Russian and Eurasian Studies department hosts annual Blini Bash

Russian and Eurasian Studies department hosts annual Blini Bash

BY SARAH LOFSTROM '19

On Friday, March 25, the Russian and Eurasian Studies department coordinated with the Russian Club to host their annual Blini Bash celebrating the end of winter. The event is referred to in Russia as the Spring Carnival or Maslenitsa. It features the pan-frying and eating of blini, Russian pancakes, before ceremonially burning an effigy of the witch of winter.

Sunken South Korean Ferry raised and reinvestigated

Sunken South Korean Ferry raised and reinvestigated

BY EMMA RUBIN '20

On March 23, the South Korean Government initiated the process of raising the MV Sewol, a sunken South Korean ferry. The 6,800 ton ship was en route to Jeju from Incheon, carrying primarily high school students on a field trip when it capsized in April 2014, killing over 300 passengers, according to NPR.

Mount Holyoke Arab Association hosts “Bringing Yemen to the Table”

Mount Holyoke Arab Association hosts “Bringing Yemen to the Table”

BY EMMA RUBIN '20 

On Wednesday, March 1, the Mount Holyoke Arab Association hosted Bring- ing Yemen to the Table, an event seeking to inform community members about the current situation in Yemen in light of the ongoing civil war and President Trump’s previous executive order banning Ye- meni travellers from entering the United States.

Vietnamese Student Association hosts Vietnam Night

BY GABBY RAYMOND '20 

On Feb. 24, the Vietnamese Student Association hosted their annual cultural show. The event dinner was catered by the Miss Saigon restaurant in Amherst; and dinner was followed by performances from various VSA members. Each performance was centered around the geometrical lotus flower, the organization’s symbol for this year. By modernizing the traditional flower of Viet- nam, the group hoped to show that “Vietnam is keeping its culture [alive] while improving in a developing econo- my,” said Lauren Nguyen ’20.

Since the organization’s establishment in 2003, the VSA has been trying to bring the essence of Vietnamese culture to the students of Mount Holyoke through a num- ber of free events each semester, culminating with the cultural show in the spring. During the fall semester, the VSA hosted the Moon Cake Showcase and the Vietnam- ese Coffee event. “Our goal is to embrace diversity and amnesty. Mount Holyoke is all about bringing diversity to the world, so we host our events in the spirit of the col- lege,” said Linh Nguyen ’19, a VSA board member.

In keeping with the theme of cultural diversity and awareness, the show attempted to debunk certain stereo- types about Vietnamese culture. “Before my American friend met me, she thought all Vietnamese people wore traditional Vietnamese clothes. Our show is to dem- onstrate to people we are also citizens of the modern world,” Lauren Nguyen said. Her performance exempli- fied the sentiments she expressed — she played “Glad You Came” by The Wanted on the Vietnamese zither, a traditional 17-stringed instrument.

The theme of exploring modern themes through a traditional lens was demonstrated in the original skit that the VSA members performed. Set during Lunar New Year, the organization recreated the traditional story of Ong Tao, the kitchen fairy that goes to heaven to make a report to the Jade Emperor about the family affairs for the year. The VSA version of the myth featured three kitchen fairies reporting to the Jade king about various problems Vietnam is dealing with as it continues to mod- ernize, including areas of the ocean made toxic by indus- trial waste, the controversial debate regarding capitaliz- ing on the beauty of the untouched Son Doong Cave in theinterest of tourism and even whether the country should continue the costly celebration of the Lunar New Year.

“This is our biggest event of the year and everyone was so excited to bring Vietnamese culture to Mount Holyoke — while we focus on the beauty of our culture with music, food and dance, it is important to talk about our current social problems too,” said Linh Nguyen. Showing Vietnam through their own eyes was important to the VSA, who wanted to provide more than just a beau- tiful show. “This year we tried to depict a real picture of Vietnam. The picture of us in the U.S. has always been a paddy field and delicate beauty. We wanted to expand beyond the stereotypes,” Lauren Nguyen said.

2017 French Presidential Elections approaching in April

2017 French Presidential Elections approaching in April

As the first term of French President François Hollande comes to an end, 11 presidential candidates are in the running for the office. The elections will be held on April 23 and will be followed by another round on May 7 featuring the two nominees who receive the most votes. 

Muslima Conversation in Eliot House discusses impact of social media

Muslima Conversation in Eliot House discusses impact of social media

BY GABBY RAYMOND '20 

On Friday Feb. 3, the weekly Muslima Conversation took place in the Eliot House lounge. After Jumma lunch and prayers, members of the community gathered to discuss relevant issues to the religious community. 

President Trump’s travel ban will have significant impact on affected countries

BY SARAH LOFSTROM ’19
GLOBAL EDITOR

On January 27, President Trump issued Executive Order 13764 prohibiting travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan from entering the United States for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days. The Executive Order is entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the U.S." as reported by CNN.

Mount Holyoke Welcomes Friends of Fulbright Scholars

BY EMMA RUBIN ’20

In early January, 11 students from various cities in Argentina arrived at Mount. Holyoke College as part of the Friends of Fulbright program. The exchange grants Argentinian students the opportunity to study at various institutions in the United States for 6 to 8 weeks. For the 2017 program, 121 scholars were accepted into the program and are studying in various states throughout the U.S.

Castro’s death causes crowds of mourners and celebrators

BY GABBY RAYMOND '20 

On Nov. 25, 2016 Fidel Castro died. He was best known as the leader of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Castro was regarded as a national savior and icon by his supporters, and a dictator who disregarded human rights by his critics. The nine days of state mourning that began with the announcement of his passing concluded with his ashes being buried at Santa Ifigenia Cemetery on Sunday morning.

Haiti struggles with food crisis after Hurricane Matthew

BY SARAH LOFSTROM '19

Following the devastation of last month’s Hurricane Matthew, Haiti is facing its worst food crisis since 2001. According to the BBC, he United Nations World Food Program is spearheading a $120 million appeal in order to help curb the high levels of malnutrition and fund the restoration of valuable crop acreage and agriculture in Haiti. Hurricane Matthew was the strongest hurricane to hit the Caribbean in a decade and has affected 2.1 million people, 1.5 million of whom are in need of immediate aid. The country is now in need of substantial international aid, without which the food shortages will inevitably worsen.