Last semester, I had an internship in Omaha, Nebraska, working for a large company. I lived on the University of Nebraska – Omaha Campus, with three other girls, who I was randomly assigned. I lived with Nyochat, Min, and Yunghee. Nyochat was from Green Island, Nebraska, about two and a half hours west of Omaha, but she was born in South Sudan. Min and Yunghee were from South Korea, and were studying abroad that semester to learn and improve their English. During the semester, the four of us did things as roommates, Nyochat and I tried to show Min and Yunghee the “American” lifestyle.
Through autumn, Min and Yunghee also showed us traditional Korean dishes and celebrations. They shared with me how they are embarrassed by the American’s ignorance: when Min and Yunghee say they are from Korea, and people ask “form North or South?”, “Isn’t it obvious?” they reply that they would be from South Korea, since only a few select people have escaped from North Korea in the last 60 years. They think it is a shame that more American’s do not know the history of their own country and that of other countries.
Nyochat brought in her family traditions from South Sudan as well; she showed us local music, food, and dishes which she loved to cook. Nyochat told us about growing up in her family, which still was very influenced by South Sudan culture, yet also Americanized as well, and the struggles she dealt with living in a predominately-white community. She also informed with me that African’s and African-American’s don’t normally get along with each other, that is people who were brought over in the slave-trade many years ago from Western Africa, and those who have come to America within this generation on their own. I had heard this amongst society, but never observed it in first-person; I enjoyed learning about why the two cultures clash and what she had to say about them, and their cultural differences.
From living with such a diverse group of women, in such a “white” community, I grew in many ways personally during my time in Omaha. I realized what it must be like for somebody of distinct minority, in everyday life to be stared at because of the color of their skin, the language they spoke, and the way they dressed. I also learned, that people love America for our diversity, and my South Korean roommates really admired how we truly do have people from all over the world living in America, and although, we may still have some major issues to iron out, it is encouraging that we are so accepting of multi-cultural people coming to live in our country.
I want you to think about what diversities that you’ve encountered in your life, and also what you may be prejudice about in your life. Everybody is prejudice in their own way, whether it be from ethnicity, gay & lesbian, how somebody looks, where somebody is from, the music they may listen to, how in shape or unfit somebody is. Think about it and we’ll talk about these things next week! Please post a comment about it, as it’s anonymous!
Wassup ladies! Happy August! As summer is coming to a close (hard to believe, isn’t it? I’m not quite ready for it to be over either), we do have something BIG to look forward to, and that’s fall sports! I just wanted to share two pretty cool news stories with you, about female empowerment in athletics:
1. Under Armour has launched a new ad campaign called “I will what I want.”
Most of you probably know about UA’s traditional commercials, which are heavy-laden with muscular, macho men screaming and yelling in the locker room, sweating it out on the field, and getting their team pumped up, shouting, “We must protect this house! I will!” Well, recently, UA has been trying to reach out to the female demographic, and I TOTALLY applaud them for their approach. Take, for example, the ad featuring ballerina Misty Copeland (attached in a link below). It’s simple yet powerful. It showcases a strong female athlete in what’s stereotypically seen as soft and feminine sport. With all of the girly hub-bub going around with companies like Playtex Tampons or Lululemon, who continue to “pretty-up” women athletes instead of valuing female strength and form (just google Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson and you’ll find plenty of forehead-smack-inducing sexist quotes) I am SO appreciative that UA has taken the initiative to see us as the athletes we really are. We don’t need to be coddled, or dressed in pink spandex; we are a force to be reckoned with! So definitely check out the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA
2. The San Antonio Spurs hire Becky Hammon as NBA’s first full-time female coach.
Way to go, Becky! Former 16-season WNBA star has been hired by the Spurs as an assistant coach. A quote from the NY Times says that her being hired is an enormous “sign of respect. She did not get hired because she is a woman. She got hired because she is qualified, because they know her personality, how she interacts with players, how she understands X’s and O’s.” Oh, by the way, according to the same article, Hammon was selected to the WNBA all stars SIX times, and in 2011 was named one of the 15 most valuable players in LEAGUE history. What a boss and an inspiration! Read the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/sports/basketball/spurs-hire-becky-hammon-as-nbas-first-full-time-female-coach.html?_r=0
Anyways, I hope that these two stories will inspire you girls to keep making moves, in sports and otherwise! Work hard and stand up for yourselves!
So today I had the awesome opportunity to attend an event at the White House called the “White House AAPI Women’s Armchair Conversation.” AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and while the event was slightly geared towards addressing Asian minority issues, it was mostly a conversation between some great women role models and the young women (like me) who attended the event. The women role models who were on the panel were: Julie Chu, four-time Olympic Medalist of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team; Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014; and Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama & Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
You can obviously tell by their titles and accomplishments that these three ladies would have some great advice on how to excel as a woman in whatever you do in life.
Nina Davuluri was, as you might have guessed, incredibly gorgeous. Literally, I have never seen anyone with a more flawless face (granted, she was wearing a ton of makeup!). She was so much more than her beauty though. She participated in the Miss America pageant to pay her college tuition, and recently graduated from the University of Michigan with all of her student loans paid fully (this is a HUGE accomplishment!)! She was planning on going to med school, but has recently changed her mind and wants to go to business school to get her masters instead. Either way, she was super smart and super driven, and it shined out of her with every word she spoke. One cool thing about her was that she is first generation Indian (her first language was Telugu), and so her talent for the talent section of the Miss America Pageant was Bollywood. I just thought that was interesting.
The Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, Tina Tchen, commended the room with her presence. She had such a big personality, and I was loving it. Her voice was so loud and she talked with her hands and told stories so well that I wish I could just listen to her talk all day. She talked about how she and the First Lady were working on helping military families, spouses, wounded warriors, and their caregivers. She was so passionate when she spoke about care givers reaching out to caregivers and the struggles that wounded warriors and their families face every day, often without much recognition at all. Then she went on to talk about her past as a lawyer. I think that she gave a piece of advice today that every young woman should hear: “Don’t allow the first 15 minutes to get you down, ride it out, and then let your hard work speak for you.” What she meant by the “first 15 minutes” is that first time that you’re working for a boss or a superior or a client and you walk in and they see that you are a woman. For the first 15 minutes, they will probably ignore you (if they have a prejudice, of course. This does not blanketly apply to every situation) and instead only interact with your male counterpart. Do not let those 15 minutes get to you. Once there comes a question only you can answer or a piece of work that only you can vouch for, then that is your time to prove how smart and capable you are. From that point onward, they will know not to ignore you ever again.
My favorite, by far, was Julie Chu. This four-time Olympic hockey player and Chinese American was everything I want to be like some day. She wore no make-up, had on a hockey shirt and jeans, and had a smile that lit up the whole room. Despite her lack of makeup, she was incredibly gorgeous. Beautiful in the way that her face matched the underlying personality beneath. She spoke of how she was so successful because she relied on those around her. She was so humble and so passionate about what she did. Julie talked about how her niece wanted to be on the USA Women’s Hockey team, and this made Julie incredibly proud. Proud because when she was growing up, almost no women played hockey at all, and now she has a niece who has a women’s team to look up to. Julie talked about how she sometimes goes to hockey practice for 10-year-old girls, and that is what keeps her grounded and so passionate about life. She also told us about her efforts to establish a national women’s hockey league. I thought that was great. Hopefully one day she will help to make it happen!
Anyway, I just wanted to share this awesome experience with you. I hope these lovely ladies inspire you as much as they inspired me. As always, feel free to comment. And don’t forget to visit Onequay.org!
I decided that I should take a step back and educate y’all about the different global perspectives and views that other countries have. Luckily, I am taking a management course at college and my professor is from India so she is very insightful when educating us and giving examples! Of which I will use!
According to Breaking News English almost 80% of students in Europe can speak a second language fluently, whereas in the US 22% of the population can hold a conversation in a different language than their mother tongue (McComb). Most citizens in India (World Fact Book – India) and Indonesia (World Fact Book – Indonesia) will learn to speak three to four languages. Take Brussels for example, which is the capital of Belgium, and their country has three national languages: Dutch, French, and German – that’s right NOT English (World Fact Book – Belgium). Therefore, why do other countries such as the UK, Ireland, Canada, America, Australia, and New Zealand only speak English? About two-thirds of British & Irish only speak English (Oh to be); outside of Quebec in Canada, only 10% of Canadians speak a second language (Jedwab), in Australia only 16% of families speak a second language at home (Towards). However, in New Zealand, the indigenous people’s native language, of Maori, is still taught in schools, encouraged by members of the community as well (He Korero).
Therefore, a society where only one language is taught and primarily spoken or accepted is referred to as a monolingual. A country that is monolingual is usually seen as parochial (par-o-key-al); which is seen as “having a limited or narrow outlook or scope”. Do you have a friend, or maybe family member, who is “always right” or as I like to coin it, “it’s their way or the highway”, where they do not recognize that others may have a dissimilar view of living; essentially, a failure to be aware of, and accept, differences amongst people and their beliefs. They can tend to ignore others ways of living, being rude and insensitive to other’s cultures and traditions as well as having the “mine is better than yours” view. Now, yes, granted we’ve all been there, when we strongly believe that our perspective is “right”, but sometimes you’ll come to a conclusion or just say “to each their own” and move on.
By learning a second language, or understanding and respecting other’s cultures one becomes less parochial; this term can also be referred to as being “cultured”. If you read my first blog, “What is being ‘cultured’?”, this is one of the first steps to becoming more cultured.
I hope this inspires you to become more cultured, I know I am trying to learn Spanish this semester, and so far, halbo un poco. ^-^