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Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities

Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
An American used drones to capture the color lines still stark in South African cities.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
South Africa is one of the few countries that has a similar history in regards to racial segregation as America.  What makes their case unique is that the African population was there first and the English came in and created a system in which they were superior.  Although they have been officially desegregated for almost 20 years, these photos show that there are still underlying issues that exist.  These photos reveal that on one side of a particular area, the homes look like a typical suburban area where right across from that there are areas that resemble slums.  The areas that are more developed and wealthy have a majority white population and the poorer, less developed areas have large black populations.  The affects of segregation are long lasting and not solved overnight.  Just because government policies say that discrimination on a racial basis is illegal, doesn’t mean that society will neatly reorganize itself.  I think that the craziest part of this for me was that even the landscaping is vastly different despite the closeness of the two areas.  The wealthier part has lush green and the poorer parts have dirt and sand.  This an example of physical geography providing evidence for a societal separation.
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Mr Mac's curator insight, June 7, 2017 4:50 PM
Unit 4, 6, and 7 - Segregation, Development, and African cities. 
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 9, 2018 10:13 AM
"I agree with you, I think that the images are chilling. And they communicate so well what is otherwise a very complicated and nuanced issue to discuss—separation, segregation, history, disenfranchisement. But the images cut right to the heart of the matter, which is that these separations are not right" This is a quote in the article from the man that took the pictures (Johnny Miller). These photos show us the lines of segregation that continues even in a post Apartheid South Africa. These are amazing images and really quite unbelievable. We think of different segregation here in America, but what these photos show are unlike anything that I have personally seen.  As stated in the article the author hopes to create conversations about these separations. We see planned spatial separations that we created by city planners and we must used these as lessons going forward and as jumping off points to discuss. These shocking images can help inform us as a society that we must improve our social issues and if we don't we will continue to see issues like this grow both here in South Africa and around the world. One can see while tensions would be so high as a clear divide in living standards can rightfully cause anger. Eventually this anger leads to hate and this hate leads to an up rise in the people. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 10, 2018 6:22 PM
Just because a formal social construct - an idea in the human mind - changes, does not mean that change, or desire to alter course, is reflected in the real world. While the idea of apartheid in South Africa came to an end, the real world in the form of urban geography has yet to catch up. The urban planning under apartheid still carries the legacy of color codes and demarcated boundaries between "races" in order to cement socioeconomic inequity. This situation in South Africa is similar to the United States after the Civil Rights movement ended the era of Jim Crow. Even though laws were passed, the geography remained largely untouched. Black neighborhoods remained socially and economically segregated - the only difference being that the law did not mandate this. The law never stipulated geographic changes or economic prescriptions like wealth redistribution. It turns out that human geography and philosophical principles can be at odds with each other, as demonstrated by the aerial photographs of South African cities. 
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ORIGINAL Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years | Stuff.co.nz

ORIGINAL Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years | Stuff.co.nz | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
The tiny island nation grew by the size of Disneyland over the past 40 years.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
Even though Tuvalu is being threatened by rising sea levels, the country is actually gaining land.  Ironically, the ocean was thought to be reducing the amount of land Tuvalu has, but in reality the dumping of sand and sentiments by waves has increased Tuvalu’s land.  In the past forty years the country has netted 2.9% land growth.  The distribution of the additional land is not entirely even, as some islands have gained land and others have lost land.  Researchers are concerned that if this pattern continues, internal migration will dramatically increase.  Those on the islands that are losing land will eventually be forced to move to islands that are gaining land.  The islands that are growing have not actually enlarged enough to support the population of the shrinking island without an effect on population density and resource distribution.  Overall 73 out of 110 islands experienced growth.  This challenges and opposes the long time belief that Tuvalu was losing land all over.  Whether this pattern continues or not is yet to be seen.
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K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:32 PM
Even though Tuvalu is being threatened by rising sea levels, the country is actually gaining land.  Ironically, the ocean was thought to be reducing the amount of land Tuvalu has, but in reality the dumping of sand and sentiments by waves has increased Tuvalu’s land.  In the past forty years the country has netted 2.9% land growth.  The distribution of the additional land is not entirely even, as some islands have gained land and others have lost land.  Researchers are concerned that if this pattern continues, internal migration will dramatically increase.  Those on the islands that are losing land will eventually be forced to move to islands that are gaining land.  The islands that are growing have not actually enlarged enough to support the population of the shrinking island without an effect on population density and resource distribution.  Overall 73 out of 110 islands experienced growth.  This challenges and opposes the long time belief that Tuvalu was losing land all over.  Whether this pattern continues or not is yet to be seen.
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A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
Henderson Island is isolated and uninhabited—but its beaches are still covered in garbage.  

 

Henderson Island (article or podcast) is about the most remote place you can visit without leaving the planet. It sits squarely in the middle of the South Pacific, 3,500 miles from New Zealand in one direction and another 3,500 miles from South America in the other.  Henderson should be pristine. It is uninhabited. Tourists don’t go there. There’s no one around to drop any litter. The whole place was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1988. The nearest settlement is 71 miles away, and has just 40 people on it. And yet, seafaring plastic has turned it into yet another of humanity’s scrapheaps.

 

Tags: pollution, Oceania, water, environment, sustainability, consumption.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
If I had looked at this picture without the context, I would think it was somewhere where people had stayed for a while and then left the place trashed with their own garbage.  In reality,  this is an island that is 3500 miles away from the nearest major settlement and doesn’t have any human inhabitants.  This really exemplifies that even though plastic waste may not be in one’s backyard, it never truly goes away.  Plastic is a material that cannot be broken down, so when it is dumped it just moves around until it hits land.  The article pointed out that plastic is incredibly difficult to clean up, particularly on places like Henderson Island.  When it floats in the ocean for a long time, it becomes brittle and breaks into very small fragments.  Those small fragments then mix with the sand and get buried, making it impossible to get rid of.  Another fact about this island that was shocking is that 3,750 pieces of litter wash up everyday, which is 100,000 times than other islands.  Henderson Island is not suitable for humans to live on, as there is no freshwater, frequent storms, and incredibly sharp terrain.  It is interesting that an island that keeps humans away can’t defend itself against plastic.  The reach of humans extends far beyond what they imagine and even uninhabitable land is infested with human waste.  No matter how remote a place is, it will still be effected by people.
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M Sullivan's curator insight, November 29, 2017 11:23 PM
Useful for the IDU topic of plastic single use water bottles.
David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 12:08 PM
Although a remote place like Henderson Island is uninhabited, the amount of trash that blankets its shores should still be alarming to humans. It is highly visual evidence of the damage that human waste is having on the earth as a whole. If this much trash if landing on the shores of an island, which is surely degrading the environmental quality and ecosystem, then how much trash lies underneath the waves of our blue planet? This means that coral reefs, the source of fish, and ocean water that transforms into water vapor forming clouds is all contaminated. If something ends up in the oceans, it will eventually end up in our food chain. The marred beaches of Henderson Island illustrate what is happening to nature's cycles. 

While human behavior is the driving force, we can also discern that another main culprit is a global culture of plastic. Humans use way too much plastic and its constant disposal is creating a toxic environment in which people live. It is not enough to say this is a tragic situation and forget about it. It is also not enough to examine one's own life and decide to reduce their personal plastic consumption. No, this is a systemic problem that runs deep in our modern societies. This requires mass political action. The photos and morbid stories serve as devices to inform people and have them feel something. It is up to people to demand policies and laws from both governments and corporations to change our ways. As the article stated, a cleanup of the island (and other islands) will be futile. The only thing to do is to mitigate the worst effects by cutting the problem at its source - the production of plastic. And, it has to be done on a global scale. 

Shifting away from plastic to a more environmentally friendly material will be difficult but not impossible. In this case, if there is a will there is a way. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 8:36 PM
It is sickening to see how a uninhabited island can still be ruined by human products. People need to realize that they are hurting more and more islands and need to open their eyes. With people so far away we can still effect ecosystems terribly. 
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The World's Newest (Official) Ocean

The World's Newest (Official) Ocean | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude. The Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean). The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has  declared, named, and demarcated the Southern Ocean as a fifth, separate ocean."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I have never heard of the Southern Ocean.  I think it is because, as mentioned in class the other day, we do not talk about the Southern Hemisphere very often.  When looking a globe this entire ocean is on the bottom and pretty much out of sight.  I thought that it was interesting that the creation of this ocean was created within my lifetime because all of the rest of the world’s oceans are well documented throughout history.  Even though the water in the Southern Ocean has been there just as long as the other oceans, it hadn’t been designated as an ocean.  I think another reason that I haven’t heard much about the Southern Ocean is because it doesn’t really have any direct impacts on Americans.  All of our trade routes avoid this area of the world, we don’t have any landclaims within the ocean, and very few Americans have actually gone to Anarctica.  This article also talks about the boundaries and the conflict regarding how far north the boundaries of the ocean would be.  Most members of the IHO supported the boundary being at 60 degrees.  However, 7 countries pushed to have the boundary set at 50 degrees.  The reason most countries supported the 60 degree boundary is because it doesn’t add any land outside of Anarctica to the ocean.  Although this article doesn’t state which countries wanted the boundary at 50 degrees, I am guessing its countries with land very far south, like Argentina, Chile, Australia, and maybe South Africa.  This would allow them control over the Southern Ocean that they can’t get with the current boundaries.  It is interesting that it took until 2002 for the point to be raised that the Southern Ocean is district enough from the other oceans, that it should be considered a separate ocean.
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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 11, 2018 12:47 PM
The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Artic as an American student growing up those were the Oceans that I grew up learning about. So to see an article talking about the Southern Ocean comes as kind of a surprise. We learn as young American students about "Atlantic trade" or our West Coast with "Pacific Trade" we as young students learn about the mysterious Indian Ocean and the unattainable Artic Ocean,  but for some reason the Southern Ocean has been left out. The Southern Ocean as the article explains is the 5th and newest Ocean. Ocean scientist thought it was necessary to name the the body of water south of the Pacific but north of the Artic. While it might not seem that important to some it is key to identify with areas. When we discuss Atlantic trade for the most part in the United States we know we are discussing trade with the Europeans or on our East Coast. When discussing Pacific trade we understand that to be West Coast and probably dealing with China or other Asian countries. As an Australian resident or student they grow up learning about this key body of water to them. They can use it to identity where they are and where they are going. We can also use the body of water to discuss different weather pattern and effects on the countries in Oceania region of the world. An interesting read if  you want to learn more about our forgotten 5th Ocean. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 11:25 AM
(Oceania) Geography experts now claim the waters around Antarctica will join the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic as the fifth ocean. Almost every member of the International Hydrographic Organization declared the existence of the South Ocean, which extends to 60° S latitude and is double the size of the United States. While it might seem trivial, the Southern Ocean has the most powerful water current, a different circulation, and a unique ecosystem, marking it separate from other bodies of water.
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:30 PM
The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Artic as an American student growing up those were the Oceans that I grew up learning about. So to see an article talking about the Southern Ocean comes as kind of a surprise. We learn as young American students about "Atlantic trade" or our West Coast with "Pacific Trade" we as young students learn about the mysterious Indian Ocean and the unattainable Artic Ocean,  but for some reason the Southern Ocean has been left out. The Southern Ocean as the article explains is the 5th and newest Ocean. Ocean scientist thought it was necessary to name the the body of water south of the Pacific but north of the Artic. While it might not seem that important to some it is key to identify with areas. When we discuss Atlantic trade for the most part in the United States we know we are discussing trade with the Europeans or on our East Coast. When discussing Pacific trade we understand that to be West Coast and probably dealing with China or other Asian countries. As an Australian resident or student they grow up learning about this key body of water to them. They can use it to identity where they are and where they are going. We can also use the body of water to discuss different weather pattern and effects on the countries in Oceania region of the world. An interesting read if  you want to learn more about our forgotten 5th Ocean. 
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The other Asian tiger

The other Asian tiger | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"Vietnam's success merits a closer look."

 

Which Asian country has roared ahead over the past quarter-century, with millions of its people escaping poverty? And which Asian economy, still mainly rural, will be the continent’s next dynamo? Most would probably respond “China” to the first question and “India” to the second. But these answers would overlook a country that, in any other part of the world, would stand out for its past success and future promise.

Vietnam, with a population of more than 90m, has notched up the world’s second-fastest growth rate per person since 1990, behind only China. If it can maintain a 7% pace over the next decade, it will follow the same trajectory as erstwhile Asian tigers such as South Korea and Taiwan. Quite an achievement for a country that in the 1980s was emerging from decades of war and was as poor as Ethiopia.

 

Tags: Vietnam, globalization, development, economic, SouthEastAsia.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
Like this article points out in the beginning, Vietnam is not a country I typically think of when talking about countries who's economies are growing rapidly.  I think that there are still leftover thoughts from the Vietnam War over the state that the country is in.  By expanding manufacturing, they were able to boost employment and exports- two keys to a healthy economy.  Vietnam has also become heavily involved in global trade, which now accounts for a large part of its GDP.  They have been able to take advantage of their physical location nearby China by offering lower prices for businesses looking to develop in Asia, particularly those looking to do business with China.  Vietnam has also invested heavily in education which has made their population competitive in math and science.  Vietnam has done such a good job of managing and growing their economy that they are actually the second fastest growing economy in the world.  They have also encouraged competition among their provinces which has given the country a greater variety in valuable industries.  The obstacles that Vietnam faces into becoming an even more powerful economy are lack of domestic supply chains, meaning they have to import goods to sustain their own population, and a one-party government that is unstable.  Without changes to this, they will struggle to become a major world economy.  However, they show that it is possible for small, developing countries to grow their economies and gain the status of being a developed country.
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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:10 AM
(Southeast Asia) This article argues the importance of Vietnam as an upcoming Asian Tiger. Vietnam has the second highest growth rate in the world, leading to a current population of 92.7 million. By reducing trading regulations, Vietnam is a cheap substitute for hosting companies in China. Each region of the country was stimulated to have different economies, causing a variety of services to Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam spends a large budget on education in order to produce reliable workers for the economy. However, the dictatorial government, state owned businesses, and China's dominance of international markets poses a problem for its ascension to a highly developed nation.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 3, 2018 3:11 PM
This showcases how quickly economies can bounce back or change. For a long time China and India were thought to be Asia's two economic dynamic duo. However, despite the decades of war that struck the country and ruined the economy and were as poor as Ethiopia, Vietnam has had a 7% increase the growth rate per person. This alters political geographies and economic geographies. 
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Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia

Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
The purpose-built city of Naypyidaw – unveiled a decade ago this year – boasts 20-lane highways, golf courses, fast Wi-Fi and reliable electricity. The only thing it doesn’t seem to have is people, report Matt Kennard and Claire Provost


Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, urban, urbanism.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
Burma is a country that is facing a situation that seems to be pretty unique.  The government is in a constant battle to maintain their reputation in the international community and attempt to paint an image of themselves that doesn’t accurately represent what is occurring domestically.  Aside from the unrecognized genocide that the Rhohingan population is facing that the government barely acknowledges, the country is suffering from extreme poverty and a government that is only concerned with maintaining power.  The move of the capital city exemplifies this problem quite well.  The biggest city in Burma is Rangoon which was previously its capital.  The government decided to move the capital city to Naypyidaw that was built to be a modern, world class city in 2005 and cost about $4 billion to build.  It contains well-maintained infrastructure and landscaping and contains many of the things nice cities have like golf courses and zoos.  The government thought that moving the capital city would draw people out of Rangoon and the city would expand.  However, their thought was very wrong.  Many people couldn’t afford to make the move, didn’t like the jobs they were being offered, and the commute between the two cities is less than ideal.  In fact the highway between the Rangoon and Naypyidaw has been nicknamed the “Death Highway” because so many fatal accidents occur on it, not to mention it takes five hours to make the drive.  Plane tickets are too expensive for most Burmese people as well. This has created a strange emptiness in the capital city that many describe as a ghost town.  The government’s public reasoning for moving the city was to help alleviate the overcrowded conditions of Rangoon and build a more appealing city.  But documents have revealed the government’s real reason for moving was to protect themselves from opposition, which is evidenced by the fact that the parliament building is surrounded by a moat.  Although the government is no longer considered a dictatorship, the old power dynamics are in place.  More than ten years after Naypyidaw was established, it is still virtually empty.  Visitors to the city also have noted that many of the structures in the city are good looking on the outside, but falling apart on the inside.  Residents that work in the city usually do not make enough money to enjoy the luxuries of Naypyidaw either.  
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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 27, 2015 8:53 AM

If you build it, they may not come. Burma's government t must be both shocked and dismayed at the development of their grand new capital. They probably should not be that surprised at this development. All cites take time to grow. Outside of china, mega cities are not developed over the course of a night. Up until the Civil War, Washington D.C. was a swampy outpost in the middle of no were.  Eventually their capital will develop, it may just take longer than the government of Burma had hoped for.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:02 PM

this just goes to prove that there needs to be an economic reason for people to move. if you build it, they will not come. they will stay where the money is, and ignore the 'honor' of living in the new capital city.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:46 PM

I strange but not historically unprecedented situation. This kind of reminds me of all the cities China built in compensation for population growth. Historically the only way cities like this succeed is either by enticing immigration with tax cuts, free house etc or it has been forcefully with entire populations being moved (the latter being what the ancients largely did creating cities like Alexandria). Another example of capital moving is Iran however how they got a population in theirs I am not aware.Burma committed to neither and as a result the city is a failure. The cities layout also seems a bit extreme given it was made to suppress rather than entice. What is really bad however is the loss of agricultural land and ancestral villages in the area being destroyed all clearly for nothing. At the very least the country may be slowly moving away from dictatorship but only time will tell. Hopefully this failure will force further concessions making it a more tolerable place to live. Only then true solutions will likely be found to their poverty since the dictatorship has been seemingly incompetent in its actions.

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ORIGINAL Essay by young HK student about his desire to live in Taiwan goes viral | Taiwan News

ORIGINAL Essay by young HK student about his desire to live in Taiwan goes viral | Taiwan News | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
'I wish I could move to Taiwan when I grow up,' the fifth-grader writes.A photo of an essay by a Hong Kong elementary school student about his yearning to “move to Taiwan” has gone viral after being posted on Facebook by a teacher on April 13.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
A fifth grader in Hong Kong wrote a short essay about his desire to move to Taiwan when he grows up.  He said he wants to move because he will be able to buy a much larger house than he could afford in Hong Kong and that the people are friendly.  This was interesting because the boy was pretty young and was already expressing his concerns with the housing prices in Hong Kong.  That means that the prices are so unnecessarily high that children are not only aware of the prices, but already want to move to ensure they have a good future.  The picture of the essay was shared by a volunteer in the classroom onto facebook because she found it so sad that kids are already worried about housing prices.  The reactions to the post were mixed.  Those in Hong Kong were upset because they believed that the housing prices in Taiwan were just as high and that the boy was being misinformed.  However, those in Taiwan said that there were advantages to living in Taiwan over Hong Kong.  They pointed out that housing outside of Taipei was much less expensive and that they had superior medical care.  The writer of the article believes that this medical care would be enticing to those who are retiring and with special medical needs.  The article concludes by pointing out that the youngest generation in Hong Kong is facing an economic crisis and that the Taiwanese are sympathetic to these issues.  Overall, it points out the problems that sometimes happen with rapid urbanization and large cities.  In this case its the high housing prices as a push factor for migration.
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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
It’s hard to see that two groups of people who speak the same language and have the same ethnic backgrounds can live such strikingly different existences.  It seems that the only thing they still have in common is their language and ethnicities.  When I was scrolling through this story, there were a few pieces that really stood out to me.  The first was that the Korean War technically hasn’t been formally concluded, which means that attacks on each other aren’t actually that out of the realm of possibilities.  The next thing was that North Korea’s birth rate is higher than South Korea’s, yet the population of South Korea is two times larger.  This reflects that the life expectancy of South Koreans is significantly longer and that their resources are used more efficiently.  Other statistics that stood out related to GDP.  Up until 1980 both North and South Korea’s GDPs were growing at basically the same rate.  But from that point forward, South Korea’s grew dramatically and North Korea’s actually decreased.  This leads up to today where the GDP of South Korea is $1.934 trillion and North Korea’s is only $40 billion.  Seeing as they are basically working with the same resources, since they share a similar geographic location, in most situations their GDPs would be even a tiny bit similar.  However, the way the economies of both countries are operated have created such a difference in their GDPs.  The infrastructure of the two countries are also wildly different.  The map of the two countries at night show that South Korea uses a lot of electricity, so practically the entire country is lit up.  North Korea is so dark that if I didn’t know that people lived there, I would assume it was uninhabited by any humans.  The statistic regarding the percentages of roads paved vs unpaved in the two countries also shows the stark contrast between their infrastructure.  Only 3% of roads in North Korea are paved!  Whereas 92% of South Korea’s roads are paved.  The most unfortunate part of this whole situation is that there are millions of people who live in North Korea and must suffer with little hope of escaping while their South Korean neighbors generally enjoy a modernized life.  This story map shows that sharing a location does not really mean that two groups of people will live similar lives.
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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 9:10 PM
The two Koreas are polar opposites literally, North and South. The Korean war that took place some 68 years ago never formally ended because they could not come to peace agreements. So the border between North and South Korea known as the DMZ is the most heavily fortified border in the world because tensions still run high. The DMZ is the cease fire line. Both sides fear invasion, however in the current state of things it seems as if the North is more aggressive towards invasion that the South, as the South has found some secret tunnels and fear there's more by the North Koreans. Economically the North is severely behind in the world because of there dictators. While the South has become an economic Tiger thanks to the UN and USA trying to promote democracy in the area.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:51 PM
The two Koreas are a great example of how Capitalism, Democracy, and liberty are far better than Communism. Just the difference in light visible from satellites at night in the two countries speaks volumes. The war being technically not over and only under cease-fire always leaves that chance for the conflict to reopen. Though today they are taking major steps toward peace and making moves that have never been done before. The amount of famine and overall  sub quality of life in North Korea is mind blowing, and with much of it kept secret its hard to imagine how bad it really is.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 3:54 PM
For the two Korean nations, there are stark contrasts in the standard of living and wealth of the people. While the Korean war began in the 1950's it never formally ended a ceasefire was called and has just not flared up in a massive battle again. The two nations are uneasy with each other having different ideas for what Korea should be, but both nations do want a joint Korea. Looking at a map of the energy consumption by the two nations there is a line between those who have it and those who do not. These two have shown solidarity as well in the Olympics joining as one nation, but tensions will continue to flare for a long time.
 
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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
When I first read that tea was the most popular drink in the world I was a bit surprised.  But once I thought about where tea was popular, specifically China and the United Kingdom (not to mention all the areas that they once colonized), it definitely made sense that tea was consumed by so many.  After looking at all of the images regarding tea production, a few things stood out to me.  First, almost all of the employees on the tea plantations were females.  I’m guessing that women are probably not educated to the same extent as men in the regions where most tea is grown and that is why they must take the low skill jobs of picking tea leaves.  Another thing that caught my attention was how much land is used to produce tea.  The regions in China where tea is grown have vast, rolling fields of tea that seem to reflect what the economies in these areas are based off.  It doesn’t seem like too many people that do not work in the tea industry live in these areas because tea takes up most of the land and because there seem to be no jobs outside of the industry.  I’ve heard of tourism based on cuisine or alcohol consumption, but I wasn’t aware there was entire tea tourism industry.  This article highlighted tea expos where people would gather to work as tea art masters or sample teas from the region.  The tea industry is much larger and more complex than I ever would have guessed, but it tells me that my perspective on the world is tainted with a Western point of view.  Obviously a lot of Americans drink tea, but it is not as popular a beverage as say Coca-Cola.  But the rest of the world drinks so much tea, that entire regions of China are shaped by the industry.
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brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:45 AM
This shows the importance of a product to a countries economy, culture, and use of physical geography. China is the worlds biggest producer of tea. This stimulates the economy greatly, and gives 80 millions people jobs as farmers, pickets and in sales. Exporting the tea to other countries also helps the economy. The workers are seasonal, and travel to the tea come harvest season. This also boost the economy in the travel sector. Tea is also hugely part of the cultural geography of China as it is believed to bring wisdom and lift the spirit to a higher level. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:49 PM
(East Asia) China, the founder of tea, is the largest producer of the most consumed drink in the world. With such an enormous country, regional differences between tea cultivation and culture naturally developed. There are approximately 80 million people involved in tea cultivation, which is non-mechanized in many parts. Linking tea with sanctity, farmers work long hours and come from across China seasonally.

A series of images follows the article. Most remarkable are the depictions of old and young Chinese farmers handpicking tea leaves, the vast plantations and agricultural architecture, and the tea tourism industry
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:04 PM
This article looks into how the popular beverage, tea, is produced. China is not only the world's largest producer, but also creates many different types of tea including green, black and dragons well. The drink was discovered in 2737 by a Chinese emperor, and the industry employs approximately 80 million people and it produced 2.43 million tons in 2016
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India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt

India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"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.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
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.
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Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:24 PM

we really ever hear about extreme weather like this unless it affects us directly. "551 people have died in the last week" This is a state of emergency but those in the west will never hear about it. What a shame. I wonder if part of it is that politics in the west wouldn't want you hearing about this as it might support the climate change agenda.

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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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."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
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.
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Rebecca Geevarghese's curator insight, May 8, 2016 6:27 AM
How innovative!! Will definitely being showing this to my Geography students. 
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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ORIGINAL Fault line slices through Kenya's Rift Valley, families flee | Reuters

ORIGINAL Fault line slices through Kenya's Rift Valley, families flee | Reuters | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
Eliud Njoroge and his wife were inside their house in Kenya's Rift Valley when a crack appeared in the cement floor and started spreading.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
I saw a few other headings that were a bit more attention grabbing on this subject that read “Africa is splitting in two.”  Those titles were a bit dramatic and don’t tell the whole truth. While it’s true that the continent is in fact beginning to split, large masses of the continent won’t break off for millions of years. This article highlights a Kenyan family who’s home happened to be right on the line where a huge fault split open the other day. Their floor literally cracked and they had to flee while struggling to gather their belongings.  The fault ended up being many kilometers long and about 50 feet wide and cut through not only this unfortunate family’s home but also the nearby road. This happened to be in the Kenyan Rift Valley and after continuous rain for weeks, the ground inevitably  split. Geologists have warned locals that they need to consider their infrastructure going forward as railroads, buildings, and roads are at risk of splitting because the ground in the area is unstable due to the seismic activity. Not only are people living in the area displaced, but the government may have to alter how they set up and maintain infrastructure. The physical geography of the area is also changing as Kenya very slowly drifts away from the rest of Africa. 
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Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities

Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
An American used drones to capture the color lines still stark in South African cities.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
South Africa is one of the few countries that has a similar history in regards to racial segregation as America.  What makes their case unique is that the African population was there first and the English came in and created a system in which they were superior.  Although they have been officially desegregated for almost 20 years, these photos show that there are still underlying issues that exist.  These photos reveal that on one side of a particular area, the homes look like a typical suburban area where right across from that there are areas that resemble slums.  The areas that are more developed and wealthy have a majority white population and the poorer, less developed areas have large black populations.  The affects of segregation are long lasting and not solved overnight.  Just because government policies say that discrimination on a racial basis is illegal, doesn’t mean that society will neatly reorganize itself.  I think that the craziest part of this for me was that even the landscaping is vastly different despite the closeness of the two areas.  The wealthier part has lush green and the poorer parts have dirt and sand.  This an example of physical geography providing evidence for a societal separation.
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Mr Mac's curator insight, June 7, 2017 4:50 PM
Unit 4, 6, and 7 - Segregation, Development, and African cities. 
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 9, 2018 10:13 AM
"I agree with you, I think that the images are chilling. And they communicate so well what is otherwise a very complicated and nuanced issue to discuss—separation, segregation, history, disenfranchisement. But the images cut right to the heart of the matter, which is that these separations are not right" This is a quote in the article from the man that took the pictures (Johnny Miller). These photos show us the lines of segregation that continues even in a post Apartheid South Africa. These are amazing images and really quite unbelievable. We think of different segregation here in America, but what these photos show are unlike anything that I have personally seen.  As stated in the article the author hopes to create conversations about these separations. We see planned spatial separations that we created by city planners and we must used these as lessons going forward and as jumping off points to discuss. These shocking images can help inform us as a society that we must improve our social issues and if we don't we will continue to see issues like this grow both here in South Africa and around the world. One can see while tensions would be so high as a clear divide in living standards can rightfully cause anger. Eventually this anger leads to hate and this hate leads to an up rise in the people. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 10, 2018 6:22 PM
Just because a formal social construct - an idea in the human mind - changes, does not mean that change, or desire to alter course, is reflected in the real world. While the idea of apartheid in South Africa came to an end, the real world in the form of urban geography has yet to catch up. The urban planning under apartheid still carries the legacy of color codes and demarcated boundaries between "races" in order to cement socioeconomic inequity. This situation in South Africa is similar to the United States after the Civil Rights movement ended the era of Jim Crow. Even though laws were passed, the geography remained largely untouched. Black neighborhoods remained socially and economically segregated - the only difference being that the law did not mandate this. The law never stipulated geographic changes or economic prescriptions like wealth redistribution. It turns out that human geography and philosophical principles can be at odds with each other, as demonstrated by the aerial photographs of South African cities. 
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Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse

Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

"The death toll from a collapse at a landfill outside Ethiopia’s capital has risen sharply to 113, an Addis Ababa city official said Wednesday, as the country began three days of mourning for victims who were mostly women and children. Saturday’s collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of the capital."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
When I think of dumps or garbage I usually don’t think of them being deadly.  Unfortunately in Addis Ababa, part of the dump collapsed and 113 people ended up dying.  Not only did the collapse injure people, but it also wiped out the homes that surround the area.  The lack of codes about infrastructure in the city is most likely the cause of this incident.  There were no regulations about how garbage had to be dumped in order to keep it from collapsing.  There were also no rules about how homes should be built or where they could be built.  This article points out that there were attempts made in order to stop dumping at this particular landfill, but the dumping was resumed right before the collapse.  The government also relocated some of the residents that lived by the dump, but were not able to move everyone before the accident.  Although efforts were made to avoid a situation like this, the government wasn’t forceful or fast enough to prevent it.  Many of the victims of this were women and children which is telling of the culture of the city.  The women and children scavenge the landfill in order to find things they can either repurpose for themselves or sell to make money.  The last section of the article also says that Ethiopia prides itself as being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.  But this incident shows that they still have a ways to go before they can become a more developed country.
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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 22, 2017 9:31 AM
unit 6
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 3:26 PM
Inside the Koshe landfill in Ethiopia, there were makeshift mud and stick homes.  Residents say the collapse the has killed over a hundred residents could have been because of protests at another landfill and some blamed the construction at a new waste to energy plant at Koshe.  families who lost loved ones haverecieved or will receive any where from $430 to $650 each and will be resettled permanently in the coming years.  It is sad to see people living like this but most of all to see a government allow such situations to exist.
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:08 AM
According to this article, Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest growing economies. This tragic event makes me wonder about the spatial inequality of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. Especially, since capital cities in most nations are usually the most developed part of the country. It would seem that is a more highly developed area like a capital city in Ethiopia, that there would be more adequate housing for residents than a landfill, even if those residents are considered to be poor. From looking at this article it seems as though there must be a wealthier class in the city that is developing rapidly, while the poorer community is forced to live on the outskirts in the landfill. Hopefully a tragedy such as this one never happens again and more suitable housing can be found for the lower class in Ethiopia.
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Lessons from New Zealand’s disappointing (and now complete) flag referendum

Lessons from New Zealand’s disappointing (and now complete) flag referendum | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
New Zealanders finally completed voting in their flag referendum, but the results may be disappointing. PRI's vexillology expert looks at what's right — and mostly what's wrong — about this proposal.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
It’s very rare to have a country change their flag today, especially in a peaceful manner.  It seems pretty difficult to pinpoint what you want the symbol of a country to be and have it fit on a rectangle.  I think the craziest part of this whole process that New Zealand went through, is that they spent millions of dollars, held multiple elections, and designed a bunch of new flags only to have the majority of people vote to keep their old flag.  As a person who doesn’t think about flags too often, there is a lot more to analyze on flags than just how nice they look.  Flags are a symbol of nationality that is unique only to one country.  It represents all the people living in a country and is supposed to capture the essence of an entire nation.  I don’t know too much about New Zealand, but their current flag only conveys their British heritage.  They had the chance to incorporate aspects of the fern, kiwis, and even select the colors they felt best represented their country.  However, they decided to keep the flag they already had.  I can’t tell if this is because the new flag designs were unsatisfactory or if people are resistant to such a dramatic change.  Personally, I see an American flag everyday, so I can imagine how strange it would be to have something new take place a symbol one has always known.  Luckily, Scotland did not vote to leave the U.K. so New Zealand avoided being forced to change their flag.  But this serves as an example of how much meaning is actually behind a flag.
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David Stiger's curator insight, December 8, 2018 1:57 AM
A flag is more than a colorful piece of cloth. It is a symbol and indicator of identity. The fundamental purpose and values of the nation are represented by the national flag. The flag's design is important in this regard. A flag is important enough to be special and distinct. Unfortunately, New Zealand's flag looks awfully a lot like Australia's banner. Many people around the world have confused the two flags together. The similarities are due to the New Zealand and Australia's shared history of British colonialism. Secondly, the current flag's shrunken Union Jack symbol denotes British authority when New Zealand is an independent sovereign nation. Lastly, the flag is very British causing it to exclude the native people and other ethnic groups in New Zealand. New Zealand's flag is a controversial remnant of European colonialism - something that does not align with the values of an independent nation with its own unique sense of identity. 

Despite New Zealand's need for a new flag design, the process was botched up and the new flag designs did not pass muster. This was probably due in part to the lack of design experts and flag experts, who are known as vexillologists. While the submission process was quite open and inclusive, the panel managing the show did not have the know-how. As the designer writing this piece mentions, the flag submissions had too many designs and looked busy. Flags need to be clear because they are visual messages. Japan, China, Chile, Germany, and Nigeria all have excellent simple designs. New Zealand's alternative flag design probably lost because it looked ugly and unclear. How can an ugly flag represent a beautiful nation? 

There was another flaw in the selection process as well. The first draft of ideas became the final submissions. This seems improper as collective idea making and sharing takes a lot of time and discernment. 

New Zealand, in an effort to break away from its colonial legacy, needs to come up with a new flag. This potential banner needs to be striking, simple in design yet complex in meaning. It needs to be something that today's New Zealand can be proud of. Calling it quits is no way to get there. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 5:37 PM
Flags are usually important to the people of a nation. They are symbols of national pride and are not usually taken lightly. When New Zealand's Government wanted to change the flag to more closely represent them as a country today and not who they gained independence from. One issue though is that while there was a panel to create the replacement flags it included one vexillologist and no professional designers at all.  You need people who understand what will work if you want to change something so drastically. 
 
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Poles of Inaccessibility

Poles of Inaccessibility | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
Geography nuts have located the hardest place to get to on every continent and beyond.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
The places in this article really gives a whole new meaning to “the middle of nowhere.”  People often say they want to settle in the middle of nowhere to be alone, but this article points out that no one actually lives at these exact points, and few people live nearby.  This shows that in order to have a successful settlement, people need to have access to both land and water.  Without being able to get to both, temperatures become incredibly unbearable, resources are sparse, and access to the rest of the world is very difficult.  It is interesting that the part of the earth that is the farthest away from land, Point Nemo, happens to be in Oceania.  Oceania is so sparsely populated compared to the other regions of the world, so the fact that the point farthest away from land is located in this region helps to explain this.  The closest land to Point Nemo are small islands that are also very isolated.  Oceania itself is also generally isolated, since most land is far from the continents, except Australia because it is a continent.  The isolation of all these islands means it is difficult to live in these areas, which was probably far worse before globalization brought trade.  The people living on the islands of Oceania would have to rely solely on what was on their islands.  I am not a person who enjoys isolation very much, so I have no plans to visit these locations any time soon.
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ORIGINAL An Unexpected Expat Life in Southeast Asia…on $1,200 a Month

ORIGINAL An Unexpected Expat Life in Southeast Asia…on $1,200 a Month | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
We never imagined at the time that 13 years later, we would still be in Southeast Asia—not as travelers, but as expats. It was the diverse culture that first attracted us to this part of the world. We saw amazing landscapes, learned new customs, and sampled delicious, exotic foods. We visited temple
Katie Kershaw's insight:
This article is about a retired couple that decided to retire in their early fifties and travel the world.  They sold all their belongings and flew first to Hong Kong.  They ended up falling in love with Southeast Asia and have lived there for 13 years, moving to a different country every few years. The reason they enjoy living there so much is actually because it is different than the US, which is interesting because most people do not like change.  One thing that the author was surprised about was that no matter where they were, they could always find English speakers.  She said that even in incredibly rural areas, multiple people always spoke English and were actually eager to practice.  This shows an affect of globalism- the English language is taking hold in countries all throughout Asia, even those that most wouldn't necessarily associate having strong relationships with the West.  Another appeal that drew this couple to settle in Southeast Asia was its affordability.  Food costs are so low, that it is cheaper to eat out than cooking at home in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur.  Housing costs are also considerably more affordable and this couple spends only one third of what they spent monthly in California.  Not only is the housing cheaper, but they are also able to live in locations that are incredibly expensive in the US, including downtown in luxury apartments in various capital cities and by the beach.  The transportation system in Kuala Lumpur was also more advanced than most cities in America, as they use a monorail and light rail system- making travelling faster and easier.  This article shows that sometimes Americans have the perspective that America is superior and hold onto old notions of Southeast Asian countries' reputations, but their beliefs are not necessarily correct.
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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

"A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youths in Cambodia."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
Today’s world is so globalized it’s pretty inevitable that cultural aspects are going to be exchanged. In this case, a man who grew up in the U.S. became a well known break dancer, but ended up being deported to Cambodia after being involved with a gang.  What is interesting about his story is that he had never lived in Cambodia outside of infanthood, so he had to adjust to a whole new culture.  He was approached by some kids who wanted him to teach them to break dance, which is an American form of dance, and he agreed.  He has now been able to use breakdancing as a platform to help at risk kids in the city of Phnom Penh.  Kids are able to attend school to learn technology, English, and breakdancing.  He ensures that they avoid the negative experiences he had in a gang by teaching them about the dangers of drugs and HIV.  It was neat to see Cambodian kids listening to American rap music and breakdancing.  This just shows how something from one culture can be taken and used to help people in another culture.  I think people often think that change and foreigness are negative, but as in this case, sometimes cultural diffusion is beneficial. 
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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 28, 2015 5:27 PM

It apperas that one countrys trash is anothers treasure, and possiblty so much more.  You can see first hand in this video how a culture from one part of the world can have great impact on another so different and so far away.  Being deported could be the best thing that happened to this teacher.  It also could be the best thing that happened to a lot of these childrens lives as well.

Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 7:00 PM
It is a unique video that shows how a certain culture in the US can find a home in Cambodia thousands of miles away. It gives an insight of a man from California brings back to Cambodia what he learned from living in the United States. It is a great story of how one man looks to change Cambodia in a positive way. 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 12:58 PM
As crazy as it seems dancing is trying to help kids. A former gang member from Long Beach, California teaches dancing to children at risk in Cambodia. He got deported after being charged with a felony to a country he has never been before. However, he is changing his life around to help change the lives of todays youth through methods that he learned in the states.
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Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

Historically, the top ten most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, Singapore has tied for number one position with Germany. For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy."

 

Tag: Singapore, SouthEastAsia, political, development.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
I’ve always heard that Americans enjoyed having the most powerful passports in the world.  However, this is not true.  Though Americans enjoy more mobility than most countries, Singapore’s passports are actually “the most powerful.”  The determining factor in this power is how many countries a citizen with a passport can travel without a visa.  Holders of a Singaporean passport can currently travel to 159 countries without a visa.  They credit this freedom to travel with their diplomacy.  Singapore says they do not discriminate when conducting foreign relations and maintain effective foreign policies.  The significance is that this is the first time an Asian country has had the most powerful passport.  The importance of being able to travel so easily today has to do with globalization.  Most economies are dependent on international business transactions and the ability of those involved in this trade to be able to travel.  This also shows the shift that’s occurring in the world in terms of countries’ power.  For most of modern history Europe has dominated the rest of the world.  However, this newfound power of Singapore’s passport shows that power is being transferred to Asia. 
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David Stiger's curator insight, November 27, 2018 1:22 PM
This articles highlights the logistics and technical minutia of globalization in real life. When people think about people traveling, it is easy to forget that there are barriers such as visas. Depending on the prestige and status of a country, a passport can allow a traveler to enter a foreign land visa free or at least hassle free. As the world becomes more interdependent and borders lose their strict nationalistic rigidity, this ability to traverse freely and more easily is important. One might not think that the small nation of Singapore now has the most capable passport out of 195 countries worldwide. Once tied with Germany to access 158 countries visa-free, Singapore pulled ahead when Paraguay reduced its visa restrictions for Singapore. This serves as another sign that Asia and the "global south" is truly catching up to the Western world. As these other nations catch up to the West's development, even surpassing the West's premier status, people's attitudes will eventually change towards these Asian, African, and Latin American nations. The positive associations will attract more business and more travel giving rise to new opportunities and stronger globalized connections. In the end, Singapore's win over Germany in international travel is a victory for globalization. Now whether one thinks globalization is good or bad is another matter entirely. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 4:37 PM
The Singaporean passport is the most powerful passport in the world, which is a great tagline but what does it mean? Well, passports are created for you to travel between borders and usually to create to another country you need to obtain a visa, but if you have a passport from Singapore you now have the most visa-less passport in the world. Allowing you to travel more freely and will allow many people better opportunities. 
 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 11:26 AM
Singapore has become the holder of the most powerful passport in the world. This means that people from this country has free access to the most countries around the world. America thought they had the most powerful visa in the world however that's the farthest from the truth. Since Donald Trump has become president America's visa has gone down even more while Singapore has been quietly climbing the totem pole.
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Korean Baseball 101: Way Beyond the Bat Flips

Baseball in South Korea is more than a game. It’s akin to a religion. American missionaries first brought the sport to the peninsula in 1905, and the country absolutely loved it. Today, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) features 10 teams and a unique sporting culture all its own. The city of Busan and its hometown Lotte Giants have a particularly passionate fan base. From the hitters’ flashy bat flips, to the team’s famous “cheermaster” and its unlikely American super fan, consider this is your crash course on the joyful madness that is Lotte Giants fandom.
Katie Kershaw's insight:
I don’t know if I subconsciously usually pick scoops that focus on negative situations, but this was one of the few scoops I can remember watching and feeling happy afterwards.  It is so cool that two countries can share a love for the same sport and watch the sport in such different ways.  The Korean fans seem to have much more enthusiasm while watching the game and the atmosphere seems really fun.  I have always enjoyed watching baseball and when I ask other people why they don’t watch, they always say they find it to be too boring.  But watching a Lotte Giants game seems to be anything but boring.  I think one of the biggest cultural differences that I saw between American baseball fans and Korean baseball fans is the ways in which they cheer.  I think that Americans use a lot more smack talk and taunting when they are at baseball games, but the Koreans seem to only be positive.  This is ironic because the Koreans are much more showy with how they cheer, but it’s not obnoxious or unsportsmanlike, it’s just peppy.  I also think it’s unique that the Lotte Giants have a cheer master, who’s job is to get the fans hyped.  American baseball doesn’t have anything close to this with the exception of mascots.  The American equivalent to the cheer master would probably be football or basketball cheerleaders, but they never get the crowd to be so in sync.  I also saw a lot of American influences still present in Korea, even though their experience is so different.  The most obvious is that the team name is in English and happens to also be an MLB team.  I also noticed that many advertisements had English and Korean on them.  It’s interesting that even though the sport is the same, the ways in which the fans celebrate are so different.
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Mike curta's curator insight, April 26, 2018 8:41 AM
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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 11:26 PM
Baseball in South Korea resembles that of baseball in America however they have there cultural differences. Baseball fans in Korean stadiums resemble that of soccer in Europe there fans are legendary. The bat flips are also much different than that in America. In South Korea they chuck the bat because that is culturally acceptable there. In America if you pimp a homerun your mostly likely going to get nailed by a 90 mph fastball during your next at bat because its seen as disrespectful.
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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
China is being very sneaky in their attempt to control the South China Sea and have decided they don’t want to listen to any international laws or court rulings that don’t follow what they want.  In order to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea and increase their land holdings, the Chinese have decided to literally build islands in the body of water.  These islands are then used as naval bases to help them take over other islands that are held by other countries in the South China Sea.  Their strategy for taking over these islands is called the “Cabbage strategy” where they quietly surround and blockade the islands from the countries who hold control over them in order to take them over.  As much as the other countries bordering the South China Sea do not like what China is doing, they are unable to challenge them too much because China’s navy is the most powerful in the region.  This is a situation that shouldn’t be so escalated because international maritime laws have established that countries can control the water 200 miles off their coasts, which would mean China would control part of the sea, other East Asian countries would control part of the sea, and the center of the sea would be international waters.  However, the natural resources in the sea are irresistible to China, so they have started literally building islands and taking over tiny islands that would normally have no one on them.  Other countries in the South China Sea have responded by building and settling on these ridiculously small islands as well.  China has now taken their claims a step farther and claimed airspace above the South China Sea.  The recent breakthroughs in technology have changed the way that governments can claim their borders and made geography more complicated.  The reason that China has been getting away with this is that no country except the U.S. can keep China in check.  However, it would be impossible to threaten China with the American Navy without causing a much bigger military conflict.  So for now, China quietly continues taking over the South China Sea.
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Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 10:23 AM
The vast resources in the South China Sea and the benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone make it clear why china wants and currently is building islands in the South China Sea. By occupying these newly created islands and claiming them for their own, they can extend their area of economic control by 200 nautical miles. For a nation that is rapidly industrializing and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, these new areas of control are monumentally important.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 11:49 AM
China is attempting to extend their EEZ by building islands in the South China Sea so they can claim the area 200 miles off the coasts of these man made islands. This is a problem because of the other countries that have EEZ claims in the South China Sea because if China claims more land it takes away the EEZ zones of some of these other countries. 
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ORIGINAL How the caste system forces women into prostitution

ORIGINAL How the caste system forces women into prostitution | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it

In a small house alongside a highway in rural India, in a bedroom with pink walls, teddy bears and heart-shaped pillows, 19-year-old Durga Chauhan studies and chats on WhatsApp with her friends; it's where she practices for dance performances and where she dreams of becoming a doctor. And until recently, this bedroom was also where she worked as a prostitute.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
The caste system is pretty unlike the system of social classes that we have in America, so I find it to be intriguing.  As this article points out, the caste system does not allow for mobility in society.  People are born into a caste and stay in that caste until they die, no matter what the circumstances.  Discrimination based on the caste system is illegal, however the law does little to prevent this from occurring.  The particular caste featured in this article is the Bacchara caste.  In their society men are not expected to work or provide income for their families.  Instead, unmarried girls and women are expected to make money as prostitutes to support their entire family.  They must resort to this job because growing up, they are given little education or skills development.  The only way for these girls to escape being prostitutes is to get married.  However, this can become a problem because it is a patriarichal society and men often take advantage of their wives.  The women who was interviewed for this article, Durga Chauhan had an experience that was very typical in her caste system.  Both her mother and grandmother had worked as a prostitute before her, so when she came of age she followed the tradition.  She hated the work and ended up getting married as a teenager, only to face an alcoholic, abusive husband.  She left him, was penalized $20,000 and was forced to return to making money as a prostitute.  This article also pointed out that when families only have one daughter, she is often shunned if she chooses to marry instead of support her family as a prostitute.  The flaws in the caste system are very apparent in this article.  It also helps to explain why some aspects of certain Indian cultures are the way they are, it comes back to the caste system.  Luckily, there are efforts being made by social workers and charities to help educate girls in this situation so they are able to escape a life of prostitution.
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The area of this map coloured red has the same population as the area coloured blue

The area of this map coloured red has the same population as the area coloured blue | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
Well, this is kind of crazy. Only 5 per cent of the world's population lives in the regions of this map shaded blue. Another 5 per cent lives in the area shaded red. Yoinks.

 

Tags: population, density, South Asia.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
If someone looked at this map and didn't have background knowledge on the population distribution on earth, they would probably think this map is fake.  It's pretty unbelievable that one tiny spot of land has the same amount of people living on it than pretty much the rest of the entire world.  The biggest thing that this map indicates is that earth's population is not evenly distributed even a little bit.  This is partially because there are parts of the world that are uninhabitable, but that doesn't fully explain why so many people live in that tiny area.  The red spot also tells me that people living in that area are going to have a very different experience than most other humans.  Their resources are going to have to be divided thoroughly and they probably aren't going to get away with spending a lot of time without being in contact with other people.  The end of this article pointed out another big problem with this dense area of settlement- if something were to happen to this area which either wiped out resources or killed people, the earth's population would drop significantly in a really short period of time.  After looking at this, I regret how angry I used to be about sharing a room with my sister.  Now that I have my own bedroom I can see that I was actually pretty lucky, because at least I didn't have 5% of the world's population within a few hundred miles of me. 
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Carlos Fosca's curator insight, January 6, 2016 6:34 AM

Parece realmente una broma, pero la zona coloreada de rojo alberga a 350 millones de personas sobre una superficie que arroja una densidad poblacional de 1,062 habitantes por Km2. Si esto se compara con el país más densamente poblado de Europa, que es Holanda, con una densidad de 409 habitantes/Km2 o incluso con el departamento de Lima (269.1 habitantes /Km2) vemos que hay una gran diferencia. Pero el Perú también tiene propio su punto rojo en términos de densidad poblacional (no en términos de población absoluta). ¿Saben que lugar es este? Pues la provincia Constitucional del Callao que tiene una densidad poblacional de 7,159.83 habitantes/Km2 (2015).

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 19, 2018 11:52 AM
This map shows how much population is in one certain area. It is amazing to see all the land in the blue area which roughly adds up to 5% of the population, while that small area in red is also 5% of the worlds population. One can see just from the map some of the difficulties this might cause. The area in red has a major overpopulation problem and has a major need for resources for all of the people that live there. It also causes major divisions in socioeconomic and we tend to see many slum cities develop which on most likely built in poor geographical area. This can cause many issues in this area and we also see at the end of the article that with sea changes this could cause major problems in the near future in this area. If we were to see population move out of this area where would they go? We have major issues currently with a moving population in Europe, however it will be interesting to see where this population would move and how that would effect possible political policies of other South Asian countries. 
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How Bollywood stereotypes the West

How Bollywood stereotypes the West | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
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.

 

Tags: culture, India, South Asia, media. 

Katie Kershaw's insight:
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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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.
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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

"A 7,000 km barrier is being built along the footsteps of the Sahara to stop the desert expanding. The Great Green Wall project started in 2007 in Senegal, along with 10 countries in Africa to combat the effects of climate change. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Widou, deep in the Sahel."

Katie Kershaw's insight:
This “Green Wall” was originally supposed to span the southern border of the Sahara from the east to west coast of Africa. It was made up of trees and elements of forests in order to prevent the desert from expanding and reducing the amount of land available for food production. This seems like it would be a great idea that would work well, but the plan has some flaws. In the early stages of building up the barrier, nomadic herders are supposed to be prohibited from using the land, as their cattle would destroy it. However, the system in place in Somolia sees only one soldier guarding hundreds of kilometers by himself. The nomadic people are often desperate for food, so they often try to break in and sometimes resort to violence. This is problematic because it defeats the purpose of the barrier in increasing the farm land. Many of the countries in along the “Green Wall” do not maintain it as well as they should and Nigeria actually abandoned the project all together. For this reason many ecologists believe the effort is a waste and the climate change can not be stopped. But the efforts of the Somalians has paid off. Crops such as grapefruit and watermelon have been grown in areas that would have been unsuitable for such crops a few years ago. Migratory European birds also settle in the area during the winter. Another benefit that comes from the Wall is that nomads are not forced to join terrorist organizations as their only sources for food, because farming is made easier in the Sahel. 
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tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 3:12 PM
The great green wall is a man made ecological wall from the Atlantic ocean thru 10 countries to the red sea.  This is to prevent the desert from expanding, but also it is protected from nomadic herders, and loss of food.  This project still has a long way to go but ha not been completely abandoned yet. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 10:12 AM
Although Senegal is one of the few countries in the Sahel to actually follow through on its promise of building its green wall, it may be fruitless in the long run. The expansion of desert regions seems relentless. However, what is most surprising is how rapidly the ecosystems have changed and the crops that can be grown there. Watermelon, grapefruit, and European migratory songbirds have all taken hold, drastically altering the agriculture and environment of the region. 
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Labor unrest in Cameroon after clashes over language discrimination

Labor unrest in Cameroon after clashes over language discrimination | Katie's Geography 200 Portfolio | Scoop.it
In Cameroon, unrest in minority English-speaking regions over discrimination by majority French speakers is still simmering after violent clashes with police claimed at least four lives.

 

English-speakers have been protesting since Monday (11/21/2016) against what they see as their "second-class citizen status" and attempts to marginalize them in the west African nation. Eight of Cameroon's ten regions are largely Francophone, but two regions, North West and South West Cameroon are English-speaking. English-speaking teachers complain that French-speaking counterparts are being increasingly deployed in English schools, despite differences in the curricula and teaching systems.

 

Tags: language, Cameroon, Africa, culture.

Katie Kershaw's insight:
This is a good example of the long term affects of colonialism even after independence.  Teachers in English speaking sections of Cameroon complained as more French speaking teachers began taking jobs in their regions.  The English speakers complained because the curriculum the French speakers were teaching is different.  Lawyers in the English speaking regions also raised the issue that the judges and other government officials were only speaking French, making their jobs difficult to do.  What’s more interesting is that the constitution of the country recognizes both English and French as official languages.  But since a majority of citizens speak French, those that speak English feel alienated and like they are being treated as second-class citizens.  The federal government also operates almost exclusively in French.  The long term build up of this tension has caused those in the English speaking regions to revolt, unfortunately they did it violently.  The opposition party in the country has taken advantage of this in order to help their party by claiming that they will help incite change if voted into office.  The party in power spun the situation to say that those revolting were being paid by foreign powers.  The effects of colonialism can be devastating and harm people long after colonizers leave.  This is a country where there are two official languages, yet the majority has been able to gang up on the minority.  It’s unfortunate because people cannot be happy in their own jobs or daily lives and the government and their fellow citizens are ignoring them.
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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 9, 2018 10:05 AM
The study of language in a population is always fascinating.  In this instance this one is very fascinating especially for someone that is in English speaker from America. While most of the world that we know it speaks some kind of English or tries to bend to using English for business terms or what not it was quite the headline to see this. In Cameroon they have both French and English speakers, however French speakers heavily outweigh English speakers. 8 of the 10 counties in the country are French dominated, however they are trying to takeover the English speaking areas as well. The hostility has been built up as teachers claim that many of their jobs are now going to French speakers in the schools and other are arguing that there should be English speakings judges in English speaking areas. It is so strange to see a backlash versus the English language in this country and also to see such a heavy division.  Maybe its because we live in a world in which we believe the English world dominates, but seeing people discriminated against for speaking English comes shocking and  maybe can open our eyes and view what we are doing in this country or in other parts of the world. We read this article and believe that something needs to be done, but what do we do in this country or other parts of the world to help other people that speak different languages? Do we have Spanish speaking teachers in heavy Spanish areas? In cities that have a high Haitian population do we hire teachers and judges that speak Creole? Pieces like this should help us reflect on our own situation and always reflect on how the population of areas can eventually effect the social and cultural issues. 
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 10:04 PM
A nation's language is incredibly important to it's geography. In Cameroon, there are mostly French speaking citizens, however, there are still many English speakers.The differences are seen as more French speakers are getting jobs than English. They see this as discrimination. A huge problem is also dealing with important jobs such as in the courtroom. People who cannot understand each other cannot decide on things together. Things like this cause a lot of conflict in countries.