Student Rally in Amiens: Puppetry of Exile

Amiens is well known for its puppetry. This week, students from all over the world came to show off their own puppeteering skills. Their projects were developed under the theme of “Exile.” The youth gathered in the middle of Amiens on Friday, May 18 to rally people to the cause so close to their hearts. Read on for details of their project, an interview with a student and a photo-essay of the puppet march. Their creations are gorgeous!

Continue reading “Student Rally in Amiens: Puppetry of Exile”

Ambling in Amiens, The “Venice” of France

Amiens is friend to no weatherman: her cloud breaks and spots of drizzle make for predictions no more successful than your telephone soothsayer’s.IMG_1832When visiting Limoges in late February, my friend told me about his mother’s gaffe when she moved there from Amiens. She would go everywhere with an umbrella wedged under her arm. Her first friends in the neighborhood gently teased: why, they asked, would she lug that thing with her on sunny days? It was a holdover habit from her youth, she admitted. One day in Amiens might have announced with a crisp morning sun, transitioned quickly to drizzle, breathed through a streak in the clouds and, finally, simpered into foggy evening.

Continue reading “Ambling in Amiens, The “Venice” of France”

To Belarus, to Minsk: Diamond City, Cultural Capital

For those looking for a break from the burbling streets of Paris or the boggled-eyed sightseers of Barcelona – Minsk is not a tourist city!IMG_1065

Belarus is one of those places that Western countries have reputed to be closed, repressed (the US stamped it an “outpost of tyranny” in 2005), and inaccessible for its travel restrictions.

Continue reading “To Belarus, to Minsk: Diamond City, Cultural Capital”

Others’ Cultures: Part 1

Habitus

I recently wrote a research proposal for a competition that would allow me to extend my stay in Comrat. The work would involve both a culminating paper and an ongoing storytelling project. Both would explore the nuances of belief, religion, magic and superstition in Gagauzia. I knew my tales would be meant mainly for an American audience, and proposed that Americans could learn a thing or two about truth and fact when reading my expositions.

I sent the thing off for feedback, and my step-aunt Ellie provided a galaxy of criticism! She recommended that I expand on the topic of how I would ethically approach cultural reporting. More importantly, though, she pushed me to consider how to treat people seriously – in writing and in person.

Continue reading “Others’ Cultures: Part 1”