Don’t lose sight of who you are!

AC DC Concert Stage (Montreal) - Colorful Lights

AC DC Concert Stage (Montreal) – Colorful Lights (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)

A couple a days ago, I went for the first time in my life to a stadium concert. So far I’ve only enjoyed small concerts in small venues. A celebrity singer was on tour and as I never got the chance to see him on tour I decided to go enjoy a real show.

I was expecting a real treat, because he is a professional and the organizers are obviously professionals, I was not expecting bad sounding or a nasty crowd. The show did not disappoint me at all. They do know to do their job.

However, several small events clouded my day and really made me wonder about people in general.

Before I entered the stadium, I was queuing with my friend at the gates, as were other fans. Everyone seemed happy and really in the mood to enjoy the show. When the doors opened, however, people started to act a bit crazy. They were pushing each other and screaming. I felt as we were attacked by some unknown enemy. A woman cut the queue right in front of me and when I brought it to her attention in a calm manner, she started to scream ” You are horrible!!” so I let her go as not to get into a fight. I did come to have a good time. If she will be in front of me, it does not really matter.

As I passed the gate and reached the stadium, people started to push more in and even if you wanted to stop walking, you couldn’t. It was like being trapped in a river. The security guards were telling people to slow down, but it seemed more like a challenge to them as the crowd become more and more furious. I started to wonder if I’ll come out alive from this story.

Finally the crowd spread and I saw my friend close to the stage. Happily I went towards her. She was really in the front line and I was just behind her. I was happy and ready to enjoy the show…when suddenly the two girls that were standing on each side of my friend started screaming  “You are pushing iiiiin!!!”

My friend was confused and told them confused that she is not pushing in. ( Later on she told me that the girls were trying to push her with their bodies so she will lose her place in the line). I looked confused at her, knowing she was not pushing and seeing clearly that the girls were ganging up on her. I asked them what is the issue and all I got was some screaming and curses. Finally after the girls a good session of the girls continuing with their banter I told my friend that this whole thing is not worth it and I was ready to leave the concert.  My friend told the girls ”  I came here for a good time. But if you really want my place, you can have it. I want to enjoy the show, not fight.” She got no thanks, just some arrogant looks.

After this story, maybe I could say the singer and the show saved the day, but this whole story made me think about society. How when you turn on the TV or the radio, you are told to live life to the fullest, carpe diem, follow your dreams, be your self. How everyone posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites all sorts of motivational quotes as to encourage you to be a better person. Western media is sure full of this messages.

So I started to wonder, do any of these messages go to our minds? How many people are affected by these messages? There are many reports saying that violence in the movies affected us. But there are plenty of feel good movie out there, too. So, how did these movies affect us? Are we just taking the bad and leaving the good in messages? If you pass through life, having all the opportunities that western life offers you and you still can’t enjoy a special moment such as a concert, where did the Western civilization go wrong?

There are so many good examples of people ( Dobri Dobrev is a good example) that managed to get through life with little and help others and be happy. So, why can’t some people still not be happy when they have everything they need? Does money really bring happiness? I believe people should not forget who they are, to enjoy their time spent on this earth. I also believe happiness comes from helping others and being nice to others. It’s all karma in the end.

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Breaking stereotypes- Romanians

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you live in Europe, you know Romanians do not have a good reputation. At least in the media. They are shown as thieves, murderers and every little negative thing that happens in relation to them is put with big letters in the papers.

Moreover, they are often confused with Romani gypsies, due to probably the similarity of their names. If there is any news relating to a honest, working Romanian, he or she is shown usually working in a low paid job, such as a cleaner, babysitter or in the construction or waitressing area of work.

Even more than that, whenever they are mentioned in the media, the photos related to the article show people( most of the pictures show Romani gypsy) living in poor conditions, such as tents.

However, if you look for positive coverage of Romanians in the European media, you will not find any.

This is the  typical of media stereotyping (just like Muslims, Africans and other social categories are shown), to show a category exaggerated, sketched, from a negative point of view. More than that, the stories are often presented  from one side of view, and rarely researched from different angles.

Here are some of the newspaper titles

1.Romanian gangs are ‘flooding London with pickpockets, prostitutes and beggars’ ahead of Olympic Games

2.Shanty town on a suburban London street: Romaniansscrape a living amid squalor of dump

3.We’re on our way to Britain: A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait…

4.The Roma gipsy beggars of Park Lane: 30 Romanians camp out with soiled duvets and cardboard boxes in exclusive London street

5.Fury as Romanians who stole £50,000 church lead escape prison sentences

One of the titles of this articles claims also a ridiculous fact- the fact that 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians might move in the UK. So, they claim the population of two whole countries will get up, leave their houses and everything and move, leave two countries desert, in a time where there is no war or danger for them to move. The harm in this type of articles is that they provoke racism, hatred and perhaps even violent reactions.

In conclusion, this is how Romanians are shown in the media

1. Thieves

2. Immigrants who steal jobs

3. Poor and uneducated

However, if you do a bit of research you will find out that

1. Most of them are normal every day people, who enjoy their lives, like me and you.

If you think about any population of any country, you have to assume there are a certain number of honest hard working people, just like there will be a number of dishonest people. However, they can’t be all thieves and liars, can they?

2. Immigration is not a new fact.

In fact if you look into history, immigration was found to be as old as 70.000 years ago. People always immigrated in order to look for better lives, due to economical reasons, climate change and political reasons. Not only people from poor countries migrate, but also people from  highly developed countries migrate to study, for work, travel or experience new cultures.

3. Most Romanian immigrants have graduated from highschool and universities ( see this link for reference), though they will still choose lower paid jobs compared to the locals.

In conclusion, I would recommend to no get on the bandwagon of bad media and to try to search for more information, give people more credit and believe there is plenty of good in all people, no matter of race, nationality or gender.

Here’s a video about Romania, made by a British guy.

Farmers’market- not a posh place!

English: Farmers market at Union Square, New Y...

English: Farmers market at Union Square, New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a Sunday walk around the town I stumbled upon a farmers’ market in a place I did not expect, a quite busy area.

However, once inside, with the sound of the guitar, people laughing and the scent of tea, coffee, jams and the aroma of paella that filled my senses, I felt like I fell like Alice in another world.

But the most pleasant thing I enjoyed was the feeling of community. Sure, I didn’t know anyone there, but it sure felt like a community. People smiling, talking laughing, having real kindness in their eyes.

So, I bought some paella and sat on a bench, enjoying the people and the music. Then, I saw a sign on one of those trucks that serve food. It was a list of reasons of why you should participate or visit farmers’ markets. And it said something like this:

You should go to the farmers market

1. To teach your children about eating healthy

2. To teach your children about community

3. To be a part of a community

Sure, I remember just three things that it said. But then, it stroke me. Why do we need reasons to go the farmers’ market? Farmers’ markest used to be something normal, something that we used to go to every day for our daily groceries and now it’s happening once a week or once a month. Why is that? Does the supermarket give you a sense of community? Can the supermarket server tell you that she grew and picked those tea leaves by herself and that she recommends you a certain type of tea because it will feel like a “ hug in a mug”?

But then I realised that watching the media (and I mostly refer to the American media such as American TV series and movies) gave you the impression that farmers’ market is a place for rich, posh people or for hippies, a ridiculous place. When a character in an American movie goes to the farmers’ market they are always laughed at or ridiculed.

However, farmers’ markets are not considered a posh place and a rare place in most countries. If you go to Africa, India, China, Eastern Europe, South America, you will find farmers’ markets but they will be called simply, markets. They will not be seen as posh, but as something necessary, something normal, just like you would consider a supermarket a normal place. But you will find fresh, tasty and healthy foods.

Statistics show that people in the less developed countries are healthier than those in more developed countries.  Is it because in less developed countries people eat from their gardens, buy from the local markets and they eat less processed foods ( that you can find in the supermarkets)?

Are the developed countries really developed if they eat food less rich in vitamins and proteins than poor developed countries?

So my question is why do American movies promote this image of a ridiculed farmers’ market? Is it because they have supermarket money behind this promotion? Or is it just a phase, a silly trend in the media?

Nevertheless, I believe we should not forget where our food comes from and respect the people that put their hearts in growing them. And I believe farmers’ markets should get back their status of a normal everyday market and considered something normal for all the people, big or small.

Dobri Dobrev, a man with a big heart

 

 

Everyone knows a person that truly did something to make the world a better place- mother Theresa and Martin Luther King are the first names that pop in my mind just now. I am sure everyone knows at least one famous person that helped the world.

However, there are so much more people that are unknown and give a part of themselves to the world.

One of them is Dobri Dobrev, a 98 year old deaf man who does an amazing thing. It was discovered that this man walks every day 10 kilometres from his home to the city of Sofia in order to beg. Nothing unusual, except it was discovered that he donated 40,000 euros from his begging money for the restoration Bulgarian monasteries and for the payment of utility bills for several orphanages, while surviving on a 80 euro monthly pension.

This type of stories gives you a real hope in humanity and makes you think…what can I do to help?

 

 

 

 

 

How I improved my life in small steps

In this post I will not talk about making money and bringing success into one’s life, but about how we can improve our health by making small changes. Some of these changes are not difficult to make. It all consists in making choices.

These days we are using so many products, that we don’t realise how many chemicals we put into our bodies and  how many chemicals we interact with.

So, I decided one day that I should start taking care of my health and the environment. Be the change that you want to see in the world, right? So, after doing some research I realised we use a lot of chemicals for cleaning around the house, for cleaning ourselves and I noticed quite a lot of chemicals in foods as well. So I decided that step by step I will make some small changes to improve my life.

So, this is what I decided to change:

1. Classic table salt( that contains anti caking agents)

photo (13)

Changed to sea salt

photo (3)

2. I started to use a vinegar and olive oil combination to wipe/clean wood surfaces. Vinegar cleans and olive oil nourishes the wood. Don’t worry it doesn’t make it oily.

photo (6)

3. I changed buying normal bread which contains a lot of chemicals (Wheat Flour, Water, Wheatgerm (5%), Yeast, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Soya Flour, Wheat Protein, Fermented Wheat Flour, Vegetable Fibre (Inulin), Vegetable Fat, Emulsifier: E472e (made from Vegetable Oils), Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid ) with baking my own bread or bread rolls( wheat flour, yeast, water). It tastes and feels so much better, I stopped toasting bread.

photo (7)

5. I changed chemical cleaners with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

( for example I leave bicarbonate soda and splash a bit of vinegar in the sink for a few minutes and then clean with a sponge, or I clean the oven and the hob the same way, no chemicals and so much more effective).  Better for the environment, better for your health!

photo (10)

6. I plant my own herbs instead of buying them. Sure, it takes some time but you can’t compare the feeling of eating something you’ve grown by yourself…and plus there’s no spraying chemicals, so all the way you have a healthier product.

photo (14)

7. I stopped buying chicken stock cubes and starting producing my own ( I cook vegetables just like making a soup, but a concentrated soup, I blend it with a blender and put it to freeze in ice cube bags, so whenever I need I just take 1-2 cubes and put it in the pot)

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Next changes that I plan to do: change all body lotions with coconut oil, drinking more green tea, getting milk and eggs from a local farmer…

There are still plenty of good people out there!

While some people think about how to save money for a new phone, a car, an ipad or to go somewhere nice for a holiday, other people think about saving money for more important things. But, you would say…isn’t a car an important item in your life? How about a holiday? You do deserve it, after working hard for a year, don’t you?

How about imagine these things are impossible to get and even the things you take for granted ( medical care, electricity, running water) are not even available to you? Would you feel life is worth living?

I bet you, wouldn’t. I know I would be depressed and without hope.

But there are still amazing people out there that don’t lose hope and more than that do something about their life.

A driver with a big heart

Meet Joynal Abedin, a rickshaw driver from Bangladesh. According to Huffington Post, Joynal decided 30 years ago to save some of his income ( 6 dollars a day on a good day, according to Al Jazeera!) to build a hospital. He managed to get 3000 dollars and opened up a clinic. He convinced a doctor to came in to help and now the clinic consults 300 people a day. It seems this area really needed a doctor! The driver said that the reason for his gesture is the fact that his father died because he was not able to go to the hospital , which was as far as two walking days distance.

This man is a truly inspiring person and it makes you think what could you do to help those around you?

Ingenious DYI project from recycled material

What can you do with a lot of recycled drink cartons? Here are some ingenious people that came with a brilliant idea!

 

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