Red Devil of the Week: Nuhan Abid ’22


Nuhan Abid ’22 is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a prospective double major in English and international studies, with additional interests in philosophy and creative writing. After Dickinson, Nuhan wants to go into the creative industry and continue writing. 

Before attending Dickinson, Nuhan took a gap year in Bangladesh where he wrote articles for a newspaper magazine focused on kids, teens and college students. He also enjoys blogging and wants to make podcasts and comedy scripts. His favorite book is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

When describing Bangladeshi food Nuhan said, “It’s similar to Indian food, except the honest truth is if you’re having Indian food, you’re likely to be served Bangladeshi food in many restaurants.” 

When Nuhan arrived at Dickinson in August, it was his very first time on campus. He was surprised by how small it is geographically compared to other similar schools.

Nuhan discussed the appropriate way that he thinks someone should go about learning about other cultures and people. 

“There’s an insensitive way to ask and a lot of people don’t realize it. Saying things like ‘your English is so good’ is a big no-no. They’ve worked hard even if it’s scratchy or bad, they’ve worked hard to learn where they’re at right now,” he said. 

“I self taught myself so even then the question kind of annoys me. Instead of saying ‘Your English is so good’, you should say something like ‘Oh, you speak very eloquently’ or something like that. You shouldn’t be surprised by anything a foreign person does, they’re just as much people and the internet makes things very easy for cultures to intersect…I mean look at memes, everyone gets the same memes all over the world. Sure, you may have regional memes but it’s still a universal thing.”

Nuhan suggests, “be curious, but be sensitive, be empathetic. You can ask as many questions as you like, just make sure you have a genuine interest in what you’re asking and that you genuinely want to learn about a different culture and not try to find out if it’s weird and different. Be respectful, be understanding.”