India and Kailash Satyarthi

In India 1 out of 5 Indians are poor. That makes 270 000 000 people. The poverty rates in India have caused the people many problems, like sending their children to work in factories, without really knowing what might happen to them. This is because many of the parents are illiterate. They don’t know that they are “selling” their kids to work in factories, they might have only been told they would be gone for a couple of months to half a year, and then they never return.

In the film “The Price of Free” we meet the Nobel peace price winner Kailash Satyarthi. He got this price because of his work freeing children from working in factories. He says that making a child work, robs him/her of their childhood. He works also to punish the traffickers who takes the children from their families.

His work has rescued many children and reunited them with their families, but he says it isn’t enough because there are still children working in horrible conditions. No matter how many he saves, there will still be children robbed of their childhood.

London

On Monday the 21st of October the social studies and literature class went to London. We stayed near King’s Cross station so it was easy to travel around. When we arrived we explored the nearest part of where we stayed after that we got our underground cards and went to the British Library and saw the Magna Carta. Later in the evening, we tried to take the tube to Oxford Circus but we went the wrong way, so we ended up next to the Arsenal Stadium. Fortunately, a nice lady helped us get on the right track.

On Tuesday we went to Kings University in London and met a former Fagerlia student who told us a bit about what it’s like to go to a University in the UK. After that, me and a couple of friends walked from the university to the London Eye.

On Wednesday the social studies class went to Westminister and tried to get into the parliament to watch Boris Johnson’s questioning hour about Brexit, but we couldn’t go inside. So we walked around. We saw Downing Street where the PM lives, and we saw Westminster Abbey. Later we went to The Imperial War Museum. There they had many different exhibitions about wars Britain has been involved in. I went to the Holocaust exhibition, there I got to watch video recordings of people talking about how the Jewish people were treated during WW2. I also got to see pictures from the horrible human experiments done by the Nazis. I feel like I learned a lot from this visit, because of the personal stories told by the survivors.

Thursday was our last whole day in London. We went to Parliament again and got to go inside. We went into the House of Commons first and then into the House of Lords. The House of Lords was actually more interesting to see than the House of Commons, this probably because we weren’t separated from the Lords with a glass wall like with the Commons.

Political issues in Britain that aren’t Brexit

This lessons I learned that the UK struggles a lot with homelessness. The number of homeless people has doubled since 2010. And even having a job in the UK does not guarantee a roof over your head. Also, some shocking statistics show us that every hour five families in the UK become homeless. In 2016, 43 140 families were accepted as homeless by their local council. This is a rise of 32% over the five years before. This is because of a “drought of affordable homes.” Families are forced to live in one room hostels or emergency bed and breakfasts, eating of the floor and often with siblings sharing single beds.

We don’t see much of that in the worldwide media because we only hear about Brexit instead of what is actually happening to the people in Britain.

 

 

My first blog post in social studies

About me:

Hi, my name is Hilde and I’m 17 years old. I chose the social studies class because I want to know more about the political systems in Britain and the USA and more history behind those countries. My expectations for this class is that I will learn something I didn’t know beforehand, (and also go on a trip to England)

 

What I’ve learned:

I’ve learned that in Britain the parliament is made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, where the House of Lords is made up of the Lords Spiritual who are 26 bishops and the Lords Temporal are mostly life peers. There are 800 people in the House of Lords, all of them appointed by either the Queen on the Prime Minister’s- or the House of Lord’s advice. In the House of Commons, there are 646 members, and all of them are elected. In Britain, it is a “winner takes it all” system which means that the political party with the most votes wins, it is the same in the US but there the other party could have majority of people in the congress. Example: The Republican party wins the presidential election but the majority in the Congress is Democratic.

 

What I found out about the English speaking world today:

Today I found out that the Queen approved Boris Johnson’s request to approve a suspension of the parliament that will last until the 14th of October. This means that it will be very difficult for the people in the parliament to stop Brexit from happening.

Gran Torino

Gran Torino is about Walt, a retired Korea war veteran. His wife dies and he has to live alone. He’s then later on invited to a garden party hosted by his Hmong neighbors. He establishes a friendship with the daughter of the family, Sue and later on with her brother Thao.

Walt says he feels like he has more in common with Thao and Sue’s family than his own. I think this is because his family thinks of him more like a chore than a family member, while Thao’s family takes him in and appreciates his presence. Even though Walt doesn’t understand their beliefs and way to be, he still enjoys being there with them. He even lets Thao borrow his Gran Torino for a date. This shows how much Walt enjoys taking care of and being friends with Thao. Also, this could be how he is trying to make amends with himself for not wanting to spend time with or understand his own sons. Therefore he takes the role of Thao’s father and tries to teach him how things work and how to be a real man. He even ends up writing the Gran Torino to Thao in his will.

When the Hmong gang shoots at Walts neighbors house and rapes Sue, he decides to take revenge. Thao wants to kill them but Walt has other plans. Since he already knows he’s sick and feels like he can’t be redeemed, he sacrifices himself so the gang goes to jail for a long time. This shows how much he cared about Thao and Sue, he was willing to die for them. I don’t think he even would do the same thing for his own family, because Walt seems like a man of principles and since he isn’t even treated like family by his actual family, but by Thao and Sue like a father, makes them way more important to him.