The end of an era, a decade

🎉Happy new year everyone~

Since last year, I began to kind of hate New Years. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask, well…I’m just not that positive about them. I have said in a lot of my posts that the glass is half full, -it still is. But, I wasn’t filled with brimming optimism at the end of 2018, nor am I now as the roaring 2020s is about to commence. And guess what, that’s okay. 

So blah blah blah, we just ended a decade [insert photo of me 10yrs ago versus now]. Well, post your photos if you want, they can be fun/good source of self-reflection/I’m sure some of us want to see the glow ups. Where was I actually going with this?😂 The sound of fireworks is distracting me

*I took a long break to watch fireworks outside my window (this was the most I’ve seen actually), and message my cousin about how to send Imessages😂, and watch the song I wait for every year😌😂 I keep getting distracting by things so I guess I need to wrap this up quickly.

A friend of mine posted online and asked people to share what they learned from the past year. I thought for a long time and couldn’t come up with anything as uplifting as the responses she was sharing. There were, of course, many great moments of 2019, after all its a whole 365 days so there’s bound to be. I graduated which is pretty cool, amongst other things. I made some videos that were quite impactful (in fact I got a long message from someone who watched my video on discrimination asking for advice regarding her Masters application as she fears she may be discriminated against). I don’t want to list my achievements for the past year. My point is that I recognise I had them, but what actually stands out to me is some of the people who made my year special, most of them would know who they are 💜

As we draw to the end of this post, here’s my final video of 2019:

In other news, I have been regularly updating my Music Playlist, take a look if you need some new music to start your year; Nabblo Music Playlist Link. I also have some new posts lined up that need writing, I swear we’ll get there🙏

Congrats on surviving last year, here’s to another🔥💜

If you try to write a blogpost whilst get distracted by a million stupid things, good luck 世界。

此致敬礼,欣妍。- From Nabeela.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

Bonus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ofqOcVPwnM

Nabblo’s Music Playlist 💜

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’m finally starting a music playlist😂🎉

Every now and then I do share songs on my public Facebook page that have meaningful or interesting narratives etc, but I also want to share music that is on my current playlist!

The reasons are two-fold… Firstly, I want to share different music with you. Secondly, I want to create a ‘sound diary’. I think memories can be trapped, or ‘saved’ within our senses. For me ‘smell’ and ‘sound’ are the most potent for triggering memories. My theory is that if I have a playlist of songs to look back on, I can remember certain memories from the periods of time I was listening to them in. Let’s trial this till the new year👀

I’m thinking this will be a weekly thing, unless I’m stuck listening to more or less the same songs, in which case it will be less frequent. I’ll aim for about 5 songs in each regular upload, and who knows, some songs that didn’t make it in one week will more than likely roll over to the next. Due to the 5 song limit I’ll be going for the songs I’ve been listening to the most, rather than the ones I just think are unique (I can share those separately, and actually I have a few lined up). Also, I will try to limit explicit language with the songs that make it to the playlist (not just in terms of swear words lol), or opt for ‘clean’ versions if I think you really gotta hear it. Lastly, in the probable case that I really am stuck on the same songs, I’ll probably add in a few that are ‘throwbacks’ to me because I rinsed them during a different period of the year, but will basically be new to the playlist✌️

The first upload will be a longer one to keep us going. I’m going to share some of the songs I’ve been listening to over the past few weeks, and in less chronological order then I’d usually hope for. Let’s see if I can make this a regular Sunday thing so you get time to possibly add some to your weekly playlist!

Follow this link for the first playlist!: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZYMy5nLvH9YCD_GWtcbZahBf2GW7nKRG

Also I’m debating whether I should simply add the songs to the playlist and share it to Facebook, or do the upload and separately give some points introducing the songs in a blogpost, like I have done in this post. I think due to tiredness I will probably do the former on a regular basis, and occasionally add a blog post for ‘stand out’ choices. What are your thoughts? 🤔

I just realised the title makes it seem like I’m finally debuting as an artist😝 AND I just reached 700 subscribers on YouTube😂🎉-a humble feat we can celebrate through music. I’d love to keep you all involved in this playlist process, so please feel free to send me songs you think I may like and maybe they’ll make it to the playlist one day~ 😉

I think my music variety may surprise you hehe. If you make a public playlist, good luck 世界!

此致敬礼,欣妍– From Nabeela.

Guess what, I kind of already know what will be in next week’s playlist lol

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/

Halloween 2019 look

This is a quick look I did the other day with the excuse of Halloween. I wrote a mini Halloween (鬼节) post years ago, you can read it here. The rest of this post is just more photos. I posted different photos to each of my social media sites (Instagram, Facebook, WordPress), so take a browse if you’re a real one👀

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https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

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If you try a makeup look, good luck 世界. Stay safe xx

此致敬礼,欣妍 – From Nabeela.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

Rituals Holi Collection

 

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Photos I shared to Facebook from the Rituals Holi collection

Hi, so I’m stress writing rn, just wanted to tell you. I just submitted an edited piece for an exciting South Asian project. I just realised, that kind of ties into the theme of this post, but we’ll get back to that in a second. I have two pending blog posts that I need to write soon, something I need to write for an OUISOC advice series, a video that needs to be edited and uploaded for Sunday (I’ve been doing weekly uploads on Oxford Subject advice videos), job applications and things in that genre that need tending to – and here I am…writing a new post that wasn’t even on the list! I think I can ease the burden a bit by posting this, so here we go~

I’m currently in the city of Birmingham visiting family. Yesterday we went into town, visited the Bullring, Grand Central, (two high street shopping areas) and I forced my cousins to take me to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. When we were in the Grand Central, my cousin wanted to visit Rituals, a luxury body product store.

Whilst my cousin was roped into signing up to the rewards scheme (which I too later gave into) I went around the shop smelling the different perfumes and hand creams they had on offer. At the back of the shop I noticed a colouful display for the new ‘Holi Collection’. Here’s a slideshow of three of the products I photographed:

 

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Holi is the Hindu ‘festival of colour’ which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. You can read more about its origins here. I’ve taken part in Holi celebrations twice whilst at uni, and I know it has become typical for universities across the UK to host open Holi celebrations. What I saw then was a fun event that brought people of different cultures together (and please tell me if you disagree), but what I saw yesterday in Rituals was a cheesy attempt to commercialise a minority culture. I’m weary of the term ‘cultural appropriation’ because I prefer to emphasise cultural appreciation, however it did seem like the collection was walking on thin ice. I mean, take inspiration from and share different cultures, but at least ease up on the cringey puns in your marketing.

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Instagram: @nabblo

Since I’m not Hindu I wasn’t sure if it was right for me to find discomfort in the marketing of this collection. Actually, let me rephrase that. I wasn’t sure if I was being too sensitive in thinking the collection was insensitive. I’m personally not a fan of the overhyped social justice warriors of our age, but I think it’s sad that the general perception we have of them has meant that we now invalidate our own thoughts, and constantly question if our emotional response to things are ‘too sensitive’. I think we should share discomfort and empathise in issues faced by cultures dissimilar to our own. The threat of not doing so is that we will all share an insular view of the world and only hold concern for issues that directly affect us. So with regards to this Holi collection, I wanted to know if any Hindu people found the marketing to be insensitive.

I shared the above photos onto a Facebook group for South Asian girls (‘Subtle Curry Girl Traits’) to learn people’s thoughts. At present there are eleven comments. They all express disappointment in the collection, besides one user who expressed that people should “stop venting and ranting and go make your own products”.

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Source: arre.co.in

I’d say the majority ruling from this small respondent pool is that the line is quite insensitive.

I didn’t want to get into this too deeply because I’m stressed and have other things to get back to now, but I want to know what your thoughts are. Let me know what you think of Rituals’ Holi collection, or perhaps their other collections too. For example, the ‘Happy Budha’ range that I’ll let you explore in your own time.

While we’re here, feel free to follow my Facebook page~ Although the above post was from my personal account, I share a lot of content onto this page that you may be interested in. https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

Also: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

Why are we still selling the ‘Golliwog’?

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It’s 2019 and yet people in Britain can still quite easily get their hands on racist toys.

A few days ago I went on a trip to the quaint market town of Stratford Upon Avon. Famed for being the birth-place of Shakespeare, there’s a lot of picturesque places to see. One thing I came across was the cute looking traditional toy shop, pictured below. If you know me, you’d know I love toys and thus I was quite looking forward to seeing what was inside. So when I had some free time, I took to explore the shop and its neighbours.

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I wasn’t particularly blown away by what I came across during my browsing but I was quite impressed by the craftsmanship of traditional English teddy bears (for the most part they’re more stiff than they are cuddly). This all changed when I took a look at the toys by the counter and came across a small Golliwog. I was completely taken aback and did not expect to see it. Heck, I never thought I’d ever see one in person, and was quite comforted by that. In my surprise, I told the shop worker and his potential colleague/friend that “I didn’t know people still sold these”. Their faces transformed into eerily friendly grins and a simple “Yes, they do” escaped from the worker’s lips.

I asked the man “Don’t these come from questionable origins?”. They smiled and the man responded; “Well it depends on whether you still regard them as a racial stereotype, or just an innocent toy”. I told him that I did regard them as the former and then succumbed into the awkwardness of their stifled smiles. I wanted to discuss it further and bounce around thoughts, or simply walk out like a boss; but alas I took my cue and walked to the other side of the suffocatingly small shop.

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hi, thats me

I took the photo above as I turned from the corner of the till to look around the remaining section of the small shop. Eventually, I saw even more Golliwog toys and photographed them too. These are what you see at the start of the post.

So now here’s some overdue historical context. A ‘Golliwog’ (aka: Golly, gollywogg) is the toy you see at the start. [Btw I took a few days off from writing this as I was commemorating Ashura but I was still as annoyed by reading into the topic as was when I first started thinking about writing this. For this reason, I shall give you a summary of key points and articles you can for further elucidation.]

An aspiring artist ‘Florence Kate Upton’ from New York drew illustrations for childrens books as a means of raising funds for her tuition fees. Her book ‘The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls’ (1895) was written by her mother Bertha and illustrated by herself. The main characters were two Dutch dolls, Peg and Sarah Jane, and the Golliwogg. The Golliwogg was a caricature, described in the story as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome.” It had red trousers, a red bowtie, a white shirt and blue jacket. In essence it was a caricature of an American caricature, the American black faced minstrels. Upton used to play with a minstrel doll when she was young. Interestingly and unsurprisingly, Upton’s family did not favour the “negro minstrel doll”. For instance when they played with it in the garden they would use the rag-doll to knock over items as they all thought it was ugly. Fast forward a bit and the Golliwogg became a popular character across England and Europe. Upton did not copyright the character and so it featured widely in storybooks and other merchandises. In England it was commonly found on the side of jam jars and many parents made the doll for their children. For some time in the 1960s there was a ban on Golliwoggs due to an increase in racial tension in Britain. Now the character is seen by many as a symbol of nostalgia. I find this very strange.

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American black faced minstrel

I felt kinda sick inside after seeing those toys. I know, sounds dramatic but it’s not a feeling you can control. Even browsing past the photo in my phone gallery feels weird, and so I had to delay writing this for a day. If you want to read more about the history of the Golliwogg for yourself then you can click here.  I’m not sure what it is specifially that makes me so uncomfortable. I’m not black (if you didn’t already know), but I don’t think that matters. Part of me sees this toy as a symbol of power, or the lack thereof. The ability that a mere ‘artist’ has to turn a beautiful and complex people into a tacky object of ridicule, an insignificant plaything; it does astound me. I think we forget the power that people and images, or so called ‘art’ can wield. Today this is translated into more modernised mediums…

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Yes, this is real

I’m getting off topic now but I’m sure I’ve talked about something along these lines before.

What do you think about the Golliwog? Are they a symbol of racism or is it just an innocent toy? Have you heard of them before or ever seen them in person? I’d love to know. To my disappointment, the majority of the British public do not regard the character as a racist toy. You can read more about that here. 

I thought I should add the toy shop and stall that I did actually enjoy perusing…

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Creepy old dolls I found in the market. https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/

If you come across a toy that makes you feel uncomfortable, good luck 世界。

此致敬礼,欣妍 – From Nabeela.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

P.s. I just iht my 5 year blogging anniversary!🎉Thanks for reading💜

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Time flies, but look its been 5 years! Thank you if you’ve been around for a while and welcome if you’re new💜

 

 

 

I finished my Oxford degree🎉

I sat my last Oxford Finals exam 2 weeks ago and officially ended my degree🎉 Above is the video I edited to show you my trashing. Trashing is an Oxford tradition whereby a person’s friends throw things at them after they’ve finished their last exam. It’s oddly liberating. Usually, the items they throw consists of confetti, shaving foam and coloured powder. However I saw a video of someone I know being taped to a tree stump whilst their friends threw eggs at him…they’re not all like that though. After being covered in all that stuff, the people who have been trashed tend to jump into the River Cherwell to wash off a bit. So if you want to see me go through all of the above then press the video link above.

After finishing Finals I got busy again quite fast😂I organised timings to film with various students for a new video project I’m starting. I won’t say too much yet but it’s pretty much an independent access initiative that I aim to launch in August or September. So stay tuned! At the same time I was meeting friends too which was sweet, and attended Balliol college ball!~

I returned home (London) a few days ago! My brain is slowly becoming less…frazzled. I spent the day sorting out my wardrobe and unpacking properly. I can’t think properly when my rooms messy and I think I needed to declutter to help me relax, lol. It’s quite satisfying sorting things out. I actually kinda like cleaning😂 And one of the things I was most looking forward to for the past 4 years of this degree was doing the final packing up!😂 I knew I could finally donate some of my last items for good. I tend to donate things at the end of each term, but this time I could get rid of things I definitely wouldn’t need again because I wouldn’t be moving back into to student accommodation, you know? The last person I spoke to before I left Oxford was a lady I interviewed for my documentary on homelessness ‘Pray it Doesn’t Rain’. It was quite meaningful to see her again and I ended up giving her my bedding and some other items💜

Anyhow that’s it from me for now. I should be graduating soon so maybe I’ll touch base again then. Take care x

If you get trashed, good luck 世界。

此致敬礼,欣妍 – From Nabeela.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/ 

Ghosting

Late night story rambling. I wrote this in Chinese and then read it out in English lol.

喂~

你最近还好吗?好久没有看到你。好像碰到过一次但没有真心地看。

你最近怎么过你的日子呀?没有我在你身边应该很奇怪吧。

我还好,都习惯了。你在那边怎样?你羡慕我吗?

我这边的事都办好了。快要见到你。你会等我吗?

不瞒你说,有的时候是我羡慕你。真的。

你那边看起来很安静。我忘了那个气氛。

算了吧。我只是很想念以前的我们。

我们俩的缘分还不错呢。我可不可以用缘分这个词来表达我们的关系?

不知道。算了。我想不起来。

你知道吗,有时我说不出来你的名字。我一听就不认识。

我看镜子的时候会看到你但我知道你不在。

这样正常吗?那里安全吗?

我觉得我们俩挺像配~我很兴奋又跟你见面。

同时我还不敢又跟你见到你。

Good luck world.

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodLuckNabs1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nabblo/

INS📷: https://www.instagram.com/nabblo/