By Ida Abhari
My summer as an intern in Southeast Asia, broadly, and Malaysia, specifically, taught me a lot of things, ranging from the serious, like the intricacies of refugee resettlement, to the surprising, like the importance of food culture in Malaysia.
Malaysians, whether Chinese, Indian, or Malay, take eating very seriously. Everyone warned me that eating out in Malaysia would be cheaper than buying groceries and cooking. Since I really enjoy cooking, I didn’t want to believe them, but after several grocery trips and hundreds of ringgits (Malaysian currency) later, I was forced to admit that eating out was infinitely more desirable.
Malaysian cuisine is rich in flavors. The most ubiquitous dish is nasi lemak, a dish consisting of rice steamed with coconut milk and pandan leaves, served with fried chicken and a boiled egg. Malaysians don’t pronounce the “k” in nasi lemak, and I was also surprised to learn that nasi lemak is also often eaten for breakfast, albeit in smaller portions. Another ubiquitious and delicious food, roti canai (pronounced with a “ch”), is a flatbread cooked with copious amounts of oil and can be filled with eggs, onions, or other savory or sweet fillings.
Continue reading The Delicious Joy of Malaysian Food Culture
By Ross Rozanski
Zip lining above a treacherous ravine. Playing soccer on a rustic ranch. Horseback riding through chilled rivers. Waiting in line at a Burger King at five in the morning. In all of their exciting and exhausting and excellent thrill, I, along with nine other high school students, experienced these activities and more in Argentina. Except for waiting to order a Double Whopper in a line that almost extended out the door on a sub-forty degree night, this Argentinian trip was an experience so full and engaging and just pure fun that few of us ever complained.
During my junior year in high school, I was part of an intercambio program with my high school, in which a group of students from a high school in Buenos Aires lived with us in our homes for one month. The following summer, we were hosted by them in their city. At this point in my life, I had studied Spanish for five years, and I was thrilled by the opportunity to use the language in one of its native lands. We had many great memories when they visited us in Massachusetts, including snowboarding, Patriots games, and small house parties. To say I was ready to hop on the plane already is a tremendous understatement.
Continue reading My Summer in Argentina
By Dennis Wu
The 2016 summer Olympics are here! This year they are being held in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its stunning beaches, numerous forests enveloping the mountains, and the juxtaposition of diverse communities.
Ever since 1960, when Rio was in a state of disarray, the city has undergone a complete rebirth. Having the privilege of hosting the Olympics has immensely assisted Rio in its regeneration efforts, giving an even greater incentive for progress and change. Suddenly new transportation and railroads services are being built. Museums and sports arenas are sprouting up everywhere.
However, the lower socio-economic citizens are not seeing similar positive changes. Their living standards have seen not even the slightest improvement. All they see is the gargantuan amounts of money being funneled into the Olympics while the people of Rio are suffering.
For instance, the Guanabara Bay is now full of pollution. It is enveloped with the city’s sewage. The city’s officials have failed in their promise to treat 50% of the sewage. It is truly a disappointment to see what the Guanabara Bay has become. Not only is it an embarrassment to Rio but also it demonstrates a simple lack of care for the people and the marine environment. This can mainly be attributed to the poor leadership skills at the top as well as the corruption spread throughout the city.
Continue reading Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics