Country Sponsor for 2013 Consuls Ball: South Korea

south-korea-flagWe are thrilled to announce that this year’s Consuls Ball will be held on Friday, April 26 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.  The Consuls Ball is an elegant, vibrant event celebrating Boston’s international spirit and honoring the Consular Corps of Boston, which represents nearly 60 countries. This year’s ball will focus on the Republic of Korea, a modern democracy with a thriving economy. In order to prepare you for this event, here are some facts about Korea that you should know:

–       The current President of South Korea is Park Geun-hye, the first woman to serve in this position.

–       One of the fastest growing economies, Korea ranks 15th in the world by nominal GDP.

–       Korea is an industrial nation at the forefront of semiconductor, automobile, shipbuilding, steel making, and IT industries.

–       In 2010, Korea hosted the G-20 summit in Seoul, the first Asian country to chair and host a G-20 summit.

–       In 2012, Korea held the Nuclear Security Summit.

–       Korea has gained a non-permanent membership to the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 period.

–       UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is from Korea.

–       “Korean Wave” is the name given to Korean dramas, movies, and music that are gaining massive audiences abroad.  One notable example is that of PSY, the notable singer who has popularized the song Gangnam Style.

–       In 2018, the Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.

2596588743_054a9338b1Now that you know some basic facts about Korea, you should join us in celebrating its rich and vibrant culture at our Consuls Ball. For more details about the ball, check out this link: http://cb2013unagb.eventbrite.com We hope to see you there!

*Many thanks to our Gold Sponsor -Focus Country

The_Korea_Foundation Korean_Consulate_Page_2

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International Women’s Day 2013

Women’s Forum @ UNA-GB celebrated IWD (March 8th) early this year with a reception, film screening, and panel discussion on March 4th! UNA-GB members and other members of the Boston community gathered to view Not My Life, a documentary on human trafficking directed, written and produced by Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheimer. This film gives an in-depth and disturbing glance into the lives of women and children all around the world who are forced and coerced into sexual and manual slavery. The producers of the film worked with individuals in over 20 countries on five continents to describe the truly global reach of this highly profitable industry. While the film depicts horrific practices that are difficult to witness, it also presents stories of resilience, hope, and compassion. Many of the young women who participated in the film are now working with their advocates to prevent others from suffering similar experiences.

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Following the screening, we heard from our panel of experts on specific issues related to human trafficking. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on human trafficking with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, described the powerful driving forces behind this industry. Mr. Kara has traveled to 25 countries to research sex trafficking with his work culminating in a series of books on this topic. Devin Rebello represented Demand Abolition, a Hunt Alternatives Fund program which focuses on the demand which fuels the international sex trade. Ms. Rebello emphasized that a targeted focus on the elimination of demand for sex trafficking is needed in order to successfully combat this issue. She explained that demand-reduction practices can be implemented in the areas of criminal justice, legislative reform, prevention education, and public awareness. Our third panelist and Women’s Forum member, Mireille (Mickey) Aramati, spoke about health issues related to sex trafficking. Ms. Aramati is an Associate Professor of Global Health at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and she noted that a discussion of women’s health issues is lacking in the dialogue surrounding sex trafficking. Human trafficking is often overlooked as a public health issue, resulting in poor access to resources for women and girls who are trafficked.

After the presentation, many of the attendees expressed deep concern about this topic and asked what can be done to combat sex trafficking. Our panelists and the participants depicted in the film are some of the leading activists who are working tirelessly to end these practices worldwide. If you would like to find out more about what you can do and the resources that are available to explore this issue further, take a look at the following links!

National Human Trafficking Hotline:

1.888.373.7888

 Amirah:

“Dedicated to providing whole person  aftercare for survivors of commercial exploitation.”

 www.amirahboston.org, email: info@amirahboston.org, Amirah, Inc., PO Box 760867, Melrose, MA  02176

 Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking:

http://www.unodc.org/blueheart/index.html

 Demand Abolition:

“Demand Abolition is committed to eradicating the illegal commercial sex industry in the US—and, by extension, the world—by combating the demand for purchased sex.”

617.995.1900

http://www.demandabolition.org/

International Justice Mission:

“International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.”

703.465.5495

http://www.ijm.org/

Massachusetts Inter-agency Human Trafficking Task Force:

http://www.mass.gov/ago/about-the-attorney-generals-office/community-programs/anti-human-trafficking/human-trafficking-task-force/

Not for Sale:

http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

Roxbury Youthworks GIFT Program:

617.427.8095

http://www.roxburyyouthworks.org/pages/giftprogram.html

UNA-GB gives special thanks to all of those who participated in making IWD 2013 a successful awareness-raising event! Thank you to our co-sponsors and to Diva for donating food!

An Afternoon with Dr. Brimmer

photoYesterday, UNA-GB held a teatime discussion with Dr. Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations. In her role as Assistant Secretary, Dr. Brimmer leads the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which strives to advance U.S. interests through international organizations in areas including human rights, peacekeeping, food security, humanitarian relief, and climate change.

photo copy 6During the discussion, Dr. Brimmer spoke about the role of the U.S. in conflicts such as Libya, Mali, and Syria, to name a few. She also spoke about the changing nature of women and conflict. For example, there has been an increase in the number of women involved in peacekeeping operations. She also spoke about the creation of UN Women, which strives for gender equality. UN Women also deals with issues of human trafficking, human rights, humanitarian action, and peace and security.

photo copy 4Dr. Brimmer also offered insight on her personal experience working in her current position. She said that her most rewarding experience was in September 2009 when she spoke at the Human Rights Council on behalf of the U.S.  It was at this session that the U.S. pledged to advance human rights and strengthen the Human Rights Council.

We would like to thank Dr. Brimmer for giving her time to talk to UNA-GB members. We are very lucky to have had her give her insight on her current role. Thank you, Dr. Brimmer!

Our next event is in a few days! Join Women’s Forum @ UNA-GB on Monday, March 4 for International Women’s Day. For more details, check out this link: http://wfiwd2013.eventbrite.com

Fun Facts about Ethiopia

Ethiopian-flagHave an itching desire to visit Ethiopia? Want to know more about the country? Planning on attending Young Professional’s Taste of Ethiopia on Wednesday? Well here are some fun facts about Ethiopia to get you ready and prepared!

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a small country located in the Horn of Africa. It is only about double the size of Texas with a population of 84,734,262 and is the second most populous nation in Africa and one of the oldest independent ones in the region. The capital is Addis Ababa, which is also the largest city in the country, and the location of parliament and official buildings. Throughout the past decade, their former prime minister Meles Zenawi has strengthened relations with the US, making Ethiopia one of America’s closest African allies.

_54199226_ethiopiaPeople in Ethiopia generally speak Amharic, which is a Semitic language like Arabic and is considered a sacred language to Rastafarians. The word Rastafarian actually comes from the name of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari) who visited Jamaica in 1966 and was generally considered a messianic figure who would bring peace and prosperity in a golden age.

For those of us who love our cup ‘o joe in the morning, we are indebted to Ethiopia as an original birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is the world’s seventh largest producer of coffee today, and Africa’s top producer. In Ethiopia, as in Arab and Eritrean cultures, there is even a ritualized and ceremonious way of making and drinking coffee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATraditional Ethiopian homes are called Tukul; round huts with dirt floors and walls built with mud and/or sticks and roofs are made out of a kind of long grass called teff. In modern times, it is fashionable to wallpaper the walls with magazines or newspapers.

In the past two years, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa and has become recognized for its geothermal energy potential. In January, the Bank of Ethiopia announced that it will offer $20 million to expedite the private sector’s energy projects, funded by the World Bank.

Additional fun facts:

– There are 13 months in the Ethiopian calendar

– Traditionally, parents and children do not share a last name. Most children take their father’s first name as their last name

– Ethiopia has 63 airports. Only 17 of them have a paved runway

– Ethiopian television has only one channel

– Ethiopia is the only African country with its own alphabet

– Time in Ethiopia is counted on the opposite side of the clock (6:00 is at our 12:00)

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Are you now fascinated by Ethiopian culture? Learn more while enjoying an Ethiopian feast this Wednesday, February 20! Join Young Professionals for Taste of Ethiopia! RSVP now here: http://yptoe.eventbrite.com

Written By: Noor Hakeem and Ziyu Zhan [YPers]

NO to violence against women

1139441099-2Around 15 to 76 percent of women around the world experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. This staggering statistic has called the attention of people, organizations, and governments around the world to take action and put an end to such vehement behavior.

UN Women has been taking serious measures to stop such violence. It created the COMMIT campaign to which 18 countries have pledged to “take initiatives to stop gender-based violence.”

In 2008, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, launched UNiTE to End Violence against Women, a campaign that aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world.  Some of the aims of this campaign include: “adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, increase public awareness and social mobilization, address sexual violence in conflict,” to name a few.

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On February 14, 2013, UN officials met to take a stance against such violence. In his message calling everyone to unite to end violence against women and girls, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged everyone to speak out. “The global pandemic of violence against women and girls thrives in a culture of discrimination and impunity.”

Other efforts include those of the One Billion Rising campaign which invites “ONE BILLION women to walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to this violence.” These events take place all over every February 14.

Want to help put an end to violence against women? Then ask Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by following this link:http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=519249&msource=W1302EAWMN2

Is human trafficking and violence a ‘hot button’ topic for you? Then you should join Women’s Forum @ UNA-GB for International Women’s Day on Monday, March 4. We will be screening “Not My Life” and have a great panel discussion following the film. For more information, check out the registration page.

Child Soldiers: A disheartening reality

ImageThe disheartening practice of using children as child soldiers is widely practiced in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of Asia and South America. Currently, there are about 300,000 children involved in conflicts around the world.  Most of these boys and girls are forced while others join to escape poverty and abuse or to seek revenge. Those that are forced are often stolen, maimed, drugged, raped, and used as sex slaves.

ImageChild soldiers are often used to serve government forces and opposition groups. Not only do these children work in the front lines but they also work as messengers and spies. Some even participate in suicide missions. UNICEF defines a child soldier as “any child-boy or girl- under 18 years of age, who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including, but not limited to: cooks, porters, messengers, and anyone accompanying such groups other than family members. It includes girls and boys recruited for forced sexual purposes and/or forced marriage. The definition, therefore, does not only refer to a child who is carrying, or has carried, weapons.”

ImageTo try to put an end to the recruitment of child soldiers, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict entered and was put into force in 2002. This convention “outlaws the involvement of children under age 18 in hostilities” and requires States “to raise the minimum age for voluntary recruitment beyond the current minimum of 15.” Other efforts include those made by the Statute of the International Criminal Court, which makes it a war crime to enlist children under the age of 15 in hostilities by national armed forces or armed groups.

ImageMany other efforts have been made by organizations such as UNICEF and The Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to help put an end to this appalling practice. UNICEF, for example, partners with other NGOS to provide care, technical guidance, and financial support for the implementation of programs for DDR (disarmament, demobilization, reintegration).  UNICEF works in places such as the Great Lakes region of Africa, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, to name a few. The Romeo Daillaire Initiative, on the other hand, provides research, advocacy, and security sector training. It works directly with military, police, and peacekeeping forces to break the recruitment of child soldiers.

ImageEnding the use of child soldiers is not an easy task but with such efforts it can eventually be eliminated. Want to learn more about child soldiers? We were inspired to write this blog after hearing a former child solider, Ishmael Beah speak about his experiences. We encourage everyone to read his book “A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy solider” and to check out this website to see how you can get involved: http://www.child-soldiers.org

Meet our Spring 2013 Interns!

A new year has started, and here at the office, we have so many new and returning interns that we would like for all of you to meet. Each intern has shared with us some quirky and interesting facts about themselves. Check out what each had to say below:

Naa Aku S. Addo- Education 

 DSC04420If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why? 

Michelle Obama. An African-American woman in power is something I aspire to be. A diplomatic woman whose focus is on the wellness of women is inspiring. Hopefully in the near future, I can also be a woman of color in office who will give young girls and women a voice to feel empowered.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would love to go to Dubai, The United Arab Emirates. I have heard great things about that place. The hospitality, shopping malls as well as the rich Arabian history the land and museums hold.

What is your favorite hobby?

Traveling and Shopping with my mother

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share! 

I speak three Ghanaian languages: Ga, Twi and Fante

  

Jiwon Ma- Education  

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If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Tina Fey. She radiates with beauty, intelligence, humor, and confidence. She makes humor, and intelligence go hand in hand, and she makes it look so easy! Whenever I’m stressed out, Tina Fey reminds me that life can be difficult, but you can make the best out of the situation.

 If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

I would love to visit Machu Picchu. I have been so fascinated by it, and it has inspired me to study Spanish ever since I was in middle school.

What is your favorite hobby?

While I’m not on almost every social networking websites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard, and the list goes on – I love to read classical novels, write in my journal, read up on interesting historical facts, drink coffee, knit, listen to music, hang out with friends, and collect mugs.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

When I was 2 years old, and my brother was 4 years old, I was bigger than him. I have pictures to prove it if anyone is interested.

  

Grace Holley- Education 

 BoliviaIf you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

If I could be one person for a day, I would be Jay-Z! He has a commanding presence that draws attention from all over the world, and I would use that power to speak (and record a few songs) on world/community issues.  The power of music is incredible– I’ve always thought that the potential of a lot of mainstream songwriting is wasted when it could be bringing attention to bigger things and spreading more positive ideas. Plus, I’d get to be seen with Beyonce.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would like to go everywhere in the world, but if I had to choose, I would go to Bhutan. It seems to be unlike any place I’ve ever been, and it would be interesting to learn about a way of life that is said to be more centered around peacefulness than anything else.

What is your favorite hobby?

I enjoy traveling, drawing, dancing, reading/watching inspiring speeches by world leaders and studying maps.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

In middle school, I placed 3rd in a national Scrabble competition, winning a box of Hasbro games the size of my living room! One other fact is that I hope to move to DC soon and eventually work in the Foreign Service!

Nathalie Van Der Elst- Education 

 DSC01617If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

There are so many people I wish I could be, and when I look at their traits, I realize it is because I want to be someone excellent and passionate about what they do, whatever that may be; a world-class athlete, a great mother, or the best pizza-maker in all the land. These people inspire, their words and actions send chills down my spine, and they gain happiness and fulfillment in their lives. I hope to achieve this level of excellence and character.

If you could travel to any place in the world, and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand for the beautiful landscape, and to visit locations of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (best movies!).

What is your favorite hobby?

I love to sing, to the point that it annoys others. I sing in the shower, while I cook because it makes cooking bearable, at work (yep the UNAGB office) on a daily basis, mouthing on the T, and ‘occasionally’ at karaoke. I guarantee UNAGB karaoke will happen!

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I was born practically bald, but as you can see in my photo, I have grown to have a nice, thick set of hair. Thanks Dad!

Cynthia Haas- Education 

Fiji_CynthiaHass_UNA_GBIf you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I usually say that I wouldn’t trade my life even for a day but the semester is getting a little heavy so…I’m gonna take a break from this life and be Oprah for a day! Yay!! Oprah has been my secret best friend since about age 4. Being so tiny and underage for adult content, I would hide behind the sofa and watch her every day as my parents sat on the sofa thinking I was being an obedient child doing my homework.  For as long as I can remember, one of my biggest dreams has been and still is to meet the world. Being Oprah I’d be able to do just that. So let the dreams come alive! It’s Oprah time!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

Hands down, I would go to Spain. I feel a spiritual connection to the colorful houses, the motor scooters and the summer romances that are in nearly every movie.

What is your favorite hobby?

My absolute favorite hobby is to travel. More specifically, going on random adventures trying anything and everything I’ve never done. This is my expertise, so much so that Megabus and Travelocity are two of my absolute best friends.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

Fun Fact: I’m kind of obsessed with New York. I run a talk show there that you should all know about because it leverages the voice of youth like us! www.GimmeMo.com! Oh, another fun fact, I thread eyebrows! Yay for being groomed! Want to know more about me? Follow my journey @CynthiaHass on Twitter! See you there!

Devin Denny- Programs: Signature Events 

image If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Nicholas Kristof. I admire his work concerning women’s empowerment across the globe, human rights abuses, and advocating for underrepresented communities. In the future, I hope to expand upon Kristof’s work through advocating for human rights and gender equity.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

India! For the past six years, I’ve been studying Hinduism as an academic hobby. I would love to travel around India to see the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple, Rajarajeswaram, and the Kapaleeshwarar Temple.

What is your favorite hobby?

Traveling, going to Celtics games, and bikram yoga.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I drink a minimum of three cups of coffee a day.

YeJin Kim- Programs: Young Professionals 

IMG_3502If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I would love to be my parents for a day so that I can understand (at least a little bit) how it feels like sending a daughter to another country and not living together.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

Egypt to see the Great Pyramid of Giza

What is your favorite hobby?

Reading blog posts about food that I can’t cook by myself, listening to Broadway musical soundtracks, writing greeting cards, and taking photos on sunny days

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I love “card shopping” at Papyrus because I like picking out cards with sweet phrases/messages to give to people. Christmas card shopping is my favorite part of the year.

Marcela Aguirre- Programs: Communications 

304 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

This is a hard one because I have two options. One option is to be Secretary General of the UN for a day. Being able to work for the UN is one of my dreams so it would just be amazing to see international relations in action. My second option is to be Paloma Herrera, principal ballet dancer at American Ballet Theatre. She’s such an incredible dancer and it would just be amazing to dance like her for a day. Additionally, it would be a dream come true to dance for ABT!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

There are so many places to which I would love to travel. However, if I could only choose one, then I would choose Brazil. Ever since I started learning Portuguese a few years ago, I’ve become a bit obsessed with everything about Brazil: the country itself, the culture, the food, the music, the language, to name a few.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobbies include dancing (ballet, modern, jazz), traveling, reading, playing tennis, and learning new languages. I also enjoy photography!

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I’ve been a hardcore Francophile since I was 6 years old! It was at this age that my brother, who is a few years older than me, taught me a few words in French. I immediately fell in love with the language and so I made it my mission to learn it. Every school project that I ever did in elementary, middle, and high school was related to France. I even minored in French as an undergraduate! I just love everything about France and the French. My dream/goal is to be able to speak French fluently and live in France.

 

Valeria Vidal- Programs: Membership 

IMG_2727 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I would be Michelle Bachelet, ex president of Chile and former executive director of UN Women. Her work is extremely inspiring in Latin American politics while making a breakthrough in history.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?  

I would go to Japan! I actually just got accepted to a month program to be there and study comparative politics and public policy!

What is your favorite hobby? 

Traveling as much as possible! Locally, going on long bike rides.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I just recently became a US citizen and now have dual citizenship with Peru!

Eliza Berg- Programs: Women’s Forum 

DSC05649 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Because Devin swooped up Nick Kristof already, I would choose to be Hillary Clinton (or anyone who gets to work with/for her!) I greatly admire Ms. Clinton for many reasons, one being that she has worked to empower women around the globe by focusing on programs and initiatives in the State Department that address gender issues. I hope to emulate her work ethic and dedication to her job in my present and future life!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

Everywhere! I haven’t been to many places outside of the U.S., so there are many areas of the world that I hope to explore one day. One place that is top on my list is Turkey. I’m fascinated by the history of this not quite European but not quite Middle Eastern country! I think I would split my trip between Turkey and Sweden (an unlikely duo, I know). I have relatives in Sweden and it is also a country that I admire!

What is your favorite hobby?

I love to dance, sing (as in sing in the shower), read, learn languages, explore new places, and hang out with family and friends! My favorite hobby is probably watching a good TV show series!   “Seinfeld” will forever and always be my favorite TV show.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

When I studied abroad this past summer (with Marcela!), we casually walked past Jack White on a side street in Brussels.

Patrick McNicholas- Programs: Consuls Ball 

profile If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Secretary of State. Past, present, or future. Being in the middle of the most important and complex foreign policy decisions would be a dream come true. The travel, the people you would meet, and the experiences wouldn’t be bad either!

If I could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would love to see all of Italy. The country has so much to offer from the mountains up north to its gorgeous coasts and cities. I am a bit of a history nut and Italy certainly has plenty of it.

What is your favorite hobby?

Favorite hobby is definitely golf. Takes my mind off of everything.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

New England boy for life!

Nars Chang- Programs: Consuls Ball 

IMG_1926 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I don’t want to give up any single day of being myself. I hope that I can truly be myself everyday—not to giving in for fears, not to give up out of frustrations, always speak for my heart, and fight for what I truly believe.

And I would like to be anyone who fits the description.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

I want to travel, just travel, in the next 10-20 years. No idea where I am going yet!!

In this case, if I can go somewhere and spend 2 weeks, I want to go back to Taiwan and spend 2 weeks with my family and friends.

What is your favorite hobby?

Movies!!! I love movies. Walking and biking are great also.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

Taking pictures of shadows—bright vs. dark, shadows are just pretty!!

 

*Want to be an intern for this upcoming summer or next Fall? Then, check out this link to find out how to apply: http://www.unagb.org/get-involved/internships

Taste of Japan

Our “Taste of” series are back! Young Professionals kicked off the new year by enjoying authentic Japanese food!

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On the 23rd, a group of 25 YPers came together at Itadaki Boston on Newbury Street for “Taste of Japan.” We gathered in a private room in the basement and had exquisite buffet-style Japanese tapas including ginger salad, Japanese spring rolls, pan fried gyoza, potato croquettes, boiled chicken and lotus root, and sushi rice.

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Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Boston, was our guest speaker, and he spoke about his experiences as a diplomat. Also, we had the head chef of the restaurant give a few remarks about the delicious Japanese food that we were served.

While we were enjoying our authentic food, we also played a fun game of trivia in which fun questions about Japan were asked. Some examples of the questions include: What is the name of the academic and research arm of the UN, established in 1973 in Tokyo? United Nations University! What is the name of the tallest mountain in Japan called? Mt. Fuji! What does Itadaki mas mean? “Thank you for your life (everything).”

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All in all, it was a fun night of good food and good company! Check out more photos from the evening here and make sure to join our upcoming events!

The next “Taste Of” event will be in mid-February and we’re focusing on Ethiopia! Stay tuned for more information and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Inauguration Day 2013

ImageToday is an exciting day for all Americans as this year’s inauguration marks the 57th quadrennial Presidential Inauguration. President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will be sworn-in for their second term in office.  The swearing-in ceremony at our nation’s capitol “represents both national renewal and continuity of leadership.”

The theme for this year’s inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future.” It was chosen to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the new Capitol Dome in 1863. Moreover, it celebrates the perseverance and unity of the United States. The theme will be widely used for the official Inaugural Program, Luncheon, to name a few.

ImageInauguration Day not only includes the swearing-in ceremonies but it also includes other events. Some events that will be taking place on this day include: Morning Worship Service, Procession to the Capitol, Swearing-in Ceremonies, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Ball, Inaugural Parade, among others.

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To read more on Inauguration Day check out this link to the official website: http://www.inaugural.senate.gov

*To see more pictures check out this link: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/21/politics/obama-inauguration/index.html?hpt=po_c1

Japan: A major player in global affairs

japan 2Japan is an island nation with a peaceful nature and large economy. As such, it plays an important role in international affairs.

Japan first joined the United Nations in 1956, and up until the present, it continues to support the UN in bringing about peace and stability throughout the world.  Its commitment to the UN shows through its participation in peacekeeping operations. For example, in 1999, Japan contributed refugee relief materials to displaced Kosavar and Timorese people, and it has done the same for Iraqi and Sudanese refugees in more recent years. It is also involved with the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. Nonetheless, Japan’s involvement with the UN is extensive.

JapanFurthermore, Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world and thus plays an important role in the world economy. Its major exports include technology-related products ranging from cars to cameras to video games. Popular Japanese brands include Toyota, Honda, Canon, Nikon, Nintendo, to name a few.  Japan is also an exporter of pop culture. Anime and manga comics are among those pop culture exports.
japan flag

Nevertheless, Japan is a country with a grand presence in the world stage. There is no
doubt that it will continue to play out this role in the years to come.

Want to continue learning more about Japan while enjoying exquisite food and good company? Then, join us in our first “Taste of” event of the year!

Taste of Japan will be held at Itadaki Boston on Wednesday, January 23 at 7pm. Come join us and don’t miss out on the fun! We hope to see many of you there!

Tickets are available here: http://yptoj.eventbrite.com