Asia

Articles

Mongolian Moments

The soft padding of our footsteps echoes down the staircase behind us. Besides the scuffling of our shoes against linoleum, my host mom and I are silent as we reach the second floor of the school. I take a deep breath and see a short, broad-shouldered man in a collared...

A Foreigner in Familiar Lands

As a child, I felt as though I had two sets of parents. I had my American ones, consisting of my sweet, cute mom and my quiet, reserved dad. Then I had my Chinese ones, consisting of my outgoing, bubbly mom and my witty, boisterous dad. I was amazed by...

Dharamshala Lingers

If we missed this bus, there was no way we could make it back to Delhi in time. We were eighteen, with shining eyes and large backpacks falling off our shoulders. Limbs flailing, we scurried across a wide, grey road lined with pine trees standing tall against the clear blue...

A Savage Memory of Elephants

I remember the elephant gazing at me with teary eyes as I watched a girl from my tour go up, pay the mahout, and sit down on its massive tusks. Once powerful, they were now cracked and warped from years of sitting, lifting, and straining. The tusks had started to...

PURULIA DIARIES: OF CHHOU MASKS AND MAGIC

Charida, a village in the Bagmundi, Purulia district, is the back of beyond of the back of beyond. The landscape shifts as villages fly past. Clouds of lotuses bloom in clear ponds, and in chimneys smoke the fresh bricks being toasted in their kilns. The egg devils and aubergine fritters...

Ten days in Tokyo and Kyoto

I spent 10 days traveling between Tokyo and Kyoto in the summer of 2014, along with 10 graduate and undergraduate students across all disciplines on campus. I was part of a program trip, sponsored by RISD and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aimed to promote all that was...

Umbrellas, Tea, and Philosophy

Men, women, and children formed a colorful array of gonchas and chubas. Everyone gleamed radiant in this traditional attire—elaborate waistcoats spun from richly colored Tibetan wool and embellished with bright Himalayan weaves and textiles. We were in Choglamsar, a small town that is home to many Tibetan refugees, only eight...

The Resplendent Isle: Sri Lanka

The tumultuous blue waves crashed onto shore with a ferocious energy, the foamy water spreading across the sand, reaching my toes all the way up the beach. The sun was hot and beating down hard on the dozens of tanned Lankan bodies sprawled across Narigama Beach in Hikkaduwa. The sand...


Listening to Hong Kong

BY SIMONE KURIAL Since September 22nd, pro-democracy groups, mostly composed of students, have been protesting a decision by the Chinese government not to allow free elections of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive as is proposed in the Basic Law. Instead, Beijing’s interpretation of the Law entails a pre-selection of possible candidates...