ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 16, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The maternal health community has made great strides towards improving the health of women and newborns around the world, but as global efforts have scaled up interventions quickly, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) has often paused to consider the quality of this work.To evaluate this, Ana Langer and Anne Austin from the MHTF joined experts from around the world to create the Quality of Care in Maternal and Child Health supplement, published by the Reproductive Health Journal in September, 2014.Three of the five articles in the supplement have been highly accessed, which demonstrates high interest in quality of care in the community and untapped momentum that may be used to fill the identified research gaps.We talked to Dr. Zulfi Bhutta, lead researcher for the series, and asked him a few questions about the research process and how we as the maternal health community should move forward with the results.Q: What prompted the research team to take on the systematic reviews that make up the series?Despite recent progress, about 273,500 women died of maternal causes in 2010. Furthermore, the share of neonatal deaths among all under-five children increased from about 36% in 1990 to 44% in 2012. These deaths have occurred disproportionately in low-income countries or among the disadvantaged in high- and middle-income countries. It is particularly acute where access to and utilization of skilled services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest.Evidence shows that poor quality of care for these women and newborns is a major factor for their elevated morbidity and mortality rates. Understanding underlying factors that impact the quality of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services and assessing the effectiveness of interventions at various health care delivery levels is crucial.The collection assesses and summarizes findings from systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to quality of care improvements. The focus was two-fold: identify the evidence base and information gaps and assess approaches that enable health providers to adopt and implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions that improve quality of care during childbirth and immediately after.Q: What gap does this series fill?This series systematically reviews the evidence of interventions aimed at improving care at the community, district and facility level. It also highlights knowledge gaps, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The gaps point to priority research questions to pursue to improve quality of care in these settings.The findings can help governments, stakeholders and donors to form policies and develop health care models applicable to various levels of healthcare. This could enable community- and facility-based health care providers and district-level program managers to implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions, which will improve childbirth and postpartum quality of care delivery.Q: Which result stood out most?At the community level, packaged care involving home visitation, outreach services, community mobilization, referrals, women’s support groups and community health worker and traditional birth attendants training showed improvements in MNH outcomes.Mid-level health worker (MLHW) based care not only demonstrated outcomes comparable to routine non-MLHW care delivery but also showed better results for some outcomes. At the district level, user-directed financial strategies—especially conditional cash transfers and voucher schemes—increased MNH service utilization. District level supervision also found positively influenced provider’s practice, knowledge and awareness. At the facility level, in-service training, standardized or individualized social support programs and continuity of specialized midwifery care throughout pregnancy, labor and the postnatal period have the potential to improve perinatal, maternal, and labor specific indicators.The findings demonstrate that community-based improvement interventions have been widely assessed for MNH outcome effectiveness in LMICs. However, many district- and facility-level interventions have been evaluated mainly in high-income country settings. Given the differences in low-, middle-, and high-income county healthcare infrastructure and systems, findings across countries in district- and facility-based care are not generalizable. There is also an information gap on the effectiveness of these interventions on different subgroups that may represent within-country disparities. Few of the studies provided evidence on sustainability and scale up. Generating evidence on the sustainability of proven interventions—including implementation feasibility and scale up in various settings in countries with constrained resources and weak health systems—is needed.Q: What is the series’ biggest take-away?In addition to the effectiveness of specific quality improvement interventions on MNH, as I mentioned above, there is a dearth of evidence on district- and facility-level interventions, particularly those specific to quality of maternal health and MNH outcomes. Further evidence is needed to evaluate the best combination of strategies.Q: Given the research gaps you’ve identified, what are the priority areas for future research?Future research in LMICs should focus on factors affecting interventions’ sustainability and cost-effectiveness when scaled up. District- and facility-level interventions—including social support, specialized midwifery teams and staff skills mix—have proven to improve MNH outcomes in high-income countries; we need further research on implementation feasibility in low-resource settings. We also need qualitative data describing the individual components of interventions for reproducibility, which would make the interventions invaluable for scale up and sustainability in low-resource settings. Strengthening health information systems, one of the strategies that evaluate interventions’ effectiveness over a time period, should be established in LMICs. Further evidence is now needed to evaluate the best possible combination of strategies and healthcare models to suit specific groups.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 28, 2017January 2, 2018By: Pompy Sridhar, India Director, MSD for MothersClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Many would assume that the 45,000 mothers dying in India every year during childbirth is a result of complications that are difficult to manage. It should be rather surprising that these deaths are mostly preventable. In fact, one of the main reasons for losing lives is often due to sub-standard and inconsistent quality of care.Our entire maternal health care community is aware of this. And yet, improving the quality of maternal health services has been a tough challenge in India, largely due to insufficient tools and incentives for providers to change.In recent years, considerable efforts to improve the quality of institutional care during the antenatal, delivery and postpartum periods have favored public health care facilities, largely excluding private ones. This has been the case despite the fact that private providers in India account for up to 30% of institutional deliveries in rural areas and up to 52.5% of institutional deliveries in urban areas, and despite evidence suggesting that quality of care is an issue in both sectors. Many such facilities, even those that have been in business for 5 to 10 years and even longer, have been found not to be following recognized, evidence-based quality standards of care in their labor and delivery wards. They do not have the necessary emergency protocols in place to prevent complications.These challenges persist due to a widespread lack of technical resources, insufficient training and other opportunities for nurses and paramedics to update their skills and knowledge (leading to continued use of outdated, ineffective and sometimes harmful practices); weak incentives for private maternity facilities to invest in quality improvement because efforts typically do not immediately translate into an increased client base; and limited capacity (if not total absence) of systems to measure and monitor the quality of their services.Greater efforts must be made to bridge the gap between research-supported knowledge and clinical practice. What we need is a large scale streamlined quality improvement initiative, offering a practical and compelling way for private health care facilities to improve their capacities for managing care during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period, when risks for life threatening complications are the highest.An intervention which offers all of the above is an important step forward for maternal health in India. One such example that comes to mind is a recently published white paper on the Private Sector Quality Improvement Initiative undertaken by FOGSI in partnership with Jhpiego and MSD for Mothers that offers some path breaking insights. The pilot program was implemented over a period of three years (2013–2016) in 11 large cities in the states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh: Agra, Allahabad, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Ranchi and Varanasi. Its primary objective was to improve the quality of care provided by private maternity providers through implementation of quality standards, and strengthen the clinical competency of private maternity providers. After five rounds of assessments, 122 out of 140 participating facilities (87%) achieved a 70% score or better, compared to only 3% of facilities in the beginning.This was achieved due to regular assessments, prioritizing resources (equipment, drugs and supplies) that are essential for adherence to recommended practices; “upskilling” health workers in key areas where performance was found to be lacking; improving compliance through post-training onsite mentoring and troubleshooting support (including drills), and applying WHO-endorsed Safe Childbirth Checklist; as well as improving the use of data to drive action and increase accountability via standardized data collection tools. Professional associations such as FOGSI have played a pivotal role in bringing together and motivating community of providers to join the quality bandwagon. Such partnerships are critical.We need frameworks for assuring quality of care over time. Providers need to be regularly reassessed to make sure they are keeping up with their skills. Those who demonstrate compliance with FOGSI’s evidence-based standards specific to maternity care must receive a stamp endorsing quality. In addition, payers can ensure that they are buying quality services for their patients by making certification mandatory for participation in their insurance/health financing schemes.To drive patient demand for quality, we need tools that empower women to make informed choices about where they seek care. Consumers should have the option to choose to deliver their babies only in certified hospitals.Sustaining quality eventually requires the might of the entire health care ecosystem – the government, regulatory authorities, the private sector, civil society, development agencies and academics to ensure that the right incentives are entrenched in the system. State and national leaders can play a catalyst in forging cross-sectoral alliances and supporting quality improvement through concrete policy and regulatory action.We need accrediting bodies to recognize and adopt quality standards for maternal health and help build out complementary certification, surveillance and other quality assurance mechanisms. And we need buy-in from payers, including Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and other schemes. Financing and quality assurance efforts must work in tandem to ensure that services are adequate – and affordable. This will strengthen our health care system.It’s time for all maternal health stakeholders in this country to hold ourselves and others accountable for delivering – and demanding – the kind of care every woman deserves during one of the most important, and potentially perilous, moments in her life. A “world where no woman dies giving life” from preventable causes is indeed possible. Show every mother in India that #SheMatters.This post originally appeared on ET Healthworld.Share this:
Neymar is indispensable to Paris Saint-Germain and can win the fans back over if he stays at the club, says Thiago Silva.Brazil international Neymar has yet to feature for the Ligue 1 champions this season with coach Thomas Tuchel confirming he will not select the forward until his future has been clarified.PSG sporting director Leonardo previously announced the 27-year-old has informed the club of his wish to leave and some fans displayed banners criticising the former Barcelona forward during their game against Nimes on August 11. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Despite losing Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe to injury in a 4-0 defeat of Toulouse on Sunday, Tuchel indicated he was unsure whether Neymar would be available to face Metz on Friday.But Silva has no doubt PSG should be fighting to keep Neymar, a reported target for Real Madrid and Barcelona, with RAC1 claiming the latter will send representatives to Paris for negotiations on Tuesday.”Neymar is an indispensable player for any team, he was at Barca, he is for us,” Silva said to RMC. “It’s a particular problem for a player with the club, we cannot get involved. But in my head, I hope he stays. Yes, I already told him. It’s hard to tell him all the time: ‘You stay, you stay…'”I do not know exactly what’s going on between him and the club. I honestly hope that the transfer window is over soon because I cannot stand it anymore.”Of the apparent breakdown in Neymar’s relationship with PSG fans, Silva added: “It’s hard to talk about this situation, the fans could do it in a different way, but they think a lot with the heart.”I think if Neymar comes back and starts helping the club and plays like last year, at the end of the season, we will all be happy, especially the fans.”That’s why I say he must stay, he can still help us a lot, and if he leaves, it will be difficult for us. He would strengthen a team that has the same goal as us [winning the Champions League], for me it’s not good.”Neymar has been unable to inspire PSG to European glory thus far, with the superstar missing key knockout games due to injury in both of his seasons in the French capital.After dominating domestically it is clear PSG desire the Champions League above all else, but Silva is unsure whether 2019-20 will be their year in the competition.”Winning, I do not know, but of course we’re going to work to win and first to go further, we have to think match after match,” Silva said. “Even without Neymar, in Manchester [against United], we made an incredible match in the first leg.”At home, we thought a little bit that we were already in the quarter-finals, we should not think like that in top-level matches, we have to work and celebrate qualification afterwards.”
Harry Kane has revealed the secrets of his penalty success, with the Tottenham striker netting twice from the spot in England’s 4-0 victory over Bulgaria.The Spurs star once again led the way for the Three Lions as they eased to another comfortable win in Euro 2020 qualifying.Kane struck a hat-trick for Gareth Southgate’s side, taking his overall tally to 25, while also having another effort ruled out for offside. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream He got England up and running at Wembley on Saturday as he turned home a Raheem Sterling centre.The 26-year-old then converted two second-half penalties, either side of a goal he teed up for Sterling, and has now found the target from 12 yards on eight occasions for his country.Quizzed by ITV as to how he maintains those stunning standards, Kane said: “It’s just hard work and practice, we do a lot during week and the day before a game we do quite a bit.“I always go with my feeling – it could be 10, it could be 50 [that I practice], it depends how I feel on the day.“We have such explosive, skilful players so we’re always going to get penalties.”England were not at their best during a difficult first half against Bulgaria, with the visitors making life difficult as they pulled 11 men behind the ball.Kane, though, believes the Three Lions were good value for a convincing triumph come the final whistle.He said: “First half we got caught on the counter a couple of times, we said at half time we needed to try and come out and get an early goal and that’s what we’ve done.“It’s a good result we hope to take into Tuesday.”Delighted to score a hat trick for @england! Great performance from the boys! Ready for Tuesday 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/vzpH19LaoO— Harry Kane (@HKane) September 7, 2019Kosovo, who are also unbeaten in Group B, are next up for England.“We’ll have to press better,” Kane said of the midweek challenge facing Southgate’s side.“It will be difficult, we’re feeling good, hopefully we can get ahead like today and get another result.”England will have plenty of players brimming with confidence at their disposal for that game, with Sterling another of those to have carried his club form onto the international stage.Kane said of the Manchester City winger: “It’s great for him that he’s taken his club form into international form, he’s an amazing player.“I managed to repay the favour [having set up Sterling’s goal]. We enjoy playing together, we all do.”
Alphonse Areola refused to reveal if he has spoken with Kylian Mbappe about joining him at Real Madrid, while confirming he has also had no such conversation with Paul Pogba.Madrid signed Areola on loan from Paris Saint-Germain late in the transfer window, with Keylor Navas moving to the Ligue 1 champions from the Santiago Bernabeu.Mbappe, Areola’s team-mate at PSG for the past two seasons, has long been linked with a switch to Los Blancos, while Manchester United star Pogba is also a reported target. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Both Mbappe and Pogba missed France’s recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra through injury, though that did not stop the press quizzing Areola on the future of his compatriots.”The thing I’ve spoken to Kylian about is his injury, he has to get back as quickly as possible from that and we’ll see what happens in the future,” Areola told a news conference.”I can’t go into detail if we’ve spoken about Madrid or not. I’m here and I want to be part of the history of this club.”He’s at Paris at the moment, he needs to recover from his injury, get his level back. Everyone has their own way forward, their own story and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.Contract signedWelcome to @realmadrid , @AreolaOfficiel ! #WelcomeAreola | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/8goBUneRmS — Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 13, 2019 “I have not spoken to Paul. He was injured in the last time we met with the national team, but I know him well. He’s a great person, a great player with great quality.”But everyone has their own way and their own road, so we’ll see what happens.”Mbappe’s injury means he is set to miss PSG’s Champions League meeting with Madrid on September 18, a fixture Areola is relishing.”It’s great coincidence that we play PSG, I’m going to go back to the club very quickly,” Areola said.”[Madrid’s players] haven’t spoken about that yet, about how they’re going to play.”For me it’s about getting involved in the squad and being comfortable here, I am very happy to have trained now we’ve got a game, it’s an important one against Levante and we have to prove that we’re ready.”
Nemanja Matic has said it’s a positive that Manchester United are blooding so many youngsters, despite it limiting his own playing time.The central midfielder made his first start of the Premier League campaign in Saturday’s game with Leicester City, which the Red Devils won 1-0.He has lost out on a starting berth, with Scott McTominay starting in his stead. McTominay is one of several youngsters to get lots of game-time this year, with 21-year-olds Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James chief among those to feature. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Matic says he thinks those players have earned the right to start and them getting minutes bodes well for the future of the club.“I don’t believe in age, good players or bad players,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 35, so I think who played today deserved to play.“I am happy for the young players, they get the opportunity to play here. It’s not always the case in big clubs, and Manchester United is giving opportunities to the guys who grew up here in the academy.“That’s good because in big clubs they don’t always get opportunities because of the pressure and the results and because everyone wants to win. I think in this season the people from the club they can see who is ready to play already in a high level.”Before the season started Matic said that the youngsters needed experienced players alongside them.Despite his limited opportunities he still thinks he has a lot to offer the club going forward.“Of course, I want to play. I always give my best for the team.“The coach is the man who picks the team and when you are on the bench you are not happy, but I am doing my best to change his mind and persuade him to put me on the pitch.“The season is long, today as you saw I played and we won the game, I am happy so we will see in the future what the coach decides. I am ready.“In the last ten years I have played in a high level and I have tried my best to help the team because I think I am a team player and I can help a lot I think.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Clement Lenglet has defended Antoine Griezmann’s start to his Barcelona career and expects him to hit top form once he’s fully familiar with a new playing style.France forward Griezmann scored twice on his second La Liga appearance for the club but then went four games without finding the net.The run of blanks ended with the opener in last week’s 2-1 win over Villarreal and the 28-year-old will hope to open his Champions League account for the Catalans when the Spanish champions entertain Inter on Wednesday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Lenglet, a team-mate at club and international level, is convinced his compatriot will justify the €120 million (£106m/$130m) fee paid to sign him from Atletico Madrid.”Yes, Griezmann will adapt to Barca, because of his talent and his personal quality,” Lenglet told radio station RAC1.”It’s a totally different game to Atletico. There are fewer spaces to run into when attacking, and you have to adapt to a new life, a new home, many things which you are not accustomed to, because he has not been at many clubs.”The league started a month and a half ago and he has scored three goals.”He can do things better because he has incredible talent, but he has given a good level.”Barca’s clash with the Serie A giants at Camp Nou could provide a guide as to which teams are likely to advance from a strong Group F, which also contains Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague.Ernesto Valverde’s men will be feeling better about their form following the victory over Villarreal and 2-0 weekend win at Getafe.Lenglet said: “The Champions League is always a good test. And especially with Inter, who are having a very good season so far.”It’s interesting to see where we are. Inter is the first Champions League match at Camp Nou and our second after the draw with Dortmund. That was a bittersweet feeling.”We took a point and I think we can do more.”Barca owed much to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in Germany, as he saved a Mar penalty as they played out a scoreless tie.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career has taken him from Malmo to the LA Galaxy via the likes of Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, with the Swede claiming he has succeeded because he “chose to be myself”.The 38-year-old has never been shy when it comes to talking up his qualities.He has earned the billing ‘King Zlatan’ while often referring to himself as a lion. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Few arguments can be made against him, with the legendary frontman having netted goals and collected trophies wherever he has been.His achievements at the very top of the game are now being recognised by a statue in his home city of Malmo.Ibrahimovic feels honoured to have achieved such status, with his mercurial talent and personality having made it impossible for others to guide him along a stunning career path.He told Expressen: “The statue means a lot.“That’s my legacy. That’s what I’ve been through, what I stand for. It will become a symbol for those who feel just like I did, a symbol that you can succeed no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, even if you feel different or don’t feel welcome.“Not just when it comes to football, it stands for so much more than just football players.“Everyone who feels they need support, needs power, energy: just look at the statue, or come to the statue. It’s proof that you can succeed if you believe in yourself.“I’m no bigger than anyone else, it could be anyone. It’s as simple as that. I’m not chosen or special in any way, I fought and believed in myself.“When I started my career, it wasn’t like I had someone who’d gone before me that I could ask.“I remember asking Henrik Larsson: ‘What should I do? How should I do it? Explain it to me’.“He said very simply: ‘No one has been in your shoes, no one has been in your situation. What should you do? You’ll find that path yourself’.“So I had no one I could lean on, or talk to about this. No one could explain to me how everything worked.“I had to find the balance myself, I had to build self-confidence and find my own way. In all these aspects I chose to be myself.”Ibrahimovic is approaching the end of his playing career, but is still proving to be a prolific presence in MLS with the Galaxy.It has been suggested that another move could soon be made, with Argentine giants Boca Juniors said to be keen, but no indication has been offered by the man himself as to what the next chapter has in store. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Small Ship Cruise Line Continues Strong Growth Seattle, WA, December 3, 2018 — Windstar Cruises is pleased to announce the addition of John Gunner as Vice President of Expansion Projects and Captain Michael B. Ross as Director of Marine & Safety Operations. Both will make important contributions to the award-winning cruise line’s operations as it continues to add new destinations and expand programs, notably the recently announced $250 Million Star Plus Initiative in 2019. Gunner has decades of experience in the cruise industry primarily with Princess Cruises, where he served as Senior Vice President with responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the entire fleet. Ross has 35 years of experience in the maritime industry. Most recently he was Director of Management Systems at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. “Windstar is growing in so many ways; we’re investing $250 Million in our Star Plus Initiative while steadily expanding our global deployment. John and Mike bring a wealth of cruise experience to the operation of our fleet and a commitment to the highest standards for safe operations, while ensuring we do so with a light environmental footprint,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “I am pleased to have them join the team in key management roles that will help Windstar to continue to be the most innovative small ship cruise line.” Gunner’s education in electrical engineering, with a focus on marine electronics and communication led him to positions as an electrical engineer before becoming a sea-going officer aboard P&O Princess Cruises, culminating as Chief Electro Technical Officer. He came ashore as Senior Project Manager for P&O Princess Cruises’ New Build Group, and for 12 years designed and reviewed development of passenger vessels, including five mega-ships. A promotion to Senior Vice President of Technical Operations gave him oversight for all aspects of technical and engineering operations for over a decade. Since 2016, Gunner has served as a technical consultant for Windstar Cruises, reviewing aspects of technical and engineering operations, assessing operations, and overseeing major vessel projects. His Vice President of Expansion Projects role is a new position at Windstar. Ross brings deep and diverse experience spanning a career that encompasses positions on government vessels, Maersk Line Ltd., and Koch Shipping, Inc., before his positions at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line. He holds an Unlimited Masters License and is a seasoned professional in all facets of global operations, fleet and vessel management. Ross places a heavy emphasis on environmental compliance, safety awareness, and emergency preparedness; twice he received commendations for sea rescues. Ross is responsible for developing and implementing policies to ensure Windstar’s fleet operates safely and with a minimum environmental impact, and supports operations to ensure Windstar’s “180º From Ordinary” guest experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science from the Maine Maritime Academy. Windstar has more than 140 team members based in the award-winning line’s Seattle office and employs 1,500 seagoing staff and crew worldwide. To learn more about authentic small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com. About Windstar Cruises Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting approximately 300 ports and 80 countries sailing to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada and New England, South Pacific and Tahiti. Windstar’s fleet is the market leader in small ship cruising and has just embarked on a $250 Million Dollar Star Plus Initiative to enhance its Star-class ships and the onboard guest accommodations and experiences. Calling on hidden harbors, off-the-beaten-path and popular ports, the boutique cruise line carries 148 to 312 passengers on six small ships and takes travelers on cruises that are 180 degrees from ordinary. Windstar is known for immersive experiences and destination authenticity, port-intensive itineraries, exceptional award-winning service, and an innovative culinary program with culinary-themed cruises as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation. Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Travel Collection, an award-winning, globally diversified travel company offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences in some of the most beautiful and iconic places on earth. Follow the Windstar Ships: Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / YouTube / Pinterest / LinkedIn / Instagram / Blog
The Mission Workshop Khyte Sets a New Standard for Messenger Bags $90 from Mr. Porter If you really hate money clips and absolutely need a wallet, we suggest one of these. $90 from Mr. Porter For the Simple Man Hugo Boss Men’s Paperclip Money ClipMaybe one day you picked up a paperclip and thought, “man, I wish I could use this to hold my cash instead of carrying around this stout wallet.” Congrats, now you can. Except Hugo Boss’ money clip is just a rendition of a paperclip’s simplicity, as its made from a sleek silver-toned phosphor bronze that is big enough to hold your cash and your cards without any worry. For the Flexible Man Craighill Square Money Clip in Carbon BlackCraighill’s carbon money clip is a great grab for the flexible man who doesn’t need anything too fancy and is really looking to minimize the weight he carries in a day. Its solid stainless steel construction is covered in a carbon coating that is extremely lightweight yet reliably strong. Editors’ Recommendations 10 Best Beard Balms: The Secret to a Tamed and Tangle-Free Beard Kristin Lee/Getty ImagesThere comes a time when carrying around business cards, important information, and pictures of your loved ones in your wallet begin to create unwanted clutter. Most of that information is digitized and available on your phone, signaling that it may be time for you to think about ditching the wallet for a more sensible option: the money clip.The best money clips are a great upgrade from fat, heavy wallets since they organize everything you need and eliminate everything you don’t. If you’re an old fashioned man who has a wallet you don’t want to give up – by all means, stay with tradition and enjoy your wallet hide. but, you should know, though, that money clips have been around as long as paper money has. Back in the day, all a man needed was a money clip to keep his cash organized, intact, and secure, and now all most people carry is their debit card, their credit card, and maybe a small stash of cash. If you’ve noticed your wallet getting in the way of you sitting down comfortably or you simply don’t feel the need for all that extra junk, our roundup of the best money clips has everything from elegant picks and old school classics to help simplify and minimize your daily baggage.The Best Money Clips for Every Kind of ManFor the Heavy-Duty Man James Purdey & Sons Stainless Steel Money ClipCrafted from durable stainless steel in Italy, James Purdey & Sons’ silver-toned money clip is as tough and simplified as it gets. It comes etched with the brand’s signature and elegant ‘Starbust’ emblem and is housed in a felt-lined box that is perfectly presentable as a gift for your favorite hard-working significant other, father, or friend. For Men Who Need Some Flare Kingsman X Deakin & Francis Rose-Gold Plated Sterling Silver Money ClipAs they say, a Kingsman wouldn’t put a bulky, overstuffed wallet into his freshly-pressed trousers. So why should you? Instead, let this rose gold-plated sterling silver money clip crafted by celebrated jeweler Deakin & Francis decrease your baggage and make you look dignified at the same time. It carries a bit of a price tag, but this clip is durable enough to last for years and beautiful enough to make you want to carry it even if and when wallets come back in style. For the Elegant Man Tom Ford 18-Karat Gold Money ClipIf you’re looking to not only minimize the load in your pocket but also make an impression wherever you are, Tom Ford’s money clip is polished and made in Italy from 18-karat gold and we guarantee it will turn heads at a restaurant, a bar, or even the coffee shop when you’re buying your coworkers some caffeine. It sports a small engraved Tom Ford logo to prove your gracefulness, and it comes in a snazzy presentation box to match the money clips refinement. Yeah, it’s $3,500, but we can dream, can’t we? $118 from Macys.com For the Budgeting Man Mulberry Silver-Tone Money ClipMulberry’s money clip embodies everything you need in a money clip. It’s affordable and durable and boasts a simple elegance that will make you feel proud to pull it out at any establishment. It sports the brand’s logo etched on the back, but most importantly, it is designed specifically to hold your cash and cards without adding extra bulk in your pockets. $51 from Huckberry $3,590 from Mr. Porter $395 from Mr. Porter For the Casual Man Studebaker Bessemer Money ClipStudebaker’s Bessemer money clip is hand-forged and formed with American brass or copper in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, resulting in a rustic, no-frill patina that will evolve with you over time. If you’re looking for an option to declutter your everyday carry items but you don’t want all the glitz and glamor, then this is for you. The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers It’s Time to Ditch Your Sleeping Bag for a Versatile, Lightweight Camping Quilt $48 from Craighill How to Shave With a Straight Razor
JULY 31st, 2019. – Santo Domingo. Palace Resorts, the company that sets the standard in five-star, luxury all-inclusive resort accommodations will be expanding its tourism offering with a new investment set in the Macao zone, in Punta Cana, aiming to expand Moon Palace Punta Cana, by adding an additional 1,200 rooms. Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts made the announcement during a recent visit to the Dominican Republic. Palace Resorts began construction of its new hotel Moon Palace Punta Cana, a 2,150-room hotel; featuring 20 restaurants; 9 Bars; 7 swimming pools; a Water Park; a Greg Norman Eco Signature Design Golf Course; a 75-booth Wellness Spa; a Casino; an 11,000 square meters Convention Center; a food distribution center; as well as a housing community for hotel staff. Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts, stated that the Dominican Republic is a safe tourist destination and that it will continue growing and developing; therefore, Palace Resorts will confidently continue investing in its tourist sector. Said statements were made during a luncheon held with representatives of the private and public sectors. Chapur expressed that he felt no concern whatsoever with regards to the recent safety issues that affected the country, seeing it more as a circumstantial situation, resulting from the high-volume tourist influx that the country has welcomed in recent years. On his behalf, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, ensured that the country has responded to the situations which arose not long ago: “We can feel confident, that as a country, we have undertaken the necessary actions to counteract the recent events, and will always work towards continuing to improve, and especially prevent these situations from ever taking place again”, García expressed. Héctor Inchaustegui and Tania Ramirez of TerraRD Partners, Anyarlene Berges from INICIA, Gabriel Rodriguez, from the Tourism Ministry, among others, also attended the luncheon. About Palace Resorts: With ten oceanfront resorts and views of the breathtaking turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Palace Resorts sets the highest standards for five-stars all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and Jamaica. The brand offers spacious luxury rooms, which are complemented with hydro-massage bathtubs, nighttime entertainment, and exuberant Wellness Centers of the Caribbean, alongside Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses. Palace Resorts sets the foundation for a truly exceptional vacation experience. Its unparalleled service and comfort standards make the brand a world-class leader in vacation resorts. For more information, please visit: www.palaceresorts.com About TerraRD Partners: Terra RD Partners is a real estate asset management and administration firm with operations in the Dominican Republic. We promote investment in urban development, construction of global cities and the rational use of land, while preserving the natural capital and the cultural and historic legacy. We believe in a precise management model comprised of a perfect balance between natural capital, legacy, financial analysis, technology, sustainability and human capital. Terra RD Partners was founded in 2014 with headquarters in Santo Domingo and is co-manager of INICIA’s Terra Dominican Republic Investment Fund. For more information: www.terrardpartners.com.
Written By: Mary Pat Sullivan, Content Director – Travel Weekly Events Travel Weekly and CruiseWorld will be host to the culmination of Carnival Cruise Line’s Why Use A Travel Advisor (WUATA) contest as senior leadership takes to the general session stage to officially crown the Most Trusted Travel Advisor. Carnival’s executive team including President Christine Duffy, Senior Vice President Adolfo Perez and Carnival Brand Ambassador and Senior Cruise Director John Heald will bring their finalists to CruiseWorld and announce their grand prize winner LIVE on the CruiseWorld stage on Wednesday, November 13. Not only will the winning advisor be named Carnival’s “Most Trusted Advisor,” the agent and their client nominator will be awarded a cruise on Mardi Gras — debuting in August 2020 — and roundtrip airfare, and the agent also will receive a $1,000 bonus and the commission from their client’s Mardi Gras cruise. Carnival launched the campaign in May and travel advisors still have time to be part of the contest. To nominate a travel advisor, your clients can visit www.wuatacontest.com and submit a short story on why you deserve the title by recalling a time when you saved the day, made them feel extra special, or went above and beyond the call of duty. The contest is open through October 29, 2019. The three finalists will be selected by a committee of judges including Ann Chamberlin, Senior Vice President, Membership & Strategic Partnerships for American Society of Travel Advisors; Charles Sylvia, Vice President, Membership and Trade Relations, for Cruise Lines International Association; and members of Carnival’s Sales Leadership Team. All three travel advisors will receive an all-expenses paid two-day/one-night trip to CruiseWorld, to be recognized and celebrated in front of an audience of more than 1,000 of their peers and industry professionals. A long-time partner to CruiseWorld, Carnival will be hosting ship inspections and extensive training opportunities as part of the event’s three days of workshops and general session programming. In addition to the excitement around the conclusion of the Carnival WUATA campaign, this year’s general sessions will offer attendees the opportunity to hear from more than 40 industry leaders, including cruise line CEOs, presidents, sales and marketing executives, and more. Travel agency leaders will take the stage to deliver eight-minute TW Talks jam-packed with valuable thought leadership. Representatives in technology will also be there to discuss the changing landscape of the travel industry. Sponsored meals will include presentations with breaking news, innovative technology, entertainment, and other updates from leading brands, including Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Hurtigruten. There will also be two days of ship inspections on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17 in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Travel advisors will have their choice of the following inspections: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sunrise, Celebrity Equinox, Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line Nieuw Statendam, Island Princess, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sky, Regal Princess, Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, and Seabourn Sojourn, which will be available exclusively to participants of the STAR Program. The signature one-day Exhibitor Showcase will be held on Thursday, November 14 with companies representing diverse segments of the travel industry including, airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, host agencies, consortia, and franchises, hotels and resorts, professional services, tour operators and packaged vacations and more. Suppliers interested in joining the Exhibitor Showcase should contact Emmy Morales at email@example.com. Applications are now being accepted for CruiseWorld’s STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program. As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will help fund attendance for approximately 250 of the more than 800 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. The program is structured to provide enhanced event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events. The core component of the STAR Program is a series of collaborative meetings between exhibiting suppliers and pre-qualified, travel advisors committed to business growth. Advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements are detailed on the CruiseWorld website at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star. Traditional registration opportunities are available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Whether attending as a STAR Program participant or a traditional attendee, CruiseWorld’s robust programming provides value for all types of travel advisors, from the home-based professional to the cruise-centered advisors, the seasoned veterans and those new to the industry. Register Today and receive $25 off the current registration price using code HBTA at checkout. For more information on Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld, the ship inspection roster, and the STAR Program, visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.
Why You Should Give White Zinfandel a Chance (Again) Editors’ Recommendations Getting to Know the Lithuanian Beer Scene Health and wellness practitioners have long touted the benefits of drinking kombucha. This fermented tea has grown to prominence as a home-brewed elixir for everything from gut health to enhancing mood. Commercial brewers have caught on, and packaged kombucha can be found at grocery and health food stores from coast to coast.The flavors of kombucha can be extreme. Fans of sour beers may recognize some familiar elements in the drink’s profile like vinegar, a sharp acidity, and association with various tart fruit flavors. To balance the drink, many kombucha makers add in herbs, spices, or juices to enhance the existing flavors or to create their own special blend.Being a fermented drink, the traditional alcohol levels in kombucha are very low. If kept to less than half a percent, it doesn’t count as a federally regulated beverage in the United States. But that absence of booze has left an opportunity for brewers to step in and fill a niche for higher alcohol kombucha. That’s where Boochcraft comes in.Boochcraft makes “hard” kombucha, with each drink in their line hitting the 7% alcohol by volume mark. At the same time, they’ve formulated recipes that are on the mild end of the kombucha spectrum. The smart flavor combinations create refreshing, bright drinks that are approachable and enjoyable. These kombucha varieties are available in cans and on tap just like traditional beer.BoochcraftThe 2019 lineup of Boochcraft offerings include:Grapefruit Hibiscus Heather: Don’t be afraid when this one pours pink — it’s just the hibiscus working its magic. The fermented tea is sweet and rich with notes of cranberry and strawberry along with the expected grapefruit tartness. Ginger Lime Rose Hips: The sting of ginger makes this one reminiscent of home-brewed ginger beer. The lime brings a twist of bitterness and the rose hips help smooth out the rough edges.Orange Pomegranate Beet: New for 2019, the savory and sweet flavors combine as the biting sugar of citrus underlies the fleshy dryness of beets. Lemon Maple Thyme: Another new offering, in which the sharp bitterness of lemon is offset with maple sweetness. The thyme adds a bit of herbal complexity.Boochcraft is available in cans right now up and down the west coast in major grocery and beverage stores. Boochcraft is also available on draft in select markets. Helpful Wine Terminology So You Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking About Getting to Know Rhum Agricole, Rum’s Grassy Sibling The Most Unique Collaboration Beers in the U.S.
$79 from Timbuk2 The Best Men’s Quilted Jackets Stitched for Every Occasion $175 from Huckberry Yes, You Can Wear Boots to the Office: Here are the Best Pairs $89 from Amazon $695 from Nordstrom Filson Dryden Ballistic BriefcaseHunting for a rugged take on the messenger bag? Naturally, Filson has you covered — the abrasion-resistant nylon fabric is tough as nails, and the construction is iconic and instantly recognizable. There’s no finer way to haul your everyday carry for your next outdoor adventure. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger BagMessenger bags, true to form, were originally crafted to be used by on-the-go couriers — Timbuk2 knows this all too well, and the Classic Messenger Bag that it created is perhaps the finest example of that commitment to quality, durability & most importantly, functionality that doesn’t quit. $295 from WP Standard The 12 Best Laptop Bags for Men $370 from Jack + Mulligan Bundle Up Right Now With the Best Sweaters for Men $160 from Amazon Editors’ Recommendations The best messenger bags are more than just a way to schlep your gear from point A to point B — they can act as a major style statement in addition to serving a critical purpose for the guy on the go. Messenger bags, at first, bring to mind just that — fast-paced cyclists zipping through cities — but it’s 2019, and this new crop of messenger bags are designed to carry work essentials and travel gear with ease.WP Standard Vintage Leather Messenger BagThe right way to upgrade your messenger bag? Reaching for a richly crafted leather version that’ll work nicely with business casual ensembles, and cal also be brought along on a weekend retreat upstate. It’s got plenty of room for your laptop as a daily work bag, too. Jack + Mulligan Winston BriefcaseWe mentioned above that it can be tough to find a messenger bag that is sleek and refined, but the Jack + Mulligan Winston Briefcase is one that happens to buck that trend (even if the name happens to be ever-so-slightly different, we’re calling this one a messenger bag through and through). Shinola Slim Navigator Leather Messenger BagThere aren’t many brands that excel at making both stylish, sleek leather watches and corresponding accessories — Shinola is one of the brands that is known for its ability to do both. This messenger bag is premium, refined, and still fit to be taken on any trip you can imagine. A Good Waxed Jacket Is the Best Jacket to Wear This Season
Tattoo Ideas for Men (For When You Have No Idea) All the New Whiskies You Need to Drink This Fall How 2 Brooklynites are Reviving an Iconic Midwestern Supper Club Editors’ Recommendations Don’t quote us on this, but someone famous — perhaps Ben Franklin or Gandhi — once said, “Cheese is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Except for the lactose intolerant and those who hate delicious foods, everyone loves cheese. So, a restaurant that serves a non-stop parade of cheese on a literal conveyor belt seems like something out of the perfect fever dream. And that’s precisely what London’s aptly named Pick & Cheese delivers.Located in the newly opened Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden, Pick & Cheese is like Japan’s conveyor belt sushi joints, only with cheese. Guests belly up to the 130-foot “Cheese Bar” to find an enticing and never-ending parade of cheeses. There are 25 in total, all sourced from local British farms and urban producers. Each serving comes pre-plated with appropriate sides, condiments, small-batch wines, or some combination of the three. It might be the best food-wine pairing tapas idea ever.Founder Matthew Carver was inspired to create the concept by listening to frequent customers in his other famous London-based eateries. He noticed they “always want to pick different cheeses from our house list, and create their own bespoke cheeseboard.” By working with his own chefs and local farms to find out what’s new, exciting, and innovative, they narrow the selection to include something for everyone. “We’ve tried to cater to the more well-known flavor profiles, as well as trying to push people out of their comfort zone to try something new.”Inspired by similar concepts in Japan, the restaurant color codes each dish based on price. The least expensive cream-colored plates start at less than $4 and include a Quicke & Devon cheddar paired with a simple tomato relish and a Stilton from Nottinghamshire that’s backed with a chocolate & oat cookie. Even the blue-cheese-averse will find a blue to appreciate in the Beauvale. The restaurant describes it as “a blue for people who ‘don’t like blue cheese.’”The selection grows more interesting as diners work through the gray, blue, red, and yellow. More adventurous cheese lovers can sample the Baron Bigod (paired with mushroom duxelle) and the Kingham, a new release that Pick & Cheese turns into a sweet & salty pairing by adding a side of walnut fudge. “Off-belt” options are also available, including a four-cheese grilled sandwich and a blue cheese soft-serve dessert with honeycomb, pear coulis, and shaved chocolate.Pick & Cheese is open seven days a week, starting at noon. Most of the seating is walk-in only, and the restaurant warns that there’s almost always a line. Although, like all good things in life, good cheese comes to those who wait. The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About Get to Know Alto Adige, the Northern Italian Wine Region
Lately, thanks to an increase in the number of Muslim workers and visitors from overseas, the number of halal shops and facilities all across Japan has also increased. For example, in 2009 Fukuoka’s first mosque, the Fukuoka Mosque was opened.Today we will be introducing you to Halal Food Marhaba, a halal specialty shop that is located right by the Fukuoka mosque. This shop is not only popular among Muslims, but also among the Japanese and other patrons as well.What is MARHABA? Marhaba is a Halal food shop located in the Higashi ward of Fukuoka city. Although it originally opened as a shop selling halal-certified ingredients, it has been gaining in popularity thanks to the delicious halal certified dishes they have been providing.According to Mr. Jamal, the owner of the shop, he was only cooking for himself one day, but a customer spotted him eating his delicious looking meal and asked if they could try some. In order to fulfill his customer’s requests, he began providing fully cooked meals as well in the shop.A One Man Home Style Restaurant Mr. Jamal has also prepared his own original yogurt sauce to match the biryani; it is made with cucumbers, onions and other fresh ingredients. Mr. Jamal is a very religious man, is also a fluent Japanese speaker and a very friendly guy! Although his wife occasionally helps out in the store, he mostly manages the shop and cooks the food all by himself. This is the chicken biryani (1200 yen). Each portion is generous – 600 grams of Pakistani rice and chicken curry that have been layered together and thoroughly cooked together. The rich flavors of the curry and its spiciness make this dish almost addictive. Another reason for its popularity are the incredibly tender drumsticks that have been slowly cooked hours – they are the perfect match to the flavorful rice.*The type of biryani on offer changes every other week between the chicken biryani (1200 yen) and mutton biryani (1500 yen). They also carry a wide variety of spices and other ingredients. Apparently, some customers end up purchasing the ingredients to prepare the foods for themselves at home after tasting some dishes in the restaurant.Weekend Only! Enjoy the Amazing Biryani With the yogurt sauce, the spiciness of the biryani was reduced, but the freshness and textures of the vegetables grew even stronger. What an amazing dish!As the portion size is quite large, if you can’t finish it all in one sitting, you can take your leftovers home in a doggy-bag, so even those with smaller appetites can still enjoy this dish. You can also order a biryani and curry to share with a friend too if you like. And, for those that come in for lunch, you can also enjoy a cup of chai for free as well (only on Fridays).The Popular DatesSince Marhaba is mainly a food shop, we asked what the most popular product they carry is. On the day we visited, the special dish was one of the most popular at Marhaba, biryani (*1). Initially, this menu was only available on Fridays after prayers, but so many customers requested it that Mr. Jamal was kind enough to make it available from Fridays to Sundays.*1 Biryani: an Indian dish in which rice and curry are layered together and cooked. where rice and curry is layered and cooked.The Best Chicken Biryani Inside the large refrigerator, there are many types of Halal certified meats, such as chicken and mutton to choose from. Originally, he carried it for people in the restaurant industry, but lately casual shoppers come by to purchase after hearing how delicious the meat is. At last, let’s try the dishes everyone has been raving about! Other than the standard menu, there are also daily specials available. Dates are the dried fruits of the date palm. They are very sweet, but naturally so – there are no added sugars or artificial flavorings in these delicious treats. Besides their sweetness they are also full of nutrients and are widely known as an edible beauty and dietary food.In ConclusionOne thing to keep in mind is that the specials of the day are as selected by Mr. Jamal, based on his preferences, so other than for the biryani, there is not a set schedule of when certain dishes will appear. And, these dishes are served on a first come, first serve basis – so once all the portions have been sold, you will just have to wait until the next day or weekend to enjoy this homemade meals. If you know that you will be in the area and want to have a meal here, we advise confirming by phone in advance before heading to the shop.By changing the store to suit his customers’ requests and alternating the menu daily, Marhaba has become a shop that is constantly changing and growing. But perhaps the best point of all has to be Mr. Jamal’s kindness! Next time you visit Fukuoka, please try some authentic halal food at Marhaba.InformationHALAL FOOD MARHABAAddress: 3-10-13-3 Hakomatsu, Higashi ward, Fukuoka city, FukuokaHours: 11:00-21:00Closed: TuesdaysWi-fi: Not availableCredit cards: Not availableOther Languages: Japanese, Urdu, EnglishMenus in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Hakozaki Station, JR Kagoshima HonsenAccess: 5 minute walk from Hakozaki StationPrice Range: Chicken biryani (1200 yen), Mutton biryani (1500 yen)Religious Considerations: IslamPhone Number: 080-3224-9864Facebook：HALALFOOD MARHABA
An example of a western-style lunch box Photo by Ricardo Velasquez An example of a Japanese lunch box Photo by babykinsJapanese bento culture began to spread widely, starting from France and spreading to other European countries and America. This lunch with many small dishes squished into a box became a popular phenomenon all over the world.In Paris, there even is a bistro that provides bento boxes. In bookstores and manga shops of France and America, you can find many recipe books and items used to make bento for sale.So, how did people outside of Japan discover the Japanese bento?The Relationship of Anime, Manga, and BentoIn Japanese anime and manga, there are many scenes with a bento involved in them that often plays an important role in the story.For instance, popular anime such as “Evangelion” and “Spirited Away” along with recent series such as “One Week Friends” all contain a scene with a bento involved.This image is posted with copyright consent. ©colorWhen anime fans outside of Japan saw Shinji making a bento or the scene where Haku received a rice ball from Chihiro, and wondered what they were eating, interest in Japanese cuisine and specifically in bento culture started to grow. Japanese anime and manga were one of the reasons people began to discover the bento, and lately, people outside of Japan have created their own take on bento, making some amazing artistic works of their own.Photo by AikoVenusThe Japanese bento met with the food cultures of other countries and has become an international sensation!Not Just Kawaii! The Tasty Effects of BentoMany people around the world now know that Japanese bento is not just cute but also very delicious. However, the bento is not all about the looks and the taste. It also cuts down the cost of food and is also a way to continue eating a healthy and well-balanced lunch.Also, the moment you open a bento box brings joy and excitement to people of all ages.For those who are working hard at work or at school every day, lunch may be the only time for you to relax and enjoy a meal. Photo by babykinsAside from boxes with insulation functions, the contents of the bento tend to be cold. But having your very own bento with many of your favorite dishes or treats made in cute designs or done to look like anime characters will surely bring warmth to your heart. Why not try making one of your own – you might find it a new hobby of yours! In Japan, a lunch box is referred to as a bento bako.In pop culture, most Western-style lunches usually have a sandwich and apple with other simple, but sumptuous foods included in the meal. However, Japanese bento boxes contain small amounts of various dishes and are arranged colorfully.