Global Studies Events
The Sunni-Shi’i Relationship and the Burden of History
Professor Douglas Sloan Crow was speaking about the Sunni-Shi'i relationship at the Hartford Seminary on September 25, 2018. His presentation focused on the history of Islam and the differences between the Sunni and Shi'i beliefs and where in history these beliefs diverged and why. Overall I thought the event was very informative and although all of it was pretty basic, and the main idea was to have an overview of the issue. What surprised me the most was how complex even the basics of this issue is. One negative part of the event is the way he presented, although what he was saying was very interesting, his PowerPoint was poorly made and had mainly words. I also thought he was very long-winded and some of his explanations were far more complex than needed. Sometimes it was so long you forgot what the topic was about. This was most apparent during the Q&A because he had time to answer only 3 questions, some of which took over ten minutes for him to respond to.
Freshly Squeezed: Decorum
In this installment of Freshly Squeezed, Colin McEnroe discusses whether
"Political decorum only flows in one direction." During this event, Colin had three speakers, not including himself. He had Valeriano Ramos Jr., M.A. Director of Strategic Alliances and Equity Officer at Everyday Democracy, Brendan Kane Associate Professor of History at UConn, and Wendy F. Habelow, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist. The main idea of this discussion was the speakers talking about the importance of coming together at a time where our country is divided. Each Speaker used their different experience to explain how coming together could help our country. I thought the main idea of the event was pretty agreeable. I am a huge proponent that both Republicans and Democrats needed to sit down and be more bipartisan. Not only the politician but the people who support them as well. There is no benefit to being at each other's throat all the time. I liked how Colin had people from multiple levels and experiences of working bringing people together to talk at the discussion. The man who worked in queens trying to break the tension between citizens and police officers had different experiences and advice compared to the woman who was a divorce therapist. I felt they were not really contributing anything that I did not know. The information and discussion were great, but sort of shallow and I feel like instead of a deep look into the topic we had only a basic discussion.
Chinese Culture Event: Adong
I remember going to Adong and being surprised at the amount of packaged food there was. I had this idea that the food would be fresh vegetables and meet with only a small section of packaged food. I was informed that this is because they have to ship all the food from China and typically the food in Asia is much fresher than the food at American grocery stores. I also noticed that a lot of the food was packaged in bulk, I suspect because it is more economical and people in Asian culture tend to cook more. In America, you can buy things in bulk at places like shop rite, but typically bulk items are like chips. At Adong they had bulk items like dried mushrooms, things I have never seen in an American grocery store. I ended up buying a multitude of different ramens from Adong and they were much better than the stuff I have tried from an American grocery store.
Religious Service Event: Mosque
I went on the trip to the mosque with Watkinson. Going to the mosque was a mixture of things that I expected and things that I did not. I had never been inside a mosque before this trip, but while I was in Jordan I did see a lot of mosques and most of them looked very different from the mosque we went to. First of all, most of the mosques in Jordan had domes and were very fancy. The one we went to was just an old church they redecorated to use as a mosque. I also expected taking off shoes, the politeness of the members of the mosque, and the individual praying they did before the service. What really surprised me was the singing/spoken service that was like nothing I ever heard. I was not expecting music when I went to the mosque. I also was surprised by the messaging of the service talking about mental health and reminding the practitioners that it was more important to keep themselves healthy and safe rather than following the teachings of the Quran by the letter.