Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Photobook Launch: Oktoberfest


Like other festivals and fiestas around the world, when you arrive in Munich for Oktoberfest an other-worldly feeling is palpable. Locals and visitors balance a sense of stolen leisure with an urgency for enjoyment.

At Oktoberfest, the senses become a bit more acute. Of all the sense, taste is bombarded the most (of course). Ears are filled with the music of the oom-pah band. But the sights of the parade, tents and streets are magical as well.

Sharon Lorimer brought a brilliant photographer's eye and a first-time visitor's perspective to capture some of the most enchanting photos of this beer-soaked holiday. As day turned to night, she took photos that brought the energy of the celebration alive again.

So raise a Stein to the pictures of Oktoberfest. They're not just as a refresher of what you can't remember from the previous day!

Prosit!

Kim Khan,
Editor and Writer.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Gafftermath, Voting as an Expat

Opening up to an IHRM colleague I lamented disenfranchisement. His response -- get a postal vote -- could help me resolve the logistics, but not the power issues! The problem isn't my inability to vote at home, but more my inability to participate in either my home or my host country's political process.

Most expats aren't diplomats, they are parents, partners, employees and business people. They talk about cultural transition because that's what they experience, and they ignore the political process because they can't or don't want to participate.

Unfortunately, their very existence is governed by politics. The length of stay, the way that immigrants are treated, the way they do business, how they live, if they can own property, what personal freedoms they have and even in some places where they can go, who they can talk to and what they can wear.

If you aren't a diplomat, how do you get the system -- that you aren't included in -- to work for you? When I go through immigration in my home country, I always go in the line with the non-citizens so I can ensure that my husband's status isn't in question. I talk to my leaders about my issues, I protest and I take part in shaping the society that I come from.

When you are an expat it is difficult to have the same confidence in the political process. You aren't able to vote and politicians aren't legally responsible to help you. Your embassy can't resolve every interaction that you have that goes wrong.

Immigrants are scapegoated and targeted by unethical people who often use the justification that they should be treated better than you because they've been living in a place longer. You are excluded with the justification that you are transient and that someone native should be given the rewards of better housing, or a promotion at work, or just be liked more.

In the end, power plays become racist.

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Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of blogs about expat disenfranchisement that I will post during the run-up to the American presidential elections.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Editor's Picks for the Summer Roundup

Sharon Lorimer
The Nature Abroad blog is a surprise hit for me. When I was choosing these links, the traffic spiked and brought it to my attention again. I like this blog because it is something that most of us don't take into consideration when looking at places to live, especially in new places, but it can make a big difference to your quality of life. 

I've just published a cookbook influenced by my travels and I thought you might enjoy reading my idea of a gastropub menu. The cookbook demonstrates how you can take local ideas and create a global mindset from your national identity. The blog on Think Globally, Act Locally helps you understand the pitfalls on the way to creating a global mindset.

Enjoy, 
Sharon

Editor's Picks
Summer Roundup
#photooftheday
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    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    #globalhub September - Expat Trends: How will 2012 end?