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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 1:15 PM

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world.  Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries.  The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war.  This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty. 


UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.

 

Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.

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Jodhpur - India's Blue City

Jodhpur - India's Blue City | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it

DB: The aesthetics of architecture within a society not only reveal the communities interpretation of what is considered beautiful or pleasing in appearance but also differentiates between what is considered sacred or important. The symbolic significance of aesthetics in colors, designs and a place of residence can be indicative of socioeconomic standing is within society and what the community values.  Jodhpur, India is well known for the beautiful wave of blue houses that dominate the landscape of a rather dry region. However, it is believed that these blue houses originally were the result of ancient caste traditions. 

 

Brahmins (who were at the very top of the caste system) housed themselves in these “Brahmin Blue” homes to distinguish themselves from the members of other castes. Now that the Indian government officially prohibits the caste system, the use of the color blue has become more widespread. Yet Jodhpur is one of the only cities in India that stands steadfast to its widespread aesthetics obsession with the color blue which is making it increasingly unique, creating a new sense of communal solidarity among its residence.

 

Questions to Consider: How has color influenced the cultural geography of this area?  How are the aesthetics of this community symbolic of India’s traditional past, present and possible future?

 

Tags: South Asia, culture, housing, landscape, unit 3 culture.


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ctoler geo 152's curator insight, July 22, 2014 2:10 AM

never knew this city existed. Blue City!

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:27 PM

The blue color shows how traditional Hindu society has influenced the overall aesthetic of the area. Because the blue signified the elite class of the society, everyone took to the color and the entire city reflects its popularity. The fact that almost every building in the city is painted the same color shows how dominant the Hindu society and culture was.

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Inside Mecca

For over 1400 years, Mecca has been one of the most important cities in the Arabian Peninsula. By the middle of the 6th century, there were three major settl...

 

As the heart of Islam, Mecca brings in pilgrims from around the world.  This documentary gives a great overview of the historical, spiritual and cultural reasons why this is sacred space to over one billion Muslims.  Additionally, this documentary contains an analysis of the logistics that are a part of the Hajj.  

 

Tags: Islam, tourism, place, transportation, religion, Middle East, culture. 

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:03 PM

This article was really interesting to read especially because I have been working at a McDonalds for almost three years now. McDonalds is huge franchise that is known all over the world. Of course my McDonald's does not serve anything for vegetarians. India has various reasons for going meatless. One is that cows are sacred to Hindus. Also, Muslims who live in the country do not eat pork. As opposed to my location who has a top seller of a Big Mac, India's top seller is a McAloo Tikki burger. This burger is made out of a potato based patty as opposed to ground beef. The company is also planning to open another vegetarian location.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 3:14 PM

I think it makes sense that there are not a lot of restaurants (less than 300) restaurants in India seeing as Indian food is not the most popular types of cuisine in the world. As much as I think McDonald's is disgusting, people would rather eat McDonald's than Indian food. It's not a problem to Indians and its Islamic individuals because cows are sacred to Hindus and Muslims don't eat pork so that leaves chicken to be eaten by Hindus and Muslims. McDonald's in the United States is different compared to McDonald's in India because India's McDonalds puts an Indian fusion on there food and they changed their menu to 50 percent vegetarian.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."

 

This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     


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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 7:36 PM

I always find it amazing when people who are from different parts of the world visit America for the first time and experience the things that people here experience on a day to day basis. With their visit here, their misconception about seeing America as the land flowing with milk and honey is usually thrown out the window one they start facing hardship and difficulty. With these video these people from Australia, get a first site of how New Yorkers live their life. One thing that struct me was how they regarded poverty and homelessness here. As the world's most powerful country, USA has yet to combat and overcome its poverty issue. Those who were visiting, regarded homelessness as people who are unloved. Its sad because as a community, we are responsible for those who are less fortune, yet people in our very backyard are dying of hunger on a day to day basis. 

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 7:18 PM

Even though this coup is only a minute long, it provided a good and quick visual of the striking differences between an African culture and the Western culture that we embrace in America. One thing I found interesting about the video is that the men who went to America are coming back to their home country to share stories and possibly bring some Western culture to their country.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 9, 11:16 PM

Not only Vanuatuan individuals, but we see many different cultured people visit america to experience technological lives that poor economic nations wouldn't be able to experience. Vanuatuan homes are not as fancy, strongly built or even as big as buildings that you'll find in the United States and I think it was a good opportunity for people of Vanuatu to witness how other people live especially when it's more advanced than their cultures. Vanuatu won't find roller coasters, concerts or many other entertainment experiences in their region like they would in America. I live in a region full of technology and entertainment and I could only imagine if I was visiting an area that had more like what Vanuatu was experiencing. Since, America and Vanuatu was experiencing each other's culture styles, it helps them even out their living conditions and what the higher economic region (United States) can do to help the lower economic region. (Vanuatu)

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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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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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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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Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Spain's dismal economy has residents of the country's richest region, Catalonia, wondering if they'd be better off going it alone. With their own language and distinct culture, Catalans have long pushed for independence from Spain.

 

This podcast merges several geographic strands together as economic turmoil in the southern portion of the Euro Zone has fanned the flames of cultural resentment and put discussions for Catalonian independence on the agenda for local politicians. 

 

Questions to ponder: Will this internal devolution cause greater disintegration in the European Union or Spain?  Would an independent Catalan be a wise move for the Catalonians?  How would their independence impact Spain?    

 

Tags: political, autonomy, economic, Europe, devolution, sovereignty, unit 4 political.


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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:49 PM

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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Timelapse of Route 66

USA Route 66 Cross Country Road Trip Map, Data, Summary, Photos, Equipment Used: http://www.defreesproductions.com/road-trip-route-66-cross-country-usa-2012 ...

 

I saw this video on an Atlantic Cities article and was struck by the rural and "off-the-beaten path" feel that timelapse of the Mother Road manages to capture.  Route 66 looms large in Americana, in part because it represents a bygone era, a time when the automobile was new and exciting. This empowered many to make a cross-country road trip, but during this time the car was not so ubiquitous that it was the overwhelming force that is so visually prominent in urban landscapes as it is today.  The historical and cultural critique of the U.S. automobile culture in the Pixar movie Cars may be fictional and for a child audience, but it is quite accurate in noting that cities disconnected from the interstate system sharply declined and were never the same.  These places represent for many people then, a classic pop culture landscape of yesteryear.  

 

Tags: transportation, landscape, place, culture, timelapse.


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Jon Meyerjon's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:13 AM

The Route 66 trip in 3 min. Wow! Great work.

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The Cultural Geography of a Viral Sensation

The Cultural Geography of a Viral Sensation | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original.  This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well ove...

 

The following link has the video, parodies and infographics to help student explore the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon. 


Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated?

 

Tags: popular culture, video, diffusion, globalization, culture, place, technology, unit 3 culture. 


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Rich's comment, October 3, 2012 2:27 PM
When I first saw this music video and heard the song I remember myself saying "I have no idea what is going on, but the human race is a better place thanks to this guy." I may not know what he is saying but it puts me in a great mood. This guy is breaking cultural and geographical boundaries with music.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2014 6:07 PM

Culture and globalization has spread this song across the United States breaking records and trending on sites such as Twitter. Our exposure to different cultures is great. However, if you do not like songs that get stuck in your head, do not listen to this song . LOL

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Body Ritual of the Nacirema

Body Ritual of the Nacirema | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it

Written by Harold Miner, the Body Ritual of the Nacirema was written in part to parallel an early 20th century cultural anthropology report on a culture this can be used to discuss culture and different perspectives of culture groups.  This could be very fun, especially waiting to see when the "aha" moment comes and they understand just who the Nacirema are (the SPOILER will be embedded in the comment section).  It is lengthy and written as academic paper, so for K-12 use, I'd recommend using snippets and having them work in groups to analyze the seemingly bizarre cultural rituals of the Nacirema.  


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Seth Dixon's comment, November 11, 2011 2:17 PM
**SPOILER ALERT** The NACERIMA are is modern American society (American spelled backwards). This little bit of information drastically changes the reading.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 14, 2011 4:05 PM
The "Nacirema" are "American" spelled backwards (or interpreted backwards).
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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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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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