Postcard Highlights | March 2017

March was a month of many movements and spreading more knowledge to the world. Let’s take the time to highlight positive thinking within ourselves. With many things going around us, we can get caught up in the things that affects us negativeity. It’s important to take the time to reflect, process, and understand how is it that we perceive things. Here are some quotes to help inspire you today.

This Month in Japan | December

Like other countries located around the world, Japan is experiencing winter and celebrate the snowfall in their own unique ways. Despite the oncoming cold weather, Japan is remains a popular destination to travel to during the winter because of the festive events, beautiful sceneries, and amazing shopping experiences. Here are some activities and events occurring in December around Japan:

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http://www.kyotoguide.com/

  • Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is held in mid December, usually around Dec 15th-18th. “The On-Matsuri is a festival held at Wakamiya-jinja Shrine which stands in the precincts of the Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine. It was first organized in the 12th Century when an epidemic prevailed, and prayers were offered at this festival for the eradication of the plague and also for the blessing of a rich harvest. This historic festival continues to be one of the largest annual events of Nara Prefecture, attracting a great many tourists.” – https://www.jnto.go.jp/

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flutrackers.com

  • Sendai Pageant of Starlight is a free illumination event where pedestrians can enjoy the view of tons of LED light bulb to bring in the holiday spirit. It is held outside and throughout the entire month of Dec. “The venue for the light-up is the Zelkova lined boulevards of Aoba Dori and Jouzenji Dori right in the center of Sendai. A good starting point is Kotodai Station at the eastern end of Jouzenji Dori.” – https://japancheapo.com/
  • A event held in mid Dec and again in mid Jan is a flea market where people sell old antiques, toys, food, plants, and fabrics. “Setagaya Boro-ichi is a Tokyo-designated intangible folk cultural asset dating back some 430 years.” – http://www.gotokyo.org/
  • Popular destinations to visit in Japan are Kyoto, Takayama, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Sapporo, and more! These are just a few locations that offers great sight seeing, seasonal food, and famous local cuisines.

World Food Day – Oct 16, 2016

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.” – http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/

What can you to take part of this event?

  • Donate food at your local food shelf. Or perhaps a start a food drive yourself!
  • Volunteer at your local organization (food bank, food self, community center) that may offer food donation to the local community.
  • The theme this year is changing climate. We want to educate people on how our farmers/fishers are being impacted by the climate change on a global scale. In order to feed the growing population, we need to find better ways to produce food on a smaller scale and using eco-friendly alternative. “This is why our global message for World Food Day 2016 is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” – http://www.fao.org/ 

Look down below for statistics on hunger:

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Accredited to worldfooddayusa

NATIONAL BIKE MONTH

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myhealthoc.org

“Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. National Bike to Work Week 2016 will be held on May 16-20. Bike to Work Day is May 20! ” – Rightful owner

Here are some top reasons why you should start riding bikes:

  • Save $$$ on gas! If you have to get to a location nearby or is willing to bike at a distance, then every new opportunity you take to bike somewhere will save you money on gas!
  • You get to exercise! At the same that you are transporting yourself, you are also actively moving your legs and burning off calories!
  • Sightseeing! You can enjoy viewing your neighborhood from a different perspective and take in the sights at a slower pace.
  • TIP: Always remember that your safety comes first! Anytime you plan on riding your bicycle, remember to wear a helmet and turn on your lights/wear a neon traffic uniform, if you are riding at night.

American Heart Month

“February is American Heart Month. Talk to your doctor about #hearthealth” – www.cdc.gov

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Original image belongs to www.storybird.com.

February is dedicated to sharing the awareness of taking care of our hearts. The path to a healthy lifestyle is always a continuous journey so positive choices you make now will benefit you in the long run. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips on how to:

  • The easiest place to start is to eat healthier foods. Your food intake has a direct impact on your heart, especially on your cholesterol level. Tip: Avoid drinking sugary or fizzy drinks such as juice and pop. Many American’s are obese because of their diet of high fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Balance your meal! Eating healthier is easier than said so what can try first is to substitute unhealthy food for healthier alternatives. For example, if you like sweet snacks like chocolates, gummies, and such, switch it out with ripe fruits! And it is okay to indulge in your cravings once in a while.
  • Exercise regularly, not extensively. If you try to maintain a exercise schedule with healthy eating, you’ll lose weight more effectively and maintain your health/weight. Doing intense work out one or twice a week is better than doing it often because your body needs time to relax, rebuild, and reenergize.
  • Want to know what kind of fruits & veggies are in the winter season:
    • dates, kale, passion fruit, oranges, turnips, leeks
    • For more info on what’s in season, click here!

 

November is National Diabetes Month

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It’s Your Life. Treat Your Diabetes Well.

http://www.cdc.gov/

“November is National Diabetes Month, and the City of Minneapolis wants to help prevent diabetes by encouraging people to get screened for Type 2 diabetes and then take action if they’re at risk for developing it.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one out of three Minnesotans have prediabetes, but most of them don’t know it. People with prediabetes are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within five years if they don’t take action.” – http://www.minneapolismn.gov/

The Minneapolis Health Department, with funding from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsors the prevention program for Minneapolis residents in four community clinics and one community organization.

Under the guidance of a trained coach over 16 weeks, participants learn healthy eating, physical activity, managing stress, staying motivated, and solving problems that can get in the way of making healthy changes.

New classes are forming now. For more information, people can go to www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/diabetesor call a class provider directly:

  • Native American Community Clinic (Brian Joyce at 612-872-8086 x1041).
  • Hennepin County Medical Center (Pa Xiong at 612-873-6641).
  • Neighborhood HealthSource clinics (Julie Lor at 612-287-2447).
  • Stairstep Foundation (Sylvia Amos at 612-521-3110).

For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program, go to www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.htm.  Credits belong to the rightful owner.

This Month in Japan | November

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“Frost month” or Shimotsuki is the old name for November. This is because in many parts of Japan, frost becomes visible in the mornings and this is the month when colder weather begins to set in.

During this month, there are two national holidays: Culture Day (Bunka no hi) on 11/3 and Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinro kansha no hi) on 11/23. Culture Day is a special day where achievements in culture, the arts, and academic endeavor are recognized. Award ceremonies, festivals, parades, and art exhibitions are part of the celebrations that occur to honor professionals in these fields as well as to maintain local culture traditions in general.

While shichi-go-san on 11/15 is not an observed national holiday, it is a popular day throughout Japan where 7 (shichi) year-old-girls, 5 (go) year-old boys, and 3 (san) year old boys and girls visit shrines wearing traditional clothing. The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate the growth and well-being of children.

 Shichi Go San -Family Portrait

https://grittymonkey.wordpress.com/

Fun facts:

  • Shimotsuki is also a Japanese surname.
  • Based on the zodiac, it is the month of the dog.
  • Labor and Thanksgiving Day is a time where Japanese people express their thankfulness for employment.

Credits belong to rightful owner.