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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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Europe

Brexit, UK, Great Britain, and England

An update of an earlier sketch we did before Brexit, the situation has become a little more unclear since.

Source: www.youtube.com

PRE-BREXIT VIDEO: The difference between the UK, Great Britain, and England can be confusing (the short version can be shown on a map, but the long version is much more complicated than this).   This is an amusing look at how these complexities lead to real-world complications besides using the right toponym.

GeoEd Tags: EuropeUK, sport, political, autonomy, toponyms.

POST-BREXIT VIDEO: This is a fun song, poking fun add the UK’s difficulty in getting out of the Union, but bringing up all the countries in the old British Empire that also struggled to leave a political Union.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Triggers Article 50, Making ‘Brexit’ Official

The United Kingdom has officially kicked off the process of ‘Brexit,’ almost nine months to the date after the country’s momentous vote to leave the European Union.

 

Tags: EuropeUK, supranationalismglobalization, economic, political, images.

Source: www.youtube.com

Language: The cornerstone of national identity

“Of the national identity attributes included in the Pew Research Center survey, language far and away is seen as the most critical to national identity. Majorities in each of the 14 countries polled say it is very important to speak the native language to be considered a true member of the nation.”

Source: www.pewglobal.org

Most Europeans see language as a strong prerequisite to be a part of the “national identity.”  Immigration has put a strain on cultural identities that are often very political. A majority of European agree on the link between language and national identity, but not surprisingly, the older Europeans and those on the political right feel more strongly about the importance of speaking the national language to truly ‘belong.’

 

Tags: language, culturepolitical, Europe, migration, ethnicity.

Italy’s Last Bastion of Catalan Language Struggles to Keep It Alive

The lingering use of Catalan in Alghero, Italy, is a reminder of how Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries. But the language is fading there today.

 

In an age when people cling ever more tightly to national identity, the lingering use of Catalan in Alghero is a reminder of the ways Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries, rendering identity a fluid thing.  But while the traditional insularity of Alghero has helped to preserve Catalan, the language is struggling to survive, even here.   

 

Tags: language, culture, ItalyEurope.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends

The discovery of a headless corpse in the Netherlands helped Belgium and its bigger Dutch neighbor resolve a property squabble that began in 1961.

 

In a region that has long known geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, and where Belgium has lived in the shadow of its neighbor, the land swap was anything but inevitable. In 1961, when the Meuse was reconfigured to aid navigation, it had the side effect of pushing three pieces of land onto the wrong side of the river. The uninhabited area subsequently gained a reputation for lawlessness, wild parties and prostitution.

 

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, BelgiumNetherlands, unit 4 political, Europe.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Iceland’s Glacial Melt and Geothermal Activity

Glacial melting and flooding occurs every year by the Skafta River in Iceland. As the water travels down towards the North Atlantic Ocean, incredible patterns are created on the hillsides. Rising lava, steam vents, or newly opened hot springs can all cause this rapid ice melt, leading to a sizable release of water that picks up sediment as it flows down from the glaciers.

 

Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.

Source: www.instagram.com

Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong

“While 75 percent of Germans who live in the east said that they considered their country’s reunification a success, only half of western Germans agreed. With eastern and western Germans blaming each other for past mistakes over the past two years, that frustration has likely increased. Younger citizens, especially — who do not usually identify themselves with their area of origin as strongly anymore — have grown worried about the persistent skepticism on both sides. But where do those divisions come from? And how different are eastern and western Germany today?”

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 

 

Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

Bratislava EU meeting: Merkel says bloc in ‘critical situation’

The EU is in a “critical situation”, the German chancellor says, as leaders meet to discuss ways to regain trust after the UK’s vote to leave the bloc.

Source: www.bbc.com

Some of this article is focused on the micro-issues of the day, but the larger issues of what is the proper role for an economic supranational organization is front and center.  Should the EU have a military headquarters?  How should the member states respond to the underlying tensions in the Union?  Attached is a video showing residents of EU countries with a wide range of opinions about the organization and what it’s future should be and another video about the major topics on the table.  Given that the politicians there are balancing personal, national, and European interests, it is a sticky wicket (if British phrases are still allowed, even if they are the only member state not invited to the summit).   

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political, video.

Thousands Leave Norwegian Church as Online Registration Backfires

“15,035 people have ‘unsubscribed’ from the church since Monday.”

Source: www.atlasobscura.com

Europe, the most developed region in the world, is also the most secular region today.  During colonial times, Europeans were spreading Christianity across the globe, but now Christianity is becoming more a part of Europe’s historical landscape.  Secularization can be seen as either the cause or the effect of several other European trends such as declining fertility rates.  Today Europeans have stopped attending mass en masse, and many cathedrals sit empty.  This example for Norway has an amusing twist, but it is rooted in a powerful cultural shift. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What are other signs of secularization on the cultural landscape?  What would you do with a former sacred site (and an architectural treasure) that is can’t be maintained?

 

Tags: culturepopular culture, religion, ChristianityNorway, Europe.

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