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Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too? | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.

 

"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language."  What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language?  Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?  

 

The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language.  "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere."  For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397    


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:14 AM
It is definitely important for Latvians to hold on tightly to their culture. However, the Soviet Union caused Russian culture and language to spread throughout the USSR and countries are feeling the effects today. There are millions of Russians in former satellite nations who hold on to their Russian culture. At the same time, these nations wish to regain their national pride especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is a difficult conundrum, but I do agree with the Latvians' decision.
Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 15, 2014 8:37 PM

It was interesting to read that in order to become a Latvian citizen you need to speak Latvian.I can see the point of view from both sides.Russian speaking residents want to be treated equally and Latvian citizens want to keep their cultural identity. However it does seem that there may be some deeper issues of discrimination that a unified language may not eliminate completely.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 5, 4:54 PM

About 35 percent of Latvia's population (5,000,000) contains Russian ancestors. Russia does not want to give Latvia credit for practicing Russian languages and the Russian heritage because Russian feels like since they take up about 11% of the world, they don't need to share their heritage with any other country. It's kind of like copyright laws that Russia seems to have.

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How geography shapes cultural diversity

How geography shapes cultural diversity | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Study offers evidence that long countries give better protection to languages than those that are wide.

 

This article explains some of the research that Jared Diamond's hypothesis in "Guns, Germs and Steel" generated.  More specifically, this particular research hypothesizes that in a given country, its primary axis of orientation (North-South, East-West or balanced) helps to predict the survival of indigenous languages.  While I have some skepticism about Diamond's core thesis, this is a good extension for teachers that use Guns, Germs and Steel in their classes. 


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Kim Kardashian: how did she become such a threat to western civilisation?

Kim Kardashian:  how did she become such a threat to western civilisation? | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it

The head of a girls' private school won praise for her attack on the west's obsession with celebrity. But are today's teens really naive enough to see reality TV stars as role models?

 

A clash of cultures?  Cultural values?  Who creates cultural values and how are they shaped?   Do you agree with the perspective that Kim represents 'what's wrong with society?'  


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The future of farming: pig cities

The future of farming: pig cities | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Ambitious research project aims to bring pig production into urban areas.

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Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Biologists Say

Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Biologists Say | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Evolutionary biologists say the first speakers of what would become the Indo-European languages were probably farmers in what is now Turkey — a conclusion that differs by hundreds of miles and thousands of years from a longstanding linguistic theory.

 

This research potentially can explain much about the geography of languages and the distribution of cultural groups in Eurasia. 


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Kampe Kyle's curator insight, May 27, 2014 11:33 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concept of language, language diffusion, and philological history, as it dates all of the languages of Europe back to a unified whole in the past wherein one language in Anatolia sparked all these other languages to eventually take hold.

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Twitter / APHumanGeog: This video never ceases to ...

Squatter Settlments 


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KIM JONG STYLE

Kim Jong Style! The best K-POP comes from North Korea! Watch Behind the Scenes: http://youtu.be/3LeiYqqVO24 Written by Todd Womack, Mark Douglas, and Bryan O...

 

So I'm obssessed with these parodies, but this one is entertaining and highlights the many differences between North and South Korea. 


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A History of Conflicts

A History of Conflicts | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.     


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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, August 16, 2012 8:06 AM
Oh... You are lucky ;-)
Paul Rymsza's comment, August 22, 2012 2:15 PM
the potential of this site is amazing between the interactive learning system and the correlation between the timeline and location. If the human geography class is anything like this i can't wait for it!
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.    

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New Racism Museum Reveals the Ugly Truth Behind Aunt Jemima

New Racism Museum Reveals the Ugly Truth Behind Aunt Jemima | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
David Pilgrim has spent decades collecting racist pictures, signs, and knick-knacks. Now he's sharing his collection with the world.

 

A culture of racism/descrimination goes far beyond the overt acts of racism; it permeates all aspects of society.  This museum uncovers that to show the all-encompassing impact of racism in the Jim Crow era.  To visit the museum's wesite see: http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/


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How Racist Are We? Ask Google

How Racist Are We? Ask Google | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Research that compares the use of racially charged search terms with voting patterns suggests that Barack Obama's race lowers his chance of re-election.

 

The United States is not a 'post-racial' society, obviously.  This research uses  region-specific Google searches on racial ephitats to act as a proxy for regions that are most racially charged.  This graphic is a result of the research found at: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/06/can-google-predict-the-impact-of-racism-on-a-presidential-election/258322/ ;

 


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Soda vs. Pop with Twitter

Soda vs. Pop with Twitter | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. Eavesdropping on the world, what what!

 

While many educators have been using http://popvssoda.com/ to show the linguistic regions in the United States, this is a similar map, with the added social media component.  To map out these regions, the cartographer used the word choice on geo-tagged tweets as the data source.  For another twitter, map, the following link shows which regions are most actively engaged on Twitter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/top-countries-on-twitter_n_1653915.html

What do these regions show us?  What types of regions are these?

 

Seth: This is a fun site! 


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Chris W's comment, August 27, 2012 11:02 AM
This is a really cool use of twitter! I use the term soda, which most of the northeast uses as well.
Courtney Burns's curator insight, September 14, 2013 10:35 PM
Twitter is something that is becoming widely used, and is something I usually check everyday. I never really thought of twitter beyond advertising and communicating. It is amazing the kind of data that can be extracted from peoples tweets. In the soda vs. pop argument I would say soda which makes sense since the data shows that people in the Northeast refer to it as soda. Twitter is so current that you can actually get some current and accurate data just from reading the hash tags in peoples tweets. It's amazing that such information can be extracted from all around the world.
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Top 12 Cities for Culture

Top 12 Cities for Culture | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Where are the most culturally rich cities in the world? The World Cities Culture Report has named its Top 12 choices. Do you agree with the picks?

 

How do we rank "culture" in lists such as these?  What criteria is preferred and what elements of culture are ignored in this perspective on culture? 


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For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language : NPR

For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language  : NPR | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
If you grew up in a bilingual Hispanic household, listening to the Democratic and Republican conventions may have sounded a lot like home. In this year's presidential election, Latinos are a major voting bloc — and Spanish is getting its close-up.

 

Why are cultural politics such a major issue? 


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 11, 2012 9:32 PM
Cultural politics are such a major issue, because politicians have to be aware of new cultural population changes, and cater their campaigns to the changes, in order to get more supporters. The Latino population is currently expanding in the U.S. and these candidates are trying to communicate with both the English speaking and Spanish speaking Americans. That is why these politicians are speaking "Spanglish."
Mark V's comment, September 12, 2012 3:22 PM
The issues of politics and cultures being intertwined is nothing new, but recently, the active courting of the Hispanic vote is becoming the norm. We saw it in the 2000/2004 election of George Bush where the president would use Spanish words and phrases and proactively engaged Latino's. Now we are seeing it in 2012, and it will only become more of an issue over the years, because of the demographic shift toward a more Latin USA. Also, politicians know the importance of capturing first generation Americans so that they may win over future generations who follow their parents to the voting booth.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 12, 2012 3:25 PM
In a demographically homogenous country the pluralism of the political system may revolve around certain ideologies. However in a heterogeneous state, political factions can be greatly influenced by ethnicity. The completion for the Latino vote in this upcoming election between the nation’s two political parties seems to demonstrate how the Republican party’s platform needs to change. Like the city of Detroit is to specialized as they seem to target the cultural values of WASP. Therefor they are going out of their way to disprove this conception but in doing so they risk alienating some of their own supporters.
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Spread of Protests Sparked by Anti-Muslim Video

Spread of Protests Sparked by Anti-Muslim Video | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Protests sparked by an obscure American-made video, posted on the Internet and intended to provoke Muslims, have spread beyond the Middle East and North Africa.

 

This interactive map lets the reader explore the places where large protests over the "Innocence of Muslims" video have occurred. 


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Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Beneath the catchy dance beat and hilarious scenes of Seoul's poshest neighborhood, there might be a subtle message about wealth, class, and value in South Korean society.

 

This is a pretty insightful cultural analysis of the sensation. 


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