Category Archives: Multicultural

Spending my first Lunar New Year in Colby!



Rice Cake, Dumplings, Spring Rolls, Sweet Rice Balls…etc. These are all the foods that we will eat in Hong Kong to celebrate Chinese New Year. Kids will receive red pockets from parents and parents’ friends, and the money inside the red pockets varies from $3 to $100 usually. Haha, yea, so it was really fun and we got to visit friends’ homes too.

In Colby College where asians are a minority, there weren’t big events celebrating the Chinese New Year. I was glad that the Asian Students Association organized a Lunar New Year Celebration in the Pugh Center. Unexpectedly, there were a lot of participants, ranging from professors’ daughters and sons to Colby students who are interested in Asian cultures.


As you can see from the photos, we played Mahjong, a traditional game commonly played by 4 players. It requires a lot of thinking and skills. We will play Mahjong not only during Chinese New Year, but also during other festival celebration, such as Mid-Autumn festival.

Haha, we also wrote calligraphy. We used to learn it in elementary school, but it isn’t a
popular activity in Hong Kong. Not until I came to Colby did I realize how important it is to learn one’s culture. I wish I could play an Asian instrument and write calligraphy. Anyways, it’s March already, can’t imagine time passes quickly…

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23 days to go~~~Hong Kong!!!

The closing of spring selection course and Jan Plan course indicates that this semester is going to end very soon. Even though I feel like I have come to Colby for more than half a year, I still can’t believe I’m done with one semester!! And there are 7 more to go~~~

Not that I don’t like Colby, but I really do miss home. I miss my friends, I miss asian food, I miss the busy streets and shopping malls in Hong Kong. I literally have a list of food and places that I want to eat and go when I go back to Hong Kong. As many of you might not know, there was a huge protest in Hong Kong since August. People are fighting for a real universal suffrage, in which the candidates should not be filtered by the Beijing Government. The tension between Government and citizens in Hong Kong is unprecedentedly high.

I wonder how Hong Kong looks like now, I wonder how Hong Kong has changed in these 3 months. I wonder if I still keep the same feeling towards my hometown when I go back.

Here are some photos of my beautiful city: HONG KONG.

Some information:

The size of Hong Kong is 426 square miles while the size of Maine is 35385 square miles. However, the population is 7.188 million in Hong Kong while the population in Maine is 1.3258 million. Such a contrast!! Maine is around 8 times bigger than Hong Kong, but the population size is 5 times smaller than Hong Kong. Ohh, my city~~ so populated.

But I still miss Hong Kong.

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International Food Festival

Isn’t it great to have a taste of different food from different countries? Yesterday, which is a Sunday, we had International Food Festival presented by the International Club in Foss Dining Hall from 12pm to 2pm.

Curry Fish balls

Everyone was very busy with cooking since Friday. For my Hong Kong group, we bought ingredients in Portland, and we started cooking on Saturday afternoon. We reheated the food and prepared the fishball and Hong Kong style egg waffles on Sunday morning. You wouldn’t believe it! The Pugh kitchen was populated by 4 different cultural groups on Sunday morning. Anyways, we still manage to present pork (chasiu), hong kong style waffles, and fishball to the students and faculty members.

Chinese Hotpot!International Food Festival

As you can see from the photo, Foss Dining Hall was super crowded. Great food were gone in a second. The Hong Kong style pork were gone in 30 minutes and our fishballs were very popular as well. The outlet near our table was not working, so we can’t make any waffles in the beginning. We started serving people at around 1:30pm.


Onigiri (おにぎり)

Since I was serving the students and faculty members for the whole time, I didn’t have chance to try other groups’ food. I only tried the Japanese’s Onigiri. They are right next to us so I can grab one haha!!! It is extremely delicious and I wish I could have one more!

When I was making the egg waffles in Pugh Kitchen, Dalia, a student from Jordan, was baking. I was watching her for the entire process but I didn’t even have a chance to try her food :(

The International Food Festival was so successful, and it really makes me proud of my identity as a Hongkonger/Hongkongese. I am definitely gonna join next year! <3

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Nice break: Millet House

Weekends are never boring. Weekends are nice breaks. Weekends motivate me to work more during the school days.

This week, I joined the Asian Students Association Retreat. We went to Millet House, which is around 10 minutes walk away from the main campus. As you can see from the picture, it is not a huge one, but definitely it is a place where we can hangout, chill, and meet new people.


Though the school said that the international student:domestic student ratio is high here, as a current international student here in Colby, I can tell you that there isn’t a big population of international students. However, also because of that, we are very close to each other, and we are also very proud of being an international student here. We discussed the history of Asian Student Association, Racism, stereotypes, community building, etc. Coming from a UWC, I find these topics very familiar. However, what makes me more involved in this discussion is the stronger sense of identity as an Asian in Colby. When I was in Li Po Chun UWC, I wasn’t the minority. There were around 40% of students from HK, and for international students (those who are not from HK), we have a nearly equal population of students coming from different continents. When I came to Colby, I became part of the minority. Facing more Caucasian, I feel like my identity as an Asian, as a HongKonger is so much stronger, especially when I see the cultural differences. Not only did I meet new friends in this retreat, but I also feel ‘home’ when I met people who share similar views and values. Amazing trip!

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An Oak Fellow Lecture

There are many cliché phrases about college and this is one of them: “I wish I had attended more lectures when I was still in school.” And like many cliché conversations about clichés, it happens to be true. While I heard this phrase from someone who’s son went somewhere long before I came to school, I unfortunately forgot it until the other night. My girlfriend’s professor had said it to her in class, and as I was not planning on going to a lecture, but instead to pub night, my girlfriend used the phrase convincingly enough that I realized she was right.

While I may have gone a bit begrudgingly, like many things in life, once I heard the talk, I was glad I went. The speaker was a lady from Uganda named Clare Byarugaba. Her speech, which follows from her line of work was Combating Homophobia: The Struggle Against Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law. During her talk, she discussed what it is like to be LGBT in Uganda and how homophobia has become an institutionalized aspect of Uganda itself. Her story was pretty incredible. Besides facing discrimination for being homosexual, she has faced scrutiny, violence and outright rejection.

However, she is now at Colby as the 2014 Oak Fellow for Human Rights, so the attendees of her talk were able to hear her story. Each year, Colby has one person who is doing unbelievable good in the world for human rights and this year, Clare was named the fellow. The Oak Fellow teaches, gives talks and does research during his or her time at Colby. And luckily, I got to see Clare talk about her story and the work she is doing. I’m happy I didn’t pass up the chance to see her speak.

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Home away from Home — Dinner at Cito’s

It is tough to start college, and being in a new country does not make it any better. However, Cito Cruz knows the best way to cure homesickness is through the stomach. Every Friday, Cruz and his wife, Sue, will make enough home-cooked food to feed fifty , and drives international students and their friends to his home for a big meal. Some students will be deep in conversation and enjoying chicken teriyaki and miso soup, while others are playing games and laughing out loud. “There’s something about the house gives it a very homely atmosphere” explained Cruz.

Students know their ways around Cruz’s house; they would pull out the foldable table and chairs one they arrived, Cruz’s three-legged dog would be greeted and stroked; she had a content expressions that say, “Welcome back, old friends.” “Ladies first!” Cruz would shout when the food is ready, and students would hurry and grab the plates and folk and eagerly wait in line.

Cruz, who have been hosting these dinners around the world for more than thirty years, knows how tough it being an international student can be. “I was a foreign student myself long ago; nothing compares to [the crave of] food, hot sauce and rice.” Cruz was also in a host family, like many of Colby’s international students. His host family once drove 150 miles to take care of Cruz, who literally got sick from missing home; back then, a letter took at least two weeks to reach his family, and making a phone call was expensive. Cruz’s host family gave him the master bedroom and slept in the basement for a week. He loved his host family, and decided to share the same kindness with Colby’s international students. He became a host family when his family moved to Maine because of his wife’s career, and also because of his intentions to write and publishes books. He brought a house by a lake; one of his main considerations when he brought the house was that it needed to be big enough to accommodate the students he would invite.

Being a faithful Christian, Cruz see his actions as his devotion to God, which prompt him to love his neighbors as his own; also, with his children all off to college, cooking for the student is just like cooking for his children  once again.

“There’s something about food that bonds people together,” said Cruz. In Cruz’s house, you can see international students and American students working together to win a game of Pictionary. “For the international students, it [international dinner] makes them easier to simulate into the American culture; for the American students, it raises their awareness of other cultures,” said Cruz.

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I didn’t choose the co-op life, the co-op life chose me

I live in the Marylow co-op, a happy little island in the ocean of, well,  other happy islands (?). This analogy is really falling apart.

Marylow is a Colby dorm that is a little removed from the buzz of the academic buildings, but still close to important places such as Dana (f00d), Foss (food), the Marylow coffee house(food and chill and performances), Runnals (performances), and Cotter Union (food and chill; occasional entertainment). In the big happy family of Marylow, there is a small wing where students like me live the to-op lifestyle.

Co-op is the option that we do not want to meal plans offered by Colby (3 meals a day in the dinning halls), and instead opt to take the 2000 cash and cook for ourselves. Of course, if you are paying tuition that is more than 2000 dollars, then the school just deduct the total tuition that you need to pay. I am in co-op mostly because I never go for the three meals in the dining halls, and it is just a lot cheaper to cook for myself. Some people do it due to dietary restrictions. As a foodie who grew up in Hong Kong, I will eat anything delicious. Once I had turtle soup, and I eat snakes every winter back at home. So, the dietary thing  is clearly not applicable to me.

I really enjoy the co-op, mostly because of the community. The kitchen can be a social hub, and you definitely know everyone who lives around you; you will be bumping into each other constantly. There are many international students living there, so it is pretty cool to know what people in different cultures eat. Food is the glue to relationships, and there is nothing more beautiful than sharing a meal with friends, or making friends by sharing meals. There is just something about making food together that bonds people; it has the same effect of going to a battle together and less death and blood and gore. I mean, the last part probably depends on what you are cooking.

Of course there are also downsides. The kitchen is not the cleanest place you will find on Earth, and much of the appliances are fairly dated (wink wink, Colby, wink wink). The students in the co-op do a very good job in cleaning up the place, but there are instances where a pot with congealed mystery goo is left sitting in the counter for weeks before someone has the courage to clean it. There is also this beautiful tradition of passing utensils and appliances from generation of Colby students to the next. Whenever you visit co-op and pick up a fork, remember that it embodies many good times of ghosts of Colby past; it puts a smile to my face.

Here are some pictures of my friends Jasmine and me cooking. We had a jolly good time.

Skillfully cutting up kale.

Jasmine taking a picture with kale.

Attempting to take a selfie with Jasmine and kale. If you haven’t noticed, we really like kale.

Steamed egg with shrimp and chousum (it’s a vegetable that Chinese eat more often than Americans), and rice.


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My Walking Diaries







Wow! I am in Denmark! Can you believe it? No? Me neither! I am so excited I could scream! You know what I am already shouting in my head! AHHHHH!


So, I hope this gives you an idea about how ecstatic I am.

I love walking. I have always loved walking. Everywhere I went, I walk. Sometimes I go with a map; sometimes I just let my feet wander. There’s a certain charm about taking a stroll that no bus tour or ferry ride can replace; except maybe a trademark Copenhagen bike ride around the city. I chose walking since I aspire not to harm any innocent pedestrian with my truly “superior” cruising skills.



The first day in Copenhagen, I got hopelessly, wonderfully lost. I didn’t just string the words together because they sound cool. I really was hopelessly lost, I was trying to find the train station, and after walking for 45 minutes, I realized that I was walking in a circle, and back to my original spot; it really was wonderful, because the only way to know a city’s beauty is to stroll her secret alleys, her cobblestone roads, her little coffee shops. It’s almost like an awkward first date. I fell in love after hearing about Copenhagen from my advisor. In a pathetic attempt to understand her better, I turned to the Internet and friends, but nothing prepared me for the real thing. I was charmed and mesmerized, my eyes filled with her lights and stars. I made a fool out of myself by turning into all the wrong streets and corners, making shy eye contacts and timid conversations with strangers, but the fear and worries were soft and clouded by a warm, fuzzy feeling. It was magical.


famous postcard view.


Rundetårn, the famous Round Tower, which is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. It is special that it is attached to a church, showing the combination of science and faith in the Renaissance period.


Apparently danishes are not called danishes in Denmark; it is called wienerbrød. By the way, this is not a danish but a cinnamon roll. Danishes here were amazing though.


The Thai food here is AMAZING. Good ol’ comfort food for me.


The Thai royal family with the Denmark royal family.

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beautiful fountains.


Scientology; I wonder how it is received in Europe?


Okay, I still can’t get over how pretty these colorful houses are; they are like those doll houses in storybooks! I wish I am a giant so that I can play with them!

The second time I roamed around, the city was even more beautiful, and this time we knew each other a little better. Just like any beautiful person, Copenhagen captivated you with even the smallest things; there were surprises everywhere. In the middle of the street, amidst busy Danes striding by, a musician played the violin. A man, carrying his guitar, hesitated and stopped, drunk in the swirling melody; he shook the musician’s hands after the performance and they shared a lovely conversation. I may not speak Danish, but that excited look on both men’s faces, as if they had found a long lost friend, spoke louder than any text that told me Danes are stereotypically cold.

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With music as their matchmaker, they turn from strangers to friends.

Another walk along the street during the day, a young guy approached and started a conversation …  in Chinese. I was so shocked that for a moment, I forgot that I spoke Chinese too; I just kind of stare back at him as he asked me questions with a keen smile. We talked and talked and we part ways. He somehow made me felt so very at home.

One time, I timidly asked a stern old lady for directions, prepared to be ignored; she immediately broke into a smile, lightening up her face like a ray of sunshine on a gray day. I couldn’t stop smiling myself.


My heart is blooming. (Okay I am a hopeless romantic.)

It is very easy to feel like the outsider when studying abroad. You look different, you act different, and you talk different. A lot of times we just feel like sticking to the people we know and stay in our cozy little bubble. My advice is to think of the new place as someone you always wanted to get to know (I mean, if you are studying there you obviously are at least a little interested in her). For me that’s Amy Poehler. Get to know her work, read books about her, and talk to other people who have met her. Yes, it would be scary to approach her, but just imagine how great it would be to finally interact with her and bask in her endless awesomeness. I am screaming internally as I think about that; get psyched!

Don’t despair if you are not as outgoing as others, or as social as others; everyone has their own way to adjust to new surroundings, so just be yourself, and find people who like you as you are. Take your time to adjust, and then just walk out the doors and get lost!  (well, bring your GPS smart phone thingy. Or a map. Or a local phrase book with the sentences, “Where am I?” “How do I get back home.” Write down the address of where you are staying. Just… don’t turn off your brain.) Immerse yourself, take some risks, be safe but not too safe; life is short.

Yesterday when I was walking around, it suddenly dawned on me that I recognize that hot dog stand near my dorm. I can see, in my mind, Copenhagen and all her secret alleys, her cobblestone streets, her little coffee shops.

And that was the moment I felt my connection to the city. That was the moment Copenhagen starts becoming home.

P.S.: If you want a postcard, send me an email with your name and address and I will send my love and kisses from Copenhagen. If you are up to it, I can do a postcard chain, where I will send someone else’s name and address and you send them a postcard too. What do you think?


Pretty, pretty please? My email is

P.P.S.: Next time on Josephine’s blog: what the hell am I doing in Denmark except getting lost? Stay tuned.

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So my posters are up

You’d join my club, right?

Not exactly a graphic designer, but I’m trying to get into the ad copy world and this is all I have to work with right now. They’re funny, right? Tried to hit some heartstrings too but really I just needed to move this club business along.

The first meeting is on Wednesday night, so my co-president and I need to think up a script of things we want to go over. We’re also planning our first observation night to be next Tuesday. THIS IS HAPPENING GUYS aren’t you so excited?

I’m going to New York later this week to see a The Weeknd who’s playing one of 3 sold out shows. It’s so hard to get down there though, I’m going to have to take a bus to Portland and then fly to New York. Then on Saturday, when I have to come back up, it’s going to be roughly 10 hours on a bus. Yikes.

Halloween is coming up, so I hope ya’ll have your costumes ready. I think I’m going to be part of the Human Centipede – pics forthcoming. Also, if you check Her Campus Colby, I was totally campus celebrity last week. Famous ya’ll

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Campus Forum

You may have heard, but there has recently been an announcement that Colby would be working toward a tobacco-free campus within the coming year. In protest, I decided to attend the Campus Forum last night – something I had not done at Colby before.

As to be expected there was a pretty big turn out – the likely candidate was the abrupt announcement of the tobacco ban. While those numbers were strong, there were a lot of other issues that students expressed concerned about towards faculty, namely race relations on campus and resources for those with learning differences.

I wouldn’t go as far to say we have race issues on campus, but there are issues regarding race – if that makes sense. Speaking strictly in terms of numbers, students of color aren’t well represented in the student body. My guess is party because of Colby’s location and partly because it is somewhat of a self-perpetuate circumstance: not a lot of SOC attend here, so not a lot apply, so not a lot attend, and so on. There is the Posse program that brings minority students from NYC to Colby on full scholarship, but that is limited to just a handful of students per class. The consensus: the college needs to and is willing to do more. Not only to recruit more students of color, but to make those that are attending feel comfortable.

The issue regarding students with learning differences is simple: we currently do not have comparable resources with many of our peer institutions in terms of facilities to accommodate these students. The students are aware of it and now the faculty is aware of it, so I trust improvements will be made.

Finally, the smoking ban. I don’t want to get to deep into this as I’ve already posted messages on Colby’s Civil Discourse, which is an email thread that the school shares, but Bro Adams (our President) cited Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York as inspiration for this ban (as a law was recently passed that smoking was no longer allowed in public parks.) I assume President Adams didn’t speak to Bloomberg directly, as Bloomberg probably would have mentioned how difficult and impractical it is to enforce such a law.

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