by Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco) | Jul 17, 2013 | Body Image, Cultural Differences, Culture, Expat Life, Feminism, International, Life Lesson, Living Abroad, Morocco, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Sexuality, Travel, Uncategorized, World Motherhood
Recently, my boobs took a trip to Jordan. At least it seemed at the time that the rest of me was just along for the ride. Never had my cleavage gotten so much attention; never had it occupied my thoughts so completely.
Having lived in Morocco for almost a year, I thought I knew how to strike the proper balance….somewhere between my usual, US appropriate signature style and a more modest décolletage that I felt was an appropriate concession to my host country’s social norms.
This balance was clearly off-kilter for Jordan. My ensembles were getting more attention from the male Jordanian population than a Britney Spears get up. Given that I have been a little sensitive about my dwindling cup size since giving up nursing my son, I was momentarily flattered….before being sincerely uncomfortable and confused.
I knew in theory that one country in the Middle East or North Africa would not necessarily adhere to the same standards of dress for women as the next, just as various areas or social classes within Morocco dressed worlds apart. (more…)
Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that.
She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since.
A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby.
Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz.
You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.
by Mama B (Saudi Arabia) | Jan 9, 2013 | Cultural Differences, Culture, Family Travel, Feminism, Saudi Arabia, Uncategorized
All my life I have been surrounded by powerful women and respectful men. I come from a family where the girls definitely outnumber the boys by a huge margin. My mother worked all the time I was growing up in different charities and foundations. Some she co-founded. My grandmother is a woman people go to when they need help or support (both men and women that is). My aunts and female cousins are entrepreneurs and business owners.
All these women around me travel when ever they want to. They make their own choices. They are usually the main decision makers in the family. We are free, we are self reliant, we are independent, and nothing can stop us.
Except that we are not free, we cannot be self reliant and there is no such thing as independent where I am. I am free but for the grace of the men in my life. (more…)
Mama B’s a young mother of four beautiful children who leave her speechless in both, good ways and bad. She has been married for 9 years and has lived in London twice in her life. The first time was before marriage (for 4 years) and then again after marriage and kid number 2 (for almost 2 years). She is settled now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (or as settled as one can be while renovating a house).
Mama B loves writing and has been doing it since she could pick up a crayon. Then, for reasons beyond her comprehension, she did not study to become a writer, but instead took graphic design courses. Mama B writes about the challenges of raising children in this world, as it is, who are happy, confident, self reliant and productive without driving them (or herself) insane in the process.
Mama B also sheds some light on the life of Saudi, Muslim children but does not claim to be the voice of all mothers or children in Saudi. Just her little "tribe." She has a huge, beautiful, loving family of brothers and sisters that make her feel like she wants to give her kids a huge, loving family of brothers and sisters, but then is snapped out of it by one of her three monkeys screaming “Ya Maamaa” (Ya being the arabic word for ‘hey’). You can find Mama B writing at her blog, Ya Maamaa . She's also on Twitter @YaMaamaa.