Voices Magazine 2020-03-12آ  and Bhagavad Gita. The dancer uses Mudras or hand gestures and facial expressions

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  • Welcome to the Ancient World

    Student Editor: Kiara Biroo ‘20 Office of Intercultural Affairs Issue 4 Fall 2018

    This Issue

     Page 1-2 : Welcome to the Ancient World

     Page 3: Students share their backgrounds

     Page 5-6 : Cultural Page

     Page 7: Ask Fefin

     Page 8: Food for Thought

     Below—Neiva Fortes is a Hartwick College student of Cape Verdian ancestry. The island nation of Cape Verde is off the northwest coast of West Africa. It gained its independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975. A sizable community of Cape Verdians exists in Brockton, Massachusetts, the hometown of Neiva.

    Voices Magazine

    The ancient world had many values and beliefs, which made it vibrant. It

    was vibrant because of its cultures and traditions over generations. It is

    time to explore the amazing wonders this world once embraced for its great

    figures, creations, civilization, and blood-curdling battles. Great figures

    from ancient Egypt such as Ramesses the second and Thutmose the third

    will captivate your thoughts and question their significance in the world.

    Mythology, costumes, and portraits were a few of their fascinating

    creations. Our first destination will take you to the city of Kumasi which is

    in the heart of the ancient Ashanti Kingdom, in Ghana. Kumasi is also

    known as the Garden City, located in Africa. It is one of Africa’s oldest cities

    constructed in 1695. The main features are the ancient fort of Kumasi, the

    Hat Museum and the Kumasi National Cultural Center. One of our

    Hartwick Students, Adjoa Amponsah, was born and raised to value the

    culture and tradition of her country.

  • KB: Do you believe you influence or represent your culture?

    AA: I believe I represent my culture everyday by

    being different in every aspect of my life. My work

    ethic, seeing the best in all people, and love for

    family above all else make me stand out in all my


    KB: Tell me about your hometown. If I came

    to visit you, where in your hometown would

    you take me? What would you show me?

    AA: The Manhyia Palace Museum is a very fun

    place to visit in my hometown. It has a rich history

    and has memorabilia of all the kings and queen

    mothers of the Ashanti Kingdom. The golden stool

    would be good to see because of its history and the

    controversy surrounding it.

    KB: What is your goal after Hartwick?

    AA: Academically, I plan to get my Masters in Fine

    Arts and Business Administration. Ideally, I hope to

    travel as much as I can before I get thrown into the

    “real world.” During J Term I travelled alone to

    Thailand and the Philippines for volunteer work.

    After that amazing experience I’ve been urging

    others to travel the world and do more service


    Salice Obosu, ‘21

    Adjoa Amponsah ‘18

    KB: Where are you and your family from?

    AA: My family and I are from Kumasi, a city in

    Ghana, West African. We are part of an ethnic

    group called the Akan which is one of the largest

    ethnic groups in Ghana.

    KB: What are your traditions and religion?

    AA: My family are Christians and some of our

    traditions are like those of the western culture. We

    celebrate Christmas and Easter. We have a

    tradition of family or siblings eating together from

    the same plate which encourages bonding. Our

    tradition when it comes to marriage is that we have

    special clothing for the bride and groom. The groom

    must present items to the bride’s parents, brother,

    and money for the bride price which represent the

    groom’s ability to take care of the bride.

  • KB: Where are you and your family from?

    AN: My family and I are from South India,

    specifically Kerala.

    KB: What are your traditions and religion?

    AN: I practice Hinduism which comes with many

    traditions. Instead of praying at church we pray at

    temples. We have poojas (rituals) that we attend on

    certain days. One major stereotype people ask me is

    why do you have so many gods? Hindus do not have

    many gods. We have one supreme power, which is

    Brahma. We believe that Brahma takes on different

    forms to come help us on earth.

    KB: Anything special about your childhood growing up being raised by Indian


    AN: I am very blessed to be brought up in a Indian

    household. I learned how to speak and write my

    language which is Malayalam. Learning Malayalam

    helped me so much because when I go back home

    now, I can communicate perfectly well with my

    family in India. I learned how to respect parents,

    teachers and incorporate god into my life. We have

    a saying “Matha Pitha Guru Deivam,” meaning first

    we respect our mother, then father, then teacher,

    and only after all of them, we respect God. In my

    household we are taught the importance of family,

    education and helping others.

    KB: Where are you and your family from?

    SB: I am Ghanaian-American. I was born and raised

    in New York City, but my parents are from Ghana.

    My siblings and I are the first generation Americans

    with Ghanaian decent in my family.

    KB: What are your traditions ?

    SB: One special thing I can honestly say about my

    childhood (it still occurs till this day) is growing up

    being raised by African descendants. It is code

    switching. Since I identify as Ghanaian-American,

    both Ghanaian and American cultures influence my

    life. I am able to act "Ghanaian" around my family

    and Ghanaian people and "American" around

    everyone else. But deep down, being able to code

    switch is what makes America, America.

    KB: Do you believe you influence or

    represent your culture?

    SB: I believe that I've left an impact representing my

    culture. My friends around me are so interested

    about Ghana because of me. I feel like I was able to

    help people understand values and things not only

    about Ghanaians, but Africans in general. And since I

    have never been to Ghana, it rather makes me more

    connected to Ghana because of the eagerness to know

    more about my family and ancestors.

    Anjali Nair ‘18

  • When I moved to New York, we joined a big

    Malayali community. As a community we

    would meet every Sunday. In the morning we

    would do our prayers and learn new mandras.

    Lunch time was the best because each family

    would bring a homemade Indian dish. As a

    community, I remember doing fundraisers,

    hosting programs, poojas, and celebrating our

    many festivals together. Being part of the

    community also gave me opportunities to

    perform on stage at a young age. This Malayali

    community is still a big part of my life because I

    formed many



    and I teach

    dance to the

    young ones.

    AN: I am


    proud of my

    culture and I

    love sharing

    my culture with others.

    KB: Do you believe you influence or

    represent your culture?

    AN: I am absolutely proud of my culture and I

    love sharing it with others. At the age of five,

    my parents joined my twin sister and I to learn

    classical indian dance (Mohiniyattam), while

    all my other friends were learning bollywood.

    At that age I did not understand why I had to

    learn classical dance instead of the upbeat

    bollywood dance. As I grew up I started to fall

    in love with Mohiniyattam. The dance takes

    stories from old scriptures like Mahabharata

    and Bhagavad Gita. The dancer uses Mudras or

    hand gestures and facial expressions to convey

    the story to the audience. Learning dance truly

    connected me to my culture and I wanted to

    share it with more people. When I started

    school in Queens College I started my own

    dance group for classical Indian dance and I

    received an award for this. Furthermore, I

    started choreographing Bollywood dances as

    well. When I came to Hartwick College I

    taught a combination of both Bollywood and

    classical dance. In the future, I want to travel

    and perform my dance in different countries.

    I am very fortunate to be brought up in a

    Indian household.

    Courtesy: Keralatourism.org

    Courtesy; Ancient History Encyclopedia

    Hindu Lord Ganesha God

  • The Cultural Page

    Painting by Kolada Oshinowo

    “Born in Ibadan in 1948, Kolada Oshinowo is one of the most respected Nigerian artists. Oshinowo engages with a wide range of issues and some of his works are a response to social and political problems. The celebration of women is one of his main inspirations and his paintings of Nigerian women reflect his focus.” Courtesy: Vanguard news, 2010