Monday, March 30, 2015

Who's living in our country?

Here is yet another piece of curious info. Ever wondered which is the 2nd largest nationality living in each European country? You could figure it out by watching Eurovision (since nationals are not allowed to vote for their own country) or else here is a map:


The map above shows the flag of the 2nd largest nationality, by country of birth, living in each European country. Thus, it may include citizens and those who have moved temporarily for work. Nevertheless, there are many surprises, such as:

- Ireland is no longer the largest source of foreign born residents to the UK. Since 2011, they’ve dropped to 4th, behind India, Poland and Pakistan
- Poles make up the 2nd largest group in Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Lithuania
- Turks make up the 2nd largest group in not only Germany, but also the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Bulgaria
- the impact of the former USSR can still be fairly clearly seen, given that Russians make up the 2nd largest group in Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine. However, in Russia itself Ukrainians are the 2nd largest group
- the 2nd largest group in Spain, Italy and Hungary are Romanians not Chadians
- Finally, Switzerland's second largest group remains Italy even after decades.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Facts about Earth Hour

Today is Earth Day, have you heard?
And with it comes Earth Hour.
But do you know where it all began?


Initially, Earth Hour was an ambitious publicity stunt to engage Australians on the issue of climate change. The first Earth Hour was held on 31 March 2007 in Sydney at 7:30pm local time.

A few months later, the people of San Francisco were inspired to do the same and carried out their own Earth Hour in October 2007. Since then, the participation had sky-rocketed!

What began in 2007 as one city’s dramatic stand against global warming has become a global movement. Sponsored by WWF—a conservation group that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 5 percent annually—Earth Hour has the official participation of a growing number of cities, countries, businesses and individuals worldwide.

Earth Hour 2008 saw 35 countries across all seven continents participate. And the trend of increased participation had maintained throughout the seven-year history of this global movement.

Earth Hour 2008: 371 Cities in 35 Countries.
Earth Hour 2009: 4,000 Cities in 88 Countries.
Earth Hour 2010: 4,616 Cities in 128 Countries.
Earth Hour 2011: 5,251 Cities in 135 Countries.
Earth Hour 2012: 6,950 Cities in 152 Countries.
Earth Hour 2013: 7,000 cities in 154 Countries.
Earth Hour 2014: 7,000 Cities in 162 Countries.

With more than 82% of the world's countries already participating in Earth Hour, you can expect 2015 to inch closer to a complete global participation.

Here's another fun fact: Earth Hour is held in late March because it is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global “lights out” event.

The goal, of course, is to inspire people to reduce their energy consumption every day, not by sitting in the dark for an hour each night, but by taking simple steps that can have a dramatic effect.

So, make sure you turn off your lights tonight at 8:30 pm for an hour - if you wish - but most of all show your commitment by continuing at least one environmental action all year long that would help make the world a better place.

Friday, March 27, 2015

This girl can...

Every once in a while a video crosses my screen that I feel the urge to share. This is one of them.


"This Girl Can" is a national campaign developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations. It's a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.

"This Girl Can" is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What’s a Cultural Iceberg?

The culture or cultures you grow up in affect your deepest attitudes and beliefs, giving you your sense of what’s good or right, what feels comfortable, what behavior is acceptable, and conversely what’s not. What other people see may be only those things “on the surface”—for example, the way you talk or act, what you eat and how you dress.

That’s why culture is often represented as an iceberg. Ten percent is the “surface culture” that shows above the water line and 90%, known as “deep culture, ” is hidden below.


The hidden part of the iceberg influences everything you do and yet you may not even realize it. Ask yourself, for example, “Does it feel right when things come in threes or fours?

The Rule of 3
If you are from western cultures, the threes probably have it:
- You get three wishes
- The third time’s the charm
- Favourite characters in fairy tales and songs come in threes—the three little pigs, the three blind mice
- Races start with “Get ready. Get set. Go!” Slogans are more memorable to westerners when they’re in threes: “Snap! Crackle! Pop!”

Comfort based on certain numbers is just one of countless ways that cultural heritage influences your approach to daily life. Look into the “deep culture” part of the cultural iceberg above and find some attitudes and beliefs you hold.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Facts about World Water Day

This morning my daughter kindly reminded me that today we celebrate World Water Day. I am amazed to witness how aware our children are about issues we never thought about, never needed to worry about. This is what I learnt from my 11-year old:


World Water Day, observed annually on 22 March, is a day celebrate water, to help make a difference for those who suffer from water-related issues, and a day to prepare for the water issues of the future.

This year's theme for World Water Day is "Water and Sustainable Development". It focuses on how water is foundational to sustainable development - from health, to climate, to industry, to equity, and more.




Click here for a fun site to celebrate World Water Day with Games and Activities for All Ages!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The origins of St.Patrick's Day

"May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."
Irish Blessing

This day is not only about leprechauns, shamrocks and green beer. This is a day also to honor St. Patrick. He was an influential saint who, 1,500 years ago, brought Christianity to the little country of Ireland. He was born about 385 in the British Isles, was carried off while still very young during a raid on Roman Britain by the Irish and sold as a slave. At the end of six years he contrived to escape to Europe, became a monk and was ordained; he then returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel. During the thirty years that his missionary labors continued he covered the Island with churches and monasteries; in 444 he founded the metropolitan see of Armagh. St. Patrick died in 461. After fifteen centuries he remains for all Irishmen the great bishop whom they venerate as their father in the Faith.

Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Snackers Guide to Chocolate

Just in case you needed a guide to snacking, here's a fun infographic about chocolate. I love chocolate and I love geeky facts and this definitely tickled my fancy. Maybe I should try to reproduce this poster with photographs of real Swiss chocolate?

Indulge in 38 chocolate bars and popular treats illustrated in full cross section:


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Farewell Aperò for the Book Nook

Come bid farewell to the Book Nook. Sadly Lugano's English library is going out of business but it will do so with a bang! Ticino's English library & used bookseller will be open one more weekend!

Please stop by and help them celebrate the end of an era. You can pick up books & DVDs for only CHF 1.- a piece, and join them for an Apero between 16:00 to 18:00 both days. The Book Nook has served the expat community for 17 years - help it go out in style!

Venue: Book Nook Farewell Aperò
Where: Residenza Pico, Via Pedemonte 2, Viganello
When: Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15th, 2015
Time: 14:00 to 18:00


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Inspiration for Int'l. Women's Day

To celebrate International Women's Day I wanted to share a few quotes to remember the strong women that came before us and made their own they. They shattered glass and broke ceilings, and inspired us through their actions and words to move mountains.

Let their words inspire you to help you feel motivated to reach your goals.

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”
Melinda Gates

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
Margaret Thatcher

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”
Ayn Rand

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
Oprah Winfrey

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
Simone de Beauvoir

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.”
Ruth Gordon

“The best protection any woman can have … is courage.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Margaret Thatcher

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”
Amy Poehler
Happy Women's Day


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A different Women's Day Celebration

You are kindly invited to celebrate the International Women's Day with DAISI (Donne Amnesty International Svizzera Italiana) on March the 7th, 2015.

Listen to the presentation of Isabella Cassina, a social worker in the field of immigration in collaboration with DAISI (Donne Amnesty International Svizzera Italiana).

Come and enjoy the theatre performance ALAS PARA VOLAR (Wings to Fly), a Frida Kahlo's monologue by the Mexican actress Veronica Rodriguez Quintal.

A truly unique event in Lugano and a very different way to mark this special day.

Venue: Celebration of International Women's Day with DAISI
Where: CERS, Via Landriani 10, 6900 Lugano
When: Saturday, March 7th, 2015
Time: 18:30
Cost: Donations will be accepted after the performance which will be in Spanish. A buffet will be available for CHF 10.- /person if you wish
Please RSVP to caminocultural@hotmail.com by March 5th, 2015


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