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What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.
Many feel that corporate expansion within the food industries is inevitable because that's what we are currently experiencing in highly globalized countries such as the United States. Bolivia proves an example of a country that that has rejected corporate hegemony in the marketplace because they support traditional food choices and local vendors. Keep in mind that we shouldn't overly romanticize Bolivia, but they are a compelling example showing that consumers can impact food options.
Tags: food, globalization, South America, folk cultures, indigenous, culture, Bolivia.
More food related fodder for your fantastic friday.
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"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."
Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Some folk cultures, such as the Samaritans, have historically intermarried and have been plagued by genetic diseases. Recently, they have turned to global solutions to their local demographic woes. "Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community."
Tags: folk culture, gender, population, Russia, religion, culture, Middle East.
I've seen other "Where the Hell is Matt" videos and this recent one is building on that tradition. These videos show some fantastic international icons and people around the world. Simultaneously, this video show the unique cultural elements seen around the world while showing the essential beauty of our common humanity. Who wouldn't want to go to all the places that Matt has been?
Tags: geo-inspiration, worldwide, folk culture.
Where can you send Matt ?
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.
Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany on January 19 with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the...
Some of the photography and photo galleries of this cultural event are breathtaking--literally for those taking the plunge. Russians cut the ice in the shape of a cross and bath in water that is blessed and considered holy. This appears to be a religious tradition that is particularly adapted to the environmental conditions of the religious adherents (since it appears that the extreme climate plays a critical role in the activity). Part of the practice involves sacrifice; the colder the swim, the greater the manifestation of religious devotion.
Tags: Russia, religion, culture.
Watch the video Boontling: A Lost American Language on Yahoo! Screen
In Booneville, CA, local residents literally created their own language over 150 years ago and had it was locally accepted enough to be taught within the school district. This language of Boontling (Boont Lingo) but one that the younger generation has not fully adopted, but is still spoken by the older residents.
Tags: folk culture, language, culture, rural, unit 3 culture, California.
Through his Vanishing Cultures Project photographer Taylor Weidman documents threatened ways of life. About his work in Mongolia, he states: "Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world's largest remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the lush grasslands. But today, their traditional way of life is at risk on multiple fronts. Alongside a rapidly changing economic landscape, climate change and desertification are also threatening nomadic life, killing both herds and grazing land."
In times of ecological hardships and global economic restructuring, many children of nomadic herders are seeking employment out of the rural areas and in the urban environment. The cultural change that this represents is for Mongolia enormous and is captured wonderfully in this photo gallery. Pictured above are the ger (yurt) camps that ring the capital city Ulaanbaatar. Ulaanbaatar houses a permanent population of displaced nomads. During the winter, Ulaanbaatar is the second most air-polluted capital in the world due largely to coal burning.
Tags: Mongolia, images, indigenous, culture, globalization.
What factors are threatening pastoral herders way of life? Why?
For many albinos — born with a partial or total lack of pigment in their skin, hair and eyes — life is difficult, and that is particularly true in Tanzania, where they are attacked for their flesh, the result of superstitious beliefs.
This is not a typical look at the cultural roots of prejudice and discrimination. It isn't racism per se (since albinism isn't a racial category strictly speaking), but it does show prejudice that is linked to physical appearance and skin color. There are deeply rooted folk traditions that endanger the lives of African albinos as explained in this podcast. This photo gallery shows some of Tanzania's albinos letting their light shine.
Tags: culture, racism, folk culture, Tanzania, Africa.
At the dacha, the soul of Russia--and its cultural divide--is on display. In vacation cottages the women are in housedresses. The men, Speedos and rubber boots. They brood, plant, party, and restore their souls.
The dacha (a seasonal second home or a vacation spot) is incredibly important in Russia. It is is estimated that over 50% of city residences in Russia own a dacha as a way to culturally connect with the countryside. This is a nice glimpse into that life.
Meet the "hairy Ainu" of Japan, Taiwan's Saaroa, the Kusunda of Nepal, the last Manchus and the Jarawa of India's Andaman Islands.
The rapid spread of Mandarin, English, Spanish, Hindi-Urdu and Arabic as the 5 largest languages (most native speakers) is connected to the spread of globalization and the cultural aspects of that phenomenon. These 5 declining languages represent the flip side of those cultural patterns.
Photojournalist Diana Markosian spent the last year and half covering Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.
These 33 photos are arranged to tell the cultural story of life in Chechnya, especially the life of young women coming of age in the aftermath of the war. As the architecture of this mosque suggests, the influence of traditional Islamic values and Russian political authority have greatly shaped the lives of the Chechen people.
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What geographic factors (economic, cultural and environment) traits contribute to the that lead a long-standing and vibrant camel trade in India? Pushkar is home to the world's largest camel fair, but is undergoing serious changes. Not surprisingly, less open spaces and modernization are changing the traditional patterns of animal husbandry and the industry is drying up.
"We came to Sri Lanka with every intention of filming a video about an organic, fair trade tea farmer. That is exactly what we were planning when we set foot on the small tea farm of Piyasena and his wife Ariyawatha. What we didnt expect was to be so taken with the relationship between the two of them. What started as a farm story quickly turned into a story about love and dedication amongst the Ceylon tea fields."
The beginning of their love story is rooted in cultural traditions that many would find oppressive (arranged marriage), and yet there is much about their sweet relationship that is near-universally admired.
Definitely a case of oppression versus admiration - what a wonderful story.
"Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth. How do we know these girls are missing if they were never born? Under normal circumstances, about 102 to 107 male babies are born for every 100 female babies born. This is called the sex ratio at birth, or SRB."
How do local cultures create these demographic statistics? How do these demographic statistics impact local cultures?
Tags: gender, technology, folk culture, statistics, China, population.
(3rd UPDATE) The new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics is expected to deliver a speech in an hour
The juxtaposition of the hypermodern coverage of the election of a new pope (telecasts, social media, instantaneous global network coverage, etc.) with the archaic medieval rituals of the conclave (locked doors, smoke signals, etc.) is endlessly fascinating to me. Even in the 21st century, there is a place for the traditional. So who is Pope Francis? As the first South American pope, some feel this reflects the southern demographic shift within the Catholic Church. Also, click here for the science behind the white vs. black smoke.
Tags: culture, religion, Christianity.
The first Argentine Pope
A TV program about firewood, mostly showing a fireplace in use, has aroused passions in Norway.
In so many countries this would be one of the worst rated TV shows of all time, and yet in Norway, where a rustic, outdoorsman connection to the forest is ingrained in the culture, it's a hit and one that sparks debates and discussion. Isn't it good, Norwegian Wood?
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century.
As the climate began to cool the diet of the Greenland settlers changed dramatically. Originally their diets consisted of about 20-30% seafood, but as farming became nearly impossible on this increasingly marginal land, it jumped up to about 80%. The economic livelihood of the settlements was in danger and the solution lay in a cultural transition, but one that they didn't want to make. "They saw themselves as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters...[and were] worried about the increasing loss of their Scandinavian identity." In essence they abandoned Greenland in part because they chose not abandon their Viking heritage to embrace a culture that would have be more like that of the Inuits. Cultural factors may have mattered more than economic limitations.
Tags: Greenland, folk culture, historical.
Should we look to traditional societies to help us tweak our lives? Wade Davis takes issue with the whole idea
Jared Diamond is famous for his work in writing Guns, Germs and Steel as well as Collapse. His latest work, The World Until Yesterday, he encourages modern readers to examine the traditional societies for insights on how to improve the human condition. In this book review by Wade Davis, he critiques this approach and suggests that we should see indigenous societies as reminders that our modern lifestyle is not the only way.
Tags: book reviews, folk cultures, indigenous.
West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map
While this article does occasionally play off of the country bumpkin stereotypes we've all heard about West Virginians, there are some important concepts lying under the surface in the article. All places have a location (both absolute and relative), but not one that is easily discernible to an outsider unfamiliar with the area. Many emergency responders rely on geocoded addresses and GPS systems to location those in need, and the state of West Virginia is trying to ensure that even the most rural of residents is on the grid. Many location-based technologies lose their value as soon as you leave a named road, so these systematic campaign will strengthen the push for modernization and digital systems. How will this change the cultural landscape?
Tags: rural, location, GPS.
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.
USA Route 66 Cross Country Road Trip Map, Data, Summary, Photos, Equipment Used: http://www.defreesproductions.com/road-trip-route-66-cross-country-usa-2012 ...
I saw this video on an Atlantic Cities article and was struck by the rural and "off-the-beaten path" feel that timelapse of the Mother Road manages to capture. Route 66 looms large in Americana, in part because it represents a bygone era, a time when the automobile was new and exciting. This empowered many to make a cross-country road trip, but during this time the car was not so ubiquitous that it was the overwhelming force that is so visually prominent in urban landscapes as it is today. The historical and cultural critique of the U.S. automobile culture in the Pixar movie Cars may be fictional and for a child audience, but it is quite accurate in noting that cities disconnected from the interstate system sharply declined and were never the same. These places represent for many people then, a classic pop culture landscape of yesteryear.
Tags: transportation, landscape, place, culture, timelapse.
Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.
This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.
"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes. People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."
Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?
Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.
The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population. Bob Simon reports.
This 14 minute clip looks at the complex political and cultural geography of the Israel and Palestine. While often reduced to being a struggle between Israeli Jews and Palestinians Muslims, this missed simplification fails to tell the story of Palestinian Christians.
Isolation or inclusion - can India protect an ancient Andaman tribe on the verge of extinction?
"An ancient indigenous tribe is on the verge of extinction in India's Andaman Islands. Habitat loss, disease and exploitation could wipe out the 400-strong Jarawa tribe, who still hunt using bows and arrows.
Lapses in policing and continued activity by tour operators, who encourage 'human safaris' where Jarawa women and children have in the past performed for tourists, are partly to blame for jeopardising the tribe's existence. Many activists want to close the main road into the tribal reserve to protect the tribe from further interaction with the outside world, but it is a lifeline providing food and work for the island's 600,000 inhabitants.
To include or isolate?"