I love reading Monocle. What made me decide to do a book review of this month’s issue of Monocle (April 2022) was because of an article that examined historical factors behind the Russia-Ukraine war, hailing all the way back to the 1994 Budapest memorandum. It also commented on how a new world order was arising, given that power is diffused nowadays. Two countries like France and the UK may be at odds with each other, but still unite against Russia aggression, underpinning the importance of ad-hoc coalitions. I found it a mind-broadening read, since the narrative we are exposed to by the national press is one of pragmatism. How Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, corn, sunflower oil and even fertilisers. And how the war disrupts supply chains and jacks up costs of living, which will pose obstacles to our way of life. And then, there’s the atmosphere I try to cultivate in my classroom. Nothing about world orders and economic impacts; everything about the uniqueness of Ukraine’s culture. It seems that some students might be taking Ukraine to heart. One boy surprised me by sending me this poster of Слава Україні (Glory to Ukraine), even preaching that he doesn’t want any credit for his effort. Another boy informed me that he had Goggled how to say Hello in Ukrainian, which was an encouraging sign, for we all know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple click on Goggle Sensei. Anyway, I wanted to do my little bit in highlighting the ramifications of the war. Here’s how to help: https://donate.redcross.sg/ukraine-crisis
Book Review: Monocle (April 2022)
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