In Between

Howdy, friends. It’s been an exciting week, no? Well, I’m pleased to inform you that things have yet to calm down around here. Tomorrow my blog will switch over to WordPress.org, and I’ll reveal a new theme/look which I’m super excited about!!! I’ll be sending out an email telling you how to resubscribe so we don’t lose touch–stay tuned for that.

For now, let’s pretend that I have midterms next week, am in Vancouver for a wedding this week and for some reason chose October 27th as the day by which WordPress would switch my blog over. Yerrrp. Low expectations, ok?

(Awesome poem and illustration courtesy of Dallas Clayton)

International Day of the Girl

Let’s pretend it’s yesterday. Why? Because yesterday, October 11 2012, was the first ever International Day of the Girl.

“The day promotes girls’ human rights, highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and addresses the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the globe.” -U.N. Women 

This year, the focus is on child marriage. To learn more about child marriage and the millions of girls worldwide who are wed at early ages, check out the U.N. press release on child marriage. As is bound to happen with any issue so tied into cultural norms, child marriage has already sparked some interesting dinner conversations at our house. Is it wrong if it’s the norm within a culture? What are the rights of children? Who is to decide what is healthy and good? I’ll be honest: I’m still learning about this and don’t have an intelligent opinion to share. But let’s learn together, shall we?

In many places, girl children are discriminated against, sold as sex slaves, discarded at birth or aborted for being female. This documentary, It’s a Girl, seeks to raise awareness about the troubling state of girls around the world. Today, would you take a few moments to learn about the troubles girls face, write a letter to your MP or Senator, sign a pledge, watch a documentary, send money, hug a girl, love a girl, adopt a girl or pray for a girl?

Italian Heritage Week

This week is self-proclaimed Italian Heritage week in the Rana Household. I know, it’s a perfectly inspiring name. (Feel free to give me a better suggestion!). When my Grandma passed away this Spring, I spent hours with my sister and my Mom sorting through Grandma’s belongings, reminiscing, and digging through artifacts of an 89 year life. Having been born and raised in Sicily, Italy, my Grandma and her family came by boat to New York City 78 years ago.

Steamship ticket from the journey to America

Grandma had the privilege of witnessing the majority of the 20th century, lived through WWII, saw the end of segregation, had an email address and eventually owned a cellphone. Having buried her husband and two daughters, she poured all of her love into her brother’s family and her daughter’s family. She spoiled us with homemade tomato sauce and meatballs, trips to TCBY and presents from travels.

Not wanting to lose my Italian heritage with the death of my Nonna, I have instituted Italian Heritage Week chez Rana. Why ‘week’, you ask? As I’ve mentioned, we’re not so good with the traditions and schedules. Somehow, ‘week’ sounded much more doable than ‘day’. So, for our first annual Italian Bonanza, I made homemade tomato sauce (the recipe Grandma taught me when I was old enough to help stir), pizzaiola (meat cooked in tomato sauce) and 1 kg of spaghettini. (I too questioned whether it was moral to make 1 kg of pasta. My love for tomato covered carbs won out).

Proof of a delicious dinner.

Claiming a whole week for my Italian heritage ending up being a great idea. This means there’s very little pressure for a Day of Awesomeness, and we can enjoy pasta for supper multiple evenings. And I get to defrost another tub of cannoli filling. WIN.

What about you: how do you celebrate your heritage? Do you have a favourite family recipe? What have your grandparents taught you that you don’t want to forget?

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