Like society, a company's success depends on a culture that is created and cared for by its people. We know this and yet sometimes this fact gets lost. At the companies I'm involved in, we feed people, but we're actually about building culture. There is no better way to bring people together than breaking bread. Culture is not a something, or a someplace, it's not even a someone -- it's the shared space between.
Tattoos have long been considered to be much more than body decoration. The spiritual, social, personal and political significance of getting inked is an indelible aspect of body art, and most people who have undergone the uncomfortable, to outright painful procedure attest to it's intrinsic spiritual experience. But what about tattoos as a form of healing? What if there was a medicinal and curative element to this global ritual?
We made the mistake of overlooking the "fit factor" before, and morale and productivity plunged. It was difficult to turn it all around. Now we prioritize compatibility during the hiring process -- we want people who work hard and play hard together. Attention to culture fit has not only made our company a better place to work, it's boosted our ROI.
As Tamils, we find unwed pregnancy to be such a crime that it restricts those who need someone to lean on in times of despair. I had no one I could go to.My partner did not want anyone to know. From the day we found out we were pregnant to months after we had aborted the child, I had to keep all of my emotions to myself.
I think competition is good for us, and is critical to helping us find performances that we didn't know we had. Sometimes I feel we have become so sensitive about not leaving anybody feeling left out that we have all but obliterated competition in our schools, and to a large degree in our workplaces. Nobody gets recognized, and actually nobody feels special.
My search for authentic truffle recipes, not found on the Internet nor in cookbooks, brings me to some inspiring places. Here, in the heartland of truffle culture, in the Central Apennines, I knew I would find something special because this is the only place where truffles can be eaten fresh all year round.
Humanity is seen to be independent from nature, even above it. This has been the Western vision of the world. In poisoning the earth, we were led on a self-destructive path. But I try to invoke here an alternative vision, expressed by Islamic (Sufi) arts, which finds that the way humanity relates and depends on nature can be renewed once the creative life is reclaimed.
At 21 years old, I realize that I have done myself a disservice. I can barely form a coherent sentence in my language, letters are foreign squiggles to me, and I find myself performing exaggerated gestures to communicate with my non-English speaking grandma. This is certainly not due to a lack of exposure to Tamil, but more as a result of a conscious distancing.
My experiences of childhood sexual abuse -- of incest -- had stolen many aspects of my life but most importantly, my identity as a Tamil woman. After I moved out, I was shunned not only from my immediate family members, but my uncles, aunts, cousins, distant relatives, family friends -- my Tamil community. It didn't matter to my 19-year-old self why you weren't there for me. The fact of the matter was that you weren't. I felt hurt and abandoned.
For those who came of age with a smartphone, the revolutionary impact of social media meant that you didn't just see yourself through the eyes of your peers. You could curate your own narrative. This has caused a quiver of psychologists to point out the detrimental effects of creating your identity online.
What does it mean to be an Arab living in the West? Can I be part of two worlds and to what extent? Going through an identity crisis, results into an ongoing questioning. It is the process of reflecting on the shattered pieces of memory, an abandoned language and understanding of one's ancestors and history.
In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?
In Canada, arts and culture are at a crossroads. They can either move forward or backward, depending on the choices we make. For them to move forward, it will be more than ever necessary for the federal government to play a leading role. The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau's leadership, are determined to make Canada, more than ever, a place where cultural expression is created and enjoyed whatever its roots, foreign or domestic.
These women aren't separating their spirituality from personal or creative expression. By having the mainstream fashion industry represent women and men from different cultural and religious backgrounds, stereotypes and beliefs towards a group of people can be challenged. It is a step towards making unseen people seen.