Tuesday, July 1, 2014

1st of July, 2014
Intern Shareef's Blog #6:
  Today we played a game on International trivia. The game was played with the undergraduate Mexicans and the graduate students from the U.S. The questions ranged from facts about the flags of different countries and famous people/figures in countries. In the beginning it started off as a warm-up game and the Mexicans answered questions about the U.S and the U.S students answered questions about Mexico. The Mexicans got every question correct about the U.S. The students from the U.S did not know many of the facts about Mexico which I thought was very interesting. I realized it was because in the U.S we aren't taught these things unless they apply to the United States. It is very rare for us to learn the presidents name of another country or learn how many states are in Mexico. After we went through the whole game it ended up being a tie and my uncle was not prepared for this so there was no tiebreaker question.

After the game my uncle had a discussion on cultural clashes as well as racism. My uncle taught everyone how culture clashes work for example: "how to build a car" you need many different countries support in building a car because many of the pieces come from different parts of the world. He also talked about racism and brought up the discussion on the mexican treat Negrito as well as Memin Pinguin. Negrito's are a very delicious Mexican treat that in the U.S may be think of as racist because it is called Negrito and has a picture of a boy with an afro on the cover. All of the Mexican students however did not find it racist and didn't see the problem with having him on the cover.

There was also group discussions on a comic called Memin Pinguin. It is a comic book about a young boy who lives by the ocean. He was based off of the Cuban kids the author had seen there. Many people from the U.S perceive him to look like a monkey and an African American person because he has large ears and big lips. He is not very good at school but he is very smart, he is also the hero of the story even though he makes errors and is funny. There are very many disputes on how it is racist and how it is not. The Mexicans feel very strongly that it is not racist but the Americans feel very strongly that it is racist and cannot see eye to eye on the topic of Memin Pinguin. One big contraversy was that Memin Pinguin found out that Cleopatra doused her body in milk so her skin would be lighter. So he tried that so he could look like everyone else and his mom found out he tried that and she was very sad and upset and didn't know why he would want to change his beautiful skin.

Topics like this can make a person really wonder if the are happy with their own skin tone or their own culture/ethnicity. When I think about this it's really interesting because I ask myself "are you happy with your skin tone?" and I think yeah I guess. I mean sometimes I do wish I could change myself, but I think there is a moment in time we all think that in our lives. In the U.S it can be very hard for me because it's rare to see someone who is a model or an actor thought of highly by their appearance who has the same characteristics as me. I do sometimes wish I could change my appearance because a lot of the time girls in the U.S aren't attracted to guys of my ethnic background, and it can get really hard for me because I think what most people want is just to be liked and thought of highly. I realize that no not everyone will like me but I just need to be myself and if someone doesn't like who I am then I could really care less because I am who I am and no one can change that.

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