How Can I Be Praying For You?

If you come from non-religious background (like mine), you will probably be startled by this question the first time you hear it. It might make you feel uncomfortable or even downright angry, especially if you are an adamant atheist or a sceptical agnostic.

And there is a very good reason for your reaction.

Continue reading “How Can I Be Praying For You?”

On books and role models – Rita Dakota

Every now and then we come across a person (online or offline) who has an indefinable essence that we long to emulate in our own life. In 2020 that person for me was Rita Dakota. I love that in her music she is able to express such a multitude of contradictory emotions, swearing one minute and speaking of God the next, gracefully walking the tightrope of challenging the norms applied to women, yet not falling into the trap of denying her womanhood. In short, Rita’s anger and heartbreak are commas rather than full stops. And in order for that to become true of my own life, I devoured the book recommendations that Rita shares on her Instagram and Telegram. Read on for some (three, to be precise) book recommendations and song quotes.

Continue reading “On books and role models – Rita Dakota”

3 things that made lockdown that bit more bearable

Image description: Melbourne skyline

Although Victoria’s 112 day lock-down was ultimately successful, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that you’d be pretty hard pressed to find someone who loved the 8pm curfew, 1-hour outdoor exercise limit or the 5km radius zone during the lockdown’s strictest periods. In retrospect, here’s 3 things that made lockdown that tiny bit more bearable for me.

Continue reading “3 things that made lockdown that bit more bearable”

An Ode to Lviv (Part 4): On Embroidered Shirts and Cultural Appropriation

“Don’t talk to me about cultural appropriation if you’re wearing an embroidered shirt and can’t tell me the meaning of the embroidered symbols.”

I wanted to post this as a caption to an Instagram post of me wearing a traditional embroidered shirt from Ukraine. But then I thought about all the different negative reactions that it could evoke. How someone could see it as racist. Or judgemental. Or self-centred. Or proud. And so I began writing a long self-justifying P.S. (just like this introduction!) that I decided would be better suited to a blog post. Continue reading “An Ode to Lviv (Part 4): On Embroidered Shirts and Cultural Appropriation”

An Ode to Lviv (Part 3): On Food (and Economics)

A word of warning: There will be no quality writing in this post and I do not vouch for the quality of the photos. There will be just food. And lots of it. 

Lviv is essentially heaven for the foodie on a budget. Thanks to the political instability in Ukraine since 2013, the Ukrainian Hryvnia is not among the strongest of the world’s currencies, meaning that for the foreign traveller, Ukraine is one thing – cheap. Continue reading “An Ode to Lviv (Part 3): On Food (and Economics)”

Budapest

Being here, in Budapest, at this point in time, given the result of the last Hungarian elections, as well as the larger political context is a rather strange experience for me. A déjà-vu of sorts, if you will. After all, my parents (and my infant self) fled our homeland at the time of a nascent dictatorship. And yet it also feels like a glimpse into the future; I cannot stop thinking: “How many more countries will succumb to the lure of authoritarian governments?”.

This is how I thought Budapest would feel.

It didn’t. Continue reading “Budapest”

An Ode to Lviv (Part 2): On Creativity

Once, as I was researching a uni assignment on the education of refugee children, I read the argument that since destruction is the essence of war, peace is not the opposite of war; creativity is.

No matter which political position you take, it is difficult to deny that Ukraine is affected by the ongoing military conflict in its eastern regions. Continue reading “An Ode to Lviv (Part 2): On Creativity”