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SHANGHAI STREET CAT Lessons on Hidden Diversity and Perception








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Expats Third Culture Kids Missionary Kids Third Culture Adults Cross-Culture Kids Military B.R.A.T.s Multi-racial Multi-cultural Multi-ethnic Geographically Mobile HOME.


Celebrating Cross-Cultural Excellence



66 Jewelry designer Extraordinaire Adult Military B.R.A.T. Deidre Hardin could have laid down, shriveled up, hidden from sight. Instead, she’s an inspiration to all who have dealt with chronic disease. Let her inspiration inspire you—and help you look good in the process.


80 Third Culture Love Story Like many Third Culture Kids, Hardin and her husband had a couple goarounds before the start of their decades-strong relationship. Not only does she inspire in career and health, but also in love.



The Power of Language Start with the end in mind and venture to our back cover to familiarize yourself with “inbetweener” terminology to increase your cultural-fluidity.

Explore Kenya Review our map of Kenya to see the many exotic locations on our list—and decide where your vicarious journey should begin.

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104 Weddings of the Globally Mobile These photo essays show the magnificence of the culturally fluid in how they exemplify the glory of love.


Life-Changing Holiday A family vacation more than seven thousand miles from home miraculously morphed into a new life in a faraway land and thousands of lives changed for the better.




Olympic Runners What is it that makes Kenyan distance runners among the world’s best? Olympic medalists dish their secrets.

Kenyan Safari Join us for an epic journey through some of Kenya’s stunning national parks.




CULTURSCelebrates! Theme East Africa From fuel for athletics, to family dinners—partake in these traditional Kenyan dishes that will leave guests coming back for more.

Must Visit Enjoy one of the best views from the newest luxury hotel in the heart of Kenya.

Destinations More than wildlife and nightlife, take a gander at the beach, port, mountain and lake experiences that make every corner of this country an epic journey.

Shanghai Street Cat Lessons in hidden diversity and perception from the unlikeliest of places.

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AUTO REVIEW 56—Follow our test drive of Some of this Year’s Most Storied Vehicles

CAREERS 59—Tayo Rockson used his Difference to Create 81­—Following Florence Chabert d’Hieres from India to France 121—Expat Doris Fullgrabe’s Encouraging message, “Just pick up a pen” ENTERTAINMENT 85—TV: Master of None 86—Movie: Empire 87—Documentaries: Brown Babies Military B.R.A.T.S 88—Book: Third Culture Kid FASHION 66—Copper Signatures Original Art Jewelry 90—Pattern designer Amy Sia Goes Global 91—BritKenyan Jewelry Designers ZikoAfrica FOOD 38—CULTURSCelebrates! Cultural Foods


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CONTENTS HEALTH 62—Calm Yourself 64 —Healthy Travel

MUSIC 93—Must Listen 102—Breakout Ghanaian Music Artist Mawule RELATIONSHIPS 80—Third Culture Love Story, A Cross-cultural Love Story for the Ages 89—Families in Global Transition Conference 104—A Military B.R.A.T. and Civil Service B.R.A.T. nuptials at Denver’s Botanic Gardens 108—Celebrated Seoul, South Korea hosts the historic and futuristic vows of two of the city’s finest 120—Moroccan Love Story LIFESTYLE 88—Third Culture Kid Book 70—The Must List: Cool Things Curated for the Culturally-fluid 121—The Power of Language SPORTS 36—Olympic Runners, Why Kenyans are the Best

TRAVEL 30—Explore Kenya 44—Adventure Safari 64—Travel News 92—Gelian Hotel, Machakos 114—Destinations PEOPLE 60—Cross Cultural Ali Baluch Tells Stories 62—“Translator” Andrea on Being Bi-cultural 88—Ruth van Reken, Reigning TCK Queen 94—Five Questions 96—TCK Myra Diaumpais, Purveyor of Passions 98—Naomi Hattaway on Personalizing Culture 99—Saja Kamal’s worst things to ask a TCK PHILANTHROPY 34—Africa Yoga Project COLUMNISTS 82—Life Coach 83—Global Storytelling for Global Development IN EVERY ISSUE 8 —Publisher’s Desk 14—Contributors 84—Must List 122—Behind the Scenes Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM



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can’t tell you how excited I am to bring you the FIRST EVER print publication of Culturs—the global, multicultural magazine that celebrates cross-cultural excellence. The missing “e” in Culturs is deliberate ­—a nod to the “hidden diversity” of our population: one of liminal or “inbetween” identities. Culturs caters to lifestyle content for those who straddle culture, race, ethnicity, nations (global destinations) and locations (think intra-national travel). We grow up on a foundation of beach sand instead of concrete, and often are better for it—especially when we possess mechanisms to navigate our everchanging environs. Culturs intends to provide some of those tools. Visit us online to access thousands of stories, videos, infographics, resources and other tools and to connect with your community! As an Afro-Latina who grew up on five continents and amidst seven cultures (which many consider privileged, without regard to immigrant, refugee or unresolved grief status that may accompany these situations), I am FASCINATED with perception and dimensionality vs. duality. It’s amazing to see where each of us (myself included) may create judgement, and how often we leave little space for the fluidity of our situations, including our own identities. We don’t live in a binary world, for the most part anyway, so why do we hold ourselves to black and white standards? Our world is full of color, multiplicity and character—and my hope is that

Culturs helps bring more of that to Begin with the end in mind and flip the forefront. to the back cover for definitions that will help you better navigate the Culturs commits to bringing the terms we use in each issue with our PEOPLE, PLACES AND PRODUCTS Power of Language feature, which that help you unleash your personal provides a road map of in-between POWER. Power that comes from terminology intended to make embracing the in-between... It’s understanding easier. our intention to build a community where you feel you can belong— One of my favorite spreads this one with others like you, others who issue is the juxtaposition of understand. Our details may not be personality through the perception the same, but our experiences make of a Shanghai Streetcat (page 16) us similar, and from there empathy and three different dimensions of grows. Here is where I hope to our in-between population. And create a place for you: a place in it is especially heart-warming to which “where are you from,” and feature culturally-fluid weddings “what are you” are questions less that mark the diversity of love in our frequented or, at the very least, don’t population (page 100). feel micro-aggressive. Beyond that, check out the people, In each issue, we’ll take a deep dive services, products and so much into one of our world’s amazing more that we hope help you relate, cultures as they currently stand, elevate and relax into a world filled before globalization threatens to with “uniquely you” souls who get it. make us one homogenous blend of And get you. sameness. I also invite you to visit us online In this inaugural issue, we at to submit your celebrate Kenya with dozens suggestions for features, products, of pages of photo spreads, stories, suggested “destination descriptions, features, people and features” and more! And to connect destinations to bring you into the on social (see below) as we’d love less-touristy side of Kenyan culture to hear from you, and feature you, with locals as our guides. your business, organization, product or items of interest to our community Starting on page 30— in bold, in an upcoming issue. beautiful color, we celebrate the artistry of jewelry created by in- My most gracious thanks to you betweener and Military B.R.A.T. for coming along for the ride. I look Deidre Hardin—who uses her craft forward to having you as part of the to honor her heart donor, celebrate family. creativity, and make every one who adorns themselves with her Welcome home, creations a walking work of art.


Doni, Founder, Publisher,

“ We are a purpose-driven organization with a goal to create community and foster human connection for those with liminal, or ‘in-between’ identities. Empowering communication at the intersection of hidden diversity and social justice is the hallmark of our community and foundation of our brand.” Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


★ Broadcast on Armed Forces Network TV ★ Featured on CNN’s This Week at War ★ Featured on NPR’s All Things Considered “... every time I watch this movie I cry because I know someone in this world knows how I feel.” - Melissa Hill, Military Brat

“No other documentary better depicts the social and psychological impact on children and adolescents at the intersection of two powerful social institutions - the military and the family.” - Dr. Morten Ender, Sociology Prof. US Military Academy, West Point

Filmed over 7 years, BRATS: Our Journey Home is a unique and powerful award-winning documentary about the legacies of growing up in an American military family. Written and directed by Army brat Donna Musil, BRATS is narrated and features songs by the legendary singer/ songwriter Kris Kristofferson, son of an Air Force general. Based on over 500 poignant and provocative interviews with adult military “brats” of all ages, races, ranks, and branches of service, including the late General Norman Schwarzkopf and author Mary Edwards Wertsch. A timeless and powerful tool for debate and reflection on the positive and painful impact of war, international mobility, and the pressures of patriotism and belonging on a child’s heart, soul, and mind. “Your film moved me a great deal... It will be a great help to military brats growing up today.” - Pat Conroy, The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides

“It changed my life.” - Julie Jacobs, Military Brat

“All I can say is ‘wow’... I hope every military member has the chance to see this film and realizes how special their families are.” - MSgt. Michael Bovo, Camp Fallujah, Iraq

Buy the DVD for $19.95!

Subject Areas:

Children, Youth & Families; Sociology; Psychology; Social Work; Military Family Studies; US History; Mental Health; Ethnic Studies; Education; PTSD


90 minutes

UPC #094922556004

Licenses: Individual - $19.95; University/ Corporation - $250.00; K-12/Public Library $150.00 (institutional includes public performance rights) Contact: +1 (855) 872-2728 P.O. Box 9186, Denver, CO 80209-0186

SPRING 2018 Volume 1, Issue 1 Publisher and Founder Donnyale Ambrosine Western United States Art Direction Norbis Magallanes Peru, South America

Photography: “A Guy With A Camera� Chris Booth Xiaoya Cheng Karishma Day Elliot Foust Xavier Hadley Kendra Sibley Ethel McNeal

Senior Editor Tammy Matthews Western United States

CultursClub@CSU Sydney Shalz Taylor Rauch Renee Ormond

Director of Sales Jill Goldberg, East Coast, United States

Social Media Mike Miller Tayo Rockson

Kenya Production Ms. Chumba Limo Mrs. Angeline C. Limo and Mr. Francis Limo Kollum

Advisory Board Donna Musil Gregory Moore Ruth VanReken Meme Agency

Print Production Kim Blumhardt Western United States International Liaisons Chumba Limo Aisha Jama European Liasion Crystal McDonald United Kingdom Public Relations Angelia McGowan Western United States Contributors Olive Ancell Alicia Bonilla Andrea Bazoin Sara Bushnaq Xiaoya Cheng Courtney Deuschle Doris Fullgrabe Anna Groeling Zoe Jennings Samantha Malpiedi Angelia McGowan Nicole Parra Joanna Pierce Allie Ruckman Elissa Wageck Columnists Michele Davenport, New York City Claudia Koerbler, Washington D.C. Collateral Design Tineal Puaoi South Pacific Web Design Max Ratkai Western United States

Special Thanks to: Amboseli National Park, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University Mr. Alphonse Kioko, Gelian Hotel, Machakos, Kenya Mr. Evans Kavisi, Gelian Hotel, Machakos, Kenya Mr. Patrick Sang, Athlete coordination Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Nandi Tea, Rift Valley, Kenya Tsavo National Park, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Video editors Olive Ancell Elliot Foust Kelsey Hatcher Ram Productions Stefan Rodriguez SUBSCRIPTIONS: visit

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& f l n 3 Cultursmag x CultursGuruTCK Copyright Culturs Global Philanthropic Lifestyle Network. All rights reserved. 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 editiorial 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.

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the Puzzle Diverse People. Exotic Locations. Local Customs. A sense of belonging. Culturs Magazine is part of a Philanthropic Lifestyle Network that represents those in-between cultures, races, ethnicities, nations or locations. Whether you identify as racially-blended, culturally-fluid, a Third Culture Kid, Expat, Military B.R.A.T. or anything in between... at Culturs, we speak your language. Welcome Home.






CONTRIBUTORS Olive Ancell is a Third Culture Adult and content creator who is passionate about social and cultural differences that have potential to bring the world’s people together. She has traveled to nine countries, which influenced her love of travel and the desire to share unique world perspectives that can offer unlimited opportunities to connect people in different ways. Her talents include photography, videography, writing, and art. Ancell believes media is one of the most powerful tools for international awareness and communication. She is determined to be a part of a larger picture in which the use of media for coverage ranging from hyper-local to international is encouraged to celebrate and elevate diversity in all of Earth’s spectacular cultures.

Andrea Bazoin (Bah-Zwah) is a higher education professional turned entrepreneur. She is the founder of everHuman, LLC (, a company that provides tech support that is actually supportive through coaching, project assistance, and workshops delivered with both expertise and empathy. Her family ties span across the United States and beyond—including Chile, Argentina, Australia, and France. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her French husband and their culturally-fluid son. Cross-Cultural Alicia Bonilla Is a Colorado native with a diverse ethnic background on both sides of her family. Bonilla has been involved in multiple organizations including Confluence Ministries and Young Life, serving as a mentor specifically geared toward minorities and inner city kids. She is fascinated learning about other 14

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cultures since her experience with mission trips to developing countries and her study abroad experience in Europe. Her writing began as a personal passion, later igniting the desire to share with others around topics people from all corners of the world may find interesting. She enjoys recording her global experiences through personal journals and social media. As a multicultural woman, Sara Bushnaq, is exposed to the idea of belonging to more than one community. Her Passions include traveling, photography, and human beings. She is not afraid to be thrown in the unknown because that’s when she feels most learning is accomplished. Bushnaq comes from Syrian and Saudi Arabian origins and is always seeking a holistic way of life, which Culturs can provide.

facilitates programs in coaching, communication and leadership effectiveness for individuals and organizations committed to optimizing potential and growth. As Principal and Founder of Mosaic Coaching Solutions, Davenport employs the Co-Active model to inspire her clients to engage more deeply and intentionally in every aspect of their lives. Her approach includes a proven three-phased process of heightening selfawareness, developing a strategy, and implementing accountability systems to achieve transformative and sustainable change. Her client list includes groups and individuals from Deloitte Consulting, Creative Arts Agency (CAA), Facebook, Wells Fargo, Kipp: Bay Area Schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, HBO, The Partnership, Inc., Visa International and more.

Xiaoya Cheng is very passionate about what she covers in media because she believes her personal multi-cultural experiences may help her to understand global culture and provide a more comprehensive understanding of global culture to readers. The impact of global multiculturalism is relevant to readers and also associated with Cheng’s personal life as a TCK. She aims to put more eyes on TCKs’ development as it may appeal to readers since the TCK population is increasing rapidly and has a significant impact to society. Culturs Magazine is the perfect avenue to do this as it integrates Cheng’s study of media & film as well as the whole system of publications.

Courtney Deuschle was born and raised in Colorado, USA. Although her biggest move was just across town, she has left her footprint in many countries all over the world. As she grew up and found her identity, she developed a passion for two things: writing and traveling. As a Third Culture Adult (TCA), her wanderlust has created an open mind where she loves to learn and experience cultures completely different from her own. On the outside, people see a blonde haired, blue eyed, American girl, but they don’t know about her most cherished experiences, which also have shaped her into the person she is today. Deuschle plans to continue traveling for the rest of her life, and even sees herself living in another country.

Michele Davenport, CPCC, PCC, is an executive coach and personal strategist, who designs and

Doris Fullgrabe is a German-born multi-national expat. She has more than 10 years experience in

leadership development, culture, and personality type coaching for expats and international teams, and is currently exploring creative avenues. Doris lives in New York City with her Spanish husband. A Colorado native, videographer and content creator Anna Groeling corresponded for Culturs in Granada, Spain to solidify her Spanish language skills. Follow her as she writes about Spain, health and her personal experiences abroad and as she experiences new cultures. Zoe Jennings is a writer who is interested in telling human-interest stories. She grew up in the U.S. and Latvia. She has visited 22 countries. She loves journalism and hopes to write fiction someday. Jennings loves the outdoors, music and connecting with people. She has studied history and journalism at the university level. Third Culture Adult Josie Lucero studied Journalism and French at Colorado State University. Since the age of 16, her (expensive) hobby has been traveling internationally—a love that also led her to study abroad in Paris, France. Lucero’s interests are magazine writing and photojournalism. Samantha Malpiedi is especially interested in current issues around the world that affect people and the way they make their livelihoods. Her cultural awareness education began at age fifteen when she traveled to five countries in Europe, Mexico and Kenya and ended by living in Chile at age 21. These experiences developed her love for travel and appreciation for culture. As a duo-language speaker, she thrives in environments where communication spans cultures. Never complacent to stay in one place, her articles will interest anyone that might resonate with a

restless nomad, hungry for a taste of travel. A native Chicagoan, Senior Editor Tammy Matthews worked in major-market print media for nearly 15 years. Most notably as an editor for the Chicago SunTimes. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism and master’s degree from Colorado State University’s Department of Journalism and Media Communication. Now a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder in the College of Media, Communication and Information, Matthews unites her passions — sport, media, language and gender — in her primary research, which focuses on historical and contemporary representations of transgender athletes in domestic and international sport media. Her additional interests are education, global and domestic culture, new media, interpersonal relationships, travel, art, technology and business. Last year, Matthews sailed with and worked for Semester at Sea (SAS). Angelia D. McGowan is a writer who had her first culture shock moving from her native Texas to Colorado at age 10 and experienced snow, then visiting a college friend’s Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn, NYC, and eventually traveling to her first trip out of the U.S. to Haiti for a mission – and, lastly, on a business trip to South Africa. No matter where the travel, she recalls similarities far outweighed differences among people. Through her consulting service, Canady’s Corner, she is often tucked comfortably behindthe-scenes guiding clients through communications needs, including serving as a ghost writer and editor for memoirs. When not working with clients, you may

find her (racing from here to there in the latest model of this or that auto manufacturer) spinning tales for Creative Auto Reviews (CARs). Cross-Cultural Nicole Parra believes everyone has a story. She has a passion for all things food, fashion, and culture. As a MexicanAmerican, she has experienced life traveling in between cultures. Ultimately, Parra believes diversity enriches life experiences. Joanna Pierce is a Domestic Third Culture Kid who grew up in six different states throughout the U.S. She is passionate about the arts and their ability to create community. She loves to travel, read, and watch SpongeBob. Allie Ruckman is a writer, content-creator, artist, marketer and a creative in every sense of the word. She is from Boulder, Colorado, and draws inspiration for her work from the casual, outdoor environment that is unique to the western United States. She is passionate about liberal politics, environmental, social and racial justice, and loves to write in the pursuit of a better, more equal world. While she is less experienced in global travel or multiculturalism, Ruckman seeks to value, respect and represent all peoples, places and cultures. Elissa Wageck comments that Colorado is what most people might consider her “home.” However, she was born and raised in California and that is where she feels she belongs, even having not lived there since the age of 11. Wageck considers herself a part of both Californian and Coloradan culture. She looks forward to traveling the world, to learn and share with society and the people around her. She asserts, “After traveling and truly experiencing the world, I will one day return ‘home.’” Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM



By Xiaoya Cheng Photography by Xiaoya Cheng

I’m not as clingy as a pet cat. I’m wandering on the street. I don’t belong to anyone. I belong to the earth.

This is a street cat in Shanghai—her name is Mimi. I had been feeding her for more than seven years before leaving Shanghai for studies in the United States. When I was 13 years old, my family moved to a new house and I saw this little cat hiding under a big leaf. She was too afraid to come out, yet kept meowing. I thought she was hungry, so I took a sausage from our fridge and fed her. When she moved her skinny limbs and came out, she rubbed my leg and ran away immediately when I started moving. I’m seriously allergic to cats. I tried to take her into our house, but it turned into a tragedy. Based on different circumstances, I came to know that she was still a street cat. I’m not an owner, just a feeder. After struggling for a long time because I couldn’t really own Mimi (I named her), I gradually found out it might be best for her. I might not give her the best food and the comfiest bed in the world. But she’s the luckiest because she’s free. In the place where I come from, most people don’t like street cats. Cats are like rats because they’re everywhere and may bring diseases. People stereotype street cats.


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CHUMBA’S STORY This made me wonder about human perceptions and stereotypes. I asked Chumba Limo her thoughts. Limo is a third-culture adult (TCA) who’s from Kenya and has lived in the United States for a decade. “They’re normal and inevitable,” she said. “The only way to curb the negative effects of stereotypes is through fostering a culture that celebrates and embraces everybody’s differences, and in the process potentially slow down the rate at which we humans pass judgement and write each other off.” Limo appreciates living in the U.S. because she likes to immerse herself in new cultures. “The beauty of this country — and more so the higher education system — is the fact that these institutions invest heavily on attracting international talent and encouraging people to share their culture,” she said. She relayed her experiences of participating in Diwali, Eid al-Fitr and Chinese New Year celebrations, exhibiting that she truly is a global citizen. “Being a global citizen has

literally changed how I think and process information,” she shared. She has experienced what most people may have not as she is willing to connect with people. She embraces differences. Her experiences determine her hidden diversity, and this hidden diversity built her. I’m inspired, and I asked her the differences between the real her and other people’s perceptions. She said: “I am who I am. I’m pretty consistent with who I am. What people see is usually an accurate depiction of who I really am. I think a strength of mine is that I am able to bring out and appreciate other people’s hidden diversities. I’m not you, and you’re not me. The same skin color, the same race and the same language doesn’t mean we are the same. Hidden diversity is not deeply hidden. As long as we let go of judgments, stereotypes, perceptions and bias, we can know, understand and appreciate a human and humanity.” Similiar to Chumba, Mimi is consistent — and she’s herself.

“The same skin color, the same race and the same language doesn’t mean we are the same.”

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Dog says: “You love me so much, you give me food and bed, you must be my god!”


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Cat says: “You love me so much, you give me food and bed, I must be your god.”

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I was not a cat person before I met Mimi. She’s surely an interesting cat, a beautiful cat, a different cat, a cat that filters through my mind when I am away from home. 22

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I mentioned that I couldn’t keep Mimi because of my allergy.

The biggest concern was that she’s ultimately a street cat—it’s hard to make her a home cat. She couldn’t fit in the environment that has a style of living opposite of what she was accustomed. And taking away her natural instincts and freedom felt cruel. Another reason was, my parents were not welcoming to a street cat like Mimi. The theme of being “welcome” hits home through the story of Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK) Smitha Day, whose upbringing presented challenges: “The challenges included not being fully understood and accepted in my birth country both by family and society at large. And by accepted, I mean there was an expectation I dress and sound like the larger community. When living abroad, I learned languages and accents to fit in...what this did was let people assume I was from the local place and hence that part 24

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of me that was Indian got hidden...” Day was born in India and lived in several countries growing up as her parents chose to build their careers overseas. She moved to the Middle East around age three, and then on to Zaire at five and lived there until 14 years of age. At 18, she came to the U.S. for undergraduate studies. “I attended International schools, which contributed to my understanding of a global world,” she said. Day currently is the Executive Director of Global Bridges, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the mental health of international students in the U.S. Talking about perception, Day said she taught herself to work through her own immediate perceptions and stereotypes by getting to know the individual, because no one wants people to have negative perceptions. Though she points out that having perceptions and stereotypes is not all bad. It helps have a beginning

Smitha Day with daughter Karishma.

reference, but it becomes dysfunctional if we use those perceptions to cloud our ability to understand or make negative or positive assumptions about people based on what category in which we think they belong. In today’s diverse society, it’s very important to embrace diversity and embed a range of cultures, to achieve this goal, everyone needs to have the awareness of avoiding negative perception. We should always try not to follow the stereotypes, instead, to think objectively. Mimi’s life is a metaphor for such objective thinking. She is no ordinary cat— flouting the feline stereotypes of selfish, aloof,antisocial behavior. I’ve seen so many sides of her. She could catch rats, she could also sit quietly and look at me just wanting a treat. She could be a responsible mother; She could also be like a kid, rubbing my leg just because she wanted to be touched. She could teach us so much about how to treat each other—objectively. As humans.

I don’t have disease…You don’t need to detest me.


Karishma Day knows about flouting stereotypes herself.

A biracial TCK who is half East Indian and half Caucasian, she was born in Kentucky and raised in California for most of her life, yet also spends time in her mother’s homeland. She shares how crossing cultures has benefits: “Growing up in different cultures has helped me to open up my mind with other cultures. I want to continue to travel the world to explore places I haven’t seen. I even try to learn a different language every time I get the chance. Being a CCK (Cross Culture Kid) has also helped me adapt to different cultures, and bring different cultures together.” While, because of her biracial background, she was questioned by people around her all the time. “One difficult part I have as a biracial person is that everyone wants to put you in the box,” she mused. People often assume she’s one race— whether it’s because of her accent, clothes, skin color, or even eye color. “When I go to India, people always assume I’m only Caucasian. They always say my skin is too light and my eyes are too light to be Indian. It hurts me and makes me angry. Stereotyping is something we are trying to fight against in India.” Even with the challenges of being a biracial CCK, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. In exchange, she gets to experience the world. She keeps learning and adapting different cultures. “I have traveled 28

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to too many places to call one place anything. She went away, with her cutie pet dog. a home,” she imparted. Remember the small white cat I showed earlier? I named him Gump, because he liked running, like Forrest Gump. He always ran though my yard back and forth, so I put a bell on his neck. Every day I heard the bell ringing, I knew he was around me—lively and energetic. One day, I could never hear that vivid bell sound any more. Gump had died after being bit by a Huskie. As he lay struggling on the floor, dying, the owner of the Huskie didn’t say

The shaping of perception often stems from stereotypes. Relying on an inaccurate stereotype will usually reduce the accuracy of a person’s perception, which may explain why any influence of a stereotype on perception creates bias that leads people astray. If we’ve learned anything from Mimi the street cat and her son Gump— it is to let go of stereotypes and embrace diversity in all its forms. For one never knows what beauty can be uncovered, if we only open our minds...

Hello, as you can see I’m a white cat, but my mom is not. You know what! She’s the most beautiful lady in the world.

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ur team had the best time experiencing Kenya to bring you the best this one-of-a-kind country has to offer. After almost a year of planning and even longer filtering through thousands of photos, myriad interviews, and copious details, we’ve compiled more than thirty glorious pages of magnificent photography, exclusive interviews and including the beautiful places and people that make up this breathtaking land.


rom Olympians to philanthropists, government officials, to local guides and everyday people, food and customs—as Culturs does—we searched far and wide to bring you the people, places and products of Kenya, and did our best to unleash its POWER. And if that’s not enough, there’s also an opportunity to dive more deeply into Kenya with the upcoming Cffee table book that brings even more of Kenya to life. We hope you enjoy being transported by the majesty and the wonder that creates this great land...


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Life Changing Holiday Paige Elenson’s unexpected path from Manhattan’s Wall Street to the streets of Nairobi


ittle did Paige Elenson’s parents know that a trip to Kenya, Africa would change their daughter’s life. As a teenager on safari with her father, Elenson was intrigued by young men doing handstands in the middle of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. A yoga instructor from New York City, Elenson jumped out of her vehicle and asked the young men if they’d do handstands with her. What she didn’t know was these men lived in one of Kenya’s informal settlements and performed acrobatics as a means of supporting themselves. They became fast friends and Elenson eventually 32

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returned to Kenya, inspired to teach yoga full time. This unlikely meeting would spark Africa Yoga Project (AYP), a Kenyabased empowerment initiative using the power of yoga to affect change. “Africa Yoga Project really started with a handstand,” said Elenson, who is the Co-founder and Director of Africa Yoga Project. “Starting Africa Yoga Project, I’ve realized the true meaning of yoga – that yoga really is a practice that takes us to understand that we really all are the same at our basic level.” No matter if I’m from New York City,

on Wall Street or live in an informal settlement without a toilet, when we’re moving our bodies; when we’re experiencing heartbreak; when we’re experiencing celebration, we’re all the same. We’re all the same at our basic level,” she emphasized. From one tiny room with 50 people “squished with people doing yoga in the bathrooms; in the hallways,” three years prior, AYP was able to open its own space, called the Shine Center. Twelve years after it began, the project empowers more than 6,000 participants in hundreds of community yoga classes across 15 different African countries each week. With hundreds of formally-

trained teachers and many volunteers, AYP is making impact, and giving back to the Kenyan community, economy and people. AYP teachers instruct for free in some of Kenya’s poorest areas, fueled by donations, grants and paid teaching from the more fortunate of Kenyan society. “When people think about being of service in Africa, a lot of time the question I’ll get is ‘why yoga?’ People need food, people need housing, there’s war—what is yoga going to do,” Elenson asked. But in a community with a massive youth unemployment rate, AYP has created thousands of jobs.

free of charge, and now Weke gives back to her community. She aspires to own a yoga studio herself. James “Jomo,” also teaches in the communities around Nairobi and does private training with the skills he learned at AYP. “I really take it as a big inspiration for life. It’s a big step forward – it changed my life,” he said.

AYP’s core weekly activities include: yoga practice, meditation, self-exploration through inquiry, performing arts as a vehicle for empowerment, health education (HIV/AIDS), relationship building, and community activism. All programs are designed to increase physical, emotional and mental wellbeing on the individual level Millie Weke is an instructor at while also building healthy and AYP’s Shine Center in Nairobi. empowered communities. AYP trained her to be a teacher

Ph ila nth rop y

Africa Yoga Project Changing lives through the practice of yoga By Courtney Deuschele

Photography by Elliot Foust

The Africa Yoga Project’s (AYP) vision is to inspire and empower individuals through the restoring practice of yoga. The Kenyan organization’s trained and dedicated yoga instructors hold hundreds of classes each week in prisons, schools, rural villages, HIV/AIDS support groups, special-accommodation centers and many other places around the continent. The group focuses on the diverse 34

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communities of East Africa, but its influence expands internationally. AYP partners with many other organizations such as Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, I Love Yoga, Mindbody Business Management, Next Generation Yoga, Give Back Yoga Foundation, Yoga Reaches Out—the list continues to grow.

Further, its blog gives people an inside look at the organization and its longstanding impact. explained Cofounder Paige Elenson’s story in these terms: “Elenson went from Wall Street to Kenya and discovered that teaching downward dogs and warrior At, poses can unleash changes that go AYP offers information on way beyond the yoga mat.” volunteer opportunities, attending classes, donating and fundraising. AYP’s expansion into other

African countries not only created a plethora of living-wage jobs but also empowered communities on a larger scale. The group has completed a U.S. circuit called the Handstands, Hugs and Highways Tour, where it raised money to travel to 16 cities and spread awareness and empowerment through yoga across the country.

youth through the power of yoga.” Elenson said. “Our vision is to create opportunities for youth to step into their greatness and become self-sustaining leaders in their communities. I’m continuously reminded that yoga is the greatest service to give someone to find what is inside of them, to see what is possible and provide the tools to “Our mission is to educate, transform their own life.” empower, elevate and employ

Online Exclusive! To watch an exclusive video with the founder of Africa Yoga Project, visit

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What makes Kenyan Olympic runners

so great?

arathon Runners Eliud M Kipchoge, winner of multiple Olympic medals,

as well as winner of marathons around the World, and World Cross Country Champion Viola Lelagat Kibiwot, share the reasons many consider Eldoret, Kenya, one of the world’s, best training grounds (and perhaps the best) for marathon running. Of course, in addition to the excellent conditions offered in their homeland, “I think it’s tenacity,” said Kipchoge. “So you have to train hard and in a smart way. In athletics, the important thing is to plan and to prepare, but not to win. The win will come automatically.”

being disciplined at all times with training, and respecting yourself. “Because without that respect – if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t do anything,” she imparted. Kipchoge agreed that the passion to run is important to the sport, but conceded that the climate of Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, and the altitude, which is 7,000 feet (~2,100 metres) high, also may give them an advantage as training in the thinner air at high altitudes makes it easier to run when closer to sea level. Kipchoge ran in the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2016 Rio Olympics—winning gold in Rio, and finishing first at Marathons in Rotterdam and Chicago in 2014, Berlin in 2015, London in 2015 and 2016, and Berlin in 2017. For him, average training includes running 200 and 250 kilometers each week, and a balanced diet to obtain all nutrients necessary to stay healthy. “We’re in a third world country, thereby, we need to earn a living in different sources, and sports is one of them,” said Kipchoge, alluding that his marathon endeavors are his career, how he earns his living, in addition to being his passion. “People have a lot of interest in sports and that’s why we have a lot of champions here,” he shared.

Kibiwot added, “I can say that, running is something – you have to have it from your heart… So you can say that, to win, you have to have that passion, and you have to be ready all the time.” Kibiwot thinks the secret to being an accomplished distance runner is

Online Exclusive! To watch an exclusive video with two of the world’s top distance runners, visit: 36

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“People have a lot of interest in sports and that’s why we have a lot of champions here.”

Kenyan runners start training before the sun comes up.

Kibiwot’s determination shows on her face when practicing her passion.

A cacophony of color, the Kenyan team shows its bounty of when members train together.

Eldoret’s naturally buoyant terrain from dirt paths provide excellent roads for running.

Piles of harvested maize stalks adorn the local roads where the runners train. Maize is the main ingredient in the beloved Kenyan Ugali—a dish some even describe as a “superfood.” Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


{East Africa Edition} of CULTURS

Celebrates! Each quarter, Culturs holds a community kitchen at CULTURScasa—a gathering place for the globally-minded. We call the event “CULTURScelebrates!” At each celebration, we create a menu of recipes traditional to the featured culture, design stationery like invitations, place cards, a hardcopy menu, thank you cards and place setting decor or party favors and centerpiece elements for a tablescape design. These elements converge to create memorable get-togethers for some of our favorite people. We then arrange these items in a fashionable kit so you can easily re-create your own party. Our first-ever celebration paid homage to traditions and dishes of East Africa... We hope you enjoy!


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A beautifully-set table

The joy of creating community

East African-themed centerpiece

Dinner is served


Foods of

Kenya Dinner Menu • Vegetable: SkumaWiki • Grain: Ugali • Starch: Chapati • Main Dish: Beef Get • Beverage: Chai • Condiment: Tamarind Sauce

Online Exclusive! Watch the making of our party in action at culturscelebrates


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Skuma Wiki This Kenyan take on Kale will leave your mouth watering. Some reports call this dish “collard greens,” or even describe it as “mistaken” for kale, however, our experts in Kenya

created this recipe and use Kale as the main ingredient. Watch our video extra online to view it being made step-by-step. Quick, delicious and healthy, it’s a bounty for the senses.

Ingredients 1 White Onion 2 Tomato Kale, thinly sliced Tsp. Salt Spice Oil Directions Cut onion and tomatoes—set aside separately. Heat oil and fry onion until it starts turning brown, then add the tomatoes. Mix spice oil with a little water then add to cooking mixture. Stir ingredients and cook on medium high for five minutes. Add Kale into the cooking pot and mix well while cooking. Continue to cook for seven minutes. Salt to taste as necessary.

Serve with Ugali.

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Ugali The food of champions Ugali is a starch made from corn that oft is considered a staple at the Kenyan table. Made with love and a bit of elbow grease, the Ingredients: Salt, water, cornmeal Directions: Bring the water and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Measurements: 1 : 1.5 cornmeal to water. Salt to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir regularly, smashing any lumps with a spoon, until the meal pulls away from the sides of the pot and becomes very thick...about 10 minutes. . Place the Ugali into a large serving bowl, it will form a mound—flip onto a plate for serving.

thick meal is used as a utensil to capture the other food on your plate with each bite. Check out our online exclusive to watch the making of Ugali in action.

Ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoon ghee (Clarified butter) or oil 1 1/4 cup warm water Directions In a large bowl add flour and, if wanted—add sugar, then salt and mix dry ingredients well. Follow with wet ingredients: water and ghee or oil. Knead to form a soft and sticky dough. Place dough on a heavily-floured surface and knead until soft: about 10-15 minutes. Continue to add flour to dough as needed, but not too much as dough should be pliable, smooth and soft. Divide dough into baseball sized pieces and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten (this makes softer Chapati). Use a rolling pin and dough into a circle – once rolled out, roll the dough like a cinnamon roll.


This honored Kenyan dish has roots in India and will leave mouths watering and taste buds swimming in deliciousness.

Cover dough with a damp paper towel or cloth and rest for 20 minutes. Slice into pieces to flatten and create individual Chapatis by rolling out the dough from the center working outwards. Rotate the dough each time you roll it to make as symmetrical a circle as possible. Roll out until 1/4 “ thickness and to size of pan using to cook. Place dough in lightly oiled stove top skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes rotating until golden brown. Serve warm.

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Kenyan Safari Photography by Elliot Foust


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A visual feast of Kenya’s majestic animals

Amboseli Amboseli National Park is the second most-frequented swiftly and stealthily grabbed a croissant directly safari location in Kenya and sits about 150 miles from out of someone’s hand while they sat in the Safari Transit van.) Lesson learned: If you’re eating, keep the Nairobi, bordering Tanzania to the south. windows closed! This safari location is known for its elephant herds and abundant birds. The park also notes the presence Best times to visit: January through February and June of wildebeest, giraffe, African lions, antelope, zebra, to September. hyena, monkeys (one monkey’s bony little fingers Shown here: A rare glimpse of hippos fighting.

Online Exclusive!

Explore the majesty of Amboseli National Park and why it provides the best view of Mount Kilimanjaro in this Exclusive interview:


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National Park

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National Park

Nairobi National Park is the smallest and oldest of all Kenyan national parks—providing a glimpse into what the city’s landscape looked like a century ago. The vast view of Nairobi’s buildings (inset) whilst deep in the midst of wilderness is awe-inspiring.

Home to the Black Rhino Sanctuary, the park also houses lions, buffalo, ostrich, leopard and more. During the summer, one can experience Wildebeest migration and marvel at the “Big Five” African Safari animals: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopard.

The elusive “king of the jungle” rests beneath a bush while safari visitors desperately try to find him. One rare glimpse is enough to make an entire safari day worthwhile. Our photographer groused at the thought of placing this out-of-focus photo in this issue, but since the luck of capturing this photograph in such proximity and the splendor of such an elegant animal could not be it we did. It’s one of our favorites.


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Online Exclusive!

Find out directly from Nairobi National Park why it is the premier home to the safari “Big five,” visit http://cultursmag. com/experience-safari

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Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks once were a single park, but now are separated. Tsavo West National Park sits west of its former sibling, Tsavo East, and is located approximately 180 km west of Mombasa. West is considered spectacular for topography and aviary fans. Key attractions include the Galana River and the Yatta plateau, along with pools and dams that beckon all manner of wildlife to for thirstquenching in the sometimesblazing Kenyan Sun.


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Tsavo East & West

Tsavo East National Park is about 300 km southeast of Nairobi and 173 km northwest of Mombasa. Its proximity to beaches and coastal attractions around make it the perfect day trip for safari-goers. As one of the oldest and largest African safari parks in Kenya, it contains naturally flat, dry plains and bush. Marshy swampland also can be found within its borders. Tsavo East is home to all “Big Five� must-see African safari animals: Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Rhino and Leopard. Abundant with wildlife, visitors also can find large families of giraffe, gazelle, wildebeest and zebra. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


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The Rocky Mountain Driving Experience is an

annual event in the Rockies of Colorado, USA. Select journalists test drive latest models from 20 different auto manufacturers—the 2017 event was like musical chairs along the mountainous state’s Peak to Peak Highway. Now you get to enjoy the ride. Here are my most memorable moments:...

1 2 3

Kicking off with a presentation on the 2018 Jaguar F-Pace 25t R-Sport—aka the 2017 World Car of the Year and 2017 World Car Design of the Year—knowing that I would be the first to drive it during this event. Woohoo! Taking the not-so-shy Energy Greencolored 2017 Honda Civic Si up a one-way dirt road and truly appreciating the backup camera feature on the way down. Realizing that it is absolutely possible for the sporty 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 to feel like a Lexus. It’s low to the ground, has interior features reminiscent of a Lexus yet the exterior offers a two-toned color with style all its own.

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Admiring the look and feel of the 2018 allnew Hyundai Elantra GT from outside— the size is deceiving, as the stylish interior packs a spacious punch. Getting a better understanding of the hands-on/hands-off steering wheel from Nissan regarding their advances in autonomous driving.

Finding the location of the door handle on the side door of the 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE while enjoying the view at Mary’s Lake. The high placement of the handle is only the beginning of the unique vibe the artsy C-HR offers. Just think diamonds.


Experiencing responsive steering in the 2017 Soul Red-colored Mazda CX-5 when quickly pulling over to the shoulder of the road to capture its image in front of Allenspark Chapel on the Rock.


Photography courtesy of Jaguar

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Watching the excitement of fellow journalists grow with each shift of the six-speed 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF. Monitoring energy savings as I drove the 2018 BMW 530e X-Drive to the Rocky Mountain National Park Gateway. Electric vehicles are their own kind of cool. Working to assume a “no-fear� position while sitting high in the 2017 Nissan Titan King Cab pickup. Much admiration to diesel truck drivers who regularly traverse these mountains.

Continue the experience by reading the next 10 top moments at

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A ( in c V a H a p

R fa a h F a th 2 r a tr

A a c d a

The importance ofof USING YOUR

DIFFERENCE By Elissa Wageck


ayo Rockson has taken cultural experiences to a whole new level. He folded all his travels and cultural endeavors into a career. A millennial Third-Culture Kid (TCK), Rockson was born and raised in Nigeria. He lived in five different countries (Sweden, Burkina Faso, Vietnam and the United States in addition to Nigeria.) before age 18. He now lives in the U.S. and works as a speaker, consultant and media personality at UYD Management. Rockson grew up in a closely-knit family with two Nigerian parents and two younger brothers. They heavily value family and tradition. From sixth to ninth grade, he attended an international school that opened him up to more than 250 ethnic groups—and learned to respect others and their traditions and beliefs. In 1999, he made his first transition into a democratic society. As tough as it might have been to pull a 180 in political lifestyle, the bigger challenge was entering this change during puberty. He described himself as a tall, slim, Nigerian boy who didn’t

know what was going on. Rockson said, “I’d always felt like a walking contradiction.” Even though he felt at home with his culture in his own household, he found it hard to adjust outside of the house. He decided to become a chameleon and blend in with those around him by observing his surrounding environment. He looked for something in his new culture that he could relate to as a way to bond with others, and in doing so, discovered a passion for sports. After watching a game of soccer, he was hooked. Later, he moved to an area where basketball was more popular and instantly read as many books on the sport as his mind could absorb. He also asked a friend to teach him how to play. To this day, he loves the sport.

accepting person with an expanded worldview. Rockson said: “[It’s] not about being culturally diverse but about what you have to offer a culture.” When you shut people out, you close yourself off from any cultural enrichment. Rockson decided to take his experience as a TCK and curiosity for different cultures to the business world. He runs UYD Management, a strategic leadership and consulting firm that helps organizations incorporate sustainable diversity and inclusion practices in hopes of helping multiand/or cross-cultural people discover their identities.

“I’d Aside from his TEDx blog posts and always felt talks, video shows, he now the number one like a walking hosts cross-cultural podcast contradiction.” inTold theBy world—“As Nomads.”

After all his adventures in different countries and learning about different traditions, he became an open,

ATBN features the inbetween leaders in business, culture, travel and global affairs discussing what it takes to embrace global identity. The podcast streams in more than 100 countries. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


The CROSS-CULTURAL Journey of MTV Associate Producer

ALI BALUCH By Nicole Parra

“We need to be telling our own stories.”


is Twitter is full of raw thoughts, his podcast is full of laughter, and his presence is full of charisma. When he’s not co-hosting a podcast in front of a Zayn Malik poster, you can find him as an associate producer for MTV’s Ridiculousness. His name is Ali Baluch. He is funny, insightful and keeps up with the news. Although Baluch was born in Fairfax, Virginia, his parents moved to the United States from Afghanistan in the 1980s. He admits his parents struggled to adjust to the move. “As parents, they’ll sacrifice everything so that I can get the opportunities they couldn’t have,” Baluch said.

Baluch said he is most proud of his podcast—his eyes light up as soon as he mentions it. Titled “The Apartment,” it is a space for diverse content creators to sit down and talk about t h e i r stories. Baluch pro duces t h i s podcast w i t h co-host Asif Ali. Almost 60,000 subscribers strong, the channel is a platform of hope and inspiration.

“We all have privilege... but how can we use that privilege to help others?”

Well, the sacrifice was worth it. When Baluch was 21, he attended film school in Chicago. After graduation, he began exploring the realm of visual content creation. 60

Film school was the ticket needed to morph him into the influencer he is today. After interning for Nickelodeon in sunny California, his professional career took off. His work ranges from comical to serious in an instant.

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“I want to show other kids of color that there are other people similar to them doing great things,” Baluch imparted.

He recognized the lack of representation in the United States entertainment industry. “The main reason we started the podcast was I honestly believe that kids need heroes that look like them,” Baluch continued. “We’re erased from America. We are not represented in media, in pictures, in film, or in music.” Baluch acknowledged the problem but believes his calling is to help find a solution. He suggested that more diverse people in the workplace will lead to vibrant and varied content. However, despite race and diversity affairs in the United States, Baluch stayed hopeful. Navigating the chaos around him, the constant in his life has always been content creation. In fact, he recently finished wrapping the tenth season of Ridiculousness with his team. His focus now, and always, is to remain knowledgeable and empower others to do the same. “We all have privilege,” he said, “but how can we use that privilege to help others?”

Living between cultures can be confusing sometimes. If your parents were born in one country, but you were born and live in a different country, this can cause you to question to what culture you “belong.” Both cultures are in your life, but it feels like you’re always stuck in the middle.

Baluch’s parents are from Afghanistan, but he was born in the United States.

documentary series and captured ten unique stories with local Afghans,” he shared.

He acknowledges that several people live a hyphenated lifestyle. Whether it be Afghan-American, Mexican-American, or AsianAmerican, there are still two worlds to navigate.

The mission was simple; he wanted to use his creative outlet to capture normal stories. This was important to him because there are several stories in the media that portray Afghans in a stereotypical way. He said this increased after the events of 9/11 unfolded.

He decided to bridge the gap after not feeling a connection to his parents’ culture. “A year after film school, I travelled to Afghanistan and did a

This documentary series eventually steered him to develop a platform for diverse content creators to share their stories. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


FOUND in translation

From exotic Chile to Nebraska farm life, and all the bi-cultural goodness IN-BETWEEN.

My name is Andrea Bazoin, and I am a translator.

They eventually married and made their life amongst the rolling hills of northeast Nebraska, in the middle of corn and cow country. My childhood was pretty typical of Midwest farm families, but with some exceptions. We listened to Julio Iglesias and danced cumbia in the living room at Christmas; made very loud, often-tearful, long distance phone calls to my mom’s sisters in Australia, Argentina, and Chile; and ate way more palta, mariscos, and arroz a la valenciana than we did macaroni and cheese or Jell-O salad. Wedding Bells—The author’s grandparents’ wedding

In high school, I used my thenlimited Spanish to translate for the Central American immigrants who came to my checkout line at the grocery store in our small Nebraska town. Interpreting their “Cuanto cuesta?” was helpful, but I knew that what I was really translating was a message of welcome and dignity to newly-arrived residents who had found their way to our tiny town photos: above, maternal Chilean; below, paternal Nebraskan. Growing up because of employment bi-culturally opportunities at the allowed me to understand, local meat packing plant. intimately, what it means You see, even though I had to belong and how a lived in this small town my person copes when they entire life, it was easy for me to feel like they don’t. My recognize an outsider’s desire mom often responded to to belong and be understood. micro-aggressions and My mother moved to Nebraska discrimination with a “kill from Santiago, Chile when she ‘em with kindness” attitude. was 17 after her mother was Both of my parents modeled tragically killed in a bus accident. for me how to welcome others, to practice empathy, A few years before, her older and to value family. So, as sister had married a Nebraska I began a career, I found farmer, whom she met by new ways to use my liminal chance while standing in line at identity to be a translator. a customs office in the middle pain of leaving one’s home and of the Andes mountains. After my moving to a place where you are I became a higher education abuela died, my mom left Chile to working with neither understood nor welcomed. professional, live with this sister and her gringo immigrant and under-served husband. The crazy stories my Tia My mom met my dad (also a families to help them navigate and mom tell about those early local farmer) through mutual the confusing world of college days always made me laugh, and friends, that very first year she admissions and financial aid as yet they are underscored with the was in Nebraska. their kids prepared to enter college 62

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for the first time. Although I was also the daughter of an immigrant, and also a firstgeneration college student, I also experienced various forms of privilege in my upbringing. I knew lots of people in my community who had gone to college. I never personally experienced r a c i a l discrimination because I have light skin. I also attended a smaller private school because our low-income status allowed my brother and I to receive the financial aid needed to attend. All of those things, combined with my cultural background, made it possible for me to translate a complicated system to underserved families in a way that made it feel familiar and accessible to them. Today, I continue to be a translator—this time, of technology. I am, what some would call, a digital native—born at just the right time in history to grow up with pen pals and encyclopedias, yet grow into adulthood with Skype and Wikipedia. I now own a company ( where, in part, I translate for older adults (digital immigrants) how to use today’s technology so that they will understand and feel empowered to take ownership of their digital lives. Without this, they often feel like outsiders in a foreign country—like

they don’t belong. The purpose of everHuman is to help people, of all ages, embrace the digital age without becoming slaves to technology or losing the best of what makes us human. Our main goal is to create a bridge between technology tools and human pursuits— translating the how into the why. The language of the digital age has become a new kind of privilege, so our goal is to ensure no one is left behind because they don’t speak the language.

Top and Center: Bazoin and her parents at their Nebraska farm. Bottom: Homemade empanadas.

The word translate comes from the Latin translatio, which means to transfer or carry over. It’s not just about words. It’s about creating a bridge of understanding and inclusivity between people with different backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences. Being a translator has become one of the deepest parts of my identity. I am still the first to welcome the newcomer at the office, the one who offers a “can I help you” to strangers who look lost or confused, and the one who invites a new neighbor for dinner. I know that I am privileged in so many ways—using my privilege and my unique liminal identity to share what I know with others has been the greatest gift of growing up bi-culturally. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


WANT MORE KENYA? EXTREME ADVENTURE COFFEE TABLE BOOK full of exquisite photos on the people, culture, animals, food, destinations and pure beauty of one of the planet’s most vibrant locales.

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The Yoshino Cedar House

Travel News: Airbnb on Healthy Tourism In April, Airbnb—the global crowdsourcing homestay platform— launched the Office of Healthy Tourism, an initiative to drive local, authentic and sustainable tourism in cities across the globe. Along with the launch of the office, Airbnb also released data that shows the benefits of healthy tourism for hosts, guests and cities, as well as, announced the creation of its new Tourism Advisory Board, which will be made up of global travel industry leaders. The company, which has almost five million listings in 191 countries, was founded 10 years ago, and more than three hundred thousand guests have discovered new destinations— many in neighborhoods off the typical tourist path. This brings the economic benefits of tourism to small businesses and local residents. Through partnerships, programs and events, Airbnb has said it plans to expand efforts to economically empower communities, drive travel to lesser-known places, and support environmentally-friendly travel habits. “With travel and tourism growing faster than most of the rest of economy, it is critical that as many people as possible are benefiting

—and right now not all tourism is created equal. To democratize the benefits of travel, Airbnb offers a healthy alternative to the mass travel that has plagued cities for decades,” said Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy for Airbnb. The company also embarked on a number of initiatives to promote what it calls “Healthy Tourism.” Last year, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia opened the Yoshino Cedar House, a listing in a rural community that was slowly disappearing due to an aging population, low birth rate, and exodus of young people. Since the house opened, Yoshino has hosted hundreds of guests from 32 countries and supported 70 jobs in this small town through cash influx from hosts and guests. Airbnb indicates its Office of Healthy Tourism will continue to focus on rural regeneration around the globe—from small villages in Italy to the countryside in China— to help bring the economic benefits of tourism to areas that want to welcome more travelers into their communities in a locally sensitive, sustainable way.

60 seconds to

Calm Anxiety By Samantha Malpiedi

Titanya Dahlin, her sister, Dondi Dahlin, and their mother, Donna Eden, are Culturs experts who perform Energy Minutes all around the world to bring health and healing to the CultursTV audience. Each print magazine issue, we’ll bring you a quick health tip you can use anywhere. This CultursTV Energy Medicine Minute comes from Prescott, Arizona, USA where Culturs expert Titanya Dahlin demonstrates an Energy Medicine technique designed to calm.

Do you find yourself too anxious? “Butterfly Coming On Home” is

a simple and quick exercise designed to calm anxiety and nerves. With this technique, you can ground energies. To begin, take one very deep breath while you sweep one arm to the side and then above your head. Once you are at mid-line, exhale while tracing straight down the Central meridian line of your body. Repeat this same movement with the opposite hand and continue to alternate for a few rounds.

Your place to belong. SUBSCRIBE today to get the latest in multi-cultural news, vibrant storytelling and dynamic photography in print and digital WELCOME HOME

“Allow your body to move with it!” Titanya suggests to get rid of anxiety and calm your nerves.

Online Exclusive!

Follow along with Dahlin as she demonstrates this anxiety-reducing technique at


The information provided in this tip is for educational purposes only—it does not offer medical advice. Readers should make their own inquiries and judgments before acting on any information it contains. For a full Eden Energy Medicine disclaimer visit Cultursmag. com/ video-sixtyseconds-in-prescott


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Coverstory Photograph by Kendra Sibley 66

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Military B.R.A.T. Deidre Hardin Turns Adornment Into Art By Joanna Pierce


eidre Hardin’s journey mirrors the incredible jewelry she creates: intricate and layered spirals and turns, decorated with spots of beauty, together form something simply amazing.

As a military B.R.A.T, Hardin moved regularly, allowing her to experience life in a multitude of different places. When she was 11, her father was stationed in Germany, about two hours from the French border. She spent much of her four years Hardin’s journey began in there exploring Europe. Lubbock, Texas, where she lived until age five. Laughing, Hardin recounted

one of her fondest memories from that time: spending her 16th birthday in Spain. “I got to drink like a grown up,” she said, joyfully sharing similar memories from visits to Holland, France and Italy. “I was always so excited to go to my next adventure,” she said. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


Photography by Chris Booth Hair by Tim O’Neal Makeup by Amiyah Cleveland, Studio21 Fashion by IMT Designs by Andre Terry

“The majority of my work is reflective of moments within my health journey. I created and dedicate a copper wing each year to my heart donor as he has been my wingman; my angel on my shoulder.”

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Photography by Chris Booth Hair by Tim O’Neal Makeup by Amiyah Cleveland, Studio21 Fashion by IMT Designs by Andre Terry

BENEFITS OF A GLOBAL LIFE As an adult, Hardin benefitted from her Third Culture Kid (TCK) background. After graduating from Colorado State University, she moved to Dallas where she officially met and fell in love with her husband, Keith. After some time in Texas, the couple moved to Denver, where Hardin began teaching art.

summer of 2002 in hospital. Doctors worked to alleviate the symptoms and prescribed chemotherapy to help bring her white blood cell count back within healthy levels. Hardin remembers crying, holding locks of her hair in her hands. “Ma. It’s dead, Ma,” her hairdresser told her when she asked for them to be sewn back in.

AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Despite strong opposition from doctors, family and friends, Hardin returned to work part-time that August. She was more worried that her students might think she was a junkie due to the marks left by IVs than she was about “As many people as there are in overworking. the world, that’s how many ways there are to solve a problem,” But, in 2004, her health Hardin said. She encouraged again began to deteriorate. her kids to think just as big and She listened in disbelief as her doctor told her she just as creatively. was pregnant. Previously DEVASTATING DIAGNOSIS experiencing an ectopic In 2002, Hardin was awarded pregnancy that caused her to the Art Educator of the Year lose an ovary, she’d been told Award by the Colorado Art would not be able to have any Education Association. more children. Her experience with different cultures helped her as both a teacher and a mother. She was able to show her children and students “that the world is bigger and there are different ways of looking at things,” through art and her own experiences.

However, 2002 threw just as many trials as it did triumphs. She began to experience severe joint pain, lapses in memory, and extreme fatigue, struggling to find enough energy to make it through the day. “I would take 20 minute naps in my car before I came home,” Hardin recalled. Eventually she was diagnosed with lupus and spent the

With the added impact of chemotherapy and the medication, the chances of bearing more children were nearly nonexistent. She had not had a cycle in over a year and believed she had gone through early menopause. Yet there she was, carrying her own tiny miracle. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


Photography by Chris Booth Hair by Tim O’Neal Makeup by Amiyah Cleveland, Studio21 Fashion by IMT Designs by Andre Terry

Hardin shows how the raw simplicity of metal can be transformed into formal elegance. OPPOSITE: Top—Marvel the textural perfection of Hardin´s hand-crafted excellence. Bottom—(1) Hardin’s daughter Niara showcasing mum´s creations. (r) Hardin’s Son shows the gender-fluidity of Copper Signatures design. 72

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Extraordinary as it was, carrying a child to term with lupus is dangerous. Doctors relayed that there was a high probability that either she or her baby would not make it through delivery. Yet, she remained steadfast in refusal to consider abortion, “If this happens in a barren womb, then there’s no way that I’m going to go have this taken care of,” she offered. Nine months later, Hardin gave birth to a healthy, happy baby girl. She named her Niara, which means God’s Purpose. HEART OF THE MATTER Continuing to feel fatigue for months after the birth, Hardin eventually returned to her doctor and learned that her heart was enlarged. After experimenting with other treatment methods brought little success, her doctors decided she needed a pacemaker. To improve her health, Hardin decided she needed to move to a warmer climate. She underwent pacemaker surgery in August 2009 and moved back to Texas with her family in November. She spent a lot of time in and out of doctors’ offices to make sure the pacemaker worked properly. At the last appointment, her physician was ready to provide

a clean bill of health as long as she was sleeping normally. Though she needed to sit upright while in bed, she otherwise was sleeping well. Her doctor immediately began making calls...Hardin had congestive heart failure; she needed a new heart. “I did not cry until I got to the house,” she recalled. Added to the transplant list, she began waiting. Placed on oxygen and a constant IV, Hardin turned to art to get through each day. “Art therapy has been my saving grace,” she said. Early in the battle with lupus, a friend gifted Hardin a copper bracelet and told her that copper helps ease joint pain. That provided the impetus for Hardin to create her own copper jewelry.

“I did not cry until I got to the house.”

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“I always wanted to be Dorothy with the red shoes.”


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HANDCRAFTED THERAPY From this, molding copper became very therapeutic for Hardin. “I got to hammer out my frustrations before my family got home,” she exclaimed. The finished pieces gave Hardin something to show for the time spent at home and something to talk about besides her health. One evening, Hardin walked into the kitchen to get a cup of tea and heard “The Wiz” playing in the living room. Nipsey Russel, whose character in the film was the Tin man, smoothly warbled:

“Slide some oil to me — Let it trickle down my spine Slide some oil to my head and let me lubricate my mind!” As Russel sang, Hardin was struck by how much she identified with his character. Then the Tin man mentioned his desperation for a heart. “I’m the Tin Woman in this story,” she realized. Appropriate, as “I always wanted to be Dorothy with the red shoes,” she commented. As Hardin continued to wait for a compatible heart, this idea of the Tin Woman became somewhat of a mascot for her and served as a source of inspiration. When her daughter

Dress Designer Annie Adams with MUAH: Ruby Belcher Photographed by “A Guy With A Camera”

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accidentally broke a dress form, Hardin saw an opportunity to create a new sculpture. Using the form, a piece of red coral that remarkably resembled a four-chamber heart, and—of course—copper, Hardin built her Tin Woman. Finally, in 2013, she received a new heart. Hardin’s surgery and recovery went smoothly. The fatigue lessened and she was able to do more day to day, including launching her own jewelry line: Copper Signatures. When she was healthy enough to interact with larger groups of people again, Hardin displayed her jewelry at a local fashion show, which then led to an appearance on Good Morning Texas. This exploded into a large social media following and invitations to other fashion shows. Since then, Hardin’s work has been seen in New York Fashion Week; her story shared with a vast audience. “Dallas kind of knows me as the copper lady,” she said. Hardin strives to honor her donor, Casey, by shining bright enough for two, she. As a tribute each year, she designs a piece titled Casey’s Wing, which she donates to charity. The Tin Woman sculpture still hangs in her home.


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“There are two souls, one heart on this journey.”

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A Third Culture Love Story

By Joanna Pierce ow married, Deidre and However, before they could Keith Hardin managed to meet, Deidre moved to just miss each other throughout Germany. their childhoods.


Deidre’s closest friend growing up was Keith’s cousin, Vonda. They spent so much time together that they often told people that they were cousins as well. Their families were just as close. Deidre’s mother and Keith’s aunt were best friends. Deidre knew of Keith and spent time with much of his family from a young age. When Vonda showed Deidre a picture of Keith in an attempt to play matchmaker, Deidre remarked, “He looks like Michael Jackson with the fly collar!” 80

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After graduating college, Deidre moved to Dallas with Vonda. Once there, Vonda subtly mentioned that Keith lived in Austin and began orchestrating a surprise meeting. When they finally met, Deidre froze momentarily. “I knew him immediately,” she said. “Are you gonna just stand there or come give me a hug,” Keith asked. They immediately hit it off. However, Keith was going through a divorce and

until it was final, Deidre felt uncomfortable being anything more than friends. On her next birthday, Keith called and told her that his divorce had been finalized. Six months later, the couple began dating. Keith has been integral to Deidre’s journey. “He’s the rock of the family,” she shared. “He keeps everybody laughing.” While Deidre was waiting for a heart, Keith took her on short staycations throughout Texas. “My husband isn’t an artsy person, but he’s learned to stop and smell the roses,” she said. Deidre and Keith renewed their vows to celebrate their 25th anniversary in May 2017.

By Alicia Bonilla


o leT op W Pe NO K

Following the Culturally Fluid:

when it comes to emotional and psychological stresses. • Grief intensity → the loss and grief experienced by a TCK and how they cope with their losses.


nternational adoptee and Third Culture Kid (TCK) Florence Chabert d’Hieres is a woman with quite a story to tell—and one she is managing to live through the support of her family while following her passion. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and adopted at three weeks by an Italian mother and French father. Chabert d’Hieres was raised in Lyon, France and went to an international school. She speaks five languages fluently: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. After graduating with an MBA from a French-American business university, she created her first company—Intimate Business France, which helped businesses settle and understand the French culture. After marrying, she moved to Dubai and created the company Coach4expat. She is now a certified coach and trainer for expats, parents, and Third Culture Kids (TCKs) in the Middle East.

• Environmental dissonance → when moving from culture to culture, it is important to note the difference in the environment. Are they similar? How does this affect someone’s experience? Q: What were your biggest struggles?

• Vocational Certitude → the confidence and happiness a TCK A: The fact that I looked different. feels with who they are and what Even today, I always have to justify they are doing. myself from where I come from because I look different and I speak •Relational support → the amount English with a French accent. As and form of support that comes noted in the book, “Third Culture from relationships in the life of a Kids: Growing up Among Worlds,” TCK. The more positive support is the stresses of re-entry can be around them, the less stress a TCK uncomfortable and the dimensions will have. of change may become difficult to understand during periods of “My parents brought my sister transition. We all can relate to the and me back to Sri Lanka. It was search for a sense of belonging, very difficult for me to make feeling confident with identity, and the decision to go back in ‘my’ seeking purpose with what we do. country [that] I did not know. While I was there, it was even The distinctive qualities of the more difficult than expected TCK experience are what make the because people thought I betrayed topic of discussion so compelling, my country by leaving. It felt very but as more research is conducted, strange being from nowhere,” TCKs share a lot in common Continued on page 113

Q: How would you describe your multicultural experience growing up? A: It seemed natural and easy to move from country to country. I started to travel abroad when I was seven years old and I still do it now. The only difficult thing is fitting in and finding a sense of belonging. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


Life Coach// Michele Davenport



This inaugural column is about you —who you are, what you hold dear, and how you move through the world. We are dedicated to exploring the questions that will ultimately lead you to designing your own excavation project. You might ask what exactly am I digging for? It’s you—the real, unadulterated, uncovered YOU. How often is it that your “community,” with all of its

best intentions, has contributed in covering up the core person inside? Perhaps your educators, parents, clergy, friends and foes have forever told you what their view of you is—you’re a great leader, daughter, researcher, ball player, writer, etc. We hear so many descriptions of who we are, according to someone else’s view of us, it’s not surprising that at some point we look up and ask, is this me? Here, we will challenge you to get up close and

personal with all parts of yourself, and from this expanded place of knowing, you will be able to show up more fully and live with greater satisfaction, joy and peace. For just this once, it’s indeed “all about you.” How often

does a friend, loved-one or colleague chide you by saying “it’s not always about you,” sometimes resulting in the saboteur, or those limiting beliefs creeping in and halting your progress? In this space, we will explore what it means for you to be you. The more clarity you have on what’s important to you, what you value and are impassioned by, the more capacity you will have to show up for others, to serve, lead, parent and love in innovative and interesting ways. Plus, it’s plain fun to have more pep in your step: to be clear why, what and to whom you’re saying yes and no and to be clear on why a particular boundary is relevant and empowering. In this column, we will cover it all. Here’s a question

-- if you were challenged to “Discover and Uncover” parts of yourself you haven’t been exposed to in some time, what would you learn? Perhaps you love being in nature, are driven by achievement, nourished by loyalty, helping others, being an expert or one of hundreds of other values. And what if you uncovered your purpose and then were challenged to determine what ACTION is required to intentionally move through the world with resonance and grounding? Discover and Uncover will offer a roadmap on how to get from the current story or narrative you have about 82

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your life to a more bold and courageous experience. Is it a trip to the Maldives, domestic travel, a loving

partner, renovating your condo, or perhaps purchasing your dream home? Whatever tugs at your heart and is keeping you from getting restful sleep, we want you to bring to this column. But you have to be ready to put in the work. Whoever went to the gym and just expected to get

stronger by simply showing up? It doesn’t work that way. You have to groove new behaviors and habits in order to get the results you desire. And that’s part of it – what exactly are the results you desire? Ask yourself, what do I really want? Is this me? You bet it is, and today is the first day of your best life. So, get ready...

“DISCOVER and UNCOVER will offer a a more bold and courageous experience.”

Claudia Körbler: An Adult TCK Found Her Passion in Helping Others Many third-culture kids (TCKs) don’t choose the life of international travel and cultural immersion; their parents do. However, for borderlander Claudia Körbler, curiosity prompted her into a life of travel, communication and cultural immersion — starting when she moved away from her homeland of Austria at 18. Similar to so many TCKs around the world, Körbler is using her unique vantage point in the world to make a difference in the world. “For some reason, I’ve always had the urge to explore different cultures,” Körbler said. “I remember actually telling my mom when I was younger ‘I want to know what it feels like to be a Spaniard. I want to know what it feels like to be an American,’ in the sense that, you know, you immerse yourself in a culture, and you live the traditions for some time until you’re able to identify with it.”

By Josie Lucero World Bank in her mission to help governments of developed and developing nations create policies that will support developing countries in the fight for global development.

“Curiosity is what has always driven me, and it’s also my passion,” Körbler shared. “And it’s why I work in international development. It’s the curiosity of seeing how can we — as game changers and change Körbler, now 33, has spent most agents — make this world the place of her adult life living as a Global we want our children to have down Nomad. She has lived in San the line, and help those who are Francisco, Castellón de la Plana, invisible make their voices heard.” Madrid and Barcelona. Fluent German, Spanish and English, she Outside of her work for an development currently resides in Washington international D.C.—where the trained organization, Körbler previously simultaneous interpreter works as served as chair of membership a policy development and outreach for Families In Global Transition analyst. She previously worked (FIGT) from 2014 to 2016. for the Food and Agriculture FIGT is a volunteer organization Origination (FAO) of the United with an annual conference Nations, and currently serves The that hosts inspiring speakers,

breakout sessions and roundtable discussions. Körbler said she felt absolutely understood by globally mobile individuals, who knew what it felt like to be starting a new life journey in a different culture and country, having little idea of where that journey was going to take you. FIGT promotes crosssector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world and is one-of-a-kind welcoming forum, she elucidated. Körbler is the founder of Global Storytelling for Global Development, an initiative on social media that strives to highlight needed narratives around and education on global development. In our next issue, Körbler will bring her development expertise to Culturs—and continue spreading essential knowledge in the world. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM



MUST From music to travel, artistry to shopping, here’s a speciallycurated list of things we recommend as MUST experience items for the culturally fluid.


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Must Watch: TV

CCKs react to Aziz Anisari’s

“Master of None” By Zoe Jennings

Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” follows a young Indian-American man, Dev, who is the first generation in his family to live in the United States. Dev is modeled after Ansari himself whose parents immigrated from India. The show tackles many experiences faced by Cross-cultural Kids (CCks) in an authentic way. I sat down and talked with two CCks about their reaction to the show. We specifically talked about the episode “Parents.” This episode follows Dev and his first-generation friend (whose dad immigrated from Taiwan) talk. They converse about having parents who are immigrants. Finally the two friends sit down and eat with their parents and ask about their immigration stories. “The episode was really cool because it was neat for them to talk to their parents like that,” said Julia Tegethoff whose dad immigrated to the United States from Brazil. The episode reminds her of her parents and grandparents. Recently, she was complaining about putting oil in her car because she would have to find a funnel. Her father

questioningly exclaimed: “When Neither Tegethoff nor Orr not look I was your age, I left my f@!&ing like their parents’ cultures. country and you can’t go out and buy a 25 cent funnel,” Tegethoff said. Aziz isn’t passing. He looks Indian. “I could walk around and people Her dad came from Brazil at age 19 may not know my dad is from with 200 dollars and didn’t speak Brazil,” Tegethoff shared. Aziz has English. He faced a lot of racism a different perspective because but worked hard. She considers of his visual diversity, but also him the “American dream.” has a good platform to share his experiences. “He downplays it so much,” Tegethoff continued. “This is giving voice to a generation of Cross Cultural After watching the episode, she Kids,” Orr said. Both Orr and realized that a lot of immigrant Tegethoff can’t wait for season parents don’t talk about their three of “Master of None.” experiences that much. “That’s what I like about the ‘Parents’ episode, you can sense that a lot of people understand what they’re addressing but it’s never something that’s explicitly talked about,” said Collin Orr, whose dad immigrated from Canada to the United States and whose grandparents immigrated from Scotland to Canada. “My dad has never held it against us, but expects us to work hard,” Tegethoff reflected. Orr thinks the show is “unlike any other shows on TV.”

Online Exclusive! Watch Aziz talk about what to expect on his show at

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Must Watch: Movie By Allie Ruckman

Empire of The Sun, is the story of a British Third Culture Kid (TCK) living in China. Directed by Steven Spielberg in 1987, the movie served as his attempt to address an entirely different concept than his previous films. The main character, Jim (Jamie), is portrayed by a 13-year-old Christian Bale, the actor who would later play Batman and star in other big hits such as The Prestige. The movie is set in Shanghai in 1941 during the early stages of World War II. Jamie lives with his parents in a wealthy area of the city and attends a Catholic boys school. He is waited upon by Chinese house cleaners and nannies, and he is quite spoiled, snobby and rude. At this point in the narrative, he has no understanding of these other cultures that surround him and no appreciation for the hardship and suffering of others. All changes when the Japanese army invades Shanghai, which causes mass panic and exodus from the city. Immediately separated from his parents, Jamie is left to fend for himself. Unlike some TCKs, his visible diversity is evident and impossible to hide. As a young, white and wealthy schoolchild, he is an easy target for taunting and robbing. After being chased and teased, he runs into and immediately latches on to another English speaker. TCKs often cling to the first friends they make, and Jamie was relieved to meet Basie, an American looter. When Basie cannot seem to interest anyone in purchasing Jamie’s pristine white teeth, he gives in and allows the child to accompany him. The Japanese regime eventually captures both of them and forces them into a concentration camp. The audience witnesses a change in Jamie’s character after he is in the camp for four years. Now referred to as Jim, he is fluent in English, Latin and Japanese. He has become a crafty tradesperson using small items to barter for meals and little trinkets that he wants. Inside the camp, Jim has two distinct father figures. These relationships might resonate with military TCKs who often look up to other male figures besides their fathers, or become used to the culture and structure that the military provides. For Jim, the rogue and rowdy American, Basie, and the composed British doctor Rawlins provide balance for him as he grows into adulthood. By the time the war ends, Jim has forgotten what his parents look like. He has lost his childlike whimsy (the loss of childhood is a distinct trait in many TCKs), and he has been humbled into understanding and respecting all cultures. When finally reunited with his parents, he is so distinctly not British. Their meeting is strained and unnatural. The plot is based on the real-life experiences of author J.G. Ballard. He described the feeling of returning to Britain after such a distinctly unique and culturally-shocking experience.


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In March 2006, Ballard told The Guardian: Coming to England after the war, and trying to cope with its grey, unhappy people, I hoarded my memories of Shanghai, a city that soon seemed as remote and glamorous as ancient Rome. Its magic never faded, whereas I forgot Cambridge within five minutes of leaving that academic theme park, and never wanted to go back. While Spielberg’s movie does not intentionally address the issues and benefits that TCKs face, he does touch on experiencing several cultures during formative years. Jamie’s transformation from a snobby ignorant boy into a culturally-rounded, compassionate and accepting person serves as a final reminder that a globally nomadic lifestyle can be incredibly constructive in the end.

Must Watch: Documentary


Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story, reveals the tragic lives of biracial, bicultural children, unwanted, ignored and forgotten by enemy nations. Imagine being born in a place and time where racism and hatred run rampant, and your mother is white and German and your father is a black American serviceman. Brown Babies tells the painful and personal story of a forgotten piece of world history through eyes of the people who suffered most. Written, directed, and produced by Emmy award-winning TV News Executive Producer Regina Griffin, with original music by Bobby Burwell. Featured on CNN and Winner of Best Documentary, American Black Film Festival.

BRATS: Our Journey Home A Donna Musil Film U.S. military brats share intimate memories about their unique childhoods—growing up on military bases around the world, then struggling to fit into an American lifestyle with which they have little in common. Narrated and featuring songs by Kris Kristofferson. Interviews include the late General Norman Schwarzkopf, author Mary Edwards Wertsch, as well as, B.R.A.T.s of all ages, races, and branches of service. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


Must Read By Olive Ancell

Ruth Van Reken: The Power of


Global diversity and all its surrounding divisions, classifications, misconceptions, struggles, ideas and linking factors, has never been more complicated to define. However, Ruth Van Reken, coauthor of “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds,” has paved the way to solving a bit more of the significant puzzle. Van Reken emphasized the importance of starting with likeness instead of differences in terms of uniting globally mobile populations around the world. She explains in her book “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds” that if we join our conversations about the identity of cross-cultural populations, we can really begin to make a difference.

“We need to start with ‘likeness,’ instead of with difference.” 88

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A global best-seller, the book released its third edition last fall. Updated and revised with Michael V. Pollock, TCK and son of original co-author, David C. Pollock, the script

is considered by many to be a “Bible” for the culturally fluid. This latest edition emphasizes the importance of CCKs, Cross Cultural Kids, which includes minoritized peoples and people of color around the globe. With Culturs’ commitment to, and passion for emphasizing communication at the intersection of social justice and hidden diversity—the release of this latest (and most ambitious) edition couldn’t be more timely.




place that encourages academic researchers to share their work. Now, people in the new generation are really working to spread the word.”

“I can bring the ideas, but I’m not organized enough to make things happen,” Van Reken imparted. “But I can visualize things and can help another person accomplish it, which is really fun to watch happen.”

FIGT has endured many hardships as an organization; it even had a period where it appeared all volunteers were close to falling through, Van Reken said.


Van Reken is referring to Families in Global Transition—an organization she co-founded— and the accomplishments the organization has pursued in the last two decades. This year, FIGT celebrated its 20th anniversary with an international conference in The Hague, Netherlands.

“The only way it survived was passion,” she remarked. “The new generation of volunteers came when I thought the whole organization was going to die. The new leaders were willing to step into leadership and try new things. It took on a whole scope, and was made international.”

According to Van Reken, the conferences were lacking in local Van Reken recalled, “We attendance in the States, but initially were just trying to get they were filled with attendees this topic out there, because from all over the world. After most of the trainings at the time going international, it “took on revolving around culturally a whole new life,” she beamed. fluid populations were just not helpful. But then, people “It seemed as though there was from all over understood what a wave of interest among the I was trying to make known. youth because people are I realized my skill set wasn’t more aware and looking at practical, but I had the ideas. bigger issues,” she Interest groups were really what explained. “I believe kept the ball rolling.” that if somebody can contribute their The theme for the 2018 conference little piece to embraced its population’s hidden something, and you diversity, featuring “Diverse do what you can Voices Celebrating the Past, do one step at a Present and Future of Globally time, you never Mobile Lives.” know where you’ll go.” “When the organization first started, it was really about networking and helping globally (r) Van Reken speaks mobile families,” Van Reken at FIGT’s Amsterdam imparted, “but now we have a conference

Must DO

“The conferences over the years have been far past my expectations.”

Must Know

By Doris Fullegrabe

Amy Sia, Expat Pattern Designer Amy Sia is an Australian-born, London-based pattern designer. She sells her dreamy yet colorful designs through her own line of products, and you can also find her scarves, cushions, and bedding in retail stores like Anthropologie, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond. We caught up with Amy in Manhattan, New York during Surtex, the trade show for licensing and sourcing original art and design, and asked her about her background, cultural differences in designs, top tips for new designers, and what’s next for her eponymous line. Culturs: We’re here with Sia, born and raised in Australia, now in London, and you’re a pattern designer! Amy Sia: That’s correct—I started out in fashion, that’s my background, that’s what I studied in Melbourne, and now I’ve slowly made my way into the pattern and textile design world. I’ve always loved painting and drawing as a child, so that’s why

I pursued this career path.

What prompted your move from Australia to the U.K.? AS: Australia is a wonderful place to live, it’s sunny, gorgeous, there’s lots of space to live, but I got a bit bored and really wanted to work in a more creative environment. I had spent some time working in the fashion industry (in Australia), but there is a lot more opportunity in London. As an Australian it’s quite easy to get a visa, and it’s English-speaking, so I thought—you know what? Let’s try and do that. I had visited before and loved it, so I moved about five and a half years ago to pursue a textile and print design career. How would you describe the cultural differences you see in the art between Australia and the U.K.? AS: I think climate has a lot to do with what people are attracted to, so in Australia I tend to sell a lot of bright colors and bold prints, whereas in the U.K. the climate is colder, everything is much more muted, and people are attracted to more subdued designs. I also find that my work is really bright, and it tends to resonate with people in Latin America, South America, Portugal, and Spain, so places where there’s a warmer climate, more light, and a beach definitely helps. For those of our readers who also want to go into the design world, what would be your top three tips? AS: The first thing is not to give up. You need to persevere, because it takes time to be good at anything in life. When you begin, it’s probably not always going to be that nice, but you just need to keep going, and take time and practice to perfect something. The second thing is, make something you love. If you don’t love it, chances are it will be more difficult to find someone who does. The third thing I would say is, if you want to be in the design world and make things sellable, think about


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whether you would want to buy it. Do you love it? The question I ask myself is, “Who would buy it? Does it make me really want to buy it?” That’s my testing point. What’s next for Amy? AS: We have some beach towels here, we’re working with a company called Westpoint Home, and hopefully these will be coming to market next year. I think they would be a perfect extension to the work I do. Being from Australia and loving and growing up by the beach, it’s a dream to do a line of beach towels.

“You need to persevere, because it takes time to be good at anything in life. ”

Must Shop

ZikoAfrika British Kenyan sisters make a design splash By Doris Fullegrabe

We met British-Kenyan sisters and first-time exhibitors Sisi and El at NY Now at New York’s Javits Center. Together, they founded ZikoAfrika — loosely translated as “Africa has it” — in February 2014. Both studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London before working in development. They became interested in development, especially through business opportunities, after seeing the disparities in wealth in the U.K. and Kenya. El worked in Somalia on governance and peace-building for around four years. “My mum grew up in rural Kenya; she didn’t have any running water; they didn’t have lighting,” El said. “Our earliest memories are getting water from the stream down the hill and carrying it back up,” Sisi added. “Cleaning the lanterns took up all morning!” The sisters provide their designs for jewelry and handbags to local workshops in Kenya and Nairobi, and several artisans bring their visions to life.

El explained, “The way we approach design is looking at iconic African designs, drawing on the beautiful and rich history. We take inspiration from the traditional and then make it modern with clean lines and a curated color palette. We use neon Perspex,

brass and beads to create luminosity and a minimal look.” Fair production and prices are central to the ZikoAfrika brand ethos because they believe there needs to be a greater appreciation for the cost of fashion, and it shouldn’t be to the detriment of the producer. Their products are made using a mixture of traditional techniques, such as sand casting and thread-beading, combined with new materials such as Perspex.

sheltered workshop, which means accommodation is in the same space as the workshop. It’s really important to consider, and we don’t usually think about it when we’re ablebodied, but trying to get around in a wheelchair in a developing country is really, really difficult, and it’s usually the biggest barrier to employment. We go to visit the workshop on a regular basis, it’s a very open process of meeting the artists and collaborating on the production.”

“We’ll take this really recognizable and traditional form of African adornment and do something different and new with it.”

Another workshop ZikoAfrika collaborates with is Namayiana, an independent cooperative group of Maasai women beaders, located in the Ngong area, just outside of Nairobi. The co-operative formed in 1990 from two women’s selfhelp groups and is dedicated to benefiting around 100 families in the Maasai community.

They also collaborate with workshops. “Bombolulu is a really fascinating workshop right outside Mombasa on the coast. They only employ people with different abilities. What’s incredible about that is that’s a very marginalized community in Kenya. Because opportunities to work are so limited, they’re often completely ostracized from society as a whole. So they’re providing really valuable employment opportunities, and they’re producing incredible products as well. Another fantastic thing about Bombolulu is they’re a so-called

Sisi and El’s favorite design is the amulet, fashioned after the iconic Tuareg Ingall Cross. “It epitomizes our brand. It’s simple, it’s got the clean lines, it’s got the Perspex, so it really represents the duality that we’re about. It was also one of our first designs,” El elaborated. In terms of future products, customers can look forward to more beading. The sisters plan to incorporate beads into more products and collaborate more closely with the Maasai artisans. Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM


Must Visit

Gelian Hotel,

Machakos, Kenya With stunning views from most every angle of its impressive rooftop (as noted by our sunset photos above and below), this impressive five star venue in Machakos county is a must visit. From its awe-inspiring seemingly infinite atrium, to the well-appointed rooms, get acquainted with its splendor yourself at


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Must Listen

Kenya’s Sauti Sol MTV European Music Award Winner Sauti Sol’s “MELANIN,” is a soulful melody that is a feast to the ears. From the popular East African group’s latest LP—AFRIKAN SAUCE, a new song will be released each month this year. The LP is Sol’s first ever collaborative project—a body of work that features some of Africa’s best artists on compositions that represent a fusion of neo-pop vibes and rich African sounds that the group said speaks “truth to what love, life and Africa is.” We dare you not to fall in love.

Germany’s Alice Merton

With twenty-four moves by age 13, this Irish-German songster lived in The UK, The United States and Canada before landing back in her native Germany. Merton’s wildly popular “No Roots,” is an ode to the gifts and challenges of a Third Culture Kid (TCK) upbringing. With about 80 Million You Tube views and rising, the song has reached the top of many charts worldwide. It’s headnodding, foot-tapping beats will be sure to move you.

Pa rr a

By N ico le

ulture CC onnections


ou might know Australia as the Land Down Under or as the setting for “Finding Nemo,” but the country has much more to offer than just beautiful coastlines and catchy nicknames. According to the BBC News, Australia is the sixth largest country by landmass. The primary language spoken is English. I asked Australian resident Bec Whetham five questions about Australia, and here’s what she had to say about her home country. 1. Why did you choose to come to the United States to study abroad? In grade nine (freshman equivalent), I decided I wanted to pursue a student-athlete scholarship in America for soccer. For four years, I partnered with a scouting agency, trained harder than ever, took on core courses, traveled interstate to take my SATs and sat in on Skype sessions with coaches all around the States. I was choosing between offers in Indiana, Georgia and Iowa, but it was still so expensive to come to America even with a partial athletic scholarship. I made the very tough decision not to come and stay/study in Australia. I knew I would eventually come over to America to study for exchange in my degree. It was a good alternative and cheaper. I love how diverse America is, both culturally between states and the different landscapes. 2. What is an Australian tradition that the United States might not have (or that might be different) that you can describe? Our university life


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Five Questions with Australian TCA

Bec Whetham

is very different. First, we call it “Uni,” not college or school. Most degrees, including mine, are only three years. No one in Australia lives on campus and there’s no dining halls or sporting teams (this also means fees are a lot cheaper). It’s like going into work and returning home. I only study two to three days on campus back home and my social/working life is all off-campus. It’s very different—everything is on campus here.

3. Talk to me about Australia, what are some of your favorite things about the culture, the country, the people, etc.? Can you list some facts about Australia that people may not know? Australia is a lot of fun. Naturally, it’s just beautiful. We’re a big country but almost everyone lives on the coast which is where all our big cities are. It takes a long time to drive between states. Like America, our landscape is diverse. Bush, desert, reefs, surfing beaches, rainforests, rolling hills, mountains—we truly have it all.

The culture is very laid back, we love our sports, our barbecues, and our camping trips. It’s been an awesome place to grow up. I miss a lot of things but it can be hard to put a finger on sometimes. I do stand by our approach to gun control. Following a mass shooting in Tasmania is 1996 (35 deaths) we had a buy-back. Prior to that, we

had somewhat similar regulations to America. Since then Australia has had no mass shootings. It’s been weird being here with that stuff going on.

While I love so many things about the States, there were over 300 mass shootings in 2017 by mid-fall. I find it hard to empathize with the argument that suggests guns aren’t the problem. I hope that when I come back, things will have changed. 4. What part of Australia are you from? I am from beautiful Seacliff, a suburb in Adelaide, South Australia. It’s on the coast. There’s a lot of beautiful beaches and wineries, as well as great bush camping spots and a cool city with over one million people. 5. How’s the food in Australia compared to the U.S.? The food is in Australia is less processed. America adds a lot of sugar to bread and cheese, which I’m not a fan of. People in the United States are also obsessed with pumpkin spice—what’s up with that? I love the amount of Mexican food here. I eat Mexican every day. Also, drip and iced coffee is all the rage in the United States. We’re all about those hot milky brews back home. Cappuccinos are served with nice froth and chocolate dusted on top — they’re delicious and popular in Australia. But I can’t seem to find a decent cup here.

o leT op W Pe NO K


Second-generation Third Culture Kid (TCK) Myra Dumapias freezes up a bit when asked the basic question: “Where are you from?”

What is she supposed to tell people? Though she now resides in Texas, U.S.A., should she list off every country she’s lived in to every person who asks? After an immense amount of travel and no permanent home, Dumapias answers that burning question as simply as possible: “I grew up moving around [to] different countries, so I’m from everywhere.” Experiencing different cultures and constant moving affects worldviews and personalities, which Dumapias learned at an early age. “I had to find and define my identity based on what remained consistent within and about myself. I cherish friendships where I can be free to be myself without fitting in boxes,” she explained. Because her surroundings changed so frequently, she didn’t have enough time to settle down into each culture’s 96

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By Elissa Wageck

societal norms. She found herself through family, the bond of friendship, culture, values and morals.

older with this influence and seeing how it’s applied to his unique character and personality,” she said.

“I believe we were born to contribute to the world—our God-given gifts that eventually become our legacies, but we must know the certain purposes we are to fulfill,” Dumapias shared.

Learning to be open-minded allowed Dumapias to see things others overlook and understand the misunderstood. TCKs tend to become creative and easily relatable because they know how to adapt.

“I grew up moving around [to] different countries, so I’m from everywhere.”

Later, as an adult TCK, her son was born in Bahrain, which made him a third-generation TCK. Her son went to school in Bahrain for a short time and then began to move around the United States. Dumapias raised her son in a similar way to her upbringing. She wishes for him to appreciate different cultures and the culture within his own family rather than attaching himself to his immediate surroundings. “It’s interesting to watch him grow

“Being rootless frees you from having to measure your unique gifts against cultural, societal or generally others’ expectations of you related to external layers of identity,” she said. “It’s very exciting, actually.” Not only are TCKs’ eyes open to much of what the world offers, but also they could help educate others. Dumapias adds that TCKs have the power to show people what they might have been missing and how to become dynamic global citizens.

CSU STANDS FOR INCLUSION At Colorado State University, inclusion is our heritage, our present, and our future. We’re working toward a world in which any person, regardless of background, has access to lifechanging higher education and the research and knowledge it creates.

An equal-access and equal-opportunity University

How Global Culture is a Personal Concept:

Naomi Hattaway By Sara Bushnaq

this article, Naomi IhernHattaway takes the stage on experiences and how they shaped her concept of culture. In the early 1970s, Hattaway grew up with a black father and a white mother. “It wasn’t quite accepted,” she said. “I grew up straddling two cultures—my black side and my white side.” She is the founder of I Am A Triangle, a community for those who have lived in various cultures and countries, whether as children, teens or adults. She also shares a love for volunteering and serving the people that can benefit from her community’s resources. Hattaway’s children are typical Third Culture Kids (TCKs). They were born in the United States but spent their formative years abroad, specifically, in Singapore and Delhi, India. “The edges of their TCK identities are amazing and diverse and so multi-faceted!” she said. “The depths of their capacity as it relates to kindness, generosity, compassion and open mindedness is quite amazing.” 98

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According to Hattaway, both her children have a high awareness of differences in people. They recognize people as human beings first before their nationality or geographical loyalties. “That, combined with their ability to not judge so quickly and learn from others, are a few of the other traits I think come naturally to TCKs,” she imparted. Hattaway is a strong advocate for doing your research, which plays a role in how her children are careful and appreciative of differences.

“I have always been very sensitive to culture and the awareness that is required to enter a new culture,” she recalled. “I do as much research as I can when looking toward a new relocation, or when I am introduced to a new culture so that I can hopefully understand as much as possible. I think it’s incredibly important when entering a new culture to do an awful lot of listening and observing. I feel that many people miss that very important piece of cultural adaptation.”

“I think culture is Hattaway endorses cultural imperative,” she said. “It education to become and helps to create belonging remain socially responsible. and a way for individuals to identify with others.”

and it makes me unique.”

The Five Worst Questions To ask a TCK with By Sara Bushnaq

Saja Kamal Saja Kamal is an insta-famous activist and feminist engaged in many global platforms. Apart from her public life, Kamal grew up with a twist. She is from a Saudi Arabian father, Rami Kamal, and a Palestinian mother, Fatin Lababidi. She was born in England and lived much of her childhood in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now, she works in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She identifies as Saudi Arabian. As a Third-Culture Kid (TCK), Kamal is well-versed in probing and inappropriate questions. Thus, in a FaceTime interview, she dictated a list of the five worst questions to ask TCKs: Where are your parents from?

Kamal: “It implies that my answer as to where I am from wasn’t good enough or honest enough of a response. It implies that I don’t ‘look’ like where I said I’m from.” Since you were born somewhere and raised somewhere else and your parents are from different countries and cultures, do you feel lost? Where do you belong? Kamal: “Not knowing the root of where I’m really from shouldn’t be the deciding factor of an identity crisis. I have my own origin and it makes me who I am without giving it one classification or label. I am all those places at once.” Where do you feel the most from? Kamal: “As a Third Culture Kid, you’re not supposed to decide which place you prefer most, I am a product of all of them at once

If you marry someone from another culture, will they be one-eighth of everything? (asked negatively) Kamal: “Who said I wanted to get married, who said I wanted children indefinitely, and who said asking people such personal questions with a negative connotation is okay? We are all rooted from somewhere and it doesn’t matter because there is not one culture that is better than the other, or one that is wrong or right.” Do you have a sense of belonging? Kamal: “A sense of belonging is good, but also not belonging keeps you liberated and free from cultural boundaries and societal pressures. It means we’re the most cultured, most traveled, most open-minded thinkers and least racist.” Suhair AlMuradi, a mother figure to Kamal, had this to say: “Saja reminds me of myself in terms of personality. She always stood out and never felt like she fully belonged in the Saudi society, however I think this makes Saja who she is. Which is someone who loves to travel, and is comfortable in being in any culture in the world. She is always pushing herself to do more and accomplish what she believes in, rather than what society and the status quo expect of her. Saja is a very exciting and lively as a person and I love her for that.” Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM



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Breakout Ghanaian-American

Music Artist “Mawule” Raised in Colorado, U.S.A. Mawule melded influences from his African roots, church background (his father is a Presbyterian minister and mother sang in the church for as long as he can remember), with that of popular artists who intrigue him. “I think my music is a mixture between R&B, hip-hop and a little bit of general pop,” he recounted. “And I think a lot of that just stems from some of the artists I listen to like John Legend, Maxwell, Lupe Fiasco, Alicia Keys, Melanie Fiona. So a lot of the artists I listen to, I try to replicate what they do, I try to sound very similar but very distinct from their music.”


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Having spent his early years in Ghana, Africa, and later Colorado, United States, Mawule is considered a Third Culture Kid (TCK)­ —someone who lives their formative years outside their parents’ passport country. Ghana’s Hip-Life genre of music is the country’s most popular, in addition to U.S. pop and rhythm and blues, which sometimes affects the musical sound Mawule creates. These items help the young songwriter and producer shape his musical identity as he tries to branch out and create his own unique sound. Just as strong an influence, however, is his family’s religious

background. Growing up, Mawule sang in church and considers it his foundation. “I think a lot of that just comes from being raised in the church all my life. My dad’s a Presbyterian minister; my mom loves to sing in the choir, pretty much all her life— still does to this day, so just being raised in that setting, and being at church listening to gospel music. That’s where I think a lot of my roots came from and how I picked up a good ear for music, rhythm,” he shared. Mawule, pronounced Mah-OohLey, is a name given by his father and means, “only God knows.”

Music for Healing TCK artist Mawule gives voice to social issues By Anna Groeling

usic has an emotional allure M that pulls us into it. When we listen, sound may evoke feelings of joy and sadness— from raindrops tapping against a window to a soft melody that sends you chills. We love songs that connect us to powerful memories and emotions.

Mawule, a Denver-based singer and songwriter, believes music serves as a coping mechanism. His songs often revolve around social issues that hold themes of empowerment, hope and healing. “Live with no regret is a motto that I really try to uphold,”. “…No matter what happens to me, I really try to be a positive person. I look for a lot of optimism in everything.” Mawule’s songs are inspired by his personal experiences and stories that friends have told him. At ten years old, Mawule and his family moved to the United States from Ghana. He began his musical career just three years after he moved countries. “Overall, my upbringing has really fostered how I see the world and how I see my environment,” he said. “That does play into how I create my music.”

Mawule’s music style embraces vulnerability. When people hear his songs centered around issues such as racism and oppression, many reach out to the singer through social media and share their own experiences. “If you listen to a lot of my music, like ‘Live Again’ is a song that’s very much inspired by my upbringing in Ghana,” he shared. “That’s more about poverty and the experience of living in a third world country.” As an artist, Mawule uses his influence to address domestic violence and sexual assault. His music video “It’s Not You” follows several women and shows every day experiences of harassment and sexual assault. During the planning phase of the song and music video, Mawule reached out to professionals in the field who work with cases of sexual assault and domestic violence so that other perspectives could be included. He hopes the video serves as a reality check and makes people think twice about their actions. As a University residence hall Director, Mawule often talks with students about sexual assault. The stories that he has heard as a hall Director, and from friends,

inspired him to create the song “It’s Not You” so he could help survivors cope and let them know they aren’t alone. “It’s always hard,” he reflected. “College is a place where [sexual assault] happens a lot. Overall on college campuses, there’s a lot of work going on, but I think we need to do more work to really create more education and create more knowledge.” Mawule’s entertainment platform, called “More than Music,” helps increase awareness around social issues on university campuses. The platform combines music performances and dialogue, where questions about a social issue are posed to the audience between songs. The format helps communities address sensitive topics in small groups, where music can help ease difficult conversations. “If you are someone that did go through these experiences, [know that] it is not your fault,” he cautioned. “And then two, on the other side as men, we need to do a better job of educating ourselves, educating each other, and not being a bystander to these incidents and these social dilemmas.”



FIND LOVE Donna Musil and Chris Kyrios tied the knot in a romance-filled scene at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Colorado, U.S.A. An intimate celebration hosted their most cherished friends and family whom the couple gathered from years of mobility and careers developed from their B.R.A.T. Childhoods. 104

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Friends look on as our newlyweds cherish the moment.

The bride with her sister and nieces.

Musil’s friends show their excitement at the impending nuptials.

Kyrios’ lifelong friends get ready to witness the ceremony.

Wedded bliss...

Second row (l)—The bride meticulously oversaw the design of this one-of-a-kind confectionary masterpiece in her favorite colors. (r) The bride’s stunning bouquet at home against the magical backdrop of botanical bardens.

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Love in

Seoul Won and Jie

Won and Jie brought 21st century thinking to their traditional Christian ceremony in this eastmeets-west extravaganza in Seoul, Korea. TCK Won Seop, who was born in South Korea, raised in Indonesia and the Middle East, studied in the United States, and served as translator for the Indonesian government after serving his mandated term in the South Korean Military, met his life partner when Jie stood up for him at University. While earning her master’s degree in the U.S., she traveled in similar groups, telling others to “leave him alone” as she appreciated the refreshing outlook and perspective he brought to all situations. She accepted him for who he wa­s—TCK-ness and all.

Officiant notes for the ceremony.

The blushing bride greets guests.

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The bride, flanked by the mother of her intended (l) and her mother (r) wearing traditional dress in the pre-wedding receiving area. After the modern-day Church ceremony, ancient Korean traditions are upheld.


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A portrait from the couple’s engagement session displayed at the event.

The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard In today's digital environment of emails and text messages, our brains are overloaded with notifications, and addicted to little hits of dopamine as we scroll through social media. When I learned that handwriting has the same effect as meditation, I couldn’t wait to put down my phone and pick up a pen - and I hope you will, too. Even - especially - if you think your handwriting is bad, this online class will help you collect your thoughts, and learn how to write beautifully and with intention: Use this skill to add a personal touch to letters, invitations, journals, and presents. Check out and get started today!

Quote by Helm Wotzkow, Calligraphy by Doris Fullgrabe (c) 2018

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Our lovebirds against the backdrop of the Korean skyline from a rooftop scene.

Love, Trust, SEOUL

BELONGING - continued from p. 81

lamented Chabert d’Hieres. The labels placed on our physical appearance happen anywhere in the world, and the feeling of being nowhere and everywhere is an extremely common feeling for a TCK. The more culturally mobile a TCK is, the more they may go through the emotional cycle and ask questions such as, “Who am I?” “What am I doing?” and “Why does it matter?” The feeling of being free and discovering new things every day is what Chabert d’Hieres loves most about her career. “I am proud to be a mum and a mumpreneur,” she said. “I am proud that I am able to raise my children and at the same time as living my passion, which is training and coaching expats.”

cultural training and coaching to help expats in Europe and the Middle East. Q: What has surprised you most so far about your cultural experiences? A: The fact that wherever you are… the most important thing is that as long as you are with your loved ones and that you are doing what

saw me pregnant. I am thankful I was surrounded by our friends who supported and helped us going through this very difficult period of my life. It taught us that by being an expat you also can rely on your friends who later become family. Q: When you think about your life experiences, is there anything you would do differently?

“Home is where my family is.”

Q: How did you become a certified cross-cultural coach and trainer? A: It all started when we were in Australia when I was helping expats arriving in Melbourne. I did this in addition to my other job and I really liked it. My husband had a job in Nigeria and while I was back in Lyon for the first time in my adulthood, I decided to go back to school and get a coaching degree. Now I specialize in cross-

you like, you feel comfortable with any culture that surrounds you. I am always amazed when people during their expats are not willing to make the effort to be open-minded. Q: Have you ever felt unresolved grief because of your cultural fluidity? A: I lost my baby and it was difficult to handle that loss while being abroad as no one in my family really

A: No. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Life is short, we should live every day as if it was the last one. Q: Do you see yourself continuing the type of work you do now within the next 10 years? What’s next for you?

A: I don’t know what country we will go next, but I hope I will be able to continue my job and work in mobility or in HR (human resources). I would love to go back to Geneva. I am also writing my second book, “Citizen of the World.” It is an illustrated book for children and expat parents on how to raise citizens of the world positively. When asked where (or what) she considers “home,” her response is simple: “Home is where my family is.”

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Diani, Kenya

Diani beach is a popular resort town in Kenya, off the Indian Ocean. Just south of Mombasa, it has been compared to Hawaii due to the serenity of its pristine coastline and zen atmosphere. Kenyans and tourists alike frequent the beach, and locals can be found hanging freshly-washed laundry to dry, selling goods, and cutting fresh young coconut to drink straight alongside the rolling surf.

A local woman takes a break from a long day.

A vendor cutting coconut to drink from nature’s cup. You can almost hear the waves roll in... 114

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On the beach, artisans sell hand-crafted goods, like these exquisite wooden statues

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Kisumu, Kenya Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria, sometimes called Victoria Nyanza, lies in the town of Kisumu, Kenya—one of the country’s largest cities. The largest lake in Africa, it borders Kenya, while also sitting in Tanzania and Uganda. It is the second largest freshwater lake in the world and contains hundreds of varieties of fish. Kisumu is a key transportation center for West Kenya, linking to the essential port of Mombasa via connections through Lake Victoria, and also train routes.

Our chef prepares fresh catch-of-the day over an open flame in a massive heavy-bottomed pan.

A lake-side restaurateur takes a moment to enliven our lens.

We choose dinner amongst the fresh catch from the lake.

Lake Victoria, Kisumu

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Rift Valley, Kenya A moment of silence Kenya’s Rift Valley runs an expanse from the north part of the country at Lake Turkana through to its southern border. It is known for its majesty, as well as

geographical features including extinct

volcanos, awe-inspiring mountains, and bodies of water including Lake Bogoria, Lake Magadi, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Lake Turkana. The area boasts some of Kenya’s best-known ethnic identities, including Kalenjin— the tribe of many of Kenya’s top runners. Also represented are the Maasai people, which arguably are Kenya’s most internationally-recognizable ethnicity. Shown here is a field of tea from Nandi Tea Estates, which is just north of the rift. It is a bustling business enterprise that exports 95 percent of its tea internationally. Established in 1947, the company’s mission is to be a leading provider of high quality teas to Kenya and the world.

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A Moroccan By Allie Ruckman

TCA Story

Third Culture Kids often follow in the wake of their parents’ careers, experiencing and living in new cultures as parents’ jobs may demand.

This is not so with Amanda PonzioMouttaki’s children. Mouttaki is a curious mom whose love of travel and food sparked a sudden move to Morocco. Her children, who were six and eight at the time, were catapulted into a far-from-typical TCK childhood. Mouttaki’s story begins with a, fairytale romance. In 2004, on vacation in Morocco, she made eye contact with an incredible man. Her immediate thought was: “This is him; you’re going to marry this guy!” As crazy as it sounds, the two were hooked on each other after one day of adventuring together. Youssef didn’t speak a lick of English, and Mouttaki didn’t speak any Arabic. It was through stuttering and broken French that they fell in love. After the first day, they communicated over email, but Mouttaki knew that she had to see Youssef again. She quickly booked a flight back to Morocco. In Youssef ’s culture, “You simply don’t spend time with someone you don’t intend to marry,” Mouttaki said in an interview with Brittany Jones-Cooper for Yahoo Lifestyle. A proposal quickly followed. The happy couple married in the United States, as Youssef was allowed a 90-day fiancé visa. Amanda had converted to Islam, so the lovebirds made sure that the ceremony combined their two cultures to create an inclusive union. After marriage, they began their life in Wisconsin and Washington D.C. and started their family. They had two boys. As their sons grew up, 120

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the couple began to wish that they had more of a connection to their Moroccan family.

Initially, Mouttaki planned to move to Marrakesh for one year to immerse her children in her husband’s culture and allow them the chance to learn Moroccan Arabic and French. Unlike many TCK children, the primary reason for the move was not based on Mouttaki’s job. She and her husband were simply determined to ensure that their boys new both sides of their cultural background. “Knowing more than one language can’t be understated,” she said. “I truly believe people that are bilingual or multilingual are at a huge advantage compared to those that are monolingual.” Amanda’s successful blogs and travel guides are what funded her family’s move across the world. She started out with MarocMama, a resource guide for visiting, living in and cooking from Morocco. This blog details recipes, descriptions of life in Morocco and destination guides. She and Youssef now run Marrakech Food Tours and have become wildly successful in sharing the true Moroccan experience to tourists as they pass through. The travel and food-based business have been featured in National Geographic and Travel Africa Magazine. Their life in Morocco is beautiful and unique, but it has come with challenges. “Just about everything was different; from how we buy groceries to rules for driving and so much more,” said Mouttaki. “It was a hard experience for my kids. When they knew it was one year they just were counting down until the

one year was over. They constantly felt like they didn’t fit in and were just waiting to leave. When we decided that it would be longer, they were angry, but I also think in a way it helped them to settle in a little more.” “Even though they are Moroccan by heritage, they would never say they are Moroccan, they’ll always answer they are American,” Mouttaki said. “They have seen and had a variety of life experiences that they wouldn’t have had if we had stayed in the U.S.” The two boys now speak French fluently, as well as English and Moroccan Arabic. After five years, they have begun to settle in and try harder in school, as well as make some friends. The family has defied many cultural norms from falling in love quickly to dealing with immigration and to moving across the world to learn a new language. Mouttaki and her family are a part of the Third Culture, but they bring an incredible new meaning to the term as well.

By Alicia Bonilla

Just Pick Up a Pen

Expat Doris Fullgrabe’s encouraging message T

oo often, we make excuses to stay within our comfort zones. If you have ever thought, “I wish I could do that!” or, “if only I had the time to pick up a new hobby,” you might find Doris Fullgrabe’s story to be a positive inspiration. An expat working in New York City, Fullgrabe shifted her focus to mastering the art of calligraphy and lettering in 2015.

Q: What inspired you to make this transition [to hand lettering]? A: “I went to school in Germany in the ’80s, so we were taught how to write in cursive. I remember loving that since I was a child, but it never occurred to me until recently that this was something I could do professionally. I just picked it up as a hobby, and I haven’t looked back since.”

#justpickupapen soon, a digital campaign that promotes a healthier balance of online and offline hobbies.

Born and raised in Germany, Fullgrabe has lived and worked in Scotland, England, Spain, the Canary Islands, Mexico and the United States in Texas and Manhattan before making a move to Brooklyn with her husband, who is a native of Spain.

Q: What are the two most essential skills in your current profession? A: “Patience and curiosity.”

Most of Fullgrabe’s audience comes from social media activity on a variety of platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. She maximizes her reach by using hashtags and commenting on similar pages. When Fullgrabe moved from Manhattan to a neighborhood in Brooklyn, she walked around and handed out her business card to businesses in the area. With a talent like hers, word of mouth spread quickly to boost potential business opportunities for the self-employed expat.

Fullgrabe’s exposure to many places pairs with her well-rounded background in the workplace. She worked in human resources in London after graduating with a degree in Human Resources Management and Spanish in Scotland. Later, she moved to Barcelona to work as an executive assistant. Fullgrabe met her future husband through her job at the time, and the two made the next few moves together for work. Her cross-cultural experiences led her to work in leadership development and become an executive coach for expats to offer guidance during the expatriation and repatriation process. Fullgrabe has also been a Myers-Briggs Master Practitioner (ENFJ) for more than 10 years. Without a doubt, she has quite a bit of experience both culturally and professionally.

Before launching her website and lettering services, Fullgrabe asked: • Whom do I want to serve? • What is it that I like to do and spend most of my time doing? • How can I be of assistance to others? The elegant website design features her work, services and plenty of information about workshops and online courses.

Q: What advice would you give to people interested in learning the art of calligraphy? A: “Don’t hold back, don’t be scared, and most importantly, make time for it. You have to overcome the fear and just dive in.”

Fullgrabe specializes in adding a sweet, personal touch to weddings, murals and other custom calligraphy requests. A teacher at heart, she has a passion for sharing knowledge with others, which is why she offers both online and group workshops for curious students.

“Since I’m pretty new to the business, I have found it helpful being in a co-working space with other designers. I have already worked with some of them by making custom products for their clients,” she explained. “I also would like to tap more into the bridal market because the demand is always high.”

Her calligraphy workshops are full of video tutorials and vital skills to perfecting hand-lettering. Skillshare is an online platform used by many artistic creators, and Fullgrabe is offering two months of premium access for online tutorials. Fullgrabe will be launching

Q: As an expat and global nomad, where or what is home for you? A: “My husband. We just celebrated 12 years together this year. I am very happy and grateful that I have a healthy relationship with him after all these years.” Spring 2018 - CULTURSMAG.COM



Culturs is excited to launch the premier issue of our print magazine, which is a digital-first publication that has been highlighting stories from the “in-between” since 2014. Each print issue will give you a sneak peek behind-the-scenes. This issue includes scenes from the wedding of Won and Jie, to the photo and video shoot with Kenya Wildlife Services in Nairobi National Park,

the building of the Gelian Hotel in Machakos, filming at the community kitchen at CULTURSCasa: East Africa Edition, and the artistry and concentration behind the making of Copper Signatures art creations. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing your posts on our social channels as our goal is to create a community where each of us can feel at #home. #WeSpeakYourLanguage

Next Issue: “Faces of the in-between” — Summer 2018

The Power of Language In the 21st century, assessing someone’s background from outward appearance isn’t enough — hidden, rather than visual, diversity means people increasingly bring more to the table than meets the eye. Whether through travel, nationality, race or ethnicity, many straddle culture in myriad ways. From Cultural Fluidity, to Third Culture Kid (TCK), Expat, Third Culture Adult, Cross-Cultural Kid and more, the language to describe our “in-between” community is of 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... 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 eighteen years of life. Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK) An adult who grew up as a CrossCultural Kid. Cultural Fluidity, Cultural Mobility In 2008, a term coined by Culturs founder Donnyale Ambrosine as 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, but also may hinder sense of belonging to any one area. Global Nomad Term coined in 1984 by researcher Norma McCaig as a child who moves overseas because of parents’ career(s). 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 they feel community with others of similar experience. Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK) An adult who grew up as a TCK. Domestic TCK 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. Third Culture Adult (TCA) 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). Refugees 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. 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. Expatriate (Expat) As defined by Mirriam 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.s 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. Missionary Kids Children of missionaries who travel to missions domestically or abroad. Diplomat Kids Children whose parents are members of the home country’s political framework while living on foreign soil. International Business Kids Children whose parents’ work with multi-national corporations takes them to far-away lands. Often in professional fields surrounding oil, construction and pharma. Borderlanders Described by author and speaker 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 to their own culture, as well as the other. Multi-Racial 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 multi-racial children, though not all, have the unique opportunity to learn norms of all the cultures they comprise. Multi-ethnic; Multi-Cultural 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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KENYA! SHANGHAI STREET CAT Lessons on Hidden Diversity and Perception








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Commemorative launch edition Culturs spring 2018  

At the intersection of hidden diversity and social justice, we deliver lifestyle content for those "in-between" culture, ethnicity, race, na...

Commemorative launch edition Culturs spring 2018  

At the intersection of hidden diversity and social justice, we deliver lifestyle content for those "in-between" culture, ethnicity, race, na...