My first discourse community is the community within my mosque, and to be even more specific the youth within my mosque. Every Sunday we meet after dusk for weekly discussions followed by physical activities and games. Our program s known more commonly around our neighborhood as the Parkchester Islamic Center’s Youth Program. The program consists of kids varying in ages from seven to twenty-one. The point of our discourse community, or I should say rather a common goal we all share is to help build a strong foundation of support for one another and to never lose sight of the purpose of our existence. This week we talked about the shift of Morales within human civilization which prompted the question: How can our society’s definition of good and bad be valid if it changes so much. After a brief open discussion, our program leader Ridwan, a fellow college student ordered what seemed like an endless supply of Pizza from the local Pizza Parlor. Our DC community is well funded with help from generous sponsors so money isn’t an issue. What is more of an issue in our DC community is the rift between our perspective on religion versus the more traditional perspective held by the elders of the mosque. As the new generation of muslims we always try and push the boundaries with our unconventional thoughts about our religion and sometimes that doesn’t sit well with some people. Our discourse community has been protested by a few in the past as a result. Last year our program was at serious risk of closing and we know for sure we are slandered behind closed doors by some.
My second discourse community is a group called “CB Boys”. The term has its roots in the very place we all grew up, at least for the early portion of our childhood. That place is known to everyone in my community as “Curry Building”. The term is assigned to an apartment complex more than a century old, but is now mainly inhabited by people of Bengali decent. To save us the shame of telling everyone we lived in “Curry Building” our group would start using the acronym “CB”. A long time ago, a member had the genius idea to change all our groups chat to be named “CB Boys”. The group consists of an all male group of Bengali guys, mainly misfits, that share a common goal of helping each other keep a fragment of their culture despite the forces of assimilation working against us. We all acknowledge that no matter how far we stray from or hide our heritage and culture within our other more cosmopolitan friend groups, around each other we should proudly embrace it. A problem within our discourse community is that as we start to mature into adults the same desire and urgency to connect with our culture has faded for some of our members. When they have their external friend groups established, and life begins to get busy, it is often the consensus that this group is the most trivial use of their time and energy. Whether that stems from their lack of appreciation for culture or insecurity over their upbringing, that I don’t know. One thing I do know is this country is called the melting pot for a reason, and I’m not sure I like that.
My third discourse community is my Gym group. This group is the youngest discourse community out of the three but this the group I spend the most time with and so by that effect I must mention it. It consists of around five of my closest friends and we all have one common goal: to train for aesthetics. Anytime I come into contact with this discourse community my blood tingles with a mixture of euphoria and rage, the perfect pair of emotions to prep your muscles for overdrive. If one were to listen to just our dialogue, they would make the assumption that they were listening to a group of artisans discussing on the metrics of a sculpture they were working on. To the untrained ear our “gym jargon” is enough to make your head spin, with an uncanny resemblance to medical jargon that especially shines through when we name and identify specific sections our muscles like “medial deltoids” and such. A problem we face on a daily basis is over stimulating certain muscle groups to the point where we unhinge ourselves from reality until we injure ourselves. We are truly first class degenerates, and sometimes I ponder if we had the money if we would’ve been blowing steroids out of our minds.