Going ahead with the concept of Cultural Identity, I want to keep exploring its limitations and experiences.
I enjoyed working on this project and truly felt a change in my own attitude towards Culture while putting the pieces of the slideshow together.
With such vibrant and diverse cultures around, it’s a wonder how they can intermix and coexist so well and further each other
And yet, within each culture, there’s a different story to hear and enrich your mind with.
A word as simple as it holds tremendous amounts of knowledge and beauty and sometimes pain as well.
I want to hone in on a more concrete thesis but continue to investigate within the spectrum of Cultural Identity.
Everyone has a cultural identity.
What does it mean to you?
Exploring it can give you a sense of belonging and a sense of self.
Culture has an immense impact on people and their shaping from childhood itself. It gives belief, hope and values to hold onto as children grow into teenagers and then adults as they map their way through life.
For my first potential story, I thought of focusing on the culture and experience of an acquaintance who has lived his life in India, Africa and finally pursued his education at Brandeis University. These transitions and his experiences in various living situations are enriched with culture and emotions. As he thrives at Brandeis, he is running for student council and part of BADASS, going forth to put across his perspectives on important and current issues. I would like to explore the plethora of reasons he has for making such choices and the events that brought him here eventually.
Continuing on the cultural theme, I am part of a Bollywood fusion dance club, resident at Brandeis, called Chak De! The group consists of girls and boys from various backgrounds, all of whom have come together to embrace the music and dance of a culture that could vary from theirs. Each of them has their own reasons for choosing to take the bold step to come out and audition for an alien art, and yet as they perform on stage they have their unique emotions. What may not have been their’s as first, can be called their’s now and has eventually come to be a part of them.
As a journalist, i am interested in pursuing stories of international students and their specific experiences as students at Brandeis. An international student myself, i feel each of us has unique experiences to reveal relating to cultural transition, interactions and lifestyle changes. There is a lot to learn from anybody’s story especially to gain understanding and empathy, in a more general domain, to everybody’s life choices. The best way to convey this much needed tolerance and empathy is through media and its many fronts. It’ll enable us to reach the widest audience.
Campus was recently and for the first time struck with thunder due to the horrifying bomb scare. During the first week of orientation for the incoming freshmen, a number of schools and public structures in Waltham were threatened with bombings. At home, back in India, when i was first made aware of the emergency and lockdown taking place in campus along with the numerous security procedures, i was petrified for the students and personnel on campus and what their families must be going through. But despite the cascade of important situations and issues to be dealt with Brandeis provided the students on campus as well as off campus with a strong front, informing everybody continuously about the progress. The students, bonded together, worked to raise each other’s spirits and provide support. As i returned to campus, i could sense the strength Brandeis as a whole, established during those trying hours. Everybody’s favourite freshmen orientation event ‘This Is Our House’ truly took on its meaning with its posters of ‘Love is Love’ all over campus. Fear has a way of bonding people but Brandeis rose above with strength and unity.
Mumbai,India faced a trying time in its own way. The day i was flying out, a thunderstorm, enveloped the city and with incessant rain and heavy lightening the city was engulfed in chaos. Its trains stopped working while people remained stranded inside in the dark, the roads were flooding and the city came to a complete halt. Flights were cancelled and cars were submerged. But the city of Mumbai isn’t a quitter, numerous people came out to help the firemen and policemen to rescue stranded people and animals.They banded together to provide clothing, food and shelter in their own houses to those stranded. Although smaller in its capacity, the Mumbai floods of 29th August mimicked the disastrous Hurricane Harvey, and yet there was the same message to take home from all these incidents. Looking out for each other and the world around us is the only way to recover and move forward and without this sentiment of being selfless, there is no future.