Rap Bua Yon Bua Festival, Traditional Lotus Flower Festival. In the province of Samut Prakan, located in Thailand the lotus flower is highly respected and extremely sacred to the people embedded in this culture. On the night before the end of the Buddhist Rain Retreat or Buddhist Lent lasting from the months of July to October, participants begin the festive tradition along the Samrong Canal. Due to the previous tradition of picking lotus flowers as offerings for monks, the tossing of lotus flowers evolved. Begining at dawn and lasting until early morning, individuals partake in the passing of lotus flowers from hand to hand. Over there years this act of passing from hand to hand has evolved into a light toss from one individual to the next. Due to the new manner of exchange Thailand’s most southern province now refers to the festival as Yon Bua Festival, or Tossing Lotus Flower Festival. As the festival comes to an end many choose to partake in the boat race carrying the image of the revered monk Luang Pho To. Homes scattered along the banks would decorate their houses in flags and pennants. As boats pass by they are showered with lotus flowers. In addition to this, Luang Pho To’s image is cover and decked to the nines with lotus flowers to reflect the communities reverence.
Jakarta, Indonesia is home to the “world’s fifth-largest cigarette-producing market” (Mason, 2012). Resulting in the home to “60 million or 36 percent of the total Indonesian population are active smokers, the highest number of smokers in Southeast Asia” (Faizal, 2012, p. 3). The tobacco industry in Jakarta, Indonesia “generates millions of jobs, directly and indirectly, including farmers, workers and those involved in the distribution chain — not to mention the advertising sector, which will suffer a great blow if the tobacco control takes effect” (The Economist, 2010). According to the article, Smoking and Young Adults in Indonesia stated “the latest WHO report on global tobacco use, smoking prevalence in Indonesia is among the highest in the world, with 46.8 per cent of males and 3.1 per cent of females aged 10 and over classified as being current smokers”. After a day of schooling these adolescents are able to exit school grounds and approach small venders selling and promoting the use of tobacco that await just beyond school doors. Not only are these individuals under the age of eighteen able to purchase packs or cartons of cigarettes, but the purchasing of individuals cigarettes is encouraged as well. It was said in an article from Jakarta Globe that “the vast majority of child smokers, 83.7 percent, took up the habit because they were influenced by cigarette ads, particularly on television”. The encouraging advertising that is taking place throughout Jakarta, Indonesia “is having a very real impact in increasing the number of Indonesians who smoke—especially those in younger age groups who are still so focused on their identity formation and who are being targeted as key contributors to Indonesian tobacco companies’ future profits.” (Reynolds, 1999). According to an article from Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, the World Health Organization concludes that “about 400,000 or 32.7% of the 1.7 million deaths in Indonesia in 2007 were caused by tobacco related diseases” (BioMed Central, 2008). Some of these health related issues include coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease. According to an article, Health Effects of cigarette smoking, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined” (CDC, 2012). Most commonly individuals who choose to use tobacco are not considerate or aware in the fact that their smoking habits effect the individuals around them as well, this is called involuntary or passive smoking. Secondhand smoke “contains more that 4,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals” (EPA, 201). Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many health related issues as well. These health related issues can include “asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, pneumonia, bronchitis, and middle ear infections”.Not only is government intervention needed, but once rules are created and laws are set into place, these rules and regulations need to be abided by and enforced by police and all higher authorities for a change to be made. Another key aspect for change in this country is going to include educating its people, more so focusing in on the younger generations. Rather than targeting the younger generation for the use and consumption of tobacco products, these individuals should be targeted for awareness and education of the harsh and damaging effects of tobacco. Change may seem far out of reach, but it is possible. With patients, education, and hard work, the lives of individuals living throughout Indonesia can be saved.
Racing up the charts, both destroying and attacking individuals world wide, obesity is becoming more prevalent than many of us have ever imagined. Due to the common interest in a fast paced lifestyle, both cultures are being affected by the growing epidemic of obesity, yet this rapidly growing epidemic is very much preventable. In a fast paced world and the endless growth in technology that we live in today, it is proven that in both the United States and Thailand we tend to choose the things we eat to match the lifestyles we live, and that is quick, efficient and constantly fast moving. Many individuals do not realize that some of the foreign countries we view as impoverished are also dealing with the increasing effects of obesity as well. “These countries, once plagued with problems related to infectious disease and poverty, now face a dual burden of both chronic and infectious diseases. Thailand has recently experienced significant economic growth, and as a result, the numbers related to obesity and obesity-related diseases have risen significantly” (Pawloski, Lisa, R, Manyat Ruchiwit, and Samantha, M. Markham 256-261). Many individuals are unaware that many of the advertisements we see today can be misleading because of the use of words such as low fat and no fat. While these foods may truly be non-fat there are hidden sugars and other nutritional ingredients involved. These added ingredients are jeopardizing our health more than we may think. Although fast food cuisines are so widely encouraged to many of us, simply to match the on-the-go lifestyles we live, they are still without a doubt contributing to the ever-expanding health crisis of obesity. Continuously growing and more prevalent than ever before, obesity has become one of the most common causes in other health related issues many individuals world wide face today. Many common illnesses caused by obesity include heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes and certain types of cancers. Each of these common illnesses are some of the leading causes of preventable death (Overweight). Due to this pattern of illness and obesity the numbers will continue to rise. Overall, if we as individuals can take a step back and analyze the choices we are making, foods we put into our bodies, and lifestyles we live, it is possible that we can also change the racing epidemic of obesity. It is up to us as individuals, to change the lives we live and make healthier choices to maintain the longevity in our lives that many of us are seeking to have. This epidemic is expanding quickly and affecting “over two hundred million men and nearly three hundred million women”. That means that “overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was obese” (Obesity and Overweight). If serious action is not taken within our own lives, this growing epidemic will continue to spiral out of control.
1. The role being played by the parental supervision of girls in Nanda’s essay and in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s memoir is simply to provide control and supervision in the choosing of the male that is being married into the female’s family. Parental supervision is important when arranging a marriage due to their maturity and experience. Other importances play a role in arranged marriages, such as family background, history, status, and overall image that that specific family portrays.
2. I am respectful of the decisions, religious beliefs and values that other cultures choose to partake in, however I would most definitely not allow my parents to arrange my marriage for me. I feel strongly about love, individualism, and the ability to be with whomever you fall in love with. What vows are being said? What real emotion is portrayed if one does not choose who he or she wants to be with?
3. Like many individuals across the world, my mother never actually married my birth father who left before I was born. Later in life, fortunately, my mother met a man who she did choose to marry. The thoughts and opinions of our family were very important to both my mom and stepfather, but wether he was accepted or not, because my mother loved this man that’s who she was going to marry. Not saying that her marriage was tough, but seeing that my mother chose to marry a black man there were ignorant comments unfortunately coming from one close minded individual in my family. Thankfully my family does not practice arranged marriages, because if so the man my mother chose to marry would not be apart of my life.
1. Two of the many individuals Allen met on her journey were locals and the particularly kind guard. Many locals were intrigued by American individuals and wanted to know more, asking questions and inviting them into their homes. As for the guard, he shared stories, interests, and even offered to take her out to dinner. Both welcoming and sincere, this is not common amongst foreigners in the United States.
2. I think that Allen is trying to express the fact that our media acts as a mirror rather than a window due to the fact that what is portrayed in our media is what is important to us. Our media reflects our concerns, beliefs, and interests. As individuals who partake in everyday life, it us who set bar and standards for what is portrayed in our media.
3. I think that the generalizations made throughout the text hold to be true. “First, an endless grilling at immigration and security, where they would be approached as potential criminals and enemies rather than as guests”. I do not feel that they would be approached as criminals, for the simple fact that this type of behavior would be rude and frowned upon, but I do feel that this statement holds to be true. “It would be most unlikely for anyone to bid them welcome, much less invite them into their homes for tea, coffee, or a meal, as so many strangers invited us into their homes in Syria.” I also find this statement to be true as well, it is highly unlikely that individuals throughout the United States would invited random foreigners into their homes. I feel that many Americans would be apprehensive and weary to the thought of this.
4. This statement may or may not be true, but it is in my opinion that politics and what people believe in has an immaculate reflection on the things we believe in as well. I feel that many individuals recognize the statement and understand it, but I do not feel that it may be true.