Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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India’s campaign to change cultural practices

India’s campaign to change cultural practices | Geography Education |

"Television commercials and billboards now carry a message that strike at the heart of the Indian contradiction of being the world’s fastest-growing major economy and also where relieving oneself in the open is the norm in most villages. Research shows that one of the reasons for the stubborn social practice is the centuries-old caste system, in which cleaning human waste was a job reserved only for the lowest caste. Having a toilet at home is still considered unclean by many villagers. They regard it cleaner to go to the open farms, which can cause water-borne diseases, the second leading cause of death of Indian children younger than 5."

Seth Dixon's insight:

An aggressive new campaign is ridiculing those who are no longer poor but continue to defecate in the open--even this UNICEF campaign (some language and low-brow humor, so use your own discretion) is working hard to change the cultural patterns and practices surrounding defecation and sanitation.  There are more cellphones than toilets in India and the lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority.  Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light. 54% of people in India do not have regular access to toilets and these comedians are using their platform to not only get some laughs, but to advocate for social change. 


Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

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Bangladesh's Hazardous Geography

Bangladesh's Hazardous Geography | Geography Education |
Bangladesh is exposed to threat of hazards resulting from a number of natural disasters and remains classified as one the most vulnerable countries. Majority of the country is affected by cyclone, drought and floods.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Bangladesh is regularly hit with different types of natural disasters. The impact of these natural disasters costs the country millions making it dependent on foreign aid.  Disaster clean-up and relief aid after major floods, droughts, and hurricanes.  


Tagsdisasters, environmentBangladeshSouth Asia, development.

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India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought

India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought | Geography Education |
India is to divert water from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges to deal with severe drought, a senior minister tells the BBC.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The drought has been bad enough that (coupled with rising debt to seed companies) many farmers are committing suicide to escape the financial pain of this drought.   The monsoon rains can be lethal, but critical for the rural livelihoods of farmers and the food supply.


TagsIndia, agriculture, labor, agriculture, South Asia, physical, weather and climate.



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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Geography Education |
The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.


The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the far-right regional party Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently holds national office in India. Shiv Sena advocates the use of the Marathi language, which is dominant in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.

Shiv Sena had argued that the previous name, Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India. That name is believed to be an Anglicized version of the city's name from when it was occupied by the Portuguese — "Bom Bahia," which means "good bay." Both Bombay and Mumbai are now used interchangeably by locals during casual conversation.


Tags: culture, India, South Asiacolonialism, placeregions, language, toponyms.

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Uneven Developement and Corporate Aid

Uneven Developement and Corporate Aid | Geography Education |

"All Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to do is make the world a better place for his new daughter. While he’s technically on paternity leave, he couldn’t sit idly by as India attempts to halt, Facebook’s initiative to provide free but limited internet to the developing world."

Seth Dixon's insight:

India is a country with amazing economic potential, but hampered but uneven levels of social development.  The so-called 'digital divide' can exacebate problems for the poor and their ability to join the emerging industries.  In this situation Facebook is offering free (partial) internet access to India's poor and the discussions about net neutrality and the potential ulterior motives are underway.


Questions to Ponder: Do you favor Zuckerberg's proposal or do you think that India should reject this offer?  


Tagsdevelopment, India, South Asia, infrastructuretechnology.


Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, January 2, 4:56 AM

Education access in  ALL  countries  has effects when not provided, equally!

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Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali: Festival of Lights | Geography Education |
In India, one of the most significant festivals is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It's a five-day celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 3 minute video from National Geographic is a nice introduction to the cultural practices of Diwali, the fall festival which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness.  With some analogies to Christmas for Christians, Diwali is also perceived by some to be overly commercialized in recent years and the fireworks cause air pollution problems.  

Tags: religionSouth Asia, culture, Hinduism.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:27 PM

This is a pretty cool festival. I like that it celebrates light and colors and not some religious ideas. I never really had any desire to visit India, but if I do find myself there I'm going to this festival. The food alone seems like it would be worth it!

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:46 AM

this is an amazing example of another culture reflecting a constant theme. every culture has some form of this celebration, but this is a truly wondrous display that everyone should at least know about, if not be inspired by.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:35 PM

this is a great example of cultural diffusion. you can see events like this all over the U.S including here in providence with the waterfires, very cool.

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Temples and Human Sexuality

Temples and Human Sexuality | Geography Education |
It's a good thing we have so many guardians of Indian culture to protect us, the impressionable Indian youth, from being corrupted and misled. (Much like Indian culture, this post is very NSFW.)

Hinduism is much more sensual and explicit in their depictions of the human body and sexuality than other religious traditions.  Sacred spaces in India consequently feature a different ethos on their temples and shrines.  The image here is among the more 'tame' ones in this set (just sayin').  


Tags: culture, India, Hinduismsexuality, South Asia, religion.

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A City For Abandoned Mothers In India

Thousands of widows have been making their way to the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India to spend the rest of their lonely lives. Cast out by their families, or simply alone in the world, some travel hundreds of miles to get there.

Tags: genderIndia, SouthAsia culture.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:10 PM

There are 15,000 widows living in the city of Vrindavan and most of them come from over 1300 km away; West Bengal. After their husbands death, these women have been beaten and tortured by their own children for money they don't have and have had to escape to this holy city for safety where, even though they are away from the beatings, they much beg and sing for money. Many wish for death over this humiliation. 

A woman, capable of bringing life into the world, should never be treated like this and especially by her own family. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:32 AM

It is crazy to think Indian families would abuse these widows, but what questions me is the reason to flee for spiritual fulfillment. I understand why one would leave because their family betrayed them but why spiritual fulfillment?

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Nepal earthquake: Hundreds die, many feared trapped

Nepal earthquake: Hundreds die, many feared trapped | Geography Education |
At least 970 people have died as Nepal suffered its worst earthquake for more than 80 years, with deaths also reported in India, Tibet and Bangladesh.

Tags: Nepal, disasters, physical, tectonics.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 12:48 PM

We have learned that the Himalayas are growing everyday while our Appalachians in the united states are shrinking. What does this all mean? In the platonic spectrum it means in Nepal, earthquakes.

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Can India become a superpower?

Seth Dixon's insight:

India is a land filled will problems and potential, due its geographic context.  This regions is great for a regional geography course, that also includes a good overview of the entire South Asian region before discussing India's political situation in global affairs. 

Tagsdevelopment, India, South Asia, geopolitics.

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 11:29 AM

If you were to ask me before watching this video, i would say absolutely. They have the capability because they are full of intelligent people, they also have enough people to do it. Something is just holding them back from moving forward...

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 3:15 PM

I really enjoyed this video; it's packed with a lot of information, but all of it is relevant to its main discussion of India as a potential superpower. In class, we discussed the importance of the Mississippi River Valley and the Great Lakes Basin played in the development of the US economy and the rise of the US as a global superpower, and this does not differ very much from the intricate river systems that litter the Indian subcontinent. The Ganges River Valley has historically been home to millions of people, facilitating agricultural development as well as trade. The lack of natural boundaries within the nation has allowed for the diffusion of the thousands of different cultures, customs, religions, and languages that find their home within India, although this has lead to division amongst its people. Internal disputes have paved the way for foreign leaders to seize control of the subcontinent, as evidenced by the Mughal Empire, and the eventual control of India by the British. Independence has lead to huge political and economic developments, as well as forming a distinct national identity that has, so far, risen above the petty sectionalist and race-related squabbles of yesteryear, but sectional rivalries continue to be had between the various Indian states. All the tools needed to become a superpower are at India's disposal; all it must do is seize the opportunity.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:48 AM

anyone who doesn't think that India can become a superpower is insane. they already are one. they have nukes. they have a billion people. they have massive industry, and they have a history of conflict with their neighbors.

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India's Potty Problem

India's Potty Problem | Geography Education |

Which statement is true? 

A. 60% of all households without toilets in the world are in India.
B. India’s Muslims are less affected by the sanitation problem than Hindus.
C. India’s lack of toilets is worse than China’s.
D. Lack of toilets in India puts women at especially high risk.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the ultimate trick question because unfortunately, ALL of these statements are true.  India is a country of tremendous economic growth, but also filled with squalor; there are more cellphones than toilets in India.  The lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority.  Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light.    

Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 2:18 PM

I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that all these statements are indeed true. Reading about the struggles India has endured with the lack of indoor plumbing many of its people must endure made me think of a previous article I had read about the "Two Mexico's." Rapid development in certain areas for certain people has revolutionized the standard of living for some, but the persistence of corruption has lead to economic lag for many of the people of both nations, meaning significant portions of the population are being left behind during this period of development. The sanitation and plumbing systems of inca are woefully inadequate for a country of over a billion people, subtracting from the leaps that have been made in other areas. The dangers faced by women as a result of the lack of indoor plumbing was a surprise, although it does make sense. Millions of Indian women have to resort to walking to communal bathrooms, oftentimes at night on solitary trips, which leaves them vulnerable to the kids of sexual assault that have plagued Indian media. I hope for the sake of the Indian people that improvements in the rates of indoor plumbing in the country continue to be made.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:46 PM

One thing about this issue is the fact that most of the people living in the area dont have the proper sanitation. Many of the issues that they face are a lack of government and funding and jobs. However the issue in India is the worst within the world. China has a huge lack of sanitation but in India the situation is much worse.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:38 PM
Something like this just disgusts me, first off there are more cell phones in this country than toilets... how does a government allow that to happen? Clearly, the answer is, they must not care because there is lack of governmental help. These people do not have toilets in there houses, they have to go down the street to a public restroom where thousands of people go a day both sick and healthy, so there are probably terrible sicknesses running rampant. Hopefully for them, they do not get a life threatening disease that will kill off the population.
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Golden Temple of Amristar

"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. Read the related article."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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 to demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 

Tags: culture, India, South Asia, religion.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 2015 4:33 PM

The Golden Temple of Amristar, located in the northern Punjab region of India, is renowned as the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion. 80,000 -160,000 people come here each day to enjoy a free eatery on top of prayer. This is the largest free eatery in the world. What an unbelievable idea that this huge number of people can enjoy free food. Food is cooked up by workers in large vats in order to feed the masses. This is not a homeless shelter, there was a man in this video who said he was from a prominent family and he can to the temple because he felt peace of mind here. The temple is covered in glitter and gold hence its name.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 24, 2015 10:53 AM

I think this idea is excellent. Sikhism is a blend of Islam and Hinduism.  They believe that everyone is equal and strive for peace and tranquility.  The Golden Temple is, essentially, a place to go to get away from the fast-paced and cut-throat environment of everyday-life.  They accept all races and religions.  I love this model and idea.  I hope the Sikhs gain more attention and spread their simple idea of peace, love, and volunteerism.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 7, 2015 8:29 AM

This video provides some valuable insight into a religion that not many people know about. Sikhism combines elements of Hinduism and Islam, but rejects the Hindu concept of a caste system. It is practiced predominantly in the Punjab region of India, but practicing Sikhs can be found around the world. The Golden Temple of Amristar is one of Sikhism's most important holy sites, and adherents of any religion are welcome at the temple. There is a large community kitchen inside the temple, where volunteers produce tens of thousands of meals for temple visitors everyday. Everyone who visits the temple sits and eats together in the community eatery, as Sikhs believe all people are equal, and so they are not concerned with separating visitors by gender, race, or religion.


Sikhism and its Golden Temple are really interesting examples of cross-cultural pollination. While it is not unusual to see cultures adapt elements of fashion or music from other cultures, it is unusual to see one culture fuse its religion with another. Generally, religion is seen as a concrete ideology with immutable truths that should not be disturbed or tampered with. Sikhism sheds this rigidity and incorporates elements of two major religions into one, creating a religion of peace, equality, and tolerance. This is the ideal of any religion, and Sikhism exhibits wonderfully. The Punjab region of India acts as a melting pot for Hinduism and Islam, creating a geographic center for ideologies that reach far beyond their geographic origins. Though Sikhism is a small religion compared to Islam or Hinduism, it provides a fascinating and excellent example of how cultures can come together peacefully to create something new and positive. 

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Poop Stories

Poop Stories | Geography Education |

"From the time we’re about 6 years old, everyone loves a good poop joke, right? But is there something more meaningful lurking beneath the bathroom banter? Take a look at some international potty humor and then follow the jokes to a deeper understanding. Every laugh on this page reflects a life and death issue: the very real sanitation problems facing India today."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What is the most impactful way to assist underdeveloped societies?  Many will argue for food, clothing or education, but these comedians from India feel that access to sanitation will have more tangible impacts in the lives of the poorest Indians.  54% of people in India do not have regular access to toilets and these comedians are using their platform to not only get some laughs, but to advocate for social change. 

Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 4:19 PM

It is fascinating that a country so many lives are lost due to something we find simple and trivial, and really do not even think about but use on a daily basis.

Jessica Robson Postlethwaite's curator insight, November 18, 2014 7:03 PM

World toilet day!

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:49 PM

Often when people are faced with a tragic fact they instantly attempt to shut it out because it makes them uncomfortable. In the same way Americans can walk past five homeless people a day and not bat and eye...its easier. Using comedy to address a dire situation such as India's sanitation standards, is an ingenious way to get people to actually listen

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Fertility Rates-Differences Within Countries

"An important aspect about country level data of fertility to keep in mind is that there can be considerable heterogeneity within countries, which are hidden in the mean fertility which were discussed in this entry. The mean Total Fertility Rate for India in 2010 was 2.8 (UN Data): But this average hides the fact that the fertility in many Southern Indian regions was below 1.5 (which is similar to the mean fertility in many European countries), while the fertility in Northern India was still higher than 5 children per woman (which is as high as the mean of the African countries with the highest fertility)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a stunning example of uneven development and regional differences within countries.  Too often we discuss countries as if the situation inside the borders of one country is the same throughout it, even if the geographic contexts can be wildly different. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are the fertility rates in so different in northern and southern India?  How does this regional imbalance impact the country?  What are other examples of major differences within a country? 


Tags: regions, population, demographic transition model, declining populationmodelsunit 2 population, India, South Asia. 

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Where Ships Go to Die, Workers Risk Everything

In Bangladesh, men desperate for work perform one of the world's most dangerous jobs. They demolish huge ships in grueling conditions, braving disease
Seth Dixon's insight:

What happens to massive cargo vessels after they are outdated?  There are tons of scrap metal on these ships, but they aren't designed to be taken apart.  The ship-breakers of South Asia (Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are 3 of the 4 global leaders in recycling ships) risk much to mine this resource.  This is an economic function that is a part of a globalized economy, but one than was never intended.  There are major health risks to the workers and pollutants to the local community that are endemic in this industry that manages to survive on the scraps of the global economy.


Tags: BangladeshNational Geographic, South Asia, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

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Edible Cutlery

"India is one of the world's largest consumers of disposable plastic cutlery, which has the makings of a huge health and environmental crisis written all over it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Plastics clog our landfills and single-use plastic consumption is one of the most wasteful elements of our consumer-based, disposable society.  This product is a reaction against the waste of disposable cutlery, but it is also an intriguing developmental strategy (see company kickstarter page or website). 


Tags: developmentfood, gender, agricultureconsumption, South Asia, pollution

Rebecca Geevarghese's curator insight, May 8, 6:27 AM
How innovative!! Will definitely being showing this to my Geography students. 
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The area of this map coloured red has the same population as the area coloured blue

The area of this map coloured red has the same population as the area coloured blue | Geography Education |
Well, this is kind of crazy. Only 5 per cent of the world's population lives in the regions of this map shaded blue. Another 5 per cent lives in the area shaded red. Yoinks.


Tags: population, density, South Asia.

Carlos Fosca's curator insight, January 6, 6:34 AM

Parece realmente una broma, pero la zona coloreada de rojo alberga a 350 millones de personas sobre una superficie que arroja una densidad poblacional de 1,062 habitantes por Km2. Si esto se compara con el país más densamente poblado de Europa, que es Holanda, con una densidad de 409 habitantes/Km2 o incluso con el departamento de Lima (269.1 habitantes /Km2) vemos que hay una gran diferencia. Pero el Perú también tiene propio su punto rojo en términos de densidad poblacional (no en términos de población absoluta). ¿Saben que lugar es este? Pues la provincia Constitucional del Callao que tiene una densidad poblacional de 7,159.83 habitantes/Km2 (2015).

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The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India | Geography Education |
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

Tags: religionSouth Asia, culture, Hinduism, pollution, industry, economicenvironment, environment modify, unit 3 culture.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:52 PM

The way the people of India see this river as a gift from the god is truly magnificent. The fact that they use this river for all source of things from cleaning themselves up to washing clothes and drinking from it. One can say that they use as much of the resource as possible but they never care for it in a way. For example excessive use of the river and not cleaning it up, use it for corpse and waste disposal. I wonder how long this can last til the river eventually die.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 7:00 PM

The Ganges River is a place of religion for these people, they see it as a place where they can bathe for the forgiveness of sins and for ancestors alike. The only problem with this really is that it is a very dirty river, sewage and other sorts of waste, germs and disease are running through it. Unfortunately, the people are drinking from this river.  

Sarah Holloway's curator insight, February 16, 6:26 PM

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

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Living Bridges

"In Northeast India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The living bridges of Meghalaya are truly sights to behold; these astonishing bridges are a 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.  Here is another video and articles (BBC, Atlas Obscura, Inhabitat, and MNN) with more ecological and cultural context on these living bridges. 

Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenousbiogeography.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:16 PM

I think these bridges are of great value to the world... Nature provides us with such amazing natural resources. There is really no need to do half the damage we do to it. what a beautiful way to keep the environment's natural beauty intacted


Kimmy Jay's curator insight, November 20, 2015 6:28 PM

H/E Interaction 


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India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt

India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt | Geography Education |

"At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).  Hospitals are on alert to treat victims of heatstroke and authorities advised people to stay indoors with no end in sight to the searing conditions.  In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, in the south, 551 people have died in the past week as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius on Monday." 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, India, South Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article on MSN and this NPR podcast remind me about how extremes can create chaos.  While in Texas, the flooding has ravaged much of the state.  Weather from other places is never news unless it is so extreme that it becomes a crisis.   

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 5:58 AM

People often underestimate the effects of a strong heat wave. Extremely hot temperatures can be as deadly as hurricanes and tornadoes. The temperature  in India was so hot, that the pavement on the roads actually melted. At least 800 people have died as a result of this heat wave. That number is quit shocking. India does not have the inherit infrastructure to deal with large scale disasters. The rural areas of the nation have suffered the most casualties. Those areas are also the more undeveloped areas of India. This is yet another reminder of the terror nature can inflict on the human landscape.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 1:46 PM

The reality of everyday life in the differing geographies of the world vary, especially within the vast subcontinent that is India. From the freezing plains of the north to the tropical south, India experiences a wide array of weather, some of which can be extreme. This is certainly the case in this article, where some 800+ people have perished in the extreme heat wave that has hit much of the nation. Temperatures are warmer than the seasonal norm by 12 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving many restricted to the relative comforts of their homes. Such extreme highs of 122 degrees seem unfathomable to many Americans, particularly up north. Even in Las Vegas, where I spent 3 days this summer and felt like I was slowly being cooked, was a "meager" 108 degrees. The infrastructure of the US also allows for a level of comfort in these conditions that is virtually unattainable for many citizens of India, who often lack basic plumbing, let alone air conditioning. The death tolls will only continue to rise as these conditions persist, and their frequencies will most likely increase as human-generated climate change continues to accelerate. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:24 PM

we really ever hear about extreme weather like this unless it affects us directly. "551 people have died in the last week" This is a state of emergency but those in the west will never hear about it. What a shame. I wonder if part of it is that politics in the west wouldn't want you hearing about this as it might support the climate change agenda.

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Burka Avenger is the Muslim Female Superhero We've All Been Waiting For

Burka Avenger is the Muslim Female Superhero We've All Been Waiting For | Geography Education |

"The Muslim world doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to female empowerment. With a lack of of strong, independent female role models, young women in the region have few places to look in popular culture for guidance. Until now.

Meet Burka Avenger, the game-changing Pakistani cartoon that, for the first time, has flipped the status quo on its head with its female superhero protagonist, who fights crime in her magical burka."

Tags: Pakistangender, popular culture, SouthAsiaglobalization, culture, Islam.

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:05 AM

This superhero is more than just something to bring joy to children in Pakistan. This hero empowers women to think they can be strong like the Burka Avenger.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 30, 2015 9:51 AM

This is an awesome, heartwarming story, and I highly recommend people to watch the trailer for the show offered on the website- it seems very cool, and like something kids will actually want to watch (unlike a great deal of educational television). For a nation that is plagued by such a great deal of bigotry and gender inequality- with female infant mortality rates contributing to a gender distribution of 108 men to 100 women- it is so good to see a program such as this being released from Pakistan. Young Muslim women are so deprived of positive and powerful female role models, allowing for the continued systematic abuse and mistreatment of women in many parts of the Middle East, including Pakistan. This show looks promising, from both a critical and humanitarian perspective, although I fear for the lives of its creators and that its showing will be suppressed in the very nations that need it the most. Terrorist organizations and religious extremists fear education and empowerment more than any army, as only those two factors can truly combat these movements effectively, and they will show no mercy should they ever be given the chance to cease the production of this program. I applaud its creators for their bravery, and hope that they are able to get their message across.

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India-Pakistan border Ceremony

Fascinating footage of a traditional ceremony that takes place on the Pakistan India border. From the BBC
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fascinating political display that shows a degree of cooperation, but is made into a sports-like event because of the geopolitical tension/passion between these two South Asian neighbors.  They have 'toned down' the overtly display of hostility in recent years.  Some love this border ceremony and others fear that they are playing with fire, fanning the flames of nationalism that only exacerbates the tension.  Just last year, this border checkpoint was the site of a terrorist attack that killed 50.  Click here for more information about the border tension in the Pakistan/India/China borderland.  

Tags: bordersgeopolitics, political, territoriality, video, India, South Asia, Pakistan.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:32 PM

This video was very fascinating. The soldiers preformed a traditional ceremony to display political cooperation without the use of force. They may have some differences in the past but they came together to show great sportsmanship.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:55 PM
This is truly a fascinating work of art. It shows tolerance to each other and it is done in a respectful manner. People are constantly showing up at their respectful borders to watch as each side in sync do their ceremonial marches. Some people are afraid that the two countries are just playing each other and they are waiting for an attack to happen. Although there was one instance of a suicide bomber killing sixty people. People had shown up at the Wagah border to witness the daily flag ceremony, but both sides cancelled for the day as a sign of respect.
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:32 PM

whether or not this incites nationalism in a poor way, i think it is a good thing. no nationalism is a very detrimental thing to a country, i believe that this does benefit both countries in a way, maybe not as far as relations between the two countries but internally having love for your own country.

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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video (like part 1) shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video) on these complex borders:

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:40 PM

After viewing this video, I found one common characteristic that ties together the countries involved in all of these border disputes: hunger for power. Although culture and sacred lands do cause border disputes, I believe the underlying purpose of claiming land for cultural reasons is to demonstrate power. Claiming lands for cultural purposes demonstrates that one's culture is superior to the other's culture, so naturally the more powerful culture gets to claim territory. On another note, I think it's interesting to see just how many enclaves and exclaves exist in the world. I did not know how many existed until I saw the video. I think this shows how insignificant these border anomalies are because these exclaves are usually just governed by the other country by which they are surrounded. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

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A liter of acid can destroy someone's life

A liter of acid can destroy someone's life | Geography Education |
Almost 10 years ago, a young Pakistani woman was held down by her mother-in-law while her husband and father-in-law threw acid on her. Some 150 operations later, Bushra Shafi is working as a beautician in a hair salon in Lahore, started by a hairdresser who was moved to help victims of acid attacks when one of them came into her salon and asked simply: "Can you make me beautiful again?"
Seth Dixon's insight:

Like any form of violence against women, this is not entirely representative of the region in which this found.  But this type of crime is much more prevalent in South Asia than in any other region. 

TagsSouth Asia, development, Pakistangender, culturepodcast.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 24, 2015 11:19 AM

It is absolutely mind-boggling how any human being could do something like this to a fellow human.  What is even more sad is how the Pakistani government essentially treats it as a non-issue with very few prosecutions of the perpetrators.  But luckily this sad story has a silver-lining.  A salon owner has opened her doors to acid-victims, not only to try and fix their scars, but also by employing them as beauticians.  It's a sad and evil story that has spawned a very positive and beautiful situation.  We need more people like the salon owner in this world.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 12:57 PM

Does this have to do with the Dowry? Is this the area where the brides family pays the grooms family so the brides family gets rid of her and the grooms family gets her so the brides family pays installments and if the installments are not fulfilled then there are accidental fires. This was not accidental though but I wonder if the installments were met.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:43 PM

The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil thought she knew the "typical" victim of an acid attack in Pakistan. "I think before I spoke to women who were victims of acid attacks, it was easy for me to generalize and assume they were from poorer backgrounds and largely uneducated," she says.....

It so easy to paint a whole culture with a broad brush but once again these attacks do not define their culture. This article with all its sadness had such a positive message of hope and survivial.

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Why Indians love cricket

Why Indians love cricket | Geography Education |
TO OUTSIDERS, the magnitude of Indians' love for cricket is as incomprehensible as its feverish intensity. On February 4th India awarded the Bharat Ratna, its highest civilian honour, to Sachin Tendulkar, a recently retired batsman. Millions in India, a country of 1.3 billion people and only one nationally-popular game, celebrated wildly. When India's national side plays a big game, an estimated 400m watch on television. Yet cricket's take-off in India is a highly improbable development. The game is demanding to play properly, requiring space, a good turf pitch and expensive equipment—which only a relative handful of Indian cricketers have access to. Most will never strap on pads or bowl with a leather ball. So why do they so love the game?

Tags: sport, popular culture, culture, development, India, South Asiaglobalization, empire.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:19 AM

Why do Indians love Cricket? As with most modern day countries, colonialism has something to do with it. However, the British never intended to promote Cricket in India. It was the local elite of India that first pushed to incorporate the game into Indian culture. Desperate to gain the prestige that the British attached to the game, the elite began the practice of playing Cricket in India. In the years following independence, the game has spread to the other classes of Indian society. The game has become the national pastime for the nation.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:52 AM

this is an interesting reason for a game to spread. it was a game played by the elite, so it never really lost the appeal of being a sport of the rich.


Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:30 PM

i have tried to watch a cricket match before but it seemed so odd, i dont really fully understand the game but the people playing (especially inians) were playing more than a game, for them it seemed like they were playing for their country and it was a great honor to them. unlike a sport like soccer where people play for other countries teams.