Sonntag, 17. Januar 2016

'No More Boomerang' - The Survivors of the White Man's Cruelty in Australia and How to Help

With this semester being my very last semester of high school, there comes the time in which I need to focus on my final graduation exams. This year's main topic for my English Advanced class is Globalization and Australia. So with that, the last few weeks I spent my time combing through anything Australia-related, in particular the dark history of Europeans settling into the country.

Granted, I didn't knew much about how the situation of the Indigenous people in Australia was, but as I was researching it turns out to be even more grueling than in the US. The usual relocation into reserves were there, yes, but what I find even more horrible was what is now called the 'Stolen Generation'. Back in the early years of the 20th century the Australian government made it legal to take Indigenous babies and children from their families into foster homes or white families to raise them 'the Christian way'. Indigenous babies could been made wards of the state the moment they were born. Not only did it rip apart entire communities, it was also clearly a demonstration of the White settlers superiority. The mere fact that they saw the 'Aboriginality' as a problem to society and the White ways as the only socially acceptable way is absoluterly inconceivable and disgusting.
This video explains and shows the situation of the 'Stolen Generation' from the victim's perspective:
Gotta admit, this made me sniffel more than once.

The law has been banned just around 40 years ago, but the Indegenous children and families' suffering is still present. Only 2008 the first formal apology has been issued by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. However, there is nothing much done by just a single apology. The Indigenous people are still the most disadvantaged minority in Australia, living on the margins of society.. So therefore I would like to direct y'all towards several charities and foundations, that support Indigenous communities and maintain their culture:

Indigenous Literacy Foundation
This foundation provides books and literacy resources for Indigenous kids and families in remote communites (and with Australia being one of the biggest countries with the sparsest population there are a lot!). With $140 you are able to buy a 'Book Buzz' pack for one child, but regualar donations are also possible. Also, they sell books and goods written by Indigenous children to support and encourage writing.

Reconciliation Australia
Established by the former Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, this organisation promotes reconciliation between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians to work for an united future.

Yothu Yindi Foundation
One of the few Indigenous-run organisations. The foundation is led by the community leaders of five regional clan groups. They provide an education hub for cultural knowledge through the 'bush university'. In the summers they also held an annual 'Garma Festival of Traditional Culture' as an Indigenous cultural exchange event with its goal to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through youth forums, art gallery, music, film, song, dance and expo.

These are only three from many other charitable organisations. If you would like to see a longer list of organisations click here.

If this blog post did motivate you to donate for an Indigenous cause, I am happy to be the person to have led you that way. Tell me your thoughts about Australia's Indigenous people's situation!

xoxo
Nana

PS: The headline 'No More Boomerang' is taken from a poem with the same title from Oodgeroo (formerly Kath Walker) depicting the sufferings of the Indigenous people through the White settlement and how it changed their lives. Look it up, it has an interesting twist at the end!

Sonntag, 10. Januar 2016

SERIES REVIEW: Healer

Tomorrow is the day I dreaded the most during the last three weeks: The start of my very last semester of high school, and with that the hell that is going to be preps for my final graduation exams. Though everyone keeps telling me to already have prepared to study during my holidays, I still didn't waste any thoughts on school. Whoops.
Will I ever find the motivation to overcome my procrastinating me? Oh dear god, I hope so.


This review for Healer is looong overdue anyways, so there goes my studying time. My priorities are straight with this one, guys.


The Premise
Kim Moon-Ho (Yoo Ji-Tae) is a popular reporter at major broadcasting company. One day, he learns the truth of a case that took place in the past. He intentionally approaches people who are related to the case and helps them. While doing so, he agonizes over the truth and beliefs.

Meanwhile, with the help of Kim Moon-Ho, internet reporter Chae Young-Shin (Park Min-Young) and Seo Jung-Hoo (Ji Chang-Wook), known as "Healer," grow into real reporters. 

I've never seen Ji Chang-wook, nor Yoo Ji-tae in a drama before, so I at first was shocked at the merry eye candy in this one. Ji Chang-wook is a flower boy, obviously, - his adorable smile got me squealing every time. Doesn't hurt, that his character's alter ego is also such a dork, and I love me some hot adorkable damsels in distress saved by the female lead. Though as the Healer he did get to show his badassery. I was surprised, when I found out in an interview that JCW's actual personality resembled his dorky alter ego.
Yoo Ji-tae is, gosh. I need a moment. The emotions coming from his acting are amazing. Normally I would totally dislike his character; mysterious nice guys with ulterior motives always get me ending up disgusted. But something in his acting just makes his motives genuine and raw - and I absolutely loved it.
I've seen Park Min-young in Sungkyunkwan Scandal before, she is as pretty as ever. Her character was a ray of sunshine, and I loved her dynamic with her dad. Though she did not physically kick ass, I loved that Young-shin always knew what she wanted and was aware of her weaknesses and strengths. She knew her limits and wasn't afraid to let others know; that was really refreshing to me.

I was so afraid of a love triangle, but thank God, the writers got some sense and let Jeong-hoo and Young-shin be the only OTP. Yoo Ji-tae's character with YS would be a bit creepy, considering he is considered an uncle to her. Pairing him with her mom would have make things even more painful as it already was for her. I was glad he finally came back to his ex; she didn't deserve to be thrown away for revenge like that.

The pacing in the first 10-14 episodes were perfectly fine. I was surprised Young-shin found out his identity and they became a couple so quickly, but at the same time I was glad. It spared us a shit ton of angst, and angst was something I felt strongly in the last five episodes. I don't know if it was because the pace suddenly picked up, like the writer would squeeze the remaining resolutions into the last three episodes, but they sure got me on my toes with the cliffhangers.
As always, I found some loose ends not knotted (tightly enough), that it would make me be truly satisfied. Like the sudden reunion between mother and daughter with the writers just diregarding Mom's illness. However, the characters were much too loveable that I could say something bad about the whole drama. The concept of Healer was fun, though in my opinion it wasn't explained thoroughly. I kind of wish we would get to see if there is going to be a next Healer I got my fingers crossed for the minion.

4.6 out of 5 stars.


Unfortunately it has been two weeks since I finished the drama, which is why I barely can remember any details, so I'm really sorry for this short review. I have been busy traveling around and procrastinating school work, that I totally forgot to write my thoughts down. Sadly, I haven't found a good drama in a while to binge-watch, so I settled with movies and currently airing dramas. Hopefully I get the time and motivation to review them sometime.

Until then!

Nana



Sonntag, 3. Januar 2016

The Best of Moi - A 2015 Recap

Aloha friends and a Happy New Year!

My New Years Eve was nothing sort of special; I figured with this year being my last NYE in Germany, I wanted to spend it with my best friend marathoning action movies, instead of partying into the new year. We made it to a tradition to watch Rush Hour at least once a year, but this time we decided to look into some other action comedies, like Men In Black (which I never watched before, truth to be told) and also with us being avid Detective Conan fans since childhood, we also binge watched all the good old movies. I can't believe the manga is already running for 20 years with every case surprising me every time with its complexity and cleverness.


2015 has been a rollercoaster of a year for me - in terms of eventfulness it definitely topped 2014.
Unfortunately with a lot of great things happening, also I experienced and suffered more blows and lowpoints than ever before. But now having safely arrived in the new year I can certainly conclude that this past year did make me grow as a person.

With this post I don't even want to trip and go back to the bad memories of the past year; I'd rather conclude the good things that happened to me. So, in no chronological order, here I go:

1. I cut my hair.
This may be the greatest if not only physical change of the year. I cut off around 30 cm of my hair, which is almost 12 inches. Not only were the ends totally broken because of the heavy bleaching I did in my past teenage years, but the long hair also seemed to drive up my stress levels. Another reason my be that my friends and family always associate my long hair with everything shallow regarding a beautiful experience, so the stubborn me of course wanted to prove them wrong. And look at that, I haven't been happier than since in a long, long time. It felt like all the stress and burden finally fell away with the long strands and I gladfully embraced my new haircut.

2. I went to an exchange to Italy.
Though I am sure it could have been better, in conclusion I could say that I did esperience a lot of good things on this exchange. My Italian definitely got better in its casual use (though after I came back I noticeably decreased in my fluency) and I got to see tons of the culture and tradition, as the city I went to was rather a small one near the sea. The view from my room was absolutely gorgeous and though it was the beginning of May, I recorded a high of 30°C there - I couldn't even dream of a heat like that here in Germany that early! The exchange bonded us as the whole course (or at least the girls) together, even though we barely spoke in the almost two years we've been in the course together before, and I was truly glad I also got to celebrate my birthday with these wonderful ladies. Also, midnight skinny dipping ftw!

Riomaggiore, the beautiful little village we stayed in at the Mediterranean Sea

3. The class trip to Italy.
Surprise, surprise, not even a month after I came back from the exchange I went to Italy again - this time with my English class though. Although we also have been together for almost two years, it has been our first trip as a class together and, truthfully, I loved this trip even more than the exchange. Surely, there were some unexpected hidden faces uncovered, but as I was friends with most of the class it did not affect me that much. Our homeroom teacher surprisingly turned out to be hilarious, sweetly patient and sympathetic, that I could never ever hate her for doing the most boring English class ever again. Some people are just the very definition of a cinnamon roll, and my teacher is one of such. The other accompanying teacher - my Italian teacher -, however, is the one we as a whole class came to hate from time to time. I still harbor a hidden grudge against him, and the fact that I have him seven hours a week doesn't help either.

4. My first job experience.
At the end of the summer I finally got my first part-time job as a waitress at a fast food restaurant. First things to clear up: In Germany laws make it incredibly hard for underaged students to get a job. The government does permit citizens over 16 to work legally, but only until 8pm. So naturally, most of the employers tend to seek for workers that are not that limited. However, restaurants are usually more relaxed in hiring this case, so that was how I got my job. Though the bad part is, they tend to exploit underaged employees, which I sadly experienced. They either pay us terribly lower than the minimum wage, which was in my case the reason why I resigned after not even two months of working, or they let them work way later than until 8pm; my friend often has to work unter 4am in the morning, which for underaged students should be unacceptable,but oh well. Either way, I did experience and learn much from my time there, like how to work quickly and efficiently till knowing what kind of cleaning supplies to use for the kitchen. Rather than a disappointment, I'd see the my work there more as a life experience I won't forget.

5. The hell that has been P5.
In our senior year of high school we had to present a P5, which is essential for the German graduation (Abitur). In a nutshell the P5 is similar to a bachelor thesis - with a written product, presentation and all that drama. As the teachers gave it so much pressure in its importance we naturally felt the burden. That was why the first two months of 2015 felt like hell to me - for some days I literally lived off coffee. But even after overcoming internal crisises, in the end I surprisingly got a full 15 points for our work. And even if the topic of the work does make want to redo it (as it was just so. boring.), the full score definitely makes up for it.

6. Friendship goes behind years.
I formed an unexpected close friendship with one of the new girls in my English class, so close that we could practically be sisters at this point. We both went through ups and downs together that last year, even though we actually became close just in February. But you know how some people just click and it feels like you've know them all your life? That's how I feel with that friend, and it definitely made my year a better one. Same thing also happened with a girl I got to know two years ago, though our friendship really developed to be a strong bond last year; she lives in a city near me and we got to know each other through mutual friends. I can't believe I have been missing out to such wonderful people, while others I endured for years, always forcing myself to tie a bond between us.
Is it too late now to say sorry (to myself)?

7. Discovering my love for tea.
A.k.a my friends went on a week-long trip with me to Berlin and they infected me with their obsession for tea. They both literally drink a minimum of three cups of tea a day (I'm not even kidding!), and with Berlin not having very clean tap water, they forced me to drink the liquidy goodness - in the 33°C hot late summer!
Granted, it made breaking my bad habit of always drinking coffee, as I don't drink soft drinks, easier. I can proudly say now that I reduced my coffee intake to two to three times a month, and instead, I bought a lot of healthy herbal teas not only to detox but also to relax.

8. Rediscovering and strengthening my relationship with my siblings.
As I was in my slump I distanced myself so much from my family, to the point where the only thing I did as we saw each other once a day was only to greet or nod. Thinking back to that time, it is such a shame I let myself belive that cutting myself off my family would help me concentrate on school or broken friendships. After all, I found the best friend I was searching for in my sister. Now with me in my late teens and her in her mid teens the age gap between us doesn't seem as big anymore; we now have similar problems to share. And with our personalities being very much opposites we got to help each other to learn and grow, as we often have long-night talks about every random things. She was also the one encouraging me to write down my story ideas and continue my story I abandoned eons ago.
My brother and I also got a lot closer; not a day goes before we hug each other, even if he does it rather grumblingly. We also do workouts at least three times a week together, and going through the tough fitness regimes together definitely helps me pulling through.

This is the smoothie mixer I have from wmf,
it's pretty big compared to other mixers
(c)inforboard.de

9. Healthy life COME ON!
My mother has been absolutely obsessed with juicing everything that can be juiced, and so she bought herself a smoothie maker and ever since I have been forced with her healthy liquidy meals. Though my mom doesn't really get the concept that a smoothie is in no case a meal substitute, she definitely helped me choking downing them vitamins I normally would be too lazy to even think about eating. However, I still can't really get around drinking 80% vegetables and 20% fruits like my roommate (only the other way around works for me), I'd like to think that I would be getting there someday. Also the workout time I always have with my brother definitely helps me to stay fit through the winter, where I usually turn into the couch potato I actually am.

10. Giving less shits about school.
If there is one thing that I would tell my one year younger self, that would be to not lose my mind about grades. But then again, I wouldn't have come to that conclusion if I didn't go through the emotional shit of worrying about grades. Seriously though, I could have save the time and energy on doing things that are actually doing good for me mentally. Good grades unfortunately don't equal not guarantee happiness and a healthy mental state, and I am glad to discover this fact for myself on time. Instead I dedicate my time and energy to healthy activities - physically (like cardio and workouts) and mentally. I got back to my hobby of writing (even though I am not that great), thinking up plots for short stories and watching movies and tv shows I have been neglecting for the better half of the year.

BONUS:
I got over my presumptuous me when it comes to music (I tended to stick to the artists/bands I already know and never bat an eyelash towards rookies) and finally opened my eyes to the amazing artists and bands I've been missing out (SEVENTEEN! Childish Gambino! Tinashé! Kehlani!).
Shout out to 8tracks, Vine and my friend C. for these discoveries! My ears have been blessed.


In conclusion: 2015 has given me so much experience to grow and develop into a more positive person.

With my graduation coming up, 2016 will surely be my hardest school year yet, but I am positive that with all the growth I did the past year I will make the graduation exams my bitch. But what I am more excited about is my well-deserved gap year I will be spending in Indonesia. I haven't been there for so long and I can't wait to see what will await me in the now-estranged home country of mine. One thing for sure: I definitely have to brush up my Indonesian language skills before.

I hope y'all have a wonderful start into the new year!

Nana

EDIT: I really like writing recaps like this, so I might making this a monthly thing, what do you think? Of course I will include everything book- and tv show-related I did that month.