Features Issue 5 Magazine

Holi Smokes!

Spring marks the season of new beginnings. The flowers are blooming, the cold weather has finally gone away, and there are fun holidays and festivals, such as Holi!

Holi is the Indian Festival of Spring, and it is usually celebrated in February or March. Holi is mainly celebrated in India, but now, Holi is celebrated everywhere and is known to be a joyous holiday. Every year, UC Berkeley celebrates Holi and it is open to everyone. You usually throw water colors or colors that are based in a flower texture at each other, which eliminates the boundaries between people, and bringings them together. The colors that are being thrown represent different things. Red signifies love and fertility, yellow tumeric, also known as haldi, green new beginnings, and blue Krishna, one of the Hindi deities. Along with throwing water colors at each other through spray guns, there is loud and festive music playing in the background. 

This year, Holi begins on March 20 and ends on March 21. On March 23, at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, there will be a Holi celebration with lots of music, food, and colors. If you do decide to participate in the Holi festivities, be sure to bring old clothes because the water color will stain.

The Holi Festival represents good defeating evil, a concept that emerged when King Hiranyakashipu, king of the Daityas (who are a clan of Asuras) was defeated by Lord Vishnu. In this myth, King Hiranyakashipu represents evil who is being defeated by Lord Vishnu. On a more religious level, Holi symbolizes good conquering evil. King Hiranyakashipu, the evil being of the story, became immortal. He used this gift to his advantage and caused havoc. In the story, King Hiranyakashipu’s son, Prahlad, decided to still continue worshipping Lord Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu who made many attempts in trying to kill his son. During one of these attempts, Hiranyakashipu sought for his sister, Holika, for help. She had a special garment that protected her from fire. Holika sat on a bonfire and tricked Prahlad to sit on her lap. Her garment flew off of her and landed on Prahlad instead, which caused Holika to be burnt to death by the fire. Hiranyakashipu continued to plot to kill Prahlad for not worshipping him. One day, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as half-lion and half-man. During dusk, Vishnu killed him at a doorstep while he was on Hiranyakashipu’s lap (neither land, air, or water), with his lion claws (which are not handheld weapons). After he died, everyone was free from the wrong doing and corrupt power of Hiranyakashipu.

Entertainment Issue 6 Magazine

How to Protect Yourself: College

After graduating from high school it’s time for most students to go away to college. You will have to take care of yourself, be independent, and further discover who you are. It can be an exciting yet potentially dangerous time if you do not learn to or know how to protect yourself. One important guideline everyone should follow is to travel in groups, especially at night. Whether it is at a party or just a night on the town, it is important to have a buddy system with friends. One good idea is to make a plan with your friends before the event, and be sure not to leave anyone behind when you leave.

Although you will be with friends, your phone should always be charged whenever you are out. In case you get separated from your friends or someone else, always keep your phone on you, especially to use for emergency phone calls. 

Also, having cash with you is key. Sometimes credit cards can be declined or you can lose your card, so you should always bring some spare cash. Twenty dollars is a good amount.

Some attacks can happen on school campus, especially when you are alone. Never stop walking outside to a building. Try to get inside a building as quick as possible. You can also call or even pretend to call a friend or family member, but try not to get too engrossed in the conversation. Keep an eye out and be cautious of your surroundings. If there is someone dangerous behind you, keep your head up and do not be distracted. Also, carrying a weapon like pepper spray or mace can be handy. Using a pocket knife to defend yourself from an attacker is not advised, unless you know how to use it properly. Know that the attacker can use your weapon against you.

Make a habit of locking the doors and closing the windows after using them. Sometimes a potential threat can be in your own dorm or apartment building. You can prevent someone from intruding by locking your doors at all times.

In general, you should be cautious at all times, especially if it is your first year in college. It is good to be aware of your surroundings and keeping communication with others is key. Before you leave, tell your friends where you are going and expect to be back, so they can be prepared to tell someone in case of an emergency. Be careful when you get into your car and make sure there is no one hiding underneath or inside the car, and quickly lock the car doors as soon as you get in. As you are walking to the car, keep your phone in one hand. If you follow these safety precautions, you can make your time at school safer.

Issue 5 Magazine Opinions

Valentine’s Day: Did it Really Deserve the Hype?

February 14th is the day where two people can express their love by showering their partner with gifts and cards. It is commonly believed that Valentine’s Day was started by the Hallmark Company and does not really have any cultural significance. Personally, I believe Valentine’s Day is overrated and unnecessary. Valentine’s day is widely celebrated all over campus. Although it is meant for couples, even elementary school kids celebrate it even though they aren’t in a relationship. This “special day” is reserved for people who are in a romantic relationship, and causing people who are not in one to feel left out; it is not a special day for them. Although some people celebrate with their friends, it is still not considered the point of the holiday. I know that seeing one couple with flowers and gifts while holding each other’s hands can be quite annoying and cheesy, but looking at mushy couples all day is exhausting. 

In addition for all the single people feeling singled out, why is there only one day where couples have to express their love to each other? If two people truly love each other, they should express their love for each other more often rather than giving each other gifts on one day. Materialistic things like chocolate and flowers are not really that important, words of affirmation count more. Confessing your love and adoration to your partner more than that once will make your partner very content. It should not be a special day of the year for couples. In a relationship, communication is more important that giving materialistic items. 

Valentine’s Day is tacky. It is expected to be an over the top day for people, and some people make a big deal if it is not over the top. People buy huge bouquets of flowers which are not convenient for anyone, especially walking around during the school day. The huge teddy bears are even worse. Who wants to lug around something that big all day?

In conclusion, as people living in 2019, there are already so much we have to pay for. Everyone spends so much money on birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, and many more occasions. Now, people who are in relationships are obligated to spend even more money on materials that will not last for a very long time. You have to provide your partner gifts and maybe even dinner reservations, but we all know how painful and difficult it is to make reservations.  Some people can still celebrate, but it is just an excuse for companies to make a profit and for people to purchase useless gifts.

Entertainment Issue 5 Magazine

Poking at the Poke Industry

Around 2017, poke became popular among the citizens of Walnut Creek and ever since, it has become one of the go-to foods for the people of Walnut Creek. Poke means “chunk” in Hawaiian. It is called chunks because it contains big pieces of seafood in them. This food is a main dish in Hawaiian cuisine. Poke is a bowl of rice or noodles with different toppings on it. These toppings can be raw fish, vegetables, salad, and varying sauces. Some of these sauces are soy sauce and sesame oil. This locally-emerging food is delicious, inexpensive, and healthy. Also, poke does not make your stomach feel heavy like some starches, for such big sized portions. Poke contains proteins like salmon, as well as Omega 3 fats. Poke can be a great alternative to salad, because it still offers good nutrients with minimal calories. Although poke has many benefits, you have to be conscious about where you order it from, because poke contains raw fish, which if it is not treated properly, can cause salmonella. Fortunately, Walnut Creek has several poke restaurants that are good quality and delicious! 

In the summer of 2017, T4 and Poke opened on North Main Street (not to be confused with the one located in the Heather Farms Shopping Plaza.) T4 and Poke does not only have a variety of poke, but they also offer a myriad of bubble tea flavors. Good-sized bowls of Poke are being served for such a low price. If you are new to ordering poke, there are different combinations of meats and vegetables you can choose from. The seaweed salad is a favorite topping among many poke eaters. In addition, the employees who work there are very helpful. If you have trouble deciding what to eat, there are also almost always poke bowls that are already made to choose from.

Next to Las Lomas and Whole Foods, there is a poke restaurant called Pokeatery. There are slightly more topping options in this restaurant, unlike T4 and Poke. If you decide to take a friend or family member with you, getting one order is most likely the best option, since the single serving order is pretty large. An employee will walk you through the steps of making your own bowl, starting with the base. One popular option is the white rice. Then, you can choose your toppings, meats, and sauces. Some of the sauces are spicy, so if you are not a fan spice, the mild sauce is recommended. In the end, one bowl costs about fourteen dollars.