Travel has been an integral part of my life since I was a young child. I grew up in a multicultural, bilingual home in the Netherlands with a Polish mother and a Dutch father. My
When you first meet Oluwagbeminiyi Osidipe, you encounter a very vibrant, friendly, and unique personality. Oluwagbeminiyi or Niyi – as she shortened her name for simplicity – was named by her mother, who had a “very personal experience” when she had her, Niyi explained. Niyi is a Yoruba Nigerian transplant who arrived in the U.S. in 2006. As one of the most densely populated (West) African countries, Nigeria derives its name from the river that spans its land. To the South, it borders the Gulf of Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean. Originally colonized by the British, Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Its main ethnic groups are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, who speak English and their own respective languages, while major religions include Islam, Christianity and indigenous beliefs. Niyi shares her story, her views on politics, cultural differences she’s embraced with humor, and what we can learn from each other by expressing curiosity. Her message is simple: travel enriches us through its exposure to new cultures, and enables us to grow.
Food has the wonderful quality of uniting us no matter where we are. There is nothing partisan or narrow-minded about food. It simply invites us to indulge, create recipes, and share with others. Two of my favorite Polish dishes (included in collage) are pierogies and barszcz czerwony – a beetroot soup – served on Christmas Eve in Poland. How does food bring us together? What are some of your favorite dishes and why? Can food trigger memories?
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