Music to My Ears: Bilionera- Otilia

About the Artist:

Otilia Bruma is a 23-year-old singer from Romania, whose call to fame came when she was only 17. Since then, the star has gone on to release hits in Romanian, English, Spanish, French and Russian!

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Art of your world: Carlos Andres Gomez – How to Fight

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What if the first images that came to a person’s mind when they heard the word “fight” weren’t black eyes and bruises, but instead, the faces of great leaders and icons of change?

What if when they heard the word “fight”, instead of the words “hands”, “hook”, and “punch” being the first to come to mind, the words “resistance”, “progress“, and “betterment” were?

After all, “fight” does have more than one meaning.

Is our language a reflection of who we are as individuals and as a society, or a defining factor in it?

In his poem “How to Fight”, Carlos Andres Gomez shows how the way we speak of ourselves and others can make a big impact.

Would our society be different if our language was?

Watch it and tell me what you think.

Dia de las Trenzas (Day of the Braids) in Panama!

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Image Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography Source License

I came across this at work today and had to share!

Each year, in Panama, the third Monday in May is “Dia de las Trenzas”, or “Day of the Braids”, and it’s just what it sounds like.

History:

It all started as a form of resistance back in 2012, after several high schools forbade students from wearing braided hairstyles. May is Panama’s month dedicated to commemorating la etnia negra, or the black ethnic group, and since then, Dia de las Trenzas has become part of the celebrations.

According to singer Yomira John, Dia de las Trenzas is celebrated “to reaffirm black heritage and the contribution of those of African descent to the culture of the country… braids establish a way to weave links of brotherhood between all Panamanians, regardless of color.”

My Take:

This was so cool to me because in countries all over the world, it’s been called into question at some time or another whether braided styles are appropriate in academic and professional environments.

Whether you’re in Panama, the US, Belgium, Jamaica, Nigeria or pretty much anywhere, you’ll find little curly haired girls that can tell you horror stories of when their mother, grandmother, or aunt would call them into their bedroom and tell them to sit on the floor to get their hair braided.

It is a part of our culture that links us.

So to have the appropriateness of something so foundational to who we are called into question over and over can be hard.

Having Panamanians of all colors and hair textures come together to celebrate braided hairstyles shows that they- and by extension, those that wear them- have a place in Panamanian society, which is beautiful.

Now if only I’d known ahead of time, I would have definitely partaken in the festivities!

There’s always next year 😉

You can read more about Dia de las Trenzas here (it’s in spanish, but google translate, ya’ll).

And check out this video as well! It won’t embed for some reason, but prepare for the cuteness:

http://www.telemetro.com/player-embed.html?icid=808149239&w=963&h=541

(my favorite part is, at 00:45, when the little girl says *smilimg* “I like them… I like them a lot… It hurt when my mom did them… it made me cry…” We feel your pain, girl!!)

-Charly

Knotty Thoughts: 17 things that will definitely happen when you work from home for the first time (Awesome Illustrations Included)

A couple weeks ago, I forgot I’d taken my laptop home over the weekend, and went to work without it.

When I got there and saw my empty desk, I explained what had happened to my manager, and because she’s awesome, she told me that it was no big deal; I could work from home.

Thus, this post was born! So here’s what’s 110% certain to happen the first time you work from home.

Sketches(1) Continue reading

Conscious Curls: Has Cuba Put An End To Syphilis And HIV Transmission Between Mothers And Babies?

Conscious Curls- The things we should be talking about in 250 words or less


Image Credit:  Alex Graves via flickr.com  Source   License

Image Credit: Alex Graves
via flickr.com
Source
License

If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms it, the Caribbean nation will become the first in the world to have done so!

Opinions on Cuba, the Cuban government, and whether or not the US should be opening itself up to diplomatic relations with the country vary, but one thing cannot be denied: Cuba’s medical system is top of the line. This just illustrates that.

According to TeleSur, to be certified as having halted transmission, the WHO has to confirm that the transmission rate in Cuba is less than 0.5% in live births for syphilis, and less than 2% in live births for HIV.

Experts from the WHO landed on the island on March 22 to conduct their review, so hopefully we’ll be hearing some official great news soon!

-Charly

Music To My Ears: City High ft. Eve- Caramel Remix (A.K.A The Song Every Woman Should Relate To)

“Music to My Ears” is a series of recurring posts showcasing the music of artists from around the world.


Image Credit:  www.audio-luci-store.it via flickr.com  Source   License

Image Credit: www .audio-luci-store.it
via flickr.com
Source
License

I’ve found that when most people think of City High, they think of “What Would You Do?”, which is also a song I love! But this one deserves more recognition because besides being catchy, it’s pretty darn bold.

About the Artists:

City High was active from the late 90’s through the early 2000’s. Though their reign was short, they put out a couple classics. (….and I mean “a couple” quite literally)

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Art Of Your World: Rude Boy Dhol “Remix” by Rani Taj

This video went viral years ago, but if you missed it, you’re in for a treat. And if you didn’t miss it, read this post anyway- you may learn something you didn’t know!

About The Video

According to Wikipedia, mankind’s most reliable/unreliable source for information ever, this video was taken after Taj had finished playing for a wedding, and some of the attendees suggested she improvise to some modern songs.

Not only was the request granted, but it was recorded, and posted on Youtube, where millions of people from all around the world watched it, and were amazed by the talent of the young woman- who I just realized was only about 16 years old when this video was taken!

Why It’s Here

First, if you can’t already tell, I have an immense respect and regard for music. My experiences have shown me that not only can music be a great teacher, but it can also serve as a remarkable cultural ambassador.

Before seeing this video, I knew what bhangra was, but I had no idea what a dhol was, and I’m willing to bet that many others who saw the video were in the same situation. But I remember after I watched it, I looked up the instrument, and learned about its history, and other musical styles it was used in. I searched youtube for bhangra artists, and built a pretty extensive playlist.

A year later, when I had a new roommate who actually knew Punjabi, she was surprised to hear my music (which was on shuffle) go from rap to bhangra, and we had a pretty cool dialogue on it.

In a day when people for some reason get so uncomfortable discussing ethnicity and race, music opens up a door for us to learn about each other, and videos like this one are just spurring the process along.

But I’m getting off topic, so in conclusion, YOU GO, GIRL!

Enjoy the video below, and tell me- what is your favorite style of music?

4 Tips For Flying Spirit Airlines And Actually Not Regretting It

Embed from Getty Images There are 3 different types of people in this world, with little gray area in between:

  1. Those that love Spirit Airlines
  2. Those that hate Spirit Airlines
  3. Those that have never experienced Spirit Airlines

So far, I would put myself in the first category. Continue reading

Music to My Ears: Nneka- Restless

“Music to My Ears” is a series of recurring posts showcasing the music of artists from around the world.


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About the Artist:

Nneka Egbuna is a Nigerian-born singer/rapper/goddess that every so often chooses to bless the world with a reminder that true artistry still exists in today’s music if you know where to look for it.

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