+
upworthy
More

How a pet project about cooking turned into a moving tribute to grandmothers everywhere.

What we can learn from our ancestors about ourselves is invaluable.

Jonas Pariente's grandmother, Mémé, passed away shortly before his 30th birthday.

Mémé was born in Poland in 1916. His other grandmother, Nano, was born in Egypt in 1933.

When Jonas was 23, he began filming both of his grandmothers in the kitchen as a way to learn more about his roots and identity through the signature dishes they cooked and the stories they shared.


Nano and Mémé. Image from Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

Our ancestors have invaluable lessons and history to pass on to younger generations — after all, who knows more about where we came from than they do?

Mémé's death inspired Jonas to create a collaborative video series he called the Grandmas Project.

The Grandmas Project is a web series through which people around the world are invited to share their grandmothers' stories through their recipes. With his own grandmothers, Jonas discovered that food was a great entry point to conversations about their childhoods, their immigration journeys, and other things they had never talked about.

Food was how Jonas learned to appreciate the time he spent with his grandmothers, and the series of videos produced for the Grandmas Project is a beautiful way to honor the bonds and memories we share with our grandmothers with the rest of the world.

Nano cooking. Image by Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

The Grandmas Project is about so much more than just food, though. It's about preserving history.

For Jonas, the idea of collecting, celebrating, and sharing our grandmothers' recipes isn't just a way to keep the food alive — it's a way to preserve our heritage through those recipes as they're passed from generation to generation.

Some of the best moments of his life were ones spent visiting Mémé and Nano on his own, Jonas tells Upworthy, though he cautions that those moments can be fleeting if we don't take the time to appreciate them.

"Sometimes we hesitate or find excuses not to call or visit our grandparents. It sucks because these moments can't be replaced and can turn out to be magical," Jonas says.

Nano and Jonas. Image by Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

Jonas' story is a perfect example of the wonderful things that can come about when we pump the brakes on our hectic lives and take the time to call or visit our grandparents.

The amazing response to the Grandmas Project shows just how many people feel the same about their own grandmothers.

Jonas' Kickstarter campaign to create 30 short films with 30 recipes was successfully funded in May 2015. Over $21,000 was raised in 30 days. The project received video submissions from every continent — over 100 in total, Jonas says. Four films have been completed, and another 10 entries will soon be chosen to go into production after the summer.

In January 2016, the Grandmas Project received an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its work “raising awareness among the general public to the intangible cultural heritage through digital means.”

Jonas says he's happy his project created a little spark that's encouraging people to spend more time with their grandmas.

"I'm very, very proud of that, and I believe it does people good."

Watch one of the videos from Jonas's "Grandmas Project" series:

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less