Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween and What's what 🎃👻

So it's that time of year again. It's Halloween and I'm at home, sitting, waiting for trick-or-treaters to reject as they come to the door of my home.

Several people, shops and even Google recognise the day and many people participate by dressing up, trick-or-treating, having parties or egging civilians in the street. Others hate the day, detest it in the name of God, or just have no reason to like it.  But as I sit here, waiting to reject the little children coming to my door, I think to myself "What is Halloween, what are people actually celebrating or detesting?"
Google ad many doodles for today. Love Google. And I love their Doodles too.

So my research began and I found out a few things about what Halloween really is.*1

  • It's actually "All Hallows' Eve", All Hallows' being all saints day celebrated by Christians (particularly Catholics I think) tomorrow. So, technically the day has religious sentiment. With Eastenders behind me*2 at the moment, Dot even says its a "day to pray for the souls that have departed ". This is probably where the ghost/graveyard/death imagery comes from.
  • Although some may disagree, the day seems to have come from a pagan holiday celebrated by Gaelic people called Samhain, which was the end of harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year.
  • The Christians that celebrate the day tended to abstain from meat on this day, so popular food included cider, potato pancakes and apples, which is probably where the toffee apples and apple-bobbing come from. 

Jack-o'lanterns were originally carried by people called guisers who asked for food in return for prayers for the dead. The lantern was supposed to ward off evil spirits that were supposed to be lurking about on the eve.

  • Trick or treaters/guisers as I've previously mentioned were also originally known to collect food for the Halloween party, probably a party for the next day.
  •  The guisers also used to go around in costumes, which is where the costuming comes from. The first use of costumes and guiding is found in Scotland and Ireland in the late 19th century. Rev.Dr.Eddie J Smith in his book 'Halloween, hallowed be thy name', suggests that the costumes allow people to make fun of Satan (the devil), by dressing up as things that once made people scared hence the ghouls, witches, and vampires. This quickly turned into dressing up as anything, and so many people don't dress up as scary things, but anything that they have an idea of.

Cruella DeVille; Iggy has stylishly embodied the character.
Even has the dalmatian at hand.
The car really completes the look. Well done Iggy

 Having not read the book I don't fully understand what the significance of the devil is, but here lies a somewhat link as to why people associate the day with the devil. However, seeing as I've only briefly researched this briefly I see quite an opposite. The devil's birthday is actually not so, me actually the day seems to be quite 'holy' in its original essence.

Now, I don't really like or celebrate Halloween, seeing as I'm not Christian, or one to celebrate commercialised holidays no matter how big they are.I'm with the belief that if I'm to celebrate something, I have to believe in it, or agree with it, and with Halloween I find nothing to go by in both of these cases. I also really dislike the commercialisation of this day. It's a shame to see another religious event *stripped of its true meaning, dressed up as something new and publicised as a way to make money from consumers.

Side Notes and Comments

Its been a while since I've done these.

*1 So when i say research, I mean wikipedia search. As bad as it can be it can be really quick and informative. This also means that if i got anything wrong, I;m sorry, this is what I read from wikipedia, however, I have heard this from my primary school, so I think everything i have typed is hopefully true.

*2 I don't watch Eastenders.It got boring ages ago. I also didn't like how everyone is on a situation or problematic. It's not everyday xyz's baby/ xyz had an affair/ xyz got murdered, as they say.

*3 The others being Easter and Christmas. Christmas is that holiday that I forever get questioned about. "You don't celebrate Christmas?!" I get often at this time of year, if not, whilst someone has bought up Christmas and maybe how excited they are for it they say "Oh don't celebrate Christmas...oh.". Seeing so many people in their Halloween costumes, made me remember Christmas in particular, because everyone celebrates it and not as many people believe in it. As fun as it may be, I try to remain true to myself. If I don't believe in Christ's birth being on that day, or won't being doing anything about Christ's-mass then why should I celebrate it?

All in all, I hope I've shone a little light on Halloween and what's what.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Black History Month: Malcolm X

Seeing as its black history month, I thought I have to make a post related to black history and the positive black figures history has to offer.

I'll start with Malcom X, a civil rights activist during the civil rights movement in America. He didn't have the best of starts, he grew up in a racist society that told him he could never put his good brains to use because of his skin colour.
"The turning point in Malcolm X's childhood came in 1939, when his English teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he answered that he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher responded, "One of life's first needs is for us to be realistic ... you need to think of something you can be ... why don't you plan on carpentry?" Having thus been told in no uncertain terms that there was no point in a black child pursuing education, Malcolm X dropped out of school the following year, at the age of 15."

He turned to a life of crime, went to prison, left prison and became Muslim in the Nation of Islam (not a good sect of Islam). As the intelligent and articulate character he was, he was soon appointed as the organisation's spokesmen which bought thousands of people to follow the organisations teachings and gained his popularity throughout the country. A number of things happened with Elijah Muhammad which caused Malcolm X to lose faith in the organisation and hence leave in March 1964. In the same year, he went to hajj which proved life changing for him. He came back with new beliefs, and he now realised that black superiority and segregation wasn't the way forward.
"The true brotherhood I had seen had influenced me to recognize that anger can blind human vision," he said. "America is the first country ... that can actually have a bloodless revolution." 

I'm particularly fond of this man for his change to what is right, his articualtion and his passion.His fiery character definitely shone through to me as an admirable character.

Read more :

Malcolm X: Cassius Marcellus Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, stands with fellow Muslim and civil rights activist Malcolm X in New York City on March 2, 1964. (Photo by John Peodincuk/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, so much greatness in one photo
Malcolm X   Jake LaMotta 

Because there are too many to post in this one blog post, here are some of his quotes:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

It's been a month...

Since I last made a post on this blog of mine. A whole month. Despite knowing I'll be busy due to things like my A-levels, I know I've just been lazy, and have procrastinated too much when it comes to blog posts. So in some sort of "compensation" for my lack of posts, I'm going to post what I've been doing in the last 30 days.

  1. Learning to be ambidextrous

hardly legible

 So apparently it takes about a month, with sufficient practice everyday to be ambidextrous. 
But have I been practicing everyday? 
No, not really.
Even holding pen is a task!

  • The first of October was Nigerian independence day, so I started this post about Nigeria which I never really saw the end of...

A lot of this case up. Ideas that were on my head but we're never put down or expressed. A shame really
There were no hats thrown in the air
  •  I graduated from the NCS programme. Probably one of the most dragged out things ever, but I enjoyed it.

Santa Monica Beach
  • Reminiscing. "Throwing back" as its called. I love looking back on photos and remember pong Good times.

Interesting stuff
  • Hardcore maths. At a maths club I recently joined, we were tackling tough mathematical questions. As much as I love months I was baffled at the end of it. Almost in hysterics because I was overwhelmed. But I like the club and will be back.

  • The second Eid of the year( out of the two for those who may be confused) came about recently. I dressed up took selfies, I ate, it was a nice day.

  • Being confused/ questioning. This is an example of why. Tell me why there's a book about cows in the maths AS textbook?

  • Campaigning:As part of NCS we set up our own campaign and had to go out into the public to spread awareness. Here is some of team Edwards, who I campaigned with.

  • Taking selfies is fun. I took a few selfies.
  • Walking; for me, walking to places isn't am option especially when there's a bus hat I can get on with a free Oyster card. However, I've walked a lot in the last month, and I think I'll continue.

  • Struggling in maths; in certain classes, ie Mechanics I left baffled as to what to do and why. It's frustrating but I'm determined to see the day I understand it.

  • Trying to be neat; I'm not the neatest when it comes to written things, especially maths. I don't bother with margins, and sometimes my work can get undeniably messy, even I am reluctant to read over my work sometimes. But I'm going to improve...somehow.

  • Yarn Braids; I've always liked the rasta look hair  and when insaw two girls do the do I tried some myself. I didn't actually finsih as I didn't but enough stuff, but I liked the feeling of DIY hair. With practice I'll get there I guess

  • Fearing Ebola; its spreading like wildfire in Africa, and is expected to be here in the UK soon( although I don't know how that's predictable). I have so much opinion on Ebola, but the fact of the matter is I would repay her not die of it. Hence the fear.
  • Connecting with Quran; I want to have an understanding of my Lord's words, and so reading Quran, particularly the English/ tafsir.
  • Laughing/joking; I like to keep light-hearted
  • Discussing/debating; Lately a lot of talks have taken place amongst friends about a variety of things. I like a good soul searching question every now and again.
  • Painting my nails; I'm not really good, they always chip, but seeing as school dress code doesn't stop me I'm giving it a go.
  • Finding my winter coat; I'm looking for a blush coloured coat. Collarless(or maybe not, depends), and long, but not too long. Zip/button fastening.

Photo 1 of Pale Pink Collarless Coat
Maybe not as light, but along the lines of this

  • Online window shopping; has to be window shopping. I'm a bit fund-less at the moment.
  • Struggling with earphones; One ears working the other is so its death bed. New EarPods are pending.
  • Being tired; I was called "sleep deprived" and since then I've been aware of how fatigued I am. If you go to my school, you know how tired I can get.
  • Becoming self-aware; being essential to personal development, being self aware is something I've started to try and be more. When you look into yourself you can realise a lot.
  • Being involved in school; senior house captain, guide for the recent open day, house council representative, I like to be involved in the school, especially seeing as I genuinely care for my school environment.
  • Developing a growth mindset; I had an assembly about growth and fixed mind sets. It wasn't the most inspiring thing but I concluded that I'm more fixed and growth, and for my self betterment I should enhance and develop my growth aspects.
  • Staying truthful; I've been trying this for a long while. It I've realised how easy it is to lie. And as I don't like lying, liars or deception if any type, I'm minimising and avoiding lying.
  • Losing/finding phone within 24 hours; I lost my phone, I found my phone at the bus garage luckily. As much as I hate it I need a phone. A half loaf is better than none. Its also funny how when I've lost my phone is when everybody contacts me, but when I've found it no-one contacts me and no-one is available.
  • Reading wide;when I was younger, I read a lot more and a lot more wider and I can see the difference it makes. When school ask us to do it it honestly helps.
  • Planning for future; life is moving so fast that I must plan, as "those who fail to plan, plan to fail", and "the future is for those who plan today"