A few months ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Switzerland. I had never been to Switzerland before and frankly I had never thought of going there. Not because there was anything wrong with the country, it just wasn’t on my radar. However, having been bitten by the travel bug, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it.
Switzerland is a fascinating country, just under 16,000 square miles nestled between France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. More than half of the country is mountainous, home to the Swiss Alps and the Jura mountains. There are four official languages spoken in Switzerland, French, Italian, German, and Romansh which is only spoken in the canton of Grisons.
Switzerland is a politically neutral country, home to the United Nations and the International Red Cross. It is divided into 26 cantons, with a population of 8.5 million people. Continue reading
So, my latest music obsession is a style of music associated with the Punjabi region of India. It is called Bhangra. The music is upbeat and utterly danceable. I discovered Bhangra through the dance videos of two very talented young women, Chaya Kumar and Shivani Bhagwan, who together form BFunk Dance.
The BFunk style is a fushion of Bollywood and Hip Hop. The first video that I discovered of theirs is one called Nainowale Ne. Chaya and Shivani are the first dancers, then numerous other people from their classes in Los Angeles show their interpretations.
Nainowale Ne is a romantic song about a young woman captivated by a handsome young man’s eyes. Chaya and Shivani’s choreography of this song has very classical Indian hand gestures and moves which capture the romance of the song.
One of BFunk’s latest videos, Le Gayi Remix is a fabulous example of some of their high energy choreography. This one leans toward hip hop more so than Nainowale Ne.
I also found the following video which pits some hip hop dancers against some Bhangra dancers. I don’t know if either side won, they were both fantastic, but I thought it was great seeing the two styles side by side.
Last fall Chaya and Shivani took their Bhangra style of dance on their first North American tour know as their WeFunk tour. They hosted workshops to sold out crowds in over 18 North American cities. If you are like me and find yourself trying to follow along with their videos, they also offer some tutorials on their BFunk TV channel.
Not only is Bhangra fun to watch and listen to, it is a great way to promote cultural diversity. Chaya and Shivai are proof of that, their YouTube channel just hit 1 million subscribers.
Check out some of their videos on YouTube. I dare you to sit still while watching them 😉
Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com
Inked, getting a tat, body art, whatever you call it, getting a tattoo is not usually a spur-of-moment decision (unless perhaps you have had too much to drink). I had never been a big fan of tattoos. Whenever I thought of tattoos I thought of skulls and daggers, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, and counter-culture rebels.
Even though both of my sisters AND my mom have had tattoos forever, I did not. As they reached their teens, I tried very hard to dissuade my children from permanently disfiguring their bodies with ink. My thought was that tattoos are so permanent that I did not want my kids to regret doing something so irreversible without the maturity to accept the consequences. As I secretly hoped that the ‘wanting a tattoo’ phase would fade, I told them that at 18 (because we all know that is definitely the age of reason, actually it is the age that they no longer needed my permission) they could decide for themselves. Continue reading
I am currently fascinated with a singer/songwriter who goes by the stage name of LP. She has been in the music business since 2006. During that time she not only has recorded her own songs, but also has written songs for Rihanna, Cher, The Backstreet Boys, and many others. Continue reading
As far back as I can remember, I have had obsessive interests. When I was a child, after watching the movie Born Free I became obsessed with lions. I would go to the library every chance I got (libraries were the google search of the 20th century) and research lions. I would draw them, I even painted the head of a male lion on the back of a fatigue jacket that I used to wear. A friend also painted an acrylic portrait of a lion for me.
I try not to pay attention to all of the news report because they are so horrific, so painful. But more, because I feel so helpless. I post and re-post things on Facebook admonishing our government for not doing more and the NRA for their unapologetic lack of humanity, but that isn’t going to solve the problem. It won’t even persuade anyone to change their stance on guns.
So we simply slump our shoulders and accept that we are powerless, right? We have to stop doing that. I don’t know where the quote came from but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
School shooting are not going to change until we start doing something different.
What we need to do as individuals:
I think many of us have become complacent thinking that politics is something that other people take care. Well, other people have been taking care of it all right and look where it’s gotten us. We must do more than posting our outrage onto Facebook, I must do more than posting my outrage onto Facebook.
To help with that paralyzing feeling of helplessness, here’s a link listing a few things that you and I can do to help the latest victims of a school shooting, but we must not stop there. It will not change until WE change it.
Over the weekend, I finally went to see the box office hit, Wonder Woman. Being a feminist, I really wanted to like this movie but alas I left the theater with a queasy stomach and it wasn’t because of the popcorn. Listed below are some of the issues that I had with the movie. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet some of my comments give away some of the story line. Continue reading
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m not a big fan of reading screen plays but I really enjoyed Hamilton: The Revolution. I also enjoyed listening to the soundtrack while I was reading the book. What I enjoyed most about Hamilton: The Revolution was following the creative process as it unfolded from early into Miranda’s inspiration to the Broadway phenomenon.
View all my reviews
Last year I wrote about a new habit that I was trying to establish to enrich my life a little, that of filling a Gratitude Jar. I’m afraid my habit forming tactic didn’t work all that well because I stopped adding to the jar sometime around late summer, early fall of last year. Still it wasn’t a bad idea and I’m going to give it another try this year. To jump start my effort AND to put a different perspective on my 2016 year, I decided to go through the 121 entries that I did make to my gratitude jar last and I thought I would share some with you. I think it always helps to reflect. So here goes:
Most entries started with Today I am grateful for: Continue reading
Sorry for the late post, but my youngest son is getting married today. I haven’t let myself think about it too much because I tear up every time I do yet, I find that I have been thinking of nothing else for the last few days. He is marrying a delightful woman, bubbly, friendly, caring, intelligent, ambitious. They seem to be a perfect match.
My heart is so filled with joy for him, for the both of them. So many memories flashing through my mind right now of him as a toddler, those huge round eyes and slight overbite that gave him a cherubic look that would melt my heart whenever he smiled.
His tiny hands gently turning my face to his when I wasn’t giving him the attention he needed when he had a question. His indomitable spirit with every task he undertook from learning how to ride a bike to running cross country and track to becoming a valuable member of his team at work.
I am so proud of the man he has become, of his choice for a life partner, and of the path he is paving for an amazing life.