"Who Are We?" (Winter 2014)

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“You like Bangla man?” he asks. I am immediately wary and am about to object before he continues, “No, no, I mean, I see you like to talk to me. Usually people don’t like Bangla man, they don’t look at me, in school, even when I go to the market, they don’t look at me.”

We walk around the campus and talk about it as if it is ours, defending our ‘territory’ and the need to create a sense of belonging - but is it really ours? How much of our own time and effort have we put into the physical building that we call our home? How much of a part have we played in its upkeep? The landscapers are some of the most seen and yet unseen individuals in the Yale-NUS College community. We walk past them, see them as a part of our landscape, without really seeing how integral they are to the place we call home. While we tap on our keyboards in the library, they work outside. Their hands shape our home with the care we cannot afford, or think, to give. They know these grounds better than we do, and tend daily to this place that we speak of with such pride. We often talk of legacies we have to build and then leave behind. And all the while, the grasses they plant slowly sink roots into the playing field behind our school.

Take notice of the way they care for the home we care about. This isn’t just our home.

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