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Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.
The article leaves me with more questions than answers. What do the residents think about the tons of tourists wondering through their winding streets? The very idea of tourism to see poverty in situ in an authentic slum is riddled with power and cultural imbalances. Why would wealthy tourists from the developed world want to more fully explore the slums in the developing world? What do you see as the 'wrong' and the 'right' within this situation? Is slum tourism ethical?
Visiter des bidonvilles, nouveau trend pour touristes en mal de nouveauté? Je me souviens avoir personnellement visité SOWETO en 2000, avec un groupe de journalistes belges. Nous avons logé chez une dame qui cédait une partie de sa maison pour se faire un peu d'argent, pour contribuer aux frais de ses deux fils étudiants à l'Unif. Ce fut une expérience inoubliable. Nous n'avons pas entendu le son de sa voix, elle nous servait à manger en silence et même si nous ne savions pas très bien comment réagir, nous avions l'impression que nous lui venions en aide, d'une manière ou d'une autre. En tous cas, la visite de ce bidonville fut pour moi éclairante.
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Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.
This is yet another example of the uneven impacts of globalization.
A boom and social change are pitting young working women in the city against men from conservative villages.
The recent resurgence of this issue had me looking through the archives and stumbled upon this 2011 article. As urban expansion is booming in many Indian cities, the modern city expands into the countryside. The cultural values of these two demographic groups are quite distinct. Young, educated women are part of the modern cities' workforce but in many conservative, traditional Indian villages, women working outside the home are seen as "lacking in virtue." In many of the recent gang rape cases, the perpetrators are less educated young men from surrounding villages and the victims are well-educated young working women that are a part of the new city.
Public spaces, especially at night, are seen as masculine spaces in most traditional societies. One of the mothers of an accused rapist succinctly explained this mindset thusly: "If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes." This is seen as 'Eve teasing,' where women are perceived as responsible for the violence committed against them to maintain social order. As another article hints, the outrage that this incident ignited could lead towards long-term change in Indian society.
This other NY Times article op-ed states, "India must work on changing a culture in which women are routinely devalued. Many are betrothed against their will as child brides, and many suffer cruelly, including acid attacks and burning, at the hands of husbands and family members. India, a rising economic power and the world’s largest democracy, can never reach its full potential if half its population lives in fear of unspeakable violence."
Tags: India, migration, South Asia, culture, urban, folk culture, megacities.
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.
Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India. For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India. Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries.
Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population.
In North East India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya.
This is an astounding video that shows a (literally) natural way that local people have adapted to an incredibly flood-prone environment. The organic building materials prevent erosion and keep people in contact during times of flood. The living bridges are truly a sight to behold.
Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenous.
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.
KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.
SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.
This article says that the number of people suffering from poverty in India has decreased. I'm glad that the government is finally doing something to help the less fortunate.The government is finally doing their job by looking over the welfare of people. It's touching just by the thought of lesser people suffering from poverty. Just increased spending on rural welfare programmes is able to make a 7.4% decrease percentage of people living in poverty. I think they should continue having these welfare programmes and they should also spend more time and money caring for the less fortunate. I wonder if other countries will attempt to do the same thing as India's government so as to decrease the number of people suffering from poverty in their own country.
After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.
Despite the country’s claims to be a sleek 21st-century meritocracy, the habits of centuries of discrimination and social exclusion are not so easily shaken.
India is modernizing at a rapid pace, but some old class problems rooted in the caste system are still visible. This is part of a large series called "Breaking Caste" with some excellent videos, articles and personal vignettes to humanize the struggles of those at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
This was a very sad story to read. It's a shame that many Dalit students feel ostracized at elite Indian institutions, so much so some go as far as to commit suicide. This is a terrible personal loss for the families and neighbors of the students. But it also is unfortunate news for the country as a whole. India's economic and social growth likely depends on moving beyond old views on class and cate.
For some time now, Brazil, Russia, India, and China have been grouped together under the acronym BRIC.
What are the demographic profiles of these "BRIC" countries that are increasingly looming large in the global consciousness? While they to not quite fit the profile of more developed countries (MDCs), the BRIC countries are notable for how rapidly they are closing the gap in many metrics.
Activists in the Indian city of Mumbai launch a campaign to demand free public toilet facilities for women.
This is an interesting article that touches on themes of development, gender and modernization in the regional context of South Asia.
TED Talks Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back?
This compelling TedTalk explores the links between economic development and governmental style, oversight and influence. While the speaker mainly discusses politics and economics in the context of China and India, Pakistan, Russia, North and South Korea are all mentioned.
This is an inspiring project that seeks to elevate poor slum-dwelling Indians by providing educational resources to children. As free computer terminals are made available, their literacy skills soar and possibilities are widened. Visit the projects homepage at: http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/
The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world.
This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent. While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions. This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and demystify unfamiliar cultural practices.
I was impressed by the fact that the people of the Sikh religion are very accepting of people who remain outside their system of beliefs. They acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and don't see any reason to treat them with anything but respect. These people are most definitely good people.
More than 1 million of Delhi’s residents have been displaced through demolition of slum neighborhoods over the last 10 years.
www.thisbigcity.net is a great source for information on urban geography, but this particular post was selected because it highlights two merging issues in today's megacities: the rise of automobile culture dictating urban planning policies as well as the dilemma surrounding squatter settlements around the globe.
Laxmi's story of being kidnapped and trafficked in Nepal is not an isolated case but, as this graphical account shows, things are not always what they seem.
Teaching about human trafficking and child slavery can be very disconcerting and uncomfortable. How much of the details regarding these horrific situations is age-appropriate and suitable for the classroom? The BBC is reporting on events with sensitive stories to both give a human face to the story, while protecting the identity of under-aged victims (to read about the production of this comic, read Drawing the News.) I encourage you to use your own discretion, but I find this comicbook format an accessible, informative and tasteful way to teach about human trafficking in South Asia to minors. It is a powerful way to teach about some hard (but important) aspects of globalization and economics.
As geographer Shaunna Barnhart says concerning this comic, "It moves from trafficking to child labor to pressures for migration for wage labor and the resulting injustices that occur. There's differential access to education, gender inequality, land, jobs, and monetary resources that leads to inter- and intra-country trafficking of the vulnerable. In the search for improved quality of life, individuals become part of a global flow of indentured servitude which serves to exploit their vulnerabilities and exacerbate inequalities and injustice. Nepali children 'paid' in food and cell phones that play Hindi music in 'exchange' for work in textile factories - cell phones that are themselves a nexus of global resource chains and textiles which in turn enter a global market - colliding at the site of child labor which remains largely hidden and ignored by those in the Global North who may benefit from such labor."
Tags: Nepal, labor, industry, economic, poverty, globalization, India.
Where is Human Rights Watch? Human trafficing is a crime to humanity!!
Every 12 years, the Kumbh Mela, a centuries-old Hindu pilgrimage, temporarily transforms an empty floodplain in India into one of the biggest cities in the world.
Hindu pilgrims from all over India flock to bathe where it the Yamuna Saraswati Rivers join with the Ganges River for a religious experience. This is a massive undertaking where the cultural practices create migratory patterns that reshape cities because of a sacred physical geography.
2012 has had many stories around the globe have grabbed the headlines with their shocking tales. Some of the most important shifts in the world however are incremental processes that happen slowly...
This article from Foreign Policy shares some great global stories that may end up impacting the coming years as well:
1) India and Pakistan start trading more
2) Brazil becomes an immigration destination
3) Inuits strike it rich
4) A tropical disease nearly eradicated
5) The copyright wars go 3-D
6) The end of the Indian call center (Philippines)
7) Hong Kong fights back
8) Moscow on the Med (Cyprus)
9) Oil discoveries in Central Africa
10) Island dispute between Iran and UAE
What was missed in the news? Take a look at some of the stories from around the world!
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.
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.
The second day of India's power grid failures were worse than the first. Nearly 1900 miles of India went dark, an area that is home to nearly half of India's...
How is this issue geographic? What themes are present in this issue and how are they interrelated?
Inside an extraordinary school that gives India's Dalit girls a chance at a better life...
Cultural change, especially traditions that are deeply engrained over many generations, are difficult to reverse. In India, the caste system is changing but not without tremendous efforts by individuals and institutions that are deeply committed to equality and expanding opportunities for the most socially vulnerable population. There are a variety of videos and articles here that show how one school is making a difference in the lives of 'untouchable' girls to give them a hope for the future.
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 reminds me of the childhood lessen about the difference between a need and a want. Instead of cell phones people should come together to help the government put in a sewer system. It is far more important than owning a cell phone or TV
60 Minutes on CBS News: India's love affair with gold - "No gold, no wedding," is a saying in India, indicating the importance of gold to Indian culture and tradition. Byron Pitts reports on India's obsession with gold.
Cultural values strongly impact consumption patterns. India's preference for gold, combined with South Asia's growing population, also leads to environmental impacts around the world as India's obsession for gold drives the global market, accounting for 1/3 of the trade. This video explores the cultural (and economic) logic behind the enormous importance of gold jewelry in Indian society.
It is amazing to me that the culture and tradition of one place in the world can influence something as small as the price of gold, but on a complete global scale. It is my belief that as long as India continues to buy gold at a high rate, and refuses to sell it, the gold prices will never decreases or slow down in value. It is the demand that influences the price, and it appears as though Indian demand is by no means slowing down.
EDIT: However shortly after I posted this article, the gold market did plummet, having two of the worst days in market history! I wonder if this impact reached as far as India, or if they will never be tired of gold!
India’s era of economic growth has created something unthinkable a generation ago: business opportunities for members of India’s untouchable caste, the Dalits.
Critics of globalization often site that globalization has changed indigenous cultures around the world and mourn the 'impurities' in these societies. Is all cultural change a bad thing? This article shows one way that global capitalism has been helping (some of) the poorest of the poor within India. How is globalization connected to cultural changes within any given society? How is capitalism changing a formerly 'immobile' social structure?
Where are the world's biggest Chinese and Indian immigrant communities? MORE Chinese people live outside mainland China than French people live in France, with some to be found in almost every country.
The two most populous countries in the world, India and China, are mentioned frequently when teaching population geography. However, it is typical in the United States to pass over these countries when discussing migration; this graphic shows the diasporas are quite extensive and highly influential.
With the world’s population nearing 7 billion, India warns of a “demographic disaster” if it cannot provide jobs and services for its young people.
Global population analysis and local impacts complete with population pyramids.