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Comparative Government and Politics
News, information, and instruction resources for AP Comparative Government and Politics
Curated by Matt Beiriger
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Russian Summer

Russian Summer | Comparative Government and Politics | Scoop.it
At the dacha, the soul of Russia--and its cultural divide--is on display. In vacation cottages the women are in housedresses. The men, Speedos and rubber boots. They brood, plant, party, and restore their souls.

 

The dacha (a seasonal second home or a vacation spot) is incredibly important in Russia.  It is is estimated that over 50% of city residences in Russia own a dacha as a way to culturally connect with the countryside.  This is a nice glimpse into that life. 


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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 12:02 PM

This is definitely a part of the country/cultural side of Russia. Bathing with animals and in lakes like this is definitely not a part of urban Russia. Throughout societies, there is always an urge to live a different lifestyle. In this country, the residents are given an option to live both countryside Russian life and urban Russian life.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, October 27, 2014 9:07 AM

“Everyone in Russia has a dacha story”. Dachas are small, summer cottages and cabins that over half of Russia’s population owns. While many people in the United States have this mental image of Russians as drunk, stern, communists, the dacha shows insight to a life much more similar to ours than many people would probably imagine. Russians use dachas as a form of escape, in the same way that many Americans visit a beach house or a mountain cabin in the summer. The need to escape and break through the rut of the daily grind is something that transcends ethnicity or nationality. The need to leave our concrete jungles for the simplicities and feeling of completeness offered by the natural environment is something much more  primordial.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:12 PM

Everyone in Russia has a dacha story. It may be a trace of childhood memory like playing ball late into evening by a sun that won’t set, gathering pinecones to perfume the fire, or swimming in an icy pond. It may be quietly romantic, a first love that fades with the season or blossoms into marriage. An older woman tells of coming home from work to find her husband in bed with her best friend. She kicked him out and, with retirement looming and no husband, wondered, What will I do now? The answer was the dacha she bought for 500 rubles, with a forest nearby for mushroom hunting, a lake, and a garden. “The dacha saved my life,” she says. Sweet or bitter, lighthearted or dark, the story always takes place in summer. A dacha, after all, is a summer cottage.

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Ethnic Mongolians in China concerned about cultural threat

Ethnic Mongolians in China concerned about cultural threat | Comparative Government and Politics | Scoop.it
There is a saying that Mongolians are born on horses.
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In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun

In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun | Comparative Government and Politics | Scoop.it
Young Iranians are tuning out. Of those encountered on a visit, many seemed less interested in religious fanaticism than in sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

 

Often we fall into the trap of assuming that the political rhetoric of the governmental regime is is culturally representative of the people of that country (such as this picture above.  Listen to this podcast on the  Iranian nuclear program for an example of the religous/political rhetoric: http://www.scoop.it/t/regional-geography/p/2016189455/iran-s-nuclear-fatwa-a-policy-or-a-ploy ).  And yet, people are still people, and kids are just kids, even in a conservative theocratic government.

"One of the most pernicious misunderstandings in the West about Iranians is that they are dour religious fanatics...In the 1970s, disgruntled young Iranians rebelled against a corrupt secular regime by embracing an ascetic form of Islam. Now they’re rebelling against a corrupt religious regime by embracing personal freedom — in some cases, even sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." 


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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:26 AM

The rebellious nature of young adults seems to be a unifying human factor regardless of the country or regime. They may not rebel in the same ways we'd expect, but they rebel regardless. The thing I especially find interesting across all countries is the upcoming of this new generation. The older people of all nations spend a lot of time holding onto their power and beliefs, but time will only tell how drastically the world will change once they naturally die out and this new generation, raised by video games and the unifying power of the internet, takes over.

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In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less

In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less | Comparative Government and Politics | Scoop.it
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...

 

Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.


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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:54 PM

This article is digusting and shocking.  The feminist in me flew at my screen when I read that domestic violence is "not only rampant...but accepted."  I feel indescribable pity for women who live in a country where they are required to live under the rule of a man, even when there are not enough to go around, so they are forced to settle for brutes who know how much power they wield over the women.  If it were acceptable for a woman to live as a single, independent individual, things would be much different but these girls who are held to lesser standards by their own culture have to suffer domestic violence and infidelity due to a shortage of men. 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 18, 2014 10:02 PM

When hearing of Russia's imbalance of men vs. women I did not think further into how much this fact could affect not only hetero relationships, but the relationships amongst the sexes themselves as well.  Morality is altered in this society where men are so scarce and are "shared" by the women.  It is known that Putin, a married man is married and has had a long term affair, and child with another  women.  The article states "no one really cares."  With our fair share of presidential affairs both in the far past and fairly recent, we see how unacceptable society finds such behavior.  But would the game change if all of sudden men were so scarce?  It is also disheartening that the female population is not united due to the lack of men.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:14 PM

This is a great example of population geography shifting cultural geography. The altering of gender norms in Russia due to the shortage of men shows how all types of geography are intertwined and cultural and population are related deeply. This is a contemporary example of that.