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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Why caste still matters in India

Why caste still matters in India | Geography Education | Scoop.it

INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief  minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said 'high caste' Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from 'a backward caste'. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the 'other backward classes', or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article from the Economist is dated since Mr. Modi is now the prime minister of India, but this analysis of how caste was used as a political asset in the election is a timely reminder that while the caste system has been officially abolished, the cultural ripples are still being felt today in a myriad of ways that impact social interactions (marriage, jobs, etc.). 


Tagsfolk cultures, culture, development, Indiasocioeconomic, economic, poverty, gender.

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Anil Panpher's curator insight, July 26, 8:49 AM

Our leaders brings up the subject for their own benefits which refresh the memories of the public, knowingly -unknowingly. The sad part is that though the benefits are short lived but the memories remain there for long. 

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'Neo-Andean' architecture sprouts in Bolivia

'Neo-Andean' architecture sprouts in Bolivia | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Brash, baroque and steeped in native Andean symbols, the mini-mansions are a striking sight on the caked-dirt streets of El Alto, the inexorably expanding sister city of Bolivia's capital."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The pre-Columbian symbols of the condor, serpent and Tree of Life adorn the architecture of these brightly colored ballrooms that also have European-imported chandeliers, arches and other baroque elements.  The spread of globalization is often assumed to be a homogenizing cultural force, but local cultures typically take elements of the global, and make it their own.  The global becomes local and deeply rooted in place and reshapes place.


Tags globalizationarchitecture, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.

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Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 27, 9:34 AM

The resurgence of old-style architecture in developed places is shown in this article. The New-Andean style of architecture showcases bright colors and traditional patterns of the natives in South America is gaining popularity once again. Old styles of living and architecture had been fading for many years, but are now coming back into popularity after many Native groups have revived their traditional cultures and ways of life. 

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The Geography of Small Talk

The Geography of Small Talk | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Surprising alternatives to "so what do you do?"—from New Orleans to New York.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The types of questions that you ask when you are meeting someone new for the first time has some regional variations but there is much more to the geography of small talk than that as see in this 4 minute video.  People want to understand your cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic context by asking spatial questions about where you are from.  Identity and place are tightly woven and these neighborhood questions are almost invitations to share much more personal information, as if to ask, "how do you fit in this world?"  When you are being introduced to someone, what are the questions that you ask, and what type of information are you hoping to get?  Each person has their own little geography that has profoundly shaped who they are---so what’s your story? 


Tags: language, regions, folk cultures, communityplace, neighborhood.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 24, 6:43 AM

unit 2-3

Mr Steven Newman's curator insight, April 24, 11:33 AM
Love this scoop from Seth Dixon. A nice way to help kids understand sense of place .
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Geography of Quinoa

Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The popularity of Quinoa has grown exponentially among the health-conscious food consumers in the developed economies of the world.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein and is a better grain for those seeking to lose weight.  Quinoa has historically be rather limited but this diffusion is restructuring the geographic patterns of many places." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map from a Geography in the News article shows that Quinoa has historically been grown almost exclusively in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.  This was a localized food source for generations but this new global demand has increased the economic possibilities for Quinoa growers.  At the same time, local consumers that have traditionally depended on cheap Quinoa to supplement their diet are now effectively priced out, as stated in this Al-Jazeera article


Questions to Ponder: What modern and traditional agricultural patterns can we see in the production of Quinoa?  How have global and local forces reshaped the system?


Tags: agriculture, food production, foodglobalization, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.

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Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 27, 8:23 AM

Its crazy how something grown so far away can become such a dominant aspect in the food consupmtion of people in such distant place.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 11:01 AM

Quinoa is the new food to lose weight with. People all over the world have discovered its health benefits and can't get enough of it. However, quinoa only grows in certain climates and places. Since its supply is in high demand, finding places for it to grow would be beneficial to those trying to market and sell the grain. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 3:55 PM

Quinoa has been a staple crop in the Andes mountains for many years. It has only been recently that people in other parts of the world have recognized its health benefits. Since it is grown in only a tiny part of the world, the supply may easily fall behind the demand. Finding a similar geographic area to grow crops in may be what is needed in order to increase the supply.

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Geography in the News: World Fisheries

Geography in the News: World Fisheries | Geography Education | Scoop.it
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM DECLINE IN OCEAN FISHERIES The world may be running out of places to catch wild fish.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently posted a New York Times video about the rapid rise in industrial fishing and the production of Talapia.  Even with the rise of aquaculture as a major source of seafood, the world's oceans are still depleted.  As the world's population rises, many folk cultures with their roots in small fishing villages have transformed into primarily urban societies, but these urban societies still have a strong cultural preference for seafood and consume at levels that are not sustainable.    


Tags: environment modifyfolk culturesconsumption, water, physical.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, August 5, 2013 3:42 PM

Useful for consideration of Fish as a resource in the topic Natural Resource Use in Global Challenges. 

Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 6:11 PM
its scary to see how much fishing grew over the pat years due to the growing population
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 10:39 AM

Overtime as the population has increased you can see on the map that areas have been over fished. This has caused people to move near the water to fish and it has created some jobs for them. This could be bad becuase as the population increases the fish will decrease due to the over fishing. 

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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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: foodglobalization, South America, folk cultures, indigenous, culture, Bolivia.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, February 20, 3:27 PM

McDonalds is a social and economical chain restaurant that has not made its way to Bolivia. Sure, they like hamburgers but they prefer to get them from the women hawking them on the streets. Who can blame them? When is the last time you bought something that was made in America? Probably a couple weeks or months even. Cultural traditions are fading out fast and moves like this are what will keep Bolivians culturally enabled.

Paige Therien's curator insight, March 1, 1:21 PM

There is much valuable information to learn from other countries and cultures, especially when it comes to food because subsistence greatly shapes a culture.  Of course, the United States is very different than Bolivia in terms of culture and geography, but there is a lot to take away from the structural rejection of McDonalds in Bolivia.  Bolivia has taken advantage of the altitudinal zonation that is characteristic of their mountainous country; they have formed a system of reciprocity which fosters strong community and leaves no room for giant food corporations such as McDonald.  If people in the United States want a change in their food systems, the first step is rejecting the systems that should not play a role, but currently do.  Institutions like McDonalds have allowed people to be so far removed from their food sources, and ultimately, an important characteristic unique to humanity (food producers).

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 6:41 AM

       It's interesting that globalization is one of the reasons for the growth of fast food chains like McDonald’s around the world. It’s hard for countries to turn down a food company who really does configure their menu to the consumers their serving. I find it interesting that Bolivia found a way to resist this. Its topography is what made the last store close in 2002. McDonald’s couldn’t survive in the mountainous country with the Andes and the Amazon. They were able to resist because the nation always prioritized local control of its food system and eating healthy. Its people value food, food producers, and their ecosystems

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For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price'

For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price' | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:54 AM

With the new gender imbalance, it is interesting that Chinese families now see boys as the gender that will cost them more money in the long run, it used to be the girl that was a finical burden.  This is a big change in thinking from just a generation ago, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in china over time.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 8:11 AM

This article shows how the One Child Policy has skewed the gender balance in China. There is a shortage of young women and, in order to attract a wife, young Chinese men feel the need to acquire more wealth to gain a competitive advantage in a China with a surplus of men. This wealth grab is possibly fueling the housing market in China, but Chinese women are not seeing many benefits for themselves. The wealth of their husbands tends to be left in the husband's name, leaving women out of the growing economy of China.

 

There is another potential issue as well. The Chinese men are taking out loans to pay for inflated housing prices. If the housing market crashes, these marriage seeking men are left with significant debt for apartments which were overvalued to begin with.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:34 PM

This article is recent too which is scary. Men should be able to pick their own brides and money shouldn't be involved. Women shouldn't have to marry someone for the sake of her family but if thats what she wants to do then fine. Different countries operate different ways and in China, this is how they work.

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European women marry, give hope to Samaritans

European women marry, give hope to Samaritans | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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."  


Tagsfolk culture, gender, population, Russia, religion, culture,
Middle East


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 3:21 PM

I know a man who is Indian, and his grandparents came from India.  He tells me that their people do not formally or very much at all approve of interbreeding between their people and other cultures.  He says Indians stick with Indians, and that's how it's supposed to be.  I think in the future that the genetic diseases will be abolished by selective characteristic modification through reproductive alteration using technology- I think DNA modification will become a popular trick in both reproduction and everyday life that will allow for the end of illness.  This would allow people to marry into other cultures without fear of genetic complications, but they would still have that cultural barrier my Indian acquaintence referred to.  That same dude has some funny insight about Italians and other cultures, and noted that Italian-Americans are not really Italian at all.  We had a couple of interesting discussions regarding different cultures, and he told me that he is 100% Indian.  I don't mean to seem degrading AT ALL but the first thing that popped into my head was how people breed dogs to be purebreds, which are coveted and expensive, as well as pure.  I'm a blend of many different nationalities, and I'm proud of it... The universe is a blend of many nationalities, and I ever-ponder my connection with the Universe, and it's nice to know that I have a commonality with the Universe!

Cam E's curator insight, February 18, 9:00 AM

It's a very interesting and sad phenomenon when groups that thrived in the past begin to dwindle to a point where the acts of individuals can decide the entire future of the demographic. It brings in questions of tradition and if those people have a duty to propagate their genes to keep their group alive. I can only imagine how tense the environment could be when single accidents or deaths could mean the end of your people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 9:14 AM

This article describes a how the small religious group, the Samaritans, have seen their numbers shrink to unsustainable levels and have been forced to turn outside to find wives. These men are importing brides from places like Ukraine because of a significant gender imbalance and heightened risk of birth defects due to genetic homogenization over the centuries. These circumstances present an fairly unique case of migration, one which should it become a standard practice, could have an effect on the culture of the Samaritan communities.

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Where the Hell is Matt?

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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GeoBlogs's curator insight, March 11, 2013 12:41 AM

Where can you send Matt ?

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Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is yet another example of the uneven impacts of globalization. 

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 1:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 11:51 AM

This seems to work well for both the tea growers and the workers. The workers are compensated well and they have a job for life and the tea that is picked is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, most places on the planet go with the cheapest price, not the best quality, so I do not know how much longer this arrangement will be feasible.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 5:51 PM

In my town, we got rid of the old trash receptacle bins and in place we have one huge trash bin and one huge recycling bin. This has cut down the jobs immensely because now a machine just picks up the large bins. This is the same thing thats happening in India. There is now a machine that can do the humans jobs and will most likely take over for the tea picking people. Its unfortunate, but its how the world works.

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Russian Orthodox believers mark Epiphany with icy plunge

Russian Orthodox believers mark Epiphany with icy plunge | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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...
Seth Dixon's insight:

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

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 19, 3:03 PM

These photographs show how intense this purification process is. The members of this religion suffer, as they submerge themselves into ice-cold water. This epiphany the Russian Orthodox members go through seem to be painful, but it proves they are dedicated to their faith. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 10:14 PM

These photos are an excellent example of how geography influences culture. The extremely cold climate of Russia has led to this baptism-like ritual in the Russian Orthodox religion. The practitioners are cleansing themselves and showing dedication by bathing themselves in the freezing lakes of Russia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 5:45 PM

Ice plunges happen all over the world for many different reasons. Some do it on New Years day in honor of ringing in a new year. This ice plunge happened to be in honor of Epiphany for the Russian Orthodox Church. 

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Boontling: A Lost American Language

Boontling: A Lost American Language | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Watch the video Boontling: A Lost American Language on Yahoo! Screen
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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Mongolia's Nomads

Mongolia's Nomads | Geography Education | Scoop.it

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."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.  

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Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 12, 2013 3:44 PM

What factors are threatening pastoral herders way of life? Why?

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 8:45 AM

Time for more pictures, my favorite part of scooping. Mongolia is almost entirely forgotten in US education, to the point where many of the people I know aren't even sure if there's a government at all. My favorite part of these pictures comes from the fusion of technology and tradition though. We see traditional housing and boys carrying water to their homes, and then a flat screen television in the makeshift house. Motorcycles are used to herd animals, and solar polar is used to power cell phones for the nomads. What I think is important here among other things is the idea that humanity has potentially reached a point where we cannot go backwards tech-wise. The dark ages in Europe saw knowledge being lost, and there are claims that humanity will wipe out its own tech in a great war, but now that we have the knowledge and ability to use solar panels and automobiles, I don't believe we'll ever lose them as a species.

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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED lesson is a quick primer into the geographic context of linguistic change and variability that we find all around the world. 


Tags: language, TED, regions, folk cultures, toponyms, historical, culturediffusion.

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Catherine Smyth's curator insight, June 2, 4:45 PM

Not really primary geography but so interesting!

Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 3:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 6:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

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What is halal meat?

What is halal meat? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"There have been calls for clearer labelling of halal products in shops, restaurants and takeaways. But what is halal food? And why are campaigners so concerned?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know just enough Arabic to read the word Halal (حلال) and know that it means permissible, the opposite of Haram (حَرَام‎) which means forbidden or illegal.  In the context of meat, it means meat that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic traditions and is therefore permissible for an observant Muslim to eat (very similar to Kosher for Jewish people).  Today, Halal is becoming an important issue within the European Union for two main reasons: 1) more Muslims are migrating to Europe and 2) Europeans are searching for less artificial food products.  Some Europeans, however, feel that the Halal labeling and marketing is a change to the cultural landscape that they are not comfortable with, and don't want to see it become more mainstream.  Other meat companies try to present their products as Halal, but don't adhere to all of the customs according to some more strict Muslims.  Halal, then is a lightning rod, in either direction right now in Europe.  If you want to see the inner workings of a Halal slaughterhouse in New York, this video will show you what it is like.   

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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, May 17, 4:14 AM

Halal means permissible, the opposite of Haram  which means forbidden or illegal. 


Halal meat means that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic traditions and is therefore permissible for an observant Muslim to eat (very similar to Kosher for Jewish people). 


Within the European Union more Muslims are migrating to Europe.  Some Europeans, however, feel that the Halal labeling and marketing is a change to the cultural landscape that they are not comfortable with, and don't want to see it become more mainstream.  Other meat companies try to present their products as Halal, but don't adhere to all of the customs according to some more strict Muslims.  Halal, then is a lightning rod, in either direction right now in Europe. - From Seth Dixon

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Thanksgiving Resources

Thanksgiving Resources | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Thanksgiving has some fascinating spatial components to it.  My wife and I prepared an article for the Geography News Network on Maps101.com that shows the historical and geographic context of the first Thanksgiving and in the memorialization of Thanksgiving as a national holiday (if you don’t subscribe to Maps 101, it is also freely available as a podcast on Stitcher Radio or iTunes).

Seth Dixon's insight:

One of my favorite combinations of maps for Thanksgiving involves the geography of food production and food consumption.  When we start looking at the regional dishes on Thanksgiving plates we can see some great patterns.  This ESRI storymap asks the simple question, where did your Thanksgiving Dinner come From?

 

This StoryMap is a great resource to combine with this New York Times article that shows the regional preferences for the most popular Thanksgiving recipes.  Where are sweet potatoes grown?  Where do people make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving? 

Plymouth County, MA is heart of only 3 cranberry producing regions and is was also home to the first Thanksgiving.  How has this New England local ecology and traditional food patterns influenced national traditions? 

For these and more Thanksgiving resources on scoop.it, click here.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, November 17, 2013 3:14 AM

This website is interesting because it gives us the geography of where specific foods in the country are manufactured such as cranberrie sauce, turkeys, sweet potatoes and helps us develop a rich cultural history and earn solidarity of where we come from and the traditions that make us who we are in terms of culinary choices. The original thanksgiving with the early puritan settlers in New England most likely reflected dishes that were synonomous with foods that natives grew and other local items that were family in this area. Now because of industry we to choose foods that have their origin from markets nationwide.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 17, 2013 9:35 AM

Love to see where the traditional American Thanksgiving food comes from.  We have that, but growing up in an all Italian household Thanksgivng was more then Turkey...it had an added Italian flavor.  Start with antipasto that had a prosciutto that would met in your mouth, plus cheeses, muhrooms, other meats, then would come the soup, then the pasta, could be any variety then the Turkey, but you would also have a ham because you never knew who was going to stop by, plus all the trimmings and then finally dessert with Italian cookies and pastires along with the Thanksgivng traditions of pumpkin and apple pies.  We took breaks inbetween courses to watch some football and make room for more food becasue it was all good.  We literally ate all day.  So for us out food came form all over the world.  In a nation of immigrants, we added our own flavor to an American Holiday..and to me whats more American than brining in some of your own hertitage into a holiday..we are after all a "melting pot"

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Linguistic Diversity at Home

Linguistic Diversity at Home | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Counties where at least 10 percent of people speak a language other than English at home."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home?  


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions, census, migration, populationhistoricalfolk cultures, USA.

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elianna sosa paulino's curator insight, September 10, 2013 7:48 AM

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home? 

 

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 5, 2013 11:34 AM

The presence of large numbers of people that speak languages other than English at home occurs on the east and west coasts of the U.S., but largely in the south and western areas of the U.S..  In high school we used to have discussions about how there were many immigrants coming into the U.S. from or through Mexico.  With migration comes cultural diffusion, as the people coming into the United States bring their language and many other cultural elements of their country of origin with them.  I know there are certain neighborhoods in cities in Rhode Island where most people that I see on the street are speaking Spanish.  I have a relative that has married an immigrant from Guatemala, and she learned that the North East coast of the U.S. Is where many people from Central America move to- often in groups that settle as communities to help each other.  I can understand that it is essential to live near people that speak your language, and it makes sense that their strength and comfort in numbers is also a way of having a "home away from home."  Being the area of the world on the southern land border of the U.S., and that Central America consists mainly of Spanish speakers, it fills in the Southern areas of the U.S. with people that speak a language other than English.  The coasts overall can be explained as being populated by people that speak languages other than English at home because they contain ports of travel and trade, and are points where many flights from other countries would land and drop off travelers and migrants.  That and beautiful ocean views make the coasts a great place for foreigners to settle and live.  These pull factors are likely influential reasons for people to relocate to the areas on the map.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 8:02 PM

This map does not bring many surprises.  Places where there are a lot of Spanish speaking families are present in places where many Spanish people immigrate to, along the Mexican border and the southern tip of Florida, where Cuba is close by.  One interesting thing about the French areas seen in Louisiana is that their version of French is a regional dialect. Not only is their a cluster of French speaking families, but they are all speaking a language native to the region.  It is very surprising that there are not as many French speaking families along the Canadien border.

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Esri Thematic Atlas

Esri Thematic Atlas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Esri Thematic Atlas is a configurable web application that uses a collection of intelligent web maps with text, graphics, and images to talk about our world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

ESRI is moving towards creating a dynamic, authorative, living digital atlas and empowering users to create their own.  See this great political map of 2008 U.S. presidential election that is a part of the altas; it goes far beyond simple blue and red states.  StoryMaps are also democratizing the mapping process.  Explore these excellent examples of storymaps (Endangered Languages and top 10 physical landforms). 


Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech.

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JMSS_Geography Resources's curator insight, June 25, 2013 10:20 PM

The Esri Thematic Atlas is a configurable web application that uses a collection of intelligent web maps with text, graphics, and images to talk about our world.

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 17, 2013 1:53 AM

First unit is based on maps and atlases.  Want to build a range of resources.

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Tea for Two

"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."


Seth Dixon's insight:

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. 

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James Matthews's curator insight, May 21, 2013 8:16 AM

Definitely a case of oppression versus admiration - what a wonderful story.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 9:38 PM

This video is about a tea farming couple whose arranged marriage has been very successful. The cultural tradition of arranged marriage may seem oppressive to us, but there are a great number of them where the couple stays happy. In these cultures with arranged marriage, divorce is usually not a realistic option, so these couples are possibly more willing to cooperate to make their marriage work than in the United States, but undoubtedly many remain unhappily married.

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Technology and Tradition Collide: From Gender Bias to Sex Selection

Technology and Tradition Collide:  From Gender Bias to Sex Selection | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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."


Seth Dixon's insight:

How do local cultures create these demographic statistics?  How do these demographic statistics impact local cultures? 


Tags: gender, technologyfolk culture, statistics, China, population.

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Habemus papam: There is a new pope

Habemus papam: There is a new pope | Geography Education | Scoop.it
(3rd UPDATE) The new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics is expected to deliver a speech in an hour
Seth Dixon's insight:

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: culturereligion, Christianity.

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Maricarmen Husson's comment, March 14, 2013 5:42 AM
I'm so happy! The first Argentine Pope!
Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 10, 2013 12:44 PM

As a Catholic I see the need for tradition in culture.  Even as culture changes, I think there is still a place for it even in today's modern, fluid culture.  Tradition gives us a base to build a culture.  Yes cultures do change, but they have to start somewhere and traditions are the place to start.  Question, where would you be without some of your traditions? what would you miss?  We all start somewhere, after I was married and had kids, we started our own family traditions, but alot of them are based on older traditions,like a huge dinner at Christmas....mmm 5 courses and an expanding wasitline :).

Al Picozzi's comment, July 10, 2013 12:46 PM
I agree, there still is a place for tradition even in modern culture. We need somewhere to start and traditions are a good place.
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In Norway, TV Program on Firewood Elicits Passions

In Norway, TV Program on Firewood Elicits Passions | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A TV program about firewood, mostly showing a fireplace in use, has aroused passions in Norway.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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?  

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chris tobin's comment, February 28, 2013 10:46 AM
So many cultures depend upon using wood and their connection with nature for every day life
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Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland

Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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James Good's comment, April 19, 2013 3:33 PM
It would make sense that the Vikings abandoned Greenland because they felt isolated from their mother country. There must have been a strong Scandanavian folk culture that the people of Greenland valued enough to make such a drastic movement. It is very likely that the people of Greenland cherished their home land and its culture. This culture was probably more exciting to them then the dismal life in the far north.

Once the demand for walrus tusks and seal skins decreased, there was really no need for the Vikings to stay in Greenland anyways. If they did not want to become farmers and take advantage of the potential farming land that Greenland had to offer, then there would be no benefit to staying there anyway.
Conor McCloskey's comment, April 30, 2013 7:25 AM
Humans have been exploring our planet for thousands of years. Settlements are established, and deemed successful or unsuccessful. The successful ones are still around today, however the unsuccessful one’s usually fall to the wayside and are forgotten. Many things can make a colony of human exploration unsuccessful, much like Viking colonies in Greenland. These colonies were abandoned and archeologists have search for the reasons why. Questions of the fertility of the land and available animals to hunt have been reasons that archeologists use to explain the colonial abandonment.
The push and pull factors of ancient Viking life are apparent through their migratory patterns. There are many possible reasons for the Vikings to have left this colony though archeologists are struggling to find just one. Food source seems to be a major reason why other colonies were abandoned, though seal meat does not seem to be at a shortage in this area. Ancient reason of migrating is similar to modern ones, however they are also very different. Globalization has changed the way humans live, the interconnectedness of the world has made living in places that could support life in ancient times possible.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 2:11 PM
Of course they left, who would want to be basically stranded on Greenland away from any other civilization? Not me for sure. Plus, the lack of supplied they were receiving and tools it would have been near impossible to live and thrive in Greenland. They were also losing their identity; they were thinking of themselves more as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters, their original identity as Scandinavians. Nonetheless it was imperative that they leave and head home because the colony in Greenland surely would have run dry and died out. If not for the overkilling of seals for food or the bone-chilling winters, I might theorize that they might stay in Greenland however that is not how history unfolded and it doesn’t surprise me that they left. Like James said, once their trade had virtually ceased, the outpost in Greenland was useless because they could be just living back home where you weren’t in extreme weather conditions and living off of seal meat.
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A Review of Jared Diamond's "The World Until Yesterday"

A Review of Jared Diamond's "The World Until Yesterday" | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Should we look to traditional societies to help us tweak our lives? Wade Davis takes issue with the whole idea
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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Where the Streets Have No Name

Where the Streets Have No Name | Geography Education | Scoop.it
West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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