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Nutifafa Yakor

Exams … exams … exams

Posted in Nutifafa Yakor on December 10th, 2010 by ndyakor – Be the first to comment

Nobody is smiling anymore on campus … ok, that’s a joke 🙂

But everybody is stressed with upcoming exams, paper due, papers past due, projects etc. And I am no exception. I am sitting here in the Parke Student Leadership center with Ting from China, just taking a little break. So I asked her – what’s up for exams week?

“I have four exams but I have not started studying. I have 2 papers due about 7 – 9 pages due Monday and I have not started yet” She was sure to add “I am freaking out!”

So, you get the e general idea! Well, I guess by Friday 12/17 when it’s all done, we will have out smiles back and be ready for the holidays!!!!

Cindy Kyi after Suu Kyi’s release

Posted in Nutifafa Yakor on November 15th, 2010 by ndyakor – 2 Comments

You may have caught the big news making the rounds on all the media outlets over the weekend as Aun San Suu Kyi of Burma walked out of her house last Saturday morning. It was no ordinary walk. It was a walk out of almost 15 years of house arrest and other incarceration within the last 21 years. it was a walk to freedom, this time with no appended conditions from the ruling Burmese military junta.

Cindy reading about Suu Kyi's release ....

With all the global power houses like the United Nations wading in with their congratulatory messages, it is quite easy to forget the ordinary Burmese. I know one such Burmese and you probably do too if you have ever taken a walk by the information desk in the library. You would almost certianly have met the incessantly smiling Cindy Kyi from Burma.

It was Cindy who first told me about global icon Suu Kyi. It was on one of those long quiet nights in the basement of Brown Hall when we would both stay up till the early hours of the morning, starring straight ahead at our computer screens, coffee by our sides while typing furiously away on a paper probably due the next morning … :). It was the fall of 2008, Election year USA. This country and perhaps the whole world was innundated with US politics and the possibility of the first African American US president. It was election year Ghana too and being the political junky that I am, I was actively following both of them. One night at Brown, after trying to impress pretty Cindy with some complex analysis of US politics that I dont remember right now, I ventured to ask about politics and democracy in Burma. Wrong move! Her anxiety was immediately evident.

She responded, “Do you know Aung San Suu Kyi?” I didn’t. In some ways, to her, politics and democracy in Burma was represented by this one woman; this woman whose poltical party had won the 1990 elections but was not allowed to assume power, this woman who had won the 1991 nobel peace prize, this woman who has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest and other incarcerations.  It was a deeply touching story. It was not just another political situation to be dissected academically. It was the personal story of her people. After that, each time I met Cindy, there was a couple seconds reserved for an update on Burma.

Last Saturday, I walked into the library and made my usual stop by the information desk. “Have you heard the news?” an ecstatic Cindy asked? But of course I had heard. I was smiling now as well. Her happiness was infectious. Aung San Suu Kyi is free!

Ready for some globetrotting?

Posted in Nutifafa Yakor on October 29th, 2010 by ndyakor – Be the first to comment

All aboard … all aboard … all aboard …Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to ISO Flight 2010. We are just conducting some standard control checks before take off. Music? … Check! Food? … Check! Fashion? … Check! Skits? … Check! All systems? …. Check!

You dont wanna miss this!

The International Student Organization, Concordia is hosting a grand showcase of culture from all around the world on Nov 6. Dubbed Touring the Globe, it will explore food, music, art, fashion, drama,  and everything else you can think of; from Europe to Africa, from Asia to America! Its guaranteed to be a fascinating experience! You certainly do not want to miss this!

All aboard … all aboard …all aboard; Put on your seat belts and prepare for take off…

Party …ooo… Party!!!

Posted in Nutifafa Yakor on October 23rd, 2010 by ndyakor – 2 Comments

Just a couple students getting together over break, intercultural style ….

Alex, my bro and I ..

banku ... authentic Ghanaian food

banku ... authentic Ghanaian food

 

...seasoned tilapia

 

@ the party...

...good food!

since we all just happened to be aruond  over break! 🙂

Reading Conrad, Achebe, Yeats and Neruda

Posted in Nutifafa Yakor on October 14th, 2010 by ndyakor – 5 Comments

Quick! Name one word that binds these great authors together.  … ???? You don’t know? Well, neither did I, at least not until I started my Global Literature class. I did not even know these authors except perhaps, Chinua Achebe and Yeats.

Taking Global literature with Prof. Dawn Duncan has been interesting to say the least. It’s always fun when she reads. The classroom becomes a stage as she modulates her voice like a classic play narrator. I had the opportunity to read Achebe again. You don’t really finish high school in Africa without Chinua Achebe’s classic – “Things fall apart.” But I have never read it in this context, beginning to understand why he wrote it. It was a reaction to Josef Conrad’s Heart of Darkness which Achebe accuses of being racist, never mind that Conrad (one of the first serious European critics of colonization) had generally good intentions. But Achebe falls on Yeats’ Second coming for a title to his magnum opus. He quotes

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre;
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosened upon the world”

Yeats, an Irish poet and politician was a very important literary voice in the Irish political resistance and is also hugely significant in the reconstruction of Irish identity, an identity that Prof. Duncan, herself of Irish ancestry, relates to in a personal way. And then there is Neruda, a poet from Chile who was also hugely involved in the reconstruction of Chilean and indeed, the entire Latin American identity, with a look at economic neocolonialism in his classic, “United Fruit Co.

So what is the one word that binds them? Post-colonialism! I am not one of those die-hard literature enthusiasts, but I have to say these were fascinating reads – I think if you have even the slightest interest in global literature, you should read my new additions to “must read” books/poems

-Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Pablo Neruda’s “United Fruit Co.”; W. B. Yeats “Easter 1916” and Josef Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”