SE Asia Unit Reflections

There are two things that I think are the most important among all the topics that we discussed and they are the Women’s rights and Poverty. I think that it’s because I have grown up in India where women are oppressed and poor gets ignored and treated as very low class. In the past I didn’t know that women getting oppressed and the poor getting treated bad was really a problem until I left India. If I think of women getting oppressed in India, my heart just tears down thinking of my friend’s mom. For poverty I really care because I have seen lives of many people and met them personally in rural areas and in slums. Their life is very tough especially for the children. Because they are poor instead of getting education they go for work with their parents. Others could say that why not just go to school and get education, but the thing is that if they don’t work their family will be in financial crisis. And the factories or places they work pay them below minimum wage which is messed up. They just pay them low because they are low in the social status which is kind of tied to the caste system and most of the poor are harijans(it is a polite word for dalit/untouchable). It is very confusing and hard to let Indians know what is right because Indians up their culture and religion ahead of the human’s right or any other rights. But I believe that one day India will be a better place than today and I hope that I could contribute in the change of India.

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“DEEP QUESTIONS from our Novels”

I read the book Nectar in a Sieve. And the novel goes through a lot of deep topic such as poverty, women’s status in the Indian society, caste system, the faith of Hinduism, and so on and on. The biggest thing that Nectar in a Sieve makes us think is hope. So why is hope so important? I think that hope is very important because for a person to live their daily life they need hope. Humans cannot live without hope. But to maintain that same hope is not easy because there always comes difficulty which is like a storm in our life that gives us hopelessness. So the hope of a human changes as time goes by. I think that we need to focus our hopes in the spiritual world because the physical world is never eternal and the more you get the more you want because of human greed. So why not focus on the eternal thing rather than the physical world. Having too much hope could be dangerous because if your hopes are too high then you could get hurt by the results you get because of your high standards. I don’t think that hope is an illusion, I just simple think it as a fuel to go on and live.

“Holocaust Survivors’ Stories”

The story that I read was a story of a holocaust survivor who’s name is Eugene Black. He was a slave labourer in the Auschwitz and the Buchenwald concentration camps. He was born Jeno Schwartz in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia in 1928. He had 3 sisters and a brother. His mother came from an orthodox Jewish family but his father did not. In 1938 the area where Eugene’s family lived was given back to the Hungary. 19th March 1944 the German forces occupied Hungary completely. Immediately all Hungarian Jews were ordered to wear the Star of David and within ten days the Jewish population was moved into ghettos. Eugene’s house was within a ghetto area, so his family took other people into their home. One day Eugene was coming home from school. He saw a German military lorry outside the family home with his two sisters and father on board. He saw an SS man hit his mother across the face and push her on to the lorry.  Eugene wasn’t allowed into the house, he was forced onto the lorry with the rest of his family and other Jewish people from the ghetto. Eugene and his family were ordered into railway cattle trucks and from there transported to Auschwitz Birkenau. He was quickly separated form his sisters and his mother without saying goodbye or a kiss, that was the last moment to see his mother and sisters. After that he was also separated with his father which was also the last to see his father. After getting selected as a slave labourer he was transported to the Little Camp at Buchenwald and then on to Dora Mittelbau in the Harz mountains, where the Nazis used slave labourers to manufacture V1 and V2 rockets underground. Eugene’s job here was to load small trucks with rocks dug out from the tunnels for 12 to 14 hours at a time, without rest and on starvation rations. He became increasingly weak and after five months caught pneumonia. A German doctor saved his life. In mid March 1945 Eugene was sent to Bergen Belsen, which he describes as “a hellhole”. People were lying all over the place. Typhus was rife and sanitation non-existent. On 15th April Eugene was liberated on the arrival of the British Army.

To learn and study about the horrific story like the holocaust is very important because it teaches us why is it bad to treat other people like what happened in the concentration camps and we get to know how do the people feel getting killed and tortured in the holocaust. So by learning these horrific stories our responsibilities are to prevent an another genocide like the holocaust by spreading stories and alerting people about the bad history that humans have gone through and learn mistakes from it.

Apocalypse BY JOHN FREDERICK NIMS

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The poem Apocalypse is written by the poet JOHN FREDERICK NIMS. He is expressing his anger of the war. The poem uses expressive imagery to explain is feeling during the war and tells how scary is a war. The poem is in figurative language that shows as if there is an apocalypse that is swiping away all human beings in the planet. The tone of the poem is like the sounds that are around the soldiers in the battlefield with gun noises, people screaming, blood all over the place with dead bodies.

The thing that I feel that outstands and makes this poem very impressing is the imagery and the tone of the poem. As we see in the first stanza, it is all about the tone and the setting of the poem which feels like the poet is taking us to the live scene of a battlefield with bombs exploding here and there and guns firing at the enemy.

The second stanza is mostly imagery kind of stuff. Which talks about the scenery of the battlefield and how the soldiers shots and get shot by bullets. This is crazy because I can really imagine what is going on right here in the poem, a bloody field with dying soldiers in front of me with there clothes turning red. It is a massacre. It is kind of relatable with the Book Thief in massacring the jews and the other groups which are against the Nazi regime.

Nationalism

If I hear the word nationalism the first thing that comes in my mind is my country. I don’t know why is it but the way that I have learned and grown from my family is to love my country and my people. As Einstein said that “nationalism is an infantile disease” and “the measles of mankind.” it is not very true. I can say that nationality is not a disease or a measles of mankind,my country Korea had a very difficult time during president Park Geun-hye’s time. It is very hard and long to explain all the things that ex-president Geun-hye did because the problem that we got to know through her is connected to the beginning of our countries partition day which now became North and South Korea. So in the Korean constitution to impeach a president almost close to imposible but because of nationalism which united our country into one made the impeachment happen for the first time in the South Korean history. So what I want to say that is nationalism is good when the people know about the righteous thing and come together as one. the people should know what they are supporting for and what changes are they going to make as  a united voice.

The War of Ideas

The questions about fundamentalism or the evil doing of a religious practice and the ideology is a very sensitive topic to talk about.  For the question: “From an ideological standpoint, how should we go about confronting all types of fundamentalism and extremism?” I don’t actually know what to say about it. I don’t want to hurt somebody’s feeling by what I truly think. So I want to be very careful about this topic. For me I think the best answer will be, to confront the people who are extremists or a fundamentalist if they cross over the line of the basic human rights that the UN declared. But what I really think is that, something that is too extreme is not always good. So there should be a point where we can balance both the good sides of a progressive ideology and an extreme side. It may be a very hard thing to do but I believe that it is possible.

Childhood Rebellion

If we talk about teenage rebellion then we can’t exclude any of us living in this world, because as a human everyone goes through this process which is natural. And this is unavoidable because at teenage you get the ability to think critically, have thoughts about the world and have your own opinion. And when we get to think critically then it is obvious to have dissatisfaction and desires in our very hearts, so we rebel against the situation that we are in by doing stupid stuff that is unacceptable by the family or the society, and it is plausible that we do stupid stuff because it is the process of being matured by learning from the faults that we do and understand that it is not worth it to do it again.

Having a change in our life is a good thing (but not always good), teenage is a process of changing into an adult who has their own morals, worldview and things that they value more. I think that without going through teenage, it is not possible to have the moral value and the worldview that the adults have. So I think that the grown ups should try to understand the teenagers, give them good advice, lead them in the right way, scold if necessary, give love and respect so that teenagers do not fall into the bad way.

 

Human Rights

The topic of human rights is the most controversial topic discussed among the people in the world. The topic human rights is a difficult topic to have a final solution for the people because every humans are different by their race, culture, religion, and the situation that they are in.

From the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I think that the most important rule is the Freedom of Expression to have the right to free thoughts and to voice your opinions to others, this is because if all the other laws of the UN’s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not given except for the Freedom of Expression then, somehow people will come to a conclusion that human rights are important by the law having free thoughts and free voice of our own opinion. Which will lead people to stand against the government or something else like that and fight for their freedom. If we discuss about  the most difficult to fully ensure the the UN’s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or are most likely to be withheld in today’s world, I would tell that it is case by case because no countries in this world will be in a same situation like other countries and the culture will be very different.

According to my worldview I think that the source of human rights are natural, imbued by nature or by God and  the constantly-changing social contracts. But most probably I will stick to the God(religion) and the society(culture) that a person grows up in. For example I really did not know that people see arranged marriage as a violation to human rights, I thought that it was a normal thing for people to get arranged marriage because the place where I grew up (India) arrange marriage was a tradition for the people and people think that arranged marriage will go better than love marriage, and even the Christians living over there have arrange marriages. And another example of me in India,  in my childhood I never felt that there is a freedom of religion, because there was a lot of persecution if it is a different religion other than Hinduism, when I was a little child I grew up seeing christian people getting persecuted and killed in the Indian news. And I had a trauma that my parents could never come back home because as missionaries they could be exposed to persecution if any of the people calls the Hindu extremists. So On 2010 I went back to Korea for 1 year to see a psychiatrist to cure my mental illness. So for me experiencing all different cultures I think that religion and the place you live will differ the moral value/human rights of that person.

Asian Poetry (Part 2) Poetry Writing

당신 없이는 못살아요

나 이제 어찌하리오 어찌하리오

님 떠나간 나는 무었을 하리오

당신의 사랑의 빠진 나는 당신 없이는 못살아요

-박지석-

I can’t live without You

What should I do? What should I do?

With you leaving me behind what should I do?

I can’t live without you, who is fallen deep in love with you

-By Jiseok Park-

나는 뭐 때문에 여기에 태여났고? 왜 그렇게 고통이 있을까?

나의 삶에 이 고통은 어디서부터 왔고 어디로 갈까?

참말로 슬프도다 이 세상에는 고통안에 사는 사람들이 가득하다.

-박지석-

Life

What is my purpose of getting born? Why is there pain?

Where did my suffering come from and where will it go?

I am truly sad, the world is full of people who lives in pain.

-Jiseok-

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