1    Jan 20130 comments

Resolutions: Here’s some help!

Some people may have been holding off their resolutions for 2013 because of the Mayans. However, now that we are still here and 2013 has started, it's time put those resolutions into action.

Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) researchers have released some great tips (13, actually!) for the New Year.

- Learn something new

Learning never ends, so commit to continuing on this path. Explore new interests, and uncover something great!

- Walk in the park

Decrease stress and increase focus by visiting a park. Research has show that visiting parks improves mood, concentration and positive feelings. Seeing nature produces reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and tension. Make 2013 a healthy green year.

Continue reading "Resolutions: Here’s some help!" »

27    Nov 20121 comment

Birthdays: How do you celebrate?

Birthdays, whether we like them or not, happen to us once a year (unless you're the Queen of England).

I happen to really enjoy birthdays. The cards, presents, cake, and most of all, bringing the family together.

Having recently passed a milestone, it got me thinking about how birthdays are celebrated around the world.

Traditionally, in most western cultures, the day is commemorated (as above) with cards, presents and of course the famous song - happy birthday to you. There's also the well established custom of making a wish as you cut the first piece of birthday cake.

Maryland Family Magazine has an article listing some interesting customs from around the world. Some include: Continue reading "Birthdays: How do you celebrate?" »

19    Oct 20122 comments

Television: Is ‘reality’ real?

Why is reality television so popular?

Genealogists think researching our own unique families is real enough!

Of course, genealogists love shows on genealogy, which offer insight into breaking through brick walls. Those shows also allow us to vicariously achieve success along with the celebrity tracking his or her ancestors.

My favorite part of all those shows is how the celebrity always finds a convenient parking place directly in front of every archive he or she visits. That doesn’t happen very often in real life.

If your own family research isn’t quite enough for you, there’s a new book out on reality TV.

June Deery, an associate professor of communication and media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), says in her book, Consuming Reality, that this genre is changing the face of both the entertainment industry and culture – whether we like it or not.

Continue reading "Television: Is ‘reality’ real?" »

25    Sep 20121 comment

Family: Heritage at the kitchen table

A kitchen table is much more than just a piece of furniture.

My grandmother always told me to make sure to have a table in the kitchen. “Sit down while you’re doing all that prep work for holidays and family get-togethers,” she admonished. Good advice for saving one’s back and legs! But the table was and is more than a workspace for ethnic specialties.

To tell the truth, I don’t remember what the actual table looked like, as it was always covered with a tablecloth – a nice one for meals or plastic for preparing the amazing things that came out of her oven or those huge pots on the stove.

The kitchen table is where women (and, increasingly, men) historically gathered – and still do, in some cultures - to share the cutting, mincing, chopping, dicing, rolling and more. Together, they shared the tasks while they talked, told jokes, sang songs and, yes, shared family history.

It is – and was - a space for sharing, collaborating and holding heritage close to our hearts.

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17    Jul 20126 comments

MyHeritage: Introducing Karen, our new German Country Manager

 Karen, MyHeritage's new German country manager

Karen, MyHeritage's new German country manager

We're delighted to welcome Karen Hägele to our German team. She replaces Silvia da Silva, who recently went on maternity leave. We wish Silvia much health and happiness and look forward to her return next year. Karen now shares her family story, to which many of us can relate.

Back to my roots: from Brazil to Germany

As a small child, I remember using certain words that my friends didn’t know. For example I called my grandmother Oma and my grandfather Opa. I could count from eins to zehn and my favorite nursery rhyme was Backe, backe Kuchen. At night, I wished my parents Gute Nacht, and at Christmas we ate Stollen (a kind of fruit cake), baked, of course, by my grandmother.

We were the only ones in our neighborhood to have a real Christmas tree with real candles instead of "blinking stuff," as my Granddaddy used to say.

All of that would have been quite normal had I not been born in Brazil.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: Introducing Karen, our new German Country Manager" »

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