October 2021: The Culture Issue

Page 1




culture $%%&#

02 | table of contents




Masaki Masters Languages Looking Into Language Excelling In ESOL

5 6-7 8-9

,)('*-"./,0 Aspects Of Culture



./'!' Smells Like Suburban Spirit




Tradition Or Imitation Cultural Cuisine This is Grisham Ravindranath Add A Little Spice


How Cultural Chasms Form Losing St. Louis Two Worlds Divided

14 15 16-17 18 19 20-21 22-23


Worldwide Wardrobe Dress To Impress Outfit Of The Day

24-25 26 27


Sounds Of St. Louis Fanbase Faceoff

28-29 30-31


Ladue Through The Years A Century Of Staples Maturing With The Mitzvah

32 33 34-35


Editorial: Pano Perspective Forcing A Fusion: Diverse or Coerced? Accept The Exception A Bid For Bidets

36 37 38 39

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table of contents | 03





Domenic Fenoglio


Avery Anderson


Pranavi Chintha


Sophia Liu Marissa Mathieson


Rhea Patney







Clayton Coughln




Lucy Lochmoeller










",,$-*"+('()*+$%, Oviya Srihari

"%+'()*+$% Danielle Zhang

!.$+$'()*+$% Ginger!Schulte

/$$)'()*+$% Joanne!Sung

+%")*+*$#'()*+$% Olivia!Hu

$!*#*$#,'()*+$% Allen!You


+%")*+*$#',+"// Sophia!Hillman

Erica!Shi Scarlette!Maier







What is culture? Because it is such an abstract concept, it cannot be boiled down to a definition or set of guidlines; it varies from person to person, from student to student. In this specialty issue, we examine the different aspects that make up Ladue students’ cultures. Therefore, we chose to change our sections to better accommodate these representations. Each section contains different types of stories centered around a specific topic related to culture. Throughout this issue, you will find features on students’ lunches, travels and outfits of the day, as well as news stories about the history of St. Louis music and Ladue traditions. In addition, inside are opinions articles challenging current views on identity and even the bathroom experience. Finally, you may notice than in addition to the new sections related to culture, we have added a photo and infographic section. We made this decision because writing is not the only medium in which culture and news itself can be expressed. While we consistently use both photos and infographics throughout our sections, we wanted to dedicate four pages to focusing on these methods of storytelling. For our in-depth this month, we chose to focus on an attack on culture, represented in our city by gentrification and divi-

Marissa Mathieson

Rhea Patney

Sophia Liu

Domenic Fenoglio

sions between class and race. Forcing communities to move erases not only their homes, but the way of living they had become accustomed to. We feel that shedding light on this issue is only the first step in working to mend generations of inequity, but an important first step it is. As Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451,” said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

04 | table of contents



Panorama is a monthly newspaper that strives to inform and entertain students, staff and community members and to uphold professional standards of accuracy and fairness. The publication hopes to engage the student body by eliciting dialogue among students. It aims to reflect the diversity of the population it serves and to observe the journalistic principle of doing no harm. Panorama is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Educators Association.

)11-. Virginia & Steve Lochmoeller The Schulte Family

(",-.'/(-. The Arun Family The Coates Family The Coughlin Family Allison Hawk The Leidenfrost Family Heidi Long, Realtor The Patney Family

All surveys are completely anonymous and the results cannot be used against respondents. Panorama is produced by the newspaper class of Ladue Horton Watkins High School at 1201 S. Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124. The publication lab is located in room 1311, (314)-993-6447 ext. 5844. Read more stories online at laduepublications.com. Follow @laduepublications on Instagram. Front cover photo by Sophia Liu. Front and back cover design by Sophia Liu. Back cover art by Sophia Liu. EIC photo by Danielle Zhang.


The Mathew Family Michael McAvoy

The Stappenback Family

The Mulligan Family


Southern Lochmoeller Team

Patrick Anderson

The Weller Family


1)(2.% Janet & Phil Anderson Lindsey Anderson The Arnold Family Mary Jane Bahr The Biernacki Family

The Brouster Family Nancy Beals Breternitz Family Holly & Steve Brewer Chintha Family The Cox Family Andrew Crump Dalton Family

STL Med Law, LLC

The Cobaugh Family


Amy and Jackson DiBlasi

The Fox Family

Jeremy B.

The Hawkins Family

Friess Family

The Chang Family

The Jurgiel Family

Carolyn Gallemore

The Cohen Family

The Li Family

Jeanette Dawn

The Luckett Family

Jen and Jim Goodman

The Davis Family

Molly Roberts and Family

Beth & Tim Gunter The Jansen Family

Liz, Tom & Abby Rea

Manareldeen Fajors The Flieshers

Anne Hillman Stuart Hillman Duffy Hofer

The Jiang Family Stephanie and Gregg Kinney The Kipnis Family Wanda Laks Mike & Lynne Lippmann The Liu Family Mimi’s Aunt The Moore Family The Myers Family The Neuman-Howe Family The Ning Family The Ravindranath Family The Sakshi Family The Sakurai-Kearns Family Heather & Kevin Schoelmann Ana Dariq Serban Emmi Walker Family The Walton Family The You Family

language | 05



Junior Sela Masaki teaches themself multiple languages


atercolor pictures of goblins with long noses and tiny warriors and beautiful princesses with their flowing kimonos danced around the pages of the big red book junior Sela Masaki read every night as a child. Their interest in language and culture began with characters from Japanese fairy tales. Throughout their 16 years, Masaki has taught themself four languages — Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese and Mandarin. They have created their own process, starting with learning the alphabet and ending with sentence structure and grammar to teach themself multiple different languages at once. They have taught themself how to read all three alphabets of Japanese and how to read both Korean and Hebrew. Masaki’s father, Stephen Masaki, was born in Japan and lived there through the age of 13. Since he lived there for so long, he is completely fluent in Japanese. “In any language there are always some words or phrases that have a unique meaning to it that can’t be translated into another language,” Stephen said. “It is a very nice feeling to know that [they] understand what that phrase or word means.” Sela’s lightbulb moment for their love of language was talking to their

*!'&+*$Steps$ ,-)$*.!!/0 Sela Masaki reveals their process for learning a new language

dad in Japanese. Japanese has become a secret code between Sela and Stephen. “When I ask him a question and he does respond in Japanese, it feels like we are having a real conversation,” Sela said. “That is super cool to me.” Sela’s passion for language stemmed from a very young age, and the motivation to stay on top of learning and maintain their passion for language through different lenses has persisted even through high school. Sela practices by watching a variety of videos every day to maintain their skills and devotion to language. “I think [learning languages] is super inspiring, and it makes me also want to continue down that path of learning languages,” close friend and junior Aditi Navjith said. “It is super cool that they find so much interest in it because sometimes I wish I had that motivation.” In middle school, Sela’s dream job was to be a translator for the United Nations. Now in high school, their love of language continues to be an integral point in how they wish to proceed with their career. They want to go into translating and interpreting studies when they enter college and other higher education. “My dream job is to be an interpreter or a translator, whether it’s translating books or other written material,” Sela said. “What I would really love to do is 1. Learn the Alphabet

'"()*")+&'%#Four languages Sela is currently learning

hebrew spanish

be a translator for a person or team.” Language has the ability to unify people together. Close friends can connect on a stronger level through common interests like language. Both Navjith and Sela know what that’s like. They are both inspired by language and use language as a tool to help connect them to their heritage. “Sela and I share that common interest of language,” Navjith said. “When I moved here I had been fluent in four languages, and they also had a huge interest in languages. It is something we could really bond over being connected to our cultures.” P

3. Conjugations

2. Basic Vocabulary (colors/numbers/etc.)



5. Repeat

4. Listening Comprehension

illustration by | MIKA KIPNIS


language staff

06 | language



Pano explores the languages of the world !"#$%"$&'()*( !)'+(-#(Translation The following words are not found +,&(World in the English language The top 10 most spoken first languages

Mandarin Chinese 921 million

Shemomedjamo: finishing your entire meal despite the fact that you feel full (from Georgian) Pana po’o: scratching your head in an effort to locate a missing object (from Hawaiian)


&#$!-', Evolution

Hindi 342 million Portugese 232 million Bengali 229 million Japanese 126 million Marathi 83 million

Charting the change of the English language throughout history


sources: ethnologue, tedEd, education first, openlearn, insider, britannica

370 million

Cantonese 85 million

Ya’aburnee: the hope that you will die before another person because the thought of living without them is unbearable (from Arabic) Mamihlapinatapei: the look that two people share who like each other but are too hesitant to act on their feelings (from Yagan)

Spanish 471 million

Russian 154 million

Mencolek: tapping on a person’s shoulder and pretending that it was not you who had wanted their attention (from Indonesian)

Proto-English originates from the Germanic people in northern Europe. These people were protected by the Roman Empire, but when it fell, they were forced to migrate to Britain. Using reverseengineering, linguists hace been able to reconstruct previous iterations of English.

.(/0&0 !

language ! Using evolution trends,

linguists have formed an English phase predating Old English.

language | 07


41'$Splitting$ Trace the division of languages to the *5$06''%1 languages that surround us every day *

Proto-Indo European

es ntum (western) languag e C Italic

Catalan French Portugese Romanian Sicilian Spanish

Latin Irish

Romance North


Old Norse





Icelandic Norwegian

Danish Swedish

Proto-English changed when settlers from west Germany — the Anglos, Saxons and Jutes — arrived in South Britain. Often refered to as Anglo-Saxon, Old English would be completely foriegn to us today, except for a few words like priest and paper due to Christianity’s influence.


Balto- Armenian Slavic

Marathi Sanskrit





English Dutch Scots Yiddish

(eastern) languages

Czech Polish


South Bosnian Bulgarian Croation Macedonian Serbian

The Normans invaded Britain in 1066 C.E. and soon, Old Norse and Old English began to mix. During this time, French was the language of the elite, so to sound more sophisticated, many words were adapted into Middle English. Upwards of 10,000 words from French and Old Norse were implemented into Middle English.



Russian Ukranian

Latvian Lithuanian

*all languages shown are living languages


Celtic Germanic


This is the era of Shakespeare. This shift from Middle to Modern is mainly due to the Great Vowel Shift. The standardization of pronounciation eliminated many accents and dialects to form a version of English we could understand. Of course, we would not be able to comprehend what kickerapoo or gutfoundered meant, but we could at least recognize what language was being spoken.


08 | language


RIGHT: Junior Dala Jing works on her assignment for ESOL class. ESOL students have many methods to practice their English. “I would do a bunch of spelling problems,” Jing said. “We also do Kahoots for learning words.” LEFT: Flags dangle throughout the ESOL classroom. ESOL teacher Julia Harrison strives to make a welcoming environment for her students. “I get a great sense of satisfaction,” Harrison said. “I feel like I’m actually making a difference in these kids’ lives.” (photos by Oviya Srihari)

!"#!$$%&'(%&(Esol Ladue’s ESOL program helps students adapt to English language !"#$%"&'!"(

language staff


he halls fill with a cacophony of foriegn noise as junior Mahith Samarthunga makes his way to his class. The barrage of noises assaulting Samarthunga are just as confusing as they are loud. Many posters in a language with no meaning to him fill the walls, creating a display of distraction. This is the daily reality for many students at Ladue. Samarthunga is one

of the students in the ESOL program (English for Students who Speak Other Languages) that specializes in helping students become acclimated to speaking English in their daily lives. “When a student arrives in Ladue School Districts, there is a screening process,” Julia Harrison, ESOL teacher at the high school, said. “The parents fill out an online enrollment, and there is a Home Language Survey. When they fill out that survey, they indicate whether or not their child speaks more than one

"#!!$%&'Faces' !(')(*+$&%' ,-%&#-&+. Take a look at which Ladue students are a part of ESOL illustration by | SOPHIA LIU

language, if there’s another language spoken at home [and] if they’re coming from another country. Then, those applications get flagged, and the ESOL teachers at every building screen those students. If they qualify, they are placed in the ESOL program, and they have specialized instruction accommodations. We work with their teachers to help them be successful.” This specialized instruction comes in many different forms during a student’s time at Ladue. Throughout their time

0%1-23$.#!4'Honduras' &.-%5!($.&',.'!4'Spanish


There is a lot less time for hanging out with your friends and family [in America]. [In Honduras], you hang out with your entire family”

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language | 09

LADUEPUBLICATIONS.COM | OCTOBER 2021 at the elementary school, students enrolled in ESOL interact with their ESOL teachers in almost every subject. This increased interaction creates tight bonds between students and teachers. “At the elementary level, we have a pull out, push in model,” Harrison said. “The ESOL teachers at the elementary level will pull out their groups of students and work with them on whatever topic the classroom teacher is covering. For example, if [we’re] working with fourth grade students, all the fourth graders are covering the same topics so the ESOL teacher will pull them out.” As students transition towards middle school, they begin a separate ESOL class but still have additional time to meet with their ESOL teacher. With these students maturing both socially and academically, there is less need for constant help. “Middle school is a mix between the push and pull out as well as rostered classes,” Harrison said. “The teacher at the middle school has time in her schedule where she can push in and pull out, and then she has dedicated classes as well.” Finally, students work their way into high school and then again become more independent than middle school. Now, students are largely on their own outside of their scheduled ESOL class times. “[In high school], the only thing we have are rostered classes, so I am their English teacher,” Harrison said. “They come to me for their English class and their English credits. Once they reach a certain level of proficiency, they can take

English classes outside of my class.” someone, they have to think about what Although ESOL focuses mainly on I am saying. I always have to think three English skills, some students need help or four times before I address something. with the culture aspect of moving from I have to make sure it is correct.” another country. There are many emoSamarathunga faces a stigma about tions that come along with moving into being enrolled in the ESOL program at another country, Ladue, like doubts and no two experiof the legitimacy ences are the same. of his class load. “[Coming over “A lot of kids I realized how much from Honduras] think that ESOL is was weird,” fresha very easy class to things have changed. man Josue Tejada pass,” SamarathunI realized how hard I said. “It was excitga said. “That’s not struggled to adjust to ing but scary betrue, I have to do cause I didn’t really my work, there are this country when I was know English, and I tests in the class, in seventh grade. It was had to talk to a lot and those tests are a lot. of people.” just as hard as an Also, sophomore !"#$%#&'"!"(%#)*+" ! "#$%&' English test.” Yazan Ramadan had Students someanother experience when moving from times feel isolated in a new school; ESOL Jordan. Contrasting with Tejeda’s trepi- offers a support system. Samarathunga dation coming to America, Ramadan felt categorizes those enrolled in ESOL as bittersweet excitement. “one group working towards the same “[When I came to the U.S.], I was kind goal,” and junior Dala Jing agrees addof excited, but I was also sad because I ing, “We always like to joke around with left my family and lots of other people each other.” behind in Jordan,” Ramadan said. ESOL helps get students acclimatAccompanying the increased stress of ed to both a new language and a new coming from a different country comes culture. Now a comfortable student at the social implications of having to speak Ladue, in the case of Samarathunga, he a new language. Samarathunga some- feels they have succeeded. times grapples with the language barrier “I realized how much things have when trying to connect with peers. changed,” Samarathunga said. “I realized “Something that happens to me a lot how hard I struggled to adjust to this is that some people have a tendency to country, when I was in seventh grade confuse what I’m saying,” Samarathun- and eighth grade. It was a lot. I’m say ga said. “If I were to define something to that I am overcoming that right now.” P

1$(%#2-"345"Jordan *"%$64&-"*+)"+45"Arabic


[To another student coming to America], I would say to try and learn the language and to not be afraid of speaking.”

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1$(%#2-"345"China *"%$64&-"*+)"+45"Mandarin


From being in China, the main difference is the spelling. It sometimes takes me time to understand what people are talking about.”

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10 | infographic



Inspecting various parts of culture and their relation to community


Panorama surveyed 161 students via voluntary Google Form Oct. 25

Correlations between racial and religious communities

3$0 Christian






Other Buddhist






"&!0*-.'%(--$%&$1 Ladue students reflect on their relation to culture

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"&+1$-&"')$$/' 1*"%(--$%&$1 ),(7'&8$*,'%+/&+,$


Change in white versus Black populations in St. Louis City

Black population


White population

43% 2000

Sources: US census, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, PEW research center, Census reporter, National geographic, Best neighborhood, Infoplease and Census Viewer

infographic | 11


8%%93'735),'.(:38%%9'.(3-)*.73 Looking at how many times students have moved and where they have lived previously

Have only lived in 51%.........Missouri



....Have only lived in ..St. Louis

....Have only lived in the Ladue School District

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,4&*%+3?3@45'&23 Ladue’s values as a community and individuals



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49% 44% 2010

49% 2015

45% 2020

12 | photo


Suburban '-"!"%+ Traversing the culture of the suburbs

!"#$%& Junior Ruth Workineh screams into the banana in her hand in front of Stacy Park’s water reservoir. The love for and critique of suburban culture clash in Workineh’s mind. “Suburban culture is odd but also natural because it’s the only thing we know,” Workineh said. “[It’s] being aware of social issues [in suburban life] but also playing into those yourself.” (photo by Sydney Collinger)



photo | 13

!"#$%%Junior Joan Tobias and senior Josh Butler hug under a tree

in Frontenac, Mo. The more trees to an area, the more expensive the houses tend to be. A leading factor in this is the environmental inequities facing cities and suburbs around the world. “Being very well-off,” Tobias said. “That’s what I think of when I think of the suburbs.” &'(()*%)*+!$%%Junior Yashna Gududuri lays on the slide of a backyard playground. Gududuri feels her experience in Ladue has been positive for the past two years she’s been here. Coming from Hyderabad, India, where she lived in a suburb, she experienced little to no culture shock. “When I think of the suburbs in Hyderabad and Ladue, they’re pretty similar,” Gududuri said, “with the rich people, big houses and modernized style.” &'(()*%,'-.!$% Junior Joan Tobias poses for a photo in front of a home’s private pool. Luxurious things, including cars, houses and pools are a staple to the upper class suburban lifestyle. “Expensive things and white people [come to mind],” Tobias said. “It’s all very copy and paste.” /"!!"&%)*+!$ Juniors Joan Tobias and Lihi Hall smile as they move down a yellow slide. A description of suburban culture differs from person to person because of the comfort some feel from living in the suburbs their whole life. “[Suburban culture to me is] covering up awful family values,” Hall said. “And fancy boats and golf balls.” (photos by Sydney Collinger)

14 | food


Tradtion !"#$%$&'&$!( Americanization of cultural foods has devalued them AVERY ANDERSON food staff


or children, one of the first ways to experience culture is through food. Traditional and cultural foods have long been used to express one’s heritage and way of life, and they often hold lifelong significance. However, while some cultural foods remain true to their roots and only moderately change over time, other foods have undergone a process

known as Americanization, wherein traditional cultural values are displaced with more popular Americanized versions. These foods are assimilated into U.S. cuisine because of their popularity, but how much of the original dish remains? Without realizing, once authentic cultural foods have become a completely different variation. While nothing is wrong with changing the spice level or certain ingredients used in a cultural dish to appeal to an individual or group, some of these foods have been morphed into an entirely different dish.


There are three types of authentic Chinese dumplings: pan-fried (potstickers), steamed and boiled (traditional). These dumplings have carefully picked fillings that each represent a fortune desired. Beef represents financial growth, mushrooms bring good luck and fish correlates to prosperity in the New Year. Now, the appeal of dumplings has allowed them to be pre-packaged, so the tradition of making them with the intended and classic fillings is reduced to frozen options like chicken or pork. These oil infused monstrosities have displaced the centuries old traditional dumplings of Chinese culture and take away from the significance these fundamental foods hold.

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Curry '


Originating in India, curry contains seafood, chicken, dry curry or curry paste. The spices and herbs for curry were brought to the U.S as early as the 1600s and, from there, curry became a popular dish. However, because of this newfound popularity, Americans molded the dish to only need four ingredients: chicken, curry powder, onion and stock. While convenience is always helpful in the kitchen, the modification of this recipe has taken away from the culture of the dish. In Asia, each region has many variations of curry sauces, and each version of curry is integral to the region it originates from. Authentic curry holds a significance unparalleled by the simple dish it’s been converted to.

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The original ingredients of this cultural dish have been swapped out to create a less spicy, less authentic version. Traditional tacos have corn tortillas and contain a wide variety of meat such as lamb shawarma, a meat introduced by Lebanese immigrants in Mexico. After World War II, immigration to America rapidly increased, and tacos gained even more popularity. Ingredients are now provided by the American food processing industry. The lack of traditional spices, time taken to flavor the meat and other ingredients have completely altered what a taco is. Tacos are a blend of many cultures, and by changing these recipes, the original tacos have been reduced to their American counterpart.

$#&' %+


illustration by | DANIELLE ZHANG

food | 15




Students share the lunches they bring from all around the world



,-"'+(&.(&*%/%#0 South Asia $+1'*%,2%&#0 A fried rice dish made from a mix of spices such as chili and turmeric, along with vegetables and chicken.

“Food just shows a part of who I am as a Bengali girl and you know, being Bengali is kind of a minority at my school. It kind of shows who I am and makes me unique.” "-9++#"(*"3%! !"#$%&$'$()

,-"'+(&.(&*%/%#0 Brazil $+1'*%,2%&#0 Mandioca is

the Portuguese name for cassava which is a root plant that tastes like potatoes and eaten fried.

1,"+27-+( -+#2%-(1&8,

“I think it’s a lot better than the food they have in the cafeteria. Plus it’s just a lot better than most American food.”

,-"'+(&.(&*%/%#0 South Germany


A noodle dish that is soft and savory. It can be eaten along with lentil soup.

"*28*( 5*+2+*#%27 !" ./,-$(

'3","2%()('3%'4+# ,-"'+ &. &*%/%#0 India $+1'*%,2%&#0 A soft flat bread

that’s made with wheat flour and eaten with curry “People have mocked me for bringing stuff like that and eating with my hands, because that’s the traditional way of doing that. It’s gotten better since we’re in high school.” *6"#(,+2+*(5*%22& !"./,-$(

“My dad cooks this one meal that my grandma used to cook in Germany. It kind of feels like home.” -+#"(&*6:"-- !""*()#&'+,

'&#/(5"&(#%8(*&8 ,-"'+(&.(&*%/%#0 China

$+1'*%,2%&#0 Stir-fried rice

mixed with beef and scallions “I don’t have much contact with Chinese people anymore. Food is the easiest way to keep [my] culture.” %*%1(73&8 !"#),-$(

16 | food


"#$%&$%&Grisham Ravindranath The influence of food on a student’s life and identity '()**+&%,*-

food editor


them.” And noodles. Maggi noodles are still one of Grisham’s favorite foods. He frequently eats some for lunch as well as for a snack to accompany him when watching soccer. While nearly everything about the world that surrounds him may have changed, in the end, Grisham just might be the same person he always was (aside from his height). It may no longer be for pre-sunrise rugby games, but Grisham still consistently wakes up early for school to eat breakfast. And instead of noodles, he opts for Weet-bix and milk. Despite its categorization as ‘cereal,’ at first glance, it kind of just looks like a chunk of granola. That would probably be because it is just a chunk of granola. Or, well, as the name suggests, a chunk of wheat. “It’s like grains and wheat that are condensed into a brick,” Shreeya said. “It sounds really gross, but it’s not. On its own, it doesn’t really have any flavor but you put it in milk, and usually I also put in fruits and honey.” Weet-bix is the go-to breakfast selection for both Shreeya and Grisham. The siblings also get a ride to school in the same car. However, their meals are eaten separately. “But I eat my Weet-bix with Chai tea,” Shreeya said. “He does not. Lately, I’ve really liked Chai, so I’ll make it for myself and my family. Sometimes Grisham will drink some, but really I think it’s just


$"+&0&"()%" / +


.+ -

or most students, 3 a.m. is a time for goodbyes. Whether it be from a last minute study session or from a nostalgic comfort show, students’ rooms dim as they bid adieu to the last remnants of their todays. However, for freshman Grisham Ravindranath, 3 a.m. used to be a time for hellos. Hello to the emanating glow of the TV, hello to his father who woke him instead of an alarm clock, hello to his half-asleep older sister but, more than anything, a hello to noodles. “In Australia, we got rugby on TV, so Grisham and our dad would wake up at absurd hours to watch it while eating Maggi noodles,” Grisham’s sister, junior Shreeya Ravindranath, said. “Always Maggi noodles, it’s their tradition. I participated, but only for the food.” Maggi is an international brand of soups, seasonings and, most notably, noodles — the “Malaysian version of instant noodles,” as Shreeya puts it. In the Ravindranath house, vegetables are first prepared separately, the chef of the day sautéing the tofu, cabbage, mushroom, carrot and tomato. Then, they mix it in with cooked noodles and finally, add sauces and seasonings. For early morning rugby watching, however, efficiency was of the utmost importance, so noodles were made, in Grisham’s words,

“without the veggies, just with the sauce that comes with it.” But that was in elementary school. Now, a lot has changed. Grisham currently attends Ladue Horton Watkins High School, lives in St. Louis rather than Sydney, Australia and grew, as he says, “in height.” Food shacks in Australian schools that lured him in with 50 cent popsicles got switched out for the lunch lines at Ladue, and a home got switched out for a house. “I’ve lived [in Sydney] for most of my life, and I’ve only been here for around six years,” Grisham said. “Not that I don’t like this place, but I just feel like I have a better connection living in Australia.” One thing that hasn’t changed? His love for sports. “Grisham is amazing at soccer,” freshman Taariq Ahmed, one of Grisham’s friends, said. “Over the summer, Grisham and I participated in strength training at the high school and practiced and played with the Ladue soccer team.” Grisham also races in competitive mountain biking with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. He’s part of a smaller team called MidCo Flow, placed within the top 20 in one of his races and aspires to go into professional biking. Currently, France stands out as a formidable competitor in mountain biking, and Grisham hopes to “be the one that makes biking bigger in Australia, so that maybe later, Australia can beat



n illustratio



food | 17


!"#$%&Freshman Grisham Ravindranath takes a seat at an outdoor lunch table in the high school. Lunch is one of his favorite parts of the day. “Even just the action of sitting down in the cafeteria with my friends during lunch helps me forget a lot of my stress and just focus in on the moment,” Ravindranath said. (photo by Sydney Collinger)

to make me happy.” When Shreeya is in the kitchen, it’ll probably be to make Chai. For Grisham, he’ll likely be closer to the toasters, getting ready to make some Vegemite and toast. “It kind of tastes like dirt,” Grisham said. “But a good kind of dirt. It’s one of my favorite foods. If you really don’t like it, you don’t like it, but everyone should at least try it. When I came here, applesauce was the trend in elementary schools, so I tried it once. It wasn’t in my lingo so I didn’t eat it anymore, but it’s still good to try new things.” The Vegemite he now eats isn’t the same as the one from Australia. The American version, as Grisham says, “can’t compare. It’s like what my sister always says — everything’s Americanized.” However, Vegemite can still be found with relative ease. Malaysian food, on the other hand, poses a greater challenge. “There’s no Malaysian restaurants here,” Grisham said. “The

closest we can get is temple food. On the weekends, my dad gets food from the temples and brings it back home.” Some of Grisham’s favorite foods are the foods that can only be found at the temple. One example is roti, a layered flatbread. “Back in Malaysia, every morning, my grandpa and I would go to the market to buy some freshly made roti,” Grisham said. “It fills you up really quick. It’s bread with a more sweet and savory taste. But it has more of a buttery texture in Malaysia than here. Here, it’s like frozen food. It just doesn’t taste the same.” Another enjoyed delicacy actually isn’t Malaysian, but rather, South Indian: Murukku. “It’s technically an Indian food,” Shreeya said. “But because Malaysian cuisine is a blend of a variety of foods from other places such as Chinese, Indian and Malay, Murukku is served very commonly in Malaysia.”

Murukku is a fried batter made from rice, gram flour and cumin. Shreeya compares it to a “churro, almost. At least in terms of the batter, but then it gets fried to a crunch.” “Murukku’s one of my favorite snacks,” Grisham said. “When we go to Malaysia, we usually either buy it from the market or make it at home.” From the early morning Maggi noodles gulped down while watching rugby and a spread for toast that takes him back home, to a flatbread that serves a companion to other side dishes and a snack food he’s eaten for more time than he can remember, this is who Grisham Ravindrath is. Because after all, what are we, but what we eat? “You can like a food or you can not like it, but if you have someone to eat with, those are the moments that you keep,” Grisham said. “Food is a need for life, but also at the same time it ended up being that when you eat is when you really connect with people.” P

18 | food

!((!&&) !"#$#% Latin America &'()*$+,$*-'#% Slightly

sweet, nutty, smoky, and flowery ./#/% Pairs well with poultry and complements hot chili




!"#$#% Jamaica &'()*$#,$*-'#%+Aromatic allspice

!"#$#% East Asia &'()*$#,$*-'#%#Sweet and

packed with heat with notes of ginger, garlic and onion ./#/% Most commonly used for seasoning pork and other proteins

pepper-like flavor that intensifies when cooked ./#/% Accompany savory dishes with meat and put into liquors and desserts

photo by | SOPHIA LIU

Sources from Spiceography and Herbco



!"#$#% India &'()*$+,$*-'#% Sweet,

!"#$#% Nigeria &'()*$+,$*-'#%

aromatic, similar to paprika taste-wise but with more heat ./#/% Crushed into a powder that provides heat

Simultaneously bitter and sweet ./#/% Put into soups and stews, mixes well with vegetables and leafy greens

!""#!#$%&&$' spice

Explore spices and herbs from all around the world, their tastes, flavor profiles and different ways to use them




!"#$#%+Europe (Germany,

0$1213% Southern

!"#$#% Japan &'()*$ ,$*-'#%

Italy, Greece) &'()*$ ,$*-'#% Cucumber ./#/% Complements salads, also blended into condiments like green sauce and green tzatziki


Resembles anise, bitter and sweet ./#/% Making candy, flavor maximized when soaked in hot water to create teas, sauces and syrups

Spicy, sweet and zesty ./#/% Sprinkled over noodles and rice, the Japanese equivalent of “salt and pepper”



!"#$#% China &'()*$ ,$*-'#% Spicy and sweet

!"#$#% India,


mix of fennel, cinnamon, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns and ginger ./#/% Used to enhance the fatty taste in braised or roasted meats

Turkey, Italy

&'()*$ ,$*-'#%

Pepper-like flavor, similar to oregano ./#/% Pairs well with hearty meat dishes


in-depth | 19

illustration by | NICOLE GORRELL

!"#$%&'(&)*' Chasms +"),

Past and present effects of gentrification and division on St. Louis communities !"#$%&$'(#)

editor in chief


t first glance, the physical layout of St. Louis and the various cultures within the city don’t seem to overlap. However, when examined through the lens of the destruction and separation of cultural communities, groups all over St. Louis have been affected by two things: gentrification and division. Gentrification — changing neighborhoods through the addition of affluent homes and businesses — has been affecting cultural communities nationwide since the 1960s. The term itself was coined in 1964, and its effects are prevalent in present-day St. Louis. From the building of Busch Stadium II uprooting Chinatown in 1966, to the construction of a University City Costco that is displacing immigrant-owned restaurants

today, communities have been forced to reestablish themselves in new locations. In addition, racial and socioeconomic divides are prevalent in St. Louis. This divide can be seen through research studies, such as 24/7 Wall St’s study that named St. Louis the 10th most segregated city in the U.S., but also through an overhead drone shot of Delmar Boulevard. The south side features million dollar mansions and has a primarily white demographic, while the north side is poverty-stricken and is mostly inhabited by people of color. This difference stems from a segregationist legacy, and this Delmar Divide represents a nationally known phenomenon that gained fame after being featured in a 2012 BBC documentary. In this in-depth, we explore examples of gentrification in St. Louis and take a look at the Delmar Divide through a cultural lens that ties the past to the present. P

20 | in-depth


Sources: Riverfront Times, ST. Louis Magazine, stlpublicradio, beyondchron, Gizmodo, Al Jazeera America

To destroy in the name of renewal is not a strange concept in urban planning. In the 1950s, Mill Creek Valley was one such neighborhood struck by a roaring wave of renovations. Around 20,000 Black people were displaced by demolition affecting over 5,000 buildings. The idea was to build a new highway, a stretch for those wealthy enough to avoid other unsavory parts of the city. Mill Creek was considered a slum, one that wouldn’t be missed in St. Louis. But all the destruction plans written up in boardrooms fell through once applied to the concrete and mortar itself. They wanted economic development, but they were left with the rubble that once housed an entire community. The money continued to run dry, and all that was left was a poor scar upon the land. The metaphors write themselves in the twisting turn of history.

The location was originally known as Hop Alley, the Chinatown of St. Louis. From restaurants, tea shops and laundries, it was all demolished to make space for Busch Stadium II. Then with time, it began again: a wave of renovations. Urban renewal stopped not at the failure of Mill Creek Valley. No, the lesson learned there was merely that more money was needed. Busch Stadium II’s plan was to raise the prices to bring in not the local people who once enjoyed baseball, but the wealthy suburbanites. The stadium made enough money to make more renovations. Neighborhoods around Busch Stadium II were replaced with luxury apartments, attracting more businesses. The old residents, surrounded by overpriced ventures and high property values, were forced out. Thus was formed our Ballpark Village, our “One Cardinal Way.”

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St. Louis is a ci covered, some lai our history is one clouded in a co cation and indifference. We live i our monuments were once neighb once communities. In seeking th histories, one can learn the deepe the city we in-depth editor

illustration by | NIC Recognized as the oldest Black community in Missouri, Kinloch’s story, like the rest, is predictable. It was St. Louis Lambert International Airport that doomed the original inhabitants. The original airfield was home to historic pinpoints in aviation history, which is why Lambert was the city’s priority rather than its Black and original inhabitants. In the 1980s, the city began to buy out property in Kinloch. Soon the airport owned a supermajority of all private homes, and 75% of its population fled. The economic effects were obvious, as the city plummeted further down a spiraling recursion. Poverty lead to crime, leading to more poverty, leading to more crime. This trajectory is common, and in this case was truly caused by the disregard of the communities of Kinloch. The success of Lambert Airport has covered up the lost community of Kinloch.






trified St. Louis areas

ity of scars, of wounds — some id bare for the world to see — and ombination of ignorance, ineduin a city built upon a city, where borhoods, where our centers were he truth of these not-so-hidden er culture, stories and legacies in call home.



in-depth | 21 These incidents aren’t a legacy we’ve moved on from. As recently as 2021, we have seen the city disregard its people for profit. The promise of a new Costco, one that could bring millions of tax revenue, seemed to be worth the loss of culture for University City. It is being built in the place of a strip mall where once dozens of immigrant owned restaurants and businesses prospered and flourished. The new Costco threatens erasing decades of culture by suits in boardrooms, voices of the community rarely heard or considered. Familiar once again, sacrificing homes, schools, businesses and more for the sake of revitalization. To fill the coffers of the city, no price isn’t worth it. History might not repeat, but it certainly rhymes. Even now, landowners can’t lease or sell their homes, and construction noise has caused an outrage.

If one asked what the average American knew about St. Louis, the Arch would be in their first response. Inaugurated in 1967, the gateway has been a symbol of both westward expansion and the city itself for over 50 years now, but in its history reveals truth, a metaphor in a metaphor. Before the Arch, in its place was a prosperous neighborhood. It was one of the oldest in the city, and one with a large native Black population. This neighborhood was deemed expendable, so it was destroyed and its people displaced. Citywide, there was a vote to raze the neighborhood. Through condemnation and eminent domain — not purchase — the city acquired the riverfront land, demolishing the community and replacing it with our dearly beloved monument. A city that burnt down Black communities constructed its keystone monument on top of the corpse of one.


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America is a motor country — the very foundations of cities were built upon the automobile — and nothing represents our motor country more than its region spanning interstate roads. In 1951, plans began to mesh together and failed during the construction of the I-44 and I-55 roads; the proto-highways were unfit to connect to the rest of the interstate. Thus plans had to be changed, and new areas were taken for the road. The southside of Lafayette Square, portions of Compton Heights, the north part of the Hill were all taken and transformed into interstates we know today. Original plans went further, some engulfing what is now the Benton Park neighborhoods. From this, we have our interstate. A tool which let the wealthy flee from the city into newly growing suburbs, beginning another downward stroke for the city.

22 | in-depth




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in-depth | 23


A closer look into how the Delmar Divide has split St. Louis in two The effect of redlining on Black residents was reinforced by restrictive covenants, where predominantly white neighborin-depth staff hoods would meet in groups to create documents stating they onversations most feared by the masses are those that would not sell their houses to people of color. This allowed reare invaluable to the few. The hardest ones to have are altors to avoid showing Black families housing in those areas. “It was embedded within the structures to keep a group the ones with the greatest impact, or the closest to home. in power, ” history teacher Meg Kaupp said. “Oftentimes that Division within St. Louis City throughout history has created a group was very intentionally white, and it was legal. Even physical barrier that has established a social hurdle not easily when things were made illegal, they found other ways to push jumped. Residents living 10 miles apart have a clear distinction that into part of the structure. That’s why when you look in their heads of “us” and “them” solely because of the stark around and you see for example, how the racial makeup is for difference in circumstance. our city, it’s very clear this didn’t just happen.” Delmar Boulevard is a physical reminder of all that separates Understanding how segregation of this extent could be upNorth and South St. Louis. A difference held requires discerning how different in resources, income, health care, life the North and South sides of the city are trajectory and — most notably — race. This from one another, acknowledging the division is the modern-day result of decades You can tell [there’s segdifferences in income and resources. of segregation that now exclude minority “The thing that comes along with ‘ungroups from opportunities. On the opposite regation] in the streets, desirable neighborhoods’ is an increase side, there is a world of privilege shielded you can tell in the neighin crime, lack of access to education from this problem. borhoods. You can always [and] lack of access to food, we call that “I grew up in North St. Louis, so as kids tell somewhere.” food deserts, ” Lock said. “That lack of acwe couldn’t go past Jenny Station road,” cess to wealth, that exposure to poverty, Maurice Harrison, St. Louis City resident of leaves people with an inheritance of vioover 50 years, said. “When living in the city, lence and of inequity. This is what generyou couldn’t go to the county unless you ations and generations of people inherit, and so it’s a historical knew somebody, or your relatives wanted you out there with pattern when all of these things overlap together. ” them, but that was rare. We stayed within our neighborhood The Delmar Divide is ignored by those that aren’t affected because we were young black men, and they didn’t want us by it. Those that are affected still lack the resources and visiout there.” bility to incite change. The divide was pushed to the minds of The formation of such disconnect took upwards of a every St. Louis resident on Aug. 9, 2014, when 18-year-old Micentury, starting in the early 1900s, when Black families began moving North to St. Louis and beyond in what is called the chael Brown was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. “[People were] upset about it because it’s been going on Great Migration. However, this influx of Black families did not for years,” Harrison said. “This wasn’t the first one, it was just cause changes in policy. St. Louis City, at this point, already the first one where they got caught. Now it’s, ‘Okay, Michael had a long-established housing system created to segregate Brown is over, but what’s going to happen now?’ It seemed like white families from people of color. everything died down until something else happened. It died As more Black people moved to St. Louis and the demand down, but what’s the promise? The people aren’t promised for housing increased, the focus of government leaders shifted anything, just pushed under the rug until things calm down.” to preserving segregation in the city. Trickling down all the For many people, it’s easy to ignore what’s right in front of way to maps of houses, these marks are still visible today. them. Pretending not to notice the constant struggles of those “[Redlining] is the history of community groups, real estate living some 10 miles away is easier than facing the uncomfortagents and companies of city governments creating specific able reality. The first step towards lessening the severity of this communities that they decide are not desirable any longer,” situation is bringing awareness to it, mainly on the county side. social studies teacher Ashley Lock said. “It was very typical “Sometimes it takes people from the outside coming in and as people were coming back from World War II to create these looking for the people, for whom this is their world, to go, maps that were color coded. That’s where we get the term ‘Wait a minute, maybe there’s more to this than I realize there redlining, making green areas of maps the most desirable places is, ’ ” Kaupp said. “Education is the key, it has to start young and to live and red areas were deemed as problematic properties or from a place of just inviting people to a conversation. ” P problematic neighborhoods.”





24 | dress



A closer look at significant styles and clothing from Libya and Sri Lanka (%)')#*+,& Rodina Elasbali wears

traditional Libyan dress. This is usually worn to attend weddings. “Without the silver and everything, that was typically what women used to wear every day,” Elasbali said. ,-.'"/(,& The shoes are an important part of Elasbali’s outfit. These shoes are made for practicality and style. “[They are] designed to be easy to wear and still match the dress,” Elasbali said. !-,,-0'"/(,& Many pieces of jewelry are often paired with traditional Libyan outfits. The color of jewelry symbolizes the status of the person wearing it. “For young girls, they wear silver,” Elasbali said. “My grandmother gave [the jewelry] to me when I was nine because I was leaving Libya.“ (Photos by Sydney Collinger)


"#!$%&'Rodina Elasbali

dress staff


orn in Ireland, raised in the United Kingdom and Libya, junior Rodina Elasbali’s life is far from boring. Elasbali, who is an Arab Muslim, has lived on three continents. This has given her a heightened appreciation for culture around the world. “I’m very interested in culture, because I have seen different cultures in each place that I lived in,” Elasbali said. When Elasbali lived in Libya — a country in Northern Africa — she experienced distinct aspects of its culture, a culture that is not accurately reflected in western media.

“[Libyan culture isn’t] to the extent that the media shows,” Elasbali said. “I’ve had [people] ask if we eat sand because that’s what they’ve seen.” Despite media portrayal, Libyan culture remains vibrant. Culture is present in Libya society, particularly at weddings. “I really got to experience true Libya at weddings,” Elasbali said. “In Libya, the cultural thing is, you would literally invite everybody you know. The biggest wedding that I’ve been to had 390 people.” On top of this, Libyan weddings often go on for many days. Each day has a specific purpose and meaning. “Traditionally, weddings were 15 days. Now they are three days,” Elasbali said. “The first day [is] the henna day. On the

second day, the groom’s family goes to the bride’s family, and they put on the traditional dress.” This traditional dress can be any color. Additionally, married women wear gold jewelry while younger girls wear silver jewelry. “[The clothing] is very intricate,” Elasbali said. “It takes detail to a whole other level.” From the clothing down to the accessories, every part of Libyan dress tells a story and connects people. In Libyan culture, being together with loved ones is heavily emphasized. “At weddings, people get together to celebrate love and family,” Elasbali said. “We are a family-driven culture.” P

dress | 25



Traditional Sri Lankan garments

illustration by | MIMI ZHOU

Lama Sari

Nilame Kit

Kandyan Sari


Lama sari is worn to religious ceremonies and is always in a white color.

Nilame Kit is formal wear that is worn to weddings. It features many intricate patterns.

Kandyan Sari is the main wear in Sri Lanka. It is worn in more formal events and settings.

Sarong is the official dress for men. It is a piece of cloth tied at the hip.

+'#%&,+-* Vishmi Rajapaksha

wears a dress for a dance concert. This garment comes from a mix of cultures. “The puffy shoulder comes from Spanish influences,” Rajapaksha’s mother Tharange Ranasinghe said. “Sri Lanka [was] a Spanish colony.” (Photo courtesy of Tharange Ranasinghe) -./%#$!0-* After winning an art award, Vishmi Rajapaksha stands with her teacher in Sri Lanka. Her teacher wears a Kandyan sari and Vishmi wears her school uniform. “Kandyan sari is a must for schoolteachers,” Ranasinghe said. (Photo courtesy of Tharange Ranasinghe) 1.--.2%#$!0-* Vishmi Rajapaksha stands in Tilles Park. She moved to St. Louis in August. “I’ve adjusted well,” Rajapaksha said. (Photo courtesy of Leah Alrutz)


"#$%&'()'*%%Vishmi Rajapaksha

edhara is the Sinhala word for home. Sinhala is the national language of Sri Lanka, a place that freshman Vishmi Rajapaksha called home just mere months ago. Living in Canada, Sri Lanka and St. Louis, home means many things for her. Rajapaksha lived in Canada until age 9 when she moved to the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka in the city of Kalagedihena. The dress between these two places held differences, but perhaps the most surprising differences were the ones within the country of Sri Lanka. Many factors determined an individual’s outfits. For example, there are two distinct types of saris, a garment worn by females.

“A sari is a kind of a dress code. In Sri Lanka, there are two ways to wear it,” Rajapakshi’s mother, Tharange Ranasinghe, said. “Most people in the north wear Indian, or Tamil, sari. They wear it very differently compared to in the lower part, [where they] wear Kandyan.” A Kandyan sari is the traditional attire in Sri Lanka. It is a long skirt and blouse, where the fabric of the skirt extends over the shoulder. “They wear Kandyan saris to schools and offices,” Ranasinghe said. “Also, the national dress for young gentlemen is the sarong, which is a piece of cloth wrapped around the body and tied at the hips.” While sari is still worn in the office, schoolchildren in Sri Lanka wear a differ-

ent school uniform. Rajapaksha wore a uniform to school every day. “[I wore] a light blue dress with a dark gray petticoat,” Rajapaksha said. At temple, people wear another version of the sari. This sari, the lama sari, is wrapped in a special way. “This is worn for religious activites, and it is always white” Ranasinghe said. “But based on the region they live and their religion, that costume will be changed.” As time progressed, Sri Lankan style has slowly evolved. Moreover, its dress varies widely on many factors. “Sri Lanka is a blend of different cultures and people,” Rajapaksha said. “More so than you’d expect.” P

26 | dress




Traditional clothing from around the world and its cultural significance


(#)*+* $'0&1#*$&%*$.*

• • •


An upper garment typically worn by women from Southeastern Asian countries Symbolize women’s power Kebaya fashion has experienced changes over the years, and today, one can find the traditional Kebaya in addition to new embroidery variations and regional differences The most common Kebaya types are Kebaya Kartini, Javanese Kebaya and kebaya Kutubar.


• •



• • • • •

Sources: Mexican Clothing Co., Asia Society, Scottish Tartans, Living in Indonesia

Knee length skirt Worn by men in Scotland Symbol of patriotism, the kilt dates back to its origins of Gaelic men in the Scottish Highlands Can be worn at formal events, such as weddings, funerals and renaissance festivals, or informally Kilts should be worn high on one’s waist — above the navel — so the bottom of the Kilt lines up with the middle of one’s knee 13<:8= (54>



• •


illustration by | LUKE LOCHMOELLER & ERICA SHI

Known as Chosŏn-ot in North Korea Hanboks are often worn for formal or semiformal occasions, ranging from festivals, celebrations and ceremonies • In 1996, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism established Hanbok Day to encourage South Koreans to wear the Hanbok • Modern day Hanbok’s have been modified to be worn as everyday wear

2*?.$/'% A'?(?'"./' In Mexico, Jalisco dress is a symbol of the folkloric dance Just as Jalisco music can be described as bright, colors of red, pink and blue are often associated with Jalisco style dresses. One things that makes the Jalisco dance unique is that presentation of the dress is critical

dress | 27


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“My style is laid back, but it has some complexion to it. It’s comfortable — that’s important to me — but I also want to look good, confident and ready for the day.”

“Most days, I try to get as close to a hippie as possible. I try and pick things that have similar colors because I like colorful things. I used to wear a lot of black and grey, but I prefer to go with colorful things now.”

“My style is ever changing. I dress to fit the mood. Clothing definitely enhances my personality because I find it super fun to be able to dress up every day for school, and it really allows me to express myself.”

“My style is like skater and early 2000s. I think about what mood I’m in and what style I want to wear. Now, I have my bedazzled hoodie — which I bought from an ad on Instagram.”

!!"# Outfit 4:,1+%,2*) “My style is very me. I’m unique, trendy, lovable and funny, so all of that comes into play when I get dressed in the morning.”

“The necklace I’m wearing is my home key and the beads around it are made of wood. I [also] like to wear sport clothes or [a] t-shirt.”

“I’m wearing the [ram] hat because the soccer team gives out three hats after every game to the star players, and then you have to rock it at school.”

“I usually choose my outfits at night. I choose colors that I want to wear most or based on how I’m feeling.”

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28 | music


*+#,-. Senior Avinash Kamath plays a piano at the National Blues Museum. The museum opened to celebrate the impact of blues on American culture. “It’s amazing what they’re doing to rediscover those voices,” Kamath said. “It shows just how rich in history St. Louis is in the development of jazz, blues and rock.” (photo by Jack Reeves) /)01%." Junior Ronan Agrawal focuses intently as he plays the classical

violin. Agrawal has been playing the violin since the age of 8. “Jazz is another way to represent how I feel and another way to have fun,” Agrawal said. “It’s a great way to meet other people who also have a passion for music and arts, in general.” (Photo by Ginger Schulte)


The origins, history and culture behind St. Louis music genres !""#$%&'!(

music staff


oulful notes trickle from a saxophone to touch red-brick buildings brimmed with ivy. The sounds then flow to suburban houses and small businesses, coloring the whole city. Blues and jazz music are ingrained in the culture and history of St. Louis. Located on Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis, the National Blues Museum preserves and explores the roots of St. Louis music. The museum commemorates the legacy of blues. Blues has also built a foundation for various genres of music such as jazz, rock and roll and R&B. The museum’s market and community engagement manager, Paige Alyssa Hegwood, explained that the muse-

um follows the chronological beginnings of blues from the coast of West Africa to the deep South. “As folks are brought from Africa against their will over here, they bring pieces of their own cohesive culture into blues,” Hegwood said. “In the lyrics, we hear people talking about hardship, their experiences and sometimes really funny and humorous topics. Like B.B. King, a prolific blues artist, said, ‘Blues is for everyone.’ Although blues roots started in this really specific place with a specific group of people, as it expanded, folks put their own personal touch on it.” During the Great Migration, St. Louis was a convenient midway stop for individuals going east or west. As Black people brought their own cultures to St. Louis, people already living here ex-

panded and built off the music that they were introduced to and interacted with. St. Louis became heavily involved in music and became a hub for great musicians like Miles Davis and Albert King. “Blues and jazz have a deep, personal meaning, [since] we begin to have music where we [all] can curate and put together our own lived experiences,” Hegwood said. “I’m a queer Black woman, and I write about having those identities. People just enjoy my music. Even though we are at different walks of life, there’s still a level of human connection that spans across all these identities. Music has this power to it that allows us all to connect with each other.” While music is a universal language, there arises an underappreciation for older genres of music because social

music | 29



A minor pentatonic scale plus an added flattened fifth

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flattened 3rd, 5th, or 7th note in a scale

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dissonant harmonies

chord extensions

swing rhythms





Source: BBC & Encyclopedia Britannica

“Mother of the Blues”

First ever blues recording

“Father of the Blues”

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Most frequently used chord progression


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!"#$%&'()*+,' ) blues ) History, musicians and sounds of the genre



Popularized blues across races

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illustration by | OVIYA SRIHARI Ragtime, gospel music and folk music begin to mix and form blues


Rural blues develop in Georgia, Texas and Missisippi


media publicizes more fast-paced songs. However, some still recognize the significance of historic music to St. Louis culture and sustain its beauty. As a member of the Jazz Club, junior Ronan Agrawal has always been involved with music, which allows him to express himself. He plays two different kinds of violins: the classical violin and the electric. “Music allows us to be who we are and defy the normal binary that most generations have aligned to,” Agrawal said. “It has also been a metric, or a sort of tool, that we use to help us express who we are. In a community, the different music and musical instruments that we have access to affects the culture. Everyone brings their own culture into different areas of the world and by bringing that, creates a new culture.”

W.C. Handy publishes first blues song in 1912, “Memphis Blues”



Black female artists popularize the scene


Along with Agrawal, sophomore Aditya Jain joined the Jazz Club to be more in-tune with culture and his appreciation for music. The group meets during seminar to rehearse. “Music is a way to express yourself,” Jain said. “I became interested in jazz through the jazz concert I attended in middle school. Through music, there’s an orchestra and band and 50 or 60 people who like to interact with each other, play music and have a good time. So, music is a lot of fun and gives a lot of people happiness.” As new forms of music become popular due to modern social change, the younger generation slowly moves towards brief, repeated lines of catchy tunes and beats. Despite the distinctive lyrics and beats that are embedded in each song,

Blues paves way for genres such as jazz and soul


the younger generation sometimes forgets the roots of those forms of music. Thus, only when people recognize and appreciate the heritage of St. Louis music, will the influence of jazz and blues live on for decades to come. “People must be dedicated to not only preserving the African American art form called the blues, but also show how it’s continuing to be a living, breathing part of music today,” Hegwood said. “When we see older pictures, it’s not only black and white. Those people were living in pictures, so to have that notion and understanding that, ‘No, this music is still here.’ That’s the mission of the National Blues Museum: to introduce more younger people to blues. The music they listen to every day, but they don’t quite know it yet.” P

30 | music

!"#$"%& Faceoff


Fans of cultural music genres engage in round table discussions

-,./01/#."2/3$4.205)/$25015/.2/ &2."6/0%/5,)/&)%2)7 '$())*#: I would put TWICE. +,)%: If I had to pick just one I guess I’d put IU. !"#$%&: My favorite group would be NCT, but they have subunits.

+2)$5)/$/*)&0%%)21/&"08)/3.2/1.9).%)/ :,./,$1/%)4)2/(015)%)8/5./;<=.6 !"#$%&: [Listen to] “Don’t Wanna Cry” by Seventeen. '$())*#: Oooh that’s a good one. I really love “Psycho” by Red Velvet. +,)%: “Psycho.” !"#$%&: “Psycho” definitely. '$())*#: It’s so good. My dad even listened to that song and liked it. !"#$%&: My brother even liked it, and he listens to rap. '$())*#: I would also listen to BTS because that’s just the basic one that everybody starts with. !"#$%&: It doesn’t matter to me if you don’t like [K-Pop], but it does when you don’t like it and the only song you’ve heard is “Dynamite” by BTS.

./ '&("#)*+,"#()-.

!%)/&2."6/9"15/&.>/G?'B/ GHI+;=@D;/.2/?-@+AE/-,0F,7 '$())*#: Actually, I’m gonna do

BLACKPINK. !"#$%&: I would pick BLACKPINK as well. +,)%: I would definitely pick TWICE. '$())*#: That was a direct attack, Winston… +,)%: I don’t like TWICE. I feel like they play too much into the ‘idol’ image. It’s too immature. I listen to a couple of their songs, but their albums in general I just don’t like. '$())*#: But what about their new songs? Originally I was going to say BTS, but they just have so much variety that I do find good songs in there. But for BLACKPINK, the [songs] just all sound the same. !"#$%&: Well it works. They follow the same formula.


J.:/8./#."/3))(/$*."5/-)15)2%/F.%1"9650.%/ .3/;<=.6/$%8/,.:/05/01/6.252$#)87 '$())*#: I don’t like how BTS releases new

music and it’s all in English. No offense… “Butter” is not that great. “Dynamite” is not that great. They lost their flavor. !"#$%&: I would have to agree, but it’s also kind of nice that Asian media is portrayed more prominently in Western culture. But it’s also a very distorted image because the Korean music industry is already very manipulative, so it’s not like the full picture. +,)%: I’ll say that some of the music in English is good, but also it just feels weird when the whole song is in English. I would say that there is Asian representation in Western culture, but it’s so one dimensional. When you see just this little window, it doesn’t really tell you a whole lot.

!%)/&2."6/9"15/&./2."%8/5:.>/ ?-@+AB/@C/.2/D+?E/-,0F,7


!"#$%&: TWICE. +,)%: Yeah. TWICE is the worst. '$())*#: Wow, targeted against me. I

would say NCT because... !"#$%&: It is definitely not IU. '$())*#: Yeah, not IU. !"#$%&: Just no TWICE, it’s never TWICE. Sorry Sassy… she’s fuming right now. It’s definitely a hot take because TWICE’s nickname is the “Nation’s Girl Group,” so they are like the most popular girl group.


illustration by | SCARLETTE MAIER

Panorama brought ardent music fans together in one room. Here is what ensued. Full transcriptions available on laduepublications.com

music | 31


5(3/+,"$-)+#./-0+:303-63+3)(.<%+ :30(<)-$-()4


!"#"$%: Bad Bunny gets on the charts

ton, Urbano and Bachata. Favorite artists are Bad Bunny, Jhay Cortez, DannyLux and Romeo Santos. &'("): I grew up with Latin music, but in my house I listen to pretty much everything. I like what you mentioned, Romeo Santos, and I love Marco Antonio Solís.

every time he drops a song, but it’d be nice to see very cultural styles be recognized in America. &'("): Latin music is very very popular right now. More Latinos will become a part of this country, and by 2030 or 2040, we will be the majority of immigrants. !"#"$%: Yeah, there’s going to be a point where Latin influence will become part of American music.


!"#"$%: I listen to a lot of Reggae-

!"#$%&"'()*"+',% -"./-#0

5(+2(.+%"63+$(+/73"8+&7")-/%+$(+ '-/$3)+$(+,"$-)+#./-04 &'("): Not at all. You don’t need to

speak a language to listen to any music. I listen to music a lot in my house because of how it sounds. !"#"$%: For me, understanding the language definitely helped me enjoy the music more, but just like Señora Sloan said, you don’t necessarily have to know the language in order to derive the meaning and enjoy the music to a real extent. &'("): However, I’ll say that I learned a lot of Italian because I’m interested in the music. I memorize and sing along with the lyrics. !"#"$%: Listening to music helped me understand a lot of different phrases and wording.

=)3+<:(.7+#./$+<(>+?3"$'3/@+,31+ A3773'-)+(:+B(''-)<+&$()3/C+*%-0%4 &)-1#"): Easy, the Beatles. They are

so overplayed. I’m so tired of them. ./-#0 8%*+',%-" " '( # / This is heresy, I know, but the Beatles 7 ./#$(%* sound like they’re just commercial. They happened to become big at the right time, not because of their skills or abilities. The other two are wonderfully skilled. *%"$+1(+2(.+$%-)8+"E(.$+%(F+ 9((:3: I think the Rolling Stones :(08+-/+7(:$:"2314 are automatically [safe] because 9((:3: I think the rock portrayal is the impact they have is insane. “dumb people” listen to it. But it’s You could debate Zeppelin and not that. Regular people can listen Beatles more, but I like Zeppelin to it too. more than Beatles. &";$(): I guess defining what rock &";$(): Yeah. I never was a Beatreally is is really difficult because les fan. Firstly, I like the Rolling rock in itself is a dated thing. I was Stones a lot. I never was a big interested to hear Will talk about Led Zeppelin fan either, but I bands that were dead before he was just think they’re overplayed. I born. like their music though. &)-1#"): I find that Led Zeppelin &)-1#"): When we talk about rock, I really need to preface it with and the Stones have a dynamic classic rock. I don’t really like hard sound — it’s changing, it’s innorock or acid rock. vative, it’s creative to me.



*%"$D/+"+/()<+363:2()3+#./$+'-/$3)+$(4 &";$(): “Buy Me a Boat” by Chris Janson. It’s the greatest song ever made. Have you ever heard of it? &)-1#"): No, I don’t know that song. &";$(): We’re going to listen to it when we leave this. &)-1#"): For me it’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. 9((:3: I grew up listening to “Stairway to Heaven” all the time with my dad.

32 | tradition



The evolution of traditions, unique qualities and events at Ladue High School !"#$%&'$%(()&*

tradition staff


o it, do it, do it, go, go, go!” The cheer gets increasingly louder until the seniors reach the highest level and create a mosh pit in the middle of the floor. Students from all grades stampede down the bleachers to the mob that's growing at the bottom. Jumping, the students shout in unison, “Do it, do it, do it, go, go, go!” one final time before they finish off this tradition with, “and that's the end.” Football games haven’t always looked like they do now. Before the major renovation, all of the games were played on Saturday afternoons. Not only has the day of the week when football is played changed, but so has the event itself. In the early 2000s, a tradition at football games was the marching band’s halftime show. Being in the marching band was held in high regard by students. They felt that it was almost as important as the football game itself. Jeniffer Growe-Soshnik, class of 2000, vividly remembers a time when a football player participated on both teams. “I do have a friend that was in band and on the football team,” GroweSoshnik said. “He ran to the locker room and changed really quickly, marched and then got his uniform back on and went to go play. Just to say he did it one time. And it was awesome.” While Ladue no longer has a marching band, today’s pep band continues to

attend every game. To start every game, the band drum rolls while the students hold their arms in the air as the ball is kicked off. In addition, every time Ladue scores a touchdown, the band plays the Ladue fight song. Keeping with the old traditions, the pep band performs their main piece during half-time. However, they perform in a different place. The old band would march as they played, while the band today sits in the stands, surrounded by fans as they perform. “I like playing in the stands, but it would be fun to play on the field," junior clarinet player Gillian Hanley said. In addtion, school spirit has gone through major changes over the years. According to ceramics teacher Jonathan Robbins, class of 1998, the spirit in the late 90s and early 2000s "had more community." Robbins said that this was due to the old schedule where students had hours similar to seminar, but longer and with more freedom for students. “There was an open campus," Robbins said. "We could roam around anywhere we wanted. The Commons was a place where you could hang out and be in the courtyards.” While Robbins believes that the sense of community was stronger when he attended Ladue as a student, he also acknowledges that the focus of Ladue spirit has shifted to something different: inclusion. He added, “It is pretty amazing, and definitely bigger now than it was 10 years ago.”

(photos by Fiona Ferguson, Julia Erekson and Laura Amore)

'(%&Lineage *,&!"#$% A quick look at when current traditions were started

Robbins said the community's spirit is emphasized in particular when Sparkle performs at events like pep rallies and football games. “[Sparkle performing is] electric," Robbins said. "That's the greatest thing ever.” Similar to football games and school spirit, senior traditions have evolved throughout the years. During her time at Ladue, on the eve of the first day of senior year, Growe-Soshnik remembers that, “a lot of seniors would get together to decorate their cars. Then, we would drive our decorated cars to senior year.” These days, the seniors arrive at school early on the first day of school and take photos to commemorate the day, rather than arriving in their decked out cars to celebrate their last first day of school. While some traditions have changed, some have stayed the same. Just like the seniors did this year to emphasize their school spirit in their final year at Ladue, Growe-Soshnik said the class of 2000 also, “decorated thier faces and Ladue seniors wore white and blue on the first day of school.” No matter how traditions at Ladue are shaped, they are continuously evolving. Alumi like Robbins and Growe-Soshnick feel the time students spend going to Ladue makes a lasting impression. “The older you get, the more you will learn that you went to an amazing high school and had an insanely fortunate upbringing,” Robbins said. P









tradition | 33 (photo courtesy of Alzhraa MahMoud)

(photo courtesy of Natalie Claybaugh)


Natalie Claybaugh: Shanghai Hairy Crab

Alzhraa Mahmoud: Hummus Kasa

Century"#$"%&!'()% !""""""""""""""""""

Students share traditional recipes from across the world



1 1/2 cup freshly cooked chickpeas, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup Tahini, 1 lemon (preserved, chopped, juiced), 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds, salt, 1/2 cup green or black olives, parsley, mint or cilantro

Shanghainese hairy crab (shipped from China), 1/4 cup Chinese Black Rice Dark Vinegar, brown sugar, minced ginger, water



1) Pour cooked chickpeas into a blender or food processor. If they’re soft enough, mash them with a fork 2) Add tahini for fluffiness 3) Set your blender to a low or medium speed and slowly pour in the olive oil 4) Throw in the garlic cloves whole if your blender is strong enough, otherwise chop them up then throw them into the blender 5) Add the zest and lemon juice along with the rest of the spices 6) Place in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and top with preserved lemon, olives and herbs

1) Prepare steaming pot filled with boiling water 2) Lay the crabs shell face down (belly/stomach facing up) in the water 3) Boil for around 13-15 minutes 4) After boiling, remove the rope and remove the gills (as they are poisonous) 5) Make the vinegar sauce by mixing 1/4 cup of Chinese Black Rice Dark Vinegar (although regular vinegar is sufficient as well), one tablespoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of minced ginger

How does this tie into your family or cultural traditions?

! • •

[Shanghainese Hairy Crab] is a type of crab found in Shanghai. It’s seasonal [so] you can only get it October to November. [The recipe] is my mom’s family tradition because her family is all from Shanghai. She’s always had a craving for it and it’s in season, so she got it flown in [from China].

*!&!(+)",(!-.!/01 ! "#$%&'()

! • •

In most North African households, most meals consist of meze [which is] a lot of small side dishes. Hummus dip was the most memorable food [for me]. There would be a marketplace and my dad always saw the vendors smashing the chickpeas. From then on, [he] always tried to keep making [the hummus recipe] better.

!(213!!"4!14#/5 ! "#$%&'()

3 4 | tradition


!"#$%&'()*&#+)#+,) Mitzvah Jewish students share experiences from their coming of age ceremony

"./0,1 Katie and Ryan Silver smile at Cantor Seth Warner during their b’nai mitzvah. They started preparing for the day eight months prior. “Most people start six months before so we were early,” Ryan said. (Photo courtesy of Picture This Photography)

%&(+#1 Aaron Korenblat smiles during the Hora, a dance where friends and family lifted him on a chair. His party was at the history museum. “I wanted a sit down dinner where you could go look at exhibits,” Korenblat said. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Korenblat)

!"#$%&%'#()*%+),-*! !"#$#%&'(

tradition editor


unlight beams through the windows, illuminating the congregation of people within the synagogue’s halls. Peering into the sanctuary, 13-year-old Ryan Silver’s heart pounds as he scans the rows of familiar faces waiting for him — no — them. Standing behind him, his twin sister Katie Silver’s eyes widen as she glances through the crowd. Today, Aug. 13, 2016, is the day of their b’nai mitzvah. Five years later, seniors Ryan and Katie reminisce on the special characteristics of their shared event. Like a bat mitzvah is a ceremony for a girl’s coming of age in Jewish tradition and a bar mitzvah is the counterpart for boys, a b’nai mitzvah is a ceremony for two or more people. “Having a b’nai mitzvah was unique,” Ryan said. “All these other bar and bat mitzvahs are an hour long and you hear one person speaking for the majority of

it. She did half and I did half, then we switched and didn’t hear from the other person again for a while.” Despite the unique features, Ryan and Katie’s b’nai mitzvah maintained the traditions a bar or bat mitzvah would have. For instance, they both developed their own mitzvah projects where they chose a topic and incorporated it into a plan to better their community. “I made lunches for Places for People, which is a nonprofit organization serving people with severe mental illness,” Katie said. “I also came and served food when Ryan was playing piano at Covenant House.” The twins also maintained the tradition of hosting a party after the service. Their party was hosted at Blueberry Hill. “It was just really fun getting to see all of our friends and family; a lot of our friends came from out of town,” Katie said. “We also had a hypnotist at our party so that was fun.”

Unfortunately, the service wasn’t completely smooth sailing. On the day of their b’nai mitzvah, Ryan was sick. This didn’t substantially affect the event — until Ryan began to cough uncontrollably in the middle of a verse. “There was water underneath the [bimah], and he drank all of it,” Katie said. “There was none left for me.” Other than the physical ailment, the ceremony also presented mental obstacles. Having a b’nai mitzvah, they were unable to experience the usual independence that comes with a bar or bat mitzvah. “We didn’t have that experience of ‘I am the sole person,’” Ryan said. “I think it might have been beneficial to growing up if we had each had our own, but overall, I was definitely happy with the process.” Despite the conflicts, the twins felt fortunate that they shared their b’nai mitzvah. Especially during the service, it created a more comforting environment. “Having another person took a bunch of the pressure off,” Ryan said. “Being expected to go there all alone versus being expected to go there with another person — there’s a huge difference.” P

tradition | 35




n the night before Dec. 9, 2017, voices echo throughout the living room of the Korenblat household. Gathered at the dining table, soon to be teenager Aaron Korenblat and his father Kevin Korenblat repeat verses of the Torah, meticulously checking the pronunciation of every word. Heads huddle close together as they practice in anticipation of Aaron’s bar mitzvah. Now in high school, junior Aaron Korenblat appreciates his father’s efforts to ensure the service would run smoothly. “I was probably more involved than most parents,” Kevin said. “Aaron went through a process that was not that much different than the one I went through in 1982. We worked together a lot to make sure he could read and sing the liturgy. Also, we just worked together to make sure he could sing from the portions that hadn’t changed.”

Other than perfecting diction, the pair enhanced the content and delivery of Aaron’s speech. For his bar mitzvah, Aaron spoke of his interpretation of the Torah portion and how he felt about becoming a bar mitzvah. “I really enjoyed my speech that I wrote, mostly because all the older people really enjoyed listening to me,” Aaron said. “I was very slow while saying it because they can actually understand what I was saying.” Although this speech may have been lost to his non-Jewish friends, the effort Aaron put in was still meaningful to him. “I understood that friends would come in and probably wouldn’t understand what was going on,” Aaron said. “They’d be sitting there enjoying the moment and listening to whoever is moving onto the next step of life and what they’ve gone through.”

Learning Hebrew is an integral part of the preparation for a bar mitzvah. Ten months prior, Aaron consistently attended lessons to ensure that the service would run without problems. “The whole process was pretty smooth because I had enough time to practice,” Aaron said. “They prepare you in such a way that you think you’ll make a mistake at the beginning, but at the end you really don’t.” As a spectator, Aaron’s bar mitzvah may seem like an individual event. However, the collaboration between himself, his family and the clergy was the key to his success. “A lot of popular portrayals of Bar Mitzvahs in movies tell a little bit of truth,” Kevin said. “In Saturday Night Live, Jacob the bar mitzvah boy reads in that really staccato voice and he’s slow — that’s exactly how they teach you how to read. But really, the moments that matter are the times that you spend together reading and studying together and learning. To me, that’s the most special part about it.” P


A walkthrough of the process in preparation for the ceremony start learning Hebrew around third grade rank up in Sunday school


bar/bat/b’nai mitzvah tutoring begins

day of the service

three parts: - reading portion - meeting with the rabbi - mitzvah project

illustration by | OLIVIA HU

Examples of common service locations

Congregation Shaare Emeth

Temple Israel

Congregation B’nai Amoona

36 | editorial


W: 7.25 in H: 2.87 in

illustration by | DANIELLE ZHANG


The idea of “color blindness” does more harm than it does good 29 out of 29 Panorama staff members agree


n our present society, it is undeniable that racism, in all its forms, is a daunting issue. It permeates every aspect of our society’s structural foundation and affects everyone, whether that is people of color facing racism in their daily lives or white people internalizing racist rhetoric. In our world, racism is an unfortunate reality, leading us to the loaded question of “How do we tackle it?” With such a complicated issue, the answer is even more complicated, but it can be easier to think about this from the starting point of “How do we not tackle it?” An example of how not to tackle the problem is “color blindness,” the idea that ignoring racism makes it go away. Wendell Berry, author of “The Hidden Wound,” notes that “by denying the reality of racism and their own role in it, white Americans have denied themselves critical self-knowledge.” A common counterargument in favor of colorblindness is if we act like we’re different, then we are. The issue is acting like a problem doesn’t exist doesn’t work. Pretending an earthquake isn’t happening doesn’t stop the building from collapsing, and acting like there isn’t a fire doesn’t stop the burning. Ignoring race allows people to pay no mind to microaggressions and stereotypes they may perpetuate because if someone were to call it out, they’d be “making it about race.” People pull the card saying it wasn’t meant like that, and victimize themself by convincing people of color it was their fault that they thought someone said something racist, not the original per-

son’s refusal to acknowledge their racial biases. If they “don’t see race,” how could it be their fault? White people are able to convince people of color that they are imagining the racially motivated intentions behind the microaggressions they are experiencing. They can claim people of color are making it about race, even though it was already about race to start. In addition, people who want to treat everyone the exact same expect everyone to live the exact same lives. Those who claim to not see color also don’t see culture. They expect people to fall under their idea of American culture. People are forced to abandon their culture, likely developed over hundreds of years. Otherwise they’re “othering themselves.” This idea that we’re all the same often perpetuates the idea that we must all act the same which is blatant erasure of racial and cultural identities. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this idea of color blindness is no exception to that. Acting as if seeing race or noticing racism is allowing it to continue is counterintuitive to combating and dismantling racist systems of oppression in the country and in the world. We need to be cognizant of the different experiences our peers have and how their race affects their worldview and how they have been treated. Making sure our peers feel safe and self-confident in our school environment is crucial to having a learning environment that gives equal opportunity to all students regardless of race. P

Editorial Note: Each editorial, Panorama selects an issue that the staff thinks is important to address and expresses a view that belongs to the majority of the staff. Panorama welcomes the opinions of its readers, and encourages letters to the editors. Please bring signed letters to room 1311 or email Panorama at publications01@ladueschools.net. Panorama reserves the right to revise submissions for length as long as original intent remains unaltered.

opinions | 37


Forcing !"#$%&'()$*+,#+(%,(-%+,-+). The difficulties in combining opposing cultures and whether to do so !"#$"%&'"()*

opinions staff


t’s a hard thing to combine two cultures. Most of the time, it occurs naturally over many generations. Immigrants might form groups of their own in foreign countries, such as Chinatowns or Japantowns. Over time, the two cultures interact simply by being in close proximity to each other and blend together to create a unique fusion. People on all sides benefit, learning new information and experiencing novel traditions. In the digital age, information on cultures can be exchanged far more easily. Cultures are represented in movies, music and the people themselves. These can be shared worldwide, alongside the age-old exchange of food, clothes and other goods. Many examples of positive cultural fusion exist. From the unique foods one might find in street stalls to the twists on movies and music, cultural fusion has existed ever since culture itself. Halloween, for instance, originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It was then also celebrated as the day before All-Saint’s Day, lending it the “hallow” in Halloween. Nowadays, Halloween is celebrated in many countries with fun practices such as carving jack-o-lanterns and giving candy. Halloween is just one example of when different cultures and religions combined to create something unique. On a more malignant note, there have been many times in history when one culture has overpowered another, leaving a far greater impact than the one they receive. From the assimilation of countless local cultures by the Roman Empire to the exploration of the “New World“, too often have distinct cultural elements, or even entire cultures, been lost. By necessity, some cultural exchange must occur when two cultures have continued contact. However, even today, isolated cultures still exist. One such example, the Sentinelese, has refused to interact with the outside world. As a result, they still live in a pre-Neolithic civilization, with little-to-no condoned exchange occurring at all.


Some advocate for making contact with these civilizations, seeing it as the rest of the world’s moral duty to bring them up to speed. Others warn against doing so, believing that nature should be allowed to take its course. This same issue can also be seen in countries with many different cultures living side-by-side. Should cultures be combined, replacing old, “backward“ elements with new, “better” ones? Or should we strive to keep cultural barriers distinct? And if fusion does eventually occur, how can we ensure that elements of both cultures are still distinguishable? This can become even more complicated when the two cultures are at odds with each other. For example, Sunni and Shia Muslims have differed in religious beliefs for centuries. Today, they are often in conflict in countries such as Syria and Iraq. Ideally, every culture would be able to retain its unique identity while also being able to experience other cultures. However, conflict can occur even between two cultures that share similar elements. Even more, another culture may end up being assimilated forcefully through war or expansion. Perhaps it would be better to not try and have two opposed cultures coexist. Perhaps it would be better to let nature take its course, whether peaceful fusion occurs or not. However, even today, there are still many adjacent, clashing cultures. One solution is to foster tolerance of opposed cultures through first exploring what they have common, such as holidays, cuisine and media. This process can be further facilitated in the digital age. Ideally, there would then be the building of positive relations and eventually possible fusion. It’s true that fusion will lead to change on both sides. Practices may be lost and genetic identities may mix. But no culture is the exact same as it was when it was first formulated, and no culture will be the same as it is now in the future. However, if it seems that fusion due to proximity is inevitable, it is better to actively catalyze and oversee the process, rather than simply letting nature take its course and hoping that one culture does not overtake another. P illustration by | RICHIE JIANG

Moments in history where worlds collided, for better or for worse




hello hai Modern Italy was unified in the nineteenth century during the Risorgimento. The eight territories either voted to join or were conquered.

Colonization by the British and other European powers of North America would eventually lead to many Native American cultures being changed and even lost.


ni hao

Singaporean language and culture has been influenced by English colonization, its Malaysian neighbors and Chinese and Indian settlers. Today, it is hailed as a country where “East meets West.“

Israel’s creation in 1948 led to conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over territory and Jerusalem. Even so, exchange of culture (especially cuisine) still occurs today.

38 | opinions


Accept!!"#$!%$&'$(")*+, Stereotypes delegitimize “non-conventional” LGBTQA+ identities !"#$%&'(()*+$$

opinions staff


’ve been around adults who will nudge me, point to someone going about their day and oh-so innocently inquire, “Doesn’t that person seem gay?” simply because they have dyed hair or are wearing a spiked bracelet. And every time I reply with, “I don’t know. What invisible label are you perceiving that I can’t?” Seriously, just because I’m bisexual you think that I can identify every gay person in a 10-mile radius? I don’t go around pointing out people wearing Lululemon or Vineyard Vines apparel and say something like, “Hey, are you straight? Because you sure look straight!” or “Hey, that’s a pretty conventional outfit.” Why? Because nobody can assume something like a sexuality or gender identity from something as superficial as an outfit. That kind of thing doesn’t influence identity. It takes more effort to assume something about somebody than to just move on, which is what I do. I mind my own business, and at the end of the day, I’m happier and more content for it. Unfortunately, not everyone does the same. There are a disturbing amount of people who seem to want to dedicate hours of their time solely on strictly enforcing these stereotypes upon others. There are TikTok accounts that critique people’s videos for not looking trans “enough” and for breaking the lines that society has laid out for them. Because god forbid somebody lay outside the norm, right? It’s not like that’s the entire point. People don’t have to dress masculine or feminine to be who they are — those things are made-up concepts that were created to order people into little boxes and then sell products to them! It’s extremely harmful. This is the behavior that contributes to young teenagers looking at them-

selves in the mirror and thinking, “Am I trans enough today? Am I enough today?” And when they venture outside into a world that should have bigger problems than judging the appearance and mannerisms of others, people like this round on them and say “no, because you never will be. Not until you fit the way that I want you to be.” To think that one has to strictly conform to a certain appearance, sexuality or set of pronouns to be valid in an identity is to turn your back on what the entire LGBTQA+ movement stands for. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the “gay best friend” depicted on a show. You might say “Hey, but isn’t that representation? Why is it a problem?” I’ll tell you why. Shallow and stereotypical depictions like that reinforce the idea that all people falling within that certain identity act that way. This is what inspires parents to look at their children, who are raw and apprehensive and fearful and want nothing more than to be accepted, for those same parents to then turn on them and say, “but you don’t look like or act like that.” Stereotypical depictions allow people who know nothing to claim some sort of knowledge about that identity, as if you can learn everything about that from one depiction. You. Can’t. Nobody is the same. People have common traits and identities, and some people can resonate with one another and the way they want to be perceived, but those groups — no matter how large or small, will never reflect the way every single individual does. This is something that has to be approached with care and an open ear. So many problems can be solved just by listening to these voices. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be accepted by the world around them, and allowing something like societal standards to get in the way of that is hurtful and exhausting. P


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Getty Images’ 2021 Visual GPS survey tells the story of LGBTQA+ depiction. “When this community is represented, businesses and media rely too heavily upon stereotypical, inauthentic imagery,” Tristen Norman, head of Creative Insights at Getty Images, said.

1 5

of global respondents stated seeing LGBTQA+ people represented frequently in visuals.

And out of these visuals, global respondents say: 30% depict gay men as “feminine”

29% depict lesbian women as “masculine”

28% depict gay men as “flamboyant”

opinions | 39



Students should emigrate to this growing bathroom staple !""#$%&'(

opinions editor


he wheel, the printing press, the steam engine and the suspension bridge: cornerstone moments in engineering history don’t come often, but when they do, they revolutionize life as we know it. I am thus exhilarated by the bidet, a water gun made for concluding the bathroom experience. Not only are bidets ridiculously satisfying to use, but they have a long cultural history tied to Christianity, sex and war. Bidets are an unappreciated stroke of engineering genius and worthy of examination as an alternative to toilet paper. The first bidets emerged in 18th century France and would spread globally in the next three centuries, with the exception of the U.S. The common explanation for why it never came to the U.S. was that the classic French bidet was associated with a lack of Christian morals. Ever since its conception and throughout World War II, American tourists and soldiers would tell stories of bidets being used as contraception in France. Many Christians were heavily opposed to this supposedly scandalous and “naughty” piece of equipment. As of 2016, 53% of Americans are still unwilling to use a bidet, according to the bidet-producing Kohler company. As time passed, even France would see the decline of bidets. In the past four decades, it seems Japan has been the last bastion of bidets with their own bidet revolu-

illustration by | ALLEN YOU

tion. In 1980, Japanese toilet-maker Toto unveiled the “Washlet” bidet in their toilets. Instead of a standalone sink, the toilet itself housed a tiny hose that sprayed at the click of a button. In 1992, 14.2% of Japanese households had this bidet. As of 2018, 80% did. And in 2012, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers crowned this design as mechanical engineering heritage. If you’ve ever tried it, you know it’s earned its marks. One of the best qualities of Toto-type bidets is versatility. With toilet paper, there’s one setting: wipe. With the bidet, one has absolute control over their hygiene experience. There’s low pressure: a light, graceful way to wash off; medium: a more forceful yet mellow way to keep clean; and high, my personal favorite and a hardcore way to maintain a hygienic life. If still unsatisfied, some bidets contain extra options like pulsating or oscillating sprays. The next best quality of bidets is convenience. No more awkwardly yelling at your family members or crawling about the house with your pants down to supply yourself with a new roll. No more having to go out and buy more toilet paper and then it being out of stock. Bidets are a one-time purchase that do their job for a long time without fail. The wheel, the printing press, the steam engine, the suspension bridge and now, the bidet: cornerstone moments in engineering history don’t come often, so revolutionize your life before you get left behind. P

Sources: Toiletology, Scientific American, Brondell, Coway

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own bidets at about the same rate as personal computers

have required at least one bidet per house since July 5, 1975

bidets, they commonly bring a portable one when traveling

Japan’s usage, with ~90% of households owning a bidet

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