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Posts Tagged ‘high school musical

No, a phenomena is not a type of fungi that teens are getting nowadays. For those of you who don’t know (like I didn’t) phenomena is the plural of phenomenon.

It’s easy to spot a phenomenon. Maybe you’ll see it on the T-shirts of the people around you. Maybe you’ll see it all on the internet. Maybe it’ll be in the newspapers. The easiest way is to mention its name to someone, anyone and when their eyes light up, you know it’s a phenomenon.

The biggest one at the moment is probably:

The Jonas Brothers

Hailing from New Jersey, a little known fact (or at least to people who aren’t fans) about Joe, 19, the lead singer, Nick, 15, vocals and guitar, and Kevin Jonas, 20, guitar, all brothers by birth, is that their dad is their voice coach. In fact, he and their mum used to be part of a singing group.

Also, the name of their band will cause most teenage girls to squeal so loud that everyone in the vicinity has to cover their ears.

“So what’s so good about them?”

Well for one thing, their songs are catchy. Some of them will make you melt just listening to them, such as Lovebug from their newest album, A Little Bit Longer.

And they’re talented, they either wrote or co-wrote all the songs on A Little Bit Longer. The album title comes from the last song on the album, written entirely by Nick, who has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and used that as the basis for the song.

Their music videos are funny. They’re newest one, Burnin’ Up, had the Disney Channel star, Selena Gomez, appearing in it as Nick’s love interest.

Oh yeah, and they’re unbelievebly cute.

From left to right: Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas.

Next up, is:

High School Musical (HSM)

Yeah, I know what you guys are saying, “Disney’s High School Musical is just like a modern Grease!, what’s the big deal?”

Well, I say, “What’s Grease!?”

“So what’s so good about it?”

Well, like the cast has said many times, the pre-teens, or tweens, have been hugely starved of this type of musical. Yes, that is mostly it. But then there’s the undeniable chemistry of the two actors who play Troy and Gabriella, the main characters. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are, like the Jonas Brothers, good looking. Actually, the whole cast is.

Senior Year

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

But the relationship between Zac and Vanessa (dubbed ‘Zanessa’ by fans) is probably what brought in many of HSM’s older fans. You may not know this, but it’s not all 9-13 year olds watching and loving High School Musical 1 and 2. No, older fans are also likely to line up outside the cinemas to watch High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Yes, it’s graduating from TV to big screen on October 24th in the US.

And moving on to the movie itself, the songs are rocking and the dance steps well choreographed by director, Kenny Ortega, who also directed The Cheetah Girls movies.

The story of boy meets girl, boy and girl torn apart by the people surrounding them, boy and girl reunite, boy and girl sing happily in school play audition has never been more appealing. At the beginning, Troy and Gabriella exchange phone numbers by keying them into each other’s cellphones. Modern enough?

And last, but not least is:

Hannah Montana

As with High School Musical it looks like the theme here is music. Hannah Montana is normal 9th grader Miley Stewart by day and transforms into not-so-normal rockstar by night.

The show also has Billy Ray Cyrus acting as Miley’s dad. Only he’s not really acting, seeing as Miley Stewart is really Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray’s daughter in real life.

“So what’s so good about it?”

That’s a good question. Is it the oh-so-charismatic Miley Cyrus herself? Or the funny and endearing script? Or is it the fact that everyone secretly wants to be a rockstar?

Hannah Montana

Miley Cyrus is Hannah Montana

Possibly all three. The thing that got me hooked was the songs. They are catchy and the lyrics are awesome. For those who like the songs that they play on the show (they play the singles reapeatedly, so you don’t have to worry about missing them), Miley now has her own album out in stores entitled Breakout.

While Miley has her fair share of haters (mostly from the Nick Jonas fangirls, seeing as she went out with him for a while. But don’t worry, they’ve stopped dating and are “just friends.” Of course, now you have to worry about fellow Disney Star Selena Gomez stealing Nick away. Oh. Em. Gee.) she still has her hardcore 8-year-old fans who can be extremely fanatical.

And those are the scariest fans of all.

The National Indian Flag

The Indian National Flag

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is a rough diamond shape with the northern and southern points about 2,000 miles apart.

It has one of the richest cultures in the world, and also very impressive landmarks, such as the Himalayas – the highest and youngest mountains in the world with many peaks rising to more than 20,000 feet. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is in the Himalayas and lies partly in India, partly in Nepal and partly in Tibet. Yes, three whole countries.

The stunning Mt. Everest in all it's glory

The stunning Mt. Everest in all its glory

India’s’ namesake is the Indus River, it being life-giving. Archaeologists have uncovered two ancient cities by the Indus River, called Harappa and Mohenjodaro. They were part of what we now call the Indus Valley Civilization, which was at its peak around 2500 B.C. The people in that area were dark-skinned, and known as the Dravidians. They are the earliest known occupants of this area.

Around 1500 B.C., light-skinned Aryans came from central Asia and and conquered all the land around the Indus River, forcing the darker-skinned Dravidians south. Even today, the northern and the southern Indians speak different languages and are lighter and darker skinned respectively.

The Dravidians of ancient Harappa and Mohenjodaro had systems of counting, measuring and writing, and was a considerably developed civilization. Even the cities were laid out in a geometric pattern!

They had indoor baths and toilets, both of which were connected to a sanitary sewage system with drains laid out underneath the roads. The ancient Dravidians were quite advanced in terms of cleanliness, inventing intricate and elaborate bathing systems in a time when soap was merely a distant thought (I’m sure soap was sacred to the sanitary freaks).

People don’t know for certain what it was, exactly, that led the two cities to ruins, but it is thought that serious water problems, such as repeated floods and droughts and the changing course of the river, contributed to wiping out the ancient people. Some historians believe the ancient people quite simply overused and exhausted the land, ruining the soil and effectively causing erosion. The people in the Indus Valley couldn’t survive without the basic necessities that the river provided, and, as a result, they perished.

The Indus Valley Civilization left behind a written language that so far, no one has managed to decrypt. If we manage to one day crack this mysterious language, we’ll probably be able to uncover more about what happened to this ancient civilization.

The Ancient Indian High School Musical-like Food Chain.

As well as kicking out the Dravidians, the Aryans took a society that was already divided tribally, and created a High School Musical-like food chain called castes.

There were four major castes, the highest consisted of the Brahmins, or priests and scholars. Next were the Kshatriyas, or the warriors and rulers. Then came the Vaishyas, or traders and merchants (or the People). Farmers, labourers and servants were the lowest caste, or the Shudras. Hitting rock bottom, were the untouchables—the pariahs or outcasts. They were the people who cleaned the streets, picked up dead animals, and did the other dirty jobs too lowly for anyone else.

However, unlike High School Musical, none of the castes would break out into a song. Ever. (Well, except maybe in Bollywood.)

High School Musical

High School Musical!

Every one of the castes had ironclad rules. A member of one caste could not marry someone in a different caste. Eating a meal with someone from a lower caste, or even eating a meal prepared by someone from a lower caste was unheard of.

And as if the outcasts didn’t have it bad enough, their rules were the strictest. They were supposed to live outside of the village, and not mingle with the other castes. And that was why, they were called the ‘untouchables.’

Today, untouchability has been made forbidden by a law instituted by Mahatma Gandhi, who was one of India’s greatest leaders. While helping to modernise India he kindly renamed the outcasts Harijans or ‘People of God.’

Caste is no longer as influential as it once was, especially in the major Indian cities. But in the many villages scattered around India, caste is still an important part of life. In the villages life goes on just as it did hundreds of years ago and time stands still.

May 2020


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