Update: Jair Bolsonaro wins the 2018 Brazilian presidential election

Update: Jair Bolsonaro wins the 2018 Brazilian presidential election

BY CHRISTINE XIAO ’21

After weeks of anticipation following the initial Brazilian presidential runoffs, which culminated in results below the threshold majority for any candidate, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro defeated Fernando Haddad to win the Brazilian presidency on Oct. 28. In his victory speech, Bolsonaro called his win a “celebration of freedom: freedom to come and go, walk on the streets, in all places of this country.” He backed up his rhetoric of “freedom being restored” by stating that he would protect citizens who “follow their duties and respect the laws.” The statement seems incongruent with the rest of his behavior, which has leaned towards authoritarianism.

Trump threatens to take away path to legal birthright citizenship

Trump threatens to take away path to legal birthright citizenship

BY CASEY ROEPKE ’21

President Donald Trump announced plans for an executive order to end birthright citizenship for Americans on Oct. 30. Political pundits and journalists were quick to announce that birthright citizenship is a constitutional guarantee that would take an act of Congress to amend. According to the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Students say Halal station cuisine misses the cultural mark

Students say Halal station cuisine misses the cultural mark

BY SAMAN BHAT ’22

Within Mount Holyoke’s centralized Dining Commons, there are countless options for students to choose from. From the Grill station to design-your-own sushi rolls, sandwiches and omelets, diners rarely want for choice. But, some students head to a food station meant to cater specifically to their religious identity — and are met with lackluster options.

Students for a Free Tibet raise issue of Tibetan statehood

Students for a Free Tibet raise issue of Tibetan statehood

BY GABBY RAYMOND ’20 AND VICTORIA WANG ’20

Every weekend of her childhood, Tenzin Tseyang, a Tibetan student currently attending UMass Amherst, was packed into her family car to go to the five-hour Sunday school with her Tibetan community in Boston.

“I remember arguing with my dad on the way there and not wanting to go,” Tseyang said. “But now looking back I’m so thankful he made me go because now I can speak Tibetan and I have personal connections [to Tibet] — not just by being Tibetan, but also having a strong sense of a Tibetan identity.”

Himalayan Night informs and dazzles

Himalayan Night informs and dazzles

BY GABBY RAYMOND ’20

Students eagerly sampled steaming hot momos drizzled with spicy chili sauce and tangy paneer curry as they enjoyed performances that painted the stage in Chapin Auditorium with color during Mount Holyoke’s annual Himalayan Night on Oct. 26.

Obama-era policies on Pakistan have lasting impact

Obama-era policies on Pakistan have lasting impact

BY SAMAN BHAT ’22 AND GABBY RAYMOND ’20

The Trump administration announced last month it was cutting more than $300 million in aid to the Pakistani government. The Pentagon claimed the move responded to Pakistan’s failure to act against militant groups in the country. The change has yet to be approved by Congress, but has already struck a huge blow to the fragile U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Call For Inclusion: Middle Easterners demand racial category in U.S. 2020 Census

Call For Inclusion: Middle Easterners demand racial category in U.S. 2020 Census

BY LEEN RHAZI ’22

As the decennial census date approaches in 2020, Middle Easterners and North Africans in America are urging the U.S. government to widen ethnic categories. The census currently lists “White, Black or AfricanAmerican, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” as official races in the United States, but does not classify people from the Middle East or North Africa (MENA) region as a separate race.

“Brazilian Trump” nearly wins presidency

“Brazilian Trump” nearly wins presidency

BY SAMAN BHAT ’22

The world has been left in suspense since the Brazilian general election on Oct. 7, when Brazil’s front-runner, Jair Bolsonaro, obtained 46 percent of the popular vote, a mere four percent away from the 50 percent he needed to win. His closest contender, Fernando Haddad, landed far behind him, coming in second with 29 percent of the popular vote. Brazil will decide the fate of the country on Oct. 28 in the runoff election between the two candidates.

Tensions around Iran nuclear deal heighten at UN General Assembly

BY VICTORIA WANG ’20

The efforts to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal are dominating discussion at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly Session, which opened on Sept. 18 in New York City and will last for 3 weeks, until Oct. 5. The annual session gathers its 193 leaders of member states to debate on pressing global issues of the year, ranging from national security disputes to environmental concerns.

Abolishing Indian adultery law opens door to conversations about future of feminism

Abolishing Indian adultery law opens door to conversations about future of feminism

BY LEEN RHAZI ’22

India’s Supreme Court struck down Section 497 — the 158-year-old law that stated a man could be imprisoned for a maximum of five years if he was sexually involved with a married woman without the consent of her husband — on Sept. 27.

Cultural orgs treat MHC to jam-packed weekend

Photo A courtesy of Minh Khuu ’21: Small pieces of mooncake were arranged by the VSA for students to eat on Saturday.

Photo B by Gabby Raymond ’20: Event volunteers Janae Davis ’19, Nyasha Franklin ’19, Johanna Brown ’20, Toni Rankine ’20 and Neorgia Grant ’20 pose with two party-going photo-bombers.

Photo C by Li Qin ’21: AWAZ members serve Indian snacks to festival-goers in the amphitheater.

VSA Mooncake Showcase

BY VICTORIA WANG ’20

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in different ways across Asia, but almost all celebrations have a shared component: mooncakes. For this year’s festival on Sept. 22, the Vietnamese Student Association held a showcase of the delicious traditional sweet named for its shape of a mid-autumn full moon.

The showcase took place in the Torrey common room where students could sample a variety of flavors including red bean paste and egg yolk. According to Minh Khuu ’21, a member of the Vietnamese Student Association and the host of the showcase, the most authentic mooncakes are stuffed with seasonal foods. The celebration of the harvest festival is represented in stuffing an abundance of autumnal crops inside a treat.

Some who came to the showcase were not just intrigued by the food, but also by the traditional Vietnamese wooden crafts scattered around the room. “[The festival] is not just about mooncake, but rather a show of many ‘hidden gems’ of the Vietnamese culture,” said Ngan Tran ’21, who helped organize the event. “When people think of Vietnam, they think of Pho or Banh Mi, but our culture is much richer than that. This mooncake showcase gives a chance for us to show people more about Vietnam than just the common knowledge.”

Other than paying tribute to the Fall harvest, the mooncake calls for a reunion of families. According to Khuu, the mooncake showcase was brought back to life after a year of absence — the College’s Vietnamese student community widely applauded its return, and saw it as a chance to find a sense of belonging during a particularly festive time of year.

MHACASA Wahala

BY GABBY RAYMOND ’20

Chapin Auditorium transformed into a dance hall for Wahala by Mount Holyoke’s Afro-Caribbean Student Association (MHACASA), on Sept. 22.

As students neared Mary Woolley Hall they could hear the cheers of people from the Five Colleges and the surrounding areas. Soukeyna Abbott ’20, the African Intercollegiate Representative of MHACASA, said that people come from as far as American International College in Springfield because “it’s an opportunity to dance to familiar music and be around people from areas near [them].”

Abbott, who is from Senegal, commented that there are not many places in the Pioneer Valley to dance to Afrobeat, soca or dancehall music. The distinct rhythmic styles of the songs made it impossible for her not to dance. The dimly-lit room, illuminated only by flashes from phone cameras, the DJ’s booth and the colorful lights strung up along the balcony, was filled with a sea of dancers. With the heavy beat reverberating through the building, attendees were easily transported to a dance club in the Caribbean.

Nyasha Franklin ’19 came to Wahala because Mount Holyoke is known for its parties in the Valley area. “It’s not like other events in the Five College area; it’s catered to a certain audience,” she said. “There are some Black Student Union (BSU) events and Smith parties are getting there, but no one beats our parties.”

Wahala was the fifth annual all-black affair hosted by MHACASA — they will continue to host parties all year-round.

AWAZ Rang de Basanti

BY GABBY RAYMOND ’20

The amphitheater lit up with dancing, laughter and colorful lights during Rang de Basanti, an annual event put on by the South Asian Student Association (AWAZ) on Friday night.

According to Amal Fadoo ’20, the head of AWAZ, the event is not a cultural tradition; instead it’s “overall just a fun way for us to represent [South Asian] culture at MoHo.” Previous members of AWAZ started Rang de Basanti as their own Mount Holyoke tradition. This year, students gathered outside for food and the warmth of community despite the evening chill settling over the crisp fall night.

One of the function’s biggest draws was, of course, the snacks that were served: savory vegetable samosas and ample amounts of crunchy, crispy and tangy masala chana chaat. The participants, which included students from the Five Colleges, flocked to the booth where food was being served to enjoy some of India’s most popular appetizers.

Rang de Basanti is usually held in the spring, but the new AWAZ board felt it would be better placed in the fall due to the larger volume of events to compete with in the spring. Juhi Shah ’20, captain of the Mount Holyoke Bhangra team, felt the party was still a success in the fall. “[The event] sets a good atmosphere for those who want to socialize and also bond with existing friends,” Shah said. “I invited my whole bhangra team so we could bond and have fun on a Friday night.”

The ambience of the lively music and colorful lights even prompted the Bhangra team to perform an impromptu dance when the song “Mi Gente,” which is in their performance set, came on. The traditional North Indian dancing and flavorful food brought a little bit of South Asian heat to the mild Massachusetts night.

CSA Mid-Autumn Festival

BY CHRISTINE XIAO ’21

The Chinese Student Association (CSA) hosted an event celebrating the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, usually celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, on Sept. 22. The festival is for family and friends to come together and give thanks for harmonious unions and a fruitful harvest, as well as praying for a better future.

The event began with traditional Chinese music performances. Miao Zhang ’21 played “Horse Racing” by Erhu, a song that describes a happy scene of Chinese herdsmen riding on the grassland with courage and freedom. Following Zhang’s piece was a performance by Lilian Lin ’21 on the zither, portraying the beauty of the Tang Dynasty with her traditional piece. Ren Zhao ’22 followed with a song relaying her best wishes to international students unable to reunite with their families at this time. Students were treated to bubble tea and mooncakes while enjoying the different performances, which were followed by a screening of the movie “Go Brother!”

Tianxin Jiang ’20, one of the co-chairs of CSA, felt the event gave students a much-needed feeling of home. “As international students, we [sometimes] feel homesick during this reunion festival,” she said. “However, we are so grateful that we get [the] chance to celebrate it with our MoHo community, our second home.”

The event also attracted many students who are interested in Asian culture. Tori Gernert-Dott ’20 came to the event at the request of a few of her friends from China. “Everyone here is so welcoming,” she said. “They introduced traditional Chinese culture to us patiently — I’d love to learn more about it in the future.”

“Brazilian Trump” gains popularity after being stabbed at rally

“Brazilian Trump” gains popularity after being stabbed at rally

BY CASEY ROEPKE ’21

With upcoming presidential elections in October, Brazilian politics are boiling over. Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right front-runner, was stabbed at an election rally on Sept. 6. His fiercest opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is currently in jail for the infamous “Operation Cash War” corruption scandal, was barred from running as a presidential candidate by the Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal. His hand-picked successor, Fernando Haddad, also faces charges of corruption.

Indian Supreme Court rules ban on gay sex “irrational”

Indian Supreme Court rules ban on gay sex “irrational”

BY EMMA COOPER ’20

The Indian Supreme Court decriminalized the act of consensual gay sex on Sept. 6. They did so by declaring they would eliminate Section 377 of the Penal Code, which was introduced during British colonization in 1861, and has been used to criminalize sexual activities “against the order of nature,” such as sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts and bestiality, as reported by the BBC.