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By Digital Team
How would you feel when it is your anniversary and your partner gives you a customized photo album with cute quotations describing your memories?
Or, How about when your teenage daughter shows her creativity and gifts you a special personalized gift neck gaiter that you can flex about on your Instagram?
It feels great, right? Even thinking of the answers to these questions has made your heart smile. Now, when you have realized the importance of personal touch in the gifts for loved ones and you are thinking of doing something special for your partner, kids, parents, or friends, continue reading to explore some amazing personalized gift ideas.
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Customized Patches or Neck Gaiter
The best way to add your touch to something when you have little or no time and effort to dedicate is to go for online customizing services. There are millions of options, but I am sure they are not as unique as this one.
So for a special gift, you can create custom patches or neck gaiters with the special family words that you say to each other or try to animate your vacation photographs and print them on the neck gaiters or have them on the patch and wear it on your jacket or shirt.
The receiver of the gift is going to love your creativity. Use these services to discover your creative side and they will deliver your creation to your doorstep conveniently.
Get a Fill-in Book
Do you remember how your parents kept a book for you like ‘my firsts’ when you were a kid? And they recorded everything you did for the first time. Now when you go through your old stuff and read such memories, do you feel tears in your eyes?
If yes, then see how just a simple gesture can rewind our memories and make us feel loved. You can get “All the things I love about you”, “Why I wouldn’t ask for anyone else to be my sister”, “How you make me feel proud every day”… the list goes on. You can get one such book for anyone you love from a local bookstore.
Wallet Money Clip
Most men/women enjoy having a convenient leather wallet. It allows them to keep their money safe because when they need it, it makes it easy for them to get it in and out. By having a money clip that carries 12 bills and 3 special slots for IDs and cards, this money clip and wallet combination provides the perfect blend.
The combo of wallet/money clips can have a metal plate that can be customized with the name or a monogram of your loved one. Or, you can share, if you wish, a greeting that they can take around with them.
You can have the “family” letters written throughout the bottom of the picture in a friendly white font and you can use any black and white or color image of the family crew you have.
They make these picture blocks of acrylic Grade A, which makes them look distinctive and last longer than any other items of the same nature. For your ease, we recommend the measurements as 5″ long by 7″ high.
Soy Wax Candles
Even if your loved ones spend their special days away from you or your family, in one of 50 scents defined by the environment they know and love, they can always enjoy the pleasures of their home state with a soy wax candle.
Each candle has a unique fragrance that matches characteristics such as the cornfields of Indiana or the magnolia trees of Tennessee.
You must cherish the people you love and remember all the wonderful moments with them in your life. The frameable prints are, apart from other ideas, completely special.
These frames range in 8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″, and in these, from their wedding date to the birth dates of their children, you can highlight all the big milestones in their lives.
A printed tea towel, tiny and sweet for the hostess, is a discreet way to prove you have devoted greater consideration to their present. Select a style that suits his/her month of birth, or just go for one that enhances the aesthetics of their kitchen.
Customized Bar Necklace
Go an extra mile and find out their hometown, the spot you first met, or the holiday destination that helped you steal their heart, and then get it etched on a delicate bar necklace for personalized gift ideas. (The necklace will need to come with a description of why you choose that position in the form of a nice card.)
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.
The company said in a blog post Sunday that those high-skilled workers will help build "the metaverse," a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.
Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet as they also contend with other matters such as antitrust crackdowns, the testimony of a whistleblowing former employee and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform.
In a separate blog post Sunday, the company defended its approach to combating hate speech, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company's inability to detect and remove hateful and excessively violent posts. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Metaverse, Augmented and Virtual Reality
As children, singing the rhyme Rock A Bye Baby was a fun thing to do. It was a statement of thrill and adventure to imagine a child climbing to the top of a tree and rocking to sleep. Especially in the Indian context, rocking a baby to sleep by attaching the cradle to the tree is quite a common thing. But the origin of this rhyme, or lullaby, seems rooted in other histories.
The most popular notion associated with this lullaby is of women leaving their babies tied to tree branches, rocking to sleep with the wind. It is believed that at the time this lullaby was written, it was inspired by a coloniser who saw the Native American women tie their children in birch bark cradles to the trees. The babies went to sleep rocked by the gusts of wind while the parents went about their tasks.
A Native American wooden cradle Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Another interpretation of the rhyme is that it is an allegory to Betty Kenny, or Kenyon, as some versions record it. The Kenyons were a tree-dwelling family, and they used to live in a yew tree. They had carved the tree branches to fit their babies and allowed them to nestle there during the day. The part of the rhyme that talks about falling off the tree is a little scary in this context, but the speculation is that the tree branches were quite low.
The final interpretation of the lullaby has political allusions. King James II of England, was the last Catholic king. He had no heir and reportedly used another baby to impersonate his own. But he was found out and exiled in the Glorious Revolution that took place after he was deposed. The act of falling down from the cradle is a metaphor for those who make mistakes from being overconfident or proud.
The many versions that exist of the rhyme/lullaby make it confusing to really know why it was written in such a strange and morbid manner. Each version points to a different time in history where certain practices were prevalent. However, despite all the various interpretations available, the lullaby itself works wonders in rocking babies to sleep, and perhaps that is the only reason it has survived.
Keywords: Lullaby, Rhyme, King James II, Kenyons, Native Americans, Colonisers
As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.
That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.
"Growing up, there was such little South Asian and Middle Eastern representation in the American media, and Princess Jasmine was really all I had. She was a huge role model to me as someone who was intelligent and strong and independent and beautifully curious, and that's who I wanted to be," says Narayan, who grew up in Pennsylvania.
The pair arrived at "Aladdin" in very different ways. Maliakel is making his Broadway debut, but Narayan is a musical theater veteran, having made her Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and touring with "Hamilton" as Eliza Hamilton.
She was in "Wicked" as Nessarose when the pandemic shut down Broadway in March 2020. Her agent called in April with the prospect of auditioning for Jasmine. She sang "A Whole New World" over Zoom on gallery mode, pretending to be on a magic carpet. "It was a very unique experience," she says, laughing.
Disney producers flew her to New York to meet face-to-face and go through the material again. Narayan was asked to read with different Aladdin potential actors. She got the gig: "I went from a wicked witch to a Disney princess. Can't complain."
Maliakel, a native of New Jersey, came from the world of opera, a baritone who studied at Johns Hopkins University and the 2014 winner at the National Musical Theatre Competition. He trained his voice to be flexible, waiting for the right window to open.
"I didn't really see a lot of people doing what I wanted to do in the world," he says. "There just wasn't a whole lot of representation. So it's really hard to imagine yourself in those scenarios when you have no one to look up to as a role model or an example of how it could be done."
He played Porter and understudied Raoul in a national tour of "The Phantom of the Opera," which ended its run in Toronto just before the pandemic hit.
"I always dreamed that Broadway might happen someday," he says, laughing. "I'm just kind of dipping my toes into the waters in one of the biggest male roles in the business right now, and it's kind of surreal."
'Aladdin' featured as a Broadway Musical with a cast of Indian origin playing the main roles Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Broadway's "Aladdin" is a musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Robin Williams. The musical's story by Chad Beguelin hews close to the film: A street urchin finds a genie in a lamp and hopes to woo a princess while staying true to his values and away from palace intrigue.
Key Alan Menken songs from the film — including "Friend Like Me," ″Prince Ali" and "A Whole New World" — are used. The lyricists are the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Beguelin.
The show — and it's two new leads — had a few performances to celebrate Broadway's return from the pandemic this fall before it was forced to close for several days when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were detected. The actors say the safety of the cast, crew and audience are paramount and closing was the smart move.
"This is how we keep theater going in the pandemic," Maliakel says. "The other option is to just not do it at all. And that's not an option. A week's worth of lost performances, when we look back on things in a year or so, I think will just be a little blip on the radar."
They both look back with heart-thumping appreciation at the early performances when they welcomed back theater-starved audiences, who gave the company 3-minute standing ovations just for singing "A Whole New World."
"It is every brown girl's dream to be singing that song on an actual flying carpet," says Narayan. "And the fact that I got to do it on Broadway in the full costume with the lights and the 32-piece orchestra beneath me — oh, my gosh, I really had to hold it together. It was emotional overload for me."
Maliakel recalls that he and his brothers wore out their VHS cassette version of "Aladdin." He remembers having lunchboxes, pajamas and bed sheets with the film's theme. Aladdin was "every little brown kid's prince." Now he is that prince.
"Now, finally, to get to get paid to do it on the world's largest stage — it's not lost on me how crazy that is," he says. "The responsibility of my position right now feels really great. This moment sort of feels bigger than me in some ways, and I don't take that lightly. I think it's a really exciting time." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Aladdin, Broadway, Musical, Indian Descendant cast,