Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chris Brown n drugz n Fly Turban Guyz

So there’s been this thing recently about Chris Brown. Shocker, I know. He dressed up as a terrorist for Halloween.

Sikh and Muslim communities have spoken up about his costume being offensive, and I’m sure non-Sikhs and non-Muslims have as well. My initial thoughts were that yeah, this was a dumb thing for him to do for many reasons, but it would be worse if he and his friends just wore turbans and said they were terrorists. The thing is, they have turbans AND strings of bullets around their bodies. The average Sikh and Muslim do not. But you can’t deny that the head pieces and the kurta pajamas (their clothes) are the focal points of the costumes. Also, a friend of mine pointed out that he’s perpetuating the stereotype of only Middle Easterners being terrorists. Not all terrorist are Middle Eastern. He could have been wearing  a t-shirt and jeans and had a gun and that could still be a terrorist. And then there’s the whole thing that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are very real today and they are responsible for killing many innocent people all over the world, and it’s just offensive to be portraying them for “fun.” There are a lot of reasons this was a dumb thing to do. And celebrities, you know, I don’t care what they do or how they present themselves. But when they have fans, people who I have to go to school with and deal with everyday, who are influenced by their actions, that affects me, and that’s when I care.   And I don’t want to make this all personal or whatever, but I’m a huge fan of Chris Brown. He’s one of my top favorite artists, like of all time. I’ve had dreams where he’s called me up onstage and stuff. Stop that. Stop laughing, I’m being open with you. Okay laugh. You have 30 seconds, go. Okay, are you done? You sure? Okay, good. But this kind of makes me wonder, as I have to wonder about everyone I meet, what would he really think if he sees me? Or sees my brother, or a girl in a hijab? What’s more pressing  is what are his millions of fans now going to think? A lot of the time you hear artists say that they never signed up to be a role model. But when you’re in that position, you sort of have to accept that you are. When you’re famous, you can’t ignore the fact that kids are influenced by you. Your job has a lot of perks, but with them you can’t neglect your influence on your fans. Lil Wayne can rap about doing drugs and stuff, but he can also afford to get help. Kids who listen to him can be influenced to follow his lead, but they can’t always afford to get out of their problems like he can. And in the end, Lil Wayne is sitting in rehab in Malibu while kids lay dead in the street because he told them “cut school, sell crack, sorry I’m just thinking back.”

Huh. We’re talking about drugs all of a sudden. It’s like I can tell that I’m getting off topic but I keep typing anyways and now here we are.

ANYWAYS.

To all y’all celebrities out their who obviously must read my blog, just remember that along with the $398402984 that you make every year, you also make an impact on peoples’ ways of life, whether or not you want to. And to everyone else (you know what? we’re all celebrities) To the celebrities of everyday life, remember that yeah, Chris Brown is an amazing singer and dancer, but at the end of the day, you’re a person just as much as he is. You have your own individual mind with which you can make decisions and judgement calls for yourself, such as the following:

   Turbans

       Terrorists

Infact, I think you could even make the judgement that

Turbans

Confident, brave, (*cough cough* SUPER FINE *cough cough*) fly-guys.

and girls

(This is a tad awkward because I actually know the guy with the black pugh (turban) pictured above…like I went to his wedding. So I guess I can confirm that he is in fact a fly-guy. And if he happens to be reading this…Sat Sri Kal, Uncle…How are you? I hope you’re okay with your picture on my blog…Han ji, okay, chalo teek.)

Have an awesome week! (week and teek just rhymed in my head. because teek was up there in the parenthesis ..and then week..and then…okay, bye)

-M

P.S: There’s this T.I quote from the song Dead and Gone that really sums this post up nicely, but I can’t find a good place to put it in the post. So I’m just going to leave it here and hope that it has the desired effect (Language is used. Reader discretion is advised):

“N****s die everyday, all little bulls**t

Dope money, dice games, ordinary hood s**t

Could this be cuz of hip-hop music

Or did the ones with the good sense not use it?”

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Updates I guess?

I’ve been pretty M.I.A this week, and because of that I’m going to go ahead and make posts weekly instead of daily :/, but hopefully I’ll be able to work back up to it again! Other than that, I want to talk about Israel and Palestine for a quick sec. Since I last talked about it, the situation has escalated quite a bit. And  lot of people in the West have chosen a side to support in the conflict, and most people are expressing their opinions respectfully and calmly, but I’ve seen a few nasty comments, as to be expected. But if we can’t stay calm in the West, how can we expect people in the East who are actually living it to stay calm and come to a solution? Sometimes things get heated, especially with things like this, but cursing people out isn’t going to solve anything, just like the constant rockets and missiles won’t.

Also, I saw a video of Malala Yousafzai in the hospital reading some of her get well cards. She’s expected to make a full recovery, and plans on going back to Pakistan and continuing her campaign for education. And I think the only word that fits here, Arabic-speaking or not, is Mashallah*.

SO! This post was sort of tiny and all over the place, but I’ll be back next Sunday, with a nice, well-planned post. I promise 🙂

-M

*Mā šāʾ Allāh (ما شاء الله) is an Arabic phrase that expresses appreciation, joy, praise or thankfulness for an event or person that was just mentioned.[1]Towards this, it is used as an expression of respect, while at the same time serving as a reminder that all accomplishments are so achieved by the will of Allah. It is generally said upon hearing good news. People may use this phrase to protect themselves from jealousy, catching the evil eye, or jinxing. The phrase is also used frequently by Christians in the Arab World. (Wikipedia)

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Grape Leaves are Delicious Whether You’re Israeli or Palestinian.

*I’m not an expert on the situation in Israel and Palestine, in fact I’ve only just started learning more about it. These are just my initial thoughts on the whole thing, which might change as I learn more about it. In this post I tried my best to not talk about stuff I wasn’t sure enough, but if I do sound like an ignorant buffoon, I apologize. 

So I don’t know a whole lot about the Israel-Palestine Situation. I just started learning more about it recently, and for a while I didn’t get why the U.S is backing Israel. I didn’t think that we needed to choose either side. From what I could gather, it seemed like Israel wanted the same land as Palestine. And the majority of images I saw were of Israeli bombings in Palestine, which began my sympathizing with the latter. But a while ago, during one of the presidential debates, President Obama said something that made me realize why the U.S supports Israel. Basically, Romney had been saying that Obama didn’t visit Israel, and Obama was like actually I did, I just didn’t do fundraisers and stuff, but instead I did something meaningful:

“I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

And then it sort of hit me. During World War II, 6 million Jews were systematically murdered. These people went through hell during the holocaust. After it was over, they were promised this land– compensation? Hardly. But it was something. And that’s why I can see why the U.S and President Obama want to support them.

That being said, Israel and Palestine need to figure it out a different way. They’re on such holy land, and yet people are getting bombed all the time.  I don’t know enough to support one side or the other in this conflict, but it’s really disappointing– watching two sacred sites that are unable to work out a solution with diplomacy and respect for one another. Why can’t we be like those two guys on my Facebook, one Israeli, one Palestinian, and just friend each other:

Hopefully these guys are a sign of things to come. Maybe one day soon, the only thing Israelis and Palestinians will fight over is who grows the best grape leaves or something. Can we just take a moment-

“Bilaal, where did you get those grape leaves?” “At the souq, Ahuva!”

                                                        

Oh– okay and one last thing I don’t understand is the way the land was divided up for Israel:

I get it–population density, etc, etc…but really? This? This. Personally I would have used straight lines but hey, you do you.

Make grape leaves, not war 🙂

-M

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Justin Bieber Ft. One Direction

So okay. The thing about me is…I like Justin Bieber, okay? I like him, his music, the whole enchilada. I also like One Direction.

Come at me. (JK please don’t I’m five feet tall okay thank you)

No, but seriously, I really do. And over the years, you hear all kinds of hate towards the pop, boy band type of musicians. A lot of guys hate on them because they’re “gay” and girls hate on them too, and they’re considered the “cool” girls who “aren’t like the rest.” But whenever I meet a someone who resists the urge to tear apart Justin Bieber or One Direction or whoever, I have respect for that person, because they don’t rely on making someone else look bad to make themself feel good.

The reason I came to like Justin Bieber was because we’ve had similar lives. His parents got divorced when he was little, and so did mine. He has a song about it, and that’s what did me in for him. Check it out HERE. The first time I listened to it I was able to relate to everything he was saying. My mom likes it too, but she can’t listen to it without crying.

I get it—they have crazy fans and a lot of people just like them because of their hair, but don’t hate on someone because of the music they make or like to listen to, because you never know what it means to that person.

-M

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Diwali Ft. Nepaul

Yesterday my mom gave me these two maps. One is of the Indian subcontinent, and it has a bunch of information and illustrations on the back, and the other is a map of India from 1892. It is so crazy awesome. First of all, the county is just shaped different, because it still included present-day Bangladesh and Pakistan. And also, things are spelled differently. Nepal is “Nepaul” and Amritsar is “Umritsar,” just like Jalandhar is “Julunder.”  I’m trying to find out why. I know that Bombay changed to Mumbai and Calcutta changed to Kolkata too. The British spellings on the map sort of look like they’re the pronunciation of the way they’re spelled today. Which kind of makes sense. Whatever you got to do to pronounce desi words, you go ahead, you do it. You got this. Nepaul.

Also, this weekend my grandma was telling me that women aren’t allowed to do kirtan (recite prayer) in Harmander Sahib (the Golden Temple, which is the most iconic Sikh temple ). I don’t. I can’t. I just. What.

I’m kind of at a loss for words here so I think I’ll let Wikipedia handle this one:

“The role of women in Sikhism is outlined in the Sikh scriptures, which state that the Sikh woman is to be regarded as equal to the Sikh man. In Sikhism, women are considered to have the same souls as men and an equal right to grow spiritually. They are allowed to lead religious congregations, take part in the Akhand Path (the continuous recitation of the Holy Scriptures), perform Kirtan (congregational singing of hymns), work as a Granthi, andparticipate in all religious, cultural, social, and secular activities. As such, Sikhism was among the first major world religions to imply that women were equals to men.Guru Nanak proclaimed the equality of men and women, and both he and the gurus that succeded him allowed women to take a full part in all the activities of Sikh worship and practice.”[1]

Well then. The fact that women can’t do kirtan in Harmander Sahib is a blatant contradiction of Sikhism’s teachings. Equality of men and women is so emphasized in Sikhism, and that makes me so proud. I mean, the Gurus would name women as religious leaders. This happening in a Sikh temple in 2012 is embarrassing and shameful, and it doesn’t represent who we are.

On a lighter note, Happy Diwali everyone! Diwali is a Hindu holiday, and coincidentally, a memorable day for Sikhs as well. Oh, and it’s a holiday in Jainism as well. Whew. Okay here we go.

In Hinduism, Diwali actually has a lot of significance, but I think the main reason for it is that it was the day their God Rama returned.

In Sikhism, Diwali falls on the anniversary of the day Guru Hargobind Singh Ji (one of our founders) was released from prison. When he was told he could go, he said he wouldn’t go unless everyone else who was unfairly imprisoned could go too. So they told him however many people could hold onto his shirt could leave. And so Guru Hargobind Singh Ji had a huge shirt made, and 52 imprisoned Hindu kings held onto it as they were freed. (The only reason this section is longer than the others is because I’ve leaned more about it over the years)

In Jainism, the Lord Mahavira attained Moksh, or Nirvana, on Diwali.

If you want to learn more about Diwali, check out the wiki page HERE 🙂

Happy Diwali everybody!

-M

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Now I want a cinnamon roll.

Yesterday was the end of my week of daily posts.

Naturally, I’m pretty sure it was the only day I forgot to post.

But overall, I think I liked writing daily. It made me think more, and I enjoyed it. So I’m thinking last week was like the sample, and now I’m going to start trying out the prototype, in that I’m going to try to keep it up this week. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to be successful in being consistent with it (school, work, etc), but I look forward to trying 🙂 Most of my non-Sunday posts sort of ended up being mini-posts (except when I really got on a roll.

What? No not that kind of roll. But can we just take a minute?  Because that’s a nice roll up there. Go on, look at it. Do it. Look. That’s right…embrace it. This has probably been the worst use of parenthesis in the history of the world.), and I kind of liked that as well.

I hope everybody out there is having a great week so far! Remember–you are an individual, there’s nobody out there that can do it like you.

-M

ELECTION NIGHT YO

Tonight in the U.S, history is being made once again in the presidential election of 2012.

Meanwhile I have an English paper to finish.

BUT my mind has been increasingly focused on the election as the day’s been going on. I’m not of voting age and I don’t have to pay taxes or anything, but I’m a student, a woman, and in a year and a half-ish I’m going to be applying to college, so this election matters to me. A couple of the issues on my mind are:

1) The National Defense Authorization Act- From what I can gather, this act allows the government to hold anyone they suspect of terrorism ( and with no evidence necessary to justify their suspicion) without a trial and for an indefinite amount of time. Now obviously I want the government to seriously crack down on terrorism, but shouldn’t they at least have evidence before they deny someone a trial and hold them indefinitely? Terrorism is a big threat to our freedom and safety, but so is this act.

2) Marriage Equality- I don’t want the constitution to be amended for something like the banning of marriage equality. There’s not threat from gay people getting hitched. And for those who claim it’s against their religion, well it’s against my religion to cut my hair, but that doesn’t mean I want it to be against the law for anyone to cut their hair  Also, if we deny the rights of gay people, that sort of makes them less of people. Think about how that’s going to play into bullying in schools.

 

But you know, no matter who wins, you’ve got to love what’s going on right now: millions of people are voicing their own opinion without fear of persecution. They have a say in their own future and in the future of a country. In some places, this right is a luxury that not everyone has.

Oh, and I finished my English paper 🙂

-M

 

 

Cha cha cha!

India is enormously diverse. Cultures, religions, languages, food, and ways of life differ throughout the country. But there’s one thing I’ve noticed that is common throughout India: Chai.

Okay, maybe we all call it something different, (in Punjabi, it’s “cha”), but the basic concept is the same: milk + spices = heavenly beverage that must be consumed 3089 times per day.

And although we all drink it, different regions make it differently. The coolest variations of cha I’ve seen so far are in Kashmir. They’re famous for Kapha tea, which is really light and is infused with raw spices, like saffron, which Kashmir is famous for. They also have Noon tea. “Noon,” meaning “salt” to Kashmiris, is a salty, buttery tea. I learned about Kashmiri teas from this video about Kashmiri food— check it out HERE.

If you want to make your own cha, all you have to do is fill a cup with some water and milk, put a tea bag in and pop the cup in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Or if you want you can do all this on the stove. Fancy-pants.

So next time you see a desi who’s in a great mood (or, I don’t know, hyper and jittery) you’ll know what put that smile on their face (or those ants in their pants).

Mmmmmm 🙂

-M

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Harmony

I was on Facebook the other day being a productive member of society, and I saw on that new mini-newsfeed thing that two guys I knew became friends. One of them moved here from Israel in second grade, and the other one is Palestinian. Needless to say, I took a screenshot of this beautiful moment:

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Yeah…I had to cover up the names, but trust me, okay? There was some Palestinian-Israeli love going on. Okay, I just wanted to share that.

Oh okay wait, one more thing since I’m sharing screen shots anyways. I was watching a live stream of a Youtuber I watch (any tubians in the house??) and on the side there’s this live feed where people are tweeting things to him, i.e: “SHOUTOUT TO JOEEEEEE!!!!!” or “yousef are u gay,” when I saw this guy request a shoutout that wasn’t for himself. Once again I had to take a screenshot:

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If you have not read A Thousand Splendid Suns, please excuse me for a moment.

OMG. TAREQ. ASKING FOR A SHOUTOUT. FOR LAYLA. WHAT. WHAT?!?!?! IS THIS REAL LIFE.

Thank you.

OKAY. ACTUAL POST TIME.

I’ve never had a haircut before, so when my friend told me that she was going for one this weekend I kind of wanted to go along with her. She has really awesome, daring hair, so I figured it would be entertaining? And it kind of was, but I’m afraid if I start talking about it, this will turn into a post about the history of haircuts in Nepal or something so I’m going to move on.

The friend, let’s call her Jane, is a really awesome gal. She’s a huge advocate for gay rights, and she’s the president of the Teenage Feminist Association at my school. What I really admire about Jane is how she informs herself about issues of substance. She was my first friend that I could really talk about the issues I’m really passionate about with. One thing she admits is that she hasn’t been surrounded by a large variety of different cultures, at least not during the earlier parts of her life. She always makes an effort to learn more about different cultures, including mine, but I think she also worries a little about offending me. Once we were having a sleepover when she referred to a brown lady on T.V as “Muslim.” She wasn’t using “Muslim” as a synonym for terrorist or anything, but she said it as though that was the lady’s ethnicity. The thing is, Islam is a religion, not a race. What she said wasn’t racist at all, but it wasn’t quite accurate. There were a couple of other instances like that where I could tell she was walking on eggshells about things pertaining to different cultures that she wasn’t really sure about. But this weekend after her haircut, we were talking about a friend of ours from Pakistan, and Jane said, almost apologetically, “I never know what to call someone of ____’s ethnicity.” I could tell this was something that had been on her mind for a while, and I was really excited to explain. Guys. I explained Arab countries to her, I went into the Partition of India in 1947, and before you know it she was asking about hijabs and the Guru Granth Sahib and Oak Creek and the Quaran and the Arab Spring. I was in Heaven.

The more people ask questions, the more they learn about others. And the more we learn about each other  the more we realize how similar we really are. Look at Palestine and Israel. Don’t both their religions refer to the Old Testament? Do Christians know that the Arab, often Muslim, name “Ibrahim” is the same as “Abraham,” or that “Yousef” is the same thing as “Joseph?”

I hope Jane keeps asking questions. Living in a post 9/11 world, I get so many more insults than actual educated questions, so when someone asks me a legitimate question it’s like THANK YOU GOD THIS PERSON DID NOT CALL ME A BOMBER. Seriously, don’t be afraid to ask or receive questions. The more we know, the closer we are to peace.

-M

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*Insert word that starts with a “K” but is actually supposed to be spelled with a “C”*

Wassuppp.

So Kim Kardashian turned 32 recently, and it got me thinking about the Kardashians.

Oh the Kardashians.

But okay look. This isn’t going to be one of those. I’m not going to rant about how much I like or hate or love to hate the Kardashians, because I don’t even really know how I feel about them. People are all like “oh they don’t do anything” but it’s like there are people doing worse things in the world than that right now. But then I just keep going in circles, and I don’t really know about how I feel about them as people. But there’s one thing I know for certain. I LOVE their bodies. And not even in a perverted way.

Basically in my lifetime, magazines and stuff have always looked like this: 

There’s nothing wrong with being a skinny gal or guy; people really do come in every shape imaginable. The thing is, I was only seeing one shape. And as I got (and am still getting) older, I never saw people who looked like me. But when the Kardashians came along, not only did they have my skin color and my hair color, but they showed my the beauty in fat. Not “jelly,” not “curves,” but fat: the stuff we need to survive. I have some fat. So do the Kardashians. I don’t just mean they have curves, but they really do have chubby thighs and whatnot. Obviously their boobs and stuff aren’t quiet the average woman’s, but the fact that they have fat is average, at least for me. It’s like, I always see stuff about celebrities being caught with cellulite. And for along time I was like what is that, it sounds scientific. Then I found out it’s the weird pattern your skin makes when you have fat in a certain area. I was like oh, that’s what that is. Huh. I kid you not, I have had cellulite since I was 15. It’s something my body does naturally, and it’s something people get “caught” for? Lol. No matter what you have to say about them, no matter the crazy shenanigans they get into- I have to say it: I’m grateful for the Kardashians, and I’m grateful for their cellulite.

This is the real me. I love my body. You should love yours, too
.-Kimi K.

So boney or bootilicious- you bes be WERKING what you got!

 

-M

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