New book: Money Matters!

Growing Up Powerful: Ep 11. March Moveness

While Jestine participates in a dance-a-thon, Asha takes a trip around the world where we get to hear about cultures and community traditions that shape and inspire us.

This is episode 11 of our Growing Up Powerful miniseries! These are stories about dealing with big feelings, growing up, and connecting to the world around you. And just so you know, some of these themes may be mature for our younger Rebels. We encourage listening with your grown up.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book Rebel Girls: Growing Up Powerful. This series was produced by Joy Smith, Deborah Goldstein, and Haley Dapkus, with sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact-checking by Joe Rhatigan and sensitivity read by Schuyler Swenson. Narration by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha and Imani Parks as Jestine. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. Our executive producers were Joy Smith and Jes Wolfe. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!


ASHA: Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls!
I’m Asha. And I’m looking for…

(some fun ambient disco tunes underneath)

ASHA: Jestine!


ASHA: Where’ve you been? I’ve been looking all over for you!

JESTINE: Oh I’m sorry! I forgot to tell you…It’s March Moveness.

ASHA: March What-ness?

JESTINE: It’s this thing we do with our neighbors every year on the first of March. I don’t even know how it started, but this whole group gets together and does a dance-a thon. I’ve been dancing for the past two hours!

ASHA: Two hours??!

JESTINE: Yeah. Only ten more to go!

ASHA: Really?

JESTINE: It’s fun! Some people get sponsors and donate to women-owned businesses. It’s all to celebrate Women’s History Month.

ASHA: Oh wow, that’s so cool.

JESTINE: Yeah. It’s this really fun community event. Oh my goodness I love this song! C’mon, start dancing!

ASHA: Well, I wanna join you. But we also said we’d do a Rebel Roundtable with people from different communities all over the world.

JESTINE: What? I can’t hear you over the drums!

Music continues in the background

ASHA: Listen Rebels, while Jestine’s getting her groove on, let’s check in with some of our rebel correspondents who celebrate their communities in different ways, shall we?

Transition music

ASHA: First, we’re talking to Montse from Aguascalientes in Mexico. Hi Montse! What are your favorite traditions or cultures in your community?

Satellite or phone sound

MONTSE: So here in Aguascalientes we have a very special celebration called the day of the dead. We celebrate on the first and the second of november every year…we celebrate our loved ones who have passed. So, …we print out pictures of those loved ones who we’ve lost, we put out things or objects that remind us of them and we put them in an altar…It looks like a stairway…with seven steps. And when you get to the last step you have a picture of your loved one that has passed away…we are celebrating this person….and we get together and eat the food that they liked the most…we might bring videos or photos to just talk about them…and feel happy that they were part of our lives.

ASHA: Oh I love that.

MONTSE: And we have special candles and flowers that are very bright yellow…You take off all of the petals and you make a walkway going to these steps. So it’s kind of like this invitation to your loved ones who’ve passed away to follow that road to find their altar and be remembered as they walk through those steps and then they see their pictures.

ASHA: That is beautiful. Thank you so much, Montse.

MONTSE: Of course! Adios!

Another satellite or phone sound

ASHA: Hi Gabriella!

GABRIELLA: (Queens accent) Hi!

ASHA: You have a great tradition in your community, don’t you?

GABRIELLA: Well, yes. It takes a lot of work, but it is fun. So, I was born in Pioppo, Italy, but we moved to New York City when I was 4. So now, we live in Queens, near my aunts and uncles and cousins. And every year, we do this thing called making the sauce. So, when the tomatoes are ripe, my father buys a TON of them. Then, we boil them for days. The whole place smells like tomatoes!

ASHA: Eeesh.

GABRIELLA: Yeah. The hardest part is peeling them all. Then we put them in this giant masher and mash them up so all the seeds get separated out. Then we have to boil them some more. And sterilize the jars. The whole thing takes about a week. But then, my cousins and I laugh a lot. And when we’re all done, we have enough jars of sauce to last for the whole year!

ASHA: Whoa. That sounds really fun. And smelly. But mostly fun.


ASHA: Thank you so much!


Another satellite or phone sound

ASHA: Hi Jenny!

JENNY: (American accent) Hello hello!

ASHA: Can you tell us where you’re from and your favorite community tradition?

JENNY: Sure! So, I’m from Maplewood, New Jersey. And I LOVE Pride Fest. In my town, we have this huge festival to celebrate Pride and LGBTQIA+ rights. And, it’s just so much fun. I mean, really the whole month of June there are special events. And then the festival itself is full of music and bouncy houses, there’s Drag Queen Story Hour and everyone dresses up or has a picnic outside. Last year I dressed up like a mermaid and we stayed in the park until almost midnight!

ASHA: Oh my goodness. Can I come next year?

JENNY: Please!

ASHA: Okay, thank you so much!

Another satellite or phone sound

ASHA: Ritu! Hi, is that you?

RITU: Yes, yes, hello!

ASHA: You’re going to tell us about another awesome festival, right?

RITU: Yes, I live in Chennai, South India…and one of my favorite festivals is Holi, the festival of color. We throw colored powder or water balloons on people.

ASHA: Agh! Really?

RITU: Yeah, it’s very fun. The Holi festival is all about celebrating community. You can throw colorful things on unsuspecting neighbors, friends, family. I especially love to color people who forget that it’s Holi and are wearing nice clothes that day. (laugh) But it’s all for fun. It’s like everyone gets to be friends on Holi.

ASHA: That sounds awesome. Thank you Ritu!

RITU: Thank YOU!

Another satellite or phone sound

ASHA: Hi Paula.

PAULA: Hi hi!

ASHA: You live near the water, is that right?

PAULA: Oooh yes! I live in Barra da Lagoa in Brazil. And my favorite tradition is on New Year’s eve, we wait until midnight and then we jump in the ocean 7 times.

ASHA: Seven?!

PAULA: It’s supposed to bring good luck, and you get to make wishes for the rest of the year. I love it because it’s like you’re washing away all the things from the past and starting fresh in the new year.

ASHA: Oh my goodness. That’s the coolest. I totally want to jump in the ocean seven times!

(back to fun ambient disco tunes underneath)

ASHA: How’s it going Jestine? Still dancing?

JESTINE: Oh yeah!

ASHA: Wow. That’s very impressive.

JESTINE: You gonna join me?

ASHA: Sure! And I’m also going to build an altar of stairs, boil tomatoes for a week, dress up like a mermaid and throw water balloons while jumping in the ocean for good luck.


ASHA: I have so much to tell you. And the best part is, each community does it together. We can make up our own traditions.

JESTINE: Totally. Should we start a tradition where we nap every sunday?

ASHA: Sure! Or maybe get a group together to go roller skating the first day of summer vacation?

JESTINE: I like where this is going. The Righteous Roller Derby.

ASHA: The Rebel Roller Derby?

JESTINE: Okay. I see what you did! Aaaah! Five more hours to go!


This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls.

This episode was narrated by ME! Imani Parks as Jestine, and Margaret Ying Drake as Asha. It was produced and directed by Joy Smith, with Deborah Goldstein and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written by and edited by Abby Sher. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and Sensitivity Read by Schuyler Sweson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.

Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi.

A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible!

Until next time, staaaay rebel!

If you like what you heard here and want to learn more, check out the newest book from Rebel Girls! Growing Up Powerful: A Guide to keeping confident when your body is changing, your mind is racing, and the world is…complicated. With stories from rebels all over the world and guidance from some brilliant experts, this book is our newest bff. Order your copy of Growing up Powerful today on Amazon or anywhere you purchase books!