Happiness

What do you think brings us happiness? Money? Fame? Power? No, I think what truly brings us happiness is our happiness of friendship and memory. In the future when I am in my hospital bed, waiting for my time to end, I’ll look back into my childhood life and remember the fun times and the sad times we had together, all the faces of my class of 2018 and all the people who have stayed with me during the past 12 years in ICS. I will definitely miss this big family of the class of 2018.

As my favorite movie says, “When you look into your past, there are sad memories, frustrating memories, and annoying memories, but when everyone talks about their past, they always smile in the end.” Just like this, I want us to take all the memories we had even if they were sad or frustrating to you because, in the end, we will all have a good laugh about it and remember all these good time we had together.

When you spend more than half of your life somewhere, you can definitely call it your home, and to me, ICS was my home and my classmates are my family. We are separating right now to different places to do different things, but this friendly and loving class of 2018 will always have a place in my heart. I love every single one of you guys even if I don’t look like it 🙂 I hope that we can one day meet again as this big family and just talk about how life was and have fun again. Good luck to everyone, I love you guys :DD

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Damage and Healing

Cry, the Beloved Country is a realistic novel written by Alan Paton, this book shows us Africa during the time of the apartheid and how the African people were treated and how they have made some decisions that weren’t so wise. From my personal viewpoint, the book really empathized how unequal the people were treated because of their color and race. The non-Europeans had to sit in another train because of racism and they were not treated fairly as well because of their color. Paton does a marvelous job in showing how unequal the people were treated, but the discriminated people felt so used to it, that they didn’t know what was truly wrong. In his book, Paton showed that understanding and forgiveness was the way for them to solve this conflict because revenge will only on more revenge and hatred.

An internal conflict I clearly saw was that the people had to deceive themselves in order to make money and get something to eat. For example, Gertrude, Kumalo’s sister didn’t want to choose her life as she is right now, but it was the only choice she had in order to get something to eat and live on. She later told her true feelings to her brother and repented on what she had done, and in the end, Kumalo prayed with her and took her back in. Just like this, a lot of people would’ve chosen what they didn’t want, but the only choice they had to survive. They had to throw away their family, religion, and morals and that was the biggest internal conflict I saw in the book when I was reading it.

I think that in order to prevent these cruel happenings, we need to have better education for the people and teach them not one is above any other, but instead we need to work together in order to achieve a higher goal together. Because we are old and wise, we have to pass on what we have learned to our descendants so that they will not follow the same mistakes that we or our ancestors have made before.

Otherness

According to Dr. Zevellos, otherness could happen anywhere within our society, in that being in school, in public, or even within a region of an area. Otherness is defined as the act the majority takes on the minority in order to create separation within the groups. This form of discrimination is very well seen in our own lives and within the book, “Cry, The Beloved Country”.

Otherness is very well seen inside the Thai society, when I first came to Thailand, the people would call us a foreigner and I was shocked about how they took extra fees from us just because we were not Thai citizens. We were categorized as the “Non-Thais” and were treated in a different way from how they would treat the other people normally. This could be seen in both a good and a bad way, but at first, it was a little upsetting how they would discriminate us and try to take advantage of that.

We could see a very similar example within the book, “Cry, The Beloved Country”, Kumalo, the protagonist of this story needed to go to another town, so he had to board a train, but when he got inside he just naturally “climbed into the carriage for non-Europeans,” (Paton 43). In this situation, Kumalo and the other passengers were categorized as “non-Europeans” and were treated differently from how they should’ve been treated. But this to him was so natural that he didn’t know what was the wrong thing happening in their own country.

Just like this othering can take form in the simplest way possible and we call it in a different way, called ‘racism’. I think that this is very wrong to discriminate people just because they are not the same as them, especially when they try to take advantage of their race and gain profit out of them. I really hope that the world becomes a better place where there is no racism and discrimination because we are different.

How To Write about USA

The USA, the land of freedom where the white people are all rich and the blacks are always causing troubles and stealing inside the country. All of these people hate the Mexicans who always cross the border to take jobs and resources out of their own country. The people in the US all are big and fat, from eating all those greasy junk food and the cops too are fat from their coffees and donuts. This land of obesity has the craziest people who party all night and day, and they change their girlfriends or boyfriends every month. This country has the white people to earn their money and has the blacks to make troubles or to play basketball in their NBA. Every white is racist and the blacks and whites hate each other because of their past in slavery. Just like this, the US is a country filled with unfair richness and discrimination against other races other than the whites.

Che’s Call to Action

Che Guevara was a great man who would experience the people’s hardships and bring change into action in order for everyone to be happy. There are a lot of people who would just talk about how unfair the world is and how people are going through hard times and we should be thankful of what we have, but these people never experienced their pains and their hardships too, meaning that even if they try to sympathize with the discriminated people, they won’t be able to fully understand them if they don’t approach and try to interact with them.

I think that this was what Che was talking about when he said that we need to “‘Go and find out’ the realities and needs of those who are most underserved and marginalized in your own society”. We can think and talk all we want to about how we feel for these people and how they are treated unfairly, but we don’t have the exact feelings they have and what they actually need. So in order to truly help out the people who need our help, we need to actually go into their lives like Che did and just try to interact and figure things out that would benefit the whole society.

Being a Responsible Tourist

Being a responsible tourist is a very important aspect to have, I define being a responsible tourist as someone who is respectful of that culture and also has an open-minded and a positive attitude towards their morals and their way of living. I had a personal experience here in Thailand where a group of Chinese people would come as a tour group to the place my family decided to go to as our family vacation. These Chinese people used the same hotel as us and were very loud, disturbing not only our sleep but being disrespectful to the staff as well. In my lifetime, I tried to follow the Buddhist way whenever I would go to a sacred place that the Thai people will consider as holy, I also paid my respects even though I might’ve been a Christian too.

Different Sides of Seoul

Seoul is a unique place where different culture and people coexist all in harmony. Different people do different things inside this one little city and people all have their own reasons to live on with their lives.

Seoul could be seen as a busy city where everyone is working hard to get to their work, or to go to school. The public transportations such as the subways and the bus are always full on the morning of weekdays, and people are always walking or driving their way to their designated spot. Korean people are known to be impatient and they need to get things down fast, so the mornings are always busy and we can see the people running around and being as fast as they can.

During the afternoon, you will be surprised to how peaceful Seoul could be. The mothers would bring their little children along to take them to parks, and to just take them out for a walk to the mart. Old graduated men and women will come out to stroll around or to go to the internet cafe, and people who have no jobs and got nothing to do will come out to just relax and take in the moment for a while. It seems as if the busy mornings in Seoul never happened before.

When everyone is finished with their job and the enjoyable weekends are coming up, Seoul becomes the most craziest place you could see. People would come out late at night to go play in clubs and just to hang out with friends. The streets of Hongdae becomes crowded with people who wants to enjoy their night out and relieve all the stress from their week.

Seoul could be seen in many different ways and the way I see Seoul could be very different from how other people see it. Seoul is a very busy place, but even inside the busyness I was able to see the peace and harmony located inside this small city. Some aspects show how busy people are and some show how peaceful it could be, but always in the end, everyone enjoys their life in Seoul and try to make the most out of their time.

Indian Short Story

I read the story, Deliverance, by Munshi Premchand. This story was about how a chamar named Dukhia wanted to get a blessed day for his daughter’s wedding, but worked too hard and eventually killed himself. There was a brahmin named Panditji, who was a very religious and holy man and Dukhia respected him. So he went to get the blessing for his daughter’s wedding, but Panditji said that if he works for him in the morning, they would go together in the evening. So Dukhia did as he was told, he plastered the house with dung, brought the straws to the farm and to the cows, and tried to chop up the wood as told. He wasn’t able to chop up the wood so he would work through the whole day, but it would still not cut through. The Brahmins wouldn’t let him rest and didn’t give anything to eat,  and forced Dukhia to work. Dukhia then fell and died on that spot and all his fellow chamars would come to mourn for him but no one would touch him because they were afraid of the police. So in the end, to avoid conflict Panditji tied a rope around Dukhia and threw him out of town. Then the vultures and dogs came to eat Dukhia’s body.

  • Plastering the house with cow dung
    • Cows are considered very holy in Indian culture and their urine and dung are considered holy too. By plastering it on their house, it is like an act to cleanse their house of their wrongdoing and the recent research says that this act kills bacteria and promotes a healthier life.
  • Chamar and Brahmins
    • Chamars are also known as the untouchables which are located outside of the caste system. They would not be respected and needed to work a lot. Brahmins, on the other hand, are priests and teachers who are very highly respected. Someone from another occupation could become a Brahmin and they would live in temples and learn about the word of God.
  • Sprinkling Ganges river water
    • The Ganges river is considered very holy and could purify people. The Ganges river when it comes to spring will overflow from the snow that melted from the Himalayas and brings life to trees and organisms. So sprinkling this water purifies the house of their sin for a temporary time and helps people become more holy.

From this story, I felt really mad about the caste system as a whole and thought it was very stupid. Dukhia had so little self-esteem because he was one of the untouchables, and he also wasn’t treated properly like he was supposed to. Even after his death, he was left outside of town to be eaten by dogs and the vultures and that was considered his deliverance from his life. If we are to join in this culture, we would have a very hard time because we live together in harmony even though we might have different classes, but the Indian society separates the people by their caste system and discriminates the lower ranking people. I think that this is purely wrong and they should fix this act as fast as they can.

Social Issue in No Way Out

In no way out, we were able to see the many social issues inside Thailand. One of the most intriguing social issue for me was the sex trafficking industry that was located inside of Thailand. Especially the video that the group that presented about this topic hit my head hard. I thought that girls were usually the victims of this issue, but what really shocked me was the fact that old men would look for young boys instead of girls.

All these innocent kids were not forced to join this industry by other people, but they were forced by their class in society. A lot of kids would come into this industry because they would need money and just shelter to rest on. I was most shocked about this issue because Thailand was one of the most recognized about this issue, but they are so open to it now that they would willingly go into this society.

Karma

Karma has always been in our lives, Karma according to dictionary.com, is called fate or destiny according to your actions, both good and bad. In the beginning of my life, I was raised to act respectfully to elders, be kind to everyone I see, and to do my best in everything. I didn’t know that what I was told was actually related to Karma in general, I just thought that it was right to do what I did.

Why would my parents teach me to act in certain ways and to just be kind to almost everything? When I learned about Karma in middle school, I was able to know why they would teach me things like that. If I act in a kind way, most people will treat me the same way, and if I act respectfully, I will get a better reputation and get some support from other people too. It also teaches in the bible, to act to your neighbors how you want to be treated. I think Karma is mostly related to how people want to be assured that they would get good things back if they would act kindly to others too.

Karma can be such a good thing and a bad thing according to the situation, and also can be affected by people. If someone believes in Karma, I think they would act in a more reasonable way that would make others happy, but even if they believe in Karma, they might not care about things because of arrogance. Karma could work on people if only the person is able to change.