People of the World

Kim and Mike discover Estonia

When Canadians Kimberly Bagayawa and Mike Dell decided to rent a room in their apartment, it turned into a cultural exchange thanks to Kati from Estonia.

Kim and Mike’s short film ‘Kati and Me‘ is about what they learnt about Estonia and Kati. It’s fun, quirky and features some lovely Estonian scenery and people, as well as plenty you didn’t know you wanted to know about this small but spirited Baltic country.

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November 8, 2012 Comments disabled

Stephen, from London to Beijing

Stephen is from Britain met his American educated Chinese partner in Venezuela. After a long-distance relationship, they now live in Beijing.

Stephen and riends having tea in Kashgar

Where are you from?

I’m originally from the south coast of England, but moved to London for university and stayed for work.

Hailan (Helen) is from Beijing, but attended school and university in Texas, and then went to work in New York.

Where and how did you meet?

I’d just taken voluntary redundancy from a city job in 2009 so set off to volunteer in Central America. I lived in Costa Rica for a couple of months, building houses with Habitat for Humanity. This was enough time to learn a bit of Spanish, so I travelled south to Colombia to start a circuit of Latin America.

I met Helen in Venezuela on Christmas Eve. We travelled together for a while, then went our separate ways (her to Antarctica, me to Easter Island) then met up again in Argentina.

She was just being posted back to China, so I followed along.

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November 1, 2012 Comments disabled

Irma from Dallas, Texas

Irma Meyers-Donihoo and I play tennis together in Dallas, Texas. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her daily life. Thanks, Irma!

Irma

Tell us something about yourself. Where do you live? Were you born there?

I was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England.  My father was English and my mother from Dallas, Texas.  They met in Dallas.  For a time they backpacked through Europe.  I was conceived in Spain, gestated in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and born in England.  We moved to California and my parents divorced a couple of years later.

My mother brought my brother and me back to Dallas to raise us.  I graduated in a suburb of Dallas, Farmers Branch, and worked in Dallas.  For a time I worked for Arista Records in the promotions and marketing dept. That was an remarkable time.  Met many famous people and travelled a great deal.  My husband and I moved to Chicago in the mid-90’s and then back to Texas and finally settled in Plano, Texas.

What languages do you speak? Do you ever use a language which is not your mother tongue? (If so, how often?)

I speak English (and try to stick with the Queen’s English rather than Americanisms when I can).  I took French in high school, which living in Texas is a fairly futile thing to do.  I can read French better than speak it.  And through the years I’ve picked up a smattering of Mexican Spanish.

If you could travel abroad, where would you go and why?

My top travel spot would be Australia, New Zealand.  I think to swim in the Great Barrier Reef and climb Ayer’s Rock and see Alice Springs and then to travel in NZ would be an marvelous memory to have.  Next, I want to see the Scandinavian countries.  I admire their countries so much and would love to see the architecture and enjoy the food.  And then back to the UK, where I would live if I could.

Would you like to live abroad? If so, what stops you?

Yes, I would.  My family is not of the same mind set.  Also, the economy isn’t the greatest and there’s the comfort of the familiar.

What do you love about your country?

I’m very critical of my country.  There are many imperfections about America that I dislike and feel embarrassed about.  And that’s really the greatest thing about my country; that I can feel like that and can disagree with my politicians and not feel fearful of repercussions (although that has been changing of late unfortunately).

I also love the many different cities and environments you can find here, from beaches and deserts to prairies and Great Lakes to mountains and swamps, plus great cities like New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Chicago.

What is a typical day for you? (eg what time do you get up, what hours do you work, what do you do in the evening, what do you eat for lunch etc)

I’m up early, around 6:30.  After getting my daughter off to school, I’ll either stay home to do chores and run errands or go play tennis.  I love to see first run movies in a theater.  I meet with friends for lunch at various local spots.  I also volunteer weekly at my daughter’s school.  My husband works out of town every other week, so evenings when he’s gone are more loose…usually just dinner for my daughter while I snack.  Weekends are times when we see friends and family, go out to dinner and theater, and maybe take in a special event that’s happening in town.

 

Read more 

A German-American family in the USA

Spanish Missions in San Antonio, Texas

A blended family in a blended city

 

August 9, 2012 1 comment

How to use storytelling to explore and communicate identity

Kelli McLoud Schingen uses performance and storytelling to explore identity. I was lucky to see her perform during Young Sietar’s intercultural congress in Istanbul a while back. Here’s a presentation she gave at TEDx in Chile.

Read more
Black and White: portraits of interracial relationships
Beyond the census: African American culture in the USA

July 26, 2012 Comments disabled

A German-American family in the USA

Julie is from the USA and Martin is from Germany. They met when Julie was on exchange student in Germany back in 1999 – as their blog says: “It all started when an American girl met a German boy”. I really like how they answered the interview questions from each of their perspectives. So read on to know more about their family’s multicultural life in the USA.

Julie and Martin shortly after they met in 2000


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July 5, 2012 2 comments

A blended family in a blended city

I’m Donna Queza, a 28-year-old business owner from Los Angeles, California, USA. I was born in England (my mom is from there) and raised here in the U.S. where my dad was born. My father was African American and my mom is Caucasian, so I’ve always been in a multi-ethnic household. I’ve always identified with both cultures and I hate when I’m forced to choose just one. Both ethnicities and countries are a big part of who I am!

My friends typically describe me as sassy (that’s been the word people have used since I was two) and I like to think of myself as a hard worker who loves to have fun with friends and family. My favorite person to spend time with is my husband John. He’s a police office here in Los Angeles. He’s Filipino. His parents moved here just before he was born, and he’s never had a chance to visit the country.

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June 28, 2012 Comments disabled