September, 2016 Archive

Time to break the taboo – World Mental Health Day

Written by News, Student Life

                                                              “Mental Health begins with me”

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Mental illness is a real thing. It exists. Unfortunately, most people pretend like it doesn’t. A stigma has been created by society surrounding this topic. But what’s most bizarre is that society suffers such illnesses yet the non-acceptance of it comes from society itself. The world seemingly creates its own problems and taboos.

#nofilter

But why do taboos exist? Let’s break this down:

When someone has a mental illness, it means there is a problem in the brain or psychological system. With that being said, everyone assumes that if something is wrong with your brain, it means you are not in control of yourself and that is viewed as a lack of discipline or lack of control of self, which is ultimately viewed as a weakness.

Our brain is an organ, just as our heart or liver is one. If something is wrong with any other organ of your body, you get it treated. The same goes for your brain. Mental illness is an issue with your health, NOT a part of your identity. It is something that requires assistance and there is no shame in reaching out for help.

With that being said, World Mental Health Day is of 10th of October, which focuses on education of mental health, tackling the stigma around it. This day encourages people to take a step looking after their own mental health and well being which they deserve.

You can do this by making a promise to yourself that breaks down the steps in taking care of yourself. You can post this post this promise on the promise wall, social media or just to yourself.

Not the only oneThis promise is yours and yours alone, and you’re doing this for yourself and no one else. These are small goals you set for your general mental wellness all in the way, you can reach out for help or try to improve yourself. Its the small steps that matter when walking towards the bigger picture which is your life. So set those goals, have faith in yourself, help yourself, love yourself and give yourself all that you deserve.

Feature image credit: http://www.sensoryoasisforkids.com.au/october-2015/world-mental-health-day/ 

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Food does not lie: Malaysia Festival 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment, Student Life

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Malaysians and various locals attended the annual Malaysia Festival at Tumbalong Park on September 4th this year. The Malaysia Festival is an annual cultural not-for-profit festival organized by Malaysian Student Committee of Sydney with the support of Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism Malaysia, and Education Malaysia. The organizing committee is made up of Malaysian students in universities all across Sydney and they affiliate with the Malaysian student associations in those universities. The Festival is a great way to connect with locals and educate them about the peninsula of Malaysia.

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Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page

It was a sunny day, merging into the beginning of spring. The park was filled with people, particularly in the food stalls. The Festival was larger this year but just as popular. The various stalls formed a U around the main stage with scores of people lining up, especially at the juice stands.

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The sugar cane thirst quencher

Some of the notable food stalls were Papparich and Mamak, both of which had never-ending visits by hungry Sydney-siders and Malaysians alike.

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Some of the delicious food sold at the stalls at Malaysia Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Besides food, there were some cultural stalls as well. The Ministry of Agriculture dedicated a booth for people to experience durian, the thorny and strong smelling fruit that’s become representative of Malaysia.

A cultural booth stood between food stalls. Inside, Malaysian student volunteers manned the booth with cultural games, cultural artefacts, traditional clothes, and traditional processions like a traditional Indian wedding.

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Harimau and Monyet, the Festival’s mascots wandered around the venue, taking photos with kids and adults alike. The atmosphere was jovial and carefree, with laughter and conversations buzzing all around.

Harimau posing with Malaysian students on the eve of the Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

All the while, there were various performances up on stage. There were performances by famous Malaysian artists, instrumental performances, cultural performances, and contests. Young children from the MAAN Malay school performed dikir barat, which is a traditional musical form popular in the state of Kelantan. Malaysian students from Sydney universities also performed the bamboo dance, which is traditional in Sabah.

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The MAAN Malay school performing a medley of famous dikir barat songs for the attentive crowd

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Malaysian students performing the bamboo dance, a traditional dance from Sabah

The notable and much-awaited performer was by Amy Search, a famous Malaysian rockstar. But before the legend, an equally amazing artist took the stage: Cassidy Anderson (a.k.a. CassidyBoleh). She’s an Australian singer who makes Malay covers of various songs. She first rose to fame through her Malay rendition of Let It Go by Idina Menzel. Cassidy was super popular with the crowd, with young and older men gifting her flowers (and one even gave her satay, now that’s #goals).

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The only way to profess your love is through food

Visitors didn’t some coming until the very end of the Festival. Every year, the reception has been positive and just as festive as the last year. MFest will be back next year, so don’t forget to check out their Facebook page or website to receive updates! Hope to see you next year to enjoy the delicacies that Malaysia offers.

If you would like to see the goings-on at MFest this year, check out this video montage by Cassidy. (You’ll also get to see her receive the satay mini-bouquet at 5:56.)

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4 Best Mooncake Flavours in Sydney

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment

What is your favourite type of mooncake?

Mooncakes are eaten during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival on the 15th August of Chinese Lunar calendar. Originally, this festival celebrated the moon. The moon is seen as a symbol for family unity and harmony as well as an abundance of harvest. Since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop.

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

There are various types of fillings based on the culture or the region’s tradition. In Australia, since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop or bakery. One of the most common places that have the most types of Chinese mooncakes is Breadtop or Market City. In Breadtop, besides the traditional flavors, there are a few more special fillings such as white lotus seed paste with triple yolks, lava custard, low sugar white lotus seed paste and macadamia nuts, mixed nuts with ham and so on.

Lava custard mooncake (Cre: Miss Tam Chiak)

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

Interestingly, new generations of mooncakes can have transformations in taste and dietary needs, since people are more conscious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, bakers created low-fat, low-sugar mooncakes with ingredients such as yogurt, jelly, and fat-free ice cream. They also offer a healthier choice of filling like green tea, ginger, fruits or veggies. According to some brands, one baked lotus seed paste mooncake with one egg yolk weighs about 180g, has 790 calories, and contains 45g of fat.

Jelly Mooncake (Cre: http://kay.vn)

Here are more types of mooncakes around the world:

1/Vietnamese Mooncakes

Mooncakes in Vietnam are widely known as ‘Banh Trung Thu’ with two common kinds: Baked sticky rice cake and plain sticky rice cake. Both are prepared from cooked glutinous rice. The mooncakes have a crust consisting of cooked glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. The filling consists of delicious ingredients like jam, mung beans, eggs, lotus seed and watermelon seed.

Banh Nuong (Baked Mooncake) (Cre: thegioiphunu.net)

Homemade Vietnamese mixed fruits and nuts mooncake (Cre: Savourydays.com)

Colorful Banh Deo (Colorful Sticky Rice Mooncake) Credit: http://kenh14.vn/

2/Green Tea Mooncakes

Mooncakes and tea are a traditional combination of Chinese food and together they create a new flavour. The green tea mooncakes are made by adding green tea powder to the other fillings and some lotus paste.

                         Mövenpick Green tea Mooncake and Tiramisu with Cheese Mooncake (Cre: Mövenpick)

3/Geppei (Japanese Mooncakes)

Mooncakes in Japan are known as Geppei. The red bean paste (Azuki) is the most popular filling, followed by chestnuts and beans. Unlike other mooncakes, Geppei does not make use of egg yolks as it is not preferred by many Japanese people.

Rabbit Wagashi Mooncakes (Cre: Little Miss Bento)

4/Ice Cream Mooncake

Sounds exciting, right? The ice cream mooncakes are usually square or round in shape. The crust is made from dark or white chocolate and the fillings can be an ice cream flavour of your choice. It also consists of egg yolk and is popular among youths.

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Mooncakes open yolk (Cre: Häagen-Dazs)

***Tip: Buying a box will be cheaper! Have a wonderful evening tasting mooncakes with friends or family with cups of hot tea!!!

What are your favourite flavours?

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De-stressing during stressful times: How and why its good for you.

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Do you have those days in which you are at your lowest moods? Sure you do. We all do. The workload and the stress are enough to drive us insane. However, we should not let it get to us. Because firstly, you are like a fire-breathing dragon whose on top of their game. However, once in a while, it is good to calm down and recharge your battery. You know so that you could breathe out fire better. So not metaphorically speaking, it is crucial to know when to give yourself a break and de-stress. De-stressing can help you rejuvenate and help you get right back into the plan. It is something you can do after stressful periods are over. e.g. after exams or in between breaks of stressful days, just don’t overdo it in short breaks, or you will get too relaxed to get back to work.

Small walk

Find a nice little place like a garden or a park and just pace back and forth or in circles. Anything that changes the view for you. It is annoying to remain crammed in the same place with study notes that hit your nerves. So do go out for a walk but keep it short or you will tire yourself and might take more time than necessary.

WALK

Visualizing

This one the fun one. Visualizing basically, is like day dreaming. Literally. Close your eyes and imagine yours on a beach, a fantasy land or a cute little date with your favourite celebrity. The point of this exercise is that it sets a positive mood and lifts up your spirits. Who would not feel above the clouds after having a coffee with Ryan Reynolds?

DAY DREAMIN

Listen to music

No this ones the fun one. It can be any music. Uplifting, upbeat or slow and relaxing. With music, you can either get your heart beating or calm yourself. Both whats are great to de-stress.

MUSIC

Jam to your favourite beats

This one is the most fun one. Period. Put on some of your favourite beats and dance to it like you it is the best clubbing of your life! At home….by yourself….with juice instead of drinks. Nothing to be ashamed of, we have all done it. Moreover, if you have not…..what, the hell do you do when your home alone?! It is the best feeling in the world, do it.

DANCE BOI

Have a snack(healthy snack)

I could tell you to have an avocado or plain fruits but ew who does that right? So instead mix them up to create weird and wacky meals. It makes a difference. Yes, it does. So my personal example would be to take lettuce, apples, corn and kidney beans (I am so healthy eh?) and mix them all together to make this weird salad. It tastes great, though, trust me. You can completely randomise and make your snacks. However, make sure they are something portable and easy to just much on or you might end up going on a master chef quest. (It happened to me, sadly enough)

HEALTHY EATING

Play with animals

If you have a pet, aside from being super lucky, you can have some time out for your furry friend. It is not an unknown fact that playing with animals decreases stress. So go over to the pet store take your dog for a walk, cuddle with your cat or talk to your parrot, bond with them and in the process help yourself too!

Please play with me?

Please play with me?

Warm shower

In a cold day, warm showers are the best. Even in hot days too actually. No one likes to have an ice cold feeling pulverising them. If you do, that is fine. You do you.

Exercise(ones that you enjoy)

Exercising means endorphin, and endorphin equals to a triumphal you! Then again if you do not want to work out just dance to your favourite music. Nothing is more happiness-inducing than letting yourself free and moving to a musical rhythm that makes you want to work those moves! Do the whip! Do the nae nae and dab so hard you get a headache(Don’t).

JOONIE 2

When exam periods or other testing times are over, you deserve this me-time. So take some time out for yourself to relax and calm down after such adrenaline inducing times.

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Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Written by Entertainment

The 2016 Paralympic Games is the 15th Summer Paralympic Games. It’s a major sporting event for athletes with disabilities and this year, the Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 7th of September to 18th of September. The opening ceremony will take place at the Maracanã Stadium.

The International Paralympic Committee has announced that it would include a team of refugee athletes under the Independent Paralympic Athletes and they will compete under the Paralympic flag. Similarly, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games also sported a team of 10 refugee athletes.

The refugee Olympic team 2016

  1. A small gathering of British World War II veterans initially started the Paralympics.
  2. Trischa Zorn of the United States is the most decorated Paralympian in history. She has competed in the blind swimming events and won a total of 55 medals, 41 of which are gold.
  3. Neroli Fairhall, a paraplegic archer from New Zealand, was the first paraplegic to compete and the first Paralympian to participate in the Olympic games back in the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A.
  4. The 2016 Paralympics is the first Summer Paralympics to be held during the host city’s wintertime
  5. This is also the first time a Latin American and South American city hosts the event.
  6. The 2016 games will also see the introduction of two new sports: canoeing and the paratriathlon.
  7. The official emblem of the 2016 Summer Paralympics incorporates a heart and the infinity, symbolizing a beating heart and the idea of an infinite amount of energy to overcome obstacles.

The 2016 Paralympic Games emblem. From left to right: Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro; Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 president; and Sergio Cabral, Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro launching the logo.

Though there have been various disparities in terms of funding and sponsorship between the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games, these shortcomings have little effect on the Games or athletes themselves. These athletes will continue to strive for the best and make their countries proud.

Celebrating diversity and equality.

Australia will send 177 of their best athletes to compete at the Games and we hope you’ll be tuning in to support.

The 2016 Australian Paralympic team

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Is Australia a land of opportunity for international students?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

An international education in Australia continuously attracts thousands and thousands of students every year from overseas, especially from Asian countries. Australia is one of the top 10 countries with a high standard of living and worth to live. Because of that, it is a land of hope and a land of opportunities for overseas students to explore themselves. There are several of international students, who have been successfully obtaining PR or citizenship and have already called Australia as their second home. However, the dark corners of international education are still being ignored.

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Some students are still living in cramped and crowded illegally shared houses, where there are more than 15 tenants in a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre. Transforming bathrooms or study rooms into a 150-180 dollar single room per week or sharing 150 each for four in a tiny and stuffed room is still happening, to lessen their costs when studying in large cities. So simply a bed, a toilet, a kitchen and a washing machine could be enough to live for the rest of the 3-to-4-year-degree course.

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Working underpaid sadly seems like a common fact for some international students, who lack confidence and lacking proficient speaking skills in English. They work completely hard in restaurants or fruit shops or farms just to save a penny to pay for expensive living lifestyle and also their institution fees. SO, HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF, HOW MUCH THEY GET PAID, WHEN DROPPING BY ANY DINE-IN RESTAURANTS?

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Cultural differences make it hard for international students could to adopt and get close to local friends. A simple, funny childhood cartoon or the name of the local footy club could be a brand new thing for an international student since these are not a part of their understanding. Local students living and studying within their neighbourhood tend to focus more on their career rather than making more friends. That is why sometimes international students just stay within their community to feel a small sense of belonging.

it gon be hard werk

A land of opportunity could be somehow a question without any articulate answers. When receiving an office number calling on your phone, the first question of “are you An Australian or NewZealand citizen? Or “do you have PR?” immediately disappoints all of the students, who have an HD qualification degree or loads of related industrial experience. What could these vulnerable students do to survive if these problems are unresolved, so they might end up with an unrelated career job and an underpaid position to survive?

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Well, by acknowledging these challenges and hardships, if you give up, you might be unable to find a diamond mine like others international students. In order to make the right decision in your life when studying in overseas, you must conduct research and have a clear goal and mind about the ups and downs when living independently in Australia. Trusting yourself, working hard and being confident are the keys to overcoming the hardships.

 

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