Bahasa Indonesia was adopted to make communication easier across the vast Indonesian archipelago, but its simplicity has only created new barriers.
Linguistic diffusion faces many barriers, and an island state like Indonesia faces cultural centrifugal forces. Adopting a national language might be good political policy, but culturally, that doesn’t ensure it’s viability. This is a great case study for human geography classes that touches on many curricular topics.
This is the story of a man who makes sling shots and shoots them like an expert marksman.
While I don’t think that the folk/popular dichotomy is the most important way to conceptualize differences in culture traits and groups, it is still how many textbooks arrange their cultural chapters. Given that, I love showing this clip–this man is the embodiment of folk culture and his story shows the elements that differentiate folk culture from popular culture.
"Why North Korea has children’s schools in Japan. This isn’t a story about a physical border. North Koreans living in Japan experience a much less visible kind of border, one made of culture, tradition, history, and ideology. The result is a North Korean bubble in Japan whose members face fierce discrimination from Japanese society, leading the community to turn to Pyongyang for support. Now that community is being tested like never before. North Korea routinely threatens to destroy Japan with nuclear weapons, prompting a spike in Japanese nationalism. Japanese politicians are feeling increasing pressure to crack down on this North Korean bubble, creating a battleground in the most unlikely of places: schools."
This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime. From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues. The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.
Animated wind, rain and temperature maps, detailed forecast for your place, data from the best weather forecast models such as GFS, ICON, GEM
With people on the East Coast concerned about the possible trajectories for Hurricane Florence, I think it is the right time to share these two interactive maps: Ventusky and Windy. In the past, I also shared NullSchool’s mesmerizing digital globe with wind data and many other options. Collectively, these my three favorite online visualization of meteorological data. Any other favorites? To friends and family in the Carolinas, stay safe.
"In this photo, I tried to bring the intense and stacked living conditions that Hong Kong is famous for into perspective for the viewer. With so many people living in small spaces, it’s strange to see all these amenities empty. As a solo traveler, I’m often alone in crowds and this photo resonates with me. I barely scratched the surface of this incredible urban environment, but this image really summarizes my experience here."
The winning images have been selected from this year’s edition of the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition. This image, Alone in the Crowds by Gary Cummins, received honorable mention, in the category, Cities. There are many gorgeous images in here that–oh yeah– are also great teaching images. If you want more, check out this additional gallery.
CROSS the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia and you face a few hassles.
The linguistic differences between languages can be slight, but if politics and identity are involved (as they invariably are), these small linguistic differences can seem massive. "Languages" can occasionally be dialects with their own armies.
"The Japanese don’t sleep. This is what everyone – the Japanese above all – say. I first encountered these intriguing attitudes to sleep during my first stay in Japan in the late 1980s. Daily life was hectic; people filled their schedules with work and leisure appointments, and had hardly any time to sleep. Many voiced the complaint: ‘We Japanese are crazy to work so much!’ But in these complaints one detected a sense of pride at being more diligent and therefore morally superior to the rest of humanity. Yet, at the same time, I observed countless people dozing on underground trains during my daily commute. Some even slept while standing up, and no one appeared to be at all surprised by this.
The positive image of the worker bee, who cuts back on sleep at night and frowns on sleeping late in the morning, seemed to be accompanied by an extensive tolerance of so-called ‘inemuri’ – napping on public transportation and during work meetings, classes and lectures. Women, men and children apparently had little inhibition about falling asleep when and wherever they felt like doing so."
If you subscribe to Edward Hall’s Cultural Iceberg model (video), we can readily see, touch, or experience many parts of a society’s culture; what they wear, the ways the communicate, the food they eat, etc. Beneath the surface, though, are the less obvious cultural traits that aren’t so easily observed. These aspects of culture, such as the beliefs, values, and thought patterns of a society, are critical to understanding differing cultural traits.
Questions to Ponder: In this article about sleep in Japan, what elements of external culture (above the surface) are present? What elements of internal culture (beneath the surface) are present? How do the cultural traits beneath the surface shape the cultural traits that are above the surface?
"The vast majority of fishing vessels follow the rules governing fishing – but many are not, and these bad actors can cause a lot of damage. Vessels may take too many fish – overfishing – which is causing our fisheries to collapse. Then there is the problem of illegal fishing, which can occur in protected areas, in another country’s waters or on the high seas. This threatens jobs and food security for millions of people, all around the world.
The trouble is, so much of this illegal activity is hidden – it happens out to sea, making it difficult to scrutinize what individual vessels are getting up to. Fortunately, we are now beginning to see what happens after commercial fishing vessels leave port.
The interactive map we created allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to see the activities of the commercial fishing fleet globally."
Houston holds strong in the wake of devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.
I am sharing these three interactive webmaps of Houston with my mapping courses to demonstrate what is technologically possible. Texts, charts, pictures, videos, and maps can be seamlessly integrated to present spatial information in an incredibly engaging and accessible manner.
Houston’s Hurricane Harvey was incredibly impactful but the factors leading to this were also very complex. These three Story maps lay out:
- Houston’s urban ecological context
- The geographic origins of Hurricane Harvey
- The human stories from Hurricane Harvey