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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing | Geography 200 |
Czar Alexander II may have freed the serfs, but his war against the stateless people of the Caucasus cannot be ignored


The czar’s approval of this rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire resulted in an ethnic cleansing through disease and drowning as overcrowded ferries crossed the Black Sea. The Ottomans were unprepared for the influx of refugees, and the absence of adequate shelter caused even more deaths from exposure. Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is interesting to learn the history of a place that most American’s didn’t know existed until the Olympics.  It is always helpful to have things placed in a historic perspective.  The historic background makes understanding modern day events easier

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:56 PM

Czar Alexander II was a horrific leader who " ethnicially cleansed" the people of Sochi and cleansed them through disease and drowning as over populated ferries crossed the Black Sea. This act of innaliation of the war against the stateless people is just outrageous and unforgiving. In Sochi the "red hill" where the skiiers and snowboarders are set to take off is the site at which one of the massacres happened, it makes you wonder if the rest of the world knows this or are they ignorant to the fact that the Olympics at Sochi is glorified as having the two veritile terrains in which you can swim and ski in the a couple miles form eachother. I wonder what people who thnk if they knew the truth about Sochi.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:33 PM

This is basically like a mini Holocaust. When do people think its okay to do something like this? It boggles my mind how things like this can actually go on in the world still with todays technologies and armed forces. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 5, 2:27 PM

This article shows the great deal of overlap between Geography and History.  Today, when people think of Sochi, they will remember the Olympic games, and the epic hockey battle between the USA and the Russian Federation.  Yet, as this article discusses, Sochi was once the sight of a military battle, and a massacre.  The Russian Empire under Alexander II wanted to expand its borders to be well defined and would wage war against the Circassians who lived in the region.  When they would not go to the Ottoman Empire, and fought the Russians, the army and the Czar were prepared to fight them.  As a result, on Red Hill, the native people had a last stand against the Russian Army and were massacred.  Yet, the southern region of Russia near the middleast, to this day, is not secure.  The history of this region has guaranteed that the people living in these regions of the country would come to loathe Russia.  In fact, this area in the form of Chechnya, has exported the hatred and Islamic fervor of the region, to the United States in the Boston Marathon Bombings of 2013.  History and Geography are not neat boxes that are separate from each other, they are always influencing one another in all actuality. 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate | Geography 200 |
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article was interesting because it showed how modern immigration patterns are not that dissimilar from historic patterns.  People come to a new country and they settle in an area that has relatives or familiar people already living there.  The formation of ethnic enclaves is the example.  People are choosing to self-segregate when they immigrate to a new homeland because it is the familiar with in the strange.  Perhaps once the new immigrants have acclimated to Canadian society they may move out of the enclave areas but they also may stay.  It is an interesting example of how people cluster together with similar people when they move to a new country.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 9:15 PM

It is amazing that over 600 people come into Canada a day and settle into areas that used to be quite little farming land. These areas are now home to North Americas second largest Asian communities. Canada now has 260 ethnic enclave neighborhoods and they are an important part of Canadas landscape. They are mostly moving into the suburbs where land is cheaper and in my opinion I think they are moving there for job and because they concider it safer. They are also closing down the business of the families that have been their forever and cant compete like the greek families.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 1:15 PM

This article contains details about the Canadian immigrant population boom, mostly from east Asia, which began in the 90's. Unsurprisingly, many of these immigrants settle into communities with others whom share their culture. These Canadian ethnic enclaves differ from those in the US because most immigrants are choosing suburban areas (where the cost of living is lower) rather than being relegated to an urban "ethnictown." However, these enclaves are not entirely a product of economic equality as the average earnings for a recent immigrant are only 61% of a Canadian-born worker, limiting their ability to move elsewhere.


Conversely, the immigrant communities which become economically successful are seeing many of their sons and daughters move away to the city or other suburbs as they are more fully integrated into the Canadian culture and if there is no influx of new immigrants into these enclaves they begin to die out. This seems to indicate that long-standing ethnic enclaves are at least partially the product of economic inequality than a desire to preserve culture.

Gubert's curator insight, February 11, 5:17 AM

XIPHIAS Immigration is one among the Top Five Immigration Consultants in India according to The siliconindia as Top Five Most Promising Immigration Consultants. www.xiphiasimmigration,com


Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Geography 200 |

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 1:09 AM

This article details the ethnic deportation of peoples during the Soviet era. Many peoples were relocated under the guise of creating an ethnically unified Soviet Union but the truth was while some of the deportations were to simply move workers places of planned industry, many were to exile those deemed enemies of the state. The article estimates over 40% of those relocated died of diseases, malnutrition, or mistreatment. These forced migrations changed the demographics of Eastern Europe and Asia while causing major conflicts between various ethnic groups and Russia.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2:37 PM

This graph represents the areas where many of the Chechnes had been displaced to in the era of Stalins regime. Many of these people were displaced from their homes and forced to move. Many of them either had to leave family behind of they were forced to move together and had no initial home to live in.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography 200 |
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia.  The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 5:35 PM

 Australia is one of my most racially discriminated places in the world because of this there are alot of factors that play into these problems. "The so-called "intervention" in the Northern Territory was introduced by former Prime Minster John Howard's conservative government.Chronic disadvantage had led to Aboriginal life expectancy being 17 years below that of other Australians."

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:22 PM

I have an issue with the fact this legislation isn’t directly targeting the issue of child sex abuse. Rather the legislation focuses on farther off underlying factor like alcohol (I say this because the article never made a clear link to the use of such substance and the abuse). In a way, I can see why the Aboriginal leader could say it is a racial issue seeing as how their whole peoples style of living is being targeted. Now I am not sure if I would feel differently if the legislation was actually working, but as the article mentioned the legislation isn’t actually having a great enough impact. To me it feels the legislation was really about trying to improve their countries standard of living in regards to life expectancy, etc. Maybe that is because of the way the article read, but really given how indirectly the legislation acts I think there was an ulterior motive.  As such, I am of the opinion that trying to change someone’s way of life (even if it is at their own peril) isn’t right. Inform them if you want, but don’t have such bans because I think the people should be able to choose how they live their life. Unless I see more evidence to the impact of abuse, I say this is just an overreach of power by a modern area.


It seems that even though colonialism ended, the aboriginal way of life is still looked down upon. Under colonial times we learned how most of the colonist went to Africa because it was the "white man's burden" to "civilize". Australia wasn't too different. By looking down on these people, the colonist had no qualm about exterminating entire populations. At least the current leaders judgement of the Abortionist's way of life doesn't put the Abortionists entire life at risk. So it is better than the past, but no by much since the people's way of life is still in subject to constraint constrains that don't match how the society operates. I also think they were looked at in a hypocritical manner here too because alcohol and pron are all commodities sold throughout Australia without the same kind of restriction. 

I do think the life expectancy statistic and issue of child abuse is troubling. If a more supported cause of the problem were demonstrated, I would have to think pretty hard about regulating the society because I am not a huge fan of telling a local population how to live, yet there is clearly something going on that is harming the population.  

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 4:18 PM

The battle going on in this article is interesting because it is between the Australians of European ancestry and those of native ancestry.  The Aborigine community doesn't appreciate the fact that the Australian government is becoming paternalistic and setting up "racist" laws to fix a problem plaguing their community, child abuse.  It is also interesting to consider that as a response the Aborigines would shut down Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in protest.  The fact that tension exists between the two groups is not surprising however, due to the fact that the whites drove the Aborigines off their land and then put them in reservations (much like the United State's treatment of its Native American Population).  It is a shame that the Aborigines would shut down the tourist site just to teach the government a lesson, in a tourist sense of view.  However, it is also a great threat because it would hurt the pocketbook of the country so to speak and it could make the government change its policies that it is using to fix the problem in the Aboriginal communities.  The whole situation is complicated in my point of view because the problem should be fixed, but it needs to be handled in a way that the Aborigines do not feel discriminated against.