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Tag Archives: culture

…Living Through the Shock of Contrast and Difference: An Interview

Mustapha Abdu-Aguye comes from Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, 5 years ago to do a Master’s degree in Nanoscience. Currently, he’s half way though his PhD in Photophysics and Optoelectronics. Mustapha agreed to talk with Checks&Balances about the cultural differences between the Dutch and Nigerians, as well as discuss his personal growth. ‘I attained both my Bachelor ... Read More »

Helping a Refugee – Helping Yourself? Interview with Anne Neumann-Holbeck

Mentor, coach, friend – as part of the Humanitas nonprofit organization, Anne performs all of these roles. Her current responsibilities involve supporting two Syrian women, independently from each other, by helping them to find their ways in the Netherlands and providing them with the needed social services. All of this Anne does voluntarily. And when asked what she has taken ... Read More »

Putting a Stop to the Export of Babies

International adoption seems like a win-win phenomenon; an orphan is offered a chance at a better life while the adoptive parents can fulfil their wish to have a child. This romantic image is, however, problematic. Taking a human-rights-prone perspective, questions need to be asked regarding the salience of the international adoption system and the international agreements guarding it. Over the last decades, ... Read More »

The Jante Law

In my previous article ‘Entering the Field of International Relations,’ I investigated the ways through which an International Relations graduate can find a job more effectively. The principle message was to outstand yourself from the crowd by engaging in as many extra-curriculum activities as possible, while simultaneously building your own network. Yet, in other circumstances, this might be counterproductive. When I ... Read More »

The Mountain of Men

Somewhere deep down in the second ‘leg’ of the peninsula of Chalkidiki, Greece, lays a mountain where only men live. Anyone wanting to see the stunning landscape surrounding Mount Athos, must be a man. A man, of course, in the sense of having the stereotypical features of what a man is supposed to be in our current social/societal understandings. Short ... Read More »

Songs of Protest

In the 1970s hippies embraced the countercultural voices of their generation and protest music was very hip. Now, protest music has a crusty punk rock or dread-locked folk singer imago. However, protest songs aren’t a phenomenon of the past. Protest songs have existed for ages, in that sense of course they are from past times. They originate from the “psalms” ... Read More »

Political Cartoons: There’s Some Method to the Madness

Before my Core Module, Visual Global Politics, I did never really pay attention to them, I thought they were just some faint dull jokes. However, when I delved into the topic for this course’ assignment, I found out that they were more creative, complex and politically relevant than I could have ever imagined. Now, I want to share some of ... Read More »

Torn Apart: how the Korean War destroyed a story of Love

‘’What greater punishment is there than life when you’ve lost everything that made it worth living?’’, Shakespeare wrote in his play Romeo and Juliet. These thoughts must have crossed more than once the mind of Mr Kim, the protagonist of this story. Mr. Kim was a Korean citizen that suffered from the Japanese rule over his native country from 1910 ... Read More »

Do It For Denmark

Denmark’s birth rate is at its lowest point in decades indicating 10 births per 1,000 residents. The nation’s perennially low birth rate places the country alongside with Germany (8.33), Japan (8.39) and Singapore (7.72) and even though most Danish couples say they want two or three kids, according to the Copenhagen Post, one in five couples end up childless. It ... Read More »

Friesian Cows in China

From a culture where dairy was completely absent, to a big market share in the dairy industry: dairy’s star is rising in China, it’s undeniable. China’s increasing milk consumption affects the Chinese as well as the global market. The popularity of dairy is unprecedented, as China’s dietary tradition does not involve dairy. Why are the Chinese consuming more dairy and ... Read More »