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Culture, Identity, & Religion

Cultural topics such as "Who you Are?" and Religion.

Flag of the Week - Jamaica

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. The island lies south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola, the island containing the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean.

Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country's largest city and its capital. Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world, due to emigration from the country.
Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, currently Patrick Allen. The head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica is Portia Simpson-Miller. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.

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American Culture 101 : Music, Party Culture, and Food -CLG workshop at IHouse

During my last trip back home, my niece started asking me questions about life in America, especially about college life. I knew Dukies worked hard and partied hard, but beyond that I was clueless. The CLG Workshop on American Culture, hosted by SangHee Jeong, IHouse and presented by Duke students, Joanna Blaszczak and Ellen Gambrell gave us a brief peek into American Music, Party Culture, Food and more.

American Music
Joanna started the presentation with the National Anthem – not singing it, but talking about it. Then we were introduced to the various genres of American classics like
Folk –    Bluegrass, Appalachian, Indie folk
Blues – Originated in the Deep South
Jazz – New Orleans, Jazz Capital of the world. You can listen to Jazz at Duke’s Mary Lou
Williams Center @ 9:30 pm on Wednesdays.
Country – Originated from American folk and Western music


Through the decades, the classics evolved into new styles of music like Rock N Roll, Pop, Classic Rock, Rap, Hip hop, Disco and Soul, made popular by stars like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Rhianna... We had great fun listening to short pieces of music and trying to discern the difference in rhythm and tempo of each genre.

(No Reason Not to) Party in the USA
Ellen’s presentation gave us a very clear picture of how and why Americans party. She enriched my vocabulary by explaining the meaning of terms like House Party, Dinner Party, Tailgating, Binge Drinking, Starting a Tab… We also learned about Do’s and Don’ts of partying and how to party safely. I liked the way she used photographs to make her point. She shared with us the importance of tipping, since waitstaff may not be paid minimum wages. The rules of tipping are: 10% if service is bad; 15% if okay; 20% if good; 25% if outstanding.


American Food Culture
The presentation covered different categories of American food, Ethnic & Regional blends and Soul food.

Wait, it is not over yet. After the presentations were done, the presenters faced a barrage of questions about peer pressure, frisbee (!), music, radio stations, music sites, balancing work and partying, Southern hospitality, attending church and just about everything the participants could think of. I was amazed by how readily they fielded all the questions. It was a refreshing evening, I went home feeling younger.

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Duke’s LGBTQ History

Dear Duke parents and families,

Periodically, I like to acknowledge various parts of our diverse community. Today, in advance of some key upcoming commemorations, I want to share some thoughts about our LGBTQ community.

I’m proud to acknowledge an environment where all students, gay and straight, are equal members of our broader Duke family and where we celebrate differences and support persistent struggles which, unfortunately, yet exist. I invite you to check out the website for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for an array of current facts that showcase our achievements and pride.

Unfortunately, Duke’s history has not always celebrated the presence of LGBTQ students and President Brodhead noted so in his remarks at the opening of our new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, when he said:

“As an institution within a larger culture, it's not surprising that the Duke of older times was saturated with homophobia. Last year, students in Blue Devils United brought forward evidence of official intolerance and active repression of homosexuality at Duke from the 1960s. They also shared personal testaments from graduates of that time. These Dukies testified that they could not be the people they knew themselves to be while they were students, could not have the love lives and personal lives they wished, were pathologized -- and even when the situation improved slightly, the pressures of swimming against the stream were dispiriting and exhausting.

I've read these histories, and I'm sure we'll uncover many more in the future.  As president of this university, I would like to say today that this university regrets every phase of that history.  There is nothing in that past that I will not now confidently and totally repudiate. I regret every act that ever limited the human life of anyone who came here.”

Duke’s LGBTQ history is an important reminder of where we’ve come from and of the work that still remains both at Duke and beyond.  To that end, this fall, several events will highlight the past and the future and I hope you and your Duke students will participate when you can. Check out our new website, Queering Duke History (http://queerhistory.duke.edu/) for details.
Thanks again for all your support for your sons and daughters and for all Duke students. The beautiful mosaic represented by the amazing diversity of our special Duke community heralds a wonderful future ahead.

Warmly,
Larry Moneta, EdD
Vice President for Student Affairs​

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Live Jazz at the Mary Lou

Weekly Jazz Wednesdays add music to study sessions and coworker meetups

John Brown perched on a stool, his fingers flying across the thick strings of his bass. He closed his eyes as the drums, piano and trumpet conversed with each other, taking turns carrying the melody.

Across the room at Duke’s Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, students studied notes on laptops and visitors watched the jazz ensemble, bobbing their heads to the beat.  The tradition of “Jazz @ the Mary Lou” is 10 years old, and Brown, director of the Duke Jazz Program, brings different musicians to the center every Wednesday evening, from professional performers to up-and-coming high school students.

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Duke (Mu) chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity honored with multiple awards!

Pictured are Duke Pi Kappa Phi members Micheal Washington and Ian McKiernan.  Congratulations to the entire Mu chapter!

Champion Master Chapter Award:
At their 54th Supreme Chapter, the Duke Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was recognized as a Champion Master Chapter for overall excellence. The Champion Master Chapter Award distinguishes the top Pi Kappa Phi chapters in the country who achieved the highest composite score in the Seven Objectives of Chapter Excellence.

W.E. Edington Award:
The Duke chapter of Pi Kappa Phi also received the W.E. Edington award recognizing the chapter with the highest cumulative GPA. The award is given in honor of Pi Kappa Phi brother Edington (Illinois) who served as chairman of the national scholarship committee and played a pivotal role raising the fraternity men average GPA.

Commitment to Continued Growth Award:
The Mu Chapter was recognized with a Commitment to Continued Growth Award for meeting annual recruitment goals for a two-year period.

Retention Excellence Award:
The Mu Chapter was recognized with a Retention Excellence Award for a new member retention rate of 100%.

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