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.

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

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:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less

A vintage post-card collector on Flickr who goes by the username Post Man has kindly allowed us to share his wonderful collection of vintage postcards and erotica from the turn of the century. This album is full of exquisite photographs from around the world of a variety of people dressed in beautiful clothing in exotic settings. In an era well before the internet, these photographs would be one of the only ways you could could see how people in other countries looked and dressed.

Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less