Sumaiyah Tasneem Author

Makan Makan 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, News, Student Life

All of us, as humans, have certain things about ourselves that differentiate us from others. However, there’s one thing among the countless number that we universally love: food! It’s one of the best ways to celebrate and begin sharing cultures.

I was fortunate enough to experience this at the Makan Makan event held in UTS and organised by MASSA (Malaysian and Singaporean Student Association) of UTS. The name of the event, (Makan Makan) translates to “eat”. Which was basically what the event was. It was a huge crowd of students being spoiled rotten with amazing Malaysian and Singaporean food. It was great to be able to spend time with such a fun and loving community.

front space 2

This event was organised and executed by MASSA but members from other universities were present to provide the organisers with moral support. At roughly around 6:30 pm people had started to line up for registration. The crowd had gotten massive; the line only kept extending and it was the longest when people lined up for food.

food by itselfbeautiful piano piece

People began to settle down when it was time for performances which made the night even better. They included entertaining musical performances, musical bands, piano solos and even the demonstration of Silat, which is a Malaysian martial arts style, as well as mini trivia games in between.

badass ladies

smile while gettin food

The Makan Makan event has been running successfully for an incredible 21 years, and the number of students attending increase each time. The main aim was to get students together, celebrate unity, culture and promote diversity.

“The best way to share a culture is through food.” Said Wong Dao Min, the artistic director of MASSA. “Malaysian food has got that spice and texture and I love to share that experience with people and promote diversity. That’s what the event is all about.” Furthermore, he said that the best way to appreciate a culture is when you’re with friends and a community in general to share it with. Being relatively new to his position, he is determined to continue the good work, strengthen bonds and shine the right kind of light on the Malaysian and Singaporean culture.


smile yo

The event did exactly that. I had never tried the Malaysian and Singaporean food, so I had no clue what was being put on my plate. However, every single thing tasted delightful and I started to wonder why I hadn’t tried this cuisine earlier. Overall the event was insightful and enjoyable and everyone had a great time.



I would like to thank everyone at the event which made me feel welcome in their community and for introducing me to the Malaysian and Singaporean culture (and food). The Cultural Director also has a little message for all you readers: “If you are interested in the Malaysian and Singaporean Culture, then come over and join us! We’re always ready for you!”

ladies smile yo


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Notre Dame gets creative for Art Week

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Having low moments and experiencing negative feelings is not uncommon. But it’s the expression of those thoughts that will always help. This is what the University of Notre Dame aims to do this week.


From Monday (2/5/16) to Friday (6/5/16), the university is holding Art Week to raise awareness of student mental well-being through creativity. Notre Dame students will showcase their talents in acts that they have worked to bring to you. They range from performance arts to stand-up comedy. During this colourful week you will also get a chance to:

  • Chat to counselors to learn more about mental health and other issues
  • Eat at the BBQ which will be running every day (all proceeds go to charities who are also involved in promoting mental health)
  • Watch student-produced films at Notre Dame’s cinema screening
  • Wander Artist’s Alley and examine student artworks, talk to the artists themselves and create your own masterpiece
  • Participate in short workshops that will introduce you to the basic concepts of art and other fields of creativity
  • Get up close and personal with Notre Dame’s animal farm on Thursday (5/5/16)
  • See what more the university has to offer by saying hello to other clubs and societies at various tents

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Each day will begin at 11:30 am and end at 2:00 pm (daily Mass will occur from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm). This is a great event if you are interested in different forms of creativity, want to perform and support others performing or just want to have an enjoyable time (or everything above!)

Every year most universities dedicate a week to bring together their students. What unites us is our passion, inspirations and hard work. So come down if you’re free and join the University of Notre Dame students in raising awareness of mental health concerns. See you there and have a great week!


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10 things that happen when you eat only halal food

Written by Editor’s Picks, Health

Halal food is becoming increasingly common in Australia due to multiculturalism. However, it isn’t readily available in every single place you set your eyes on. And when that is the deal, it’s quite challenging for us Muslims in many aspects. So come and look at the world through our eyes as we explain to you 10 things that most likely happen in daily life if you eat only halal food.

A working definition of Halal: Food prepared according to rules prescribed by Muslim Law. Alcohol and pork are forbidden as well.

1)You cant go clubbing. Clubbing means alcohol and alcohol is a no no.


2) You always have to make sure there are vegetarian options when you go outside with friends: sometimes a trip to mcdonalds results in your friends gulping down meat burgers while you have a lil pack of chips.

vege awks

3) The halal symbol on restaurant menus is the absolute definition of happiness. Especially when it’s in places you wouldn’t expect.

tears of joy

4) You cannot have those sophisticated dishes with wine in them. Wine is also a no no.


5) When you go to an event that has free catering  your favorite dishes. But…they aren’t Halal. So while internally crying, you have the vegetable pizza instead of the chicken supreme.


6) Halal convenience foods are fairly uncommon, so you have to make your meat dishes from scratch (fresh from the butcher’s). We also don’t have the luxury of buying 2-dollar-ready-made-chicken-alfredo-pasta-that-only-needs-microwaving from woollies.


7) Halal food can be pretty expensive so really contemplate whether you value protein in your diet or your already thinning wallet. (Always pick protein in your diet)


8) Sometimes going out with friends means you don’t have much choice apart from vegetables, and vegetables aren’t enough for your growing, omnivorous body.

kitty kat and vegetables

9) You want dessert, but you have no idea if there’s alcohol in it. And you silently watch and drool over your friends who are enjoying themselves with their yummy, delectable, decadent desserts.


10) When you’re ready to eat your candy and someone hits you with “There’s gelatin in it” and you just

Wit all that being said, here is a list of restaurants around the CBD area where you can enjoy yourself a bit of halal food.

  1. Its Time for Thai
  2. Mamak
  3. PappaRich
  4. Jaipur Sweets
  5. Kungfu Ramen
  6. Ipoh on York
  7. Neptune Palace Restaurant
  8. Malay Village
  9. Malacca Strait


Sure, we not be able to enjoy the restaurants as much as our non Muslim friends friends, but at the end of the day, if the company is good, we enjoy ourselves either-way. And it wouldn’t hurt to stop by a halal food restaurant on the way back either 😉

By Sumaiyah Tasneem and Nurafiqah Yosuf.

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What is Sydney Malaysian Games 2016?

The Sydney Malaysian Games (indoor segment) this year which took place on Saturday 16th of April from 9 am to 3 pm. Many Malaysian societies from various universities were in attendance such as USYD, UTS, UNSW, Macquarie and Wollongong. I have never been to sports event before so, to be completely honest, I was nervous but excited to see what was in store.


When I arrived at 7:30 am, participants were already registering and warming up for Badminton and Volleyball which started at 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. From 1:30 pm onward until 3 pm, the Basketball and Captain Ball games began. There was an intense competitiveness yet a strong sense of sportsmanship between the players. Apart from enjoying the event, I got a chance to talk to the presidents of the groups who told me all about how the event was organised and what they hoped to achieve through the efforts of their teams.

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In order to co-ordinate such events, the presidents collaborate with each other and their sponsor, the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MSA CA). It is a group effort made by Malaysian students for Malaysian students. The annual event has already been conducted for approximately 7 years. In the past years, more and more students (from both Malaysian and other backgrounds) have joined leading to bigger teams and bigger groups. It evidently shows that the student community is strengthening through such events.

I also wanted to find out how the experience went for the participants and was able to interview Nurafiqah Yusof. She had participated in Badminton earlier in the day and this is what she had to say:

Have you played in events like these before?

“This was my first time attending such an event. Last year I hadn’t been involved in anything to do with Malaysian students. At the beginning of the event, i was sort of pumped up and nervous at the same time because I would be playing against or with people I had never met before. Basically playing with strangers. But as the event progressed, I felt much more comfortable with my teammates and it was refreshing to play with “strangers”.


Nurafiqah Yusof (centre)

I had only ever played the sports in high school on the school teams but it was different this time around because I was representing a Malaysian student organisation. Everybody at the event were friendly off the court but on the court, they meant business. It was great to see such talent in the respective sports though it did make me nervous because I had to play against them.


What did you think about the event made for Malaysians by Malaysians? 

I felt proud that they were Malaysians and they were representing our country so well in terms of their sporting abilities and their intelligence. It was a harmonious event with Malaysians from different schools competing against each other. It was the first time I had seen a large congregation of Malaysian students and it definitely made me feel like I was home. The best thing about the event was probably the fact that it brought together all these Malaysians from different unis and studying different things under one roof and “uniting” to represent their institutions.


What was the best thing about the day? 

The best thing about the day was that I got to play badminton. Though it wasn’t my best performance, I still enjoyed every moment of it because I was with my friends and it helped me release some stress. Because this is an annual thing (I believe), I would most certainly attend if again next year if I have the time and I can participate. If not, I will just settle for spectating and/or volunteering.” 

DSC_0953 (1)Sydney Malaysian Games

Clearly, I’m not the only one who enjoyed the event. Even though I was anxious at the start, I realized that I didn’t need to be. The environment was casual and comfortable, everyone was willing to get to know me and involve me in the fun. Cheering along with the audience and simply being part of the lively spirit made sport even more enjoyable than I had expected.

Thank you to the presidents of the group and everyone who had given me a warm welcome – audience and participants alike. If you are a fan of sport and would love to compete and be a part of a community, then do consider joining this event next year through your university group!

Photo credits: Sumaiyah Tasneem

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Chicken dumpling snack: Steamed Momos

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

This dish I absolutely love. Why? Well because it looks great, it’s convenient to eat and tastes oh so good. This dish isn’t hard to make. Just a little bit of practice and we all can be professional cooks of Momos ! However, they do take some time to make, so ensure that you have a good couple of hours to complete this dish. These snacks are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re also a great picnic snack, party food and really convenient for people who work a lot and have only short breaks in their workplaces.


A little history on Momos:
They originated from Nepal and Tibet but are a very common fast food in Nepal, North and Northeastern India, Sikkim and Darjeeling. You could say Momos are like dumplings with a Nepalese twist.

So without further ado, I shall tell you how you can make these little packages of delight.

For the skin of the Momos:


4 cups flour

1 to 1 1/2 cup of water (approximate)


  1. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a pit in its center like a well.
  2. Add water slowly and gradually and mix it until the dough can hold itself together.
  3. Knead the dough until it is firm and supple (kneading it for a couple of minutes gives better results)
  4. Flatten the dough completely into a thin yet firm layer.
  5. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out equal shaped wrappers.

For the filling of the Momos:


1 lb minced chicken

I chopped small onion

2 stalk spring onion

small pinch of cilantro

1 tablespoon oil

2 table spoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

salt and pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl using your hands and add teaspoons of water to keep the mixture wet.
  2. Lay the wrappers flat and moisten the edges with water.
  3. Place the filling onto the centre of the wrapper so that there is a 1 or 2 cm border
  4. Pinch the edges of the wrapper together to make a fringe
  5. Put the momos into steamer and wait until they seem dry. If they feel sticky, they need a little more steaming.

Keep practicing and trying and one day you’ll get the perfect plate of Momos.

Good luck!

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4 Faces Who Are Breaking Beauty Barriers

Written by News, Student Life

In today’s day and age, beauty is a big deal. Its become a big issue in society that people do not consider someone for their personal qualities but more for their physical aspects. Not only that, but many products, businesses, movies and media outlets work to produce items that promote beauty. Despite this being obvious, beauty is more than looks. We are changing! Nowadays society is slowly trying to look past the boundaries of what is traditionally classified as beautiful.

Here are four people who challenge beauty standards and do a great job at it!

1)Madeline Stuart

Madeline Stuart is an 19 year old girl from Brisbane, Australia. She is an aspiring model with down syndrome. She has broken a perception of beauty as she herself, has proven to us that she isn’t any less worthy of being a model simply because she doesn’t fit the ‘normal’ criteria for models.

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“People with down syndrome can do anything, they just do it at their own pace. Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations.”

She also wants people reconsider down syndrome as being a disadvantage. An example is when people apologize to her mother after learning about her Down syndrome. Her mother calls it a “very naive statement.” and goes on to say that if people considered her daughter for more than her external appearance but also her inner beauty, they’d know how beautiful her daughter is. She says that there would be more Down Syndrome models people had that type of thought processing. Madeline has proven to the world that down syndrome is beautiful. She has embraced her individuality and wishes everyone else to do the same. “We want everyone to be loved, after all that is all that truly matters.”

maddy re 3

2)Tess Holliday 

All sizes must be respected! But it is still unfortunately considered undesirable to see plus size girls in the model industry. Tess Holliday is a size 22 model who wishes that plus size models be portrayed as beautiful just like other sizes. Not to show that plus size is better than other sizes but in an effort to make people people respect everybody regardless of size.

tess re

Currently she is one of the most successful plus size models. She made a huge internet sensation called #Effyourbeautystandards where people posted pictures of their “imperfections” with the hashtag Effyourbeautystandards. This caused a huge promotion of self acceptance and body positivity.

tess re 2


“Being beautiful and feeling beautiful shouldn’t have a label or a number or a certain look to it. It should be who you want to be and to embrace who you already are.”

3)Harnaam Kaur 

Harnaam Kaur has polycistic ovary syndrome which lead her body to grow excessive facial hair. She tried various methods to get rid of the hair. As a student she was subjected to bullying and even had anonymous death threats which said things like wanting to burn her and throw bricks at her. Due to the constant tormenting, she began self harming and contemplating suicide.

kaur re 2


When Harnaam was 16, she hit rock bottom, wanting to end it once and for all. But before she could do the deed she had an epiphany.

“As I sat there, I started to counsel myself. I told myself: “The energy you’re putting into ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.” This thought empowered her to move on with life.  She now embraces her beard as a part of her identity and confidence.

harnaam re

“This is me, This is who I am. Its my oneness, my wholeness, I’m different and I’ve learned to accept it fully.”

4)Zach Miko

Zach Miko is the first plus size male model to sign up with a major agency. While many people have begun to accept plus size models as a profession, a plus size male model was never mentioned during the female plus size model era. Miko says that fashion needs to rethink its attitude to size.

miko re 2

As of now, the whole idea of plus size male models is still new and introductory. But, with Miko being a new trend and a start to a potentially new phenomenon of body acceptance, the future may hold more possibility of accepting plus size men into the fashion industry. Of course, Miko himself admits that he isn’t exactly “big” either but he wanted to model because “men want to see normal looking guys modelling their clothes.” As opposed to the original trend of really muscular men.

zach re 2


In the end, we all should know that beauty isn’t appearance. No one can be accounted for by the way they look. They must be valued for their kindness, their patience, their love, their generosity, their intelligence, their humor – as a person and not an object.

Everyone is gifted and beautiful.



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5 Study Hacks after the Easter Break

Written by Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Guess what? It’s week 5 of university. Mid-sem break is on the horizon for the most of us. But assignments are looming as well. Soon enough the burdensome work won’t be on our shoulders, but crash land on our head.

As humans, we cannot help but do exactly the opposite of what’s good for us. And that includes finishing work on time to reduce stress and anxiety. No matter how bad our study habits get, we never learn our lesson and end up pulling that all-nighter either way. And many of us do not realize the small things we do to ruin our study time or things we could do to improve it.

So here are various tips that tackle the the root of this issue.

1)Mental Preparation

This tip may seem to some, a bit of an over exaggeration, but keep in mind that this tip is for people who struggle with procrastination. This is how it works: As soon as you wake up, read through what you have allocated yourself to do. This can be during breakfast, train rides, before getting out of bed, or any time before starting the day. It can be a notification for an assessment, a to-do list, something marked on your calendar or questions to answer. Then throughout the day, keep giving yourself mental reminders about your tasks, set alarms on your phone, literally anything that will force you to remember it.

Say it out loud to yourself if you have to (well…not in public because that might be somewhat embarrassing). When you finally get home and actually sit down to complete your work, the reminders you gave yourself all day will help you stay focused, motivated and potentially more organised.

Now when you get home and settle down to get your work done, distractions would be the last thing you’d want to deal with. That takes us to topic number 2:

2)Dealing with distractions

Distractions are horrible. Let’s take your phone as an example. The electronic box of miracles that has Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Youtube.Its almost inevitable that you check it. So when you work you need to keep them out of sight, right? Not quite.


Some people need to completely cut out distractions, but it works differently for others. An opposite effect is created where their curiosity bites at them, urging them to look back at their phones. This is how it works: Every 20-25 minutes of solid work, give yourself a break to scroll through your phone for a few minutes. After all, when we get short term rewards, even if its 5 minutes of time with our phone, we’ll work rather than have long term rewards.

Along with this, there is a more definite technique to follow which is discussed in our next point:

3)The Pomodoro technique

Pomodoro means tomato is Italian. Also, if you use a tomato timer, it has a magical effect.

Pomodoro means tomato is Italian. Also, if you use a tomato timer, it has a magical effect.

The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique which requires the breakdown of time into intervals of 25 minutes with 5 – 10 minute breaks in between. This technique is effective as it gives you a good amount of time to focus on your work and a short break to rejuvenate you! But if you get too distracted by your phone, Youtube videos, music videos or anything that involves the excessive movement of pixels on your screen, you and electronics probably don’t go too well together (especially on short breaks). Try getting up to stretch, walk around or grab a snack from the fridge.

4)Best place to study: Home or Library?

This has been a universal debate for a while now. Which place is the best to study? Home or Library? (That rhymed)

The answer is that it depends on you as a person. First, lets look at both the environments and make sure we know exactly what they both hold.

A home environment means you have pretty much everything readily available. To name a few, you have unlimited coffee, food, pajamas and a bed for napping. On the other hand, i the library, its a little less confortable. The environment is more disciplined as you are there for one reason and one reason only: to study.

Some people work best at home because they find it mentally and physically comforting to work in the comfort of their own home. As for the other majority of people, they find it hard to concentrate. This is because the comfort of their house is in fact, a distraction. For eg, when we sit on bed to work but it just turns into a progression of sitting up, to laying down and eventually falling asleep.

Some people love working in the library. To those people, good job! Other people prefer to work at home where there’s coffee readily available, food in the fridge, pajamas and a bed for quick naps. Honestly, you cannot work in an environment that provides excessive comfort. First off, with the food you have, you’re at a risk of overeating while studying if you tend to comfort eat. As for your bed, you’ll just be tempted to sit there and work, because “comfort” means a progression from sitting up to laying down to instantly falling asleep.

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5)Group work

So it’s a Saturday afternoon and you want to work with a friend. So you call a friend. Let’s name him Bob. Bob is great! You both get along real well. He’s funny, he’s goofy, he sets the positive vibe, you two get along like Lee and Carter.

RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, 1998, (c)New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

That was a great movie though

The day finishes before you know it. You both say your goodbyes and leave. Later on when you look at your books, an impending feeling of doom stirs in your gut. You finished no work.

What does this story tell us? No. Not that you shouldn’t work with friends at all. It just means you need to work with someone who motivates you to work too. I mean Bob was great, but he was also distracting. If you know you won’t be studying with your partner-in-studying, then you might want to reconsider. This doesn’t mean you need to break it off with your friend! It just means you need to prioritize work over them sometimes.


These tips aren’t genies hidden in lamps, they don’t magically make your dreams come true! Life isn’t a Disney movie. If these tips don’t work, do what works for you! If it’s your thing, then it’s your thing. The only person who can make you work, is you! Don’t let anything stop you from working hard! Dominate and conquer like you must!

I know that it’s easier said than done. But trust me, there will always be times when you feel like a cat that can’t catch the red dot.



But stay strong and trust yourself with this, you can do it!

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Reasons for going to the Royal Easter Show 2016

Written by Entertainment

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday? Four days in a row? That’s a very long weekend! The long weekend is the Easter break (the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and his promise of eternal life). Apart from the excitement of eating chocolate eggs and decorating eggs, there one more thing you can look forward to – the Royal Easter show.

It was first held in 1823 and is one of the biggest annual events held in Australia. It is an event with various programs that are fun for the whole family and it celebrates Australian culture. The RAS (Royal Agricultural Society of NSW) invests around $7 million AUD each year to design and create activities for the show that promote the strengthening of communities. It’s a great way to enjoy your Easter break!


But before drowning ourselves in this fun and exciting event, it’s a good idea to step back and make sure we know what to be aware of if we decide to attend this event of beauty and aesthetics.

Transportation Information

To the Easter show!

To the Easter show!

  • Time and venue- The royal Easter show is held in 1 Showground Rd, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127 from Thursday, 17 March to Wednesday, 30 March, 2016.
  • Accommodation- The show takes place in Sydney Showground which is within Sydney Olympic park. Trains and buses are provided for accommodation and there are many extra services in order to ensure fast transport. For everything you need to know about getting to and from the Show, visit or call 131 500.
  • Parking for individual transport- Since attendance for the show is in high demand, it’s most likely that the capacity for parking would reach its limit, especially during weekends. It is recommended you pre-book your parking ticket online at (please note that pre-book parking is available until 23:59 the night before your visit). The cost for single entry parking is $25, regardless of how long you decide to stay.


giphy (7)Coca Cola Carnival

This carnival is filled with thrilling, adrenaline inducing experiences for the adventurous ones! Some of the rides include:

  • 9D cinema
  • Alien Abduction
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Dodgem cars,
  • Extreme
  • Haunted hotel
  • Mayhem Manor

And many more!


Snacks and meals

A great day is never complete without its share of happiness inducing food! There are many places in the venue that can cater to your taste buds! To name a few, they have World Bazaar, Beyond India, De Costi Oyster & Tyrrell’s Wine Bar, Yalla Yalla!, Canadian club bar, Arena View Bistro and bar and Charleys restaurant.

Food equates happiness

Food equates happiness

Some of the snacks include Nutella shot donuts, strawberry jam and scone flavored gelato, cheese burger pie and red velvet deep fried Oreo. Just hearing them makes you want to rush there to give it a try.

Animal shows

Who doesn’t love animals? This part of the venue is just a little something to give you your daily dose of cute. There are many animal competitions held. Some of them are dogs, cats, puppies, bunnies and even alpaca competitions!


If you wish to pet and cuddle these adorable creatures then come along to the farmyard nursery, where all the animals within the 800 yard area can be petted. The sheep and fleece pavilion allow you to play with sheep and adorable little lambs as well.522404_660349050642738_1765279044_n

There is much more than whats mentioned above to the Easter show. There is endless entertainment, a place filled with fun and laughter and an overall great experience. Be sure to attend the Easter show and celebrate with everyone as one harmonious community!

May your Easter be filled with lots and lots of chocolates, fun and fabulous moments. Enjoy your break!

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