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Yanichka Ariunbold

Showing up to conversations

Yanichka Ariunbold discusses reframing conversations around cultural differences on campus, and how Stanford often doesn't make people come to terms with the existence of these differences around them.

Tinder but for white people

“You know, I’m really not into Asian guys. I’m into more … manly guys.” My friend tells me this over dinner, and, with my spoon hovering over my tortilla soup, I don’t feel hungry anymore. The problematic implications attached to my friend’s seemingly offhand words floor me: the casual racism behind branding an entire group…

Remembering is hard in college

I got to know my bedroom ceiling pretty well after finding out about the Divorce. Every day when I got home from school, I would lie on my bed and stare up at the large crack imprinted onto my ceiling’s off-white paint for hours. A long, jagged line that ran angrily between two walls, the…

Let’s get down to defeat the barbarians

Savage, evil, sex-crazed: Chinggis Khan, the conqueror of the beginnings of the largest contiguous land empire in history, is shrouded in controversy — his very name, usually mispronounced, often said with a curled lip and disgusted tone by professors and students alike. Throughout history, his legacy has been accompanied by descriptions of the Mongols as…

Stop fake-fan-shaming 2017

Everyone born after the ‘80s knows the steep cost of scrolling through the comments section of any music-related YouTube video they enjoy. From trolls to unfiltered creeps, YouTube commenters dependably make your music less pleasurable and your belief in free speech and humanity a little less substantiated. Yet another instantly recognizable crowd in the comments…

What’s in a name?

My name has historically had three tiers, kind of like your average layered wedding cake. The first tier is the longest one: Yanjinlkham. The holy Buddhist-Mongolian name a monk blessed me with 18 years ago, Yanjinlkham is the dependable, bottom cake layer that supports all of the others. Though it’s a little too dense for…

Good artist, bad person?

Last week, while I was sleepily perusing through my Facebook newsfeed, scrolling through the usual 10-second cooking videos, memes and clickbait, I came across the headline “Frankie Valli took me at 16 and used me in decades-long affair.” Frankie … Valli? My Frankie Valli? The celebrated ’60s/’70s pop-rock-Motown-ish singer that singlehandedly gave me the will to continue junior…

Cultural ethos, or lack thereof

I sit in one of those mesh ergonomic rolling chairs designed to provide lumbar support, in front of a glossy, faux-cherry desk, typing hesitantly. On my right is my bed, complete with a memory foam mattress topper, a jersey knit comforter and an excessive amount of Target throw pillows. The harsh sound of concrete striking…
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