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Riding the Cultural Express: Exploring Ethnic Identity, Culture, and Power on a Train Journey Home

A collage of global maps, a diverse crowd, and a thoughtful Iselin Nybø in her office.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 20, 2023, 15:43

As my train chugs along the picturesque landscape outside Oslo, carrying me back home, I am cocooned in a warm space despite the temperature being 4 °C out there. This is an opportunity for me to pen down my thoughts for the day – a pursuit that inspires me, fascinates me and gives me a sense of purpose.

Today's discussion is geared towards a topic that has been sitting at the brim of my thoughts for a while now - Ethnic Identity and culture. We find ourselves in an era of growing globalization, a time where the world is shrinking into a global village. As social beings, our identity stems from a hodgepodge of influences. Among these, our ethnic identity and culture show their strong standing.

Our ethnic identity is not just a label; it’s a complex and deep-rooted concept that knits together our language, traditions, beliefs, and customs, forming an integral part of who we are. While culture, on the other hand, is a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of ethnicity, race, and society, enveloping us in a cocoon of norms and practices that guide our actions and mold our worldview.

Thinking frankly, isn't it fascinating how these two factors tremendously contribute to shaping our outlook and behaviour, painting us all with unique shades of identity? Each of us is a beautiful mosaic of influences, cemented together by our ethnic identity and culture, contributing to the stunning diversity that our world boasts.

Pause here for a second. Can you guess what's been instrumental in silently powering my blog journey on this commute? My dear powerbank! As a student journalist on the move, powerbanks have become my best companion, ensuring that my creativity isn't hindered by a dwindling battery. The ease that comes with having this sleek device in my bag, allowing me to charge my phone or laptop on the go, is undeniably liberating, especially when insights strike me during these tranquil train journeys.

Talking about necessary power, I was reading an article earlier about Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Iselin Nybø, and an alleged ethical quandary she found herself in. The news report highlighted the appointment of a close associate of hers to top positions at Enova and the Norwegian Space Agency - positions she was involved in allotting.

While this situation sparked a bunch of allegations related to favouritism, what intrigued me was Nybø’s stand on it. She believes that she assumes she was disqualified, presenting an interesting perspective on power, privilege and personal conflicts. This brings me to ponder – isn’t it crucial to ensure the vigorous execution of ethics, especially when placed in positions of power? As journalists, we often find ourselves chronicling stories that expose the proverbial chinks in one's armour, making it essential to build our narratives on a foundation of fairness, transparency and above all, truth.

That's it for the day, folks! As I put away my laptop, looking forward to the calming embrace of home, I am thankful for powerbanks and thoughtful debates on culture, identity, and power. Here's to more such enriching rides on the train of reflection.

Tags: ethnic identity culture journalism

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