On Family: Tradition, Obligation & Gender

part of the family from film

If you have about 12 minutes to spare, this film, Houshi Ryokan is worth taking the time to watch. Houshi Ryokan is a hotel that was founded in the Hokuriku region of Japan and is one of the oldest family businesses in the world. It was founded in 718 and close to 50 generations have kept it going for its 1,300 years.

The film profiles the family — an elderly couple and their unmarried daughter. The mother had an arranged marriage and wants something different for her adult child.

The daughter is seeking a life for herself, but she loves her parents and is feeling torn. Her brother died unexpectedly and the family is figuring out how to go forward.

Even though this family is so far away from me in terms of distance, language and culture, their story transcends all that. I feel for all of them.

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Image: Screenshot via Vimeo

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

Edgar Allen Poe Square in Boston

We had another unseasonably warm day in Boston yesterday. Since I was already downtown meeting with someone for an article that I am working on, I decided to enjoy the weather and walk around a bit afterwards.

Edgar Allen Poe is a favorite writer of mine, and a new statute of him was just unveiled in Boston this past Sunday, October 5th.

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

I walked over to Edgar Allen Poe Square and took a look for myself. It’s so much smaller than I expected! There were a few other people walking around looking and taking pictures too.

If you were walking and not paying attention, say looking down at your phone, it would be quite easy to smash into it and take quite a topple.

The directions that I was given by various people were sketchy at best. Let me give you the benefit of my wandering around and make it easier for you to find.

If you take the T, get out at Boylston Street on the Green Line. After you exit, cross the street onto Boylston Street and walk away from Boston Common towards Charles Street and looking at Park Square.

While I was admiring the statue, I couldn’t help but think about all the negative comments Poe made about the city of his birth. He was not fond of Boston.

Does he like this or is he rolling over in his grave? Something to think about with Halloween arriving soon and the man who wrote to terrify now conjured up and walking amongst us. The “Do Not Enter” sign appearing before him might just be taking on a whole new meaning…..

Google Doodle: National Batik Day 2014

National Batik DayDid you know that today, October 2nd, is a national holiday celebrating batik? It is! In Indonesia.

I’ve been a fan of Google Doodles for a while and often blog about them. Usually I blog about the Google Doodles that we see here in the United States. But depending upon where you are searching from, the Doodle will be different.

According the Doodle page for National Batik Day, it sounds like a fun day.

Today’s a day of fashion for Indonesians everywhere as they mark National Batik Day. “Batik” is a traditional Indonesian cloth that has roots in the country’s historical artwork. In celebration of their culture, Indonesians dress head-to-toe in “Batik” for the holiday.

There are different cultural events going on this month to celebrate this textile that is important to not only the history of Indonesia, but also for commerce.

I’m trying to think of something similar that we have here in the United States, but I’m drawing a blank. Can you think of a similar American holiday?

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Photo Credit: Google Doodle