A rich and vibrant fictional autobiography that presents itself as a love letter to Vietnamese women in the past, present, and future

Someone looking at a scenic landscape on a cloudy day, with a rice hat attached to the back
Someone looking at a scenic landscape on a cloudy day, with a rice hat attached to the back
Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

Ru is one of the most impactful books that I read during university, and was ironically, one that I had to read for my least favourite course — French. Despite this, Ru is achingly beautiful, authentic, and at times painful to read.

Originally written in French by Montréal-based author Kim Thúy, ru translates to “small stream” but can also signify “a flow — of tears, blood, [and] money.” In Vietnamese, ru means “lullaby.” Ru's dual meaning is not lost on the reader, as the title itself provides a glimpse of the myriad of themes that emerge during the book. …

Our ocean conservation efforts need to be centered around the needs and rights of marginalized communities, groups, and individuals.

2 boats on the water, cloudy day
2 boats on the water, cloudy day
Photo by Matt Hardy from Pexels

I often go back to this powerful article titled “I’m a Black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet” by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, written in June 2020. It highlights how the needs of People of Colour (POC) must be addressed to create just solutions to the climate crisis.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and writer whose areas of expertise intersect with ocean policy, science communications, and community engagement.

As I enter a new chapter of my life, wanting to focus on improving and developing the resilience of coastal communities in my…

Running is not fun — at least not at first, but it is possible to slowly start enjoying it. Trust me.

An individual running with headphones in
An individual running with headphones in
Photo from Canva Pro

One year ago, I could not run for longer than a minute without feeling out of breath. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated running.

I was the kid during track and field season who would refuse to run during the 400 m and 800 m runs — much to the frustration of my teachers who knew I could run but chose not to. In high school, I would do the bare minimum for running activities in order to get a “B” grade.

Running never appealed to me. I found it boring, monotonous, and difficult to do…

Went from making $6.61 to $25.37 — it’s not a lot but it covers my subscription fees

An individual overlooking a setting sun. Cumbria, UK.
An individual overlooking a setting sun. Cumbria, UK.
Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Although February is the shortest month of the year, I felt as if January flew by and February was at a stand-still. This could just be me though.

It’s been a hectic month and frankly, I am glad it is over, but I am also appreciative of it because I am so thankful to have two jobs that have resulted in so much personal and professional growth as well as volunteer projects that are slowly but surely coming to life.

I am starting…

It’s not attractive to be with someone because of some fantasy they want to fulfill based on preconceived assumptions of Asian women.

A couple reading a book on a pink bench with their small dog in between them
A couple reading a book on a pink bench with their small dog in between them
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I grew up in a small suburban town outside of a “big” city, where, for a very long time, I wasn’t aware of how my race and ethnic background would impact my future romantic relationships.

The first time I really started becoming aware of my race and ethnicity in relation to dating was when I was sixteen, in a conversation with a peer. I don’t know exactly what the topic of the conversation was, but I do remember one remark quite clearly.

I would never date someone who looks like you.

At the time, I was confused and asked, “what…

Tackling gender equality is critical in order to properly address climate change

A protestor holding a sign that says “We Want Justice”
A protestor holding a sign that says “We Want Justice”
Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Across all regions and societies, the effects of climate change will affect women and men differently. It’s important that we recognize that the vulnerabilities women face related to climate change can be exacerbated by existing power structures, gender norms, and other complex socioeconomic factors.

I do not pretend to comprehend the struggles of women everywhere, however, I do know that women play an important role in addressing climate change. The following case studies will illustrate the intricacies that exist between climate change and gender equality.

The Impact of Climate Change on Women in the Global North

There are clear extreme cases of the devastating effects of climate change on gender in…

The plan to move Amsterdam’s Red Light District has been highly criticized by sex worker’s rights groups

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dewi Madden from Pexels

Nestled in the oldest part of Amsterdam, lies De Wallen, the city’s infamous Red Light District (RLD) where sex workers offer their services behind brightly lit windows or glass doors, an image that has propelled its sex work into infamy.

The significance of De Wallen is undeniable. It is regarded as one of the oldest settings for visible and legal sex work, as it has operated in the area since the 15th century. Furthermore, Amsterdam’s RLD, along with its cannabis policies, has contributed to its overall reputation as a liberal city that is progressive and tolerant.

However, it looks like…

Two individuals eating pancakes
Two individuals eating pancakes
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I’ve had some pretty unhealthy relationships with food for the majority of my life. A lot of it was connected to my body image, which often made me self-conscious of the foods I ate. I have distinct memories of family members telling me not to eat certain foods because I would get “fatter than I already am.”

“Oh, don’t eat another piece of cake”

“Wow your parents are feeding you too much”

“Did you gain weight? Must be all the burgers you are eating”

These are not things a young girl needs to hear.

In my teen years, I enrolled…

The ugly truth is that plastics have reached every corner of the Earth — including the Arctic

The Northern Lights with a body of water and mountains in the background
The Northern Lights with a body of water and mountains in the background
Photo by stein egil liland from Pexels

The Arctic is often portrayed as one of the last pristine environments on Earth. However, despite its remote location, the Arctic regions are impacted by the same environmental concerns that affect more industrialized and urban locations. The presence of microplastics in the Arctic are indicative of the global plastic problem.

What are Microplastics?

Microplastics are plastic pieces that are smaller than 5mm in size. They often come from large plastic pieces that have been broken down over time through decomposition. Other times they are purposely manufactured into microbeads, which are common in toothpaste, cosmetics, scrubs, and other care products. …

We are often told that all we need is love in a relationship — I highly disagree.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

I had a frustrating conversation with my male roommate who tends to use me as an emotional outlet for his relationship. Usually, it happens when he’s leaving the house, so it’s only a slight inconvenience. However, I quickly realized that he hadn’t learned an important lesson in love and in relationships.

He kept repeating the question, “Does that sound like love to you?”

Everyone has a different definition of what love means. …

Angela Phan

Just another recent graduate trying to figure out how to function as a proper adult. Based in Vancouver, BC.

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