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Of Cherries and the American Revolution

  Fireworks over the Statue of Liberty (photo credit CNN) This week we celebrated July 4th as the birthday of the United States of America. For many celebrating its Cherry pies, hot-dogs and fireworks and the United States’ complex history lends the day to varied significance for people from all walks of life.  We wanted to spend a moment reflecting on the lives of the women who lived at the time of the American Revolution in this vast land. The musical “1776”, the year of the American independence depicts John Adams’ efforts to persuade his colleagues to vote for independence from Britain by signing  the Declaration of Independence.  There is a scene based on letters written between John Adams and his wife...

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Yummy Biryani for Eid Celebration!

Eid-Ul-Fitr which will be celebrated this weekend all over the world marks the gratifying end of month long diligent fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadaan for all our Muslim friends. Actual dates of Eid and its 3-day festivities are based on moon sightings but as per the Gregorian calendar, it falls about 11 days earlier each successive year, giving fresh dates for celebration quite literally. These dates also regulate the pilgrimage cycle at Mecca known as "Hajj" and "Umrah". Cresent moon sighting  The festivities begin the night before Eid when the sublime thin crescent moon is spotted in the evening sky labeling the gleeful evening "Chandraat". Women and girls decorate their palms with henna and start...

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Posting a Selfie Eating Plastic Goldfish?

On an early spring day at Mamon, a seriously cool Tribeca haunt, while sipping great tea and eating the most awesome white chocolate cherry cookies w/ calorie count unknown, we met with Natalie Grillon, the Founder and CEO of Project Just. We were interested to discuss key supply chain issues and related retail industry trends.  Since its inception 3 years ago, Natalie has led Project Just’s mission to apply metrics and analysis to increase the transparency of retailers’ supply chains. Project Just is uniquely positioned to identify early on, key trends and factors that will disrupt the status quo of supply chains, where changes in consumer behavior, ie. demand for transparency, social justice, and constraints on natural resources, will fuel the...

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A Story of Hope All Across Africa

The Rwandan Genocide resulted due to the civil war within the country involving two ethnic communities, the Hutu and the Tutsi. It is estimated that in a hundred day period, between April 7 to mid-July 1994, close to a million Rwandans lost their lives, leaving the country in shambles. The inspiring Story of All Across Africa (AAA) comes from the hope of the women of Rwanda for a better future as the country rebuilds and reconciles with its past. The Rwanda women artisans that weave these baskets, are really weaving their stories, hope, and aspirations into baskets that become part of the lives of people who buy these baskets. Maliceline is a part of a weaving cooperative through All Across Africa...

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The Unicorn Tapestries

Art and artisans have transcended regions, cultures and time and one never has to travel far to find either. Our team Shokunin loves exploring different traditional arts and crafts together, and a few days ago on a beautiful spring afternoon, we decided to make the trek to the Cloisters Museum, right here in NYC. Source The Cloisters is dedicated to medieval art and boasts an impressive collection, but the real draw that brought us there were the lush gardens and the Unicorn tapestries. The Unicorn tapestries are permanent exhibits at the Museum and we were most curious about them not just for their construction but also for the unicorns in these tapestries as these fabled creatures have been a topic of scholarly discussions...

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