For Mother’s Day this year, we’ve asked several men to pen a piece about the person who helped shape who they are today. While the truth that these exceptional individuals owe a lot from the woman who raised them might not be entirely earth-shattering, it definitely always bears repeating. My goals in life are threefold: first, to visit as many countries as possible in my lifetime; second, to receive the best education in the world; and third, to give back to the country in the best way that I could. These weren’t borne out of thin air. I have my phenomenal mother, Silvana Diaz, to thank. Not only did she help shape these dreams for me; she helped me achieve them in the best way possible. More exceptional women: Silvana Diaz: from Italian outsider to art world pioneer The first Filipina senator was a silent worker: “I would project my work, rather than myself” Whang-Od and Lang Dulay, and the legacy of the Filipina as artisan Sagada’s best-kept … [Read more...] about The woman who raised me: Illac Diaz on his mother Silvana
Educational language games
IN A ROOM at a multiuse building in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, women in maid outfits are learning English conversation from a native speaker. They are employees of maid cafe management company Infinia, a company based in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, which requires new employees who dress and talk like maids at the company’s cafes to take 10 English lessons. With an increasing number of foreign visitors coming to Japan and preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games under way, many more people have recently begun studying English. According to the Yano Research Institute, the domestic market related to learning foreign languages has expanded to reach 866.6 billion yen (Bt251 billion) in fiscal 2017, from 789.2 billion yen in fiscal 2012. It is projected to further increase to 887.3 billion yen in fiscal 2018. “Welcome home, master and princess.” Women working for a maid cafe learn English in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, which is known as a hub for … [Read more...] about Let’s speak English!
During her preschool and kindergarten years, Zhu Ruitian, like most of her peers in Chinese cities and towns, took extracurricular classes to learn English, piano, fencing and the abstract strategic board game Go. But since she began elementary school two years ago, the second-grader has had less time and interest in taking so many classes. In addition to taking extracurricular lessons in English, which is considered a must-have language to remain competitive among her peers, Go is now the only other activity the 8-year-old devotes her spare time to. The ancient board game was chosen in preference to piano and fencing because Zhu’s mother, surnamed Chen, believes it can stimulate the mind and help develop her daughter’s reasoning ability. “Of course, above all, it is because Ruitian loves it,” Chen said. “I think that compared with other hobbies, it is more engaging as it requires two people to play, which is good for an only child like Ruitian. Moreover, … [Read more...] about In China, Go players rise to the challenge