For more than 6 years, Megs (creator & founder) has been hosting some version of Cultures Capsules at her home, and also helping friends host in their own homes. From early on, she started sharing them online as the easiest way to share the recipes and playlists, and soon realized she had a collection of multi-media, multi-sensory cultural portraits of people, families, traditions or even a place.
Megs’ friends and family were happy to have their stories wrapped up into a cultural time capsule, and she loved that collecting them online in this way allowed people anywhere in the globe to try out that immersive, multi-sensory cultural experience on their own, by pressing play on that playlist or video, cooking that same food, and hearing or seeing the related stories.
The format of Cultures Capsules allows us to express our uniqueness according to the elements of food, music and stories. When we think about these elements being common to humans around the globe, we realize they can be a connection point between people as well. Recognizing this benefit of this format and having created this online platform, she then also began reaching out to people in the public eye, offering them a chance to tell their story here (see Jala Soufi’s Syrian brunch tradition at their home in Toronto, or highlighting various Ramadan and Eid traditions as they have evolved in Brooklyn).
We think this format challenges us to explore the boundaries of label-based identity; empowering us to embrace our uniqueness and authenticity based on things that reflect our experiences and humanity, which may or may not align with our DNA, geography, etc.. In a time when we all could do well to be open to the beauty of various ways of being in the world, this project helps us do that, even if in a small way.
Hi! I go by Megs, Margaret or Meghna.
I like to get to know people through tasting their food, hearing their music on stage or speakers, and listening to their stories. I also love to cook the food from around the globe, experience all sorts of music, and write my own stories in the forms of poems and songs.
Cultures Capsules melds these loves – food+music+stories – into multi-media portraiture in the form of multi-sensory cultural experiences.
Cultures Capsules is an avocation. It’s my way way of being in the world, and I can’t not do it. But when captured in this easily shareable way, it also becomes my offering to the world, and hopefully makes a small positive impact to the world we are leaving our children.
So who am I? Well, just as I go by many names, I wear many hats. Astute readers will see the parallel to the Cultures Capsule theme here: I don’t like to be boxed in. A renaissance woman with many interests and skills, I’ve held many jobs. From global innovation and strategy work, to writing the curriculum for a new high school course I’d then teach; from making one cohesive team out of people sitting all over the globe, to creating marketing materials for a family business while simultaneously taking care of customers, making things, organizing data and connecting people have often been core to the roles.
Once I left the corporate world to realize my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom, I was able to apply these skills to the aforementioned loves & skills, and this is when Cultures Capsules – my third child – was born.
Along with my husband and two children who are also avid participants in my Cultures Capsules project, I am local in Brooklyn, New York; Plymouth, Massachusetts and Hyderabad, India.