February 6, 2009

The Human Race Machine

During the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. day celebration, I had a chance to experience The Human Race Machine. Personally, I have never experienced using any machine of this kind before and this was totally new to me. The machine’s ability to morph my face into several main races, amazed me so much, and I am sure that I am not the only person to feel this way. Firstly, the machine captured the picture of my face and then it inquired my age. Later it started morphing my face and show how do I look if I were a Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian. I would say they look a bit different from my actual look; however Middle Eastern look matched my face very well. Besides, this unique machine helped me to envision myself as a 60 year old man.

The one thing that came across my mind as I stepped out of the machine is how equal humans actually are. We are equal in so many ways despite differences in hair color, skin color, the language we talk, the food we eat, the religion we belief and the country we live in. I realized that it is us who create the boundaries that segregate human into several groups or classes even though we are born the same in the eye of the Creator. This is what then results to what we called as prejudice, hence the tendency to cross the boundary and to discriminate against sexes, races, religion, and country of origin and so on.

I am really glad to have witnessed the effort of this university to instill the value of human equality amongst students by giving firsthand experience to this Human Race Machine. This would make us appreciate other races more. I admit that I used to have little prejudice over certain races because of my tendency to ‘judge a book by its cover’. And now that I realized how bad it is to think badly of other people, I believe that we human are all the same.

Apart from that, this machine makes me even prouder of being who I am right now. People have always perceived me as a Mexican which I think maybe because of my overall look and skin color. Despite their perception, I am proud to tell others where I come from, which is Malaysia. The opportunity to explain to them where Malaysia is located, what language we speak, what food we eat, and what religion we believe in; makes the proud feeling grow even more tremendous in me. Being an international student here in Penn State, I always consider myself as the black sheep of the society as opposed of being a frontrunner. But, The Human Race Machine changes it all. This very experience gives me a new perspective of life as the minority in this college or America in general, that I am the same with other people, be them White, Black, Indian, Chinese or whatever race they might be.

p/s: This is actually the assignment for my sociology class. Just got it done just now and I wanna share it with you guys =)


TheZealousZamriHussin said...

a great piece of writing ,Mr. Haleem.

I wish Newcastle has the clever machine. Wondering if "Middle Eastern look matched my face" as well. Taste Pak Arab la, boleh?

I learned craniofacial development at school, basically on variation in human headform and facial shape. A take home message is that RACE is biologically meaningless but a cultural category.

Temanya, integrasi internasional la kan? Camtuh!

Abdul Haleem Arbi said...

thanx zamri!

farhah said...

mende tuh ade lg x skrg? nk try jgak.

Abdul Haleem Arbi said...

xde dah..die kt HUB seminggu tyme martin luther king day jer..tunggu la next year ye..hehe..