Senior designs, sells bags for children’s hospital

first_imgSenior Kate Kellogg, vice president of Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon, first introduced her custom-designed canvas tote to campus in the fall of 2011. “When I was in high school, I would choose colors and fabric to create my own bag to bring to school,” Kellogg explained. “My mom’s business, the Queen and I Designs, had talented sewers that would put together exactly what I was envisioning.” Last year, when Kellogg constructed her own vision of a Saint Mary’s bag for students to haul their books around campus, she thought of incorporating Dance Marathon. “I decided to mass-produce the bag that I had wanted for my own personal use and sell it through Dance Marathon,” Kellogg said. “I thought it would be a great way for business and to raise awareness and donations for Dance Marathon.” Kellogg’s mother Jan said she and her company are very supportive of the Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon totes. “I have loved working with Kate on her bag designs,” Jan said. “It’s fun to have a mother-daughter project and to see her ideas produced as a product.” The popular navy canvas totes with a white imprinted French Cross have been extremely popular around campus. This year Kate engineered a new canvas tote for Dance Marathon with a black and tan block pattern, but still imprinted with a white French Cross that is a signature of the College. Kate said Dance Marathon has multiple fundraisers throughout the year in order to reach the final goal of $88,000. Throughout the rest of this week, Dance Marathon will be selling Kate’s custom-designed totes with 30 percent of the proceeds benefitting Riley Children’s Hospital. Along with the sale of the canvas totes, Dance Marathon is also hosting a Giveback night at Between the Buns on November 19, where 15 percent of all purchases will go towards Riley Children’s Hospital. Kate said she has enjoyed her involvement in Dance Marathon and Riley Children’s Hospital and urges all of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities to participate. “It’s great to be doing something that I love and that expresses my creativity,” she said, “while also knowing donations will be going to a great cause.”last_img read more

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‘Like a robot’: Indonesia’s nonbelievers struggle to blend in during Ramadan

first_imgThe presence of agnostics and atheists is not often felt in conservative Indonesia, where society largely defines itself along religious lines.Widespread belief in traditional family values stokes fear in nonbelievers that they will be rejected by close relatives for their perspectives and often prevents them from speaking their minds.As Muslims across the Indonesian archipelago celebrate Ramadan, nonbelievers are having a hard time blending in, feeling the weight of familial and social expectations amid a lack of space and mobility under COVID-19 social restrictions.  Read also: Living a double life: Indonesia’s atheists fear jail or worseFate led Jefry – who asked to be referred to with a pseudonym to protect his privacy – to spend Ramadan with his family in Riau this year. Jefry describes himself as an agnostic and has been living away from his family for the past couple of years attending university in Jakarta.“Days before [Jakarta] implemented PSBB [large-scale social restrictions], I was asked to go back to attend a relative’s wedding. When the situation got worse, my parents wouldn’t let me go back to Jakarta,” he told The Jakarta Post last week.Living with his extended family has been stressful for Jefry, especially as there are more than five other people under the same roof. Because no one in the family knows that he is agnostic, he has participated in religious rituals, mainly out of fear that his parents would scold him if he refused.“I performed the rituals just like a robot. It’s just a formality for me. I do it because I still have respect for my parents,” said the 26-year-old with a chuckle.“Even though I am like this, I still care about them.”Coming from a conservative religious family, Jefry said he had been secretly exploring the limits of his belief since junior high school. After he left his hometown for university, he was exposed to a number of diverse experiences and religious attitudes.He eventually reached a point where he no longer believed in the teachings he was raised with. He stopped praying soon thereafter.“I studied a lot until I was able to come to the conclusion that there is a higher being or power that governs us, but I also believe that religion is a man-made construct created with a certain agenda in mind,” he said.No one knows how many nonbelievers there are in Indonesia, but some estimates have put the figures in the extreme minority. Many remain closeted for most of their lives.In Muslim-majority Indonesia, where freedom of religious belief is supposed to be guaranteed and the state is officially pluralist, Indonesians are still expected to officially subscribe to one of six approved religions (and more recently to “native faiths”), while other religious minorities still regularly face discrimination.Read also: Native faith believers in North Sulawesi celebrate freedom of religionNonbelievers, who don’t fit any of the government’s categories, can end up in prison or face persecution, as any rejection of religion is frowned upon.But not all nonbelievers choose to abandon their religious identities completely.In a 2017 interview with Vox about his book The Atheist Muslim, Pakistan-born author Ali Rizvi said that many nonbelievers still retained an element of religion in their lives, noting how he himself, a self-professed free thinker, still enjoyed Idul Fitri and breaking fast during Ramadan with his family.“I think all of us have the right to believe what we want, and we must respect that right, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to respect the beliefs themselves,” Rizvi said.“I think we should be able to enjoy some of these rituals without the burden of belief.”For Doni, who also asked to use a pseudonym, there is much more leeway when it comes to dealing with his religious duties during Ramadan.His bedroom has become a safe place for him to create the illusion that he is fasting and praying to appease his family.“I store some food in my bedroom, which I eat in the afternoon. And since everyone prays in their own rooms, I just pretend to have performed ablutions and then go back inside [my room] without actually praying,” said the 32-year-old social media manager.He said he left behind all religious practices three years ago.His family, however, has become increasingly religious over the past few years, especially after being introduced to the Salafi movement, an ultra-conservative Sunni group, many of whose adherents consider more moderate Muslims infidels.Read also: Study highlights vulnerability of Salafi ‘pesantren’ to radicalismDoni said it would be almost impossible to admit to his family that he was a nonbeliever.To keep his secret safe, Doni tries to mind his attitude at home. The real challenge, he said, was to keep his mouth shut when the topic of belief was raised in family discussions.“I am naturally a debater. Whenever it comes up, I avoid it like the plague because I’m afraid I might say something that will reveal how I don’t believe in religion anymore,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

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