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Inside: A tale of two countries The 51st Muslim Country Feminism And The 40 Theives Terra 7 路 5

A few words from the editors...


ello, readers! As you probably already know, considering the fact that you picked it up in the first place, this is a magazine called Terra 7. Starting off, creating this magazine was difficult because it turns out the three of us all had radically different ideas on what we wanted to do our magazine on. In order to incorporate Alex’s idea of doing a social issue magazine, Gwyneth’s of doing a travel magazine, and Mehraz’s of doing an entertainment magazine, everyone thought,


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“What could be better to do than a world culture magazine?” The decision of making this kind of a magazine was not only to incorporate all of our tastes, but also to reach a wider range of tasted in our audience. We have a little something in store for everyone; those of you who like music, movies, controversy, fashion, travel and just culture in general. and this is what we came up with. “Terra”, which means the planet earth or land and “7” for the number of continents in the world. Our goal is to create a view of the world through different lenses. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Your Tourguides: Mehraz R. is an incredibly strange 14-yearold student at LASA High School. She doesn’t really enjoy talking about herself so writing this biography was incredibly difficult for her. One really important thing about her is that she is a raging feminist. We run the world (girls)! (Just kidding, she’s an equity feminist). She wakes up in the morning thinking how many creative ways she is going to make those around her uncomfortable that day.

Alex F. is an ecstatic 14 year old child. Alex is usually making strange noises of one type or another, much to Gwyneth’s dismay. Alex is one of the only human beings (we will call him human until the blood tests come back) who has seen Gwyneth’s full range of shocked emotions. Alex is quite passionate about Israel. As a result, almost every piece he writes about Israel turns out as an opinion piece. Alex strongly dislikes Comic Sans and has made it one of his goals in life to yell at people who use it

Gwyneth R. is a fun loving 14 year old who attends LASA High School. She likes to take photographs of nature and of everyday life. Gwyneth loves to travel and hopes to visit Australia and all parts of Europe. So far she has travelled to eight states, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and a few countries in Europe, but she does not remember going to Europe because she was 4 years old.

America the Ignorant Page 13

Argentina, Here I Come Page 6


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The 51st Muslim Country Page 10

Two worlds, One Family Page 17

Magazine Key: Feminism and the 40 Thieves


Far From Home


Survey results


A Few Thoughts on Foreign Films


A Tale of Two Countries

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“ Reasons why you should visit Argentina. 6


Terra 7

By Gwyneth R.


alking along a cobblestone path, you see a big crowd. As you stroll nearer you hear music and people clapping, finally when you get to the inside of the crowd you see a pair of tango dancers. They are dancing with enthusiasm and heart; they have been working so hard that you see the sweat dripping from their faces, so you decide to give them a tip. Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a place where tourists can experience the most highly recommended restaurants, street fairs, and entertainment as well

surprised if someone comes over and kisses you, this is part of Argentine culture, how they greet you. Many Argentines make a lot of eye contact, so do not be afraid to stare back at them. Most Argentines will ask about your favorite soccer team, so be prepared to say something like River Plate or Boca Juniors. Thumbs up or OK signs are considered vulgar. Yawning is considered rude, so try to at least cover your mouth according to National Geographic. The best place to visit is Tigre, which is one hour from downtown Buenos Aires. You can get to Tigre in many different forms of transportation;

Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a place where tourists can experience the most highly recommended restaurants, street fairs, and entertainment.

as touring the city without getting tricked by locals. In the past, there have been some issues with travel to and from Argentina. Despite the ongoing volcanic ash fall from the Puyehue volcano, tourists are still able to fly to Buenos Aires according to www. Once tourists are in Buenos Aires, Patagonia is off limits, at least for air traffic, but this does not prevent tourists from driving there. In the past, roads have been blocked by “piqueteros” who are trying to bring issues or demands to the government’s attention according to In a way, the “piqueteros” are trying to show the government that they are powerful. In some cases, they block roads to tell the government that they aren’t afraid and that they will rebel if necessary. The culturally accepted behaviors of Argentina, and the five best places to visit while in Argentina. Do not be

the cheapest and fastest is by train though you can also get on a tour bus. There are many unique shops where you can buy things that range from leather goods to soccer jerseys to handcrafted items. When finished shopping tourists can have some lunch along the river at local “Parillas” (grills) and then take the Parana River Boat ride, which takes you on a tour of the delta’s scenery and quaint houses located on little islands. The second best place to visit is La Boca, which is one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods. It is full of houses painted in primary colors, where street artist perform. The third place to visit is a well-known chain of ice cream shops called Freddo, which has many unique flavors of ice cream such as Sambayon and Dulce de Leche. The fourth best place to visit is Calle Florida, a street for pedestrian shoppers. Many people crowd this street rushing to and from work. Some of the stores along Calle

Florida are coffee shops, boutiques, and souvenir stores. The last place to go is Recoleta Cemetery, known for burying many famous people of Argentina such as poets, actors, famous authors, and presidents. While some people might say that there is a lot of crime in Argentina, all big cities have crime. The only way that there is crime is if you let the crime happen. There are many ways that a tourist can prevent being pick pocketed. Carry a small handbag, and don’t ever hang it on the back of the chair while you are eating at a restaurant. Instead, place it in your lap. Avoid large crowds, and always hold your purse/wallet. Do not change dollars on the street, but rather change currency at your hotel. Make sure you leave your valuable possessions (and your passport) in the hotel vault. In general, use common sense. Even though Argentina is safe, some ways to prevent being. Travel with few valuable items. Always travel in groups and do not visit tourist sites at night. Be aware of your surroundings. Some ways to blend in with the Argentines are, try to avoid wearing shirts that say things like “ I ate the big steak in Amarillo, Texas,” those shirts make it really obvious that you are a tourist, many locals think that tourists from the U.S. carry a lot of money with them. Argentines are very friendly and welcoming people. Many tourists are entranced by Argentine culture and will return many times. The scenery, the people, the food, and the architecture are all enjoyable parts of touring to Argentina.

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e minism 40 thieve


The story of redefining a term that has been stolen, misused, and misunderstood. By Mehraz R.

Image courtesy of Zeds-Stock on deviantArt


t the beginning of October, a march called the “Slut Walk” to rally against sexual and domestic violence along with redefining the term “slut” was held in Union Square. According to CBS New York, this march consisted of many self-proclaimed neo-feminists “Slut Walking” for a woman’s right to wear whatever they want without being afraid of abuse; it is their body after all. This makes me want to go back and ask, “Who are these neo-feminists?” Well, many people, including the feminists themselves, believe that neo-feminists are women who feel that women are superior to men, while others think that they are people who feel that the genders should be equal. This is where the real issue begins. What most people don’t realize is that there are many different types of feminism that exist and apply to feminists along with their ideologies. The idea that feminists try to inflict an antagonistic view onto the world is a common misconception that makes feminism into a negative term and creates conflict. Part of the reason that there is so much conflict with the concept of feminism is because of how people define the word. Even some feminists themselves are no exception. In fact, there are many well-known feminists who have said hurtful things. According to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the first leaders of the feminist movement, “We [women] are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.” Some of these so-called feminists have expressed even more offensive opinions. Author of Liberty, Andrea Dworkin, for example, says, “Under patriarchy, every woman is a victim...every woman’s daughter is a victim... [and] every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the

inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.” Former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said, “Women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which a man structurally does not have...because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.” When certain self-proclaimed feminists say things like this, it really disturbs the image for other feminists. The purpose of feminism is not to harm or offend anyone, but to help and hurtful comments only increase the amount of sexism present in the world. Eventually, other people will just stop taking anyone who calls themselves a feminist seriously, posing a potential danger in upsetting the balance of

“ ” We must rid the world of hateful things said to so-called feminists as well as by them. gender even further. What people need to realize is that there is not just “feminism” or “feminist”, but many different types of feminism and feminists that exist. Therefore, the term feminism should be redefined to portray all the different kinds. According to the SparkChart, “Women’s Studies - Types of Feminist, the forms include essentialist feminism--which emphasizes “true biological” differences between women and how women are “separate but equal” to men, radical feminism-focuses on social change and reforms, revolution, and gender as a social construction, cultural feminism--which accentuates qualities of women that are better than men’s such as natural kindness, pacifism, and concern for others, along with numerous other types of feminism. However-according to Christina Hoff Summers, author of the book Who Stole Feminism, there are two

kinds of feminism that all these others build upon, gender and equity feminism. Gender feminists are those who believe that women are, in fact, superior to men whereas equity feminists believe that gender equality should be reached in the world. In today’s society, equity feminism is the most relevant when we are trying to avoid conflict. The idea presented with this type of feminism, equality, is one that is commonly accepted so equity feminism is likely to be widely recognized. If the concept gender feminists believe--that women are better than men--then just like how we live in a mostly male-dominated society now, we would live in female-dominated society; just like it is unfair to women in the world now, it would be unfair to men. We don’t want people to believe that feminism is a plot laid out for women to take over the world. We want to try and reach an equilibrium so that everyone is happy. We must work to rid the world of hateful things said to so-called feminists as well as by them to avoid further conflict and reduce sexism. We need to show the world that there is not just one kind of feminism, but many, and the kind that should be the most widespread is the one we call equity feminism. In order to help cease the conflict caused by perception of the feminism concept, we must redefine the term altogether to create a better understanding. This understanding will be the first step in bridging the gap between feminists and everyone else and coming closer to gender equality, creating a favorable balance in the world that satisfies everyone.


Why the Palestinians should not be given a country 10

路 Terra 7

By Alex F.


hen people think of Israeli brutality, they often point to the Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948, or the King David Hotel bombing of 1946. When I think of Palestinian brutality, I think of September 30th, 2011 when the Palestinians in north Gaza prepared to fire a missile at Israel, but were thwarted by the Israeli Air Force before they were able to fire it. When I think about the last time the Palestinian’s managed to fire an explosive at Israel, I think of the day before, September 29th, 2011. Often when people want to pity the Palestinians, they compare the death count between Israelis and the Palestinians, Palestinians being the ones that are killed the most. When they point to this, I remind them that Israel has much bigger bombs and better aim. The very fact that Palestinians miss their targets, (which include schools, school buses, hospitals, roads, houses, to sum it up; anywhere they can hit and kill someone) a lot more often than the Israelis is not a legitimate basis for an ideology of who is more violent or who, in this case, deserves to have a country. Palestinians in their current violent, irresponsible, and no-compromise condition should not be allowed to have a country. There is no reason to trust that the Palestinians will not launch an assault on Israel the moment that Israel’s occupation of its own land is no longer legal. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. Twice now, when Israel has pulled out of a land, a terrorist organization has taken hold and attacked Israel. In 1984, after relentless attacks by the Palestinians in southern Lebanon, Israel invaded. In 2000, Israel withdrew its troops from Lebanon. Immediately after the withdrawal, the terrorist organization Hezbollah came to power and attacked Israel. In July of 2006, after Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers

and killed three people in a raid on a border post, Israel invaded Lebanon again. This sparked more missile attacks from Hezbollah at Israel. Hezbollah, classified by the U.S, the U.K and several other countries as a terrorist organization, currently has about 15,000 missiles and several long-range missiles that could hit every city in Israel. Israel has accused Hezbollah of storing these missiles under hospitals, homes, and schools, making it near impossible to get to them without risking the lives of civilians. In 2005, Israel pulled its civilians and military out of the Gaza strip in hopes that once the Palestinians had a place, they would

In 2005, a group of New York Jews put together 14 million dollars and bought 3,000 greenhouses from the Israelis and gave them to the Palestinians. The Palestinians destroyed and looted them.

stop hitting Israel with suicide and missile attacks. Instead, in 2006, the terrorist organization Hamas took over Gaza and launched a missile assault on Israel that is continuing to this day. The United States along with eleven other countries has classified Hamas as a foreign terrorist group. In 2008 alone, according to the Israeli defense ministry, Hamas launched 3000 missiles at Israel. On April 7th, 2011, Hamas launched a laser guided missile called a Kornet at a school bus, killing a 16-year-old student. Based on experience and the continuing refusal to recognize a Jewish state makes it a bad idea to give the Palestinians a country. Leader Mahmoud Abbas said as recent as September 6th in a public statement to the UN that he “will not accept [a Jewish state].”

The Palestinians have also shown that they cannot take care of themselves. In 2008, 25% of the West Bank’s per capita GDP was made up of donations, that amounts to 1.8 billion dollars. ‘Bloomberg Buisnessweek’ says that the main reason for the projected 8% growth for Gaza and the West Bank was “foreign donations.” For those who say that the blockade of Gaza is the main reason for its dismal economy, I ask them to chew on this; in 2005, a year before Hamas took over and things got worse, a group of New York Jews put together $14 million to buy 3,000 greenhouses from Israelis to give to the Palestinians. The Palestinians destroyed and looted them as, according to MSNBC, “Palestinian police stood by helplessly.” In some cases “there was no security” and in others “police even joined the looters, witnesses said” There is no reason to give people who are not responsible the great responsibility of running a country. If there was a Palestinian country, the terrorists already there would launch an even bigger assault on Israel than the one going right now and while this was happening, their people would be faring even worse than they are now. Palestinians have shown extreme opposition to any sort of agreement with Israel about becoming a country in the first place. There is a saying that goes, “The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” and this has held true for many years. The Palestinians want a few things, other than the total annihilation of a Jewish state. They want Gaza, they want the West Bank, and they want Jerusalem. To give a bit of context to these places, the West Bank lies to the west of Israel and cuts a divot into it. When countries that want your destruction surround you, you want as much forewarning of an attack as possible. With the West Bank, Israel gets hours to see (cont on page 16)


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Far from Home The farthest places LASA students have traveled.




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We as a nation and as a school appear to have lost our capacity to care about the world as a whole.

By Alex F. “Who was the leader recently kicked of Egypt? Do you know his name?” “Good question. I have no idea.” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know.” 14

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“I don’t actually remember his name.” “I don’t remember.” “No I don’t.” “Ghaddafi? Am I right?” “No.” “No.”

“I have it on the tip of my tongue.” “What’s his first name? Like Mubarak?” America, we have a problem. According to a recent study of almost one hundred Lasa freshmen, only 20% of them could answer the

above question correctly. kids who know more because of who what’s going on with Iran or Israel These numbers aren’t surprising we have.” If these numbers are high you’ve got to know their proximity considering the frequency with in comparason to other schools in to each other and countries around which Lasa students read the news. Texas, and even the US, this could them like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Most students do not read the news be a real problem Iraq because none of these countries more than once a week. “At most I’ll It’s not just current events that is acting independent of the others. read something once a month.” says Americans are unaware of; simple And they all are acting in response Lasa student Miles “Usually from geography is now difficult. The to the others and their whole word of mouth or maybe I’ll get an National Geographic study found geopolitical situation is created email from somebody about a via their relations with their None of these countries [are] neighbors. And so if you don’t neat article. From an online, a website or something” those relations you acting independent of the others, understand But they’re not alone. can’t really understand the Ignorance of current events and they all are acting in response news on any deeper level.” is not just a problem in high to...their whole geopolitical situation Loewenstern says that the school, according to the current “American-centric 2006 National Geographic is created via their relations with view of the world,” could have ‘Geographic Literacy Study’ their neighbors. And so if you don’t sprouted from the cold war that surveyed of 510 average when, “the world was seen as 18-24 year olds. The study understand those relations you can’t an ‘us vs them’ with the US found that only 35% of the really understand the news on any vs the soviet union and with group that was polled could the fall of the soviet union, deeper level. pick Pakistan from a list of we were sort of the ones left four as the country that had standing.” suffered a devastating earthquake that just 25% of Americans could So why is the news important to three months earlier. To compare, find Iran on a map and the same the 6% of Lasa students who read Ghaddafi was ousted from Libya number could find Israel. 24% of it every day? Lasa student Shinjini three months before the Lasa survey Lasa students could find Iran, and thinks it is very important. She was conducted, and 62% could 29% could find Israel. These numbers says “If there aren’t enough people remember his name. aren’t surprising, says Loewenstern, who are interested in what’s going In Lasa’s geography classes, “Rather a lot of people looking at a on in the world there aren’t going students are required to present at map have trouble locating their state to be enough people to solve the least three current events to the class let alone other countries. Even Iraq problems that the world faces in the each 6 week grading period. This and Afghanistan, where we’ve been future.” Fellow pupil Megha agrees greatly increases the amount that at war for so long people would still and also points out that “Everything Lasa students are exposed to the have difficulty, average Americans happening in the world effects us in news by forcing them to go searching and definitely children, locating some way or another. If you don’t for stories. As a result, you get kids those.” know what’s happening in the world like Alex who read the news “every Americans don’t know where you could be ignoring something that other day for world geography” but countries are located, but it also could affect your own life; which wouldn’t read it otherwise. In fact appears that they we care very much. should be of utmost importance to 75% of the Freshmen polled say In the National Geographic study everyone.” that geography class increased the seven out of ten people said that frequency with which they read the knowing the location of countries news, but 75% of them still read the in the news isn’t necessary and 68% news less than a couple times a week. of Lasa students agree, Loewenstern Speaking about geography skills, thinks otherwise. Lasa Geography teacher, Neil “It’s very important. I think if Loewenstern say that at Lasa “we you’re going to understand the news always see a range” but also says that and understand the context of the “at Lasa we tend to see kids who tend news and the impact of whatever that to be more aware or have either more news is you’ve got to where things knowledge, or even better traveled are in relation to other things.” Says than others. I think we tend to see Loewenstern “So if you want to know


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(cont from page 11) enemy forces or missiles coming rather than just minutes. If an army came, Israel would be cut in half by the army in minutes. It was also a part of ancient Jerusalem and has a lot of cultural significance for the Jewish people. In addition, Jerusalem is the Holy of Holies. It contains the most sacred places of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. At Camp David in 2000, Yasser Arafa, who was the president of the Palestinian national authority, was offered all of those things by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak: the West Bank, Gaza, and the 1967 division of Jerusalem. He turned that down and did not make a counter-offer. In 2010 Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime minister of Israel, froze construction

(cont from page 23) “For the moon festival, we sit at a round table, eat hot pot dinner, and have moon cake after dinner while looking at the beautiful moon,” said Shu-In Powell. Hot pot is a stew that contains many different kinds of meats, vegetables, mushrooms, and seafood. A moon cake is like a pastry,


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in the West Bank for 10 months. No Prime minister had ever done that before in Israel’s history. So what did Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian national authority do? He boycotted the peace talks for 9 months and then left after the freeze ended. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave Abbas the deal of a lifetime: the West Bank, Gaza, and all of the sacred places in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the most holy Jewish site in the world. Abbas refused once again. What the Palestinians have shown for more than 63 years has been complete inability to compromise even when they get everything they want, a lack of responsibility in taking care of themselves, and have shown the world that they can’t

it is filled with bean or lotus seed paste. Powell has managed to keep her Taiwanese cultural identity, yet integrate herself into American society. She has now become more comfortable with her surroundings in the United States. Powell is a true example of

be trusted. While, at this moment, Palestinians are pushing for a country of their own, they are simultaneously launching explosives at anyone they can hope to hit, destroying and abusing foreign aid, and refusing to accept any deal that leaves a Jewish state in the Middle East. There is a saying about the current crisis in the Middle East; it goes “If the Palestinians were to put down their weapons, there would be peace in the middle east. If Israel was to put down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.” Palestinians in their current violent, irresponsible, and no-compromise condition should not be allowed to have a country.

what makes America unique. The United States is a cultural melting pot. E pluribus unum or in English “Out of many, one.”

LASA Survey Results 14%

33% 66%


Could Find Israel Could not Find Israel

Could Find Iraq Could not Find Iraq

How often we read the news:

35 30 25 20 15 10 5



0 Never or <once a month Every month

32 Every week




A few times a week

Every day

No response


New York:

Could Label State Could Not Label State

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worlds one

fa m i ly

One man’s journey from home back then to home now.

By Mehraz R.


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orty-three-year-old Mostafizur Rahman, having spent the first 18 years of his life in the Asian country of Bangladesh, recalls his first year in the United States. “[While in Oklahoma] we didn’t have cars...and whenever we walked on streets, people would, you know, yell comments, they will show their fingers. It was a big shocker,” says Rahman. But Rahman’s experiences as an immigrant to the land of opportunity were made up of many good experiences as well. Twenty-three years ago, Mostafizur Rahman migrated to the United States to study at Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma, from his native country of Bangladesh, located to the west of India. Little did he know when he made the move seeking only a proper education to study electrical engineering that he would be starting a permanent new life here. Despite the difficulties of living in a different country than the rest of his family and occasional thoughts of moving back, he does not regret the decision he made as a high school student and later as a college student to settle and start a family. Over the years, Rahman has learned how to adapt and keep up with the best of both worlds through experiences and hardships alike. “I think the move was justified and was wise and I learned lots, I got a lot of opportunities that I would have never gotten.” The thing that shocked Rahman the most when he first came to this foreign land were the drastic differences between the two countries. Being from a humid tropical country, the climate was the first thing that took him by surprise. “There was an ice storm, on the day I landed in Oklahoma,” he says.

“Then I moved to Texas which was even hotter than Bangladesh! You can go to different places and get different climates [in the US], not true for Bangladesh.” But weather is not the only difference he experienced. After setting foot in the USA, the young man dealt and became accustomed with many cultural differences. “In Bangladesh, I needed to answer [to those around him] if I did anything which was out of the ordinary,” Rahman says. “Over here, nobody asked me questions. I was accountable to myself, I had a lot more responsibility.” Rahman soon realized after settling and starting a family that the two places have drastic differences in things that had never even occurred to him such as raising children. The difficulties that he saw his parents go through while growing up were only magnified in this new country that had become his new home. “Back in Bangladesh, there were a lot of supporting hands raising kids,” says Rahman fiddling with his laptop. “Over here you don’t have that [much support].”

slight sigh, he adds, “It wasn’t until my first trip back that I realized how much I missed my mother’s authentic Bangla food.” Rahman speaks of how he preserved the culture that he grew up with over the years in a place where there wasn’t any trace of it. “I think I preserved it very well,” says Rahman, mentioning that the culture in Bangladesh has endured more change than he has living in America. After a few years of living as a student, he found that there was a large and active Bengali community called the Bangladesh Association of Greater Austin that he became extremely involved in. Rahman speaks of the Bengali classes and media that he gave his children exposure to “despite protests from them” he adds with a laugh. The association celebrated cultural events and had gatherings “just like back at home. My kids participate. We wear all the clothes, we eat all the food.” Quietly, Rahman says, “In USA, old people seem to be...more alone than in Bangladesh. You can have your friends and family around...whenever you are retired and you don’t have a lot to do.”

“ ”

Not only was it more difficult for him and his wife, there were differences in the way children are raised in the two countries that he found.

“US parents try to teach [kids] how to become independent really early,” he says. “In Bangladesh, parents try to hold on to them as long as humanly possible.”

With a slight chuckle, Rahman remembers the day he landed in Oklahoma so many years ago. “The person who picked me up from the airport gave me a box of Oreos and I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted!’” With a

I would almost say I owned two different cultures.

Despite these occasional thoughts of returning to Bangladesh, the 43-year-old father of two does not regret his move one bit.

“Bangladeshi cultures, that’s my value, that’s inherent in my lifestyle, inherent in me. It didn’t change a whole lot. I would almost say I owned two different cultures” says Rahman with a restored confidence in his voice. “USA is a whole different world. In the end, I’m always glad I came.”


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LIVE in the






Just as one of the best ways to get to know a culture is through its literature, film lets you learn it through a more direct and visual perspective. You’re allowed to view scenes that are present in foreign countries, and it may be the closest you’ve gotten to experience activities that occur there. This will open your eyes to the other cultures that exist and give you new insights on the world that you don’t see. Suggested film: Slumdog Millionaire Directed by: Danny Boyle With foreign films, you get diversity! Everyone needs a little bit of this in their life. Without it, everything would be so boring. Besides, I would like to hear someone come up with an argument for why diversity is not good for you. Suggested film: The Kite Runner Directed by: Marc Forster It’s good to have a bit of change from the same blockbuster titles and movies playing in the theater. Just like with music, when you stray a little bit away from the mainstream songs on the radio and open your mind a little bit more, you might find something that you really like. Suggested film: Spirited Away Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Whether you know it or not, whether you don’t want to admit it or not, a lot of great (and not too great) Hollywood movies are remakes of (possibly even greater) foreign films. Go out and watch a couple of them and see, maybe you’ll even like those better. To truly understand Hollywood, you must first see the things that have influenced in it the first place. Suggested film: Infernal Affairs Directed by: Wai-keung Lau, Alan Mak Hollywood has a lot of great directors, but there are so many more out there that have never made it to Hollywood for a variety of reasons (the most common of which is a giant language barrier). Regardless, their work deserves to be seen just as much as that of Hollywood directors’. Suggested film: Rashomon Directed by: Akira Kurosawa Lots of artists and stars from foreign movies have made it into Hollywood. However, many of these artists have performed even better in those foreign films that they first starred in and might be very limited in their Hollywood roles. With these films, you have a chance to see stars you recognize as well as new faces. Suggested film: Biutiful Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Photo by dmason




How the culture in Taiwan and in the United States are similar and different.


ver the centuries immigrants have come to these shores in hopes of finding a better life full of opportunities that they might not have had in their home countries. With them these immigrants have brought over traditions, religions, and cultural ideal. Shu-In Powell grew up in Taiwan. She came to the United States 12 years ago. She moved here with her American husband whom she met in Taiwan. When she first got here she was amazed by the snow in Denver, Colorado which is different from the tropical island of Taiwan. As she looked out the window of the plane at the pacific ocean apprehension and


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By Gwyneth R. excitement overcame her. She realized that she was far from her home, friends, and her family. She heard the intercom telling the passengers in English that they would be landing in Denver, Colorado soon. English would now be part of her life. As she got a grasp of her surroundings she realized that the behavior and actions of the people around her would change since she was no longer in a familiar place. Powell said, “The people’s individual value is too great and it creates a lot of self-centered people.” Powell thought the best parts of living here were, “There is a cleaner environment and a lot more space, it is quite crowded in Taiwan.” She was also struck by how

different that was to the way people are in Taiwan which is respectful, obedient, and don’t feel comfortable speaking their minds. Here people like their space and most houses are separated by fences. In Taiwan it is very different. “All the neighbors are close, next door you share a wall with your neighbor, so you get to know your neighbors a lot better. In my old house, we had panel doors. During the day the doors were open and people would come in and out and nobody worried about any stranger coming in because all of your neighbors know who you are,” Powell said.

Chinese people tend to be polite and here people tend to speak their mind. “Often times you need to think the opposite [when talking to a Taiwanese person], because Taiwanese people tend to be very polite. If they tell you that something is not troublesome, it is usually troublesome but they are too polite to say so. Taiwanese people aren’t as straightforward as American people,” Powell said.

mother cooks everything. Everyone sits down, drinks wine, and eats while the children run around. It’s really great. It’s not really a family reunion because everybody lives so close,” Powell said.

said. Then Powell goes on to say, “[We drink tea because] tea helps to cut down the grease that you have consumed. [Tea] is mostly for the social status.”

Her favorite story as a child is a story that correlates with the moon festival. It is called the lady and the moon. “There once was a queen who wanted to be beautiful and young forever. One day she got ahold a small pill that was said to keep someone Powell learned English young and beautiful, so she but she didn’t know the I think I am more American wouldn’t die or get old. So English slang. This led to an she took it, then after she took now. I feel like I am situated it she started feeling that her embarrassing moment. “I had a wind breaker, one time I wore body was getting light and she better and I can speak my my windbreaker to the office started floating. She floated up mind. and everybody told me it was to the moon and on the moon a really nice jacket. I said yeah there was a rabbit who was to this breaks wind very well. Everyone Another cultural shock hit Powell keep her company. There was no one was laughing so hard,” Powell said. when she returned to Taiwan with her else [on the moon], so she was very husband and daughter. “[My family] young and beautiful but very lonely. In Taiwan everything is in walking treats me like a foreigner. They The story said that sometimes when distance and in Texas everything is in make fun of my accent when I speak there is a clear sky and you look and flying distance. It take five hours to Taiwanese and they tease me because the moon, you can still see the lady on get from the north end of Taiwan to the I have lived [in the United States] for the moon with the rabbit next to her.” south end. “It gets farther apart here so long and I need to practice. When Powell said. and you have to drive everywhere, I speak mandarin some people tease whereas in Taiwan you can walk, take me that my mandarin sounds like The Moon Festival is celebrated the bus, go by train, or go by bicycle.” someone from South East Asia and on the 15th day of the 8th month of Powell said. “[We don’t really have I’m not Chinese,” Powell said. a lunar calendar, in 2012 the Moon a family reunion], but during the Festival will be on September 30th. It holidays like Chinese New Year and Some of Powell’s best memories is a tradition that has been around a the Moon Festival everybody gets are with her family in Taiwan. “[I long time. Since everyone celebrates together eats a meal together, it is like to] sit outside and chat with my it, it will most likely never be usually a pretty good meal since my family while drinking tea.” Powell forgotten. (Cont on page 16)

1) The Mengjia Longshan Temple

Photograph by

After the years of living here, Powell has adapted to her new life here. “I think I am more American now. I feel like I am situated better and I can speak my mind,” Powell said.

2) Yehliu

Photography by

3) Taipei Eye

Photograph by


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