Saturday, November 24, 2012

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is a writer of Indian descent, primarily famous for his controversial book, The Satanic Verses, for which he was sentenced to death by the Iranian Court.
According to its critics, the book depicts Mohammed, the Muslim prophet, in a blasphemous way. For example, Salman Rushdie included in the book an episode in which Mohammed allegedly proclaims polytheism, by accepting the existence of three ancient goddesses in a few pagan verses (“satanic verses”) of the Quran (which have supposedly been eliminated).

Such depictions were considered highly offensive by the mufti of Iran (the country's spiritual leader) and prompted him to issue a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, placing a bounty on his death in 1989, less than a year after the publication of the book.
Twenty three years later, the author writes another book, Joseph Anton, retelling the experiences he has had while in hiding, and highlighting the need for cultural and religious discourse, and the importance of free speech.
Come listen to his stories this Thursday, November the 29th, in the Chapel, at 4.30!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Want to start your Friday early?


For more info email aisler!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Crooked Arrows: Next Wednesday!

Come see Crooked Arrows FREE at the Hamilton Movie Theater on November 14th at 7pm.

The plotline focuses on Native American lacrosse players, including players who live nearby in Oneida. Check out the movie's website, here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights, is one of the most important Hindu festivals of the year, and is celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad& Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

The name “Diwali” is a contraction of the Sanskrit word “Deepavali”, which translates into “row of lamps”. In fact, for Diwali people place small clay lamps filled with oil, and light them, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. At night, there are also fireworks, which are meant to drive away the evil spirits. During the five-day celebration, people wear new clothes and share sweets with friends and family.

Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama from his 14-year-long exile after defeating the demon-king Ravana. The people of the Lord Rama celebrated by illuminating the kingdom with lamps and by bursting firecrackers.

Colgate’s Hindu Student Association will celebrate Diwali this Saturday, November 10th, at 6pm, with Indian food in the Hall of Presidents, and then fireworks in the Whitnall Field.

Native American Awareness Week is Coming!

Check out some of the upcoming Native American Awareness events next week! 

Wednesday Nov. 14th 6-8pm: Free Holy Smokes BBQ in the COOP TV Room
Come learn about the Pine Ridge Reservation and the COVE Alternative Spring Break trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation while enjoying free food, hosted by Project Peace.

Friday Nov.16th : Brown Bag 12:15 in ALANA
What is the true story of Thanksgiving?

2013 Spring Break Program in Martinique


 Monday, Nov 12 
Lawrence 203

• Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the French Caribbean island
of Martinique
• Attend lectures at the University of Antilles and Guyane in Fort de France,
• Learn to speak some Creole and French
• Go on fi eld trips to interact with Martinicans and discover this unique
multiethnic society.
• Hike through the Tropical Rain Forests and kayak in the Mangroves.
• Volunteer a few hours to help Martinican University students improve their
spoken English.
• Build a minor or major in Caribbean Studies

Monday, November 5, 2012

Día de Los Muertos

First of all, I have realized how to bring people to events--free Mexican food. But, let us pretend that people did not just come for the food, that they came for the actual meaning and purpose of Día de Los Muertos--to honor and celebrate the deaths of loved ones. What is this obsession we have with death? Why did so many people come?

The reason I chose and was so excited for this particular event is the Hispanic perception of death. Octavio Paz said, “The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death. (He) jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love.” Death is usually a solemn time and one can't help but feel the melancholy, but being from a Mexican background I have learned to rejoice in it, to not fear it, but accept and in some sense have learned to love it. 

For me, the most moving part of the event was reading the letters students wrote to their loved ones who passed. I read every single one, and each letter perpetuated a warm and blissful feeling, not one was mournful or gloomy. The best part was the different cultures and languages: English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, all represented on the table. For me, it meant that the celebration of a loved one is not distinctly a Mexican or Hispanic phenomenon, that it is worldwide. People turned out, not to feel sad about a passed one, but because they wanted to celebrate that special person's life and to show their appreciation to that person.

I could not have been happier with the turnout and hope to continue and maybe expand this event for my remaining time at Colgate.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't Forget! Eid Banquet!

Tonight is the Eid Banquet from 6-8pm, with free delicious Meditteranean food, and a performance from the Nour Ensemble! Join us in the HOP!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I don't like the terms "West" and "East"

I'll never forget my first CORE Culture class, where my Professor stood and wrote the words WEST and EAST on the blackboard in big chalk letters. She then asked our class, entirely made up of freshmen, to shout out words we associated with the words "West" and "East." Slowly, but surely, each of my peers raised their hands and gave some synonyms for these terms.

I know its knit-picky to worry about words, but I think words have the power to either inform or confuse. Words have linguistic meanings, and in the most basic of ways "East" and "West" are just directions. But, words also have cultural meanings. Ever since my first CORE Class I've thought better of using these words because they have so many connotations attached to them. As a South Asian Studies major I've been working to understand what people commonly refer to as the "Eastern World" for years now. "Eastern" according to?

Geographically, "East" and "West" become muddied when you are standing in a different place. To many people the Middle East is actually considered West Asia, and if I'm standing in California, Asia is actually more to the West than the rest of America. But, the connotations of "East" and "West" often make "East" the pejorative, despite the vast amount of contributions that countries typically labeled as "Eastern" have made to philosophy, science, technology, world religion, etc. "West" by contrast, is too often made into the more progressive set of countries.

"East" and "West" are blanket terms. Is it really possible to make statements about the "Eastern" world that apply to countries as vastly different as China and India, or the "Western" world that apply to countries with different cultural norms like Germany and the United States?

I think that the words "East" and "West" go back to the points that Said lays out in his book Orientalism- they are subtle ways of generalizing about an "other," which are built into the fibres of common speech.
But the well informed individual will be more clear in juxtaposing different cultures, because the constructs of the "Eastern" and "Western" worlds don't allow us to see the commonalities between separate cultures.

What do you think of the words "East" and "West?"

Happy American Indian Heritage Month!

 November is American Indian Heritage Month!

Check out Colgate's Native American Studies Department, Native American Student Association, and Project Peace for more information on how people are celebrating November on campus!

Also, take a look at the Smithsonian's site dedicated to American Indian Heritage Month. Also make sure to check out the government's coverage of Native American Heritage Month!

Most recently, Joanne Shenandoah joined ALANA for a performance.Ms. Shenandoah is a Grammy Award Winner, Ph.D., and board member for the Hiawatha Institute. She is a member of the Oneida Nation. Stay tuned for more events celebrating on-campus and off-campus Native American communities.

All Saints' and All Souls'!

Today is All Saints' Day! All Saints' Day is a Christian holiday commemorating the departed faithful. While All Saints' Day is religious, its also cultural, and worldwide there are many different ways in which people celebrate the festival!

One tradition, which ALANA will be hosting tomorrow, is Dia De Los Muertos. Day of the Dead, originally a two-day tradition, honors friends and family members who have died. The Day of the Dead event will be tomorrow in La Casa hosted by our own ALANA Ambassador, Kat Kollitides!

Tonight, you can also attend Burritos con los Santitos, hosted by the Newman Community at 6:30pm in the COOP TV Room. It's a cool way to learn more about the Saints, but also about the traditions surrounding All Saints' days across cultures.

To learn more about the stories behind these holidays, click here!