Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Too Many Men

Too Many Men | Geography Education |

"Nothing like this has happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are far-reaching consequences to the gender imbalances in India and China.  The fantastically rich article covers four major impacts: 

Village life and mental health. Among men, loneliness and depression are widespread. Villages are emptying out. Men are learning to cook and perform other chores long relegated to women.

Housing prices and savings rates. Bachelors are furiously building houses in China to attract wives, and prices are soaring. But otherwise they are not spending, and that in turn fuels China’s huge trade surplus. In India, there is the opposite effect: Because brides are scarce, families are under less pressure to save for expensive dowries. 

Human trafficking. Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.

Public safety. With the increase in men has come a surge in sexual crime in India and concerns about a rise in other crimes in both countries. Harassment of schoolgirls in India has in some towns sparked an effort to push back — but at a cost of restricting them to more protected lives.


Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:19 PM

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 2, 2018 5:20 AM
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 2:59 PM
This is interesting, and brings up an issue that is new to many countries. In past it would be rare for a nation to have to many men (though it did happen more often the problem was lack of men due to death in war or death at grueling careers). Today in India and especially China the men are drastically outnumber the women. This has with modern medicine and better access to resources enabling a higher birthrate, and cultural reasons. In the case of China especially this also has to do with government policy and control over the population during the one child time period, making people have only one child led to mostly males being born for cultural reasons.   
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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers | Geography Education |

Hinduism shares an intricate, intimate relationship with the climate, geography, and biodiversity of South Asia; its festivals, deities, mythology, scriptures, calendar, rituals, and even superstitions are rooted in nature. There is a strong bond between Hinduism and South Asia’s forests, wildlife, rivers, seasons, mountains, soils, climate, and richly varied geography, which is manifest in the traditional layout of a typical Hindu household’s annual schedule. Hinduism’s existence is tied to all of these natural entities, and more prominently, to South Asia’s rivers.


Hinduism as a religion celebrates nature’s bounty, and what could be more representative of nature’s bounty than a river valley? South Asian rivers have sustained and nourished Hindu civilizations for centuries. They are responsible for our prosperous agriculture, timely monsoons, diverse aquatic ecosystems, riverine trade and commerce, and cultural richness.  Heavily dammed, drying in patches, infested by sand mafia and land grabbers, poisoned by untreated sewage and industrial waste, and hit by climate change — our rivers, the cradle of Hinduism, are in a sorry state.


If there is ever a threat to Hinduism, this is it. Destroy South Asia’s rivers and with it, Hinduism’s history and mythology will be destroyed. Rituals will turn into mockery, festivals, a farce, and Hinduism itself, a glaring example of man’s hypocritical relationship with nature. The fact that we worship our rivers as mothers and then choke them to death with all sorts of filth is already eminent.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This might be a controversial op-ed because it has a strong perspective on the religious and environmental dimensions of modern Indian politics...that said, I think it is well worth the read.  The Ganges is both a holy river, and a polluted river; that juxtaposition leads to many issues confronting India today. 


Tagsculturereligion, India, South Asia, Hinduism, pollution, industry,   environment, sustainability, consumption, fluvial

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 1:21 AM
Religion is shaped by the geography of the region in which it develops.  For example, Hinduism is heavily influenced by the rivers of India, and these rivers are considered holy places sites and places of cleansing and purification.  However, the cleansing power of the rivers is diminished by pollution that makes it unsafe to take part in ritual bathing.  Pollution, climate change, and deforestation are also having an impact on other aspects of Hinduism, which is about celebrating nature in it's entirety, including monsoons, forests, and agriculture.  As nature continues to be negatively impacted by human activity, many aspects of Hinduism will also be negatively impacted.
David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 3:19 PM
Sometimes both sides can be wrong in an argument, as illustrated in this article. The secular left in India has mistaken their conservative Hindu counterparts as a people stuck in tradition, unable to address the environmental calamities facing modern society. The more right-leaning Hindus believe the secular environmentalism of their countrymen to be antagonistic to the practice of Hinduism - such as the environmental restrictions on firecrackers. Hindus celebrating Diwali feel that fireworks are a central part of the festivities and do not want environmentalists restricting them. The author notes that both sides have missed the point. Hinduism is closely tied to nature and expresses notions of environmental stewardship as a holy endeavor. Liberal Indians do not need to see Hinduism as opposed to environmental sustainability and should stop criticizing Hinduism as a whole. Traditionally religious Hindus should be aware that their own faith would have them be environmentalists - not because of secularism - but because of divine inspirations to coexist with nature. While both sides bicker, failing to understand how Hinduism is pro-nature, the rivers are being ruined by pollution. This pollution will destroy nature, and nature is the foundation and driving force of the Hindu religion. This is because Hinduism was founded around a  river valley civilization - the river and arable land being central to the culture's vitality. 

In some ways, this situation reminds me of Christianity in America. Liberals are very concerned about the environment and climate change in particular. Conservative Christians, buying into a theology of "Dominionism" of Genesis, believe God gave the earth to humans to use however they please. Paired with a suspicion of science, conservative evangelicals have largely shunned environmental sustainability and conservation. A closer reading of the Bible would show that God values nature and wants creation to grow and thrive. Humans should be stewards of the environment - its destined caretakers. Instead, liberals think Christianity preaches stupidity while conservative Christians believe the science behind environmentalism is anti-God, aligned with communism, and probably a hoax to manipulate the faithful. 

Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:08 PM
The river plays a key role in India. Whether its culture, religion, histor,y in agriculture, in transportation, and in many other aspects. These once bountiful rivers that sustained Indian civilizations are now threatened by pollution, climate change, damns, and other man made reasons. At best if this is problem is not solved it will lead to drastic changes in Indian society, at worse it could lead to the collapse of Indian society, Starting with the end of Hindu rituals. 
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10 countries that desperately want people to have more sex

10 countries that desperately want people to have more sex | Geography Education |
Roughly half the countries around the world experience low fertility rates, and some get pretty creative in how they encourage procreation.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While many countries have anti-natalist policies (policies to discourage more births), other countries with declining populations have pro-natalist policies in an attempt to increase fertility rates.  While not an exhaustive list, this list gives a few more examples that teachers can use to show how countries in stage 4 of the demographic transition are dealing with declining fertility rates.  



Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 8:55 PM

While many countries have anti-natalist policies (policies to discourage more births), other countries with declining populations have pro-natalist policies in an attempt to increase fertility rates.  While not an exhaustive list, this list gives a few more examples that teachers can use to show how countries in stage 4 of the demographic transition are dealing with declining fertility rates.  



Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

Ms. Amanda Fairchild's curator insight, October 16, 2017 1:21 PM
Examples of pro-natalist countries.
Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:18 PM

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India’s campaign to change cultural practices

India’s campaign to change cultural practices | Geography Education |

"Television commercials and billboards now carry a message that strike at the heart of the Indian contradiction of being the world’s fastest-growing major economy and also where relieving oneself in the open is the norm in most villages. Research shows that one of the reasons for the stubborn social practice is the centuries-old caste system, in which cleaning human waste was a job reserved only for the lowest caste. Having a toilet at home is still considered unclean by many villagers. They regard it cleaner to go to the open farms, which can cause water-borne diseases, the second leading cause of death of Indian children younger than 5."

Seth Dixon's insight:

An aggressive new campaign is ridiculing those who are no longer poor but continue to defecate in the open--even this UNICEF campaign (some language and low-brow humor, so use your own discretion) is working hard to change the cultural patterns and practices surrounding defecation and sanitation.  There are more cellphones than toilets in India and the lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority.  Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light. 54% of people in India do not have regular access to toilets and these comedians are using their platform to not only get some laughs, but to advocate for social change. 


Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

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Why China and India face a marriage crisis

"What has lead to this marriage squeeze?  First, millions women have gone 'missing'. A generation ago, a preference for sons and the greater availability of prenatal screening meant first Chinese couples, then Indian ones, started aborting female fetuses and only giving birth to boys. At its extreme, in parts of Asia, more than 120 boys were being born for every 100 girls. Now, the generation with distorted sex ratios at birth is reaching marriageable age. The result is that single men far outnumber women."


Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

Dustin Fowler's curator insight, September 17, 2016 7:23 PM
Great food for thought!
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 11:58 AM
This video talks about the marriage crisis India and China will be facing over the next few decades. The one child rule that was enforced in the region caused many couples to selectively abort their daughters so they could have sons instead, doing this caused a major population gap between men and women. Now as this group of the population where men so drastically outnumber women come of age the countries face a marriage crisis. With men so drastically outnumbering women and marriage being such an important part of the culture in India and China the countries could undergo severe cultural changes. 
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India explained in 20 maps

India explained in 20 maps | Geography Education |
The following set of 20 maps of India look into the story of this riveting country. A captivating place to both travel and read about.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of these maps nicely highlight some regional differences within India. There are plenty of articles like this now (for example, 40 maps that explain the Middle East, and 38 Maps that explain Europe). While we can all agree that maps are great analytical tools that can be very persuasive, sometimes we can pretend that they are the end all, be all for any situation.  Also, any list like this, it is bound to have a few clunkers, but it is worth it  to find those teaching gems.   


TagsIndia, South Asiamap, map archives, culturedevelopment, economicreligion.

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Edible Cutlery

"India is one of the world's largest consumers of disposable plastic cutlery, which has the makings of a huge health and environmental crisis written all over it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Plastics clog our landfills and single-use plastic consumption is one of the most wasteful elements of our consumer-based, disposable society.  This product is a reaction against the waste of disposable cutlery, but it is also an intriguing developmental strategy (see company kickstarter page or website). 


Tags: developmentfood, gender, agricultureconsumption, South Asia, pollution

Rebecca Geevarghese's curator insight, May 8, 2016 6:27 AM
How innovative!! Will definitely being showing this to my Geography students. 
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 5, 2018 2:05 PM
This video was really fascinating and brings up very good points about being environmentally friendly.  The creator of this edible cutlery noticed that there was a problem in India with the use of plastic cutlery.  He points out that it has been littering the area because of the high volume of usage of the product in India.  The problem with plastic cutlery is that it doesn't decompose, so people throw them out and they just sit there forever.  So the inventor of the edible cutlery came up with an ingenious solution to the plastic problem, he created a product that was incredibly ecological.  The cutlery is made of crops that are readily available and grown right in India.  This cuts down on waste transporting the materials to make the cutlery.  He also decided to use millet as the main material in the product because it takes significantly less water to grow than other crops he considered using.  The cutlery is completely biodegradable and 100% edible, so it has little impact on the environment once it is disposed of.  Another unique aspect of the cutlery is that it comes in a variety of flavors so it actually adds to the culinary experience.  Not only did the inventor come up with a great solution to pollution in India, but he has also helped spur the local economy by providing jobs to 9 lower class women.  This shows that even though pollution seems like a huge problem that effects the whole planet, the solution is not always as complicated as it seems.
David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 6:02 PM
After seeing this my first thought was "absolutely brilliant." With over a billion people living in India, something simple like disposable cutlery is no longer a small, trivial matter - it is a major environmental and public health concern. Disposable plastic on such a large scale is not sustainable. Necessity must be the mother of invention as this Indian engineer find a practical and innovative alternative to help solve an issue in his country. But, this does not have to start and end with India. This eco-friendly solution could be applied to restaurants all over the world. I love that the cutlery is both edible and healthy and also biodegradable. Humanity needs more of this. It would be interesting to see a future in which a raised level of environmental conscientiousness led to people either carrying their own personal resuable cutlery with them or, if they forgot to bring their utensils, used edible/biodegradable ones. What is is so promising is that the interviewee stated that he could find a way to make the edible utensils as cheap as the plastic ones and that they have a shelf life of three years. Climate change is not just a regional problem in India but a globalized problem. When one region of the world discovers a solution, it should be shared and promoted on a global scale.  
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Uneven Developement and Corporate Aid

Uneven Developement and Corporate Aid | Geography Education |

"All Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to do is make the world a better place for his new daughter. While he’s technically on paternity leave, he couldn’t sit idly by as India attempts to halt, Facebook’s initiative to provide free but limited internet to the developing world."

Seth Dixon's insight:

India is a country with amazing economic potential, but hampered but uneven levels of social development.  The so-called 'digital divide' can exacebate problems for the poor and their ability to join the emerging industries.  In this situation Facebook is offering free (partial) internet access to India's poor and the discussions about net neutrality and the potential ulterior motives are underway.


Questions to Ponder: Do you favor Zuckerberg's proposal or do you think that India should reject this offer?  


Tagsdevelopment, India, South Asia, infrastructuretechnology.


Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 23, 2018 1:20 PM
This was a very interesting read and a problem that will probably continue as we move forward. It is hard to believe that one billion people could not have internet access! That India wants to grow as a nation and continue to connect in this global world this would seem quite backwards. In this scenario CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is offering free although limited internet access in India. However, its the limited access that has made net neutrality voices heard. They believe this will make it a walled off area in which the limited access will cause the Indian people only be able to see certain views and the companies chosen to be on the server will be the "winners" in India. One would figure India would have figured out a way to address this issue. In the world that we live in it is of utter most importance to have internet access. It is a major tool in everyday life, but also in education. If India wants to continue to grow in this global world then they must do something, if its not Mark Zuckerberg's idea then they must come up with an alternative. Its great to just say you  do not like an idea, but can you come up with an idea yourself that will work? This will be interesting to view going forward.  
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Which country has the biggest economy?

An animated infographic showing the top three economies throughout history. Does China have the world's largest economy? Is China's economy bigger than America's?

Tags: economic, China, development, India.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 2:31 PM

I think this was honestly super cool. It was interesting to see the massive size of the economies of China and India throughout history, especially coming from a background of eurocentric approaches to history in our education system. It's interesting to grow up hearing about the formidable size and power of the Roman Empire, only to discover that its power was dwarfed by two other empires, who have dominated their part of the globe for much of human history. It was stunning to see just how much the industrial revolution changed the geopolitical landscape; we learn about it and its affects in school, but I feel like the fact that it very much was a "revolution" is lost on kids. The world was completely altered by the advent of mass production, as evidenced by the swing of economic power from East to West following the revolution. It was also impressive to see just how large the American economy was in the 1950's. However, the tides have begun to turn, as we are quickly seeing the ascent of the Chinese economy once again, with India slowly getting back on track as well. With a population of over 1 billion people, India is the world's largest democracy, and has the potential to be a superpower on a scale that the world has never seen before.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:47 PM

i would never have thought that china and india would have dominated would economy throughout the past, now it is not that much of a suprise, but especially during the times where france britain and italy (romans) dominated the world, how is it possible that india and china were so far ahead of them economically?

Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 2018 12:45 PM
China has historically been one of the world's largest economies. The fact that the US has claimed that position for the last century is more of an anomaly than some may expect. China has always been an integral player in global trade, from the silk road to the spice trade, so their reemergence to be one of the world's largest economies is more of a return to normalcy than an unforeseen circumstance. 
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India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt

India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt | Geography Education |

"At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).  Hospitals are on alert to treat victims of heatstroke and authorities advised people to stay indoors with no end in sight to the searing conditions.  In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, in the south, 551 people have died in the past week as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius on Monday." 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, India, South Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article on MSN and this NPR podcast remind me about how extremes can create chaos.  While in Texas, the flooding has ravaged much of the state.  Weather from other places is never news unless it is so extreme that it becomes a crisis.   

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 5, 2018 2:34 PM
Not to make a joke of a serious situation, but I almost cannot function when the weather hits 80 degrees and I value air conditioning as much as oxygen sometimes (I am a baby when it comes to heat).  So the fact that people in New Delhi and the surrounding areas had to deal with temperatures of 122 degrees makes me cringe and sweat just thinking about it.  This article brings up some interesting points about how sometimes the weather can reveal the shortcomings of a society.  First of all, the fact that people actually died because of heat says to me that the government was not prepared to deal with this type of crisis.  There wasn't adequate resources to give people the necessities of water and shelter when facing such high temperatures.  It seems like in this type of heat people probably cannot function as they normally can, so it seems like a system should have been better prepared to keep people indoors and hydrated.  Another flaw of the government that is revealed in this type of weather is poor infrastructure.  The article says that the electrical grids of cities are being overwhelmed by air conditioning use and wide outages were possible.  In an area with a high population and the potential of facing such extreme weather, there should be more of a priority placed on repairing and maintaining electrical grids and wiring.  The high heat also exposed that the roads weren't built to sustain this weather because it literally started melting.  This unfortunate incident in India shows that humans can control a lot these days, but the weather is still untouchable.  The best way to deal with extreme weather is to be better prepared to face it.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 24, 2018 1:31 PM
(South Asia) India, with the second largest population in the world and a developing infrastructure, often faces heatwaves due to its climate. But recently the heat, spurred by climate change, led to hundreds of deaths. There is no doubt that there are more deaths than can be reported due to the country's largely isolated and rural populations. In this article from 2015, the temperature reached 122 Fahrenheit. The heat causes numerous urban problems, such as  power outages due to ACs and melting roads, but most deaths typically happen in poorer areas.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:50 PM
India is facing a change in their physical geography as climate change continues to prove itself to be a real problem. The amount of energy being used to air condition homes is astounding and the government is worried of massive power outages. "India's power industry has long struggled to meet rapidly rising demand in Asia's third largest economy, with poorly maintained transmission lines and overloaded grids." Physical geography can effect the economy as well. 
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India-Pakistan border Ceremony

Fascinating footage of a traditional ceremony that takes place on the Pakistan India border. From the BBC
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fascinating political display that shows a degree of cooperation, but is made into a sports-like event because of the geopolitical tension/passion between these two South Asian neighbors.  They have 'toned down' the overtly display of hostility in recent years.  Some love this border ceremony and others fear that they are playing with fire, fanning the flames of nationalism that only exacerbates the tension.  Just last year, this border checkpoint was the site of a terrorist attack that killed 50.  Click here for more information about the border tension in the Pakistan/India/China borderland.  

Tags: bordersgeopolitics, political, territoriality, video, India, South Asia, Pakistan.

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 30, 2018 5:51 PM
This video shows a ceremony that takes place on the India-Pakistan border and how precisely things need to be done to keep the peace. The two flags are lowered at a slow pace to ensure they are being lowered at the same pace, for if one were to be lowered before the other it could cause an international dispute. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 8:20 PM
This is a really interesting display of hyper-nationalism and masculinity that has been taking place at the India-Pakistan border for years. On the surface, it seems like simply an entertaining, friendly competition. However, many are concerned that this tradition does nothing but enforce the tension between the two countries.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:24 PM
This event is interesting. Its almost reminds of me of two football teams staring each other down and chanting before a football game.  There is alot of tension between the two countries and some thing there is always a lingering possibility of war. This can seem to some as a way to be macho and "battle" without actually going to war. 
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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video (like part 1) shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video) on these complex borders:

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

David Stiger's curator insight, October 28, 2018 8:56 PM
I think it's fair to say that people in general take maps for granted. The devotion and reverence for the written word - specifically the published written word - prevents people from realizing that much of the world is a social construct. Geographically, borders are social constructs - sometimes loose agreements between different groups of people to establish territorial boundaries in order to claim resources. This video, which speaks to the complicated reality of territorial enclaves and 'exclaves,' illustrates how borders are social constructs. They can often be illogical, awkward, and highly disputable. Examining the several exclaves and enclaves shared between Armenia and Azerbaijan is evidence of the geopolitical mess that disputed borders create.  What is most fascinating about this case is the assessment of how Joseph Stalin tampered with international borders as a geopolitical strategy in order to sow instability and weakness. This strategy allowed the the Soviets to more easily conquer and subjugate foreign peoples - all in the name of proletariat revolution. 
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India's Potty Problem

India's Potty Problem | Geography Education |

Which statement is true? 

A. 60% of all households without toilets in the world are in India.
B. India’s Muslims are less affected by the sanitation problem than Hindus.
C. India’s lack of toilets is worse than China’s.
D. Lack of toilets in India puts women at especially high risk.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the ultimate trick question because unfortunately, ALL of these statements are true.  India is a country of tremendous economic growth, but also filled with squalor; there are more cellphones than toilets in India.  The lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority.  Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light.    

Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 2:18 PM

I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that all these statements are indeed true. Reading about the struggles India has endured with the lack of indoor plumbing many of its people must endure made me think of a previous article I had read about the "Two Mexico's." Rapid development in certain areas for certain people has revolutionized the standard of living for some, but the persistence of corruption has lead to economic lag for many of the people of both nations, meaning significant portions of the population are being left behind during this period of development. The sanitation and plumbing systems of inca are woefully inadequate for a country of over a billion people, subtracting from the leaps that have been made in other areas. The dangers faced by women as a result of the lack of indoor plumbing was a surprise, although it does make sense. Millions of Indian women have to resort to walking to communal bathrooms, oftentimes at night on solitary trips, which leaves them vulnerable to the kids of sexual assault that have plagued Indian media. I hope for the sake of the Indian people that improvements in the rates of indoor plumbing in the country continue to be made.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:46 PM

One thing about this issue is the fact that most of the people living in the area dont have the proper sanitation. Many of the issues that they face are a lack of government and funding and jobs. However the issue in India is the worst within the world. China has a huge lack of sanitation but in India the situation is much worse.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:38 PM
Something like this just disgusts me, first off there are more cell phones in this country than toilets... how does a government allow that to happen? Clearly, the answer is, they must not care because there is lack of governmental help. These people do not have toilets in there houses, they have to go down the street to a public restroom where thousands of people go a day both sick and healthy, so there are probably terrible sicknesses running rampant. Hopefully for them, they do not get a life threatening disease that will kill off the population.
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How to Defeat Drought

How to Defeat Drought | Geography Education |
Cape Town is running out of water. Israel offers some lessons on how to avoid that fate.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most droughts are caused by a combination of human and physical geographic factors. Cape Town is current in the midst of a 3 year long drought that is causing many officials to consider drastic measures such as cutting off all private water taps and rationing out 13 gallons per resident per day.  


I would like for us to also consider cases beyond South Africa, and think about the the broader issues of resource management, urbanization, resilience, and changing climatic conditions.  Resources Watch discusses critical water shortages in Morocco, India, Iraq and Spain with excellent maps, charts, and graphs. This article from Foreign Policy demonstrates how Israel has worked to maximize their minimal water resources (recycling grey water for agriculture and desalinization). The World Resources Institute discusses 3 things cities can glean from the South African crisis (1. Understand risks, 2. Manage the water budget, and 3. Invest in resilience).  


Tags: drought, water, environment, technologyenvironment modify, South AfricaIsrael, Spain, MoroccoIndiaIraq.

dustin colprit's curator insight, September 29, 2018 11:52 PM
Droughts are a serious issue that many countries can often experience. Developing more solutions to future droughts and water supply will be beneficial for everyone. 
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How Bollywood stereotypes the West

How Bollywood stereotypes the West | Geography Education |
Hollywood’s view of India can be insensitive – but Indian films present clichés about the West, and about Indian emigrants too, writes Laya Maheshwari.


Nostalgia for the colour and vivacity of India turns into a snobbish belief that ‘Indian culture’ is inherently more fun and cheerful than the drab and lifeless world in France, the US, or the UK. The rule-conforming nature of Western society is seen as antithetical to ‘living it up’, which our exuberant protagonists are wont to do. Western weddings cannot match up to Indian ones; nor is Western food anywhere as tasty as Indian food. People residing in Western societies are just not as street-smart as our Indian protagonists.


Tagsculture, India, South Asia, media

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:35 PM
I find it interesting how Hollywood tends to not particularly cater to audiences in India, even though I never really even had this thought cross my mind before. It is also interesting that Bollywood in India creates many films that don't really grab the attention of American or British audiences as well. As I was reading this article, I thought maybe it's alright that these two major film industries cater to their specific audiences, because that way everyone has something for them. But as I kept on reading, I realized that one major audience that is currently being overlooked are Indian-Americans and British Indians that live in Western countries and were raised there. Hollywood doesn't focus on Indian culture while Bollywood focuses on Indians retaining their heritage through their culture. These Indian-Americans and British Indians are often overlooked in much of today's film culture. I feel as though I have learned much more about this topic. This article has helped open my eyes a little bit more to this issue in the film industry.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 5, 2018 1:51 PM
Indians express in their films the disdain that they feel for other cultures and highlight their belief that Indian culture is superior.  It is important to note that they do so specifically when talking about emigrants who settle in Western countries.  I never really thought about attitudes of superiority that others have against the U.S., I usually hear the opinion being expressed of Americans believing they are superior.  Bollywood films depict the West as having loose morals that are not compatible with the Indian way of life.  So they show actors who are playing emigrants either adhering to their Indian culture or abandoning it and acting improperly like Westerners.  The most popular characters are those who stand by their roots and chose to live how they want, not the way Western society wants them to.  Although this article is highly critical of the attitudes of Bollywood towards the West, it also points out that it actually helped paint emigrants in a more positive light back in India.  The most popular Bollywood movie called Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge or "The Braveheart will take the Bride" changed the views that many Indians had towards emigrants.  Instead of looking at them as traitors and ex-Indians, it presents the main characters as heroes for sticking by their roots.  However, the film still had the problem of expressing only disdain for Western culture and making it seem evil.  

The most interesting part of the article for me came at the very end, where it pointed out that racism is an issue in Bollywood.  Oftentimes I have heard about racism in Hollywood films, but to the credit of film makers, cinema has become more inclusive lately-- especially compared to what I read about Bollywood.  The depiction of black people is always negative.  They are sometimes portrayed by Indian actors in blackface in the background of films, which is highly offensive.  Other times they are portrayed as the dregs and lowlifes of society in the West.  Overall, I think this article raised interesting points about the culture of India and the perception of Indians to the rest of the world.
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What to Know About Diwali, the Festival of Lights

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 6:31 PM
Diwali is the Indian festival that lasts 5 days and celebrates the “triumph of good over evil”. The article explains that the holiday is recognized worldwide, the festival is marked by lighting fireworks, and other objects that give off light and has many origins.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 2:54 PM
This festival seems interesting and all the different lights must be cool to experience.A nice mix of old cultural celebration with more modern traditions (like gift giving, sweets, etc). 
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India watches anxiously as Chinese influence grows

India watches anxiously as Chinese influence grows | Geography Education |
A $46bn economic corridor through disputed territories in Kashmir is causing most concern
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Indian government doesn't want to seem threatened by the fact that China is paying for better transportation infrastructure that is essentially in their backyard.  India's neighbors are excited for the potential economic growth that this can bring, but weary of China's added clout and power throughout Asia.  As Parag Khanna argues is his new book Connectography, infrastructure and economic linkages will become increasingly more important to geopolitics and global economics; within that lens, China is certainly making a power move here. 


Tags: regions, transportationeconomic.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 24, 2016 7:47 AM
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brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 2:41 PM
Adding infrastructure to improve trade with other countries is a strong step taken by China. This new silk road showcases how important trade is to geopolitics. Other countries are watching as this unfolds, learning and wondering what will come of it, as China continues to make economic power moves for not only it's own country but the global economy as well. 
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Fertility Rates-Differences Within Countries

"An important aspect about country level data of fertility to keep in mind is that there can be considerable heterogeneity within countries, which are hidden in the mean fertility which were discussed in this entry. The mean Total Fertility Rate for India in 2010 was 2.8 (UN Data): But this average hides the fact that the fertility in many Southern Indian regions was below 1.5 (which is similar to the mean fertility in many European countries), while the fertility in Northern India was still higher than 5 children per woman (which is as high as the mean of the African countries with the highest fertility)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a stunning example of uneven development and regional differences within countries.  Too often we discuss countries as if the situation inside the borders of one country is the same throughout it, even if the geographic contexts can be wildly different. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are the fertility rates in so different in northern and southern India?  How does this regional imbalance impact the country?  What are other examples of major differences within a country? 


Tags: regions, population, demographic transition model, declining populationmodelsunit 2 population, India, South Asia. 

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India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought

India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought | Geography Education |
India is to divert water from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges to deal with severe drought, a senior minister tells the BBC.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The drought has been bad enough that (coupled with rising debt to seed companies) many farmers are committing suicide to escape the financial pain of this drought.   The monsoon rains can be lethal, but critical for the rural livelihoods of farmers and the food supply.


TagsIndia, agriculture, labor, agriculture, South Asia, physical, weather and climate.



Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 22, 2018 1:07 PM
As everyone knows, water is key. We usually talk about water in geography has a way to export/import or for key military purposes. Here we are talking about survival and certain states within in India (29 to be exact) that were suffering through a drought and whose rivers had been completely dried up. India has tried a new plan to try to get water to these areas, by diverting water from there other rivers to these states. This is an interesting way to try to deal with this problem, however is it really feasible to do this?  Would this eventually causes problems in the areas in which we are taking the water from? Also this would be very expensive and India , who is still a growing country,  could hurt them economically for years to come. No one has said this will work and while yes, its horrible to see what has happen to these areas, but is this just a quick fix. What would the plan be for a future drought, is there anyway to come up with a better plan? Possibly will these people need to move in the future. Our rivers and lands are constantly changing so as people we might have to move away from areas that which were once habitable, but now may not be. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 2018 12:26 PM
Extreme drought combined with inefficient agricultural practices and the depletion of groundwater resources have creates a water crisis in India. However the solution to the drought seems poorly planned and likely to fail. There is no evidence showing that a massive water diversion project like this will succeed in alleviating the effects of such a massive drought. 
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:45 PM
Drought is a factor of the physical geography of an area that is in trouble. India is heavily depended on monsoon rains, and for two years have no received what they normally do, and 330 million people are affected by it. The country is planning to divert different rivers to solve the issue. "The government says the scheme will irrigate 35,000 hectares of land and generate 34,000 megawatts of electricity." This will exponentially help those dealing with the water crisis, but also help with other thing such as electricity. 
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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Geography Education |
The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.


The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the far-right regional party Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently holds national office in India. Shiv Sena advocates the use of the Marathi language, which is dominant in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.

Shiv Sena had argued that the previous name, Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India. That name is believed to be an Anglicized version of the city's name from when it was occupied by the Portuguese — "Bom Bahia," which means "good bay." Both Bombay and Mumbai are now used interchangeably by locals during casual conversation.


Tags: culture, India, South Asiacolonialism, placeregions, language, toponyms.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 29, 2018 7:52 PM
Personally, I find it very silly that a single newspaper in England is taking on the role of bringing Mumbai back to its original colony name. If Mumbai is the official name of the city then news being reported about that city should be in reference to Mumbai, not Bombay. The goal of this newspaper should be to educate its readers about the stories it is reporting on and not confusing them by using an old name for the city of Mumbai. This also seems a bit ridiculous to me because there is not a large margin of people trying to bring the old name of Bombay back to this city. It is only this newspaper trying to bring about this name change, which I feel makes their articles more confusing for their readers.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 8:04 PM
This highlights a significant part of decolonization.  When colonial powers like Great Britain, France, etc. took control of lands in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they gave places new names.  This enforced their legitimacy as the colonial power in places by chipping away the local identity and replacing it with their own.  After colonization, many countries renamed places in the language of that region, stripping away unwanted remainders of colonial rule and reinstating their own local and national identity.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 3:08 PM
This is a tough situation. Do you refer to a city by the name given to it by its colonial masters or to the name it was changed to by ethnic or religious nationalists? Honestly neither is an out-right great option, both have negative connotations. The people of the city use both Mumbai and Bombay interchangeably in everyday conversation, so id the best option to ignore the rest?  There are many other cities and nations whos names have changed after colonization, or by extremist. How will those be judged by the media or by the people within them?
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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 |
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.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 24, 2018 1:20 PM
(South Asia) Varanasi, the oldest city in India and the religious center of Hinduism, has an enormous business focusing around cremating bodies to scatter in the Ganges River. Hindus believe the Ganges can break the cycle of reincarnation, so many who do not have money to pay for cremation drop their deceased directly into the river to help them break this cycle. However, the river supports approximately 10% of the entire worlds' population and belief in Ganga, "the self-cleaning river god" allows for Indians to poison the same water they drink out of. It is estimated that 70% of people that use the water become diseased by the sewage and industrial waste poured into it.
India cannot stop dependence on the river. Hindus bath in the holy water of the Ganges, and an increasing population means increased water consumption. It will take concentrated efforts from government and spiritual leaders to change the dominate opinion.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:39 PM
This article showcases how different aspects of geography can both help and harm a country. The Ganges River is incredibly important to India. It is a sacred place where the people believe in Ganges, the idea of allowing the dead to reach eternal liberation. Here, hundreds of bodies are burned a day. If they aren't burned, family members of the deceased let the dead float down the river. This phenomenon attracts many tourist and allows for the economy of India to thrive. However, the bodies are beginning to seriously pollute the river. Areas have become stagnant, full of disease. The problem doesn't end however, as India's population is increasing steadily as well. Water needs to be cleaned to meet the demand or India will face a true crisis.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 2:52 PM
10. Approximately 10% of the world's population lives on the Ganges river basin. Soak that in for a second. 10 % of the world's population rely on one way or another this religiously significant river. The god of the river, Ganga, is worshipped, but the river is also highly polluted. With waste both artificial and human, being thrown into the river and the number of dead bodies that float down to Varanasi, the oldest city in India, to be cremated. As dead bodies flow down the river the people still need to use it to wash. There are ceremonies that the people on the river hold where they dump waste into the river as they know that Ganga will clean the river. The pollution of the river is an issue that will, unfortunately, continue as India's population continues to grow. 
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Temples and Human Sexuality

Temples and Human Sexuality | Geography Education |
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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A City For Abandoned Mothers In India

Thousands of widows have been making their way to the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India to spend the rest of their lonely lives. Cast out by their families, or simply alone in the world, some travel hundreds of miles to get there.

Tags: genderIndia, SouthAsia culture.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:10 PM

There are 15,000 widows living in the city of Vrindavan and most of them come from over 1300 km away; West Bengal. After their husbands death, these women have been beaten and tortured by their own children for money they don't have and have had to escape to this holy city for safety where, even though they are away from the beatings, they much beg and sing for money. Many wish for death over this humiliation. 

A woman, capable of bringing life into the world, should never be treated like this and especially by her own family. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:32 AM

It is crazy to think Indian families would abuse these widows, but what questions me is the reason to flee for spiritual fulfillment. I understand why one would leave because their family betrayed them but why spiritual fulfillment?

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Can India become a superpower?

Seth Dixon's insight:

India is a land filled will problems and potential, due its geographic context.  This regions is great for a regional geography course, that also includes a good overview of the entire South Asian region before discussing India's political situation in global affairs. 

Tagsdevelopment, India, South Asia, geopolitics.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 3:15 PM

I really enjoyed this video; it's packed with a lot of information, but all of it is relevant to its main discussion of India as a potential superpower. In class, we discussed the importance of the Mississippi River Valley and the Great Lakes Basin played in the development of the US economy and the rise of the US as a global superpower, and this does not differ very much from the intricate river systems that litter the Indian subcontinent. The Ganges River Valley has historically been home to millions of people, facilitating agricultural development as well as trade. The lack of natural boundaries within the nation has allowed for the diffusion of the thousands of different cultures, customs, religions, and languages that find their home within India, although this has lead to division amongst its people. Internal disputes have paved the way for foreign leaders to seize control of the subcontinent, as evidenced by the Mughal Empire, and the eventual control of India by the British. Independence has lead to huge political and economic developments, as well as forming a distinct national identity that has, so far, risen above the petty sectionalist and race-related squabbles of yesteryear, but sectional rivalries continue to be had between the various Indian states. All the tools needed to become a superpower are at India's disposal; all it must do is seize the opportunity.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:48 AM

anyone who doesn't think that India can become a superpower is insane. they already are one. they have nukes. they have a billion people. they have massive industry, and they have a history of conflict with their neighbors.

David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 4:47 PM
This video did an excellent job of explaining the nature and essence of India in three ways for me. First, it outlined how India is truly a subcontinent. The oceans to the south and the long mountain ranges to the north isolate India from the rest of Asia. Add the fact that it is on a separate continental plate and it seems obvious that India is a mini continent that was pushed into Asia. The second area is India's political and cultural makeup. India is far from monolithic or homogeneous. I did not realize there were so many ethnic groups and factions that divided the region into constantly warring kingdoms. This factionalism paved the way for two foreign powers to divide and conquer the entire region - the Islamic empires and the British Empire. Even though India achieved independence, this old history carries on today as India a collection of states loosely held together by a republican national government. The factionalism is still highly present preventing coherent cooperation and reform. Thirdly, I did not realize the extent of the rivalry between India and China. This animosity has reached the point where China refuses to grant autonomy to its buffer regions for fear that India might ally with Tibet and pose a threat. On the other end of this is China's good relationship with Pakistan and the issue of Kashmir. India does not want Pakistan to dominate and control Kashmir because this would give China a strategic opening to India's doorstep. 

Despite India's size, it looks like it has too many internal problems to ever become a superpower. 
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7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014

7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014 | Geography Education |
Sadly, there was plenty of mayhem and violence that didn't make newspaper frontpages. Here are some awful conflicts that merited more attention.

Tags: conflictLibya, Yemen, Assam (India), the Sudans, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:14 PM

Current events, course resource, could be applied to just about every unit!

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:36 PM

This article struck me because of certain topics overshadowing really important ones. This talks about seven horrible conflicts and tragedies that have occurred that went unreported. These issues needed attention and media this day in age is focuses on unnecessary issues rather than discussing issues like these. One of the conflicts was in Pakistan. They experienced a terrorist attack on a school by the Taliban and many children were slaughtered and many of those children were the kids of military personnel. This has been an ongoing conflict and has even had numerous airstrikes involved. This terrorist outbreak has caused more problems and the fighting still continues. A second conflict is in Assam, India. This conflict has been a clash of between ethic groups. This conflict has gotten so bad, numerous people have left their homes and people have been massacred causing it to become a terrorist operation. Conflicts like these need our intention and there are way too many cases like this going unnoticed. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:05 PM

It is sad to see the state of Libya following the optimism that surrounded its revolution and the toppling of the dictatorship that had ran the nation for decades. Despite the high hopes of the West and the Libyans themselves, the nation has devolved into civil war between the coalition government and an alliance of former rebel groups and militant Islamic extremists. Violence has gripped the nation ever since, a sad story of an incomplete revolution that occurred without a plan set for the future. One must only look at the Benghazi attack to not that the hopes of the US to secure another ally in the region have turned out to be entirely unfounded, as the people remain divided. The lack of coverage of this story in Western media suggests that the story is perhaps too depressing for American audiences, or that the major news networks don't want to dwell on another failure of the US in its involvement in the region. I hope that the violence ceases soon, as there has been far too much bloodshed already for the Libyan people.