The Goodbye

I remember the day that I looked at the countdown of the number of days before graduation, and it said 80 something days left. I thought to myself that I still have a lot of times to spend time with my friends. I was wrong. Now, the saying that “time flies” is actually real. Only 5 more days left at ICS. I can’t believe that only 5 days left and I my high school will be finished. Many of my best friends are going overseas for their universities. Even though I have tried to spend as much time as I could to be with my friends, I feel like it is not enough.

I had a hard time to fall asleep during the past week because I kept thinking about the graduation that will come in a week. I don’t want to leave this place. I don’t want to leave my friends and teachers. I will miss every memory that I had with this lovely community. I have been through both very bad and the happiest situations with my friends and I would say we are not just friends now. For me, they are my brothers. I will miss them a lot. I will miss playing soccer with my friends during lunch and even the varsity team. I will miss playing coup with my friends after school. I will miss joking around with them.

It is going to be an extremely hard goodbye for me. I will miss all of my friends and teachers. I hope that someday we will reunite and spend time together again.

I LOVE YOU ALL <3<3

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Damage and healing

The most notable external conflict in Cry, the Beloved Country is the issue about the separation between the white people and the black people. The blacks are totally oppressed by the whites and the white laws. The solution for Paton to this issue is LOVE AND KINDNESS. He shows his love and kindness through forgiveness. In the book, Stephen shows the love between father and son, and brother and sister. Jarvis shows the love by forgiving the person who murders his son even though the person is black. And the result of ending the apartheid proves that LOVE AND KINDNESS can actually heal and solve the problem.

Moving on to the internal conflict in the book, Stephen Kumalo’s internal conflict seems to be the significant one in the book. His brother and sister leave him and go to Johannesburg without contacting him back. As well as his son, Absalom, he has gone from Stephen’s life. And again Paton shows that LOVE AND KINDNESS can fix the problem. Stephen forgives his sister for being a prostitute and brings her and her child to live with him and start the new life. Stephen also forgives his son for being a murderer. Showing LOVE AND KINDNESS by forgiving will heal the pain.

 

Othering

According to Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos, “The idea of ‘otherness’ is central to sociological analyses of how majority and minority identities are constructed”.

I have seen othering as a natural behavior of humans. Each individual is categorized and labeled differently and each of us engages in a different group. Since Thai society has mixed culture between many regions such as Indian, Chinese, European, etc. This causes to the diversity within Thai society and people tend to create a stereotype for each group.

For example, if we see a black and skinny kid in Thailand, we would consider him or her to be poor and probably is a “dek-wan” or those kids who do drugs and race their motorbike on the street at midnight. Unlike those who have Chinese blood and have white skin, we would look at them as the kids who have wealthy parents and well educated.

Beyond among Thai people, Many Thai people look down on Burmese people due to their job opportunities. Most of the Burmese people in Thailand flee from Burma and they get paid very low for their jobs in Thailand comparing to Thai citizens.

How to write about Thailand

When writing about Thailand,  we mention “the land of smiles”, the “jai-yen” people, the Buddhists country, the green tropical forest.

BUT ALSO don’t forget to mention about the microwave-like climate Thai nightlife, Thai prostitutes, corruption, poverty, destruction of green area, and drugs.

Each foreigner has his/her purpose of visiting Thailand. Each of them has the totally varied perspective about Thailand. Some might say that Thailand is a beautiful country. People are friendly, temples are beautiful, beautiful beaches and mountains, good food.

BUT they don’t really know actual Thailand. Thailand is actually the country where people “love” to take advantage and are corrupt. In those beautiful temples, many monks are corrupted by neglect the rules. The only beautiful beach in Thailand is on the PP island (How about Pattaya’s beach????). People sneak into forbidden areas to cut down trees and kill animals. The food is so yummy! How about its cleanliness?

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Its cover might seem to be nice but the inside is the opposite.

Answering Che’s Calls to Action

I never thought about taking the action of serving a community before I came to ICS. However, when I came to ICS, the school gave many opportunities for me to do community services. My mindset has changed afterward and I understand those who live in poverty and learn more about inequality in our society more and more. Every time I went to do community services including my capstone project, I felt good that I did help out those who were stuck on the issues they encountered. The community services have inspired me to take action on aiding others who suffer.

It is very important to serve the poor communities because, without help, it is nearly impossible for them to solve the problems they are facing by themselves. As human beings, I believe that we should help each other out and encourage others to have the better living standard.

Since I am going to graduate this year and enroll in a university, there would be fewer opportunities for me to serve communities. Even further, after graduating from the university, the opportunity of serving those needy communities would lessen even more. Everybody has his/her own duty each day and it is hard to deny that we prefer to rest during our weekends or holiday instead of going out and help the poor.

Responsible Tourists

Being responsible is having control over or care for someone. To be a responsible tourist, you need to care about the country’s culture that you visit. Besides that, it is very important to respect their cultures and beliefs. In order to be able to respect their cultures appropriately, you have to learn about their cultures and beliefs first. So I believe that to be a responsible tourist is to learn about the country’s culture, beliefs, tradition, etc. before visiting the country.

On the other hand, being an irresponsible tourist means the opposite. Recently, one of youtubers was criticized for being disrespectful to Japan’s culture. Something that you consider ordinary to you might be considered differently in each country. It is very important to be aware that culture is one of the main factors that shapes us so that you should care and respect other’s culture.

For instance, Thai people believe that hitting the plate with the spoon or fork will call spirits to join the meal and is considered very rude. This is one of the Thai belief that most foreigners don’t know and if they do so, they will be judged to be disrespectful.

Bangkok

Bangkok is the city where you can find anything you want. Bangkok is the combination of many cultures from different regions. Bangkok has very luxurious malls, hotels, and restaurants. Jao Praya river, where there are ships and boats, cuts through the city. Thai people have been using rivers and canals for transportation for a very long time even in the capital city.

You can find every kind of food on just one street in Bangkok. Bangkok is the city that never sleeps. People work days and nights. Shops and services mostly open 24/7. Since Thailand is a Buddhist country, many important temples are located in Bangkok, such as Wut Pho, Wut Aron, Wut Pra kaew, etc. The nightlife in Bangkok is also very well-known. Many foreigners are inloved with the nightlife in Bangkok and its culture.

-Dhowli-

Dalit is the castes in India that have been subjected to untouchability.

Brahman is a member of the highest Hindu caste, that of the priesthood.

Sari is a piece of clothing worn mainly by women that is a long light cloth wrapped around the body and head or shoulder.

“The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras.” – BBC News. Dalits were excluded from the four-fold varna system of Hinduism. The widow in the story is a Dalit and she fell in love with a Brahman. Unfortunately, caste system is a system where love between classes is prohibited. Dalits also have no opportunity to be in the higher class too. Therefore, they are forced to be in love with people who are Dalits only. They just have to work as labors and they can’t do anything with their status.

 

 

“Social Issues in No Way Out”

I found poverty as the most interesting and important in the book since it is the major cause of other issues. We can’t choose to be born. Many people are born in poor families and that is how they start their life. Meanwhile, people in the middle class or higher classes are born in families that food, shelters, and education are already prepared for them.

Since we are surrounded by the people who lived in the same class, we won’t truly understand what does it feel like to be poor. Before I went to ROTC camp, I thought that being soldier is not that though and somehow fun. But when I experienced what soldiers have to encounter, my perspective had changed. I respect them so much and feel thankful that they sacrifice to work as soldiers. Reading the book helped me understand those who live in poverty more. The characters in the book had NO WAY OUT to solve the problems. Maybe what they did was already the best option to solve the problems.

Karma

Since I have raised in a Buddhist family and a Buddhist school, I have learned so many Buddhist teachings, including Karma. Karma is a very basic teaching in Buddhism. Most Buddhists are afraid of bad Karma and try to behave well. I was taught that if I do good, I will receive good karma. If I do bad, I will receive bad karma in return. According to the five precepts, the first rule is “do not kill”. When I was a child, I was afraid to kill mosquitoes and ants because I believe that one day I will be killed just like them. Fishing is a hobby that I am never interested because I felt guilty for hurting the fish.

Why does suffering exist, and what causes it? According to Buddhist teaching, suffering comes from the karma we did. It is not necessary to be the things we have done in this life but also the previous life. I was taught that karma can affect us in this life and the next life. If you killed an ant in this life, the ant will be born as a human and will kill you as an ant. And this cycle will continue endlessly.

 

“Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve.” – Karma