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The silent minority

The silent minority | Geography Education | Scoop.it
America’s largest ethnic group has assimilated so well that people barely notice it

 

German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible. During the first world war, parts of America grew hysterically anti-German. Many stopped speaking German and anglicized their names. The second world war saw less anti-German hysteria, but Hitler and the Holocaust gave German-Americans more reasons to hide their origins.

 

Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, ethnicityUSA.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, January 20, 8:57 AM
Where Germans live in America for the most part.
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Mexico is home to world’s largest pyramid

No one knows who constructed this pyramid 2,300 years ago. Cortés missed it when he invaded the pyramid's hometown in 1519 and it wasn't rediscovered until 1910. Today it stands as the largest monument ever constructed.
Seth Dixon's insight:

10 years ago, about 30 miles outside of Veracruz, Mexico, I see a hill completely covered in vegetation.  I notice that the angle is rather uniform and that it appears to have distinct faces at right angles.  It dawns on my that I'm staring at an archeological site that has not been excavated and the Indiana Jones explorer in me is immediately fascinated.  Mexico is filled with sites of ancient civilizations that stir the imagination and this is one of those. 

 

TagsMexicoindigenous, folk cultures, culture, tourism.

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Easiest Languages to Learn

"Learning another language is a good thing, but with only a small percentage of Americans, it seems most of us can never dream of achieving this common goal."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video's humor isn't always classroom appropriate, but it conveys several important ideas about languages.  First, languages that are part of the same language family are easier to learn (leading to more cultural diffusion among speakers).  Second, not all languages are equally important on a global scale even if they are similar (some languages are 'docked' on this list). This list is specifically for English speakers: 

  1. Dutch
  2. Frisian
  3. Afrikaans
  4. Esperanto
  5. Norwegian
  6. Swedish
  7. Italian
  8. French
  9. Portuguese
  10. Spanish

 

Tags: language, culture, diffusion.

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Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas Is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews

Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas Is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"[Jews] will not go to Mile End on Christmas because [they] happened to feel like fried rice; they will go to proudly proclaim their Jewish-American identity. They may or may not enjoy General Tso’s Chicken, but if they are eating it on Christmas, their prime motivation is not the general’s sweet, spicy deliciousness, but rather the knowledge that they are doing something that in some adapted way reinforces their Jewishness."

 

Tags: Judaism, culturecultural norms, food, seasonal.

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Italy’s Last Bastion of Catalan Language Struggles to Keep It Alive

Italy’s Last Bastion of Catalan Language Struggles to Keep It Alive | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The lingering use of Catalan in Alghero, Italy, is a reminder of how Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries. But the language is fading there today.

 

In an age when people cling ever more tightly to national identity, the lingering use of Catalan in Alghero is a reminder of the ways Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries, rendering identity a fluid thing.  But while the traditional insularity of Alghero has helped to preserve Catalan, the language is struggling to survive, even here.   

 

Tags: language, culture, ItalyEurope.

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Loreto Vargas's curator insight, December 12, 2016 10:03 AM
Viva l’Italia, Sardinia as a matter of fact. And long live Catalunya! 
Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 3:52 AM
7 activists arrested by Spanish police for insulting king felipe
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Los Lakers know their Hispanic fan base

Los Lakers know their Hispanic fan base | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"With timely assists from the Spanish-speaking skills of players and executives, the Lakers have cultivated Hispanic support in their community."

 

Julio Manteiga, associate director of media monitoring and Latin America communications for the NBA, provided ESPN information stating Hispanic fan attendance for Lakers games was 42 percent. In the 2015 U.S. Census, the Hispanic population of Los Angeles County was measured at 48.4 percent. The Lakers have benefited from taking the initiative to make their games accessible to a Latino audience, starting with broadcasting games in Spanish.

 

Tags: culture, economic, California, Los Angeles, ethnicity, sport, popular culture,

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Labor unrest in Cameroon after clashes over language discrimination

Labor unrest in Cameroon after clashes over language discrimination | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Cameroon, unrest in minority English-speaking regions over discrimination by majority French speakers is still simmering after violent clashes with police claimed at least four lives.

 

English-speakers have been protesting since Monday (11/21/2016) against what they see as their "second-class citizen status" and attempts to marginalize them in the west African nation. Eight of Cameroon's ten regions are largely Francophone, but two regions, North West and South West Cameroon are English-speaking. English-speaking teachers complain that French-speaking counterparts are being increasingly deployed in English schools, despite differences in the curricula and teaching systems.

 

Tags: language, CameroonAfrica, culture.

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American football has taken root in Mexico at all levels

American football has taken root in Mexico at all levels | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Why is the NFL in Mexico? A visitor to the capital city can sense right away why the league is so bullish on the country's potential."

 

The last time the NFL ventured into Mexico was in 2005, when the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers in Estadio Azteca. Top-level American football is returning to the same venue in Mexico City on Monday night, when the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders will face off in a contest that has been sold out since July.

Just don't assume the 11-year gap is related to a lack of interest. In reality, Mexico is the top international hotbed for American football, with the largest NFL fan base of any country outside the United States. There are more fans of the league in Mexico City than in most actual NFL markets.

But the sport's popularity in Mexico goes well beyond NFL fandom. From youth leagues that are overtaking soccer in popularity in some parts of the country to a new pro league, American football is a major player south of the border. With that in mind, here's a closer look at where the sport stands on every level in Mexico and how fans there consume the game.

 

Tagssport, popular culturediffusion, culture, Mexico, Middle America.

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Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman

Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At first, the trial and convictions in the death of Farkhunda Malikzada seemed a victory in the long struggle to give Afghan women their due in court. But a deeper look suggests otherwise.
Seth Dixon's insight:

DISCLAIMER: I strongly recommend that the video not be shown in class (I wouldn't show the embedded video in my college classes, but I would discuss the article).  The video is as horrific as anything I've ever seen and yet I feel compelled to share the story because it is important to understand the cultural and institutional problems of Afghanistan to get a handle on the deeply entrenched issues. This also shows parts of Afghanistan are seeking to make the transition into a more modern society, but there are other elements that are firmly rooted in the past where mob rule was once more easily justified.  

 

Tags: Afghanistan, culture, developmentgender

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Reading the world in 196 books

Reading the world in 196 books | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"I set myself the challenge of trying to read a book from every country (well, all 195 UN-recognised states plus former UN member Taiwan) in a year to find out what I was missing.

With no idea how to go about this beyond a sneaking suspicion that I was unlikely to find publications from nearly 200 nations on the shelves of my local bookshop, I decided to ask the planet’s readers for help. I created a blog called A Year of Reading the World and put out an appeal for suggestions of titles that I could read in English."

 

Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English.

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Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.

 

In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. President Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. Turkey won’t be annexing part of Iraq anytime soon, but this combination of irredentist cartography and rhetoric nonetheless offers some insight into Turkey’s current foreign and domestic policies and Ankara’s self-image.  The military interventions and confrontational rhetoric this nationalism inspires may worsen Turkey’s security and regional standing.

 

Tags: political, irredentism, culture, Turkeyhistorical, bordersempire, geopolitics.

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Why America’s ‘nones’ left religion behind

Why America’s ‘nones’ left religion behind | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With the percentage of U.S. adults who do not identify with a religious group growing, we asked these people to explain, in their own words, why they left.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The United States' population is becoming increasingly secularized.  The U.S. used to be predominantly a white, Christian country but that is no longer the case.  As religion becomes less of a factor in the lives of many individuals, it also has larger cultural ramifications. 

 

Tags: culturereligionUSA, Christianity.

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The great Korean bat flip mystery

The great Korean bat flip mystery | Geography Education | Scoop.it
MLB's code is clear: Flip your bat and you'll pay. But in South Korea, flips are an art. How does this alternate world exist? And what does it say about us? Writer Mina Kimes trekked across South Korea with illustrator Mickey Duzyj to unravel the mystery.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are unwritten rules in Major League Baseball, or in geographic terms, there are are cultural norms that are informally enforced to maintain homogeneity and to prevent  cultural drift.  Jose Bautista's repuation as a villain has much to do with his rejection of a key MLB unwritten rule--Never 'show up' the pitcher by flipping the bat.  In South Korea, typically a country much more associated with cultural traditions of honor and respect than the United States, bat flipping is much more accepted and common (diffusion plays a role in the story--baseball came to South Korea via Japan).  This is an interesting story about South Korean baseball's cultural norms that might intrigue some sports fans. 

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, South Korea, East Asia.

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The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo

The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo | Geography Education | Scoop.it

If you own a smartphone and are trying to learn a language, you probably have Duolingo. English is far and away the most dominant, with a caveat: For some learners, English is the only language Duolingo offers with translation into their native tongue. That doesn’t change the fact of universal interest in English, though, which Duolingo notes is studied by 53% of its users. Things get more interesting when you look at the second-most popular language by country. There French takes the lead, followed by Spanish, German, and Portuguese.

 

Tags: language, colonialismtechnology, diffusion, culture, English.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What role do colonial history and modern economics play in shaping this linguistic data? How does migration influence patterns in bilingualism?  What is a lingua franca?

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Carlos Fosca's curator insight, January 12, 8:43 AM

Duolingo es sin duda la plataforma para aprender idiomas más grande del mundo. El 2014 contaba con 12 millones de usuarios activos y en la actualidad son más de 120 millones. Además de enseñar idiomas de manera gamificada y sobre todo gratuita, Duolingo es una mina de información global sobre los lenguajes, las tendencias en su uso, las estrategias más eficaces para aprender idiomas extranjeros, etc. Este artículo nos muestra, tomando como base la información de sus usuarios activos, un mapa actualizado del aprendizaje de idiomas en todo el mundo. No es de extrañar que el inglés sea el idioma más demandado para aprender, pero lo que llama la atención es que luego viene el francés y en tercer lugar el español. 

Ignacio Garrido's curator insight, January 13, 12:49 AM
Look at the picture and try to answer :

a. Why do yo think people want to learn french in some countries?
b. What do you think are the most spoken languages in the world?
c. Find out how many languages there are in the world moreless.
d. Write a summarize of the picture ( 10 lines at least )
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Funeral Customs Around the World

Funeral Customs Around the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A funeral is a ceremony marking an individual's death. Funeral customs vary widely between culture, religion, and geographic area. These customs are based on the beliefs and traditions of our ancestors. Although there are a multitude of different rituals, there are also some that are practiced worldwide. These include burials, cremations, and spirit offerings."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This story map was created by one of my students, exploring some of the unusual funerary customs around the world. 

 

Tag: cemetery, cultureStoryMap, worldwide.

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Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Born in Japan, Gursewak Singh considers himself Japanese. The government doesn't. But it offers children like him a chance to stay - if their parents leave.

 

Gursewak’s parents, who are Sikhs, fled to Japan from India in the 1990s. For several years, they lived without visas under the radar of the authorities until they were put on a status known as “provisional release” in 2001. It means they can stay in Japan as long as their asylum application is under review.  While there were almost 14,000 asylum cases under review at the end of 2015, Japan accepted only 27 refugees last year. The year before that, the number was 11.

The low acceptance rate stands in stark contrast to Europe, which has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees arrive from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Eritrea. In the first half of the year, European countries ruled on 495,000 asylum applications, approving more than 293,000.

 

Tags: culture, Sikhdeclining populationpopulationmigrationrefugees, JapanEast Asia,             .

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Gullah Culture

"While Gullah was not originally a written language and has never had a governing authority or dictionary, linguistic scholars have found that the language is internally consistent and in some ways more efficient and expressive than standard English. Elements of the language have seeped into African-American Vernacular English across the country."

 

For the first time in recent memory, the Charleston County School Board is discussing how to address the specific needs of Gullah and Geechee students, children of a culture whose linguistic origins trace back to the west coast of Africa via the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Some teachers have said the students' way of speaking — whether in the heavily West African-influenced Gullah language or in the more Anglicized dialects sometimes known as Geechee — can present an obstacle to understanding in the classroom. Like many Lowcountry Gullah speakers of her generation, the current head of state for the Gullah/Geechee Nation carries painful memories of adults who taught her to hold her family's way of speaking in contempt.

 

Tags: language, culture, raceeducation, historical.

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5 American Habits I Kicked in Finland

5 American Habits I Kicked in Finland | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From to-go mugs to small talk
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm not trying to disparage one culture group over another, but to point out that some cultural traits and norms only make sense in a certain place within a particular cultural context.  Sometimes its hard to see our own culture until we go somewhere else with a different cultural background. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What is a cultural trait that you realized was distinct only after being in contact with those from places/cultural settings?  Why are some traits perceived as strange outside of their cultural context but perfectly normal within them?     

 

Tags: Finland, culturecultural norms.

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Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, December 10, 2016 2:15 AM
Some simple cultural differences between American and Finns. Now how do these apply to Australians.? Good conversation starter for intercultural  understanding.
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The Flogsta Scream

"Have you ever felt so stressed out or anxious that you just want to open your window and scream at the top of your lungs?

Well, students in Flogsta, a residential area in the Swedish university town of Uppsala, do just that when the exam pressure gets too overwhelming.  Every night at 10pm Swedish students open their windows and scream for several minutes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an strange a cultural trait as anything you'll ever see and it is delightfully enjoyable.   Like so many great traditions, no one knows exactly how or when this phenomenon started.

 

Questions to Ponder:  How does this activity diffuse in Flogsta at night?  How did this activity diffuse to other college towns in Europe?  Why is this a thing?    

 

Tags: culture, Swedendiffusion.  

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Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon

Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Some 100 people are arrested after protests against using French in Cameroon's English-speaking region.

 

Areas controlled by Britain and France joined to form Cameroon after the colonial powers withdrew in the 1960s. The country has 10 semi-autonomous administrative regions - eight are Francophone and use the French civil law. English-speakers have long complained that they face discrimination. They often complain that they are excluded from top civil service jobs and that government documents are often only published in French, even though English is also an official language. Bamenda is the founding place of Cameroon's largest opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front.

 

Tags: language, colonialism, CameroonAfrica, culturepolitical, devolution.

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In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture Alive

In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture Alive | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For 50 years, high school students in Rabun County have chronicled their region's disappearing traditions and mountain people, from blacksmiths to moonshiners, in publications and a living museum.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an excellent, rich example of preserving old elements of rural, folk cultures that are rapidly disappearing.  The project ties local students to the region to appreciate past more and creates a remarkable archive for the future. 

 

Tagsculture, historicalrural, folk culturesthe Southpodcast, unit 3 culture.

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What to Know About Diwali, the Festival of Lights

What to Know About Diwali, the Festival of Lights | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Diwali, one of the biggest holidays in Indian culture, is a five-day festival of lights celebrated worldwide by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. This year, the traditional day of Diwali falls on Oct. 30, though celebrations span the entire week leading up to and following the holiday, which marks the triumph of good over evil."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video provides a good introduction to the incredibly important South Asia holiday of Diwali. 

 

Tags: culture, India, Hinduism, South Asia, festivals.

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Dreadlocks Decision Raises Another Question: What Is Race?

Dreadlocks Decision Raises Another Question: What Is Race? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Many experts agree with an appeals court's decision last month that dreadlocks aren't a common racial characteristic. But left undecided: What's a common racial characteristic?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Race is both an omnipresent part of culture and surprisingly elusive.  "What is race?" might seem like an obvious question with concrete answers, but many see race as a socially constructed concept.  Even if it is socially constructed, how it is thought of has legal ramifications (as shown in the case regarding dreadlocks).  This is a good article that could start students asking the question "What is race?" and realize that it might be a hard question to answer.  

 

Tags: culture, race.

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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 31, 2016 8:27 PM

Race is both an omnipresent part of culture and surprisingly elusive.  "What is race?" might seem like an obvious question with concrete answers, but many see race as a socially constructed concept.  Even if it is socially constructed, how it is thought of has legal ramifications (as shown in the case regarding dreadlocks).  This is a good article that could start students asking the question "What is race?" and realize that it might be a hard question to answer.  

 

Tags: culture, race.

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Portraits Of NYC Immigrants Reveal Cultural Backgrounds

Portraits Of NYC Immigrants Reveal Cultural Backgrounds | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Here are just a handful of the 12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits show immigrants wearing the national dress of their country of origin, including military uniforms from Albania, bonnets from the Netherlands, and clothing of Sámi people from the Arctic regions.

The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station. In 1907 some of the photos were published by National Geographic.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These images show some of the diverse cultural backgrounds of turn-of-the-century American immigrants.  The formal clothing that represents the folk cultures that they came from hint at the massive cultural shift that these immigrants must have experienced upon arriving to the United States.  These photos of migrants wearing clothing representing their Old World lives right as they are about to culturally assimilate (or acculturate) into the New World are pictures I find quite poignant and personal.    

 

Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, folk culturesethnicity, unit 3 culture.

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16s3d's curator insight, October 21, 2016 2:06 AM
Les couleurs révélées de la diversité des immigrants aux États-Unis entre 1906 et 1914
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The history of African-American social dance

Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Dance is more than just a way to have fun; dance reflects cultural forms of expression and communal identity.  This Ted-Ed talk demonstrates the rich cultural heritage that can be seen in particular cultural traits (such as food, clothing, dance, music, etc.).  This is bound to be a fun, vibrant way to show the how cultural patterns and processes play out using something that young people generally enjoy. 

 

Tags: culturediffusion, popular culture, music, race, historicalthe South, TED, video.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, October 9, 2016 7:07 AM
Didn't include the forced dancing on the slave ship. The corn shucking dances. Forced dancing on the plantation.