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Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement

Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
For centuries, South Asia has had its own Khawaja Sira or third gender culture. Now, some third gender people in Pakistan say the modern transgender identity is threatening their ancient culture.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
A topic to discuss. People who don't agree with the beliefs or rights of people in the LGBTQ community will talk about how this is a new issue. That it is the new generation that is creating these ideas.  But multiple genders and sexualities have been around for hundreds of years in many different ways. There are Native American tribes whose people had "two-spirits". Those people fulfilled the third gender ceremonial roles for their communities. In this story, they discuss Khawaja siras are "God's chosen people", the third gender people who can bless or curse anyone. But "God's chosen people" are also greatly discriminated against in society. You see the contradictions that society puts on people who don't conform to what is supposedly right.
 
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David Stiger's curator insight, November 11, 2018 5:11 PM
From an outsider's perspective, cultures are often hard to pin down. This became clear again when trying to comprehend Pakistan's third gender community. Not to be confused with the more modern transgender community, the third gender - or Khawaja Sira - is manifested in the traditional roots of Islam. It seems like a religiously accepted mode of existing to transcend gender. Because Khawaja Sira falls under the precepts of Islam, it is therefore tolerated but not necessarily embraced. What is interesting is that because there are rules and traditional codes outlining how a Muslim can be Khawaja Sira, there a good deal of hostility towards the modern Western notion of transgender - referring more to a person who "transitions" from the gender of their birth to a gender they more strongly identify with. One would think that Pakistan's third gender community would be more open and understanding of the West's transgender movement. This is not the case. When a Westerner is traveling in Pakistan and notices a third gender option, the person should not assume Pakistan is a bastion for liberal-minded progressives. Instead, Pakistan is just being Pakistan. 
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Original: Sikh temple could build bridge between India and Pakistan

 
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
This Sikh temple is just 3 miles from the border of India to the south and about 2 hours from the border of the Kasmir territory dividing Pakistan and India to its east. The Temple has been closed for the past 70 years, but it now that it has opened has begun to attempt to bring in more Indian Sikhs and help bridge relations between the two countries. The issue stems from the India Sikhs needing passports to cross into Pakistan, but Pakistan recently announced a plan to open the border directly in front of the temple and create a bridge straight to the temple for all to practice the religion freely. Though negotiations have been bumpy says, one sikh man, it is the first step to reconciliation.
 
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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 | Kelvis' Regional Geography | 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.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
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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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 26, 2018 2:07 PM
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.
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. 
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The Most Aussie Interview Ever

"The 2 Aussie legends that prevented a fast food shop robbery get interviewed!"

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
If you're from the United States you probably barely understand what the guests on this news show are saying, but you can tell it is a form of English. Much like anywhere else, each place has their own sayings and dialects. In this interview, the newscasters are laughing hysterically about how "Australian" the two guests are speaking.  It is similar to hearing a Rhode Islander with an extra or a misplaced "R", it is easily noticeable.
 
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bridget rosolanka's curator insight, March 7, 2016 2:16 PM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, March 8, 2016 2:27 PM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 2018 1:09 PM
This is of course English being spoken, but not the English most Americans can fully understand. Every place develops their own unique words and phrases to introduce to the language being spoken. Language is an integral part to forming a cultural identity. By putting their own spin on the English language, this video shows how language is a gateway to cultural identity. 
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The Rohingya in Myanmar: How Years of Strife Grew Into a Crisis

The Rohingya in Myanmar: How Years of Strife Grew Into a Crisis | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Life has long been fraught for a Muslim minority in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, but the recent “ethnic cleansing” has sent Rohingya fleeing en masse.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
An ethnic cleansing is occurring today in Myanmar. The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the Rakhine state have been forcibly removed for their homes by soldiers and extremists.  Their homes are homes, villages and land destroyed. Many are leaving Myanmar all together and running to the border of Bangladesh for safety.  The President of Myanmar, Nobel Peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has stayed mostly quiet regarding the attacks, while the UN has also condemned the actions of the army.  A story to continue watching as it develops. 
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M Sullivan's curator insight, September 19, 2017 9:00 PM
Shocking reality of life for people in Myanmar to follow on from reading the novel 'Bamboo People' by Mitali Perkins.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 29, 2017 3:07 AM

Global challenges - Population - including Migration - refugees

David Stiger's curator insight, November 30, 2018 12:20 PM
It is often hard to imagine how a government sponsors or directly commits acts of genocide against its own people. When studying the geographic factors and history of a place, outsiders can begin to fathom how divisions and difference can turn into hate-fueled violence. But, genocides do not just spontaneously happen. There is a buildup overtime. The only way a genocide can occur is if some form of dehumanization takes place against a group of people. In the case of the Rohingya - an ethnic minority population in Myanmar - the government fails to recognize them as citizens. Denying rights and citizenship to people means they are not equal with others and that is a form of dehumanization. While the Rohingya are mostly Muslim in a Buddhist majority country, the divisions go much deeper. Myanmar's government believes that the Rohingya are refugees from Bangladesh who fled under British rule during the 1800s, negating any legitimate claim to the land they are living on. The Rohingya dispute this arguing their ancestors migrated to the land of Rohang (now called the Rakhine State of Myanmar) during the 1400s. Regardless of whose narrative is accurate, the Rohingya,  like the Gypsies in Europe, have been excluded and viewed as outsiders. By not being integrated into mainstream society, there has been a lack of social and economic advancement for the Rohingya leading to widespread poverty which creates a vicious cycle. The discriminatory and repressive practices against the Rohingya has led to violent backlash by some Rohingya against Buddhists. This in turn led to military crackdowns, destruction, and forced migration by Myanmar's government. The situation escalated when a Rohingya insurgency rose up and attacked military targets. This most recent episode is what has led to the current acts of genocide. Myanmar's government has justified its actions by espousing a war on terrorist groups. International watchdogs have observed the military operations are also targeting innocent Rohingya civilians, morphing into ethnic-cleansing. 

Powerful nations like the U.S. and the E.U. should sanction Myanmar until they own up to what they've done. After Myanmar is held accountable, the government should offer full rights and citizenship in exchange for the disbandment of the Rohingya insurgency. From there, health care services and educational programs need to be administered to help the Rohingya integrate into society. 
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Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world | Kelvis' Regional Geography | 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.

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
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. 
 
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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 11:54 PM
(Southeast Asia) I never thought about passports having different restrictions for different countries, let alone that it could be a measure of a country's power and greatness. Formerly tied with Germany, Singapore managed to scrape off another visa requirement from Paraguay, bringing Singapore's visa-free score to 159. The city-state, a major global commerce center, has become the first Asian nation to have the most useful passport. Visa-free requirements reflect a country's ability to negotiate foreign relations. While the country is poor in land size and resources, Singapore excels in their economy and statecraft.
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. 
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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The great Korean bat flip mystery

The great Korean bat flip mystery | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
MLB's code is clear: Flip your bat and you'll pay. But in South Korea, flips are an art. How does this alternate world exist? And what does it say about us? Writer Mina Kimes trekked across South Korea with illustrator Mickey Duzyj to unravel the mystery.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
First off who thinks of baseball in South Korea? I am not a huge baseball fan, but I do know that if you flip the bat in the MLB next time you're up to bat the pitcher will remember and you'll have a new baseball-sized bruise. Interestingly in the individualistic U.S. it is for all intents and purposes prohibited,  while in a very collective and respectful society such as South Korea you are expected to make a spectacle out of it. Cultures do many things differently and some subvert expectations. 
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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:39 AM
Baseball is America's pastime. It comes with a long history. If you are a baseball fan you have probably been lectured by an older family member about the history of this great game.  An there is no doubt you have heard about baseball's "unwritten" rules. One of these "rules" is to not show up the pitcher as a batter. One way in which we have seen this the past few seasons and especially a couple of years ago in the playoffs is the bat flip. The bat flip is a major no-no when it comes to baseball in America. However, in Korea it is commonplace. It is very strange to see how the Korean's play the game in such a contrast to the Americans. Korea and East Asia is usually known here in the West a quiet place that holds respect has an utter most importance. However, on the field they like to have fun. The Koreans learned the game from the Japanese when Japan's military held Korea. They learned the game and played the game with passion. The bat flip and other traditions became commonplace and have carried over just like baseball traditions here in America.  Baseball here in America has long look to regain its popularity with the youth and there seems to be  a push by younger players to bring more flare to the game. It has caused arguments among many of its older fans or players. So maybe we will see this Korean tradition used more in America soon, but for now it will remain controversial. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 2018 12:11 PM
The unwritten rules of baseball are not static. They change from country to country and are influenced by the values and norm of the society in which the game is played. In South Korea, bat flips are seen as a way to celebrate your success at the plate. Also, it lends a feeling of individuality that rarely presents itself in a culture that values conformity over individuality. This mentality is totally different than in America where a bat flip is seen as disrespectful and showing up the opposing pitcher. In American baseball, the team is valued more than the individual, so if you act out to celebrate individual success, then you will face consequences the next time you come to the plate.
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Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China

Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"When officials forced an informal school run by monks near here to stop offering language classes for laypeople, Tashi Wangchuk looked for a place where his two teenage nieces could continue studying Tibetan.  To his surprise, he could not find one, even though nearly everyone living in this market town on the Tibetan plateau here is Tibetan. Officials had also ordered other monasteries and a private school in the area not to teach the language to laypeople. And public schools had dropped true bilingual education in Chinese and Tibetan, teaching Tibetan only in a single class, like a foreign language, if they taught it at all."

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
The people of Tibet are watching their culture fade away and have no power to stop it. The Chinese officials that run the province have been restricting the teaching of the language and culture in Tibet and other western provinces of China. This is part of a massive plan to force the assimilation of the Tibetan and Uyger peoples to East China's Han Chinese norms. While some welcome the change thinking it will bring their children into the competitive economy, others have begun protesting the suppression. China has begun demonizing western forces and the Dalai Lama for tricking the protestors into defying the law and government.  As even monasteries are begin banned from teaching courses it will be a long battle for Tibetans who are fighting for their cultural freedom. 
 
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Jerry Li's curator insight, March 20, 2016 9:23 AM

 Yes, Tibatan will be very upset.

I think we should preserve every culture, not only chinese culture.

Tibetan is their mother tongue.  As every culture has its own special characteristic.

"And public schools had dropped true bilingual education in Chinese and Tibetan" this quote shows Tibetan cannot learn both language.

  The officials cannot forced them to learn chinese, and should give Tibetan a bilingual education just like Singapore.

This will result that Tibatan's children do not know their mother tongue and lost that culture gradually.

Although this can assimilate Tibetan to become Chinese in future but I think the offcials can give TIbetan some choices to choose.

othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 3:50 AM
This article talks about Tibetan culture fading in China. The language has been removed from schools and are only taught as a foreign language if they are even taught at all. China has reduced and restricted the teaching of languages spoken by other ethnic groups in many regions more recently. In 2012, officials created a new teaching curriculum that removed Tibetan as a language. Schools were forced to use Chinese as the main language.  
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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.

 

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

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

 

Tags: culture, India, South Asia, colonialism, place, regions, language, toponyms.

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

Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

“Mukul Kesavan, a perceptive Indian historian, sees this region-wide propensity for majoritarian nationalism as a sad if natural outcome of the awkward struggle to build new nation-states. The most egregious recent example is Myanmar, whose 90% Buddhist majority felt so threatened by a Rohingya Muslim minority of barely 1% that it sanctioned burning, pillage, murder, rape and enforced exile. Bangladesh chased non-Muslim tribes into India, and its once large and prosperous Hindu minority has dwindled alarmingly in the face of constant pressure. In the name of orthodoxy, extremists in Pakistan have viciously hounded not only Christians and Hindus but also Shia Muslims, Ahmadis and allegedly unorthodox Sufis. Sinhalese have historically dominated the island [of Sri Lanka], a fact forcefully reasserted in 2009 when the Sri Lankan army brought to a bloody end a 26-year-long insurgency by mostly Hindu ethnic Tamils, the largest minority group.”

 

Tags: religion, ethnicity, South Asia, regions, political, conflict. 

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Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
The printed version of this story was titled "They're all out to get us" which is very fitting. In the world today there is another swing on the pendulum towards nationalism and with that goes xenophobia. The fear of outsiders, of those different from yourself who are trying to take over the country. It is hard not to see the parallels between these South Asian countries and the United States where for the last few years we have seen a major increase in xenophobia and racial/religious dog whistling in politics. In South Asia, this is seen not as an anti-colonial blowback but as  "the majoritarian logic of ethnic nationalism".
 
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Too rich for its own good

Too rich for its own good | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
Why are so many resource-rich countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo so poor and unstable? More modern reasons like the corruption, the dictators, and wars come to mind sure, but what put countries like the DRC is these positions? Naturally, it all goes back to colonialism and slavery. The second that Europeans learned of the immense resources they carve up the territory, they have a skirmish to see who gets a bigger slice, and oppress the people so there is no chance of rebellion. In the DRC after Belgium finally left the Congolese had none of their own who were trained or had the experience to run a nation. I am sure there are people fighting for the best of the country, but when you have been kicked down for so long by so many peoples it is tough to get back up.
 
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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 28, 2018 12:55 PM
This article highlights that resources don't mean that a country will succeed. Resources can bring success or failure to a nation. The Congo has resources that are critical to the digital world's gadgets and toys but is a country that is decimated by events in and outside of its borders. Since the 15th century, the nation of the Congo has had its course be dictated by foreign forces. Either by imperial forces like the Belgians or by fellow African nations. The country is rich with resources that have been critical to civilizations since the Victorian era with resources like rubber being in high demand. This would carrier even further into the 20th century with the overnight demand for uranium with developments into nuclear power and weaponry. After World War II under the Atlantic Charter, the Belgians had to give up its hold of the Congo. Its "leader" decided to violate human rights in Rwanda and due to this was toppled by an alliance of 9 nations. Unfortunately, this would not be the of atrocities in the nation, the puppet government that was installed decided to act without Rwanda's guidance and war would begin again. With the demand high for the resources this nation holds has given birth to even worst atrocities. Children are conspribted into the army and have miners to harvest the resources that lie underneath its soil. If the West is going to buy resources from this country then it needs to step up its game and help end the conflict through diplomatic means. 
 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 31, 2018 4:47 PM
(Africa) This article chronicles why the Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the lowest ranked countries on the Human Development Index despite its plethora of resources. The inciting action leading to DRC's modern problems is slavery. The Portuguese promoted internal warfare to topple the advanced Kingdom of Kongo in the late 1400s to allow better access to slaves. Later, the Congo's vast natural resources would actually be their bane; Europeans would be attracted to the land's fertile river soil, gold, diamonds, oil, and other minerals. The British and Belgian conquered the region ruthlessly first for rubber, then copper for WWI, then uranium for WWII, all the while keeping the Congolese subjugated without rights.

When the DRC gained independence in 1960, there was no framework or educated citizens who could provide stability and civil war predictably ensued, leading to a dictator unchallenged by the modernized world because of his sale of resources. Several African countries invaded, leading to hundreds of domestic and foreign militants fighting in chaos. Now, there is almost no infrastructure. The country's problems go back hundreds of years to a series of inhumane foreign interventions powered by the DRC's wealth potential.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, November 19, 2018 1:45 PM
It is mind blowing sometimes to look at a country at face value having that much wealth yet  being poor. There has been a struggle in the Congo for hundreds of years ranging from colonialism, to civil war, to today with rebel groups fighting for mineral control. The issues of needing minerals from the Congo, with its unstable corrupt government, will always lead to rebel groups (or the government itself) creating conflict to attain resources for wealth.
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The Daily Show–Spot the Africa

Between rampant racial inequality and Ebola outbreaks, South African comedian Trevor Noah admits he hesitated to visit a country as underdeveloped as America.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
This is such an amazing skit between Trevor Noah and Jon Stewart. It is so informative in how ignorant average U.S. American's can be. Jon Stewart is portraying many people in the U.S. are genuine in their ignorance. With the pictures of scenes from different countries in Africa and in the U.S., you see that these so-called "developing countries" do have some very good things that are happening and the "greatest country" also has issues. It is just one of those things where you don't notice how much better life is getting in the world today.
 
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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:15 PM
As comical as this is, it goes to show the kind of racism and pride we have in our country. Here the guest speaker says he took multiple photos of different places and wanted the host to figure out if it is America or Africa. Most of the photos showed undeveloped or terrible sections of the US and opposite for Africa. Each time the pictures were shown, the host assumed it was Developed America and underdeveloped Africa.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 24, 2018 5:24 PM
This video takes a South African and an American and they address misconceptions about Africa by playing a game where the American is shown two images and is to guess which one is in Africa and which is in America, of the images shown the worse looking ones were generally in America. They are not trying to say necessarily that America is worse off than parts of Africa, but that parts of Africa are doing well, and that they are not as bad as we may think. 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 3:44 PM
This clip is a whimsical but also a way for Americans to understand there labeling of people is actually very incorrect, rude, and offensive. Most of America juts makes assumption based on what Hollywood puts out , for movies and commercials that this place is all desert and needs vast amounts of help. That however is far from the truth. Yes, they have the Sahara desert but that only makes up half of Africa. The bottom half of Africa is prosperous and we as Americans need to not believe everything we see.
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What happens when you flush a toilet in the world's tallest building?

What happens when you flush a toilet in the world's tallest building? | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates displays an image that is hyper-modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced.  The "Mall of the Emirates" even has a ski lift in it.  Dubai is now home to the tallest skyscraper in the world, matching that image perfectly.

 

But is this perception that is carefully choreographed the full picture?  When you flush in this magnificent building, the waste is removed by truck.  This jarring juxtaposition of cosmopolitanism and under-developed infrastructure shows an intriguing glimpse to the inner workings of urban and economic geographies of the UAE.      

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, is one of Dubai's many buildings that have to have trucks come to take the sewage out of their individual building. These trucks pump the sewage and then have to drink them to the waste management plants lined up one behind another which could take several hours. This is a wildly inefficient system and seems like a huge catastrophe if an accident with one of these trucks occurs. It is interesting with the immense amount of wealth concentrated in Dubai they built the city so quickly, but they didn't have the infrastructure to build a robust centralized sewer system. 
 
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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 4, 2014 1:04 PM

This is an interesting article of cities growing so fast that their infrastructure literally cannot keep us. In Dubai and in India, large skyscrapers are in charge of disposing their own waste because there isn't infrastructure put in place to support them. This seems like a worrisome situation. If these countries don't find a way to build infrastructure to support such large upscale developments then they will find themselves in dire straights. As of now trucks can wait up to 24 hours to dispose of their waste. If these developing cities keep growing the problems will only be amplified more. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 2:28 AM

This article highlights an interesting concept, the building up and improving of structures without the industry and logistics to truly support it. In Dubai not only to many have great deals of money but they want to rest of the world to know it as well. This is a immense modern building with state of the art features, all except waste management. Here the buildings have simply cropped up faster than the ground work can be built. In this case all the waste has to be trucked out everyday because their is seemingly no septic or sewer system attached to the building's plumbing.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:46 PM

In the worlds tallest building where does the septic go but down when there is no drainage system? Thats right down and into a holding tank located somewhere within the building then emptied out byt a truck. Once emptied this truck takes it to a sewage plant where it can wait for hours. Some implicationsof this in a city that has developed so fast is that not all things were sorted out to make use of the best possible way. This could also cause a health risk for the people working within the buildings. This is a very outdated source of sewer removal in a very rich city.

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
Being able to explain any region in just 40 maps is a very bold claim. While no one would be able to do this Vox was able to make a very interesting set of historically, culturally, and politically themed visualizations of this continuously changing part of the world. Some maps show the borders of an empire past, others discuss the many ethnic groups that call the region their home, and yet another discusses the importance of oil and who has it. 
 
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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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Original: After a Promise to Return African Artifacts, France Moves Toward a Plan - The New York Times 

Original: After a Promise to Return African Artifacts, France Moves Toward a Plan - The New York Times  | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
President Emmanuel Macron of France pledged to return looted artifacts to Africa. This week, he asked two experts to help work out how.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
France's President Emmanuel Macron promised to return looted African artifacts to their countries of origin. This has been met with both glee and distrust. Some people that as African borders and European in origin it will be hard to find the true home for older artifacts. But another question to ask is will this set a precedent for other western countries to begin doing the same? If not will this get more African countries to petition museums and nations to pay for their stolen histories?
 
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The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally

The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"This year, we’ve seen alarming bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, caused by warm sea temperatures. A recently completed aerial survey of the reef found that 93 percent of the smaller reefs that comprise it showed at least some bleaching, and in the northern sector of the reef, the large majority of reefs saw bleaching that was severe — meaning many of these corals could die.  There was already considerable murmuring that this event, which damages a famous World Heritage site and could deal a blow to a highly valuable tourism industry, did not simply happen by chance. And now, a near real-time analysis by a group of Australian climate and coral reef researchers has affirmed that the extremely warm March sea temperatures in the Coral Sea, which are responsible for the event, were hardly natural."

 

Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
A terrible occurrence in many ways for the Great Barrier reef in Australia. This bleaching is occurring because of warm sea temperatures. The damage could cause many corals to die and that forces other animals to adapt and migrate. This is an environmental issue that definitely needs to be looked at, but it is also an issue for Australia's tourism. Ecotourism is a huge pull for Australia that gets people and money into the country so it is in their best interests to figure out a way to save the Great Barrier Reef.
 
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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 1:32 PM
(Oceania) As expected, the warm sea temperature that is killing the Great Barrier Reef is man-made. A new all-time high recorded warmth in the Coral Sea is due to climate change. In fact, scientists found that in simulations, the bleaching of the coral reefs is 175 times more likely under climate change and is only 0.1% likely in a natural climate. However, a strong El Nino in March 2016 also played a part in the destruction of worldwide reefs, in addition to sea temperatures rising dramatically.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:30 PM
As the temperature of the sea rises, the great barrier reef has seen some devastating bleaching. Because of its severity, many of these corals, that were once beautiful and pigmented, could die. Researchers have discovered that this rise in temperature is due to humans.
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:30 PM
The Great barrier Reef is ana amazing area to explore. Its truly a marvel and a beautiful site. It is also a major boost for tourism and well the majorty of the Reef is seeing heavy bleaching. The updated analysis is that most of the damage has done done by higher sea temps caused by climate change through human beings. Most of these studies however, have not been peer reviewed, but the study was very through. If this continues to happen we will see one of the worlds great marvels continue to to bleach and many of the corals could die.  This is devasting for a few reasons first off people that want to visit this beautiful site and take it in this limits there opportunity. Also for the locals this will greatly hurt the tourism business. Tourism is a huge ecnomic boost in this area and if the Reef continues to be damaged we could see a major turn in the economics in this area. This could eventually lead to the upright in migration from this area and could cause other issues within the country. People owning businesses in the area could be greatly affected as well. This would be a shame to see a beautiful area be tarnished.
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U.S. Territories

A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
John Oliver always does a great job discussing important topics such as this the rights of people in U.S. territories. People who live on the island territories are  U.S. citizens but have no real representation. Each gets one representative in the house who has no voting power and the people are not allowed to vote for president or have a senator. From the land of freedom, this is a terrible injustice. If these people are U.S. citizens than they deserve the rights of the constitution. 
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Sameer Mohamed's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:06 AM

I think it is interesting one point that he brought up was the ability for someone who is born in a US territory may vote for president, however; if that candidate would like to win votes from his home territory he cannot. This is because the territory is unable to vote for presidents. Puerto Rico is also spoken of in which it highlights their ability to become a state and the difference they have in language.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 10:57 PM

This was amazing! I love him! I  am embarrassed to admit that i had no idea about any of this. I did not know that those territories were part of my country. This populations complete commitment to serving our country without any of the benefits is jaw dropping. We should be completely ashamed of our selves. I am honestly completely surprised that even in today's day in age this hasn't been fixed. Everything about this is unconstitutional. How this case loses in a court is beyond me. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the fact that 67% of Guam shows up to vote in though their votes dont count and yet only 61% of all of the US does...that embarrassing. We have clearly taken for granted our freedom to vote.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 3, 2015 8:50 AM

The plight of our territories is a smudge on our nations character. The most controversial of these issues is Puerto Ricos status as a territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are United States citizens by law, yet they have no representation in their government. They can not vote in presidential elections, have no real representation in the congress except their non voting delegate, and they have no representation in the electoral college.  Something must be done, to rectify this situation. A possible solution may be to pass a 23rd amendment for Puerto Rico. The 23rd Amendment provides residents of the nations capital the right to vote, and representation in the electoral college. DC is given a number of electoral votes equivalent to the least populous state. That number is 3 electoral votes. The amendment does not provide DC  with representation in the Congress. This Amendment has been controversial since the time of its ratification in 1961. Congress later repealed the amendment with a new DC voting rights amendment  that gave DC representation in Congress. The new Amendment failed to garner enough support amongst the states for ratification. To me the 23rd Amendment solution is the best possible compromise. It gives Puerto Rico representation, while persevering the rights and sanctity of the states.

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Singapore’s 'National Night' Encourages Citizens to Make Babies

Singapore’s 'National Night' Encourages Citizens to Make Babies | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Singapore's unbelievably low birthrates have inspired National Night, a campaign to encourage Singaporean couples to let their patriotism explode on August 9.

 

Not all countries are concerned about overpopulation; Singapore's National Night was an innovative campaign to boost fertility rates (warning: the video is a touch provocative). 

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
Like many countries with waning birth rates, Singapore has created a marketing campaign to get their citizens in bed. Interestingly enough the "National Night" is also sponsored by Mentos of all companies. The Singaporean Government has also implemented new laws such as longer maternity and paternity leave and larger housing for families. 
 
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Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 15, 2014 10:13 AM

Unit 2

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 2015 3:11 PM

This is very interesting. Singapore has inspired a campaign called "National Night" has encouraged couples to "let their patriotism explode" and have children. Singapore's population is quickly decreasing due to their low birthrates. They want to encourage parents to feel like it is their civic duty to bring kids into this world. The government is pushing for a more parent-friendly environment that includes longer maternity and paternity leaves and larger housing for growing families. Usually the majority of these countries have the opposite problem with an overbearing population so it's refreshing to see a different side of it. This video is definitely trying to target a certain audience by trying to boost their fertility rates.

Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:13 PM
Like Denmark, Russia, Japan, and many other modernized countries Singapore deals with the problem of declining fertility rate. Similar to programs in Denmark Singapore attempts to encourage "baby making" through holidays and incentives.  
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Teaching About the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar

Teaching About the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"Why are hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar? Who are the Rohingya and why are they being persecuted? What responsibility does the world have to end what the United Nations is calling 'ethnic cleansing' and many are labeling 'genocide'? In this lesson, students will first learn about the crisis unfolding in Myanmar using Times reporting, videos, podcasts and photography. Then, we suggest a variety of activities for going deeper, such as tackling universal questions about national identity and minority rights, considering the responsibility of the world community, and going inside the squalid refugee camps sprawling across the border in Bangladesh."

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
Resources such as this are extremely important for anyone that wants to teach about humanitarian issues going on around the world.  Giving a step-by-step on where to learn more about the crisis, activities to do to engage students, and the discuss the role of the media. This is important to talk about for anyone as ethnic cleansings as things we all should be watching for and combatting. 
 
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M Sullivan's curator insight, October 25, 2017 10:33 PM
Useful for linking 'Bamboo People' with current crisis in Myanmar
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 26, 2017 5:27 AM

Global challenges: Population

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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | Kelvis' Regional Geography | 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."

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
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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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 26, 2018 7:53 PM
(East Asia) This article explains the relationship between the Korean War and modern tensions. After WWII, the USSR occupied territory to the north of the 38th parallel and the US occupied the south. The governments of each half both claimed to be the true government of the whole peninsula until North Korea invaded the South, starting the Korean War. Communist China's entry forced UN and US troops into a stalemate at the parallel, eventually leading to an armistice establishing the DMZ, the most defended border in the world. In subsequent decades, North Koreans have dug tunnels under the DMZ to start a new invasion.

With Soviet help, Kim Il-sung created a military communist dictatorship in the north while the UN created a democracy in South Korea.

Despite common cultural heritage, there is a stark contrast between the two countries. The north has half the population, a higher birth rate, and a life expectancy 12 years lower, displaying the country's mismanagement. While the South has free press, free travel, and is the strongest economy in Asia, North Korea subjugates through punishment and is almost completely isolated. North Koreans have little access to food, electricity, and roads.

North Korea has developed a more aggressive policy in the last decade. Many successful missile tests have been made, including one fired over Japan into the Pacific Ocean last year. Even China, North Korea's one ally, has imposed sanctions on the country. Some think a peaceful solution is still available, while others watch the USA-NK Twitter war in anticipation.
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.
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Beijing's Pollution

Beijing's Pollution | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Beijing's pollution
 
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
An awesome photo in the original use of the word. This photo shows two sides of the city the industrial giant that it launched China to the top and the commercial giant that tells of China's development. But above both lies the true enemy, pollution. The smog is the capital city is terrible, not only for the environment but for the people breathing it in all day. Look up Beijing two week car ban and you notice how blue the sky can be. But think during this car ban emissions from the vehicles dropped but were those factories still spewing as much as normal? 
 
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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 24, 2014 2:21 PM

Great picture to show the two sectors of China's society. In Beijing we see the combination of industry and post industrialized. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 24, 2014 11:40 PM

This picture taken by a photographer with the perfect lighting is brilliant....that is, if you're into deceiving people that the pollution from these power plants stays away from the higher class businesses and residences.  Looking at this picture you see the smoke coming from the power plant in China far in the distance creating a yellowish hue that could be thought to be from the sun.  Then closer in the scene we see what appears to be businesses and potentially some peoples homes.  This area is in a totally different color from the yellow we see to be associated with the pollution from the power plant.  Here we see a blue, commonly associated with clean water, covering the entirety of this area.  With the difference in colors these places seem to be as different as possible from each other.  In reality though, smog doesn't just stay in one area of the city where it is produced, but spreads throughout the entirety of a city.  There are no restraints on where the pollution can and can't be, it is free flowing into communities where people work and live.  If you're trying to sell a house here this picture wouldn't be a bad idea to use, although most natives aren't oblivious to what is really going on.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 8:00 PM

This picture is interesting to say the least, it depicts two different cities, even though it is the same city. the picture does a good job at showing the major problem that pollution is causing to Beijing. While showing a smog surrounded city behind a clean, yet clouded looking city, drives this point of pollution home and raises the question is putting large factories and toxic fumes in the air, more important than the well being of your citizens?

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The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
10. Approximately 10% of the world's population lives on the Ganges river basin. Soak that in for a second. 10 % of the world's population rely on one way or another this religiously significant river. The god of the river, Ganga, is worshipped, but the river is also highly polluted. With waste both artificial and human, being thrown into the river and the number of dead bodies that float down to Varanasi, the oldest city in India, to be cremated. As dead bodies flow down the river the people still need to use it to wash. There are ceremonies that the people on the river hold where they dump waste into the river as they know that Ganga will clean the river. The pollution of the river is an issue that will, unfortunately, continue as India's population continues to grow. 
 
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Sarah Holloway's curator insight, February 16, 2016 6:26 PM

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 24, 2018 1:20 PM
(South Asia) Varanasi, the oldest city in India and the religious center of Hinduism, has an enormous business focusing around cremating bodies to scatter in the Ganges River. Hindus believe the Ganges can break the cycle of reincarnation, so many who do not have money to pay for cremation drop their deceased directly into the river to help them break this cycle. However, the river supports approximately 10% of the entire worlds' population and belief in Ganga, "the self-cleaning river god" allows for Indians to poison the same water they drink out of. It is estimated that 70% of people that use the water become diseased by the sewage and industrial waste poured into it.
India cannot stop dependence on the river. Hindus bath in the holy water of the Ganges, and an increasing population means increased water consumption. It will take concentrated efforts from government and spiritual leaders to change the dominate opinion.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:39 PM
This article showcases how different aspects of geography can both help and harm a country. The Ganges River is incredibly important to India. It is a sacred place where the people believe in Ganges, the idea of allowing the dead to reach eternal liberation. Here, hundreds of bodies are burned a day. If they aren't burned, family members of the deceased let the dead float down the river. This phenomenon attracts many tourist and allows for the economy of India to thrive. However, the bodies are beginning to seriously pollute the river. Areas have become stagnant, full of disease. The problem doesn't end however, as India's population is increasing steadily as well. Water needs to be cleaned to meet the demand or India will face a true crisis.
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Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement

Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
For centuries, South Asia has had its own Khawaja Sira or third gender culture. Now, some third gender people in Pakistan say the modern transgender identity is threatening their ancient culture.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
A topic to discuss. People who don't agree with the beliefs or rights of people in the LGBTQ community will talk about how this is a new issue. That it is the new generation that is creating these ideas.  But multiple genders and sexualities have been around for hundreds of years in many different ways. There are Native American tribes whose people had "two-spirits". Those people fulfilled the third gender ceremonial roles for their communities. In this story, they discuss Khawaja siras are "God's chosen people", the third gender people who can bless or curse anyone. But "God's chosen people" are also greatly discriminated against in society. You see the contradictions that society puts on people who don't conform to what is supposedly right.
 
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David Stiger's curator insight, November 11, 2018 5:11 PM
From an outsider's perspective, cultures are often hard to pin down. This became clear again when trying to comprehend Pakistan's third gender community. Not to be confused with the more modern transgender community, the third gender - or Khawaja Sira - is manifested in the traditional roots of Islam. It seems like a religiously accepted mode of existing to transcend gender. Because Khawaja Sira falls under the precepts of Islam, it is therefore tolerated but not necessarily embraced. What is interesting is that because there are rules and traditional codes outlining how a Muslim can be Khawaja Sira, there a good deal of hostility towards the modern Western notion of transgender - referring more to a person who "transitions" from the gender of their birth to a gender they more strongly identify with. One would think that Pakistan's third gender community would be more open and understanding of the West's transgender movement. This is not the case. When a Westerner is traveling in Pakistan and notices a third gender option, the person should not assume Pakistan is a bastion for liberal-minded progressives. Instead, Pakistan is just being Pakistan. 
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Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
This is such an important video. Everyone has this same bias that they fight against. You just make assumptions about people and about places from books you've read, movies or documentaries you've watched, or stories you've heard. It isn't until you wake up and pay attention that you notice what others are actually like. Today this is very important because every day I see more diversity in films or in media and I think about how that may change some young child's life, that they may see that their stories are important as well. 
 
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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:30 PM

This video is very interesting, in that Chimamanda Adichie tells the dangers of hearing a one sided story. It is easy to classify a country with the rest, but it is also inaccurate because they are not the same. This video reminds me of another titled "Media and Culture-- Perspective and Bias" which also takes on the idea of knowing only one side of a story or people. It is videos and people like Adichie and Reza Aslan (from the above mentioned video) that implore us to research and make ourselves knowledgable about a subject, culture, or people before making assumptions and making the mistake of grouping them together for the sake of an easy story.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:39 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon. This is an eye opening narrative on what it's like to be African. This video really made me question my own cultural biases and microagressions. Powerful piece.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:50 PM

this is a big problem in the world today in my mind. other places do not have the nationalism that is required to thrive. even this woman (who eventually became an exception) started off idolizing western countries. this is not inherently a problem but places do not try to make themselves better, the reason there is the perception of africa that there is, is because people like this woman are the exception. if more people followed her lead than the whole of Africa would not be seen this way.

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.


This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 

Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
It is so amazing to see students fighting to achieve in a struggling system. This video was talking about a struggling high school in South Africa, but that is honestly for far from what you see in the inner cities in the U.S. either. Everywhere more students are standing up and are bringing hope for a better future. These students in South Africa will grow up and, despite all the obstacles, they will do better. 
 
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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.

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Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | Kelvis' Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
Kelvis Hernandez's insight:
In the Saudi Desert, there are old water deposits hidden deep under the sands that are now starting to be discovered and used for irrigation. Water is a very important resource to those in the region, but it's also a non-renewable resource. Hydrologists estimate water there can only be pumped for 50 years, so it is interesting to think what will Saudi Arabia choose to do with this new commodity. 
 
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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:08 PM
These random fields of green are coming from the rocks that still have water that is trapped inside them from the last ice age. Saudi Arabia reaches these underground rivers and lakes by drilling through the desert floor, directly irrigating the fields with a circular sprinkler system. This technique is called center-pivot irrigation. Because of low rainfall, they get minimum water each year. Hydrologists estimate water will only be able to be pumped out for 50 years. With water popping up fields of green, a new agricultural economy will appear, maybe farming life and new resources that the country never had for their people, they will now have.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 3:22 PM
In this NASA article, the authors explain that Saudi Arabia has uncovered water in the Syrian Desert. In doing so, the Saudi Arabian people are able to cultivate the land and grow crops for roughly 50 years.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 8:27 PM
Saudi Arabia is known to be a dry region, but over the past thirty years there has become patches of green apparent in Saudi Arabia. Mainly this country is known for drilling of oil as one of their main resources. However, a resource that Saudi Arabia is drilling for is water. The water that Saudi Arabia is looking for is located in aquifers under the ground. Water to Saudi Arabians is a more precious resource than oil because water helps a population thrive not just economically, and to only a few members of a society. This new vegetation and water resource in Saudi Arabia has now turned useless land into useful land. They are making this land more livable for its inhabitants. The water that is being found is helping feed vegetation possibly reducing the costs that they have to spend on foreign food imports by a small margin (not anything dramatic). Drilling for water in such a dry climate I believe is more remarkable than their ability to produce oil resources to the world. I think this because they export the oil to other countries benefitting the economy mainly. The discovery of aquifers however benefits the lives of those people that lie in Saudi Arabia for the better. Internal progress for this country I believe will help them as a whole.