Cultural Reads 42: Drinking Cultures, 36 Life Lessons, Congo War

Happy Tuesday All,

And welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter, with a bi-weekly book, music, and movie recommendations from all around the world.

In this week’s newsletter: 36 Life Lessons, Vietnamese Rap, World Drinking, Mongolian Music, Memoire from Congo & Spanish Netflix Thriller

🎙️ Vietnamese HipHop Playlist

Last week I came across an interview with Vietnamese rapper Suboi on COLORS, where she mentioned several other Vietnamese musicians that inspired her.

I combined them into a Vietnamese pop and HipHop playlist to make your life a little easier.

🗝️ 36 Lessons From Turning 30

I love posts like “100 Life Lessons I Learned In 2022.”

I’m turning 31 this month, and my window to share lessons from my 20s is closing.

That’s why I’m now sharing these 36 lessons I learned divided into:

1. Life
2. Fitness
3. Fears
4. Mindset
5. Beliefs
6. Ownership
7. Rules
8. Business
9. Self-knowledge

Any lessons you learned recently?

Please share them in the comments.

🍺 Drinking Cultures Around the World

What are drinking cultures like worldwide?

Are you allowed to fill your own drink in Japan?

And should you avoid eye contact while making a toast in Germany?

You can find out in this post.

🥬 Best Vegetarian Eats in Hong Kong

In Chinese culture, eating vegetarian meals on special occasions is a cultural norm – “吃素” (pronounced ‘sik sow’ in Cantonese).

You’ll find a mix of both traditional Chinese vegetarian cuisine, as well as modernized western vegetarian and vegan cuisine on the streets of Hong Kong.

As a multicultural vegetarian, both types of cuisine hold equal importance in my daily life. Here are some tried-and-tested gems to savor:

Traditional Chinese: Ahimsa Buffet素食工房 Veggie FactoryKung Tak Lam Shanghai Vegetarian CuisineLockCha Tea House

Modern Western and Fusion: TREEHOUSEVeggie 4 loveThe Park by YearsGreen Common

This recommendation was written by Wing from FRESH by wing!

Check out Vieux Farka Toure’s Live Performance in Rotterdam!

🎻 Best Mongolian Music

Mongolia is the land of Genghis Khan and the largest uninterrupted empire ever.

It’s also a country with immense, endless steppes, nomads, houses that can be assembled in a few hours, and legendary throat singers.

Want to know more?

Check out my new post with the best Mongolian music and musical traditions.

📕 How Dare the Sun Rise (Congo DRC)

Sandra Uwiringiyimana is from a small tribe in Congo, DRC. Because they originally come from Rwanda, they’re often treated as outcasts.

The tensions in the conflict-stricken region eventually lead to a horrendous massacre, killing Sandra’s sister and many of her friends.

As she gets a chance to move to the United States, she is ready to build a new future.

But her American Dream is less dreamy than expected. Her family moves to a rough neighborhood without speaking English.

How Dare the Sun Rise is a moving and inspirational memoir that reminded me of What is the What about the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Two things that keep surprising me are that many people spend 10+ years in hopeless refugee camps and that the struggle is far from over after finding refuge in a new country.

📽️ The Innocent (Spain)

On a night out, Mateo accidentally kills another student during a college brawl and gets a four-year prison sentence. He also loses his parents in a car accident.

Several years later, his life finally seems back on track.

That is until his wife travels to Berlin for work and goes missing.

Given his past, he is one of the main suspects.

Will he find his wife back and prove his innocence?

You can find out on Netflix.

💡 Short Book Takeaway

If you set yourself a goal, it’s just as easy to do something big as it is to do something small.

What It Takes – Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone’s CEO)

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