Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Multiculturalism (part deux)

I'm getting to know my way around York pretty well these days. As I commented here before, it's a multicultural university, and this is reflected in lots of ways. The food is a good example: every week I usually eat Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Greek, Turkish and American food. None of it is healthy, but there is at least a bit of variety. Incidentally, Sakura (the Japanese restaurant) is the only place on campus where one can use a meal card to buy beer. Interesting, eh? Falafel Hut (the Turkish restaurant) is also a good place to score some sweet weed. Apparently.

Some of the courses are a bit special, too. My "post-colonial geographies" course is a good case in point. The professor, an Indian lady, is quick to point out she's "not anti-British, but anti-colonial." In her honour I have decided to rename the course "anti-colonial geographies", especially as we've spent 8 weeks looking at how terrible colonisation's been for the world, and haven't even acknowledged that it may have a positive aspect. Hmm.

I popped into the Vanier College Booksale this evening after getting lashed on meal-card beer and pork-bone soup at Sakura. I picked up four books for $10, despite the fact that I won't have room to take them home. Oops! I've read one so far: it's a geopololitics book written for the British public in 1976 and sold at the York Bookstore in 1980 (the receipt is still inside!) entitled "Europe since 1945" (Fraser Cameron) and it's a cracking read. A couple of examples:

"The decisive majority in favour of Britain remaining in the Community [after the 1970s referendum] was warmly welcomed in other Common Market countries and has settled finally - after fifteen years of debate - Britain's relations with Europe." (p.49)

30 years later, this comment seems a little optimistic...!

"With the success of their own economic miracle, the East German government is now more firmly established than ever and has won a measure of acceptance from its own people. The possibility of reunification of the two German states is now most unlikely. It appears the world has come to accept that two German states are safer than one." (p.67)

Oops. I suppose the crystal ball wasn't working too well on that day!

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