Wednesday, October 8, 2008

tradition or child abuse?

I do not have a problem with people performing different religious traditions. Traditions are part of culture which makes a group of people unique. I agree that we need to respect people who have different traditions and way of thinking. What I don't understand and do not agree with is when people oppress other people's rights to follow their traditions. Nepal is a multicultural multi-religious city. A city with numerous gods. There is one of their traditions that has been bothering me and has made me think "What in the world is wrong with people?" People who do this and also people who allow it. I'm talking about the Kumari tradition where they take little girls from 3 years old and keep them in a house (temple) away from the world until puberty. They are only allowed to come out to religious events. These people are talking away these girls' childhood. On top of that, as a test, these little girls are supposed to spend one night in a room by themselves with goats' heads and other animals' heads. I would have to be out of my mind to make my three year old girl be in a room by herself with animals' heads and be away from me.
They don't see their families until they reach puberty and sent back to their families, because they are no longer considered goddesses. This specific tradition is against the Nepalese and world laws, but yet nobody does anything to stop this abuse. When this girls start living a normal life, after they are sent home, some grils do not know how to socialize with other people (even their own families), some keep playing with little dolls at the age of 17, and some just suffer from metal retardation. I would suffer too if I have to stay for many years isolated without contact with the outside world. It is very sad that authorities would not protect the right of these little girls, but instead authorities are the ones who pick who the new goddess is going to be. I have seen pictures of these little girls and I can see how unhappy they look. I really hope that something is done to stop this child abuse they have in Nepal.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dress Codes on Public Streets

I heard about dress codes for public schools, we just implemented a dress code in Lebanon City Schools in PA. But I had never heard of dress codes for public streets.
According to an article from Wave 3, some lawmakers in Louisiana Georgia and New Jersey think sagging pants should be illegal. Since June, sagging pants have against the law in Delcambre, Louisiana. People, who are found wearing them, face a fine of as much as $500 or up to six months in jail. There are similar laws in other parts of the state.
I completely agree that wearing sagging pants which shows underwear should change. Underwear is to be worn UNDER our clothes. The public doesn't need to know what kind of underwear I'm using. I ask myself "What is going to be next?" "Showing our privates?". I do not agree on the way authorities want to handle this problem by making it illegal.
First of all, authorities (or whoever wants to stop people from wearing inappropriate clothes), should ask themselves "Why do people dress like this?" "Where do they get this from?." There is no question that this style comes from hip-hop culture.
If authorities are making this law because they really desire that people should show self respect by the way dress and not because they just want to punish only hip-hop fans, then authorities need to look for other solutions to the problem such as working hand-in-hand with hip-hop singers and working with parents in general discussing about what message we want to send to young people to help them become good citizens rather than punishing young people who are growing up imitating what they think is "cool."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

killing sharks

Scientists Seek Approval to Kill Sharks — Federal scientists want permission to kill Galapagos sharks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in an effort to save the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Scientists argue that the monk seal is globally endangered but the sharks are not.

I can understand if scientists want to save the monk seal from extinction, but killing other species to, later, put them in danger of extinction is what I don't get. The reason the monk seals are in danger is because of human hands. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), mothers take care of their pups for six weeks. During that entire time, they do not leave the beach even to eat. Instead, they live off of fat that they have stored up over the previous year and feed their pups with a fat rich milk. Usually seals can be found with their pups on very remote beaches. However, recent births have been reported in the main Hawaiian Islands including Oahu, Kawai, and Molokai. Human disturbance has been identified as the primary factor in the decline of the species. In fact, if humans come too near a mother seal too often, she will abandon her pup and go out to sea. Unfortunately, this usually means death for the pup. Also, seals often get tangled in fishermen's nets and other trash in the oceans. It has been found that the fish that seals eat have been overfished by fishermen.

We need to keep in mind that sharks are essentials predators which help maintain the balance throughout the ecosystem. Eliminating sharks would have wider effects than just the monk seal. There are other ways we can prevent the extinction of the monk seal. The main threat to monk seals seems to be human intrusion into habitats and over-fishing. Certain beaches can be closed, so people do not get too close to seals raising pups or impose stiffer penalties for disturbing seals. The numbers of fish that can be caught in the areas where we have monk seals can be limit. We have to look at the bigger picture and find other ways to save the monk seals without the unintended consequences of unnecessary killing off a different species.