Gran Torino – Respect

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also is the main character of this movie. The movie itself is about a racist war veteran living in a conflicted neighbourhood filled with cultural diversity. This multiculturalism is met with a lot of resistance, stereotyping and prejudice by the main character, Walter Kowalski. Through this story, Walter gradually develops compassion for his neighbours, a Hmong family.

At the beginning of the movie, the whole family is reunited for the funeral of Walter’s wife. This is where we get to meet the family of one of Walter’s sons, a disrespectful and ungrateful family. The relationship between Walter and his family is usually tense, and they do not talk together very often, and when they do, there is always someone who ends up annoyed or provoked.

In the first scene, Walter is standing beside the coffin of his wife, and his granddaughter comes up to him dressed in an inappropriate outfit, where we all can see her stomach. Then when she went back to her seat she just sits down and stares at her phone. Then her brother came up to the coffin and said inappropriate things, which was something about testicles. What he said made all the other children laugh, and their parents did not even care. This brings up disappointment and anger against his own family, and he ends up wanting to be left alone. He just does not want to be with disrespectful people like them.

The lack of respect from┬áhis family and the youth around him is annoying and frustrating him, and you can easily┬ásee that respect is quite important for him. One example is the scene where an old lady’s grocery bag rips open and all her groceries ends up on the ground. As this happens, there are three teenagers walking by, but they choose to just laugh and make fun of her instead of helping her. This whole scene is only aggravating Walter’s anger and annoyment. He demands respect, especially respect from the youth towards the elder. Walter is pretty old-fashioned, and respect for him is, for example, to help someone in need, or to be called by his first name by family and friends, and by his last name by strangers and those who are not his friends.

For someone to gain Walter’s respect they cannot behave like his family, by ignoring him, not helping other people, or by talking or dressing inappropriately. By doing things like that, they are only losing his respect.


International Day 2018

In a society like ours where all we care about is likes and followers on apps like Instagram, it is important to take a minute to think about the real lives and the real stories right besides us in our day-to-day lives.

Every year at Fagerlia, there is something called International DayInternational Day is a special event thrown to show and tell us different types of stories from around the world. This years topic was solidarity. We had the great honour of meeting and hearing the fantastic and terrific stories of previous refugees who have migrated to Norway. They talked about their lives before, during and after their trips.

Hearing about the way most of them used to have perfectly normal lives up to the point where things went wrong, was somewhat heartbreaking. Knowing that they used to be, in some ways, just like me, and then suddenly lose everything. I heard stories about the horrible conditions they lived in during their escape, people without any form for rights being beaten, tourtured and killed, and I even heard stories about children the same age as my lovely little sister, die on refugee-boats when they were trying to escape the hellish lives they lived.

As a matter of fact, there was something that surprised me quite a lot. Sagvan Fathi, a refugee from Iraki Kurdistan, who arrived in Norway almost twenty years ago, told us a somewhat controversial story of something that happened just a week or two ago. Being a successful businessowner in Norway with brown skin, apparently brings a lot of attention. The last couple of years he has been running a car washing business in the garage of Amfi Moa. Through hundreds of hours and a lot of hard work, he has managed to make a name of himself and earned a lot of money, which truly is one of the most inspirational things I have heard. But the thing that surprised me is what he told us next. As I said, something happened just a week or two ago; fifteen people working for the police, the government and Arbeidstilsynet came into his little shop to inspect his workplace. Never in my life have I ever heard of something like this happening. That Arbeidstilsynet sometimes come in for random inspections is not new to me, but never have I heard of more than maybe two or three people coming in. Next he told us that was not the first time they had come. Of course, there is no proof that this has anything to do with him being a non-ethnic Norwegian, but bringing into consideration that he is the only one who has experienced this at that huge mall, and additionally being the only immigrant owner… It makes you think.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 goals set by the United Nations Development Programme. It’s an approach to a development that takes the limited resources of the earth into consideration. The idea is to create a system that is “sustainable”, meaning one that can keep going indefinitely into the future.

These goals are set for the year 2030, where we are supposed to have achieved a better world with reduced or no poverty, zero hunger, no global warming, and much more. I believe these goals are just a dream, or maybe just a bit unrealistic. Someday in the future, we may be able to achieve all these goals, but not that soon, especially not by how we are taking action.

I believe the future of our planet lies in the hands of the children, the new generations. And today, according to the UN, over 265 million children are currently out of school and 22% of them are of primary school age. Quality education will not only improve quality of life, but it will also help equip people with the tools required to develop solutions to the world’s greatest problems. Which is why I believe the first step to creating sustainable development is by obtaining the forth of the Sustainable Development Goals, quality education.