Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page
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Why caste still matters in India

Why caste still matters in India | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | 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."


Via Seth Dixon
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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:18 PM

I agree that until there are more jobs created for the people of India, the slower the caste will fade out.  Over time it will fade out eventually, but the creation of jobs and more social interaction will help the process move along faster.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 2:51 PM

It was interesting to read about Modi's run for prime minister- I recently read a TIME magazine article about him, his original platform, and his subsequent work in office- and to see so much of Obama's run for office in Modi's struggle. Modi's support among his own caste, traditionally one that has been discriminated against in Indian society, is not at all different from Obama's support among the African American community. It goes to show that, for all our differences, people are a lot more alike then we'd care to think. Beyond that, it was interesting to see how much power the old caste system continues to hold in Indian society, much like the issues with race that Americans continue to struggle with within our own society. Appeals to different castes have been employed successfully by politicians and other forms of media; I once read that the most popular Indian films are often love stories revolving around "forbidden love" between two members of different, opposite castes. In a society that is so rich and complex, with hundreds of different languages and beliefs, it is so easy for lines to be drawn and for differences to be focused upon in a negative light. Happily for India, it has come a long way to address these problems and to move forward. While not perfect, India's future looks bright.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:34 PM

i dont understand how a country like india that is mostly modern and on the world scale can still have such an ancient system of labeling people be such a prominent practice in their society, i hope modi gets elected so he can start to eliminate this

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'Neo-Andean' architecture sprouts in Bolivia

'Neo-Andean' architecture sprouts in Bolivia | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | 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."


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 12, 2015 2:48 PM

Indigenous peoples across the world are beginning to take pride in their heritage once again, after being told by the forces of the imperialism in their countries, that it was not as good as European culture.  This article shows how in Bolivia, the Aymara people, a native group of the country, are rising to political, economic, and social prominence in the country.  Even the country's leader is from this group.  The architecture of this new rich class reflects native heritage but has elements of globalization.  The "castle" mentioned in the article has indoor soccer pitches (originally a European Sport) but it has so much popularity in South America, that the region is known for it today (look no further than Argentina's Lionel Messi or Brazil's Neymar).  The ballrooms also have European chandeliers, but so strong is the native influenced expressed in the houses, that they take these global factors and make them their own.  I believe this is a beneficial fact, the indigenous people across the world should be proud of their heritage and diverse backgrounds.

 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 22, 2015 11:05 AM

I should not have seen the squatters video first. I know this is a different location but its just amazing economically how you have people, mind you humans who live like the squatters just trying to survive and not because of things they did wrong after all in the other video the gentleman trying to support his family had a job in a state bank but just because they can't catch a break or the way the system is set up. In this video everything is rich and people have no worries about a roof over their head or food in their stomach. I know this happens across the world but just imagine everyone enjoying the same rich benefits and having no economic classes.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 12:43 PM

this is a magnificent example of a new style of architecture sprouting up almost overnight, and a style which is inspired by new ideas. its fantastic to see none traditional architecture becoming big.

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Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 2014 4:42 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, 2014 2:51 PM

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, 2014 8:51 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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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."


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Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 2014 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

Chris Plummer's curator insight, January 11, 2015 11:46 PM

Summary- This video explains how so many languages came to be and why. By the early existence of human there was a such smaller variety of languages. Tribes that spoke one language would often split in search of new recourses. Searching tribe would develop in many new different ways than the original tribe. new foods, land, and other elements created a radically different language than the original. 

 

Insight- In unit 3 we study language as a big element of out chapter. One key question in chapter 6 was why are languages distributed the way they are. It is obvious from the video that languages are distributed they way they are is because of the breaking up from people which forced people to develop differently thus creating a different language. As this process continues, there become more and more branches of a language family.  

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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

Via Seth Dixon, Jane Ellingson
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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 2015 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 30, 2015 10:28 PM

" Whats Bolivia doing so right that McDonalds couldn't make it there?"

Food is not a commericial space here.

Morales, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in February, slammed U.S. fast-food chains, calling them a “great harm to humanity” and accusing them of trying to control food production globally.

“They impose their customs and their foods,” he said. “They seek profit and to merely standardize food, produced on a massive scale, according to the same formula and with ingredients which cause cancers and other diseases.”

Even still, with one of the lightest carbon footprints in the world, cherished food practices and progressive food sovereignty laws on the books, Bolivia could still be a model to the rest of the world—the United States especially—for a healthier, more community-based food system.

 

What an insightful read. I never thought of considering our food a s a "commercial space" but that is essentially exactly what it is. Our food has been extremely commercialized. Products our pushed through advertisement continuously. Most of the foods in America are not even real food but food products, factory made. This is absolutely a role model country for how food should be consumed.

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Where the Streets Have No Name

Where the Streets Have No Name | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 10, 2013 10:58 PM

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.