November/December 2018, Volume 2, Issue 10

Hope Reins Eternal

As the year comes to a close, as the Holidays come and go, I am reminded of family. The holidays are all about family, a time to celebrate and observe traditions, treats and time. This holiday season I am reminded of my family and especially one family member in particular, my sister, Elvira, who went missing in June of 2018.

The angst you experience is like no other, to not know where your loved is, what happened to them, are they safe or dead somewhere?

After five months of desperately searching for my lovely sister, we found her dead in Florida. A sad day, with a tinge of relief, the search is over, but now we are left with a deep loss. A loss, which will forever remind me of the holiday season she came home to me.

My sister was found in November, literally on her birth date. We have spent the latter part of November and the early part of December preparing for her transportation back home and making funeral arrangements.

For me, the holidays would begin on her birthday, when I would reach out to her and spend the day with her, making her feel special, because very special she was. After her birthday, would come Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas season.

Seventeen years ago I started a tradition that began with my sister; I baked a batch of Christmas cookies for her in all different styles, shapes and colors. I carefully packaged and shipped them to her. It was the complete delight of the season for her, as she made my cookies famous throughout our network of close friends and family.

After a while, I found my cookie baking list growing as my sister would spread the word, other friends and family members contacted me asking to be placed on my list. Who could say no?

This year, I lost my beloved sister and truly felt no desire to bake and ship cookies, but my daughter and my other sister, Isabel, insisted that I keep that tradition alive and continue to bake, share and ship the holiday cookies.

I heeded, and found it completely lifted my spirits and made me happy, because I was doing the one thing my sister loved the most during the holidays. For me, it was my way of celebrating the Holidays with her. The cookies turned out great; the recipients were overjoyed and the feedback was glorious.

My message is to thank everyone this year for your support, and your kind words as I have struggled with this loss. I thank you for your presence and I thank you for being.

This newsletter is a combined one, because of the tragic loss I've had, but even when tragedy hits us, it can't choose the best time to arrive. All I can say, is pay attention to your feelings, pay attention to the traditions in your own personal life and hang on to those special moments, it will help you to heal and overcome the tragic episodes of your life.

I could have sat in my sadness and stopped a well loved tradition, but with a little encouragement from two other special people in my life I moved forward, and guess what, the pain of the loss turned out to be less, because I shared and experienced in the joy that I gave to my beloved sister year after year.

May each and everyone one of you have a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoy your special traditions in the most meaningful ways.

I end this piece with the following: "You are a foreigner everywhere, except in your own culture". Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.

Holidays – Around the Globe

Culture affects how people observe and celebrate the season. Below I detail a few different Holiday traditions:

  • Hanukkah, on each of the eight nights candles are placed in the menorah from right to left (the same way the Hebrew language is written), but they are lit, each night from left to right.
  • In the seventeenth century, the making of gingerbread was considered an art form in Germany. The craft was so prized that the city of Nuremberg created a guild for the bakers of lebkuchen (a type of gingerbread). Master bakers came from all over Europe to learn the specialty, and guild members were the only people in the city legally permitted to bake it.
  • Wreaths evolved from diadems, which were worn as crowns by ancient Persian royalty and were later used to honor victors during the Olympic Games. It is believed that the winners would then hang the souvenirs on their doors, thereby starting the modern day tradition of placing a wreath on your door.
  • In the United States, Santa visits each house to fill stockings with trinkets and to leave presents under the Christmas tree. In some countries, little gifts are left in children's shoes. In other countries, baby Jesus delivers gifts. The idea of Santa bringing gifts in some cultures is a new tradition.
  • In many cultures the twelfth month of the year gets its name from the winter solstice, which occurs in mid December on or around December 21st. The Welsh word for December, Rhagfyr, means "before the shortest day," and the Scottish Gaelic term, an Dùbhlachd, means "the darkness."

I end this piece with the following: "Some traditions evolve over time, some are new and incorporated from cultural shifts and changes, others are century old and repeated to give you stability and familiarity, something everyone needs when traveling the globe." Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.

Successful Global Integration

Success in living the global life comes from understanding yourself and your culture; you can do this by contrasting your values to those of the values in your new destination. Observe your surroundings and pay particular attention to the similarities and differences. Don't judge them, simply observe them.

After careful observations, detail what you see, feel, hear and experience. Interpret their meaning from your own cultural mindset and then try to explain what you have learned to yourself so that you can meld your new knowledge with your old and current knowledge.

These ideas will help you build cultural understanding, remove biases and stereotypes while allowing you to meld yourself into your new environment. You don't change; you meld, adapt and join. Enjoy your day!

Rule of thumb: "Understand yourself and know what you value, because when things get rough, knowing who you are and what you need can be the difference between success or failure while on a global assignment." Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.

Reach out to Candida at: 908-625-2267,, [email protected] so that Global Arrival can help you and your organization lead effectively in foreign cultures.

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