Change is in the air. This month we're redefining things we thought we knew. Where we begin and end. If democracy means we have to live with choices we wouldn't chose. The new social order of virtuality mixed with what many insist is "real life". And if we're signed up for life with a local -- no relocation services, no cost of living allowances -- are we even expats at all?
We're also taking a look at a clever new voice in the blogosphere and a weekend event in Holland meant to create breakthrough action in the lives of its international participants.
+++++ AT expat+HAREM
Global businesswoman Rebecca Self wonders if her mobile career changes the pleasure of travel, or is it a fuller expression of her traveler nature?
In our second expat+HAREM interview, online psychotherapist and Internet media theorist Dr. Leon Tan challenges us with today's "digital diasporas" and the role of mixed reality -- a continuum of virtual to actual life experiences -- in a globalized life.
A Third Culture Kid had a free-floating perception of herself, but now planted in one spot she's drawing personal borders. Meanwhile after 10-years abroad, a Brit realizes some expats are more equal than others. (Count us as expat type #2.)
Plus, a biculturalist (and 'Turklish' speaker) struggles to make sense of an emerging landscape: Tea Parties in her Missouri neighborhood, and turbans in Istanbul parks...
+++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB
In these sketchy, xenophobic times, our favorite new-smart-fresh blog by ex-expat/repat/neopat ML Awanohara starts giving awards to Americans unafraid of 'the other'.
We're charmed by the concept of Seen the Elephant, defined as a desire to seek out amazing sights in far corners of the world, a jaded expression of "been there, done that", and the famous Indian legend of six blind men feeling up a pachyderm.
And if you're a social entrepreneur or intrapreneur in Amsterdam mid-month, expat+HAREM poster Rebecca Self's European Summit for Global Transformation is *the* place to gather for "a weekend to change the world."
+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS
Commenters about last month's burqa piece at National Review include: Zaharr Hayatti, who "detests the idea of a government which insists either TO veil or NOT to veil. This, I would pray, would/could be the woman's choice."
Arriving in Turkey 13 years ago, the ban on head scarves in government institutions seemed "rather primitive" to Kirsten Karahan, "reflecting prejudices against tradition, religion, economic class and gender." Now, the visual arts educator in Ankara says: "I have come to see that the practice contributes so heavily toward the general subjugation of women that it really must be kept out of public life. I don't have research to cite, but I do have personal observations and experiences."
And Catherine Bayar: "Cultures change from the inside, not by having change imposed upon them. It's not just the men who are the imposers of tradition cloaked in piety within the family."
As a global citizen, what are you in the midst of redefining?