Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Dec. 3, 2013

Humans of Blair: Balancing change in one country and tradition in the other

by Aidan Keys, Staff Writer
"Humans of Blair" inspired by the blog Humans of New York , is a weekly blog that features Blazers and their stories. Come back next Monday for the next edition of "Humans of Blair."

"I stayed for about year or a couple of months without a name."

Junior Eunice Muchemi immigrated to the United States from Kenya in December 2010. Muchemi holds a strong tie with her Bantu culture, where children receive their grandparent's names. After Muchemi's older sister was born, her parents decided to break tradition and choose their own names for her and her brother. When Muchemi was born, her parents had lists of names, but couldn't decide; hence their year-long indecision. Eventually, Muchemi's grandmother decided that Muchemi's parents would have to give in and give their daughter her name. It's a story that shows the importance of tradition in Muchemi's culture.

But this tradition becomes difficult to maneuver around when faced with issues other than baby names. This is especially trying for Muchemi, who advocates for human rights issues such as LGBT rights. While these issues aren't taboo in the United States they are more sensitive in her culture. "It's hard where I come from, to just go out there and tell people, 'These are people who have these kinds of rights and they're humans too,'" Muchemi explains. In contrast, the United States, she says, is a much more open place that allows for people to stand up for causes and question norms. "We're not prone to judging. We accept other people's opinions and other people's views of life, and we try our best- not everyone- but we mostly try to be unique in our own way," she says. She hopes to return to Kenya and utilize what she's learned from the United States, to advocate, and change dynamics in her country. "I wanna go back there and see how it is, now that I've actually come here and have known- I just know how to stand up for what's right."

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  • Cynthia Liu on December 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM
    This is a great blog for students to know each other and each person's unique points, especially in a school where oftentimes over half of the student body is unknown to someone (like me). The name is also very fitting.

    Also -- this can be used to rally volunteers for activism such as, as the article says, advocating for human rights in Kenya, and other activities such as fundraising, community events, or petitions.
  • alumane3 on December 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM
    wonderful article.

    SCO needs to add a subscription for new posts thingy bc i want to read the next article in this series.
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