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ChasE the unknown Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Life is most vibrant when filled with these experiences. And pursuing the unknown can be our greatest adventure. With this issue of Medley, we encourage you to use culture as your means to chase and seize vivid new experiences. Try cooking in styles from different parts of the world; we show you how to do it with quinoa on page 8. Explore somewhere you’ve never been, whether it’s across the globe for a wild festival (like those we feature on page 12) or just ten minutes north to eat your way through Syracuse’s Little Italy (seen in our photo story on page 14). Get a tattoo – maybe just for a few weeks – like the mehndi we highlight on page 29. Chase, discover, and learn. I hope you’re thrilled by the adventure.



Allie Caren Juliana LaBianca Megan Paolone

Beth Fritzinger DESIGNERS

Dan Berkowitz Katie Connelly Kristin Cordon Tierra Taylor


Rahima Nasa Teresa Sabga WEB EDITORS

Kimberly Gamble Michelle Van Dalen WEB EDITORS

Jill Comoletti Sara Freund J.A. Rosa Jr. Sarah Schuster PR DIRECTOR

Esther Chen

medley Gabriela Riccardi EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Kelly Kazmierczak Teresa Sabga ARTISTS

Rahima Nasa Liz Scafuto Alicia Zyburt

Elora Tocci



Elane Granger, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Student Services, Lillian and Emanuel Slutzker Center for International Services

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table of contents 04 Good Vibrations 05 To Dye For


08 One Food, Five Ways 11 Below the Belt 12 Summer-Wide Festival Guide 14 Behind Kitchen Doors


18 International & Interconnected


06 Pack It In

Medley is dedicated to providing a forum for students to explore cultural differences and its manifestations of campus, in the city of Syracuse, and abroad. Medley is published once a semester with funding from your student fee. All contents of the publication are copyright 2013 by their respective creators.

21-25 SPECIAL PACKAGE: Democratic Republic of the


14 26 5 Tips to Kick Back and Relax 28 Body Art

20 29 30

30 Abroad Mood Board


“Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows will fall behind.” - Maori proverb

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COVER: Soula Carni measures out a container of parmesean cheese at Thanos’s Import Market in Syracuse’s Little Italy.

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Read up on this instrument from down under. STORY | SARA FREUND ILLUSTRATION | ELIZABETH SCAFUTO

The low, droning hum of the didgeridoo buzzes in the air; the sound is nearly hypnotic. This native North Australian instrument is crafted to accompany spiritual chanting and singing during Aboriginal ceremonies. It’s thought to be the world’s oldest instrument, and its first records were found in Australian cave paintings dating back at least 2,000 years. Traditionally, only men are allowed to play the didgeridoo during Aboriginal ceremonies. However, women have gradually started playing it recreationally in the last several decades.


The crafting, decorating, and playing of the didgeridoo is sacred because of its relationship with “dreamtime,” the world’s spiritual formation and body of knowledge in Aboriginal culture. The Aborigine consider art as a means for gaining this knowledge, and the music of the didgeridoo is meant to capture the essence of spiritual nature. The Aboriginal art used in the creation of the didgeridoo is distinguished by the use of small dots and lines. Often, the decorative carvings and paintings on the didgeridoo resemble aspects of the artist›s tribe mythology. The most common figures painted are turtles, lizards, crocodiles, birds, natural elements and human figures. To make a didgeridoo, Aboriginal craftsmen will search for a Eucalyptus tree that termites have naturally hollowed out after eating the dead wood inside; the living bark contains a poisonous chemical. The selected tree is then harvested, cleaned out, and trimmed. Finally, beeswax is molded around the mouthpiece to provide the musician with better grip. Today the didgeridoo can be made out of plastic, glass, ceramic, or hemp—basically anything that forms a hollow tube. But the material isn’t what makes the didgeridoo special. It’s how you play it. Circular breathing, the technique required to play the didgeridoo, has been passed down through the aboriginal culture for thousands of years. It requires you to simultaneously breathe in through your nose as you push air out of your mouth. Trying to do it now? You probably can’t. Aborigines begin training as early as age 14 to learn this technique. But once mastered, the didgeridoo can release the hum of spiritual music.

Find yourself tripping over the instrument’s name? You’re not the only one. While the origins of the word didgeridoo (pronounced did-jur-ee-du) are unknown, there are also a number of other terms for the instrument. Try your hand at reading some of the names used among various Aborigine tribes.

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• Ngarrriralkpwina • Djibolu • Bambu • Yidaki • Wuyimba

• Artawirr • Ngaribi • Illpirra • Jiragi

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To Dye For

Medley | Spring 2013


Spice up your summer wardrobe with these tie-dye techniques. WORDS | GABRIELA RICCARDI

Ikat is a tying and binding method used to dye patterns into threads or fibers; the cloth is only woven after it is dyed. Though its exact origin is not known, ikat has been a part of long histories in Central and South America, along with Southeast Asia. The effect, traditionally, is a stretched repetition of bright shapes and patterns.

Shibori comes from the Japanese root word meaning to wring, squeeze, or press. This Japanese printing technique involves shaping, securing, or stitching cloth before it is dyed. Dazzling, dizzying designs emerge when the fabric is smoothed flat.

Batik originated in the Indonesian island of Java and uses wax to resist color. Printmakers paint their patterns on to cloth with wax and then dye the fabric in a multitude of colors. Stripping away the wax reveals a tapestry of undyed print.

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8 10




7 3

11 5 9

2 12

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PACK IT IN Compile your own backpack for traveling this summer – maybe with a little more than you need. Here is Medley’s totally unscientific list of backpacking necessities. COMPILED BY STAFF PHOTO | KELLY KAZMIERCZAK 1

SHARK BACKPACK Make sure your bag is Jawsome.


MACE, KNIFE & WHISTLE Haven’t you seen Taken?

3 TRAVELING BUDDHA Anyone could use a little luck when trying to navigate streets in Chinese.

4 STUFFED ANIMAL For the nights when your crowded hostel room feels lonely, Fluffy is always there to cuddle. 5

IPAD Too bad you can’t carry Wi-Fi with you, too.


GRANOLA BARS On the off chance that the local cuisine is a little too adventurous for you, keep some emergency sustenance on hand.


FLASK If your room gets a little cold, warm up with a sip or two.


SHARPIE You just never know.


BOOK Harry Potter is always a worthy sidekick.

10 COMPASS Though it may get you more lost than found. 11 PHOTOGRAPHS Bring a little love from home for when you need it most. 12

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SYRACUSE GEAR Rep Cuse Nation no matter where you are.

Medley | Spring 2013



But for real advice for a backpacking excursion, take some tips from junior Caroline Castro. She strapped on her boots to hike from hostel to hostel while studying abroad in Chile and Ecuador. • PACK LIGHT. Castro found it was best to bring one dry outfit for nighttime and two daytime outfits for getting wet or dirty. “Once you’re out there, you’re so used to being dirty that you find yourself totally okay wearing a shirt you sweat in two days before,” she said. “Just hang it out to dry and let nature clean it for you!” • AVOID STICKING TO AN AGENDA. “Some of the best times I had were those that were left unplanned,” said Castro. “Yes, it’s good to have some destinations in mind, but you never know who you’re going to meet along the way who might have better advice for you.” • TALK TO THE LOCALS. “Hostel owners and other backpackers are great sources for the information you might not know,” Castro said. On a hiking trip in Patagonia, a park ranger her group befriended showed them a shortcut to their next campsite. On another trip in Chile to Valle del Elqui, other campers told Castro that the site she was headed towards was overpriced and crowded. “Instead, we traveled with them to a free, unregistered campground with their friends, which was way more fun!” • DON’T LET OBSTACLES GET IN YOUR WAY. “Never let weather stop you!” Castro said. “Our group did a day hike in Ecuador on a day with pouring rain and cold wind, but it ended up being one of the best experiences from the trip because we all went through it together, sliding in the mud and singing in the rain.”

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1 Food,

5Ways WORDS | ALLIE CAREN PHOTOS | KELLY KAZMIERCZAK Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is the newest, trendiest addition to any healthy diet. Because of its high nutritious value, that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of the Quinoa. Consumers across cultures are tying the seeds of this grain-like crop into some of their favorite classic recipes for a healthy and versatile addition to any meal. Try to find a recipe to cure your taste bud’s craving!

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Medley | Spring 2013


Quinoa with a Latin Twist [source:] • 1 cup quinoa • 2 tsp. canola oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 can chopped green chilies (4 oz.) • 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 14 oz. can chicken broth or vegetable • broth (14 oz.) • 1/2 cup chopped scallions • 2 tbs. lime juice • 1/4 tsp. salt

1. Toast quinoa in a large dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. 2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Add chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. 4. Add the quinoa and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. 5. Add scallions, lime juice and salt to the quinoa and serve.

Indian Spiced Chicken Quinoa Pilaf [source:]

• 2 cups quinoa • 2 cups chicken stock • 1 tbs. olive oil • 6 chicken thigh fillets cut into small pieces • 1 brown onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 tbs. finely grated ginger • 1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, finely chopped • 1 tsp. cumin seeds • 1 tsp. garam masala • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1. Sauté chicken with olive oil in high heat in a medium sized pan. 2. Add onions after five minutes. 3. Add garlic, ginger, chili, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and fennel seeds to the pan. 4. Add quinoa and chicken stock after the spices have mixed with the chicken and onions. 5. Wait for broth to boil, then reduce heat and put a lid on the pan. 6. When the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes) take lid off and serve.

Quinoa Chili [source:]

• 2 cups quinoa • 1 tbs. vegetable oil • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz.) • 2 cans of black beans (19 oz. each) • 1 onion, chopped • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 1 zucchini, chopped

• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced • 1 tbs. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce • 1 tbs. chili powder • 1 tbs. turmeric • 1 tsp. dried oregano • Salt and ground pepper to taste • 1 cup frozen corn

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot and stir in onions; cook for five minutes. 2. Add the garlic, chili powder, and turmeric and cook for one minute to release flavors 3. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, bell peppers, zucchini, jalapeno, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Stir in quinoa and corn, cook for five minutes, and serve.

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Quinoa Sliders [source:]

• 1 cup uncooked quinoa • 2 cups chicken stock • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, chopped • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped • 1 green onions, thinly sliced

• 2 garlic cloves, minced • 2 large eggs • 1/4 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. pepper • 3 tbs. olive oil • 12 slider buns

1. Add quinoa and chicken stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes. 2. While the quinoa cooks, slice the green onions, chop the carrots, mince the garlic and grate the cheese. Mix together in a large bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, pepper and chickpeas. Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, add it to the bowl and mix well 3. Form this mix into patty shapes that will fit on your slider buns. If your are having trouble getting the patties to stick together, add a drop of olive oil to the mixture. 4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, place quinoa patties on the skillet and fry until golden brown and crispy. 5. Remove and repeat with the remaining patties. Put on buns and serve.

Apple Quinoa Cake [source:]] • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour • 1/2 tsp. baking powder • 1/4 tsp. baking soda • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon • 1/4 tsp. salt • 1 large apple, cored and coarsely grated • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 cup cooked quinoa • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 1/4 cup raisins Cinnamon Oat Topping • 1/4 cup rolled oats • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon • 1 tbs. sugar • 1 tsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a glass dish. 2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. 3. In a medium bowl, mix the grated apple, oil, quinoa, vanilla, sunflower seeds and raisins. 4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until fully combined, then pour mixture into greased glass dish. 6. Combine all ingredients for the topping and spread evenly over the top of the mixture. 7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, let cool, and serve.

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Quinoa with a Latin Twist

Quinoa Sliders

Indian Spiced Chicken Quinoa Pilaf

Apple Quinoa Cake Quinoa Chili

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Medley | Spring 2013


Below the Belt Try suiting up this summer in one of these menswear styles from around the world. WORDS | JILL COMOLETTI ILLUSTRATION | RAHIMA NASA

K aftan

L ederhosen

K ilt

L ungi

Keep cool and look cooler in this light, flowy robe known as a kaftan. The kaftan originated in Mesopotamia in 600 B.C. and eventually spread in popularity throughout Europe. During the 16th century, kaftans were made of fabrics such as satins, velvets and silks, and the quality of materials in your kaftan indicated your social status. Today, kaftans are often worn in West Africa to protect wearers from the burning sun and biting insects. People in the United States also latched on to the trend; back in the 1960s and 70s, hippies sported some totally rad kaftans.

If you were to slap on a pair of lederhosen and strut through campus, you might attract a few stares. However, men in Bavarian Germany still wear these heavy, leather shorts around town to beer festivals like Oktoberfest. Bavarian peasants first wore lederhosen while they did farm work, rode horses, and went hunting. European aristocracy used to dress up like peasants for fun, and when they started wearing lederhosen, the popularity of the shorts spread like wildfire.

Step aside, pink: real men wear kilts. This wool skirt is worn by more than just bagpipe players – it’s also the national dress of Scotland. The kilt was created with its wearer in mind. Originally donned by the Scottish army, its thick fabric would shield wearers from attacks and could be easily removed and used as a blanket. Though kilts have become significantly shorter and are now more of a fashion statement than a coat of armor, they still evoke a sense of national pride.

Whoever said men can’t wear skirts obviously hasn’t been to India. The lungi, an often a colorful, long skirt fastened with a knot, is especially popular in the hotter regions of the country. Typically, they are made of cotton, but silk lungis are available for weddings and formal events. Lungis are worn very differently based on region; for example, people from Kerala fasten their lungis with a knot on the right side, while people from Tamil Nadu knot theirs on the left side.

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summer-wide f


Burning Man

August 26 - September 2; Black Rock Desert, Nevada, U.S. 48,000+ people flock to the Black Rock Desert to participate in this mysterious art development dedicated to radical self-expression. A self-sustaining community both builds and dismantles itself in one week, leaving at its end without a trace of existence.

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Inti Raymi, Festival of the Sun

June 24; Cuzco, Peru This day celebrates an Incan tribute to the dazzling sun. For the Incas, there was no day more important than the festival of Apu Inti Tayta, the sun god; now, Cuzco reenacts and continues this winter solstice tradition on June 24. Over 150,000 people gather at the fabulous Coricancha, the Incan sun temple, to watch residents play the part of Incans in the Quechua language. The day is complete with glittering dancers, (fake) sacrifices, and imperial costumes.

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Medley | Spring 2013

e festival guide


Your comprehensive list to festival-hop the globe over break.

Songkran Water Festival

Boryeong Mud Festival

Hungry Ghost Festival

Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill

La Tomatina

Catch me next year! Panafest

April 13-15; Bangkok, Thailand Splash and squelch your way into the New Year in Thailand. This Buddhist festival marks the beginning of the Thai year with water to symbolize cleansing and a fresh start. The day is spent by throwing water on anyone and everyone in the streets, so ready your water guns, balloons, and buckets.

August 21; China, Singapore, Taiwan, and more During the seventh month of the lunar calendar, it is believed that the gates of hell are opened for restless spirits to rove the Earth. Many give sacrifices to “feed” and appease these ghosts; they provide offerings for ghosts and ancestors in the afterlife by setting extra places at the dinner table or burning fake money on the street. One of the culminations of the month is the festival is held on the fifteenth day of the month. Ghosts receive an offering of burning paper lanterns afloat on water.

August 28; Buñol, Spain Get to know your favorite non-vegetable by pelting tomatoes in a massive tomato fight. A cockaigne pole, or greased pole, is raised in the center of the city, and a ham is placed at the top of the pole. When the pole is climbed and the ham grabbed by a member of the crowd, a cannon is fired and the tomato war begins. Roughly 30,000 people come to the streets of Buñol for the festivities, which last for over an hour.

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July 16 – July 24; Daecheon Beach, South Korea It’s every mother’s nightmare: a week dedicated to rolling around in the mud. The festival, which promotes the beach’s unique silt and cosmetic muds, features events like mud baths, a mud slide, and even performances in the mud. Just try not to track the mucky remains into the house afterwards.

May 27; Gloucester, U.K. On this day each year, the hills are alive with rolling cheeses. The event, which may have evolved from pagan tradition, consists competitors chasing after a wheel of Gloucester cheese rolled down a hill. Spectators beware: the cheese can reach up to 70 miles per hour as it shoots down the hill. The first person to cross the finish line wins the cheese; that’s one way to work for your dinner.

Accra, Ghana and other cities Also known as the Emancipation, this festival is designed to become a part-pilgrimage for people of the Diaspora. While the event aims to be a reminder of the tragedies of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, it is also a lively celebration of African arts, theater, dance, music, fashion, and more. The festival is held for two weeks biannually in Ghana, so hold out for 2014.

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Behind Kitchen Doors


Fifty years ago, Italian immigrants flooded the streets of North Salina. Soon after the second generation grew older, they left the neighborhood and moved north of Syracuse in order to further their education or find employment. The storefronts were left vacant and unattended to. Now, there are new efforts to revive what was orginially considered Syracuse’s Little Italy.

Paul D doused

The aromas of fresh basil and oregano fill Asti Caffe thanks to its open kitchen.

Soula Carni sells a variety of her own home-seasoned olives and ages her own provolone at Thano's Import Market on North Salina Street. Medley_update.indd 14

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Medley | Spring 2013

Paul DiCuia, head chef of Asti Cafe, prepares his grilled salmon speciality doused in a garlic cream sauce.


The Columbus Baking Company has sold handmade bread on Pearl Street for the past 116 years.

DiCuia prepares the popular, mouth-watering Utica Greens burger in Asti Caffe.

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Asti Caffe offers a grilled salmon with roasted, se a garlic cream sauce.


After the previous owner attempted to close Thano's Import Market, Soula Carni bought the store. She has sold authentic Italian goods for the past five years.

Columbus Baking Company sells roughly 1,000 lo offers deli options to add to its divine bread. Medley_update.indd 16

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h roasted, seasoned tomatoes and spinach in


After the city of Syracuse announced the continuation of the Little Italy project, the Tumino sons, driven by their desire to be involved in the rebirth of the neighborhood, decided to open Asti Caffe.

ughly 1,000 loafs of bread a day, The store now e bread. Medley_update.indd 17

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Allison Clark, senior graphic design and writing major, helps two young students with their reading and math homework.

International Interconnected University students form lasting bonds with Syracuse refugee children as a part of the International Young Scholars mentorship program. WORDS | JULIANA LABIANCA PHOTOS | MAGGIE REILLY

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seven-year-old boy sits patiently at a corner table of the Somali Bantu Community Center. Zipped up in his hunter green puffer jacket, Iron Man backpack strapped to his shoulders, the boy holds a picture book called The Last Rainbow. An older boy at the other end of the table scatters a stack of Uno cards, and a little girl in a vibrant purple dress dances around behind them writing fractions on a standalone blackboard. The boy with the book watches them and rocks back and forth before beginning to flip through the book’s pages by himself. Before he shows too much frustration over not knowing how to read the words, Syracuse University senior Allison Clark reaches over, takes the book and begins to read. The boy shifts comfortably in his chair and listens intently. Clark is a volunteer mentor for the Somali Bantu Community Center’s International Young Scholars program, which is organized for S.U. students through the Office of Engagement. For three years, Clark mentored the same student, Salat Ali. “It was great because we started as freshmen in the same year, so we were able to transition together,” she says. The Somali Bantu Community Center, located a few minutes down the street from Brewster, Boland and Brockway Halls, caters to the estimated 500 Somali Bantu refugees that reside in Syracuse, N.Y. Since the collapse of the

Somali government and start of its civil war in 1991, Somali Bantu villagers faced persecution and discrimination by other Somalis and Somali militia.

dents who began their education in the states. “Salat is one of the most inquisitive students I’ve ever met,” she said. “These kids are extremely intelligent – a

A student contemplates his next move on the board game he is playing with his peers.

lot of them are really good at math and science.” Watching several students argue over pieces of chalk in order to solve math problems on a blackboard couldn’t have made this any clearer. Along with younger students matched up with mentors, older students like Ali are also allowed to sit and do homework together. “Salat was very Alison Clark i n d e p e n d e n t . volunteer mentor for the Somali Bantu Community Center’s Sometimes he’d International Young Scholars program. just come to the students at the center are not from the program and sit and do his homework U.S., there is a misconception that they by himself,” Clark says. She says that will be significantly farther behind stu>> Most fled to refugee camps in Kenya. In 1999, the US Department of State approved the resettlement of 12,000 Somali Bantus. Refugees began arriving in Syracuse in the spring of 2003. Clark says that because many of the

“... No one is forcing them to go. Most of them just walk in here on their own.”

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when the other kids would get rowdy, Ali would remain focused. Although some of the students at the center can drag their feet on the way in on some days, Clark says the students come to mentoring sessions by choice. “None of this is paid for in advance, and no one is forcing them to go,” she says. “Most of them just walk here on their own.” The biggest problem that many of the students face is the language barrier. “If you’re not up to speed with the language your schoolwork is in, its going to stop you from progressing at the right speed,” she says. One of the most important benefits of working with Ali for three years in a row was learning his strengths and weaknesses. “We used to make lesson plans, and we still do, but now we try to also focus on homework because that’s where the kids need the most help,” Clark says. Mentors usually begin each session with students’ homework,

Two International Young Scholars smile after solving math problems on the chalkboard.

then move through pre-prepared lesson plans, and end the session with about a half an hour of games. For Clark, the most rewarding part of mentoring Ali was being able to see him progress in his schoolwork and being able to talk about his future. The pair mostly worked on reading, and Clark

An IYS mentor helps one of the students with his homework.

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got to witness his reading pace and comprehension improve. “Sometimes he’d be reading along and I’d be like, ‘Wait, do you understand that word?’ and he’d be like, ‘Well no, not really,” she said. “Sometimes he’d be embarrassed that he didn’t know it, or he’d think he knew it but didn’t. If the kid is more comfortable with you it helps with that.” Another topic the two were able to make progress on was deciding what Ali would do when he grew up. “I used to ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up because I don’t think he really knew how to go about thinking about stuff like that,” Clark said. “He was always talking about movies, so I suggested he be a director or producer, so I know he was thinking about that.” While Clark looks more than comfortable mentoring the younger students at the center, she hopes Ali can come back and tell her what he’s decided to do for college. Until he makes that decision, she will leave no picture book unread and no board game unsupervised.

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Medley | Spring 2013





as time strides onward, the Democratic Republic of the Congo finds itself trapped in a static spin of conflict and catastrophe. The Congo is the sweeping archetype for the problems that have plagued Africa for the past fifty years — colossal poverty, instability, violence, and strife. Over five million people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of violence. The world has not seen a conflict this devastating since World War II. But even though the tragedies of this country outnumber most on the globe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is strangely absent from the Western consciousness. By flipping through this package, begin to give the Congo the attention it deserves. Get briefed on conflict minerals, one of the causes of the clashes in the Congo. Face the numbers of people devastated by the conflict today. And appreciate more than the nation’s struggles by reading about some of its rich cultural history. Find the voice of the Congo and listen. >>

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If a country is rich with mineral and natural resources, it’s usually a blessing. But for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has been the opposite. The D.R.C. produces the most cobalt ore in the world, along with a significant amount of copper and industrial diamonds. It is also known for its production of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, which are minerals used in a variety industrial products like computers and cellphones. But rather than make the nation strong and prosperous, the abundance of rich natural resources has only brought the Congo division and tragedy. In 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium took over control over the region, calling it the Congo Free State. Leopold established the Congo Free State under the guise of humanitarian purposes. Instead, he used the land to create a monopoly over the ivory and rubber trades, attaining vast wealth for himself. Leopold stripped almost all native Congolese of the right to their land and turned the nation into a labor camp. Approximately 10 million Congolese lost their lives under Leopold’s rule. Leopold’s abusive rule over the Congo ended in 1908 when Congo became a Belgian colony. The Congolese challenged colonial rule from the beginning and won their independence from Belgium after suffering years of exploitation and struggle. However, the

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fight for control over Congo’s resources was not quite over yet. With colonial powers gone, politicians, soldiers and armed militant groups in the Congo seized the opportunity to take control over resource-rich areas. Now, the Congolese Army and independent armed groups control the areas where these minerals can be found and use the profits to finance their armies. The most prominent of these groups is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, which sits on the U.S.’s list of recognized terrorist organizations. Armed militias like the FDLR use Congo’s vast mineral resources to finance wars in the eastern Congo. These militant groups exercise brutal rule over Congolese civilians. There are about 7,000 child soldiers being used by militant groups. Some of these children are kidnapped from their families, while others voluntarily join this group due to lack of other viable opportunities. From an early age, war becomes the only thing that these children know. When militant groups are not using guns to exhibit their dominance in the region, the militias are using sexual violence as another weapon of war. In 2008, there were about 100,000 reports of rape in North and South Kivu. Half of the survivors were not yet eighteen.

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Medley | Spring 2013


The Congolese government struggles to secure the mining areas because the presence of armed militias is so strong. Over five million people have died over the conflict, and two million people were displaced from their homes. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Congo, known as MUNOSCO, is the most expensive one to date at $1.4 billion dollars. The D.R.C. still has a long way to go in terms of development, despite being so abundant with minerals and other resources. Militant groups continue to thrive off exploiting the resources that belong to the Congolese people because of the international demand for Congo’s m i ne rals. The minera ls are illegally smuggled out of the Congo and sold to international markets. Congo’s security and its people will always be at risk as long as Congo’s armed militias are able to profit from this illegal mineral mining trade. And until they are stopped, the Congolese people will not get back what is rightfully theirs.

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people killed in conflict since 1998, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II

45,000 Congolese killed monthly due to war, disease and malnutrition

Life Expectancy at Birth

Infant Mortality Rate


Number of children that do not live past the age of five per 1000 births


167: DRC 30 20

108: Sub-Saharan Africa


7: United States




highest child mortality rate in the world

491,481 Congolese refugees have been forced to flee their homeland as of January 2012


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Medley | Spring 2013


Gems of the Congo Regardless of its historical strife, discover the Congo’s dazzling arts and culture. WORDS | SARAH SHUSTER

After six years of what was the deadliest war in African history, The Second Congo War ended in 2003, leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo with unresolved conflicts and 5.4 million dead. Despite all of the conflict, the D.R.C. is a special place rich with culture and tradition that has endured. ART OF THE KUBA KINGDOM


Mercato Delle Stoffe Africane

Art from this ancient African kingdom is some of the most celebrated of the Congo. Some of the relics left behind from the Kuba kingdom are helmet masks, which feature strong geometric patterns, colorful fabrics, and seed, bead, and shell adornments. A common material used to make embroidered textiles, fiber, and beaded hats was raffia, from the raffia palm tree. Helmet masks and other iconic Kuba Kingdom art piece can be found today at the National Museum of Congo in its capital city of Kinshasa.

Traditional clothing in the Congo is made from raffia, although today this clothing is only worn for special ceremonies. Now one would see women wearing long skirts and shirts of bright and bold colors. Under the presidency of Mobutu Sese Seko from 1965-1997, suit jackets and ties were banned in the Congo, and men were forced to wear a tunic called an abacost. But now, Western clothing is common and especially popular among the upper classes.

In this bustling marketplace of Kinshaha, you’re sure to find Congolese staples like bananas, pineapples, taro, peanuts, rice, and bread, along with bright handwoven fabrics. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, other food choices include whole barbecued monkeys, live tortoises, small crocodiles, snails, caterpillars, grasshopper, and goat heads. Hey, don’t hate it until you try it.


Lola Ya Bonobo

Joseph Tchamala, known as Le Grande Kalle, is considered the father of modern Congolese music. In attempts to develop a style that the D.R.C. could call its own, Tchamala created African jazz, based on Afro Cuban style with a mix of rumba, samba and cha cha. This music is now known as soukous.


Just outside the capital city of Kinshaha is the world’s only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos, great apes that can only be found in the Congo. But these apes aren’t simply monkeys; they’re humankind’s closest living relatives. They share more than 98% of our DNA. You can take a tour to see this rare monkeys roam.

The Congo River

Take a guided ride down the deepest river in the world. The Congo River is the main trade route and most convenient form of travel of the locals. One trip can take you down the Congo on a 34-meter long wooden river cruiser. This traditional boat will take you about 900 miles down this 2,920 mile river in 21 days, where you can camp, meet locals, and visit a Biosphere Reserve with over 32,000 species of trees. It makes Huckleberry Finn’s adventure seem like a lazy river ride.

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Ways to KickBack and




Stressing about hypothetical situations can make you anxious for no reason. In a tribe in Africa, children learn from a young age to recognize their negative thoughts and then free themselves of them and move on. They learn to think, “This is a story that doesn’t need to happen!” In other words, don’t dwell on all the bad things that could happen. Instead, focus your time and energy on taking precautions to make sure they don’t.


Your surroundings can also have a major effect on your mood and stress level. Feng shui translates to “wind-water,” a reference to the flow of positive energy in space. In the days before magnetic compasses, feng shui masters used shadow-casting sundials called gnomons to determine layouts. But you don’t need to read the sun to rejuvenate your study space. Try moving all your electronics to your living area, opening windows, and incorporating colors ranging from pale beige to chocolate brown into your room’s design. Lavender smells also add relaxing and calming effects to any setting, helping you calm down after your crazy study sessions.

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Medley | Spring 2013


As finals loom overhead, take a deep breath with these ways to chill out. 3. MEDITATE

Mantra meditation is a technique widely practiced in Indian Buddhism and was originally said to control unseen forces. Mantras, sometimes defined as a cross between poetry and magical incantations, contain sounds like “om,” “ah,” and “hum,” and help to still the mind and lessen mind chatter. To avoid coming off like you’ve lost your mind in the library, try to practice this technique solo. But hold no reservations; your brain might thank you later.


Music is a universal relaxant, whether it’s classical, R&B, or whatever else you enjoy best. The sitar is an Indian instrument with very soothing sounds; next time your find yourself in a finals-induced panic, listen to some music by sitarist Ravi Shankar. Or if you’re just trying to relax with music you already know, try a new Pandora playlist based on one of your favorite songs. Research even confirms that music can help you learn better, so turn the tunes up and the worries down.


No matter how much your long hours of study merit a trip to the bar, it’s probably not the best place to spend finals week. Rather, take a tip from the Fijians. People all over the South Pacific, especially in Fiji, use the roots of kava plants to make a calming herbal tea. Fijians drink it casually during relaxing afternoons and ceremoniously when meeting new groups of people. You can buy kava as a dietary supplement, but to use it in its most traditional form, steep its dried or powdered root in water. The plant has some drug-like effects; after a few cups, the root’s juices can numb your face and make you feel drowsy. Maybe you want to save this one for after you hit the books.

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Medley | Spring 2013


Body Discover the custom and meaning of ornate mehndi tattoos. WORDS & HENNA | RAHIMA NASA PHOTO | MAGGIE REILLY



hile the word henna is derived from Arabic, South Asian henna tattoos are known as mehndi. The dye for these temporary tattoos is made of ground henna leaves and an acidic liquid like lemon juice; once painted and dried on the skin, mehndi can last from a few days to a few weeks. This elaborate body art is traditionally applied to the hands and feet of women for celebrations. South Asian weddings are usually preceded by a mehndi ceremony; on this day, the hands of the bride-to-be are adorned with intricate mehndi designs. These patterns are often rich in meaning. Leaves or buds, for example, signify new life and joy, while zig-zags represent rain, fertility, and abundance. A swirling scorpion, surprisingly, denotes love, and ripples can symbolize water and purity.

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Madrid, Spain Spring 2012



Get inspired b students have b

Saint Petersburg, Spring 2013

Brian Spitler senior accounting major

“This day was unbelievable. When we first got to Zermatt, [Switzerland,] the Matterhorn was completely cloud covered, and we thought we would never see it.  We decided to go on a hike anyway. The entire time we were making our way up, the clouds were still preventing us from seeing anything. Right when we got to the summit of our hike, the cloud cover dissipated, leaving us with a fantastic view of the mountain.“

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“This was inside St. Isaac’s Cathed instead of taking the metro from up taking me two hours because couldn’t get to a bridge that I rec

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Florence, Italy

Medley | Spring 2013


Summer 2012



ired by the places have been this year.

Chizoba Anyaoha senior psychology and economics major

sburg, Russia

“I was at Placa Reial (the Royal Plaza) looking around when I saw the statue of a lion from afar. I told myself I had to get on and take a picture!”

Rabat, Morocco Spring 2013

Melanie Gruenbaum junior russian major

ac’s Cathedral, and I decided to walk metro from my apartment. It ended urs because I got lost on my island and ge that I recognized.”

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Briana Rinaldo junior international relations major

“Everything in the sleepy town [Asilah] was beautiful - down to the people and the fisherman himself (we helped him carry his pole over some rocks later). Everyone was so content and so nice to the tourists. We felt right at home.”

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Medley Spring 2013  
Medley Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 Issue