THE DISPLACED DISPATCH
Happy St. David's Day—Dydd Gŵyl Dewi—to all out there with Welsh heritage, especially if you happen to find yourself displaced.

But if you're feeling at a loss for how to pay homage to the land of the red dragon, fear not! True, St. David's Day doesn't have the status of a worldwide celebration along the lines of, say, St. Patrick's Day. Still, a surprising number of places pay tribute, including London, which has Welsh food and choral festivals aplenty; Paris Disneyland, where Mickey and Minnie will wear traditional Welsh costumes March 6-8; and even upstate New York, where a Welsh banquet will take place this evening. Ah, but will they serve cawl??

Perhaps the most unusual of this year's celebrations will occur in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, where Welsh expat Ross Clarke has organized a three-day festival of Welshness to include a game of rugby played on the frozen River Ishim and a St. David’s Day concert at the national opera house. The latter will see the locals singing in Welsh following lessons from Ross, who has worked as a trumpet player in the orchestra of the Astana Opera since it opened in 2013.
What to celebrate this week:

Today, March 1, is also National Pig Day, which was created tin 1972 to elevate awareness of this animal's intelligence and adaptability. Now, what is the best way to pay respect to this underrated animal? Some tie pink ribbons to trees, but we would suggest skipping the bacon at this morning's breakfast.

The Lantern Festival marking the grand finale of Chinese New Year celebrations is coming soon. It takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month, which this year falls on Thursday, March 4. Taiwan is particularly noted for its interpretation of the festival. Beautiful "sky lanterns" are released into the night sky with wishes written on them.

In Hong Kong Lantern Festival Day is considered to be the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day. The tradition is for unmarried couples to visit a temple and pray to Yue Lao, the mythological god of marriage and love.

While we were all playing on social media:

Expat writer Tracy Slater received word that her memoir about her life in Japan with a Japanese husband has received a high honor. It was handpicked by booksellers for the Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Selection. The book, titled The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self & Home on the Far Side of the World, is coming out from Putnam in June and is now available for pre-order.

John Hooper, a British foreign correspondent based in Rome, Italy, produced a nonfiction work on his adopted country. According to the New York Times, Hooper's The Italians keeps readers engaged in an "enjoyable foray into the frequently confounding inner workings of the Bel Paese." It offers plenty of quirky tidbits, both entertaining and enlightening.

Third Culture Kid and novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is publishing The Buried Giant, said to be the most ambitious work in his celebrated 33-year career. Set in a mythical time of ogres, sprites and dragons, the book has a unique atmosphere that Ishiguro says was shaped more by 1950s Western movies and by the subversive “anti-Samurai Samurai” films of Masaki Kobayashi, which he grew up watching, than by fantasy literature.
Updates from The Displaced Nation:

DIARY OF AN EXPAT WRITER: Has it really been six months? How time flies when you’re writing full time
It has been six months since my last confess—oh wait. It has been six months since I posted a video about how I quit my day job as an English teacher in Hong Kong to write full-time (and also cut 18 inches off my hair)...

CULTURE SHOCK TOOLBOX: No apfelstrudel? Try some Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!
Greetings, Displaced Nation readers! Today I’m going to be talking about how our expectations shape our experiences. While that is something we all might know, we may not always be aware of it…

Other recent posts:

TCK TALENT: Rahul Gandotra, Oscar-shortlisted filmmaker

For this dreamer of dreams, artist at heart, and American Russophile, a picture says…

An expat’s valentine to her adopted home is podcast series and now book

LOCATION, LOCUTION: Kiwi-Brit author team produce first in eco-thriller series spanning continents where they’ve lived

BOOKLUST, WANDERLUST: 2014–2015 books recommended by expats & other international creatives (2/2)
Alice in Wonderland obsession:

Litographs, a company that creates products that convey a love of literature, recently achieved the goal of reprinting the entire text of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland over 2,500 human bodies—one enchanting sentence at a time. Each participant wore a temporary tattoo with their Alice text and then uploaded a photo, thereby creating the longest tattoo chain in human history. Sorry you didn't get to take part in the madness? It's not too late to join Round II! (At time of writing, there were 893 tattoos left to claim.)
Matters of debate:

Should you make a point of studying the dirty words when learning a foreign language? Some say yes, so that you’ll know when someone is hurling insults at you. But as many of us expats have discovered, ignorance can also be bliss.

A world traveler who speaks ten languages, British linguist Richard Lewis decided to come up with his own model to explain all the cultures of the world. He contends that the world's peoples can be fit into one of three categories: 1) linear actives, who love to plan and schedule and accomplish one thing at a time; 2) multi-actives, who do many things at once, not according to a time schedule but according to thrill or importance; and 3) reactives, who prioritize courtesy and respect.

Third Culture Kids who've studied in both British and American-English international schools may wish to tell people they speak Mid-Atlantic English, aka with a Transatlantic accent. Though technically such an accent belongs to those who've lived in both America and Britain, it could still be an accurate label.

Surprising discoveries:

Single women may be taking over the expat world. According to a survey by Expacare, business leaders believe international work is most suited to those who are single, female, with a foreign language and good networking skills. This news comes as the number of female expatriates rises.

It's possible to be a trailing spouse in one's own passport country. This phenomenon occurs when someone grows up a Third Culture Kid and then moves to the land of their birth after getting married. One such individual said she underestimated the difficulties of the transition. She'd assumed it would be relatively easy to adapt and figure things out, only to find she could not find work or make friends easily.

There's a way of making a young Spaniard studying abroad happy while also entertaining yourself. Buy a bag of sunflower seeds (pipas) and then observe their amazing skills at eating the seed but not the shell, and how quickly they do it. (Expats in Spain, you, too, can learn this, though it may take you about a year to master.)
We hope you have a glorious week of international creativity. Please send any news, comments, blog post suggestions to ml@thedisplacednation.com. You can follow us on Facebook here and/or Twitter here for more frequent updates.

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