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Posts Tagged ‘ culture ’

A difference in seating arrangements

On my 6th day in Norway I was given the opportunity to tour the Norwegian parliament building. These are my takeaways. I remember from time to time in school learning about the Scandinavian societies and how their governments are run. We’re always taught that these are the happiest nations in the world. They lack the gun violence we’ve become desensitized to. They have amazing standards for women’s rights, and their carbon footprint is minimal at worst. For me, having an Americanized education, and growing up to believe this prosperity, it […]

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Sunday Seven – Part I

Just for the fun of it, I will (try to) post a weekly list of the “Sunday Seven.”  It will make it easy for me to write quick updates on my life abroad, and hopefully will be fun for all of you to read. This week’s edition: 7 things I have learned about Denmark so far… The Danes are incredibly nice.  The other day I fell on my bike, and though I was completely fine, every single passerby approached me individually and asked if I was ok.  I feel like […]

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First Observations

It’s been two weeks since I arrived here in Oslo. This past week was Orientation Week, Fadderuke in Norwegian. In between a few parties, touring the city, and getting to know the area, I’ve been trying to become a little more Norwegian. Public Transportation: Aside from just learning the bus, tram, and metro lines, Norwegians sit on the bus a little differently than in America. Personal space is important here, and people generally don’t want to sit next to strangers. On the bus, there are typically only two people occupying each row […]

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May the Fierce Be With You

Going to get the good stuff out of the way first (food). I tried several items today. Pickled herring on multigrain rye bread for lunch, and fish cakes on rye bread for dinner. I am really liking rye bread. Headed down to Copenhagen Pride again, and this time for the best event of any Pride celebration – the parade. Before it started, Mikael and I hit up a Cafe for some coffee. I ordered a latte, and found the most fascinating contraption! It is a sugar dispenser, but it works […]

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Thank You

After a semester of meeting people from all over Europe, I have often asked myself what my life would be like if I were born somewhere else. In my travels, I have seen new lands and experienced unfamiliar cultures. Each one was unique and has given me a new perspective. France: Thank you for my most immersive experience. Not only did I learn about cultural practices different than my own, but I also adopted these traditions; some are temporary, some permanent. Here I learned that there is nothing wrong with […]

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Saying Goodbye

My last day in Senegal is quickly approaching, which means this is my last blog post of the semester. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to read this blog. I hope you gained as much from reading it as I did from writing it. Goodbyes. I try so hard to avoid them, all of the discomfort and sadness that they bring. Sometimes, though, I think a goodbye turns into something more. Sometimes goodbye isn’t really a goodbye when you know you’ll be taking something with you. […]

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Spring Adventures

I’ve been going on lots of adventures! Most notably, I visited a portion of the great wall in Tsingdao. People were shocked when I told them I had never been to the great wall, considering I’ve been here for eight months now. The reason is actually deliberate.  In general I don’t enjoy tourist attractions, especially those set up for foreigners. I think in order to experience the real China your time is better spent elsewhere. I am saving the touristy part of the great wall for when my girlfriend comes to visit […]

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Integration

Last night my sister asked me to come with her to the boutique in our neighborhood to buy bread for dinner. I put down the book I was reading and bounded down the stairs two at a time, aware that she was already halfway out the door. I reached our front door and just as I was reaching around to close it I realized something. “Tabara,” I asked, “Est-ce que je peux porter des shorts?” (Can I wear shorts?) “C’est pas grave,” she said with a smile (it’s not a […]

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Collectivism

This past week I found myself returning from another forum hosted by my internship organization in a village on the outskirts of the city. Scrunched in between two others in the backseat of an old pickup truck, I was tossed around like a rag doll every time our driver unsuccessfully tried to maneuver around a pothole. Wind whipping flyaway strands of hair around my face, I closed my eyes every now and then, pressing my palms against my eyelids to keep out the dust that threatened to make me regret […]

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A New Semester

Chunjie Before I came to China, I heard a lot about the spring festival.  It is the most important holiday in China and equivalent to a lot of western countries’ emphasis on Christmas. During this time Chinese go home to spend time with their families. It also acts as the break for students between the fall and spring semesters. Though all of my friends had left campus, I originally planned to spend this time working and doing some site-seeing. Something I didn’t know about this holiday is that most companies […]

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Something Magical in Scotland

Somehow it has been five weeks and six countries since I have last written about my adventures abroad. That’s the thing about time here – I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist. Every time I cross something off my list of things to do and see, I add about six new attractions, four countries, and two midterm papers I have yet to start. Despite this chaos, though, I am constantly bewildered at how wonderful the world truly is. A couple weekends ago, I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and it was downright […]

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Bangalore’s Art Scene

Oofta. It’s been some time since a post. Here are a few recent thoughts on art and culture in India (and some ceramics updates). Historically, art and craft have been synonymous in India. Artisans would make handicrafts, idols, and wood or stone carvings. Potters would create vessels purposed for storing water and grains. Handicrafts were not made to be original, and pottery was not a form of beauty but a form of function. Post-independence, the perception of art has been changing in India. Bangalore has a high potential for art innovation. This […]

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Thank God For Siestas

These past two weekends have been pretty low-key for yours truly.  Last weekend I recovered from my incredibly exciting trip to Paris and this weekend I’ve been studying for my midterms!  But, I figured I should still write a post, let you all know I am still alive and loving every minute of my life here in Spain. Now that I’ve been here for almost two months (I can’t believe how quickly time is going!) I’ve noticed a lot of cultural differences between Spain and the United States… They have […]

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Brazlian Culture, Rio and Carnival, Oh My!

After exploring São Paulo and Rio, I find myself to be overwhelmingly, yet pleasantly surprised.  This whirlwind included a visit to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, block parties and nightlife of Carnival, gazing over Rio de Janeiro from Christ the Redeemer and so much more.  From these initial weeks, I’ve learned how to be friendly, what Brazil has to offer foreigners, and why São Paulo is the actually the city that never sleeps (at least during Carnival). Brazilian Culture If you haven’t heard it yet, Brazilian are some of […]

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Culture Clash – Prioritizing People

I have some more thoughts… I am fascinated by culture. There’s almost nothing cooler to me than learning how other people live. I’ve been very lucky, mostly due to my parents, to have had the opportunity to travel the world and to study Spanish (one of the best decisions I’ve made). I’ve taken advantage of my ability to look critically at how other nations go about the day to day, and there are a few things that I wish the U.S. did differently. Let me clarify something first; culture is not, “People from Italy eat pizza,” or, “People […]

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