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Tag Archives: heroes

Great resource for Journeys and multicultural education

Last night I watched Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS.

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Go there not just for that one, but for the others in this currently ongoing series.

Naturally, too, I commend Inspiring Teachers which begins on Wednesday 6 February, 2008 at 8pm. 🙂

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Multicultural Australia: you’re standing in it!

A small swag of human interest stories in today’s Sun-Herald in the wake of Australia Day say more about the comparative success of Australian multiculturalism — diversity AND cohesion — than a whole peck of moanings and mutterings on talk-back radio or similar venues. Aussie pride? Stories like this give it to me in heaps. May there be more and more of them. Let’s celebrate what we have with open hearts.

The first story is such a great contrast to the brief agony that was Cronulla 05.

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WHEN he’s in the line-up off Sydney’s popular beaches, Haisam Farache is just another surfer waiting for a wave.

But once he’s out of the water he swaps his wetsuit and surfboard for a robe and turban and assumes the role of an imam at Australia’s largest mosque.

“For me it relates to how I am as an Australian and a Muslim,” he said. “When I go to the beach I feel rejuvenated. I feel like a new person and whatever stresses I have in my life are being washed away with the waves.”

The 34-year-old, who began surfing at 11, said his pastime intrigued his students at the Lakemba Mosque. Most laughed, he said, when they discovered he was a surfer, and found it difficult to believe a religious leader had an interest outside teaching Islam.

The Auburn-based lawyer said surfing was also an ice-breaker when he visited schools across the country as part of his work with the Together for Humanity Foundation.

He recalls visiting a school on the northern beaches where many students began calling him a terrorist. Once the children discovered he was a surfer, their opinion changed and they saw him as one of “them”, he said.

The second story told about nine of the 3300+ from 56 countries who pledged their allegiance to the flag in ceremonies across NSW yesterday.

Figures from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship show 95 per cent of the population are Australian citizens. However, there are more than 900,000 permanent residents who are eligible to become Australian citizens.

Of the 27,494 immigrants who arrived in NSW between January 1 and December 1 last year, one out of six was from China, making it one of the largest source of immigrants to the state.

Meanwhile, India has overtaken Britain as our second-biggest source of new citizens, followed by the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Lebanon and Indonesia.

Pakistanis and Iraqis are also among our fastest-growing migrant groups…

Abdulai Jallah knew he had to find a new home after fleeing war-torn Liberia several years ago…

—  Liliana Auwyang adored Australia when she visited as a tourist more than 10 years ago. It was the beautiful scenery and culture that had this 41-year-old from Panania, in south-western Sydney, hooked. So, not long after her return to Jakarta, she began researching how to come back permanently…

Richard Brunskill lived his whole life in central London before settling down-under…

Rania Islam. One of the newest little Australians was born at the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, yesterday. Rania Islam arrived at 2.40am, much to the delight of her parents, Sharmin Khan and Rezaul Islam, and her big brother Rayyan Islam, 18 months. “It’s very exciting,” Mr Islam said. “We are very proud.” Ms Khan and Mr Islam moved to Australia six years ago and became citizens last year.

Douglas Snider. IT WAS true love that brought Douglas Snider to Sydney six years ago. His wife Tiate was born and bred in the inner-west suburb of Newtown. Now that he’s here, he wouldn’t swap it for the world. “I love absolutely everything here in Australia,” he says…

— THE first Australian park Ewi Sook Oh visited was dotted with coin-operated barbecues… “I love the Australian environment and way of life. I think it is God’s gift,” Ewi says. “In my home in South Korea there are tall buildings and crowds everywhere. There are not so many people in Sydney but they come from other countries everywhere and I feel it is a good opportunity for me to learn about their traditions and customs.”

Rene Strauss Arias. THE reopening of Sydney’s Hilton Hotel in mid-2005 could hardly have been better timed for 49-year-old Filipino Rene Strauss Arias

— WHEN Anwar Hamam landed in Australia, he was merely chasing an opportunity to further his education… But like many of his fellow new Australians, Anwar settled permanently after meeting his partner here… “What I like about Australia is that it is very safe,” Anwar says. “It also offers me so much in freedoms and opportunities. I can become whoever I want to be here. There seems to be a lot more to do here than just about anywhere else.”

A NATIVE of St Petersburg, Andrei Bobylev first heard about Australia from some friends who had already been, and he became curious.

Then he read the travel diary, Down Under, by best-selling American author Bill Bryson, and decided to follow suit. That was three years ago…

Source: The Sun-Herald

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    On assimilation

     
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    Posted by on January 27, 2008 in Australian, equity/welfare, inspiration, multiculturalism

     

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    Studying comic strips? Really!

    Yes, I expect some of you out there will find this confirms all your worst fears about the “dumbing down” of the noble study of English, and ushers in the apocalypse! I don’t see it that way, given that the Year 8 students for whom I prepared the material which follows in November 2004 were also studying Shakespeare and much more besides. The unit itself was partly training in visual literacy, partly training in critical literacy. These texts exist. What is there function? How do they work? All valid enough, as far as I am concerned. The concept of “hero” was also part of this unit. All that is learned through studying the humble comics would have application later in many contexts, some of them more traditionally respected.

    phantom Year 8 students exploring what values are represented in comic strips: explore the first and greatest superhero to get some examples of vintage Superman, and The Phantom: A Publishing History in the U.S.A. gives you lots of vintage covers for this strip. See also The Phantom, The Ghost Who Walks which gives some more history.

    Here is a good fan site on Spiderman. Dark Knight is a wonderful Canadian site that tells you all you wanted to know about Batman. It is really beautiful, but made by someone who thinks everyone else has a really good computer. Check alternative Batman information here.

    For even more links see Wikipedia. This is very good and leads you to just about all you need. Toonopedia gives an alphabetical set of links that will lead you to details of the superhero of your choice. In some cases the links are dated so you can see how the character was represented over time.

  • This is very interesting from BBC Science: The Science of Superheroes.
  • Teachers and more advanced students might be interested in this reflective essay by Kai Friese from Transitions magazine, “White Skin, Black Mask,” about reading The Phantom as a boy in India.

    Some thirty-five years ago, the Indian publishing firm of Bennett and Coleman introduced the Phantom comic books that would fill the misspent afternoons of my boyhood. The first four frames were usually given over to the terse phrases and fragments of the perennial recap that was soon consigned to memory as I raced wide-eyed through my purple-clad hero’s latest adventures: thwarting gangsters, rescuing women, keeping the jungles of Africa safe. It was a quieter, gentler time. I lived in a somnolent neighborhood of Delhi called Bengali Market (after its largest establishment, Bhimsen’s Bengal Sweets). My father drove home at noon on weekdays for a lunchtime siesta. And my friends and I belonged to a cargo cult…

  • Update 19 March 2007

    Read Hero deficit: Comic books in decline, a feature article by Brad Mackay published in the Toronto Star Mar 18, 2007.

    The superhero comics that kids once knew (and perhaps loved) are in trouble. Notwithstanding Hollywood’s recent infatuation with big-budget superhero movies, for much of the past 30 years the monthly comic book adventures of Spider-Man, Batman and their kind have been suffering from shrinking readership and slumping sales.

    For example, during the heyday of the late 1970s, a bestseller from DC or Marvel Comics, two of the biggest publishers, could expect to sell 300,000 copies. These days a similar title would be fortunate to move more than 50,000.

    For an industry famous for tales packed full of muscles and melodrama, the situation has prompted an unusual amount of soul searching. The would-be villains are many. Some have blamed the sales slide on cultural upstarts, like video games, manga and the ever-present Internet. Others point to the increased popularity of bookstore-friendly graphic novels, sales of which have recently surpassed traditional comics.

    But there are those who have begun to ask more complex questions, like how characters that are 40, or even 70, years old can remain relevant in an increasingly diverse society. This raises one of the oldest and most uncomfortable truths about the superhero genre: its surprising dearth of non-white heroes, particularly black ones…

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    Posted by on January 13, 2007 in literature genres, Media/Film studies, questions asked, student help

     

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