Cultural Appropriation

It’s time for everybody’s favorite discussion: Cultural Appropriation. This hot discussion topic happens when somebody uses practices or images from other cultures, without respecting their tradition or even acknowledging the origins of the thing in question. Most of the time, this mistreatment of culture is enacted by white people . A big, unfortunate use of Cultural Appropriation is when white girls wear Native American headdresses (usually worn by highly respected warriors or chiefs) to music festivals like Coachella. But that’s not the cultural appropriation I have come here to talk about today.

You may or may not have noticed, but I often try to wear a Hamsa necklace. A Hamsa looks like a hand with really cool designs running around the hand, and most of the time there is a stone or a carving of an eye in the middle. This symbol is really popular among teenage girls. Many girls my age probably don’t know the origins or the meaning behind the Hamsa or it’s symbols, so I’m just gonna lay it all out for you.

The Hamsa is an important symbol in the Jewish and Islamic faiths. I’m 98% sure it means the same to both religions, but I am Jewish so most of my knowledge will for sure apply to the Jewish side of things. This hand emblem serves one main purpose: to ward off the evil eye (bad luck or jealously sprouting from others). It’s usually positioned with the fingers pointed down, but occasionally you’ll see some where the pointer and middle fingers are together, and the ring and pinkie fingers are put together, with a space between these two pairings (It looks like Spock’s “live long and prosper” hand thing). Hamsa sounds like the Hebrew word for 5 (sounds like Hameish), which I am almost positive stands for the 5 books of Torah, but I’m not a Rabbi, so don’t take my word for it. Numbers are a very spiritual thing in Judaism, and I could write an entire blog post about it, but I won’t get into too much detail about it. Also, you’ll probably see a blue opal in the middle of the hand, and that basically is the same as the evil eye, so it aids in warding off evil.  Sometimes you may see a fish on the Hamsa too, and basically that just strengthens the protection level

My particular Hamsa necklace is very important to me. My father bought it for me in the middle of Jerusalem during his first visit to Israel, just a few years ago.  I wear it as often as I can and it is one of my more valued positions. It reminds me of my connection to my religion as well as my connection to the many Jews who came before me. So, all you white girls can keep wearing your Hamsa memorabilia, I won’t try to stop you. Just try to understand the meaning behind them, and don’t try to think that they’re just a cute indie trend, because this “trend” has been around since the start of the Jewish people, and it’s a very spiritual emblem to multiple cultures.

Life

Things have been going well lately. I turned 18 yesterday, I got my confidence back, and I started working at Buffalo Wild Wings. By the way, sorry I couldn’t make it to the book release party. I had only been working at B-dubs for 3 days prior to the party, so I actually never had the chance to call off for the event. I tried to leave early but the Blues game started around the time of the party, so all these customers came in and I was basically the only cashier working (okay, there was one other cashier working, but she was on her phone the entire time and I’m still salty about it). I love my job though, food service is so much better than retail. In retail, when people call the store all they wanna do is yell at you. In the food industry, those who call in are  super hungry and just want some chicken wings. And tips are also a fun time.

Nothing super exciting has happened besides that. I officially am going to SCAD now, I finally paid my enrollment/housing reservation fees. Georgia, here I come. I’m going to get so fat off of peaches, but I’ll just accept it. Peaches are the best. I’m officially an adult now. Yay, I can sign my own paperwork and participate in the lottery. Where was this during the Powerball 3 billion dollar prize? I wanted to join in on the fun. Well, I might get my cartilage pierced soon, so that’s about the most exciting thing that’s come out of adulthood so far. I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.

Children’s Story- Annie Ant Finds a Job

In a field in the middle of Nebraska lived an ant named Annie. Annie dreamed of becoming a scientist, but her Mommy and Daddy Ant didn’t like that idea. Mommy Ant wanted Annie to become a construction worker, just like her. Daddy Ant wanted Annie to become a food hunter, just like he was. Both of Annie’s parents decided to bring Annie to their jobs, so they could change her mind about her dream career.

One day, Mommy Ant said “Annie, come to work with me today. I bet you’ll really love building the ant hill.” Annie went off to work with her Mommy. She worked hard all day long, but she wasn’t having any fun at all. Just as Annie sat down for a break, a large bit of dirt fell on top of her. It took them an hour to get her unstuck. This was not the job for Annie.

The next day, Daddy Ant said “Annie, come to work with me today. You’ll really enjoy hunting for food with me.” So Annie went off to work with her Daddy. Annie looked for food all day, but she couldn’t find anything. But suddenly, she spotted a Dorito Chip lying on the ground. She ran away from the rest of the group to grab the new treasure, but once she got the food and turned around, the group had left! Annie wandered around, but there was no hope, she was lost. She searched around all day, and she didn’t get home until it was dark outside. Annie had no fun at all that day. This was not the job for Annie.

Annie ran up to her Mommy and Daddy Ant and started crying. She cried and cried for a long time. “I didn’t have any fun at either of your jobs. I got hurt and lost. These were not the jobs for me, I just want to be a scientist” cried Annie Ant. Daddy Ant spoke “We understand, if you really want to be a scientist that badly, then we won’t stop you.” Annie was so excited, she finally got to follow her dreams! A little while later, Annie went off to college. She worked really hard, studied all the time, and got the best grades out of everybody in her class. Annie became the smartest ant scientist in the world, and lived happily ever after. 

The End

I’ll try my best not to be a victim

So, I finally decided to attend Savannah College of Art and Design! Although I am very excited about this decision, I have been receiving a plethora of comments from older relatives, warning me to watch over my shoulder. Apparently, Savannah, Georgia is a very dangerous city. Now, I was starting to get a little worried. I was raised in one of the more dangerous cities in America (I’ve lived in the suburbs my entire life, but I’ve been downtown enough at night to understand how to act in dangerous areas.) Also, I spent a good amount of my summer in New Orleans without parental supervision, so walking around in a dangerous city isn’t anything new to me. Nevertheless, I decided to compare crime rates of St. Louis and Savannah, just to see what I would be getting myself into. St. Louis’s reported total crime rate last year was 25,408, while Savannah ‘ s was 6,045. There is a huge population different between the cities, so I figured out that in St. Louis, that evens out to around 80.05 crimes per 1,000 people, while in Savannah it is around 41.88 crimes per 1,000 people. In St. Louis, about 1 in 59 people fall victim to violent crime, while in Savannah the rate is 1 in 233. However, while there is less crime in Savannah, there still is some. And as a college aged female, I am more likely to fall victim to crime. I’ll have to still be cautious when walking alone at night, but I can assure you, various older relatives, the crime rates won’t come as a culture shock to me. I don’t live in a small town in North Dakota like you do, I’ll be fine.

April

April is the busiest month in my family and I’m so overwhelmed right now. To start things off, my little sister’s birthday is April 12th, then mine is exactly 2 weeks later on April 26th. That’s at least 4 birthday dinners (One with the grandparents, one for just the immediate family, and we do that for both of our birthdays). Also, Passover is almost always during the month of April. For those who don’t know, Passover is the Jewish holiday where you celebrate escaping slavery in Egypt, and you don’t eat any bread products for eight days. Instead of bread, you eat Matzo, a giant dry cracker thing. It sounds like a party at first, but after two days of eating nothing but Matzo sandwiches, it gets really old. Unfortunately for me, Passover starts on the 23rd, so it runs through my 18th birthday. No birthday cake for me I guess… It could be worse, we looked at the calendar, and my little sister’s 21st birthday is on the first (and most important) day of Passover. The first night is always the only night that you absolutely have to go to a Seder (which is like a giant service/feast you have at somebody’s house to celebrate the holiday). April is also really busy, because all the outdoor sports are starting up, and my little sister decided to be the queen of all the sports. She’s currently on a recreational softball league, a pitcher on a select softball team, and forward on a soccer team. I’m confused by the soccer season though, I think she starts soon, I don’t know though, the sports all run together. And she just got off of her basketball season, so really she has no off season. Finally, to top off the busy month of April, I have Prom and my senior pictures. Luckily those are one time things, so I wont have to deal with that ever again in my life. I’ll just try my best not to get overwhelmed by April, and I’ll try to enjoy all the festivities of the month.