Sunday, November 4, 2012

Initial Thoughts of the Be Green Challenge

Natsumi Moudry
Blog number 1

Inside source: Ava L. McCall. “Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts.” Reader
The Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Art by Ava L. McCAll, explained the Hmong, before the Vietnam War, cleared fields for farming methods, grew all their food and domestic animals, and on top of that cook their food. After reading about how hard the Hmong worked just to eat, I feel very fortunate for having grocery stores like Trader Joe’s that sells healthy and high quality food so I do not have to grow my own food. Hmong also had to make their own clothing, housing, and tools (McCAll, 231). Thinking about how people worked so hard just to eat in the past makes me feel that not buying anything new should not be a hard task. Youth in this generation are abound with so many conveniences such as being able to eat ready-made food, buy packed food in grocery stores, buy clothes from the mall, use cars, communicate through texting, etc. All of these sources allow everyone to meet new people from different institutions, work diligently for their future goal, travel far easily, etc. and not worry about what to eat everyday.

Outside source:
Kapur , Akash. "How India Became America." . New York Times , 09 2012. Web. 4 Nov 2012. .
In How India Became America by Akash Kapur, India is seen as increasingly becoming a consumer country like the United States. Americans are thought of as living an easier life and other places around the world that originally had a harder life are looking at Americans’ lifestyle and adopting it. I feel although some people may start becoming green, unfortunately we cannot stop the exponentially heightening consumer culture because it is spreading to other countries. I also feel that although consumerism is convenient and allows people to concentrate on their career, social life etc, I feel guilty for showing bad influence and contributing to the change of countries like India.

Update on the compact challenge:
I thought avoidance of purchasing new items for a month would be challenging at first, but after I reflected on my past, I don't think it would be much of a challenge. From the beginning of fall quarter until the present I have not bought any products that were new besides accessories for my Halloween costume. I believe I already spend a lot of money for just necessities in life, and I don’t have enough money for material things that do not mean much to me.  I have friends, I have classes and I have a club to take care of; all these things mean a lot to me.  Also growing up, my parents always said “no” if I ever wanted anything from the store, so eventually during my childhood I stopped asking my parents for material things. I have also gradually accumulated enough material things over my lifetime; I don’t need any more to clutter up my room. 

Audio/ Visual addition: 

This is a picture of a rice farmer in Laos working hard daily to make a living. In the Reader, the article Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Art by Ava L. McCall includes a photo of a story cloth “Everyday Life in Laos” created by Yia Vang. It shows traditionally dressed Hmong people harvesting crops and feeding animals. 

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