This is an interesting BBC news source and even though it is from 2008, it is still important to the topic of initiating government policies, especially those that may have a racial component. Aborigines threatened to shut down access to the Australian landmark, Uluru (previously named Ayer's Rock by European explorers). Australian government leaders imposed laws banning alcohol and pornography from Aborigines in hopes to lower the incidents of child abuse. While child abuse is a more prevalent issue among indigenous groups rather than those who are not Aborigines, I do not think it is fair to impose particular bans against certain groups. Child abuse is most likely an issue among Australians other than Aborigines, but just because it might be more prevalent among Aborigines, it is not a reason to punish one group of people and not all.
In Sydney's trendy eastern suburbs, tattoo parlors are almost as ubiquitous as hairdressers.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:
While looking for interesting news sources relating to Australia, I came across this source that reveals that many tattoo artists are involved gang members. I find this to be interesting because for some reason I would never associate gang activity with Australia. Surprisingly to me, there are very tough anti-gang laws that now specfically target tattoo artists. Some of these gangs are the same as those that exist in the United States, such as the Hells Angels. How do these gangs spread globally? This is a rather strange example of globalization.
The Maldives is an interesting country located in the Indian Ocean. It was not originally made up of the 1200 islands that it has now. Many of those islands are uninhabited and miniscule on a map. The country is dominated by tourism which is important for the country. What is also important to the country is its geographical future. Many of the islands might vanish in years to come because of rising sea levels. New islands can form as well as so many already have. The future of this country merely relies on what is happening underwater.
Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.
This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.
"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes. People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."
Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?
Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.
This NPR audio source reveals two totally different lives in Papua New Guinea. There is one side that caters to tourism by showing the "old" Papua New Guinea. This village promotes tourism and it has tours that show old, sort of primitive traditions in Papua New Guinea. It is still important to the natives because it does preserve their past culture. The villagers feel that the world is becoming so westernized that they cannot go back to the old ways of traditions such as cannibalism, wearing little clothing, etc., but when tourists travel to this village, those are the things they want to see. The man in the audio source then traveled to another village where he witnessed how people of Papua New Guinea actually live, which is westernized. I think that both villages are authentic. One village represents their past culture and traditions and origins which is still important, and the other village represents globalization and the changes that the people of Papua New Guinea adapt to. Culture can be a commodity because people such as westerners buy into what they think a country's particular culture is, even though that culture existed centuries ago and the culture has drastically changed since.
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.
The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network. This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable.
Because of the extreme traffic in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, people find interesting ways to manage the situation. There is a law that requires cars traveling into the central business district to have three or more passengers. The requirement aims to have as many people entering the district as possible but in a lesser amount of vehicles to hopefully reduce traffic. Interestingly enough, people sort of "hitchhike" and go in people's cars to make the cars able to enter the business district and the people make money doing this although it is illegal. Many people are finding other ways to manage the traffic situation in this growing city. Some suggest that the city should invest in a public transportation network that cities such as Bangkok and Singapore have in order to lessen the vehicle traffic. This video really shows how globalization and urbanization impacts particular cities that are growing larger and larger in population and industry everyday.
This is another source about the use of recycled soda bottles as light sources in the Philippines. This idea amazes me because it shows what people are capable of doing to help themselves and others in impoverished places. It is such a simple yet amazingly important initiative.
This video shows the amount of work that goes into rice farming in Asian countries. People of Asian countries heavily rely on rice as a staple in their diets. These people take part in immense manual labor on small farms and farm rice for their own local consumption. It is 'back-breaking' work and it shows what many people must do in order to get their food. It is not as easy as driving down the street to the grocery store, as we take for granted in the United States and other nations.
This short video is pretty shocking and quite interesting. It shows how megacities use every space possible to do business. This shows the importance of urban planning and using space very efficiently. The existence of megacities have been and still are on the rise and flexible urban planning must be considered when studying megacities.
January and February are sweet times for most Chinese — they enjoy family reunions during the spring festival, which this year fell on January 23, and they celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is well-liked in China.
Gender roles in cultural norms change from country to country. What also needs to be understood is how the demographic situation of a given country influences these patterns.
This article is interesting as it discusses one example of how gender roles and cultural norms differ from country to country. Chinese women who are around 30 years old and single are referred to as "leftover girls". Similar to a growing trend in the United States, Chinese women are focusing on their careers and their own goals and waiting to marry until they find the right person and have their own lives in order. However, in the United States, this way of life for women is more socially acceptable whereas in China, it is not as acceptable for these "leftover girls".
"It’s rare that a video from a brand will spark any real emotion--but a new spot from Google India is so powerful, and so honest to the product, that it’s a testament not only to the deft touch of the ad team that put it together, but to the strength of Google’s current offering."--Forbes
Even though this video is an advertisement for Google, it is so cool. The video is an indirect lesson of history. That is, it teaches the long term effects of the India and Pakistan partition on people of these countries. The partition sadly separated people who were very close to one another and this video/advertisement shows the effect that the partition had.
Documented by an aid worker, millions of spiders took to the trees to spin their webs after heavy floods inundated Pakistan in 2010.
Besides being an aesthetic wonder, this image is a great way to start a discussion about so many distinct issues. The floods of 2010 devastated the human population, killing over 2,000. These same floods also altered the ecosystem as spiders have needed to adapt to their new inundated landscape as well. For the human population, this has had the shocking benefit of lowering the incidents of malaria since the spiders have more effectively limited the mosquito population. Interconnections...geographic information are a spider web of interconnections between nature and humanity.
This National Geographic photo is interesting as it shows spider webs wrapped around trees during the 2010 floods in Pakistan. While it may seem weird or gross to some, the fact that there were spider webs in the trees is actually very important in a geographical context because spiders eat mosquitos, meaning the incidents of malaria were lowered during this time.
Much of Indian culture regards boys as assets to families and girls as liabilities.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:
This is an NPR article about female feticide. Female feticide has been a growing trend in India. Families who are expecting a child undergo ultrasounds to learn the gender of the fetus, and if it is a girl, the mothers abort the fetus. Families would rather have boys because they are less expensive to care for than girls and because boys are culturally seen as a bigger asset to the Indian family. Female feticide is a problem in India because it creates a disproportion between girls and boys. For every 1,000 boys under age 6, there are only 940 girls, while the worldwide average is 986 girls for every 1,000 boys. This causes a problem when it comes time for boys to get married because there is a shortage of girls. Also, if girls are not born, then reproduction will slow down to the point where it could end.
The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week’s powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn’t getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.
"Its absolute bedlam right now," says Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross. “There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction.”
According to the BBC, a huge international relief effort is underway, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.
This is such a cool photo and interesting phenomenon. The photo is of Lake Hillier, a pink-colored lake located on Middle Island, one of 105 islands that make up an archipelago off the coast of Western Australia. There are many scientific speculations as to why the lake is pink. I find it to be very interesting and wonder more about the lake, such as if it effects the marine life in the lake and if its color effects the ability or inability to use the water as a natural resource.
From Fakarava to Rangiroa, French Polynesia's "other" islands are great fun to say, even better to visit.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:
This CNN link explores Polynesian islands that many people have never even heard of. Many choose the popular, well-known Polynesian islands, such as Bora Bora, as vacationing destinations, but there are many "other" islands that might be even better destination spots that so many do not know about. I wonder what makes a particular island more well known than another. How do people choose which island to vacation on? Is the popularity of Bora Bora over other "better" Polynesian islands a coincidence or is that done on purpose?
Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line. American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base. Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'
This is an interesting article. I knew of the International Date Line, but I did not know anything about it or what it meant. It is a line that is roughly opposite the Prime Meridian that when crossed, the day advances forward, from Monday to Tuesday for example. The line is interesting because it is meant to not stir any problems. It goes through Siberia and the North Pacific Ocean since virtually no one lives in those areas. Even though less people live in the Pacific and South Pacific Islands than say, Europe and Africa or North and South America, people still do live here and they are negatively affected by the date line. American Samoa and Samoa, two islands made up of the same ethnic groups, are separated by the date line. Being separated by time zones affecting people by a few hours seems bad enough, but being separated by an entire day just does not work for many people.
"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.
This video is a trailer for a television show called Meet the Natives, which not surprisingly did not have many episodes. The show featured five men from a Pacific island and their visit to the United States where they experienced American culture for the first time. It is evident in just the trailer that the show reinforced many stereotypes of Pacific islanders and Americans that are obviously not necessarily true. The video shows Pacific islanders living very primitively which is not at all the case. It is important to view these stereotypes with a critical eye so that we do not simply believe everything we see and think everything we see is the truth.
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.
This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization. Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography). What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?
This video posted by the New York times focuses on a former gang member from Long Beach, California who teaches break dancing and other lessons to at-risk children in Cambodia. This shows the impact that globalization has on the world. Certain types of music and dancing spread and become popular worldwide and the lessons taught by the music and culture also spread internationally. The man from California uses dancing to teach children across the globe in a world that is different but also similar to his own. Geography is being reshaped by cultural interests such as music and dancing in order to teach important lessons to children.
This video is truly amazing and so interesting. I wonder how people come up with the idea to put the water and bleach in a soda bottle to create light in very dark homes. Just getting people in the United States to properly recycle their soda bottles is difficult enough, nevermind getting people to think outside of the box and create new innovations that save money and really work. The man who created these light sources is seen as a true hero in this area because he has helped so many. This video is incredible and is really telling of what people are able to do to help others if they just put in the time.
This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety. This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow. What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?" How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?
This video is so shocking. It shows the disregard for worker safety in China. Chinese companies cut corners and do not spend money on things such as wages and worker safety policies and organizations. Yes, this might boost the Chinese economy and allow China to save money and produce as much as possible for cheap, but this is not okay for workers. Imagine if OSHA saw this video.
For people with absolutely no education on China or Chinese history, they most likely have at least heard of the One Child Policy. Even if they do not know the policy's details or its many exceptions, they do know that the policy exists in China. This article is interesting in that it describes more changes that are being made to the policy to hopefully promote human rights in China. Even though the One Child Policy lowered China's population, many Chinese believe that the policy hurts their families because it creates loneliness and it leads to abortions and heavy fines for having a second child. Now, if one parent was an only child, that family may have a second child to ease loneliness. There are many other exceptions to the policy, but hopefully new changes promote human rights and allow families to live better.
China is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies. Chinese consumers bought 18.5 million vehicles last year, and foreigners, especially Americans, have played a key role in developing the industry.
China now is the world's largest auto market as China is no longer simply a place where things are produced. China has become a major consumer of goods as their workers wages allow them to consume more goods.
This is an interesting headline and topic because so many Americans blame China for job loss, when in reality, China is no longer at the forefront of manufacturing and industry. China is consuming from foreign markets, such as the United States, just as it has been producing and manufacturing goods.
This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city. The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated. People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families. Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad. People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life. There are many interesting aspects of this video. For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay. To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family. Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka. While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day. The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land. Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane. The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere. Resources such as clean water and food are very slim. Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.
"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym! Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."
In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force. As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.
It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names. Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country. Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.
The results of India's once-in-a-decade census reveal a country of 1.2 billion people where millions have access to the latest technology, but millions more lack sanitation and drinking water.
More Indians are entering the middle class as personal wealth is transforming South Asia's economy in the private sector. Yet the government's ability to provide public services to match that growth still lags behind. Why would it be that it is easier to get a cell phone than a toilet in India? What will that mean for development?
This article explains that while more than half of the Indian population has access to technology such as cell phones, televisions, and DVD players, less than half has a toilet in their home. I could not wrap my head around that statement when I first heard it in class, but after reading the article on my own, it is a little bit clearer. Individuals in India are able to support themselves economically as the middle class is growing, which is a positive statement, but the Indian government cannot keep up with the growth. Therefore, an individual may have a cell phone, but no toilet because the government cannot supply enough clean water for the people. It seems like the individual is stronger and more sufficient than the government. What might this mean for the future of the Indian government?
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