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Latin America Is Losing Its Catholic Identity

Latin America Is Losing Its Catholic Identity | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Roman Catholic Church’s claim on the region is lessening as a younger generation turns to Protestantism, a Pew study found.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Catholic Church was a main governing force in colonial times and was a significant political force in rallying support for independence movements throughout the Americas.  In the early twentieth century over 90% of Latin American were Catholic, but recently polls now show that the Catholic population is under 70%.  The Catholic Church is responding; in addition to a charismatic renewal to mass services appealing to younger audiences, the first non-European pope (Pope Francis) is from Latin America.      

 

Tags: culture, religionChristianityMiddle America, South America.

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U.S. religious groups and their political leanings

U.S. religious groups and their political leanings | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religionUSA, electoral, political

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Dewayne Goad's curator insight, March 9, 9:40 AM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religion, USA, electoral, political. 

Danielle Yen's curator insight, March 10, 9:22 AM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religionUSA, electoral, political

NADINE BURCHI SCORP's curator insight, March 10, 1:22 PM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religion, USA, electoral, political. 

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Israel to create a new egalitarian prayer plaza at Western Wall

Israel to create a new egalitarian prayer plaza at Western Wall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government approved a plan to allow pluralistic, and mixed-gender prayer, at Judaism’s holy site.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past, Israeli policewomen have detained members of the religious group Women of the Wall for breaching orthodox rules governing prayers at the site. This is Judaism's most holy site and orthodox traditions have legally prevailed here, defining who could be there and who could perform which religious rites (often on gender lines).  This fight represents a struggle to redefine the meaning and usage of public space in Jerusalem (among other complex issues).  The article states that "this marks an unprecedented move by the Israeli government to officially recognize the rights of Conservative, Reform and other Jewish denominations to hold organized prayer at the site."

 

Tags: Israel, culture, genderspace, religion, Judaism,
Middle East.

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Gender Equality Activists in the Muslim World

In a time where interfaith and cultural and religious diversity are scrutinized and need support, Raheel Raza is a force to be reckoned with. Her outspoken and strong opinions on Muslim society and Islamic beliefs have been groundbreaking and inspiring; however others consider them to be a source of criticism and condemnation. Yet Raza remains undeterred in her fight against gender prejudices and her mission to improve the female position in Islamic society continues.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Islamophobia is a real problem today and I teach to reduce geographic ignorance and fears about an unknown ‘other.’ That has also created an environment where many--myself included--are hesitant to shine the light on issues of gender equity and other cultural problems in the Muslim world for fear of it entrenching students with bigoted viewpoints to cling to them all the more firmly.   Also, many are worried that critiques will also be perceived as Islamophobia.  Recently the Swedish foreign minister called out Saudi Arabia's legal restraints on women--some called this Islamophobic, Saudi Arabia removed its Swedish ambassador and stop issuing visas to relative silence from the global media and no support from the international community.

 

We cannot lay the blame on an entire society/religion based on the actions of a few, but it would be disingenuous to pretend there were no problems. As Raheel Raza says, “culture is no excuse for abuse.” The linked videos are one Muslim woman’s critique on some cultural aspects within some Muslim societies. This is not to say that these problems are only in the Muslim world, nor does it means that the all Muslims live in or want to create oppressive societies--far from it. There is great, rich diversity of thought, opinions, and interpretations among Muslims.

 

TagsgenderIslam, TED.

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Abbey Reddig's curator insight, March 29, 1:59 PM

Islamophobia is a real problem today and I teach to reduce geographic ignorance and fears about an unknown ‘other.’ That has also created an environment where many--myself included--are hesitant to shine the light on issues of gender equity and other cultural problems in the Muslim world for fear of it entrenching students with bigoted viewpoints to cling to them all the more firmly.   Also, many are worried that critiques will also be perceived as Islamophobia.  Recently the Swedish foreign minister called out Saudi Arabia's legal restraints on women--some called this Islamophobic, Saudi Arabia removed its Swedish ambassador and stop issuing visas to relative silence from the global media and no support from the international community.

 

We cannot lay the blame on an entire society/religion based on the actions of a few, but it would be disingenuous to pretend there were no problems. As Raheel Raza says, “culture is no excuse for abuse.” The linked videos are one Muslim woman’s critique on some cultural aspects within some Muslim societies. This is not to say that these problems are only in the Muslim world, nor does it means that the all Muslims live in or want to create oppressive societies--far from it. There is great, rich diversity of thought, opinions, and interpretations among Muslims.

 

TagsgenderIslam, TED.

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Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Chinese government has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NY Times article is a good update on the situation of Xianjiang.  I wish this was available when I wrote this article (with links for more teaching resources) for the National Geographic Education Blog on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  

 

TagsCentral Asia, culturepoliticalconflictgovernance,ChinaEast AsiareligionIslamlandscape.

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How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages

How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This map by Jakub Marian shows you how to say Merry Christmas in European languages.
Seth Dixon's insight:

To those that celebrate Christmas I was going to wish them a Merry Christmas in English, but this gives us so many other options...Feliz Navidad!   For any interested in exploring the setting of the Christmas story from a geographic perspective, read on. 

 

Tags: religion, Europeculture, historicallanguage, seasonal.

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Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, December 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Working on the pronunciation....

John Peterson's comment, December 19, 2015 1:32 PM
I learned something new. Thanks.
Marianne Naughton's curator insight, December 24, 2015 8:54 AM

Merry Christmas To All !!!

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Transportation Geography and Religious Greetings

Transportation Geography and Religious Greetings | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Happy Hanukkah from Brooklyn! Card design by Cheryl Berkowitz, via Subway Art Blog.

 

Tagstransportation, Judaism, religionseasonal.

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The Myth of the Caliphate

The Myth of the Caliphate | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Myth Article #1: Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstances.


Myth Article #2: ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.


Myth Video #1: This video points to the reasons that recruits are attracted to extremism (not just poverty and ignorance).


Tags: politicalgovernance, religion, Islam, historical, terrorism, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 26, 2015 5:12 AM

Myth

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 30, 2015 2:32 PM

The idea of the Caliphate seems to be more of what all the groups which called themselves Caliphates seem to be pursuing. It seems to me that the fact of the matter is less important than the idea, as what happened one hundred years ago is far less important than what is believed to have happened. That ISIS is a state can be argued, but the fact that they are fighting a conventional war is indisputable. Yes, the tactics we use must be shifted, but this means that support from aircraft or by indirect means are even more viable than they were during the Second Gulf War.

 

 

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Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali: Festival of Lights | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.

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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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Dropping water levels reveal hidden church

Dropping water levels reveal hidden church | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A 16th century church has emerged from the receding waters of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. This is the second time water levels have dropped low enough to reveal the church since the reservoir was completed in 1966.


Tags: drought, Mexico, water, environment, religion, culture, Christianity,  colonialism, architecture, landscape.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:59 AM

water Chiapas

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Hajj stampede: Saudis face growing criticism over deaths

Hajj stampede: Saudis face growing criticism over deaths | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Iran leads growing criticism of Saudi Arabia after the deaths of at least 717 people in a stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage.


Tagstourism, Islam, Saudi Arabiaculture, religion, Middle East.

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Greg Hill's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:17 PM
Islam, Hajj, Mecca
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, October 26, 2015 12:52 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, this article shows how the rest of Islam is responding to the recent catastrophe in Mecca. The Saudi government has a responsibility to ensure that the Hajj is a safe venture in a Muslim's life. Since the Hajj is one of the most sacred pillars of Islam, I think someone should consider the idea of putting a multi-national police force in place at Mecca to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:11 PM

with the massive crush of people who descend on Mecca every year its hard to imagine that this hasn't happened before. Mecca is THE pilgrimage site for Muslims, and holy law dictates that every Muslim should go there in their lifetime.

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How religion(s) spread across the world

How religion(s) spread across the world | Geography Education | Scoop.it
VIDEO: 5,000 years of religious history in two minutes.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Short, sweet and to the point--this video is a great way to show the historical geographies of major world religions.  What are the cultural barriers to the diffusion of one of these particular religions?  What geographic factors helped to facilitate the expansion of one of these world religions?   


Tags: religiondiffusion, culture, ChristianityIslamBuddhismHinduismJudaism,
unit 3 culture.


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Clayton Nelson's curator insight, March 16, 9:53 AM
This video is extremely easy to watch but at the same time gives a lot of information. Very helpful! CN
Clayton Nelson's comment, April 4, 10:09 AM
It is amazing to see how quickly some religions spread compared to others especially once the Islamic religion began. Also i believe its a great thing that during the age of discovery, religions were taken over to the new world with those who traveled there.
Alexis Michelle's curator insight, April 4, 10:11 AM

Short, sweet and to the point--this video is a great way to show the historical geographies of major world religions. Each of these religions have been "born" somewhere and have grown to different countries. Everyone has a religion well most of everyone and I believe it is very important to know the history of the religion that you are or fit into.


Tags: religion, diffusion, culture, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,
unit 3 culture.


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Temples and Human Sexuality

Temples and Human Sexuality | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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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2015 Saw a Decrease in Global Religious Freedom

2015 Saw a Decrease in Global Religious Freedom | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The global refugee crisis, political strife and economic dislocation all contributed to a worldwide deterioration of religious freedom in 2015 and an increase in societal intolerance, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is one of the sad results of the many global conflicts today and increase in reactionary political movements that scapegoat religious minorities.  The image above is a map/wordle of the 18th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."  

 

Tags: religion, ChristianityIslamBuddhismHinduismJudaism, podcastconflict, refugees.

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Pope Francis, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in Cuba

Pope Francis, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in Cuba | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"After a split of more than 1,000 years, the persecution of Christian by extremists in the Middle East and Africa have brought the two churches closer."

 

Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a first-ever encounter between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches since the Great Schism of 1054.

 

Tags: religionChristianity.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This isn't just about religion though...a meeting of this magnitude has geopolitical significance

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Megan Mattei GIS's curator insight, February 7, 11:41 AM

This meeting is very monumental for the Christian faith and all its sectors because the two heads of each faith have not met in 962 years. Hopefully this meeting will only bring positive outcomes especially for the Christians being persecuted in the Middle East. It will be interesting to see if the two leaders continue to meet and make actions towards peace in the Middle East together. If the people of both faiths truly believe and carry out what their faith teaches, there will not be any problems with this meeting or continued action among the Christian faiths. 

Phil LAUGRAND's curator insight, February 8, 6:37 AM

alleluia !

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In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim

In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany in January with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the revelation of God as a human being in his form. Much like a baptism, the icy plunge is considered a purifying act of faith."

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 as explained in this NPR podcast.  This religious tradition is particularly well-suited to the environmental conditions of the religious adherents (since 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, religionChristianity, culture

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How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ?

How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric inflaming tensions in the Middle East, here is a primer on the differences between the two branches of Islam.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Knowing the geography of the Sunni-Shiite division is incredibly important for a good understanding of world regional geography as well as modern geopolitics (see a detailed map of the spatial distribution here). This 5 minute video (as well as this NPR podcast) examine the historical and religious aspects of this split to then analyze the political and cultural implications in the Middle East today.  Additionally this Pew Research article highlights the 5 countries where the the majority of Muslims are Shiite, with some good demographic data to add to the analysis.  Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the differences between the two major branches of Islam.   

 

TagsMiddleEastIslamreligionhistorical, culture.

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Patty B's curator insight, March 11, 12:14 PM
In today's day and age, it is becoming increasingly more important to properly distinguish and better understand peoples of all different nationalities and religions. As is the case with Africans, Americans tend to lump all Muslims together. We have a tendency to judge Muslim people based on extremely broad and preconceived notions that are the cause (and/or the result?) of tension between Americans and Muslims living the Middle East. Just as we often consider Africa to be a country (when it's really an entire continent), we often regard all Muslims to universally hold the same beliefs, while in reality, that is very far from the truth. This article touches on the basic differences that exist within the Muslim community, mainly the distinction between Sunni and Shiite groups. I would consider the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims to Protestants and Catholics in the United States. A foreigner would not, upon first impressions, recognize any distinction between a Catholic and a Protestant. But in reality, Catholics and Protestants originally come from different areas of the world and hold many different beliefs in regards to ideology despite both being Christian religions. I think this article offers an opportunity for "Westerners" (it seems kind of hypocritical to use such a broad term) to understand that other religions, and in particular the Muslim religion, have aspects to them that are quite similar to aspects of our own culture and religions. 
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Skellig Michael: An Island Far, Far Away

Skellig Michael: An Island Far, Far Away | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Star Wars Epiosde VII was filmed on Skellig Michael island in Ireland. What better place to depict an ancient, mystical, martial asceticism in a galaxy far, far away than an actual ancient eremitic settlement, dripping with stone-cold monastic austerity, located at what was for centuries the very ends of the earth, seven miles off the very tip of a western Irish peninsula?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This island is dripping with geologic, biogeographical, and religious intrigue that makes this world heritage site a place that is shrouded in mystery.  This article from JSTOR Daily is a great introduction to the island for the incurably curious.  The already vibrant tourism industry is bound to increase after Star Wars used this incredible location in the recent film (much like New Zealand experienced a huge spike in tourism after the Lord the Rings films).  Filmmakers understand the power of place to deepen the narrative; they frequently situate their stories in a geographic context that will heighten the emotional impact of the story.  For more on the dramatic locations of Star Wars filming sites, see this article by National Geographic

 

Tags: geologybiogeography, religionChristianityplaceIreland, tourism.

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J. Mark Schwanz's curator insight, January 4, 10:33 AM

Skellig Michael is sure to become a more common geographical interest since the success of Star Wars. 

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Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons.

Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Persecuting religious minorities that are perceived as a political threat is a time-honored American tradition.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not intended to be a political post, but one that reflects of the history of religious persecution in the United States.  If you find that to be a controversial political topic, so be it.  In the past, when Americans have suspected that a religious group is undermining it's country’s free, democratic political order, we have demanded—often violently—some radical action against that group.  Let that past stay in the past.  

 

Tags: religionUSA, historical, conflict

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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, December 12, 2015 3:45 PM
The author is the article, Henry Farrell, interviews David T. Smith about Donald Trump's statement about not allowing anymore Muslims to come to the U.S. He says that this is a pattern of persecutions, as many religions have been persecuted through the history of the U.S. He uses examples from Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. They have all been restricted income rights, or attacked by the government in the 19 and 20 centuries. DTS says that what the current president and the old president have done regarding Islamic extremist is controversial. Both president Bush and Obama have said that ISIS and other terrier groups could be considered not even Islamic or religious as to not be labeled as attacking a religion, so it can rather be seen as simply terrorist and then have the peaceful Muslims be kept protected.
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The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa

The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The mythical holiday beast is once again on the prowl, but beware, he's making his way across the Atlantic
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: So what kind of cultural diffusion is this?  Expansion diffusion, contagious diffusion, stimulus diffusion or hierarchical diffusion?  Why so?

 

Is this more as a pop culture phenomenon or a revitalization of a folk cultural tradition?  How come?

 

Tags: religion, Europeculture, historical.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:35 AM

Very interesting opposite of Saint Nick that came from a lore displaying Satan figure. I've never heard of this Krampus character but from the origins of it, the character makes it feel very mysterious and give a little spookiness to the holidays. In addition, it gives refugees the chance to explore European culture as a way to adapt to different culture. 

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 4:29 PM

With new movies always coming out, its nice to hear films that are based on true stories or myths come to the theaters. Krampus is a movie that came out recently and is based on a myth that originated in Austria. This is scary tail of a beastly creature coming out Christmas and deals with the bad kids. Krampus is known to beat bad kids with birch branches or to be taken to his lair to be eaten or tortured. An interesting myth, people always look at Christmas as a good time with family.

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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 | Scoop.it
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.

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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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World Religion Map

World Religion Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The incredibly detailed map of the world's religions shows what the biggest religion is by census area in each country, along with its level of support.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Mapping religion can be incredibly problematic, but this map (hi-res here) uses the best data available for each country.  Examine some of the regional maps (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania); what patterns are interesting/surprising to you? 

 

Tags: culturereligion.

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Emma Lewis's curator insight, April 2, 11:40 AM

there are many religions in the world, but there are only a few very widespread religions. There are many religions only existing in 1 or two places and a few that exist all around the world. EL

 

Tags: culture, religion.

Makenzie Geiger's curator insight, April 4, 10:11 AM

Mapping religion can be incredibly problematic, but this map (hi-res here) uses the best data available for each country.  Examine some of the regional maps (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania); what patterns are interesting/surprising to you? 

Since I am a Christian of course I would want my religion to be mostly populated however I know that everyone has different beliefs. To me this map is very interesting because it not only gives a visual representation of different religions around the world but also gives facts about them. 

Tags: culture, religion.

Aaron Burnette's curator insight, April 7, 10:17 AM
I believe that this is very helpful among people wondering about and or learning about the distribution of religion throughout the world. 
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Outsiders often using the Amish name for marketing

Outsiders often using the Amish name for marketing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In and around Amish country, it's easy to find countless stores and websites advertising Amish quilts, Amish candy and Amish crafts. But though Mr. Zook is Amish, it would be impossible to tell from the name of his Evansburg farm, Maple Run, or his products, whose homemade labels make no mention of their maker's religion.  In fact, it's a good bet that if the word 'Amish' appears on a store or a product, the Amish themselves didn't put it there. Experts and Amish alike say that the name, used as a marketing tool, is almost exclusively the domain of the non-Amish."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While being an interesting topic in and of itself, this article is also an way way to introduce various concepts of cultural geography: folk culture, cultural commodification and cultural appropriation.  Here is a link to the commercial website 'Amish Origins' which, to my knowledge, has no real Amish Origins.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Why is there cultural and economic cachet in being affiliated with the term 'Amish' in the United States today? When do you feel cultural commodification is 'crossing the line' or is everything marketable fair game?  What are other examples of cultural appropriation that you can think of? 


Tagsfolk cultureseconomic, culture, religion, technology, popular culture.

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John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 7:37 AM

Great example of folk culture and cultural commodification. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 10:03 AM

unit 3

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 10:05 AM

unit 3

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The threat to France’s Jews

The threat to France’s Jews | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Official figures indicate that over the last two decades the number of antisemitic acts has tripled. Between January and July 2014 official figures show that there were 527 violent antisemitic acts in France as opposed to 276 for the same period in 2013. Meanwhile half of all racist attacks in France take Jews as their target, even though they number less than 1% of the population.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This great, but sobering article was written in January 2015, and unfortunately, the situation has not improved.  There is a lot of demographic changes and migration happening in the Western World right now, and this is but one component to larger forces reshaping the Europe.  Today many in the French Jewish community are now asking the uncomfortable question: is it time to leave France for good?  Antisemitism is not a thing of the past relegated to the World War II chapter of our history textbooks; many French Jewish families were originally from North Africa before they fled in the 1950s and 60s.  Now, France is Israel's largest source of migrants and Europe as a whole has a rapidly declining Jewish population (UPDATE: here is a video showing the French Prime Minister vowing to stop the rise of anti-Semitism in in France).    

 

Tags: Judaism, religion, Europe, migration, Israel,  France, racism, conflict.

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Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 2:44 PM

It's saddening to see the persistence of such antiquated hatred in the 21st century; for a self-proclaimed age of enlightenment, we continue to act very ignorantly. France has long since prided itself on the ideas of equality and freedom that it put forward to the world during their tumultuous revolution, but that is not being reflected in both its treatment of Muslims and, particularly, its Jewish minority. The fact that 1% of the nation's population accounts for over half of its racist attacks is a jaw-dropping statistic, and indictment of a lack of tolerance as a whole in French society. I often read of the frustration of French Muslims- many of whom are of Algerian descent- who feel ostracized in the nation they call home. A Franco-muslim soccer player, Karim Benzema, summed up this sentiment when he said, "When I am playing well, I am French. When I'm playing poorly, I'm "just" a Muslim." I must imagine that the Jewish population feels much the same way; to feel such open discrimination must make one feel like an outsider in your own home. I hope that the current French Prime Minister, who has said that they plan to take a much firmer stand against this anti-semitism, stays true to their word and takes the necessary measures to insure the safety of ALL French citizens.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:18 AM

The mass migration of Jews from Europe is an underreported story in the United States. Many people wrongly assume that Anti-Semitism  ended when the allies emerged victorious over Hitler and his Third Reich. However, the recent rash of religiously motivated attacks against Jews is demonstrating that the historical strand of Anti-Semitism still exists in Europe.  The number of attacks on Jews in France over the past few years is staggering and shocking. The people of France should feel ashamed that such acts are occurring in a nation that prides itself on the rights of man. The problem is much broader than just the tragic events in France. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in many European nations. I would shutter to think that the Western World is entering another period of violence and hatred directed and aimed at the Jewish community. Europe must act fast, or we may end up with an entire continent without a Jewish population.

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Ramadan in Sweden with no dusk, no dawn

Ramadan in Sweden with no dusk, no dawn | Geography Education | Scoop.it
During summer, the sun never sets in Sweden's northernmost town, posing challenges for Muslims observing the holy month.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Like many early religious traditions, Ramadan is observed based on measurements from the moon and sun. The start of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon, which moves about 11 days back in the Gregorian calendar each year. During Ramadan the consumption of food and water is prohibited between dawn and dusk, how do Muslims observing the fast manage in the far north of Scandinavia, where the sun never sets in the summertime (in 2015, Ramadan is from June 17 to July 17)?  Some Muslims in the West (and north) argue that ancient customs from the Arabian desert need updating now that the religion has diffused beyond the Middle East.    


Tags: Islam, perspective, religiondiffusion, culture.

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Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, August 6, 2015 3:57 PM

Like many early religious traditions, Ramadan is observed based on measurements from the moon and sun. The start of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon, which moves about 11 days back in the Gregorian calendar each year. During Ramadan the consumption of food and water is prohibited between dawn and dusk, how do Muslims observing the fast manage in the far north of Scandinavia, where the sun never sets in the summertime (in 2015, Ramadan is from June 17 to July 17)?  Some Muslims in the West (and north) argue that ancient customs from the Arabian desert need updating now that the religion has diffused beyond the Middle East.    


Tags: Islam, perspective, religion, diffusion, culture.