a sad day for Thailand

When a great leader leaves us, it is the responsibility of every wise men to remember him/her and remind the world once again how great they really were; even so more in a period where decent leaders fail to exist. 

Thailand has always felt like a second home to me, her people always kind and hospitable. Today is indeed a sad day for people all around the world, especially Thais with the passing of King Bhumibol, a true selfless leader who acted as an example to many. 

source:ibtimes.co.uk/gettyimages
source:ibtimes.co.uk/gettyimages

The White House

I don’t know, the idea of going school to Florida seems super distant to me because of the lack of a stable Bhutanese community in the state. To add to that, our designated country is Jordan for the model UN and our position papers have already been up at https://sites.google.com/site/nmundc2016positionpapers/. For anyone who wants to look at my paper, it is under the committee, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), country- Jordan. The convention is in about a month, right after the U.S elections. It would be weird to walk into the left wing of the white house in November and know who is going to take over that monument, come January.

Meanwhile, little have changed with me. I still love to read and write. My interest in national politics has declined because I have discovered other great things like independent lesbian films; and taken much interest in the subtlety of life. Last year, when I got to the U.S, I found out that my left eye had been half blind for a while. Vision correctness was a possibility only if I had started using glasses at the age of 5. Instead, I now use lens only on one eye and they were so unique that the company took months to make it. Even the whole of Thailand do not have them. It’s a shame that eyes that will read and do so much must be half crippled during its youth. I am aware that I don’t post much pictures here, but I will make sure I post as much decent photos from the upcoming convention and visit to the White House.

A basket for me

For some time I have been wanting to move my website to word press because from last bloggers conference, some of my friends expressed their concerns on how complex the whole thing was and how it would not let them comment directly. Anyways, I have a new blog called the trailersurrogatewor.wordpress.com. I do extensive scene reviews for most independent movies that have dark themes. If you want something historical associated with fiction and lots of density, then trailersurrogatewor.wordpress.com is the right venue.

Also, something monumental has occurred that means a lot to me as a young south asian women. Are you guys at all familiar with something called the Model United Nations? It is pretty much what the name stands for. And just like in most models, the proponents are the youths from colleges all across America. The MUN team is a prestigious society that every student leader like myself aspires to be. The sad news is, like most honourable societies, you have got to be an exemplary model in order to part of the team. The good news is, when you are a part of it, you get to attend conventions in the capitol of the United States, i.e DC, and and one in New York, where the U.N head quarters for the U.S operates.

Participants at the summit with their designated nations. Picture courtesy: outreach.un.org

I cannot say much until the second week of September. But I will say that my school has had a reputation of leading an exemplary delegate at previous conventions. I will definitely keep you guys posted throughout this whole endeavour. At this point, it looks like I will be at the DC summit. Mean while, why don’t you guys goggle and see what the MUN really is like? It would be interesting to see which school represents Bhutan and what issues they have their dialogue on.

Racism and Police Brutality in America

black-lives-matter
picture courtesy: www.occupy.com/getty images

Until now, I have never been passionate about Race and the injustice that some times tags along with it. To live in America and not come across it, politically or socially is an event that one can never succeed to dodge. What followed sometime during the first week of May, twenty sixteen was unprecedented for me as a foreign student in America. A lot of times, most wise men decide not to make use of the Race card for personal or political reasons. For example, Mr. Obama refrained from using the ‘First Black President Card’ before and after the elections; although, ironically he gained public momentum (that secured him in the primary) more for being Black then for being steady and competent.

The debate on Race and Police Brutality against Young Black men is based on a slippery slope: From the shooting of a black teen in Baltimore to a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, Race is often perplexed over time with gun control laws, mental health, and the right to protect the second Amendment. ‘Discrimination on Race’ is so susceptible, that if written like this on an online platform or caught attention by media, the distributor or the author will naturally be classified either as a Republican or a Democrat. You have got to be Fox or CNN, Barcelona or Madrid. One is forbidden from falling in the middle most of the time according to majority of mainstream media. In other words, mainstream media is not a big fan of the word ‘Independent.’

I understand that this is the time in America when news headlines are scorching with the word ‘Black’ and when Washington politicians are tired of fighting for and against the motion. But then again, has this not always been the case in the U.S? Are we now only realising the depth of the cursed dagger? Thanks to social media that so readily has accessed us to videos and other forms of visuals that have led the awakening of Racism on an individual perspective to a whole new level.

On the night two police men showed up:

The condominium, one of the most secluded buildings between Saint Petersburg and Tampa is a great place for older people, especially when they don’t work actively. Around six in the evening, my friends who are predominantly Black started to slowly pour in. Six in the evening is also the time when a lot of tenants return from their walks, and leave and enter the building. As a result, there is no way that people entering the pool goes unnoticed by the tenants. Inconsiderate of the time and scared that nobody wanted to be the first to get there, majority of my friends arrived only beginning of seven.

It was an important night: My freshmen year had officially ended and the joy in being able to gather and call these people “my friends” was extraordinary.

Weirdly enough, they were the ‘whitest’ police officers I had seen since my being in America. They were calm, approachable, and we were lucky. The officers arrived while we were in the midst of pushing each other into the pool. Expressions of bewilderment ran across both parties. Baffled, I had no clue why this was happening. I had gone down to the pool area a hundred times.

I don’t think I was scared at all because I knew we had done nothing wrong. These are the times when I am utterly grateful for being able to speak English so fluently; for being able to use the word ‘reverence’ instead of ‘respect’ because at that moment, I had to represent half a dozen people who were in the area on my invitation.

Police Officers: ‘Somebody from the building made a call complaining that chairs and tables were being thrown into the pool.’

One of my mates suddenly came to the rescue that denied that we were throwing chairs and tables in the pool. Something about the officers made me sympathise with them: They were only doing their job. The scenario was its first of a kind for the officers; they just did not expect me to be there, to see me surrounded by young black men, often a perfect stereotype for ‘delinquent’ in the U.S.

The night came to an end. Reasons of why the women made the call will always differ from our experiences. May be she was only concerned about the security of the building or may be she just didn’t think a bunch of black kids getting together was a good idea.

 

Who would like to to play the blame game? Me me me..

A young Bhutanese man who allegedly committed suicide in Dubai has sparked debate on social media and I am only hoping and praying that it has done the same for every Bhutanese who aren’t online. Commenting “RIP” on a post shared by people who do nothing but blame the government, or the agency or somebody is futile and truthfully pathetic. It is not a bad thing to comment or to lament over the death of the young man, but it really questions your liability to accept things at face value. There are thousands of Bhutanese on Facebook who have read articles that concludes the agency or the government as a shady organisation in this case and in-directly blames them for the death of this young man.

Everybody is lamenting over his death and even more with his story of being financially unstable and how he was not able to achieve his dream of coming to Dubai and living a good life. Although,  the existing system the government or certain agencies practise should be revised to prevent such situations from occurring in the future. It is complete absurdity, to say that the agency or MOLHR should be held responsible for his death. The priority of any agency like most businesses is to make your visa and help you settle down as in making sure you get the job you agreed on before you left the country. No agency will carry the burden of making sure you are emotionally stable by sending you e-mails and calling you every 2 months to make sure you are not missing home cooked food. Living abroad is hard, and even more challenging for those that suffer from financial shortage. But that does not mean that the agency or MOLHR should be condemned for his death. The deceased’s death is clearly a result of emotional baggage of not being able to adjust with the life style and his concerns over his financial standings. Living and working abroad is not just black and white, especially when there are such high expectations from the visiting party. Everything is different and individuals need to consider all these factors before they decide to leave home and borrow money to pay agents. We have to make everyone aware of how challenging it is to work outside of your home. However, doing this job may not be at the best interest of certain agents as it puts their customers at stake. As a result, it is the job of this common man- like you, and I who instead of simply being a sheep must call for resolution and spread the emotional challenge that we all must consider or be prepared for if we desire to work abroad.

We live in a beautiful yet a very dangerous time: Majority are able to read and write, yet only some are brave enough to challenge mediocrity and question prejudiced stands. An ironical time during a period of technological revolution where emotions over rule facts and facts seem as the enemy of society.

First Bhutanese to attend Florida International Leadership Conference

Hello wonder full people, recently, I was selected by my school to represent in Florida International Leadership Conference which took place in late February. It was super unique: 175 nations participated and you would be surprised to know that, Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister first came to the U.S through this program that was held in collaboration with another federal program. I have yet to give you the details of my experience and more on the program that Thatcher first came through. This may or may not be my second last post. I also haven’t talked about my experience on visiting the Florida senate and attending an actual senate session. hopefully I can write one of these days and give you an insight on what American politics at the state level really looks like.

Lots of love and please do not forget to read and forgive!

xx

‘land of the free and home of the brave’

No matter how privileged of a family you come from, when the time comes for you to leave your pond the view of the ocean shakes you, by challenging your beliefs and reinforcing your faith. In America, the men and the women assume different roles from the men and women in Bhutan. Some men, not all, or those that are yet to cross my path have forever changed the way I think of ‘men’ and the roles that they play. I suppose all of this is very ordinary, yet when seen from the eyes of a girl whose only mission in life was once to finish high school, seems a paramount issue that instead of pondered about must be talked about. In my community, it is not that I grew up with men who would be seen extending hands to clean or wash the dishes, but because I grew up with a notion that women must be the ones that ought to volunteer to do kitchen/utensil work. Before you think all men in America are saints, let me resurrect you that they are not. However, the ones that I have met seem to be, when it comes to the kitchen. These men will cook, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, and clean the toilet even when they have earned degrees in fields that I will never understand of. Isn’t this what education makes one do? Isn’t this feminism at its infancy?

The American women are everywhere: They are patrons of law, education, art, science, religion and all other glorious things that civilization could ever hope for. Gone are the days when people would stop and listen only because a woman spoke. The ‘gender magnet’ is doomed Nazi propaganda in the land of the free today. The Americans live in a period where society is discouraged from validating a point based on gender, most of the time being women. In contrary, there is a wave of motivation in validating a point based on its content, quality, and evidence than targeting at gender. As a result, rarely are women ever labeled, constrained, or judged from achieving greatness. It did not come as a surprise to me when women ran an elementary school where 90% of black students attended: A women principal, a women advisor, a women cook, a women teacher, and a women mentor

It is not that the American culture is flawed. If religion, the medium through which god connects to his people is not perfect, then what is to say about a culture? American men and women (most) are mocked in sarcasm about their lack of geography and consideration for anything foreign besides cuisine. Instead of directing hatred and bigotry against these men and women, I pity them. Because believe me, I clearly understand what is it like to belong to the greatest country in the world, and yet be an ignorant soul; an innocent ignorant soul. These men and women often remind me of myself from the distant past, yet the Americans of, China, Ecuador, Lebanon, are ever so ready to defy these norms and give to fight for a ‘greater America, a America in which not only the black man, but mostly the white is not a victim of racism and prejudice.

The States reminds me of what it is like to be an overachiever: constant pressure from both external and internal environment to be the best and the cream to this obnoxious pie is that, society’s already painted an imagery of the overachiever as being almost ‘perfect.’ Which is not only irrational but also unjust for the overachiever because they are people just like the overachiever and the rest who fall in various dimensions. It is a good thing that the overachievers do not spend their time talking about other people but also a bad thing that they fail to consider them.

There is no arguing that when I left Bhutan, I was still filled with little if no bigotry and a sprinkle of prejudice and stereotype. The first Asian I met in Europe was a Christian, and so was the second, walking down 3rd Ave, I blew the brains out of the first Indian I met by speaking fluent Hindi with the face that I had, and even the Chinese acquaintance of mine thoroughly believes that I am from the Republic and not to forget some Americans who conclude that I am from the Mediterranean. I bet you that these are typical stories of officers and civil servants who have taken their first work related tours only to have met a black man to understand that he is from Scotland and that he practices Buddhism. If your knowledge of the world, certain religion, and culture is all from the movies you have watched then you are bound to understand only one percent of a culture, which sometimes may be stressed to the extremes from the real 99%.

One interesting thing about going to school in a society where freedom and liberty are so profoundly found is the negative impact they have on some people. The downfall, which I do not think most Americans notice, is that they sometimes produce individuals lacking dignity and self-respect. One good example is Governor Kasich and Chris Christie of New Jersey who ironically are and were running for Presidents of the United States. The former has refused from suspending his campaign even though he has underscored constantly with positions in the polls that are in fact red lights to end a campaign. You would think that a man of that momentum, experience, and wisdom would make good decisions, but here he stands like a twenty year old whose mother is waiting for her to return home only to say, ‘I brought this family nothing but shame.’ Of course the man worked hard for it and may be because he said, ‘I can,’ but that is not a good enough reason to continue walking in a road that has no dead end. Anybody can jump off from a building, but they don’t do it because we are humans and own human like qualities, one being common sense.

Yet these are all what makes America great, the power to openly attack poor decisions made by our ‘leaders.’ to be continued.

 

 

 

 

 

I will write more tomorrow.

It is so hard not to write and once again education;my provost, has proven that it is the most powerful weapon in the world. Education is so powerful: it makes you think a lot. It makes you reasonable and it gives you saint like qualities. For example, one not only develops sympathy, but also reverence for those that are blindfolded by emotions and stand on the wrong side of society. Education helps develop tolerance to stupidity and incompetence. As I write this, I am trying to arrange events hierarchically since late summer, 2015. I will continue to be honest about things, especially if they are linked to topics I have written about in the past. ‘Come home Young Bhutanese,’ was written after returning from my first visit to New York, my second favourite city in the world. As ironical as it sounds, Bhutanese food first took me to New York. Unfortunately even by my second visit I was only able to visit two divisions of New York ;Manhattan and Queens. My main goal was to eat as much as Bhutanese food which was only found in Queens, and that is why majority of my first visit was spent in western Queens. During my first visit I had the unique opportunity to visit one of the few hindu temples run and managed by American Indians of New York, called the Ganesh Temple Canteen; one will find everything one normally buys from a dantak canteen and sometimes even better.

 

 

 

Where it all began

I never ate Chinese. I didn’t eat Chinese in Hong kong, I have never eaten Chinese in Delhi, and I don’t even know if I ever came across one Chinese place in Bangkok. BUT now, the tables have turned: all I can think of is Chinese food because they taste, look, and are made from the same ingredients that are used back home. I don’t feel like they deserve my respect but I ought to give some because they make me happy, or not sad. I smile and enjoy the affection of Chinese men and women who smile back at me, and plan these crazy stories in their head about how their country men(another chinese) came about to Florida. I know they think I speak with a chinese accent and that is why I keep my mouth shut to avoid confusions and disappointments.

I, unlike hundreds of other Bhutanese students never decided to come to America to get my degree, masters, and doctorate until, I met a Swiss Journalist called Michael Wyler in the winter of 2013. That year my life had already changed by writing about “how to solve youth unemployment”  which had caught the attention of the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay. Before I met Michael, I was so happy and satisfied with where my life was heading. I wasn’t a bad writer and people read it because I was a female teen who blogged about politics, yes POLITICS..and once or twice about taxi drivers eveteasing for which today, I have zero tolerance and consider it to be “barbaric” and punishable in the name of law.

Michael Wyler was visiting Bhutan with his wife and was hoping to have an audience with the Prime Minister. Michael asked me via email after he had left a comment on my blog if I could meet him.  Michael was too kind to have given me the choice to select any restaurant or café in town. To my surprise, Michael had printed all my blogs from early 2010 to 2013. Then it wasn’t a big deal, but today when I talk about it, it feels unreal. By the end of our meeting, Michael had left a lasting impression on me. According to Michael, I was one of those few individuals who would one day come back, break mediocracy, and help Bhutan’s gradual transition into an interdependent world of technology and social media.