Top 7 epic classical songs.

1.Jana Gana Mana

2.Bolero

3.Cinema Paradiso

4.Totoro

5.Nabucodonosor

6.Jin ling shi san chai

7.Carmina Burana

 

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My first five years in Hong Kong

I wish i had the right perfect words to express all the joy and the gratitude for spending now five years of my life in this wonderful place completely drenched into Chinese culture and understanding. When i decided to come here I dont really rememeber, everything always happen very fast sometimes and plays alot with my inside enamourament for ventursome challenges as well as desire to grow thru different experiences. I got what i deserved: a special environment where introspection is the only way out for a westerner.  There are plenty of stories to tell, five years is not a short span of time and actually i feel it like double or even much more. At the same time it passed so fast.

When i arrived HK one of the first thing to impress me were the forever glittering lights of the city, the supertall buildings and the neverending flow of people walking in every place in every direction. I really abandoned myself to this feeling of “being exploring a new reality, a different dimension with multi layers”; it was  a soft abandonment, as soft as the precious advices and guidelines of my native soulmate. I switched on a decoding mode which would enable me understanding what the local language didnt leave to penetrate. I knew i had  a diverse background and i know my history too. But the most important thing i came to realize is that without them, things would have been totally complicated and i could not explore the immense joy at the present.

The colors of this place are shockingly stunning and full of life, my eyes will never be tired to observe the beauty of its mountains, the green of the farms, the pink and yellow of the my age brickstone buildings, the multicolored hundreds of street market with all their abundant harmonious display. I will always treasure one thing here, which is the real common ground with my original country: history. And all which is connected to her (the history) : the wisdom, the spirituality, the good teachings, the fundamentals, the conduct, the family. These are the pearls, i realize, we people should take care of on a daily base, infact they are the keys for a balanced environment. 

Behind the supermodern aspect of the city, the preservation and the nourishment of something more vital. This is my first attraction in Hong Kong and it makes me feel very proud to live here and it makes me wish to live seventy years more here. I cant imagine any other place to live a happy joyous life for myself. Maybe other posts will have more in-place stories and happenings I experienced until now.

5 random things i loved during this time?

  • the birds: there are five aviaries to protect tropical birds here; they are stunning, cute, funny, many. Migratory birds from Australia, Russia, enjoy the warm weather for few months here and we go birdwatching.
  • the local food: there is lots to learn and copy about because the creativity in this field is just immense and unlimited. I steam much more than before for example and got used to hot soups and the use of dry herbs, learn some of their benefits, learn more things about connection between body and Nature in general.
  • the tropical weather: I didnt end up to collect some wool clothes that the warm weather is already kicking outside the balcony. By tendence my body cells worship the moon but they are taking positive advantages to understand the work of the sun too, unavoidably.
  • the delicate people’s heart: their heart is my heart air. I cant imagine my life without that prominent chinese loving touch into it!
  • the background urban noise: i live more in the countryside so i can appreciate, distinguish and laught at all the different sounds and noises dowtown: the people’s yelling, the music playing aloud, the cars and tractors, the traffic light tic tic tic, the train running and stopping on the rails, the bicycles in the traffic jam…

During these years I ve had the opportunity to travel mainland China, to see different cities and villages in the north, in the east and west side of the country. Maybe in the future i could live somewhere there too. China is an awsome place to be, especially nowadays with all these political turmoils going on in various corners of this planet. I feel a certain pleasant degree of safety here. I think it s a blessing not to underestimate. These politicians are really like magicians and they may work anything under that colorful hanky but again, those fundamentals and the inner freedom we are allowed to access today is somethng extremely valuable and reliable. I do treasure this spirituality and this connection to the essence of everything here. I trust it completely.

Such a small church!

In the background the famous  Duomo in Milan. Such a miniature church – my mind thought during the beautiful tour last week. Then i watched it carefully and found so many details all around but in its complexity it was still feeling a little church. Maybe because only another time had i the opportunity to visit Milan when 17 and yes that time it was looking imposing! Time change all your perspectives! Non only about monument…

10 spectacular places i’ve been in the past 10 years

Mostly a tribute to flickr either because i am writing this post between home (where my pics are stored) and office and because soft copies of the pictures are only available from the last five years. I didnt follow a meaningful order, just browsing in my memory: 

1. Aragonese Castle, Italy

A unique place with an awsome history connected also to Michelangelo Buonarroti’s life. It shall deserve a rich post asap. castle(image by me)

2. San Francisco Aquarium by flickr

Even though Hong Kong and Genoa Italy aquariums are two of the biggest and most beautiful, i still loved Frisco one. why? Because you walk under real tunnels of the Bay Area!

frisco3. Pan de Azucar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by flickr

A combination of spirituality and cable car is the most thrilling experience for me!

panazucar4. Big Buddha, Lantau Island

This other combination of spirtuality&cable-car is really close to my home and I could potentially get the experience every weekend. Last month with a friend from Vancouver we went up for two consecutive days just for tasting the feeling to fly higher and higher into the mountains and have the majestic Buddha waiting for us on the other side!  You may also want to enjoy a more accurate post about it soon. (image by me)

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5. Jamaican beach

It was a lovely family tour during my stay in US. Bathing in the warm Caribbean waters every morning and chatting with the locals on the beach all day long until evening. We also met a direct friend of Bob Marley living upon discographic projects and hand making palm leaves hats for tourists. Most hospitable place. (photo flickr – my dad keeps all the real pics)

502826054_dab3769fdbjama6. Havana de Cuba downtown

Harmony of colors and extreme relaxation and freedom in the streets. On our fly-route back from India e Moscow with my friend Maneesha, we took loads of pictures and then… lost the camera. Ahahahh. I just remember we were in ecstasy for the whole day spent there. A most welcoming taxi driver strolled us everywhere and gave us contact number in case we’ll be back. If anybody interested.  (photo flickr)

varadero7.  Parque Chicaque, Colombia

The most vivid nature, the real “selva Colombiana”.  An amazing day trekking in the jungle, few of us, completely absorbed by beauty and silence in the country Garden of the world. There is an Indian story about Shri Vishnu, He had to leave India  because in trouble and went seeking refuge with Garuda precisely in Colombia, chosen because it was the only place on Earth so much rich in plants and fruits.  

chica8. Faraglioni, Italy

Did you know it’s the Zen Garden of Italy? Have a look, it’s my home. Really.

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9. Beihai park in Beijin, China

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A remarkable park to understand the lifestyle of old emperors. Many of them have written lovely poems to their own mothers, whose words are often engraved on marble pillars around.

10. Elephanta caves, India

I was speechless here I was totally stunned by the grandness of majestic Lords Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu.

 shiva

I just realized there are more than 10 spectacular places i’ve seen but for now i will just confine into the maryadas of this TAG. And yes you have been tagged too! Which one are your most spectacular visits… 5, 10, 15 you number them. And leave me a message below when you have done the post, and please tag more people. Let’s travel all together! Do you know something shocking about travelling? I know it cause my sis is a travel agent in Italy. Last week she spoke over the phone that Italians are so crazy about traveling and holiday that despite of the economy struggle they are  paying rates for their vacation even if it’s just for few days!

Source of much of Chinese culture

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When I came to the United States I was surprised that there were so many translations of the I Ching in English. I cannot immagine how these translators all found the I Ching scholars and did the decades of study necessary to truly learn the I Ching.

To the Chinese, the I Ching is like a Holy Bible written by the four most honored sages in our history – Fu Xi, King Wen, the Duke of Zhou and Confucious. The Chinese translation of Holy Bible is Sheng Ching. Sheng is equivalent to holy, and Ching means classic. Chinese understand that Ching is the Tao, the Truth, the holiest of the ancient books, and because they revere and respect the sacred writings of the Jews and the Christian church, they honor the Bible by calling it Ching.    

The I Ching is truly a profound book.  It is the source of much of Chinese culture. Originally, the I Ching was a handbook for divination. After Confucius and his students had written the commentaries, it became known as a book of ancient wisdom. It is a book that not only tells one who consults it about the present situation and  future potential but also gives instruction about what to do and not to do to obtain good fortune and to avoid misfortune. But one still retains free choice. The guidance is based upon comprehensive  observations of  natural laws by ancient sages and their profound experiences of the principle of cause and effect.

These are excerpts from the Preface of The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang. Before coming to China I used to consult I Ching alone or with friends, in Italy for example this book is definitely appreciated and studied by people who meditate and seek for self knowledge in their daily life.  Here in Hong Kong i still did not find anybody who throughly knows about it and some local people often comment not really positively about it. 

This master suggests that the best English versions of I Ching are: Richard Wilhelm’s and James Legge’s although westernized.  He adds that

… the ideal translation should be English but Chinese in essence. As a book of divination, Confucius’s commentaries are crucial. The Chinese call Confucius’s commentaries the Ten Wings. They believe that the I Ching depends on the Ten Wings to be able to fly. In other words, without Confucius’s commentaries the I Ching cannot be understood.

I felt I had no choice because the more I meditated the more I felt that I had an obligation to work out a translation of the I Ching based entirely on Chinese concepts. I began to realize that during his last years, Master Yin’s proposal to teach me the I Ching was not accidental. There was  a reason. I sense now that in this great time of change, when people are longing to transform and the situation is ripe, a new translation of I Ching based upon ancient Chinese wisdom and experience might be helpful for those making their own choices to enter the twenty-first century with confidence.

Presence of magic Indian notes in Italian soil

My brothers from Italy published here the recordering of a raga freshly composed by a santoor musician from India, with his son. Here’s the explanation of the raga given by himself on stage few days ago. It is not really a surprise that artists of such a calibre are now exhibiting in this land in the middle of the Mediterraneo. Italy is a great receptacle of musical understanding and a fast absorber of beautiful divine melodies.

World’s 50 safest banks – 2009

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New York, February 25, 2009 — Such has been the turmoil in the world’s banking industry that, for the first time, Global Finance magazine is publishing a mid-year update of its much respected Safest Banks listing. A full report on the list will appear in the April issue of Global Finance. The “World’s 50 Safest Banks” 2009 were selected through a comparison of the long-term credit ratings and total assets of the 500 largest banks around the world. Ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch were used. Global Finance has published its “World’s Safest Banks” listing for 17 years and this ranking has become a recognized and trusted standard of creditworthiness for the entire financial world.

“The rating agencies have determined these banks have demonstrated a more prudent and sustainable approach to risk than their peers,” says Global Finance publisher Joseph D. Giarraputo. “More than ever customers all around the world are viewing long term creditworthiness as the key feature of the banks with which they do business.”

1. KfW (Germany)

2. Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) (France)

3. Bank Nederlands Gemeenten (BNG) (Netherlands)

4. Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank (Germany)

5. Rabobank (Netherlands)

6. Landeskreditbank Baden-Wuerttemberg- Foerderbank (Germany)

7. NRW. Bank (Germany)

8. BNP Paribas (France)

9. Banco Santander (Spain)

10. Royal Bank of Canada (Canada)

11. National Australia Bank (Australia)

12. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)

13. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) (Spain)

14. Toronto-Dominion Bank (Canada)

15. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (Australia)

16. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)

17. Banco Espanol de Credito S.A. (Banesto) (Spain)

18. ASB Bank Limited (New Zealand)

19. HSBC (United Kingdom)

20. Credit Agricole (France)

21. Wells Fargo (United States)

22. Nordea Bank (Sweden)

23. Scotiabank (Canada)

24. La Caixa (Spain)

25. Svenska Handelsbanken (Sweden)

 

26. US Bancorp (United States)

27. Banco Popular Espanol (Spain)

28. DBS Bank (Singapore)

29. Pohjola Bank (Finland)

30. Deutsche Bank (Germany)

31. Société Générale (France)

32. Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy)

33. Bank of Montreal (Canada)

34. DnB NOR Bank (Norway)

35. The Bank of New York Mellon (United States)

36. Caixa Geral de Depositos (Portugal)

37. United Overseas Bank (Singapore)

38. OCBC (Singapore)

39. Axa Bank Europe (Belgium)

40. Credit Suisse Group (Switzerland)

41. Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany)

42. Nationwide Building Society (United Kingdom)

43. CIBC (Canada)

44. National Bank Of Kuwait (Kuwait)

45. Barclays (United Kingdom)

46. UBS (Switzerland)

47. JPMorgan Chase (United States)

48. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (Japan)

49. Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel

50. Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC) (France)

 

 

(BFCM)  (France) 

In Neaples it’s like being in India

Walking thru the markets and the most popular streets of Neaples is like walking thru the market and the popular streets in any of the cities of India. So many colors, voices & sounds, kids, motocycles with three or even four people on board, smells, pollution mixed with the fresh exhibited vegetables on the wooden stalls or on the ground, men pushing behind a small wood wagon loaded with fruits and drinks. Seven hours flight between south of Italy and south of India are nothing in comparison with all the amazingly identical gestures and lifestyle of their populations. There is also an incredible profundity in their own dialect although diverse.

Neaples by night is sometimes a way to attract tourists in the most animated of italian cities. 

Somewhere in internet recently i read that in Neaples anarchy is the rule. It is probably true, in the past time it was even worst and stories of mafia or camorra are very common to the superficial worldwide points of view.  But Neaples is much much much more. A great attraction for all multiculturality travelling especially from Africa, Asia and Russia. The city needs to be discovered in each small detail because it s just magical. It is magical mainly because of her people. In this area live the descendents of the greeks who created the comedy and tragedy of all the main important form of theatre practiced also today.  All the children who attend school in these areas are made familiar with the basic of theatre and acting. For the adults the vision of  life as an eternal drama is attached into the bloody cells. The philosophy that life without enjoyment is not real life is also very much cultivated and developed since long times.

Donneconlavaligia: Italian passion of the travelling woman

If you cannot read Italian you can always see the pictures and browse a typical blog magazine created by a typical original, artistical and versatile woman mind. The mind belongs to Marina Misiti, cool professional journalist from the Bel Paese with tons of stories and experiences to write and tell you inspired by years of travelling almost everywhere (considering the articles she uploads). So you can also understand why we crossed into this life sporadically enjoying the fun of sharing travelling-materials.

Donneconlavaligia (Womenwithetravelbag) is fascinating because:

  • it straightly and lightly points out the best of slices of places, countries, cities by using pictures and words in a balanced way
  • it summarizes the most important articles written by Marina Misiti in her carrier of journalist and reporter for national well known magazines (many for ladies)
  • it gives fun plus useful tips for different topics concerning the places wher eto go, where to eat, what to dress…
  • it gives tips about travelling and how to travel
  • it is completely open to the internet panorama of other travel/leisure/women topics websites
  • it is creating a net of reportages from other travelling women who understand Italian (and Italian culture in the world i ‘d love to say too) and live abroad
  • it is a great idea of a blog magazine, extremely modern and complete which explores the feminine world from a wonderful perspective

Enjoy here the reportages in Italian by Radha for Donneconlavaligia: 

Fotoreportage from the train from Hong Kong to Beijing

Where to eat in HK: 5 best restaurants

From India of Gandhi to Italy: a long travel for peace

Hong Kong: not only skyscrapers

Hong Kong daily life

 

Do you want to know how it feels to live on a beach for almost two decades? Read it here

There are many people nowadays who go for holiday in seaside places, in resorts on the beach. Many more are moving to the cities determined to work and live there and see the natural beaches only for vacation because of course in such a materialistic world we live today who is going to choose to stay on a beach for 365 days a year. There are commercials about wireless products and laptops which make people believing that yes they can be in control of their job from an island while sipping a fruit cocktail under a palm tree, arent there? But who would stay settled ona beach for years today? Only the ones who are forced to by the events of life, or who are kind of lost in this universe, let’s’ say.

One time in Jamaica i met an old man who was surviving to the poverty by singing raggae and making straw-hats under a tree all the time. Every morning he would stay under the pal tree crossing the straw leaves. His skin was dark and wrinkled, he said to have been good friend with Bob Marley and to have composed music for him during young years. Who knows if it’s true. But he was a good man, quite a symbol of a life-on-the-beach in a central american country of the past years. He could have been a good friend of my grandpa probably who was able to understand the variations of the weather just by looking at the sky in the morning. He was always right, very knowledgeable about nature and time cycles. It is because he was living and working on a beach for 80 years. His wife the same for 95 years. Their daughter, my mother, the same and still now at 52 in the old century house with one kilometer of peaceful beach in front of it. The beach where her two daughters, my sister and I also spent all their childhood, the adolescence and few more years.

Do you really want to know how it feels to have spent 19 years on a beach? See again the picture above. Then ask it to the sound of the sea waves, to the light of the starry sky every night, to the melody of the seagulls early morning, to the cool grey sand  under the naked feet, to the storm coming thru the wind, to the punctual sound of the anchor released just behind the barrier rock in the harbour. All this is only imaginable for the ones who did not live two steps from the sea. Nurturing, always calm and shallow sea. Just like a real father.

 

 

Birthplace love

I don’t know if all the people can totally confirm it: the fact that they are one with the place where they were born. In my case there was always a special link between my island and myself. I always felt that she was like my mother, that she made me born on her land and also throughout her soil. I was the girl who used to talk to the water of the sea and to the trees in the forest, who felt a solid presence and protection by the surrounding nature thru the years. There was not even a picture from the imagination that I could have ended up in big cities where environmental confusion and nagging noises are regular institution.

 But the peaceful paradise which Ischia is still accompanies me inside. It’s so true. It is just like thinking of your mother and all is beautiful and smooth. Somebody told me last year that when Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi came to Ischia in 1991 She said that the people born there must have a lot of punyas from the past lives. Growing in this island never gets you down.

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Everything is there, the landscape swarms with parks, squares, shops, schools, cultural centers, theatres, beaches, trekking tracks, thermal gardens, villas and houses. International events about cinema and jounalism are held each year since decades. It has been many times the perfect scenario for movies too. There is a kind of dynamism which animates many different activities. Probably it comes from the power of the sea all around.

 

 

It’s not true that a new language should be taught by mothertongues to the kids

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I have two close examples which support the fact that children can learn a new language not necessarily from mother tongue teachers.

The first is a long study to which by myself I participated in 1998-1999 with a master thesis in Rome. Based on the main idea of Bruner about constructivism in psychology and learning processes we focused on children at kindergarten level living in an Italian context and being exposed to the English language as second one (L2). The research was inspired by 400 teachers and their young pupils. We eventually wrote this book comprehensive of all the work done. The cool point is that maybe only one of the teacher was a native English speaker, all the others learned in our seminars and transmitted their knowledge in the classroom. We analyzed their progress, prnunciation, improvements, diaries, workshops, a lot of interesting material…They did an excellent job and the children learnt each year more and more! Statistics and databases inclueded in the same book. Do you know why the children learnt English? The main result was that is because the teacher love them and express her lovely attitude plus interest towards them daily and firmly. A section of the project was dedicated to the expressions of her face, to her words and behaviours with the little ones. They love the L2 because they love in primis the person who is teaching them. That is why we intitled the book “The magic teacher”. This magic is nothing but pure love!

Second example is fresher and again comes from an experience in Italy which I only heard about directly and am supporting with material in Chinese language. My auntie, an experienced teacher and coordinator of seminars and workshop at a primary school, is already conducting Chinese classes in ludic form to the kids. And she never spoke Chinese before. She is using the modern Youtube way, karaoke, playful settings and real small storytelling linked to the new life of her adorable daughter (me 🙂 ) Here is an example i provided her few weeks ago. It is just so much sweet:

Children understand love more than anyone else” (Nirmala Srivastava)

One thing about Italy I dont celebrate

The thing I never liked about Italy is the wine. The fact that this pretty corner of the world is remembered and celebrated also because of the wine makes me feel really uncomfortable. I always talk the contrary about Italy, that it is not true that the wine is so famous and exalt instead other kinds of interestingness and beauty (which Italy does not miss actually!). When somebody here approaches me praising Italy for the wine I use to give him a burning look and start to tell how dangerous is the wine instead. Why the Italians should be signaled as the ones who indirectly annihilate the senses and the consciousness? Why can’t they be indicated as the ones who bring forth awakening of the consciousness instead? Wouldn’t that be superior and more dignified?seaischia2.jpg  vineyard.jpg

The island I come from in Italy was called Aenaria (the sea in the picture), after the Latin people, that means “Island of the wine”. There is so much green still left in this little pearl and plenty of vineyards cultivated over there. They are used by the locals to make wine and sell it. A big section of the economical proceeds in Italy are drawn from this fragile activity.

The 2007 it has been a special year for the Italians because Mother nature has come to protect them and shock their economy for the better. The weather has changed up to the point that the grapes were not mature enough to produce wine in large quantities: the reason why some ignorant group of people out there is doing its best to increase the prices and so on. But these people will disappear with the time and nucleus of other people whose only desire is to bring light and awareness to the economy will slowly take its own place. It has to be like that if we really want to live in a Shining world. Otherwise let’s be very happy and satisfied with ignorance and blindness. Like in the medieval times. What do you say?