I’ve just had a chance to flip through this book. It’s a photo essay on the Khmer tradition of providing a home to beings (elves) believed to provide them protection, guidance and advice. Look around Phnom Penh and it is such a common sight on the streets outside of residences, that it barely registers in your peripheral vision. [Read more…] about Reading: Beliefs about the Mrenh Gongveal: Chasing the Elves of the Khmer
Tagalog book: Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut)
This folk song is a catchy tune (in tagalog), and my son picked up the lyrics in a very short time. He was 2 years old then and spoke no Tagalog. It’s a good introduction to the language and culture of the Philippines.
Anak Books has a great description of the book, so I copy it below in its entirety from their website. Please visit them because it also features a lot of great books in both Tagalog and bilingual Tagalog/English.
The classic Tagalog folktale ‘Bahay Kubo’ is lovingly told and beautifully illustrated through classic Filipino vignettes. This book includes lyrics and score. “Bahay Kubo” is perhaps the best-known and best-loved folk song in the Philipines. Its composer is unknown. Its Tagalog lyrics have been passed down through the generations by way of the oral tradition. The words and music which appear in this book represent but one of the many versions of this folk song. The song’s diatonic melody and walts-like rhythm suggest European influences. The lyrics include plants which are not indegenous to the Philippines, such as peanuts (mani), eggplant (talong), and mustard (mustasa). These foreign elements could mean that the folk song originated or evolved during colonial times. Bahay Kubo tells of a family living in a small nipa hut, surrounded by a garden filled with vegetables. It is a song that celebrates the bounty of our land.
This post is for the Read Around the World Summer Reading Series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Now through August, bloggers from all over the world will share their recommendations of great multicultural books for the entire family! For more details and the full schedule, visit the series main page. You can also follow along on our Summer Reading Pinterest Board!
Book review: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Wow. Despicable characters trapped in contrived lives freefalling to hell. No plot. Hackneyed social commentaries. And yet, I loved it!! Don’t read it for a good story. If you want technical brilliance and stylistic writing– cartwheeling between streams of consciousness, juggling fury with humor, in pretentious yet witty ramblings– you’ll enjoy this work.
Book Review: Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success
I’m fortunate for my background where good enough is simply not enough, and to constantly aim high. Working in foreign aid and development has opened my eyes to poverty and the reasons behind it, perpetuating it, situations that unintentionally(?) encourage it. When most peoples’ realities means that the basic aim of survival is aiming high, it’s difficult to keep occasional bouts of disillusionment and apathy at bay. To keep upbeat, I seek out the occasional motivational book from the meager selections of used bookstores in Phnom Penh.
While the motivational messages (e.g. productivity, financing/ investing, self-help) tend to be regurgitated and re-packaged by points of view in different books, the nuggets of advice are useful reading for anyone working in developing countries hoping to motivate counterparts to aim high.
Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success
My first review here, ironically enough for being in Cambodia, is by Donald Trump; it’s an entertainingly inspiring read.
It’s a useful glimpse into the attitude and willpower it takes to realize big goals. Don’t expect original advice or a detailed how-to guide. To sharpen your game this book offers a package outlook on living life large with extraordinary goals, substantiated by Trump’s experiences in real estate and business.
Message: Success starts with vision and a subsequent smart and aggressive focus on your goals / targets; if grounded with a lot of passion, thirst for knowledge, tenacity and resilience, then the foundations for personal and business success are laid.
Delivery: Arrogant at times yes– this is someone who enjoys life and its many challenges, honing success factors not inherent to many people. He deliberate places himself front-center where luck can’t help but find him and this is a great life strategy, whether born with a silver spoon or not. The grit and passion comes through in the first-person narration and effectively hammers his points across.