Who are we?

first_imgKHURUM BUKHARI examines Oxford’s diasporas and questions of identity within the UniversityIn the 12th century, the Hebrew poet Yehuda Halevi wrote “While I in western lands do pine, My heart is in the East.” For the “diaspora”, the Jewish communities outside Palestine, those lines poignantly reflected the anxious yearning for one’s homeland and encompassed the difficulties of living in one culture while belonging to another. In an increasingly globalised world, where mass immigration and travel allow people of different cultures to settle in those of others, diasporas of diverse nationalities and ethnicities are created every single minute and accompanying them are those potential anxieties about the loss or subordination of native culture to the host. Often the central question to these communities and their offspring is that of identity. Britain has played host, and still does, to countless numbers of communities from across the globe. Bringing their own customs, lifestyles and beliefs intertwined within the social and economic fabric of their respective homelands, the notion of a cultural identity seems to be enduringly potent within such groups. But what of the children of immigrants born in the host country? As someone born and brought up in Britain, in a Pakistani Shia Muslim household, I was bound to be aware of my background. I had always felt a sense of “otherness”, something engendered mainly by the language of my household and the religious and cultural activities particular to my community. In addition, my exposure to other, different communities was severely lacking, only having had significant contact with members of my own. Coming to Oxford was a revelation; I was confronted not only by people of different class, ethnic and cultural backgrounds but also by a growing realisation and anxiety, that I belonged not only to one culture but to another, the “British”. It was “bi-cultural anxiety syndrome” such as that found in books such as Hanif Kureshi’s Buddha of Surburbia and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. For those in a similar situation, Oxford’s many student societies offer direction. Societies from Turkish Soc to Majlis Asian Society, to Jewish Soc and the Islamic society aim primarily to promote and publicise their respective cultures, be they ethnic, national or religious. But they are also places for people of a certain background to mix with other members of their communities who experience the difficulties of trying to reconcile one culture with another. For Jewish Soc President, Roni Tabick, who has lived and was educated in predominantly Jewish areas, Oxford life proved to be somewhat unusual. “Fridays nights were difficult because of Sabbath” and everyday conversation became a humorous affair, “I was using Yiddish words with non-Jewish people.” The Jewish Soc provided him with a forum to meet other student members of the Jewish community who faced similar difficulties. But many question the “ghetto” effect that such societies have on what is intended to be a “multicultural“ environment. Members of a similar community often cluster together, their interaction indirectly exclusive to members of their own university community. A student at St Peters comments “it’s obvious when people of one community hang around together, especially if they are of a different colour. They are very cliquey – they seem to be segregating themselves and are ruining things”. Roni Tabick disagrees, “Of course when people of one particular community who do solely hang about together it’s a shame as it ruins their experience of the wider world”. But for many attached to their culture, the joy of mixing with members of their own community is both inevitable and a matter of pure circumstance rather than an active and discriminating effort to find people of similar backgrounds, ethnicity or religion. Cee at Worcester says, “I think people make a mountain out of a molehill. It’s a commonality thing, an interest matter, its not a racial, ethnic or political issue. Sure the society I’m part of is where I met most of my friends, though I’m not friends with all of its members am I? It’s purely coincidental that most of the people I know are from the same background. I have a mixture of friends, White, Black and Asian but my close friends happen to be of a similar culture. I’m learning more about my identity that way, so what?” So what indeed is the problem? The quest for an identity is an important search and one often overlooked. It is one that has long existed not only as a cultural dimension for ethnic, national and religious communities but for other groups too; feminists find their identity in their womanhood and the Welsh in their language. A multi-cultural society can only work if the search for an individual’s identity is respected despite it appearing to be discriminatory or exclusive. A heart can indeed be in the East, but over time it can be in the West too.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

Press release: M5 Oldbury viaduct repair project approaches key milestone

first_imgAt more than £100 million, M5 Oldbury is believed to be the largest concrete repair project, by value, ever carried out in Britain.Much of the work takes place underneath the viaduct and so workers cannot always be seen on the surface itself.To keep the motorway open, a contraflow system is in place with traffic currently using the northbound carriageway with two lanes operating in each direction, along with a 30mph speed limit. Traffic is anticipated to move to the southbound carriageway in June.Slip roads at junctions 1 and 2 are being kept open to ease effects on the local network.However, as part of the work, a number of closures of the southbound off-slip at junction 2 are planned, for more information check the Highways England Roadworks Finder.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. The scale of this project is vast and has involved a large number of repairs. On top of that we’ve had one of the harshest winters in years, which has added to the challenges. We will not know the full extent of the repairs needed on the northbound carriageway until work there is under way. We appreciate the level of disruption this project involves and I’d like to thank motorists, businesses and residents for their patience. Meanwhile, our teams are working as hard as they can to get the job done. The project involves concrete repairs and waterproofing along a two-mile section of the ageing viaduct in the West Midlands.Work on the southbound carriageway, between junctions 1 and 2, is approaching completion and in the coming weeks the entire operation, involving more than 500 workers, transfers to the northbound carriageway.Already more than 5,000 separate repairs have been carried out on the southbound carriageway, 3,500 more than anticipated.The majority of work is scheduled to continue until autumn 2018, with other work continuing into spring 2019.Highways England senior project manager, Zbigniew Twarowski, said:last_img read more

Darren Palmer on 2019 interior design trends

first_imgCelebrity designer Darren Palmer is pumped about 2019.Celebrity designer and judge for TV show The Block Darren Palmer reveals the hottest colour for 2019 and other design trends for the year coming up. When you think of coral, images of island time and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef likely conjure in your mind. RELATED: Palmer said there would always be a place for wall papers in florals, botanicals and palms and green would continue to be everywhere you look.“If you are fortunate enough to live near nature, green is everywhere and has so many variations, from apple and lime to eucalypt, sage, avocado and olive,” he said.“For the G.J. Gardner Tailored Collection I designed recently, I used Laminex Possum on the kitchen and bathroom cupboards in one of the house designs.“It’s a brand new eucalypt colour from Laminex and a great celebration of what’s great about Australian nature and how green is so dominant within it.” Aussies go bloomin’ mad for botanicals Darren Palmer says The Calile Hotel is a perfect example of the trends and colours to expect in 2019. IMAGE: Sean Fennessy“It has been paired with beige neutrals, travertine and brass and that is a good indication of the type of colour trend for 2019,” Palmer said.“We will also probably see saturated, mid toned primary and secondary colours in a 2019 way that are an evolution or reinterpretation of the Memphis period. MORE: The Calile Hotel has paired the colour with beige neutrals, travertine and brass, which is a good indication of what to expect in 2019. IMAGE: Sean Fennessy“Memphis is a design movement that began in 1981 in Milan, Italy, by designer Ettore Sottsass.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours ago“Everything 80s and 90s is being reinvigorated with a blend of our contemporary aesthetic so be prepared to see things that would have made you cringe appear in new and innovative ways that are aesthetically pleasing.” >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON FACEBOOK<< Boom makes it Queensland’s Year of the Renocenter_img Whitaker’s green over — hit or miss? That’s along the lines of what Pantone would like you to envisage when thinking about their Colour of the Year for 2019 as being Living Coral, which they say is an “animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone”.Pantone Color (sic) Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman said in reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, they sought authentic and immersive experiences enabling connection and intimacy.“Colour is an equalising lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral,” Ms Eiseman said.“With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanising and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” Pantone, provider of professional colour standards and digital solutions for the design industry, announced PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral as the Pantone Colour of the Year 2019.Design guru and The Block judge Darren Palmer couldn’t agree more, and said interior trends for 2019 were about getting back to nature.Palmer said coral was used everywhere in Brisbane’s newest trendsetting hotel, Calile, in Fortitude Valley. For the G.J. Gardner Tailored Collection Darren Palmer designed, he used Laminex Possum on the kitchen cupboards. It’s a brand new eucalypt colour from Laminex and a great celebration of what’s great about Australian nature and how green is so dominant within it.“Or if you’re really afraid of colour, think about buying some cost-effective soft furnishings and decor items that add a splash of colour — these are easily replaceable as trends shift or you decide you want a change.”He said demand for custom designed furniture would continue to surge in 2019 as people wanted items that reflected their lifestyle. One of Darren Palmer’s latest designs which will be on trend in 2019 — Surge gold quilt and palm leaves wallpaper.He said there were no hard and fast rules regarding the application of colour.“But the one important thing to get your head around is the difference between dominant and recessive colours,” he said.“Dominant colours like green, yellow and red will feel like they’re jumping forward, while recessive colours like purple and blue will feel like they’re going back.“Pairing dominant and recessive colours can be used to create focal points in a room, create an illusion of depth and space, or draw attention to statement pieces.”Palmer said in the past people painted feature walls in a dominant colour to add drama to a room — but feature walls were about 10 years out of date. “Painting doors or picture rail is a much more effective way to add a splash of colour and to separate spaces,” he said. “It’s a reaction to the mass produced furniture that has the same-same look,” he said.“People are looking for an artisan, handmade, bespoke response to furnishings.“While the major furnishers do their job well, there is increasingly a place for Australian handmade furniture and craftsmanship within a home alongside some of the more commoditised and popular retailer branded furniture.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:53Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:53 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p288p288p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThe top 5 Love It or List It makeovers from season 100:54last_img read more

Medicinal cannabis oil arrives in NZ

first_imgRadio NZ News 8 December 2017Family First Comment: Not smoked or grown in back yard like the Green Party wants. But here’s the key bit:“Trials are underway to test Tilray products’ effectiveness for treating childhood epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients.”So it’s STILL being tested for efficacy and safety. The arrival of a new, cheaper medicinal cannabis product in New Zealand is good news for patients but will still be prohibitively expensive for many, advocates say.The cannabis oil, produced by Canadian company Tilray, was first granted an export licence to New Zealand in February, but until now has only been shipped to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.However, the first shipment that will be made available for GPs to prescribe has now arrived in the country.It contains cannabidiol (CBD) – a cannabinoid that has been shown to have therapeutic properties, but is considered a class B drug under New Zealand law so cannot be advertised or promoted by the company.Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand coordinator Shane Le Brun said the product had arrived “in the last week or so”.“It is now available for GPs to prescribe… [but] as an unregistered medicine they can’t make therapeutic claims and as a controlled drug they can’t advertise … so it’s kind of snuck in under the radar.”Since September, doctors have been able to prescribe CBD products without needing approval from the Health Minister.READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/345752/medicinal-cannabis-oil-arrives-in-nzlast_img read more