The ride

In Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton does well to show the internal tensions of Kumalo rather than the execution of Absalom because it is very obvious that that event will occur. Before this, Paton shows a source of healing through the forgiving act of James Jarvis about the murder. When Kumalo sends a letter to James concerning the death of James’ daughter, James replies back with a ‘thank you’ letter and says that this had nothing to do with Arthur’s death. Another source of healing is shown when James hires an agriculture expert to teach the local farmers about more efficient farming techniques.

Paton proposes the message the loving, forgiveness, and using money in the right way can improve today’s society. James, for example, used his money to hire an agriculture expert and to help build a dam so that the people can survive a drought and learn new and more efficient farming techniques. I find his solution very reasonable ,even though I did not like the book, because that is what the world needs today. Most people who have the power to change their country are using the money they have in areas that give them more power rather than areas that make a better living for the people of their country.

 

To love or not to love

One of the damages clearly presented in Cry, the Beloved Country is the internal conflict of Kumalo, whether he should love Absalom after what he has done or not. This is a major issue for Kumalo because he has to chose to love someone who has committed a crime just because of the relationship he has with that person. Absalom was Kumalo’s son, and he had to support Absalom even though he knew what his son did was wrong.

This situation has also occurred in my life when I had to support my friend just because he was my friend. A lot of times, we choose to support a certain side just to maintain the relationship you have with the person. You do not want to lose that so you support them even though their argument is wrong. That is exactly what I did. I conformed to that thing.

Basically, one of my friends was arguing with his someone about some random stuff that they had going, and I knew he was wrong. I could not do anything but support because I knew him more than the some other. I did not want things to mess up between us so I chose to support him. Later, I realized what I did was wrong, and I should have gone against him because he was, for the most part, wrong.

This kind of conflict was also present in a Bollywood movie I watched a while ago called “Gully Boy.” This movie was pretty much about a boy from a poor family trying to move towards a better life by becoming a rapper, but his father was against him. So, he decided to leave his house with his mom and brother to set out for a better future, which he eventually got. But between that timeline, he thought about his father and the condition he might be living in. Obviously he chose not to leave him. At the end, he decided to love his father even after all the unethical things he did.

Answering Che’s Call to Action

the training I would like to pursue would be at a culinary school, but I am unable to do that as I am vegetarian and my family is against cooking meat. Well, it is technically understandable, but in my opinion, I’m not really killing the animal here. Anyways, I would like to serve others through their dietary needs.

Not everyone has the resources for food, or the knowledge for proper portions. If I were to pursue to be a chef, I would use the skills I learned to teach the people with lack of opportunities/knowledge how to incorporate protein, fiber etc in your food daily and in proper amounts.

I could use my culinary skills to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle. Also, in the long run, people would be concerned about what they eat, as most diseases can be prevented just through proper diet.

Travel and Tourism

For me, traveling is very important because that’s the only time when I can experience other cultures and see the beauty of the world. Well, of course there is the Internet, but personal experience is a next level thing, and I don’t think anything can beat that. When traveling, you should always respect other people’s culture. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean that that culture is weird.

In my opinion, being a responsible tourist means to respect everything about the country’s culture. Laws, food, expectations, tradition, culture. EVERYTHING. If you wear the other people’s shoes, they look at you the same way you look at them. So treat their culture like you would treat your own.

In my life, there are many times where I have been a “responsible” tourist, but recently, I went to Japan, and I may have behaved like an “irresponsible” tourist. I would say that because I just didn’t like the country. I don’t know why. Something inside me was saying that this isn’t for you man.  I just wanted to come back to Bangkok or anywhere else.

Mumbai

MUMBAIII the place where culture meets cinema. Mumbai is the heart of India. It is like the Los Angeles of India. Everything meets in Mumbai. However, when people think of Mumbai, they mostly refer to the traffic conditions, overpopulation, and pollution. All of this is true, but for me, there is no better place. Like every city, Mumbai also has multiple sides: rich and poor. It is as simple as that. This is because the basis of Bollywood is in Mumbai, =meaning all the actors and people in that industry live in Mumbai, making the place seem like it is high class. However, some of the biggest slums are also in Mumbai.

The New Mumbai (Rich) is home to the high-class people. Most of Bollywood lives in New Mumbai.  On the other hand, The Old Mumbai (Poor) is home to people with financial crisis. One thing that remains in whole of Mumbai is the tradition and culture. No matter where you go, you will always see similar rituals being performed. This is what keeps the city together. Another thing the connects people is the food. The best place to eat in Mumbai is the streets. There is no better food than street food. It is cheap, amazingly delicious, and easy to get.

 

Nectar in a Sieve

From Nectar in a Sieve, I learned about how the people view women and how their role has been stereotyped. In the book, women are mostly uneducated and are forced to stay at home, or work in the farms. Although this was in the past, it is still bothering some countries. Your past will never leave you due to the way people on this earth think. If you can change how the people think, you can avoid your past.

Also, in this book, hope is one of the most controversial topics. Hope has been a part of most of the decisions made by Rukmani. For example, when harvesting, she always hoped for the best crops. In my opinion, hope is one of the most unreliable things because you never know what can happen due to your actions, if performed imperfectly. You can’t always hope for something you want without actually moving towards it.

 

Hope

Hope is something that everyone has, but some lose it due to their present circumstances. In Nectar in a Sieve, Markandaya proposes hope in Rukmani’s family in almost every way or form. For example, everyone family in the village hoped for son, for when farming, they hoped to get the best out o what they had laid. It feels like almost every situation Rukmani’s family goes through is reliant on hope.

Having hope is a good, but too much hope can be bad because, soon, the person loses out on himself and gets dependent on hope without realizing. This can cause the person to be literally useless. If something is done incorrectly by a certain person, they would hope for the best instead of fixing their mistake, causing the person to be lazy. They will not do anything by themselves.

In my opinion, hope is not an illusion, but you cannot be completely reliant on it. Usually, what people do is that they think of their way of approaching a situation and hope for what they want as a result. When they don’t get the result they were desiring, they blame luck or God, or something along those lines. In reality, they should blame themselves because their actions caused the result they got.

Revenge

I have never really thought of this topic, but what I am thinking right now kind of reflects from the religion I believe in. In Jainism, revenge is though as morally wrong. From my experience, parents usually say “if you do that same as the other person, there won’t be any difference between the two of you.” I don’t think “an eye for an eye” can be considered just a response to evil because it makes you the person you want to take revenge on.

One esteemed thinker I researched on was Mahatma Gandhi. His view on “an eye for an eye” was similar to mine. He was devoted to non-violence and followed that “rule” fairly strictly. Gandhi also said “an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”

 

Strange Reflection

WOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!! The Strange Library was sooo gooooddddddd.I would say it is the best book I ever read, mainly because I barely read.

The way Murakami illustrated the power of memory was so strange, but it kind of made you think deeper about the scene itself. The story itself was pretty strange and the second time . Which librarian forces a person into memorizing books that don’t even interest the person? Specially forcing them to stay for a month in a random, spooky place that was technically nonexistent.

What is the meaning of justice in an unjust world?

This question is answered in the book through the scene of the old man forcing the narrator to stay and read for a month without any reason. I feel like that is just messed up. He is not even that old and his mom might be worried for him. A child who doesn’t show up at home for days. That is just crazy.

Guiding Questions

How should we handle cross-cultural conflicts? UHMMMMM, I would say, DON’T BE LIKE RACHEL. If you “handle” it the way she did, oh boiiiii, you going downnnnn. (I’m going timber. Sorry, I had to). So, what I am trying to say is that, Rachel didn’t;t handle cross-cultural conflicts well. She would always relate whatever she saw in the Congo back to the culture in the US. Also, she always acted as if she was superior to the Congolese, and she never really respected them.

A good way to handle cross-cultural conflicts would be like Ruth May. All you have to do is die. JKJKJKJKJK. Handle cross-cultural conflicts the way Leah did. At least she realizes that Congolese people are very nice-natured. She kinda gives them a chance, in her brain.

In my opinion, you should be open to other cultures, and instead of comparing them to yours, you should look for ways they are unique. It helps you grow as a person and increase your intellect.