Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Vicki Soogrim
“Complacency is a far more dangerous attitude than outrage.” —Naomi Littlebear
In thinking about this quote, I’m reminded of the instances and ways in which I’ve been complacent. “Yo fuck being Trinidadian, you’re so Indian.” Silence. “So you’re basically Indian.” “No…” “But you look so Indian.” “I know.” I sit and think about how I’ve buried my cultural identity by my silence and let others brand me with their assumptions.
Out of fear and embarrassment for being looked down upon as having a less valuable and “fake” heritage, I have suppressed my culture entirely. “What are you?” These three simple words manage to seize me for a moment, so I default with my usual response: “Indo-Caribbean.”
I’ve grown familiar with the judgement, confusion, and indifference that often follow my response. “What the fuck is that?” “Wait, but why do you look Indian if you’re from the Caribbean?” “But you’re not Black or Latino.” Then there’s my personal favorite: the nod with feigned knowledge, and then the look away.
How do I explain that I have quite literally been robbed of my own history by colonizers who transported my ancestors from India to the Caribbean as indentured servants? That because of forced migration, so much of my ancestors’ culture was lost and changed? And that because of this loss, I now long to connect with the culture that both is and isn’t mine?
West Indian heritage is derived from Indian culture, but the traditions, language, religion, and cuisine changed greatly over time. It is because of this that I listen to so much Hindi music—from Mohammed Rafi to Arjit Singh—in the hopes that the language could somewhat help repair the bridge that has been destroyed between my foreparents and me. And yet while songs like “Yeh Ansoo Mere” and “Tere Bina” still stir deep emotions within me, I realize that the songs express a culture that I will never truly know.
My complacency has disappeared only to be replaced by something else entirely: anger. I’m mad as hell.
I’m outraged because I was taught to despise my Indo-Caribbean identity. For my entire life, I have been told that my identity is flawed, and I have been ostracized because of it. For example, in middle school, I could never fit in with my Dominican classmates, no matter how thick I layered my tongue with a Dominican accent nor how hard I tried to learn Spanish. A cultural barrier always existed that prevented us from being friends.
In high school, I was surrounded by white people who thought of me as an exotic Caribbean-American girl: “So like do you just have coconut trees and beaches? Can you speak other languages?” Even within the general population of people who seem to think they know Caribbean culture, they would continue to perpetuate the stereotype by being hypersexualized: “If you’re Trinidadian, where’s your body? Can you whine and dagger?”
Even at Columbia, many Indian students suffocate me with their superiority and continue to make assumptions: “Yeah, you look pretty Punjabi.” “Indo-Caribbean culture seems so fake.”
I thought coming to college would help me find a cultural community. I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong. Within Columbia’s South Asian community there exists certain cultural politics (“I’m Indian,” “I’m half Sindhi and Gujarati,” etc.) that tend to leave out other groups not in the normative South Asian diaspora. These feelings of exclusion manifest in small ways—when I’m in a group of people connecting over food, for example, and I’m expected to know what they’re talking about.
For so long I’ve clung to Indian culture. From Bollywood music and movies to classical Indian dancing, I’ve tried to adopt a culture that was once my ancestors’ in hopes that I could claim it as my own and finally be accepted. With this in mind, I thought that if I put in the effort to embrace South Asian culture, I could be somewhat accepted into the Brown community.
But, of course, this was easier said than done. I do not speak any language other than English; I am not from the Indian subcontinent; my ancestors were probably from the lowest caste. Oftentimes, the effort to understand my Indo-Caribbean heritage is simply not reciprocated by people who identify as South Asian.
Where does this leave me in terms of cultural identity? In the Caribbean diaspora, there exists a very distinct divide between the Afro- and Indo-Caribbeans. Although both cultures are considered West Indian, they are immensely different, because the histories of African slaves and Indian indentured servants are not the same.
While I am still figuring out what it means to be Indo-Caribbean, one thing I have realized during my time at Barnard is that I can no longer be ashamed of my heritage. Yes, it is different from Indian culture, and yes, it is a confluence of African, Indian, and Native cultures, but that doesn’t make it tainted and dirty. I love feeling the rhythm of chutney and Soca music flow through me, and feeling the sudden flash of heat on my tongue from the pepper in doubles. Trinidadian-West Indian culture is an incredible and unique hybrid of histories and cultures that I am proud to embody.
I know that I will have to keep reclaiming my culture to undo years of rejection and hatred, which have been especially amplified at Columbia. To other students with the same or similar situation, my advice is to keep reminding yourself that your heritage is unique and important, and to find whatever method you can—whether it be through music, food, religion—to keep fighting against the structures in place telling you otherwise.
The author is a Barnard College first-year with a prospective major in biology and minor in women’s studies. The story originally appeared in the Columbia Spectator.
Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.
1.Avoid advice from everyone
People like your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc. will start giving unsolicited advice during the divorce process when you discuss it with them. They will share their own experiences and horror stories and advice on how to handle financial issues during the divorce process. Get advice only from those you trust. In this regard, attorneys or financial experts are the best options to save money during the divorce process.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
2.Consider your spouse
It can be challenging for someone who has started the divorce process to think about the soon-to-be ex-spouse's best interests and financial wellbeing. While making decisions about assets and finances, considering not only your interests but also your spouse's interests can help you to reduce divorce process time. You can save your own and your spouse's money if you spend less time in such negotiations because times spend with the attorney will also be shortened.
3.Goodbye to the joint bank account
You should close all joint bank accounts which were in use of you and your spouse especially credit base account. Block major and supplementary credit and debit cards. Your spouse can use it and you can suffer heavy financial loss. Closing of all joint accounts should be the first step to cut down financial loss during divorce proceedings.
4.Open a new checking account
In continuation of the previous point, open your new checking account. This will help you in terms of not only building up of financial history but also your credit record. Credit history will be helpful if you apply for a loan or any other credit facility. This financial history will let you control your money during the divorce process. If your bank account is not a joint account but you own it, then make sure that your spouse was not using supplementary debit or credit cards. If the spouse was using then block it immediately.
Divorce can include many additional and sometimes hidden costs along with routine costs. This can bring more stress and worries to your life. Saving money can help you to fight such financial status. Force savings every month in this regard can help a lot. You can do this by opening a savings account and setting up a debit order from your checking account.
Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions.Getty pictures
6.Keeping track record of the expense
You may not be interested in maintaining a record sheet of your expenses during your married life. If so, then you should start now. Analyze your bank statement critically because expenses can be out of control now. Review your daily cost of things and make critical decisions to cut down unnecessary costs.
7.Chalk out budget
Ideally, a proper budget should be chalked out to control expenses and save money during the divorce process. Select important segments/areas of your lifestyle and allocate a budget to each of them. After allocation of budget, stick to it strictly every month. This can be problematic in the beginning but become easy when you become used to it. By doing this, you will also be able to manage your savings account by allocating money.
8.Own health insurance
Medical emergencies and different health issues can be sudden or without any notice. So, it is necessary to have a health insurance plan in order to not only pay bills of medicines and lab tests but also an unexpected expensive hospital stay. If your health insurance has previously been covering your spouse then it is advisable to set up your own health insurance plan. This can help you to save money.
9.Amendments in your will and beneficiaries
If you have already decided about your will beneficiaries then it is the right time to update it. Now your divorce is under process, so, the content of your will and beneficiaries should also be significantly changed. This is much needed because it is possible that now you have children and who you like to allocate your property and saving especially if the children were not present when you drew up the will.
10.Change power of attorney
Many people assign power of attorney to their spouses during the marriage. Now it is essential to update and end the power of attorney and signing authority given to the spouse. This will help you in terms of legal and financial matters.
11.Apply for online divorce
Advancement in technology has made it easy for everyone to save time and money. Now in the United States, it is easy to apply for a divorce online. You can save time and attorney fees by downloading all the required divorce documents online. You should not worry about which document and how downloaded because many local court websites can give detailed information about how to file divorce online and which documents are needed.
12.Make use of the mediator
It is extremely helpful to use the mediator to decide terms and conditions between you and your spouse. Although an attorney is needed in certain matters of divorce use of a mediator will help you in saving attorney fee
Many spouses are very conscious about expensive assets and luxuries that are going to be distributed among spouses after the divorce. So, they make decisions to splurge on these luxuries. It is advisable not to splurge as the cost of divorce proves may be past your expectation.
14.Do it yourself (DIY) divorce
Many people are unable to afford the cost of attorney and mediator, so, they now try to handle things by themselves as much as possible. The rate of divorce and its cost is increasing day by day. This factor making "do it yourself (DIY) divorce" popular. DIY spouses are using information given by some attorneys who are offering free consultation on their first meeting.
Disclaimer: ( The article is sponsored and hence promotes some commercial links)
Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has more or less aggravated the problems. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 2022 in Bejing, China. Furthermore, Paris and Los Angeles have been recently nominated as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games respectively. Both cities have held the Games on two occasions previously, with Los Angeles hosting as recently as 1984. Simply submitting a bid to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) costs up to millions of dollars. Host cities typically have to spend $50 million to $100 million in fees to a slew of consultancy agencies, event management companies, etc.
Hosting the Olympics is more costly than the bidding process. For instance, London spent $14.6 billion for hosting the Games in 2012. On the other side, Beijing spent a lavish $42 billion for the Games in 2008. Meanwhile, the Russians spent $51 billion dollars on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Making, it the costliest Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.
Governments of host cities and bid teams love to brag about the legacy of hosting the Games. But the hidden costs of such a massive project is too evident to hide. Such megaprojects require additional employment, as well as subsequent improvement of the pre-existing facilities and public infrastructure. Most of these projects are fraught with costs overruns, shoddy work and a lack of long term vision.
According to a study conducted at the prestigious Oxford University In England, by Danish geographer Bent Flyvbjerg and American journalist Allison Stewart, which looked into the individual economic parameters of hosting the Summer Olympic Games between 1960 and 2012. The findings were astonishing, they found out that the Olympic Games overrun the initial cost estimate with 100 per cent consistency. No other megaproject is this consistent regarding cost overruns.
Athens, in particular, seems to have been the tipping point. The city pridefully hosted the Games in 2004, which ended up costing them €9 billion (a whopping $11 billion at today's exchange rate). The offset of the Games was in disguise the onset of Greece's tumultuous years. The country now is in total disarray, with sky-high unemployment rates, failing economic apparatus, record levels of homelessness, all among the grandiose venues built for the Games.
The conclusion is simple, hosting the Olympics is an extravagant affair. If not planned properly, it tends to result in a severe economic crisis for the host city. If the host city lacks facilities and public infrastructure to support the excess crowds pouring in, not hosting the Olympics may be the best option.
Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.
Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).
Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.
India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.
He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.
Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.
The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.
Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.