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The Meaning of Equality »

Greetings,

Thanks for checking out our second issue of the semester! This issue’s prompt was contributed to us by Professor Allison Hobgood from the Willamette University English department and Women’s and Gender Studies Program:

From world news media to Willamette’s own campus, we hear all kinds of talk about “equality,” “equal rights and opportunities,” and even “treating everyone the same.” As international students especially, you likely have different, wide-ranging ideas about what equality means. How do you define the term? What does it mean to you? What are some examples—local and global, good and bad—that come to mind when you think and talk about equality? How might the notion of “equity” (a focus on fairness and justice via remedies to redress historic injustices that have prevented or diminished access in the first place) impact your ideas about equality? How are these two concepts in conversation with each other? What can we learn when we consider them together?

We hope you enjoy reading about the some different perspectives on this very prevalent topic!

Lara, Brie, and Kazu

The WWN Editorial Team

/!\Please note: the statement made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

Equality: Where are you? »

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By Emmanuelle Schopp

“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). These words constitute the motto of the French Republic. This notion of equality can also be found in the first words of the American Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, etc.” The fact that the concept of equality appears in so many constitutional texts, laws, or mottos illustrates its importance and people’s desire to have equality or, at least, tend towards it. But equality is not only a pure and idealized notion that belongs to paper documents. Read the rest

The Pursuit of Equality »

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By Anne Schwobe

When it comes to equality, I think nearly everyone agrees that it is something we all have to work for. And if we look back at some of the more recent changes in laws, or even the establishment of new laws, it is obvious that there have been some substantive efforts over the past few years to diminish inequality in several fields. However, there is no doubt that there is still much room for improvement. But what does equality mean and are we ever going to be able to achieve “complete equality?” Read the rest

Equity Before Equality »

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By Lucía Baigorrí Haüen

“Equality” and “equity” are two words that are often used interchangeably. Fair enough, they look and sound pretty similar. However, being alert to language nuances can be very empowering. Part of me believes that the common treatment of certain concepts as synonyms serves a purpose: whenever one is not aware of the possibilities available, it is difficult to picture an alternative, aspire to live differently and act in consequence. Read the rest

Faces of Feminism »

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By Gesa Musiol

What is equality?

As an international student from Germany studying at Willamette for a little over eight months now, I now know that this question has to be considered not in only one cultural context, but rather two – and both of them consist of a million different fragments, experiences, and statements that I have read or heard somewhere, and a whole lot of confusion. Read the rest

Equality vs. Equity »

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By Guadalupe Torres

Equality and equity are two concepts that are commonly heard of in the United States. In many occasions these can be topics that are difficult and/or uncomfortable to discuss for some people, but nevertheless they are important to speak about. I grew up learning that equality meant treating everyone the same – everyone having the same opportunities. This definition of equality sounded great, but then I came to realize that in order for there to be equality, everyone has to start from the same place and receive the same opportunities regardless of their background. Read the rest

Equality: a Japanese perspective »

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By Shotaro Kumano

Equality requires that all kinds of people, tribes, and countries are fair in every way. That includes discrimination and war, things that gives people pain which shouldn’t exist in this world. Sadly, some people still discriminate, so that’s why there is still such war and disparity in each country. Read the rest

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Featured Article: The Association of a Sikh Turban to the 9/11 Terrorists »

By Prabhpreet Sangha

The world was shaken by the acts of a few terrorists on September 11, and still continues to impact the lives of many individuals around the world. Since 9/11, the Sikh Coalition has received thousands of reports from the Sikh community about hate crimes, workplace discrimination, school bullying, and racial and religious profiling.1 One might wonder why Sikhs have become targets after the terrorists’ attacks on the United States of America. Read the rest

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Pop Culture Around the World »

Greetings,

We are happy to introduce our first issue of the spring semester! For this issue, we recognized the influence that pop culture has and how unique it can be from country to country. We gave our contributors an opportunity to dive deep into their respected country’s current pop culture topic of their choices whether that be music, fashion, literature, movies, food and to compare that to American pop culture. Hopefully we can discover some overlap between countries and learn about some unique trends in other countries!

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Have a good read!

Lara, Brie, and Kazu

The WWN Editorial Team

/!\Please note: the statement made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

It’s All About That Kale… »

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By Anne Schwobe

I have to admit that this issue’s topic was a little harder than others. When I first read, “pop culture”, I did not really know what to write about, nothing really came to my mind right away. But after thinking about the term for some time and “making up” my own definition, I think I came up with something interesting for you to read. So for this article I associate the term “pop culture” with all kinds of trends, recent developments or changes in society, but mainly traditions that shape and maintain a culture. Read the rest

Chic Cumbia »

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By Lucía Baigorrí Haüen

It’s been interesting to search my cultural hard drive for a current token of Argentine pop culture that falls outside the mate-soccer-tango holy trinity. Having spent almost 6 months out of my country, I started feeling slightly unfit for the task. Naturally, I turned to the Internet for help. Going over my Facebook newsfeed, I found people sharing the same video over the span of a couple of days. The subject matter? Two women in their 20s covering cumbia villera songs. “Eureka!” I thought. Let the typing begin. Read the rest

Fashion Culture of Japan »

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By Shotaro Kumano

Fashion is very important for Japan because it is one of the best ways for Japanese people to express themselves. Fashion trends change in an instant every year and Japanese people are very attuned to it. College students, especially, focus on fashion. Read the rest

Morocco »

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By Alia Razid

First things first, presentation time! Well, briefly, my name is Alia and I am a Moroccan exchange student from Al Akhawayn University. This is my first time in the U.S and I can say that the culture shock I was expecting didn’t really happen, or at least not as strongly as I expected it to be. If you are wondering why, read on! Read the rest

Mexican culture in the United States: Cinco de Mayo and Día de los muertos »

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By Guadalupe Torres

As a Chicana, I have grown up in a Mexican culture environment, ranging from but not limited to parties, food, events, and music. I have also seen how the Mexican culture has been influencing the US culture from language, food, music, literature, amongst others. And it is not only the Mexican culture that is influencing the US culture but multiple Latin American cultures as well. It is important to state this because it is incorrect to say that all Latinas/os have the same culture, which is commonly misunderstood in the United States. Read the rest

Fête de la Musique »

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By Emmanuelle Schopp

Bonjour à tous,

For this issue of the WWN, the topic to be discussed is “the pop culture in your country.” Well, I have to say that I find it a very difficult topic because it is very broad and encompasses so many different things — hence my difficulty to find what I would possibly write about. As far as I am concerned, I see pop culture as a set of many different things that are embedded in a specific culture and that appeal to a large number of people (to the “masses”), as opposed to a higher culture that would only be accessible by a very limited number of people. Read the rest

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Transcending Cultures: the trifles of internationals at Willamette »

Greetings,

The topic for the next issue was given to us by one of Willamette’s anthropology professors, Professor Vandehey and gives us insight into the experiences of international at Willamette.

As international students, you have undoubtedly encountered and experienced many situations on campus that seem shocking, inexplicable, odd, or even funny. Take a moment to reflect on a time or place that initially seemed quite foreign to you. Describe the situation and reflect on your initial reaction to the cross-cultural experience. How did you initially understand what you were experiencing? Has your understanding changed over time as you have become increasingly enculturated at Willamette?

We hope you get a chance to enjoy these articles amidst finals and the holidays!

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Lara, Rachel, and Brie

The WWN Editorial Team

/!\Please note: the statement made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

A Mexican/American experience as an international student »

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By Kassandra Saltos

When I first decided to come to United States to be part of an exchange program, I did not think that I would have much culture shock since I believed I was well aware of American culture. When I started school here I was honestly really nervous about making friends, living with a roommate, and taking full English classes, but as my international orientation days began, I felt more confident about being here–I was really excited. Read the rest

Taking a Step Back While Moving Forward »

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By Gesa Musiol

History is never objective. The act of recording events, in writing, audio, visual form, or film always presents a certain version thereof by choosing what to focus on, what to leave out, and which words to use. The knowledge of the fact that history is mostly written by the survivors, the winners, and the ones with the loudest voices is widely spread. Nevertheless, the way history is taught differs significantly from country to country as I experienced here at Willamette University. Read the rest

(Building Community) Hours »

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By Lucía Baigorrí Haüen

It is quite common to say that much of non-Americans’ knowledge of the United States is (mis)informed by mass media products, however that does not make it any less true. In my case, the entertainment industry has been a great source of education that has shaped much of my understanding of American life in general and the college experience in particular (J.J. Abram’s Felicity being at the top of my reference list). It is for this reason that seeing dorms, dining halls, university apparel, and a dancing bearcat during my first days at Willamette did not take much getting used to. Read the rest

What Makes Willamette Weird »

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By Emmanuelle Schopp

This year working as a language assistant for French at Willamette University is actually my first time on a campus outside of my country, France. This new experience is very interesting, enriching, surprising, and fun, but also at the same time sometimes rather “weird” and challenging because it is so different from what I am used to back home. I cannot say that there is one thing in particular that seemed shocking to me, but rather that there have been several little things that have appeared unfamiliar to me and even sometimes rather incomprehensible.

Read the rest

Living in Two Cultures »

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By Guadalupe Torres

As a Chicana I practice the Mexican culture but I have also been exposed to the United States’ culture and have encountered several differences that have been a shock to me. These differences have been difficult to grasp because it can be said that I am living in two different worlds. Read the rest

A Moroccan In A Bistro »

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By Sofia El Otmani

When I first arrived at Willamette University, one of the first buildings that I visited was the Putnam University Center and the Bistro inside of it. I still remember the way the Willamette students first described the Bistro upon my arrival: the Bistro is warm, comfortable, and instills a wide variety of relaxing emotions. Read the rest