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This is a fabulous map---but is the statement true?
I present this map (hi-res) without any context to my students and ask the question: is this statement true? How can we ascertain the truthfulness of this claim? What fact would we need to gather? This exercise sharpens their critical thinking skills and harnesses the assorted bits of regional information that they already have, and helps them evaluate the statement.
The answers to these questions can be found here.
Tags: density, social media, East Asia, South Asia.
It's quite amazing!
Are you sure you want to delete this scoop?
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.
Long impoverished and isolated, tiny Bhutan is finally booming. This onetime absolute monarchy has also made important democratic reforms and major improvements in quality of life.
Located on the southern edge of the Himalayas, Bhutan's rugged topography is key to it's economic strategy to modernize this lightly populated, less developed mountain kingdom. Bhutan is harnessing hydroelectric energy and selling it to India, which accounts for 20% of the GDP. Today Bhutan is one the five fastest growing economies in the world. However, the economic developed is highly uneven; 40% of the population is still engaged in subsistence farming on the limited arable land showing that there are still substantial development issues ahead.
Tags: South Asia, development, economic, rural, Bhutan.
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.
TED Talks For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery.
This is a chilling glimpse into the worst and darkest side of the economic systems of geography and labor in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 25 million people who today live in state that can be described as modern-day slavery. We should not discuss slavery only in the past tense, and yet it conflicts with how most people conceptualize the world today.
Questions to Ponder: How can this even be happening in the 21st century? What geographic and economic forces lead to these situations portrayed in this TED talk? What realistically could be done to lessen the amount of slavery in the world today?
Tags: TED, labor, economic, class, poverty, South Asia, Africa, video.
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.
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.
A gene from wild Indian rice plants can significantly raise the yield of common varieties in nutrient-poor soils by boosting root growth.
While many are leery of GMOs (with good reasons linked to health), it is important to recognize that there is society value to agricultural research that works on improving yields. This article would be a good "other side of the coin" resource to share when discussing GMOs.
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?
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.
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.
Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history. This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region. This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity. As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.
Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh. Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence. For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!
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.
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.
Read the Transcript: http://to.pbs.org/b6sR86 The capital of the South Asian country Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a population that is booming. However, it stands ...
This is a great introduction to the demographic explosion of the slums within megacities. This is applicable to many themes within geography.
Tags: Bangladesh, water, pollution, poverty, squatter, planning, density, South Asia, development, economic, megacities.
Another look at a growing megacity and its shantytowns.
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.
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?
The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling. This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan. This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.
Tags: gender, South Asia, podcast, culture, Islam, development, unit 3 culture, education.
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 the dusty triangle where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet, there is more than one war going on.
Geopolitically, there is a fascinating confluence of competing interests at this border. This is "the scariest little corner of the world." It's a dangerous place that is often beyond the authority of any of state. It also represents (depending on how you divide the world up) at the intersection of the three major regions in the area: Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.
Tags: Afghanistan, political, borders, MiddleEast, SouthAsia, Central Asia, unit 4 political.
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.
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.
Rather than focusing on how to make cities safe at any hour for citizens of both genders, the official response has been to curtail women's access to public areas deemed sensitive by authorities.
This is an interesting topic to use to debate urban policies and planning issues. What leads to a safer city for women? How does the creation of zones not safe for women impact the city long-term? Think about scale: Is what is best for the city policy what is best for the individual?
As Mumbai booms, the poor of its notorious Dharavi slum find themselves living in some of India's hottest real estate.
What do you think the future will hold for this slum neighborhood? What will happen to the people that live there? What will this place look like in 20 years? What forces will create this change?
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