sherry Cola, David Denman, Adele Lim, Ashley Park, Chris Pang, Stephanie Hsu, Desmond Chiam, Teresa Hsiao, and Rohain Arora attend the world premiere of “Joy Ride” during the 2023 SXSW Festival at The Paramount Theater on March 17, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Lionsgate)







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our genes can have an incredible influence on the quality of your sleep, whether you gain or lose weight easily, the feelings that dominate your emotions, even the way you parent your kids. Kashif Khan is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The DNA Company, where personalized medicine is being pioneered through unique insights into the human genome. He is also the host of the Unpilled podcast. “Inside of our human cells there’s an instruction manual ... a blueprint, a literal human blueprint that tells each and every cell what to do,” Khan says in a recent TEDx talk. 56

Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com

Growing up in Vancouver, Canada in an immigrant household, Khan developed an industrious entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. Prior to his tenure at the DNA Company, he advised a number of high-growth start-ups in a variety of industries. As Khan dove into the field of functional genomics as the CEO of The DNA Company, it was revealed that his neural wiring was actually genetically designed to be entrepreneurial. However, his genes also revealed a particular sensitivity to pollutants. Now seeing his health from a new lens, Khan dove further and started to see the genetic pathways that led to his own family’s challenges, and the opportunities to reverse chronic disease. His

Inside of our human cells there’s an instruction manual ... a blueprint, a literal human blueprint that tells each and every cell what to do.


measure of success is not in dollars earned, but in lives improved. Khan’s company provides DNA 360 testing kits that provide customers “a full breakdown of all the specific genetic markers that we evaluate in our advanced testing.” It’s been publicly offering its own specific type of DNA testing since 2018. While some generic DNA tests might tell you what your risk percentage would be of acquiring a certain condition, The DNA Company’s test “not only tells you your likelihood of risk, but goes even further to tell you exactly what foods, lifestyle, supplements, environment and health choices can help you reduce health risks,” the company claims.

The recommendations come from the company’s proprietary algorithm that uses 4.7 billion data points. If you’re looking to find out more information about your ancestry, that’s not The DNA Company’s focus. “Our mission as a company is to provide users with health insights that allow them to live healthier lives,” according to the company. “As a result, our core focus is in developing reports that give you the tools to make the right health decisions.” “While Ancestry or 23andMe may tell you what your ethnicity is, our reports do not focus on that. Instead, we tell you what your health risks are and exactly what steps you can take to reduce those health risks,” the company says.

Our mission as a company is to provide users with health insights that allow them to live healthier lives.

Scan the code below to check out Khan’s full TEDx talk. cultursmag.com/how-your-genes-impact

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By Hayden Greene


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or a feature film to be eligible for an Oscar nomination, there are three numbers one needs to keep in mind:

13,945 301 10

According to IMDB.com, 13,945 feature films were produced in 2022. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mandates that feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in at least one of six U.S. metropolitan areas: Los Angeles County, Calif.; the City of New York, N.Y.; the Bay Area in northern California; Chicago, Ill.; Miami, Fla.; and Atlanta, Ga., between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and complete a minimum qualifying run of seven consecutive days in the same venue. Additionally, feature films must have a running time of more than 40 minutes.

One of the hardest judging jobs has got to be that of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voting members, the people who decide the Oscars. By the numbers, there are 9,579 eligible voting members, nearly 14,000 feature films created during the eligible period, 301 of which qualify for nomination and 17 branches voting on 23 categories. Whew! Those numbers can make one’s head spin. Every year, though, the Oscars leaves a film or two or six out of the nominations and leagues of supporters cry out, “foul!” How does this happen? How does a film, loved by almost everyone who has seen it, not garner a nod from the Academy? Let’s investigate how a movie gets its name into one of those little envelopes on Oscar night. THE NOMINATION PROCESSES Each of the voting members from around the world is charged with reviewing the projects that are eligible for awards. Members in certain branches are allowed to vote on movies that qualify for that branch, but every member can vote for the Best Picture Oscars category. As mentioned before, 301 feature films were eligible this year and that doesn’t include shorts. That’s a lot of movie-watching. One would hope they get free popcorn! How do they get to all those movies? Therein lies the rub: They don’t! Voters tend to rely on film festivals or advance screeners that are sent to them to see the movie during the year. It’s a huge undertaking to send a copy of your movie to all 9,500+ voting members and not every film is entered into every film festival. If a voter doesn’t get a package and/or they didn’t see you at the festivals that they went to, you might slip off their radar. Studios are very strategic about getting the attention of voters. One strategy is to save the Oscar-worthy offerings till closer to the end of the year, so their films are fresh in the minds of the members come nomination time. ~continued on pg. 61

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That narrows the field down to, you guessed it, 301. From that number, 10 nominees were chosen for the Oscar Best Picture category. From almost 14,000 down to 10. It’s easy to miss some quality projects. Luckily you have your trusted friend, Brooklyn’s favorite polymath, to spotlight a few Oscar gems that the Academy may have missed:


From almost 14,000 down to 10. It’s easy to miss some quality projects.


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This year’s biggest Oscar snub tells the story of the Dahomey tribe and its women warriors. The film stars Viola Davis as Nanisca, the general of the Agojie, the fierce, all-women warriors of the Dahomey tribe. With outstanding portrayals by Thuso Mdedu (Nawi) and Lashana Lynch (Izogie), we follow the efforts of the Dahomey to free themselves from servitude to the Oyo tribe and move away from the slave trade with the Portuguese. This is an important film because transplants from West Africa and members of the African diaspora in various parts of the world get to see a depiction of the slave trade that doesn’t



start from the deficit model. The African point of view is refreshing to see and is noteworthy. Inspired by true events, it showcases strong female characters and a rousing showing from Davis. In this humble polymath’s opinion, this is one of Oscar’s greatest snubs (not one nomination) and a must-see. Available on Netflix.

OK, OK, right. Babylon is a ridiculous movie and an hour too long. But oh, what a ride. Brad Pitt as Jack Conrad and Margot Robbie as Nellie LaRoy are fun to watch during their scene at the beginning of the movie. The film takes a dark turn toward the end, somewhat parallel to the darkness that began to creep into film production after the “talkies” became popular. The movie is cinematically beautiful and has a feverish pace which slows down as the protagonists lose their footing. Diego Calva pulls you in as the hapless yet fortunate Manny Torres and the film is just beautiful to watch. Diego, making his way from Mexico, is a prototype of the story of the immigrant in the early 1900s: a twist of fortune could leave you on top of the heap or near the bottom. You may need to consume this film the way you eat an elephant (one bite at a time) but you will definitely not be bored. Available on Paramount+.

‘GLASS ONION’ The sequel to “Knives Out” reintroduces us to Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc, super sleuthing his way through another murder mystery. While it was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, the Best Picture nod eluded it.

Another is to flood the airways with advertisements. Thought they were just trying to get you to come to their movie? Nope. They always want the voters to notice them enough to carve out a couple of hours of their time. This is extremely difficult for movies from outside of the United States. These producers must spend a major portion of their budget making sure their films get global distribution. It’s an uphill battle to say the least. Lastly, some studios employ the personal touch and host screenings near the location of the voter. There are rules against bringing a voter to you, but you can take your movie to them. Having a friend of a friend nudge them to check out your project doesn’t hurt either. Even with all of these efforts, it’s extremely difficult to get your movie in front of a critical mass of voters, even when it’s widely acclaimed. Take this year’s most notable snub, “The Woman King.” Even though it was in wide release, there are multiple reports of members who simply didn’t see it because they didn’t think it was going to be good or of interest to them. There’s even a story circulating that one voter was practically dragged to see it and was surprised that they loved it. It was also released on the tail of the summer blockbuster season and in the middle of the hype for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” It’s not unfathomable how voters who weren’t accustomed to consuming positive imagery of African people may not have had the bandwidth for two offerings within a month of each other. We’ll circle back to that in a while. The sad truth is that the Academy voters missed the boat and “The Woman King,” a film the won 23 other awards, garnered not a single nomination. THE VOTING PROCESS Once the nominations are released, the members have to get back to work.

~continued on pg. 63 www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023



Like its predecessor, the movie plays like a spitpolished version of the movie “Clue.” Craig seems to have fallen in love with this role and his Southern U.S. drawl seems to have gotten even more Southern in its twang.

Like its predecessor, the movie plays like a spit-polished version of the movie “Clue.” Craig seems to have fallen in love with this role and his Southern U.S. drawl seems to have gotten even more Southern in its twang. The true star of the film, though, is Janelle Monae. True confession: This writer is a fan of the songstress and black-andwhite fashion icon so this review might be biased. That said, whenever an actor plays multiple roles, it’s always noteworthy. The Academy missed an opportunity to celebrate Ms. Monae but she gets her flowers from us. Available on Netflix. 62

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‘THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING’ This film features Idris Elba as the Djinn (pronounced “Jin” and the source of genie fables) and Tilda Swinton as Alithea, the woman who rubs his bottle. One could be forgiven for thinking it would be a tale of fantasies gone wrong and carnal desires played out on screen. It was none of those things and in the end, it whittles down to a very human and pedestrian love story. So why is this on the list? Well, the film is beautiful! It’s gorgeous. It tells the tale of the Djinn and how he ends up trapped in the bottle to begin with. We get swept back to ancient times and get to play with the idea of what happens to love when you have magic at your disposal. The movie was a disappointment to this writer due to incorrect expectations for the plot. Other viewers might enjoy it more. Available on MGM+ or on Prime for a fee.

‘NOPE’ This was the most polarizing movie of last year. People who left the theater either loved it, were confused by it or hated it. This writer happens to be one of the people who thought that it was a really good movie.

Jordan Peele’s latest offering makes commentary on Black Excellence, child stars and trauma tourism in such subtle ways that they can easily be missed. Daniel Kaluuya — a Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) actor who has Ugandan parentage but grew up in London — and Keke Palmer play a brother and sister struggling to keep the family business afloat. Along the way, they encounter an alien phenomenon and things go awry from there.

Jordan Peele’s latest offering makes commentary on Black Excellence, child stars and trauma tourism in such subtle ways that they can easily be missed.

~ continued from pg. 59 This year the voting in the 23 Oscars categories took place between March 2 and March 7. Even if the voters haven’t seen all the movies during the year, now was their chance to screen a film that was nominated that they missed. The studios know this and there was a huge media push from those films that were nominated. Sometimes there’s an ad for a movie that has been out of theaters for months and at the end, there is a line that says, “For Your Consideration.” The “your” in that phrase are the voters. They’re trying to get the members to watch their film again or perhaps for the first time. Occasionally, you’ll see a movie be re-released in theaters. That’s not an encore presentation so more fans can see the project. It’s to get the attention of the members during that week of Oscars voting. Once the voting period is over, the results are tallied, a stern member of an accounting firm places the winners’ names into glossy envelopes (that seem really hard to open on Oscar night sometimes), and they’re guarded until millions of expectant viewers tune in on Oscar night. THE PROBLEM WITH THE OSCARS VOTERS Historically, the Academy has lacked diversity in all realms. It was and still is predominately white. It was and still is predominately male. As a result, films and roles that fell outside of the dominant culture of the Academy found it difficult to get noticed, far less get nominated, and even rarer, win. There have been numerous outcries about this and slowly the Academy members have started to diversify. To become a member, you have to be nominated by two current members in your branch (there are a few exceptions) or be a former winner. In a society governed by bias at the time, the possibility of women, people of color or international artists finding a sponsor — let alone two — was insurmountable. It wasn’t until a loud spotlight was pointed at the membership practice that there were any changes. ~continued on pg. 61

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A bit of advice? Don’t go into this as an alien monster film. This is clearly a social commentary piece. Well … maybe not so clearly. Available on Peacock+.

‘FIRE ISLAND’ This is a sneaky film. It’s essentially a rom-com but it is laced with social justice messages throughout the project. Most of the heady lines come from Noah who is played by Joel Kim Booster. Booster is also the film’s writer and along with the rest of the cast, paints a picture of summer on Fire Island as a historically safe haven for gay people. It’s in line with his piercing comedy which delves into his Korean heritage.


ooster doesn’t miss an opportunity to illustrate how members of the LGBTQIA++

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community have endured bias and violence, even when it comes from inside the community.


Joel was adopted as a young child and his work focuses around the identities that stem from that. In “Fire Island,” he doesn’t sugarcoat the decadence and debauchery that is also a hallmark of the summer gathering. Like Vegas, what happens on the island generally stays on the island (primarily because for a while being gay was illegal and you could get arrested for who you loved … crazy right?) so this glimpse into a week with this group of friends is revealing. Booster doesn’t miss an opportunity to illustrate how members of the LGBTQIA++ community have endured bias and violence, even when it comes from inside the community. That said, it’s a rom-com. Come for the super-toned bodies. Stay for the social consciousness. Available on Hulu.


If you haven’t seen these six offerings, check them out while they’re still streaming.

If you haven’t seen these six offerings, check them out while they’re still streaming and leave a comment on whether the Academy dropped the ball by not considering them for a Best Picture Oscar.

To read this story online, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/six-incredible-astonishing

For more info on how Oscars are awarded, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/the-ultimate-prize

Even with that, the level of diversity of the Oscars nominees and the winners swings back and forth like a pendulum. Arguably, it feels like the Academy attempts to course-correct when they have gone too far in one direction or another. One year the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was trending. The next year there were a record number of non-English nominations and wins by people of color. It’s hard to say if there’s a one-toone correlation but there always feels to be a large swing in one direction or another. The Oscars have a long way to go before the people who consume movies worldwide feel satisfied that they are representative of all world views. There are surprises every year like “Naatu Naatu,” the original song from RRR, a splashy movie from India. But does this mean that members will now screen more Bollywood films in the future? What other international film hubs are underrepresented as well? Will next year be the year that a Nollywood film (Nigerian’s version of Hollywood) makes a splash? What about the small art house film from South America that features an earth-shattering performance from a virtually unknown actress? Snubs will happen every year. Every film can’t be nominated (The Best Picture category used to have half the nominees at one point). That said, the goal is to ensure that the snubs don’t always fall to misrepresented artists. That’s our wish for the Oscar voter. We offer it up … for your consideration.

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023




Istanbul 66

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Left: Details of the dome of the New Mosque. Top left: Hagia Sophia after being converted to a mosque. Top right: The Yeni Camii (New Mosque) in Eminönü. Bottom right: Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Istanbul

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In Eminönü, a normally crowded street had become a shadow of itself during the quarantine.

City view from the Princes’ Islands, a chain of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara.


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Sunset at the Çamlıca Tower. A TV tower is at the top and the tower also offers a observation decks and a restaurant with a 360° view.

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The German Fountain and the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, in snow.

A view of the Ha German Founta commemorates visit to Istanbul


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Sirkeci Station. RailTech.com says Istanbul is the destination most associated with the historic Orient Express.

Couples walking in snow.

Snowy İstanbul with tram.

agia Sophia from the ain, a structure that s Emperor Wilhelm II’s in 1898.

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Top left: Window in Hagia Sophia Top right: Fresh juice seller in Hagia Sophia Square. Bottom: Egyptian Bazaar


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A soldier during quarantine with mask on duty in Anitkabir, Ankara.

Istanbul’s iconic Maidens Tower beckons to all sea travelers


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A fierce dragon oversees the waters of the Golden Horn in view of the Galata Tower.

Ani ruins in northeastern Turkey. The medieval city was one of the centers along the Silk Roads.

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CATS AND DOGS of Istanbul


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By Oğuzhan Ates


stanbul is a city with a rich history and diverse culture. One aspect of

its charm is the presence of cats and dogs throughout the city. Stray cats are a common sight in Istanbul, with estimates suggesting that around 125,000 live on the streets.

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These cats have become a beloved part of the city’s culture and locals and visitors alike care for them. Some cats even have dedicated caregivers who provide them with food, water and medical attention.


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Dogs are also present in Istanbul, though not to the same extent. Many dogs in Istanbul are strays, and locals often care for them too. As a result, there are also a growing number of animal welfare organizations and shelters that work to provide care and find homes for these dogs. To view this story online, scan the link below. cultursmag.com/cats-and-dogs-of-istanbul

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eartbreak continues to ricochet across parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake, along with its subsequent temblors and aftershocks, killed over 52,000 people in Turkey and war-torn Syria. Most of the casualties were in Turkey, according to The Associated Press. According to the BBC, at least 1.5 million people in Turkey are homeless because of the quake. People are trying to rebuild while facing disrupted daily routines like going to school and work. Outcries about poor building construction have led to investigations and arrests.

Meanwhile, residents in Istanbul worry about their homes. Istanbul is an ancient metropolis and sits on the North Anatolian Fault. Engineers are seeking to protect the over 15 million residents by pushing for improved building construction to withstand an earthquake, should another one occur. The “Hurriyet Daily News” reports that the earthquake affected 11 Turkish provinces. Safe disposal of earthquake debris is critical; the provinces handle 20 percent of Turkey’s agricultural production.

HOPE BENEATH THE RUBBLE Despite the tragedy and new challenges, heartwarming stories of survival have also emerged. Survivors lived for hours beneath the wreckage. There was the story about 6-year-old Miray, who survived 172 hours in a collapsed building in Adiyaman. Rescue workers also discovered a 7-year-old boy in Hatay province who spent 163 hours in the rubble, while Nafize Yilmaz of Nurdagi, 62, also survived for 163 hours before workers pulled her to safety.

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Photo courtesy Mexican military

Afraa Abu Hadiya died in the earthquake in Jandaris near the Turkish border with her husband and four children. But she lived long enough to bear her daughter Aya. Rescuers discovered Aya in the rubble, still connected by the umbilical cord to her mother. Footage showing the trembling newborn, cocooned in an incubator, became a metaphor for hope. 84

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While these stories were among the inspiring, against-allodds occurrences told in the quake’s aftermath, not every miracle story involved humans. Proteo, a Mexican Army rescue dog, discovered two people alive, as well as the remains of two people, according to the Mexican media. It was yet another feat for Proteo. At the time of his death, Proteo was 7 years old and 9 months. In the aftermath of the Turkey quake, Mexican military authorities sent Proteo and 15 other Mexican rescue dogs and their handlers to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts. Those dogs found four people alive and 37 bodies.


And as their kin rebuild in the months and years to come, the world will watch not only how developers construct new buildings to withstand seismic events, but how the people of Turkey and Syria continue to stir our hearts as they display love of family and community with their resilient strength.

Their work was a symbol of hope during the rescue and recovery efforts in Turkey. According to press reports, Proteo died due to extreme weather conditions. During his career, Proteo and his trainer were involved in the rescue of 22 people and the recovery of 37 bodies in various natural disasters and incidents in Guatemala, Haiti, Ecuador and Mexico, including landslides, hurricanes and earthquakes, according to the Mexican Army. In gratitude, fans at a Turkish soccer match raised a banner in Proteo’s memory, and the mayor of Istanbul announced a monument would be erected in a city park.

Turks and Syrians from around the globe have pitched in to help back home. They’ve sent food, clothing, baby formula, tents and more. And as their kin rebuild in the months and years to come, the world will watch not only how developers construct new buildings to withstand seismic events, but how the people of Turkey and Syria continue to stir our hearts as they display love of family and community with their resilient strength.

For information on organizations to support recovery efforts in the region, scan the code below. .cultursmag.com/watching-the-resiliency

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OF A PASSPORT? By Glitter Explorer


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s of 2020, 3.6% of the global population are migrants. This

means that roughly 281 million people live in a different country than where they were born. That’s a significant number. Humanity has been on the move since the beginning of time. According to the United Nations, “Some people move in search of work or economic opportunities, to join family or to study. Others move to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism or human rights violations. Still others move in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, or other environmental factors.” Then there are folks living a more nomadic lifestyle — working remotely while experiencing the world one country at a time. For a nomad, our passport is our golden ticket to see the world. If you hold a passport from one of the top 10 countries in the world, then some would say it’s a privilege that should not be wasted. Global traveling is a privilege not everyone has access to. www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023


NOT EVERY PASSPORT IS EQUAL Each country holds a ranking based on the number of countries its has access to without a visa. According to Henly & Partners’ most recent list, Japan and Singapore hold the No. 1 spot. The rankings do fluctuate from year to year. Many factors and politics are involved in why a citizen of one country would gain or lose entry into another country. For example, Turkey is ranked No. 53 on Henly & Partners’ 2023 list, and their access rating is 111, meaning Turks can enter 111 countries without a visa. That also means there are 82 countries they would have to jump through hoops for to get an entry visa. It’s hard for Turkish citizens to get into countries like the United Kingdom, United States and many EU countries. The alternative is to welcome tourists and allow them to experience the beauty of Turkey.

WHERE DO PEOPLE GO? It is no surprise that the United States holds the top spot for the highest number of immigrants, followed by Germany. Look at the chart to see the countries with the highest number of immigrants.


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Some people have a passport and choose not to use it. Others treasure theirs like it’s their most prized possession. Everyone is different.

DO YOU HAVE A GOLDEN TICKET? One would assume if you are from one of these top-ranking countries, you would be first in line to acquire one of these shiny golden tickets, also called a passport. Assume nothing! Only 23% of Japanese citizens are passport holders. The Japanese prefer to stay local. Why? They enjoy being immersed in their rich culture and traditions — language barriers and being a creature of habit keep them traveling locally within Japan. Roughly about 37% of U.S. citizens are passport holders. The United States is divided into 50 states, and many U.S. citizens

stay local. Traveling within the U.S.A. can be a cultural experience of its own. An astounding 77% of United Kingdom citizens hold passports. The majority of EU citizens are also passport holders. Europeans have the privilege of traveling with ease between the 27 countries of the European Union. Passports are nice to have, but not required; only a national ID card is.

WILL THE INTERNET REPLACE THE PASSPORT? According to Zippia, 62% of the global population has access to the internet. That means they have access to YouTube and almost every museum worldwide. Social media has also made our world a much smaller place. Apple brought us FaceTime, and now we can be live anywhere we want with whomever we want. Who needs a passport when you have the internet? In Google Arts & Culture, you can visit any place and the world, play games, plan a trip and explore. It’s a way to interact and learn from your laptop or phone. For example, if you type in “Turkey” in the search bar, in just seconds you can take a virtual tour of 15-plus museums like the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Innocence and much more. As a nomad, one would typically give a parent a heads-up on one’s next destination. The parent’s first stop would be YouTube, and he or she would type in “Visit Istanbul Turkey” in the search bar. They’d get

hundreds of videos to choose from. Upon arrival in Istanbul, one could Facetime the parent so he or she can see the sites. It’s amazing how one person can give details about a place just from watching YouTube and give pointers on where another person should go. Some people have a passport and choose not to use it. Others treasure theirs like it’s their most prized possession. Everyone is different. Globally, COVID-19 changed how we travel. One thing is for sure, though: No matter what happens, humanity will always be on the move.

For links to places that can be visited virtually, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/what-is-the-current-value

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TECH AND TRENDS By Andrea Bazoin, M.Ed., Founder of everHuman




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In 2020, Julien Pham became the founder and managing partner of Third Culture Capital (3CC), an immigrantfounded, physicianled, seed-stage venture capital firm. 3CC is focused on emerging health tech and biotech companies led by “Third Culture Individuals” who are often overlooked and underfunded


o you remember the first time you walked into your high school

cafeteria and had to decide where to sit? Few moments are more infamous for inducing teenage social anxiety. For newly arrived FrenchVietnamese student Julien Pham, this moment was deeply unsettling. Decades later, he still remembers. Culturs Magazine chatted with Julien Pham, MD, MPH, Founder and Managing Partner of Third Culture Capital l, which focuses on emerging health tech and biotech companies led by "Third

Culture Individuals," to hear how he learned to leverage his TCK identity. A child of post-war Vietnamese refugees, young Pham and his family emigrated from Vietnam to France, where his mother held citizenship. He spent his formative years living in Paris as “the Asian kid.” Pham recounts, “In French society, there is a strong sense of assimilation within the culture. If you speak the language well and play soccer with the others, you’re pretty much a French kid. Yet I looked different. As many Third Culture Kids know, you are a certain way with your friends at school and the minute you walk through the door of your home, it’s a different culture. I would come home from school and ask my mom, ‘Why am I not white? Why do we have to eat these foods? Why do we have to do things differently?’ I remember my mom telling me I should be proud of my cultural heritage and the fact that I spoke two languages.” When, at age 14, Pham’s parents sent him to Seattle, Wash., U.S.A. to attend high school in English, he experienced a big cultural shock.

When, at age 14, Pham’s parents sent him to Seattle, Wash., U.S.A. to attend high school in English, he experienced a big cultural shock.

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“Being Asian-American feels very different from being FrenchAsian,” Pham continues. “On the first day of high school, I entered the cafeteria and was told, ‘Julian, you’re going to sit at this table,’ which was the Asian table. Next to that, I saw the Latino table, then the African-American table, then the jocks and cheerleaders. It impacted the way I thought about my identity and who I wanted to be. It became extremely difficult and painful to navigate. “What made me persevere were the stories my dad told me of his youth and joining the military," he continues. "I realized if my dad had to go through what he went through, I can tough it out, persevere, and have grit and resilience.”

THIS IS ME Pham remained in the United States. From an identity standpoint, he continued to struggle throughout his postsecondary education. Yet, things changed when he got into medical school. Pham recalls, “It was around this time that I picked up the 'Third Culture Kid Bible' ["Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds" by Ruth Van Reken and Dave Pollock]. I thought, ‘This is me!


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This was my upbringing, and these are the people I like to be around.’ That helped soothed a lot of my anxiety for the rest of my adulthood. I told myself that my identity was going to be as a physician. It doesn’t matter what background I have — I’m going to be the best physician I can be.” That is precisely what he did: Pham became an accomplished and respected physician, just like his father. Yet, his interest in innovation, combined with the self-confidence of being a TCK, led him to explore his identity beyond medicine.

Life has a funny way of opening and closing doors. It’s been a 30-year journey from seeing the challenges of being [a] TCK to understanding the value.



“I never expected to go into entrepreneurship,” Pham continues, “but life has a funny way of opening and closing doors. It’s been a 30-year journey from seeing the challenges of being [a] TCK to understanding the value. For example, I can easily read the room, navigate different languages and connect with someone that speaks two languages that are different from mine. This helps me understand that I am a global citizen.”

Today, with a firm grasp of his own unique assets as a TCK, Pham is on a mission to leverage what TCKs bring to the world. In 2020, he became the founder and managing partner of Third Culture Capital (3CC), an immigrant-founded, physicianled, seed-stage venture capital firm. 3CC is focused on emerging health tech and biotech companies led by “Third Culture Individuals” who are often overlooked and underfunded. According to Pham, Being a TCK brings very special skills and privileges. “It’s not just about language and culture, but the ability to jump between disciplines,” he says. “For me, I jump from being an academic clinician to being an entrepreneur to now being an investor. This is an incredible advantage. It’s been a long journey to figure this out, but when you understand what you bring to the world it’s a satisfying position.” Many have observed that TCKs are experts at empathy. By leveraging this superpower, Pham and his team are investing in solutions that will improve the lives of those with hidden diversity. “We can make medicine more human by being more human — by having more time to listen,” he says. “Yet, this is hard in a western environment. I think technology can help us to be more human. That’s what we’re

It’s not just about language and culture, but the ability to jump between disciplines. For me, I jump from being an academic clinician to being an entrepreneur to now being an investor. This is an incredible advantage. It’s been a long journey to figure this out, but when you understand what you bring to the world it’s a satisfying position.

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seeking at 3CC — solutions that are going to bring diversity to care delivery and make people feel seen and heard.” For example, Pham says the last company his firm invested in is VoiceItt, a company out of Israel. VoiceItt is building voice recognition technology for non-standard speech. Individuals who have had strokes, who were born with cerebral palsy, or who have developed Parkinson’s have a different voice inflection. This means they can’t use standard voice recognition tools like Alexa. VoiceItt helps such people access these tools. “When we think about ‘diversity’ we often forget about groups like veterans or people 94

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When we think about

with non-standard speech,” Phan says. “At the end of the day, people are simply asking for a chance to be heard. We want to find technology solutions that can simplify the healthcare process and improve care for everyone.”

‘diversity’ we often forget about groups like veterans or people with non-standard speech,

A BEAUTIFUL WORLD So, has Pham’s success erased the painful moments of his past? Not entirely. Yet, by sharing his story, he hopes other TCKs will learn, much sooner, how to leverage the unique and hidden strengths they take for granted.


If we lived in a society where it was more natural and organic to share our unique lived experiences, it would be a beautiful world.

“I still walk into a room feeling somewhat defensive {about my identity] at first,” says Pham. “When people ask ‘where are you from’ [which can provoke a lot of anxiety in a TCK], I simply respond with ‘Seattle’ — it’s a simple story, and easy to digest. Until they say something that [makes me believe] they want to hear more of the story. That’s when you realize how multidimensional everyone is. “I would love to one day walk into a room where everyone” expresses their multidimensional selves, he continues. “It’s incredible how diverse the world is, yet we choose not to see the diversity beyond [our assumptions]. If we lived in a society where it was more natural and organic to share our unique lived experiences, it would be a beautiful world.”

To learn more about Julien Pham's venture capital firm, scan the code below. cultursmag.com/julien-pham

www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023




Spring 2023 | www.CultursMag.com



www.CultursMag.com | Spring 2023



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