Friday, April 28, 2006

This week we experienced Hindi Cinema. It was the first time for most students. We watched Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham directed by Karan Johar. Bollywood is the name given to Bombay India, the capital of Hindi Cinema. Take our most dramatic soap opera (without the kissing and moaning), add the world's most colorful costumes, add the scenary of an Ang Lee movie then add the best of JLo's choreography (minus the bumpin' and grindin')...Oh yeah, also you must have at least 20 times the costume changes of a Snoop Dog Video. Stir this briskly and you get a Bollywood film.
Students loved the plot and costumes. What was most amazing was the beauty of the Bollywood women! My favorite part was the, long live Bollywood.

SATRANG 2006 Essence of India
Saturday night 4/22, about 25 students joined me in MSU's Fairchild Auditorium to participate in Satrang 2006. The show was presented by the Coalition for Undergraduate Indian Students (CUIS) from MSU. Over 150 dancers performed dances from many different regions of India. Our favorite was the MSU Bhangra team that danced first. The exhilarating drum beats and swirling costumes were amazing! This is a picture of some of the lovely ladies from MSU's CUIS.


To work to dissolve the current views on Islam and muslims, 27 students joined me at the East Lansing Islamic Center. The center put on a lecture about Islam in the media in response to the unfortunate cartoons of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Amanda, Brooke, Cody and Jennifer look on as Muslims and non Muslims engage in this academic exercise. A pastor, an imam, 2 religion professors and a media specialist gave their opinnions about this issue. It was an eye opening experience for the students because even though they felt a bit unconfortable at first (they had to take their shoes off at the door...that bugged out a few!), they soon realized how accomodating, hospitable and approachable our host were. We even got to Krispy Kreme donuts and drinks out of this. It makes it difficult to square the image of muslims that we see in the media and the experience we had here.

After the lecture, most of us went to Woody's Oasis for debrifing. Long live falafels!!


Circle day gets very interesting when there are diverse points of views. We were very happy and lucky to host the Islamic Students Association of East Lansing High School today.
Students got a chance to ask questions (any questions) to the East Lansing teens. When the questions are annonymous, they tend to be very candid and sometimes quite thought provoking. Most of the muslim teens were born in the US and it was interesting to see that dispite appearances, they are very much like any other Grand Ledge student.
We spoke about hijab (modest covering), dating, immigration, terrorism, school, muslim parents, muslim culture and traditions, etc. The beautiful EL girls were so confident, interesting and open that it was very confortable to ask questions. They also had questions for us.
The object of this exercise was to disolve the islamophobic stereotypes. After speaking to these very cool girls, it becomes very difficult to be afraid of Islam...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Today, we were visited by Pastor Brian Mcglaughlin from Grand Ledge Baptist Church He came to tell talk to us about what Christians believe. We learned about the Nicene Creed and about his views on salvation. It was very interesting to ask questions about Christianity to a knowledgeable Pastor. There were some very good discussions, many thought provoking questions and a few surprising answers.

It is obvious that Pastor Brian loves working with students and helping them grow in their spiritual lives. He was very frank and open with us and was able to relate to the student's point of view.

If you would like to contact Pastor Brian email him at

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Pastor Brian told us about the really cool relationship that he has with the kids he works with. Matt Simon (on the left) from my 3rd hr. class, shared his points of view as a Christian teenager in a secular school. Actually, this whole thing was his idea. He wanted to make sure that the Christian point of view was represented as well during our comparative religions of the Middle East Unit. Great call Matt, this was awesome!! Posted by Picasa