Friday, November 18, 2016


As the first semester draws slowly to an end, holiday traditions start to creep out. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is much to celebrate, and generous amounts of time to spend with family and friends. Traditions vary from country to country, state to state, and even from household to household. Many people do not celebrate Thanksgiving nor Christmas, but rather Hanukah, Diwali, or Kwanzaa. There is also New Years' Eve, and Chinese New Year.

Most holidays were founded on either the celebration of our ancestors, or showing gratitude for their actions. Many people across the globe think of Christmas as a holiday where you exchange gifts, tell stories about Santa Claus, and have a large meal with family and friends. However, Christmas has a great importance to Christians, and has a deeper meaning to along with it. This is true with many other religious holidays.

There are multiple religions in the world. I will talk about three that are the most popular around the world : Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Christians celebrate Christmas. They celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their savior. Traditionally a Christian family would go to Church on Christmas Eve, and listen to a special mass unique to that day. Christmas Eve is on December 24th, and Christmas Day is December 25th.  Hindus celebrate Diwali. Diwali is a five-day festival often called The Festival of Lights. It celebrated the victory of good over evil, light over dark. This usually takes place in October, or November. In 2016 it took place on the week of October 20th. Muslims do not celebrate Christmas or Diwali because it goes against their beliefs. They do not have a holiday of religious importance in this particular season, but they do have one in the summer. It is called Ramadan. The specific time of this holiday varies as it is based on the Islamic calendar. It is meant to celebrate the month when the Prophet Mohammed received the disclosure on which the Muslim Holy Book is founded upon. The Muslims would fast during this month because they believe if they do so their soul will be purified, and this would show respect to the Prophet.

As you have read holidays bring many new and contrasting traditions worldwide, and can symbolize many different things. In my opinion, it is important to learn about them all not only for interest but also so that we can understand one another as people.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


My favorite thing about traveling is being able to temporarily live in a different place. I love this because all of the things that attribute to the overall feel of that place, and are not available to me otherwise, I am able to use. For example, when I visit the beach I love being able to spend the days sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing. In the city, I am not able to lie down on a deck chair by the ocean, and stay there as the day goes on. On the other hand, when visiting large cities such as New York, it is exciting to have all of these shows, museums, and many other activities at your disposal. The lights, screens, and sights are all extraordinary to me as I am not used to seeing them very often at all, but to someone who lives in New York, this is just a normal part of life.
Have you ever been somewhere and wished you could call it home? If not, have you ever traveled to a place that you never wanted to leave? I have. When I am on holiday I love to spend time with my friends and family that I do not see regularly, and do all the things that I never get the chance to do. It could be something as little as sipping tropical fruit punch as you watch the waves, or something as exciting as going to see the latest Broadway musical that makes the whole trip worth it. You might not always recognize what it was that made you so happy, but it will help you remember and embrace the good time you had. The majority of people refer to these distant destinations as place they went to on holiday, and although I do not object to them being referred to this way, I prefer to remember them as temporary homes. I say this because if you travel somewhere, and all you think about is the amount of time you are spending, and how quickly the trip is going to be over, you will not be able to focus on all of the good cultural aspects of that place. It is important, in my opinion, to be open-minded, and to ignore all of the cultural imperfections. If you do not, you will not be able to live life in these  places to their highest standards.

Friday, November 4, 2016


I could not live without my piano. I know you are probably thinking that I am just saying this, but I honestly think that an instrument can be a crucial part of growing up. There are many things in this world that we do not realize how dependent we are on them, one of them is music. Could you imagine a life without it? Pianos are instruments with an aptitude to express emotion. The style in which you are playing can show the people listening what you are feeling. For example, when you are frustrated you will most likely bang heavily on the keys and play loudly, when you are sad you can play in a minor key and press the right pedal to achieve a sorrowful, gloomy effect. An instrument helps people to gain peace and collect themselves in times of stress. The piano can also be used to convey happiness when you are playing for friends and family.