Cross Cultural

When is wife-beating just a cultural issue?

No you haven’t misread the title of this blog post!  We have talked about how culture is much more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. It profoundly affects the way we look at life and in turn the way we live. Everyone likes to think their cultural way of doing things is the best or even the only way. That brings us to the example of wife-beating. Should it be a crime for a husband to beat his wife? Or is wife beating just a cultural issue? That’s not
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What is your culture?

When we think about culture we tend to think about the foods different people eat, how they eat that food as well as the clothes they wear. (For a fun quiz on food habits around the world see here). While that has a place, it is only the start. Talking about culture is a bit like asking a fish, ‘What is water?’ Because the water is such a fundamental part of its existence, the fish hardly notices it is there – unless the water is taken away or changes for
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Podcast #017: The last taboo subject?

Death may well be the last taboo subject in modern Western society. The comedian Woody Allen is humorously quoted as saying, “I’m not afraid of dying. I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” And yet while we try to put the topic out of our minds, a clear understanding of our mortality is so important in bringing clarity to our complex and at times challenging lives. As Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, said two years before he died, “Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most
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Podcast #014 Filthy Rich

Manoj Raithatha is a man who does not live life in small measures. He has been an English teacher, a BAFTA award winning and Emmy-nominated TV writer and a successful property entrepreneur – so successful in fact that his business at its height in 2007 was turning over £70 million a year and in 2005 he was able to buy 220 off plan appartments for £30 million. However, his life changed dramatically after the financial crisis of 2008. Also in that same year his 2 year old son became critically
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Podcast #008 Bahrisons

In the Khan Market area of Delhi is a thriving and busy bookshop called Bahrisons. It has been running since 1953 and is now based in the most expensive retail location in India (and in the top 30 for the world). But it has certainly not always been like that. On this podcast I have the privilege of interviewing Anuj Bahari (pictured above) about his father Balraj Bahari Malhotra and the story behind the bookshop. Its a story that goes all the way back to the partition of India in
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Podcast #005 Delhi

I have been travelling to Delhi on a regular basis since I was a child. In the last 25 years or so I have gone almost yearly, sometimes even more often. During that time I have personally seen the city go through enormous transformation, some of it welcome but a lot of it disturbing. It was for these reasons I was fascinated when the book “Capital: A Portrait of 21st Century Delhi” was released in 2014. The 5 minute video below gives a glimpse of the book with the author Rana Dasgupta.
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How much money do you actually need?

CAN MONEY BUY HAPPINESS? How much money do you need? Don’t worry I am not asking you for any money! It seems such a ridiculous question to ask, but there is more to the question of money and happiness than might at first be apparent. Books, internet articles and advertising come at us in every direction about making more money or finding ways to increase our wealth. We live in a world that bombards us with information, tools and tricks to make more money. And yet the vast majority of
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The lies we tell ourselves about joy

Our hearts are hungry for joy. We think it is our circumstances that need changing, but joy goes well beyond our circumstances as this powerful and joy-filled video illustrates: As children we looked to all sorts of things for joy fulfilment. I gave some examples from my own life in the previous post. The other huge area where this expresses itself is with romantic love. For me as a teenager growing up in an all boys school in England that was a huge subject to deal with. And it still
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Walking with God through Pain and Suffering Part 1

The recent tragic loss of my dear friend Abhishek (Bunty) in the last few weeks has personally brought me face to face with the reality of suffering in life. The 7 minute video below is an interview with the author and teacher Tim Keller in the week that he himself lost his mother. The video is taken from an American morning chat show. The discussion of Keller’s book helpfully builds on this important subject. For a subject that is so serious, it is actually remarkably uplifting. (I am afraid you
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4 Life Lessons I have Learnt from my Dad

My Dad recently turned 80. We organised a celebration party for him, inviting a number of old friends and relatives who have been a part of my parents’ lives in England over the last few decades. It was a wonderfully special time. In the last couple of years Dad had not been in good health, but we are very grateful that his bypass surgery has been successful and given him a new lease of life.   With that in mind, this is a short life history of my Dad along
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A Long Way Home

The  3 minute Video below is that of Saroo Brierley, an Indian born Australian who was separated from his birth mother and found her again after a separation of 25 years. It is a moving true story that also illustrates the incredible power of the mind to connect together experiences from one’s distant memory. I would encourage you to take 3 minutes out of your day to stop and watch it: Further background information on this amazing story comes from Wikipedia: Saroo was born in a city called Khandwa in
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The Power of Connecting with your Past

OK I know its advertising and it is simplistically done, but I do love this advert story by Google. The 3 minute video below is a touching story about the potential positive impact of technology in our lives. (If you don’t understand Hindi, there are subtitles you can follow). I would encourage you to stop and watch it – maybe even keep a hankie nearby: For me the video raises a number of answers about how technology today can be used as a positive force to bring people together. It
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Principles governing attitude Part 1

We have been looking at the importance of a right attitude in our previous blog posts (See The Importance of Right Attitude Part 1 and part 2). We are now going to look at some principles on attitude that I think can be helpful to consider. This post will cover the first principle. 1. My attitude when beginning a task is crucial to its future outcome. As someone has once said, ‘if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!’ A negative attitude will prevent me from even
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Third Culture Kids and the Search for Home Part 2

In the last blog post we talked about a universal longing for home. The video below illustrates this from the lives of a number of young people who have grown up across cultures and countries: The video includes comments about home not being a physical place, but where friends and family are, or as one of the young people on the video says, “Home is where your heart is; where you want to be, full of comfort and family.” But these longings go much deeper than that. I also talked
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Third Culture Kids and the Search for Home Part 1

The concept of third culture kids is a consequence of globalisation. This short 9 minute video powerfully communicates the experiences of a number of teenage children who have grown up in a variety of different cultures.   The opening question of ‘where is home?’ is very telling. One of those interviewed describes how a third culture child lives in the grey zone between the culture they grew up in and the culture they are from. I can certainly identify with that. I was born in India but left with my
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.