Today’s ‘Living Naturally’ guest is such a treat for us family! As you know, I’m completely obsessed with freeform locs and our featured guest’s freeforms are to die for! If that isn’t enough to excite you, this is our first international feature here at TGC! Meet model and aspiring actor Rachid (pronounced Rasheed)everybody–originally from Surinam, but currently residing in Amsterdam, Netherlands, he shares his life living naturally with our TGC family and we couldn’t be more excited! As you read the interview you’ll see slight differences in the way we would normally word things, but embrace the culture change. Let’s get into it!
As you may know, we’re an American-based blog, have you ever been to America? If so, when/how was it? “I have been to the States once for a few months back in 2004. I arrived in Boston and stayed in Vermont. This was because I had a childhood friend who moved to the States. I really loved it there, I felt free in the nature. There were rivers where I could swim and cover myself up with mud; the stores were huge; and people had trampolines in their backyards, which I really wasn’t used to! I loved it there and I even developed a slight accent.”
What would you say is the main difference between the Netherlands and America? “As far as I am concerned, there aren’t many differences. The Netherlands doesn’t have any mountains so everything is flat–which can be pretty dull (if that’s the word I’m looking for). There’s not really much left of the traditional ‘”Dutch” culture and in the place where I live (Southeast of Amsterdam) there are people from all over the world.”
Originally from Surinam, how did you end up in the Netherlands? “I was born in Amsterdam, however, my father is a well known artist from Surinam. Back in the days he traveled back and forth to Amsterdam for exhibitions and once while visiting, he met my mother… I think the rest of the story speaks for itself! Hahaha! Anyhow, I don’t feel like a “Surinam-er” at all–I cant speak a word to be honest.”
What do you do you like to do for fun? “I have a great affection for video games (roleplaying in particular), which is not very good for my body, but stimulates my creativity in a million ways. Furthermore, I’m a simple man. I love giving my plants water (I have a chili and lemon tree) and I can’t get enough of animals because they have unconditional love. I feel like I can communicate better with them than with most humans!” What would you consider your artistic outlet? “I come from a family of painters and drawers, but acting is my personal outlet. I have also studied 3 years at the Film Actors Academy of Amsterdam. I consider myself a psychonaut, which in my opinion means i like to toy around with my own consciousness and state of being, seeking experiences–both good and bad.
Who or what do you pull inspiration from? “Jim Carrey. Haha.”
What are your current dreams and aspirations? Have you began chasing any of these? If so, how? “At this moment in life I’m just trying to figure things out… as in the mechanics of the Universe. I got really interested in Sacred Geometry and the perfection through which nature creates itself. I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to be in the next 5 to 10 years from now as there is no film industry in the Netherlands and the only ones being made constantly feature the same actors. Also, I’m not putting enough effort into this to make it work at this point, however, I feel that the directors and producers of my generation are going to bring change to this. For now, all I know is that I can enjoy and learn from each day that life gives to me.”
At 22 years old, do you feel like you’ve figured out any part of “real life”? If so, please share it with us. If not, is there anything you’re struggling with in “real life” at 22 years old? “Yes definitely! As for right now, I am working as a promotional model which requires you to work structured, organized, and independently which is a good lesson for me. I do not have many struggles for the most part of my life, things have always come to me naturally.”How long have you been growing your locs? “2 years! So I’m still a ‘loc rookie’, I guess?”
Do you have a special hair care regimen? “Not really; I massage my scalp when I’m shampooing in the shower. I shake it out and I go.”
How are your locs accepted in Amsterdam? Does it affect your daily life at all? “Well, in the part of Amsterdam where I live, people tend to have problems with their natural afro hair. Meaning most of the people either wear wigs or straighten it out. Those people also give me some gossipy looks, so it does affect my daily life. However, my hair gets me a lot of work as a promotional model and it makes me stand out from all the other brown models who have a buzzcut. Haha!”
What does being natural mean to you? “…to let nature unfold and create itself as it’s supposed to. I believe hair is an extension of the nerve system, conducting energy on places where it’s needed most.”
Was there any particular motivation behind freeforming your locs? “I looked at old pictures of Lenny Kravitz and was like.. ‘Oh THAT hairstyle is awesome!… I want it’. So, I stopped cutting and combing my hair and after a short while, it already started teaching me things going beyond ‘just a hairstyle’.”
Wasn’t that such a treat readers! I love Rachid’s take on natural life. You can clearly see that ‘Living Naturally’ is a lot more than wearing his hair in it’s natural state. I love that he is so connected and rooted to the natural things in life like plants and animals.