CULTURES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

I don`t feel like Norwegian, nor do I feel Pakistani. Recently I was asked what I`m doing on the 17th of May, which is the independence day here in Norway. I managed to say “nothing, I don`t really care”, haha… I`m not really sure what being Norwegian or Pakistani feels like, it`s not really a feeling I carry around with me all the time. I will feel a bit extra proud if Norway wins Eurovision Song Contest, but I don`t feel that proudness when Norway participates and wins in the Winter Olympics, for example. Perhaps it has to do with my enthusiasm for Eurovision. Anyways, living with two cultures can be difficult and indeed it is difficult, but I do have moments when I feel extra grateful for carrying with me two suitcases that are quite different from each other because it is an enrichment.

One thing that I have embraced with the Pakistani culture, are the colours. As a little girl, I would find Indian/Pakistani wedding ceremonies more colourful than for instance Norwegian weddings. The other day I saw the music video for “ghar mere pardesiya” and oh, man!! Not only do I really like the song and the melody, I like the clothes, the “desi”vibes (you desi people know what I`m talking about) and the Indian classical dance. I felt happy about being a part of culture which has all that. It is so traditional and cool.

aliabhatt.jpg//source: link

In my daily life it can be quite frustrating, because I don`t really know how I`m supposed to balance the Norwegian and the Pakistani culture. I don`t call myself Norwegian or Pakistani, but both of the cultures are a part of my life. I live in Norway and face the culture here every day and I come from a Pakistani family at the same time. It`s kind of like my closet – I have “western” (which is a word I don`t really connect with) clothes and Pakistani clothes. It`s as if my wardrobe is two different worlds – that`s how my life can feel like sometimes and it`s hard to know how to embrace it all in my daily life. But when I watched that music video, I could feel that I was embracing the Pakistani culture that I`m a part of. How our long traditional dresses swing, how we move our hands while dancing, how the vibe is different from most of the music videos that are made in Europe. Even though it is difficult for me, I`m glad that I belong to the Pakistani culture, as well. I think of the times I`ve worn one of my Pakistani suits and been on the train and walking on the street. I`ve gotten compliments and looks and I feel so cool. And now I don`t even know why I`m writing this post, but I just felt like sharing this for some reason and here I am. I have a weird relationship with the two cultures I am a part of, but I have moments when I don`t think much about that and embrace some aspects that aren`t too complicated. It`s nice to embrace something and act like some of the comments from desi aunties don`t annoy me for a while, at least.

And who knows, I might just be able to dance my way through both of the cultures one day.

SPRING & TOO NERVOUS

Spring. There`s something else about spring when you`ve been through a cold winter. I don`t know if I can call it a long winter, I`m not sure if I know what a long winter is anymore. The snow showed up, then melted away and then decided to show up again. Up and down, just like life. But I know that spring is forreal here now and it was nice to sit in front of the house, on the stairs and have some yummy pasta while the neighbours` dog was barking. Literally.

Wearing my sunglasses, boots and my coat makes me more happy than you`ll realise. There`s just something about an outfit which include them. I thought today that maybe I should put away the boots soon and use them again in September, but then thought neh, I like them too much.

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I was too nervous before the seminar today, because I didn`t know what people thought but what for?? It went so well, people gave me constructive feedback and I`m excited to get cracked on the writing tomorrow morning. I think we worry too much sometimes. Students tend to worry too much about what could possibly go wrong, but if something can go wrong it could also go right. Today before the seminar I thought “okay, if what I wrote was that bad, then they will tell me, what`s so bad about that, I`ll just have a lot of improvements to do on my text”. Perhaps I was thinking that way because what I write means something to me. Oh, well, I worried for nothing and it all went fine. I know this might not help, but if you`re on your way to an exam and are super nervous, try to think that it`s not the end of the world. That sounds super dramatical, but it is usually true. 😉 It`s so easy to get caught up in your head, to overthink everythink, but many times that`s what it is – overthinking.

Tomorrow I`m meeting the teacher to get individual feedback and I want to get up early, so I`m off to bed soon. Hope you are having an amazing day. 🖤

SHOULD WE BOICOTT THIS YEAR`S EUROVISION?

Ever since Netta Barzilai from Israel won last year`s Eurovision which was held in Lisboa in Portugal, many have been against the fact that this year`s Eurovision is going to be held in Israel. Many were right after the contest sceptical to Jerusalem being the host city, even though that was just an idea and not decided or confirmed. They announced last year summer that Tel Aviv would be the host city. However, just last week I read about Norwegian artists who are boycotting this year`s Eurovision. Let`s be honest: the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is still happening.

I find it annoying that some people always have to blend everything with politics. Yeah, in social anthropology and in the world everything has to do with each other. The music is influenced by the politics, but this is a music contest. Not “who-is-the-best-political-country” in the world. Israel is controversial to talk about and I know that no matter what I say, what they have done in the past and what they are doing as we speak will be something people will bring up. Especially now as they`re the host country. But I wonder: what for? And why only Israel?

Several viewers of the contest have throughout the years asked why Israel even is in the contest, when they`re not in Europe. Well, they should ask why Azerbaijan and Armenia are participating too, but how many do that? Not many, compared to how many ask why Israel is in the contest. I read in the newspaper about someone who said something along the lines of this: “It seems like people are more keen on “attacking” Israel. People don`t really mention anything about the politics in Russia or Azerbaijan”. It`s too true!

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is very complicated. After learning more about it and their relationship at the university , I realised that for me it`s not just black and white, as it is for many people who pick what side they want to be on. I`m not on anyone`s side. I do believe that what Israel has been doing and is doing is wrong, but I also believe that by making everything about politics, it`s not going to get any better. I have reactions from people when I mention that I would like to visit Israel one day, because of the conflict. As if it`s the population`s fault. Some people don`t seem to be using their own mind in this situation, because when Netta won people were blaming here for what was going on in the country. That`s like blaming everyone who used to live in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s for making Holocaust happen.

Perhaps I`m saying this because I`m a big fan of Eurovision Song Contest, perhaps I`m saying this because I don`t want people to make everything about politics. When I have been watching the show, I have been into the music, the performances. Not the politics. I also think it`s sad that Ukraine withdrew from the contest because the artist chosen had performed in Russia, with which they have a conflict with. It`s not making it better at all. Music unites people, so does dance and this contest should be a celebration of that. Not another debate platform about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. 60e24610ab781c3e956d5bdfcdc2b7d2.jpg

A TUESDAY LIST

🖤 Last week I went to this job related event and on my way home, I missed the train. I had to wait for the next one and guess who I met meanwhile? Sara! I`m the kind of person who ends up believing I missed a bus or a train for a reason, because way too many times that has happened just for me to meet someone I haven`t met in a while. This time it was Sara and she is such a lovely girl! I`m glad Thea, Sara and I are still friends. Honestly, I don`t think there`s anything bad in them, they would never hurt anyone. And I`m not saying that because they`re my friends, I genuinly mean that. By the way, her mum was with her and she looked so young, so I managed to ask “who is this?” even though I`ve met her before, haha.

🖤 In about twenty days I`ll finish this semester, which is making me feel kind of stressed. I don`t want to stay at home and stare at the roof more or less four months. I`m applying for jobs here and there, while writing my bachelor essay. If I don`t have a job for this summer by the end of this month, I`ll apply for as many jobs as possible. I really want to travel and I need money for that, so.

🖤 It`s crazy to think that I`ll finish my bachelor degree this semester. Well, almost. I feel like I should feel older than I feel like. I mean, I almost have a degree already, like what???

🖤 Although I kind of have a two/three years long plan for my life, I feel like I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Sara was asking me the other day when I met her what I want to do, and I don`t know. I know that I want to write and I know that I want to help people, but I`m not sure how. Maybe because quite a lot of doors are open with a degree in social anthropology and people end up doing so many different things. It`s exciting, but nerve-wrecking to not know where I will end up.

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🖤 Sometimes it`s hard to know what photos to put in a post. I`m an anonymous blogger and whereas many would pick a photo of themselves or even a selfie, I feel like I tend to put a photo I`ve taken quickly while I`ve been out, but words are more important to me and I hope that`s the case for those of you who choose to read my blog.

🖤 It seems like I`ve accepted that I won`t be able to finish my bachelor this semester. It`s weird how we just accept some situations sometimes, when we know we can`t do much about it. I did a mistake, I`ve learned from it and I am moving on, which is the best for me. It sucks, of course, but what can I do.

🖤 I sent what I`ve written so far of my bachelor essay to the teacher today and WHY am I so nervous. It`s my time to present my research question and essay and I wonder what people will think. It`s nowhere finished, I still have quite a lot of work to do. I just hope I get some advices on what I should improve and add. We`re all also meeting the teacher this week to get individual feedback, which I`m also nervous about. But it will be fine!!

Now I`m off to bed, tomorrow`s going to be a good day. Talk to you tomorrow!

WHY CARE ABOUT SUCH HONOUR

why care about the kind of honour

the norms of such honour

the so called “izzat”

which ruins the lives of your fellow human beings.

which mutes people.

which shatters dreams.

which takes away the light in people`s eyes.

which kills hope.

which forces women and men to marry someone they don`t love.

which closes the windows and doors.

which stares at you when you`re about to say something you shouldn`t say.

which ignores emotions.

why care about an honour

which doesn`t really care about you.

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//poem written by me

& photo taken from here (link)

MORE OF THAT

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I think it`s important to do something different once in a while. In my life that means socializing. It`s quite easy to just stay at the university, but it`s important to get out and also get to know your fellow students. I and another girl who studies with me were talking about that the other day. We were both on an exchange semester last semester; I was in the Netherlands and she was in Scottland in the UK. We both were like “we`ve made more friends and been more social the semester we spent away than the two years we`ve spent studying here in Oslo”, haha… Too true. Should I say sadly? Anyways, I want to try to be more social, at least. About two weeks ago I went to this breakfast they had, which was interesting. Today they were arranging a walk at Sognsvann, a nice nature place in Oslo. It was quite nice, we did some walking and then we sat down, talked, had a campfire and did a quiz. Reminds me of the old days. 🙂

I felt a bit like an “oldie” because everyone else was a first-year or a second-year, and I`m on my third-year and could tell them about all the courses and what they were like. Kind of like an expert, hehe. Some of them are also going on an exchange semester, which makes me so happy!! MORE OF THAT, YASS. If I could, I would so do it again.

And no, winter isn`t back. At least I hope it isn`t. There was still some snow left at Sognsvann, hence the snow in the pictures. Spring has come and I believe it is here to stay this time.