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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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toponyms

India Is Changing Some Cities’ Names, And Muslims Fear Their Heritage Is Being Erased

"A generation ago, long before Modi (and the BJP) was in power, right-wing Hindu nationalist leaders in Maharashtra state renamed Bombay as Mumbai — a nod to the city’s patron goddess Mumbadevi. Other cities followed: Madras became Chennai; Calcutta, Kolkata; Bangalore, Bengaluru. All the changes were a rejection of Anglicized names that came into use during British colonial rule. In the most recent wave of name changes, it’s not about erasing colonial monikers. It’s about erasing Muslim ones."

Source: www.npr.org

Indian officials have been altering toponyms to be more Hinducentric; this is a results of growing Hindu nationalism as an important element of modern Indian politics.  In another thematically similar, but regionally distinct example, we can see how place names matter in American cities.  When large corporations (like Google or Amazon) move in to a city,  the corporations might try to rename the neighborhoods and, in a sense, rebrand the place.    

Both examples show that the cultural landscape, including the names on them, are not just a passive reflection of the cultures that have shaped these places; they manifest the power dynamics of competing cultural groups seeking to assert their vision of place and culture to be physically manifested in public spaces. 

 

GeoEd Tags: culture, political, place, toponymsIndia, South Asia, Hinduism, historical.

Scoop.it Tagsculturepolitical, placetoponymsIndia, South Asia, Hinduism, historical.

 

Macedonia signs NATO accession agreement

This comes after Greece backed a deal to rename its neighbour North Macedonia, ending a long row.

Source: www.bbc.com

Oh, what’s in a name?  National pride, fear of irredentist dreams, border disputes and supranational exclusion…that’s all.  Ever since the collapse of Yugoslavia, Greece has opposed an independent neighbor using the name "Macedonia" when they have an adjacent region of the same name.  This has be a point of contention, in part, over the historic memory of Alexander the Great and Hellenic grandeur which Greece feels have been wrongfully appropriated.  It is also regarding expansionist ambitions of a "greater Macedonia" so Greece has blocked Macedonia’s entry to NATO and the EU.  To appease Greece, lessen international strife, and gain greater access to the global community Macedonia approved this change, but this move has lead to internal strife as many Macedonians feel that this name change is unfair.           

GeoEd Tags: culture, Political, place, toponyms, historical.

Tagsculturepolitical, placetoponyms, historical.

Seterra Geography Games

Learn world geography the easy way! Seterra is a map quiz game, available online and as an app for iOS an Android. Using Seterra, you can quickly learn to locate countries, capitals, cities, rivers lakes and much more on a map.

Source: www.seterra.com

This is my newest favorite app to recommend for teachers.  If you need students to learn where in the world things are without having to take up class time with map quizzes and the like, this app is great.  It has basic "countries and capitals" quizzes for world regions, but it also has some more difficult quizzes for the those that need/want a challenge.   

 

Tags: trivia, gamesregions, toponyms.

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

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. 

 

The Weirdest Town Names In All 50 States

A map produced by real estate website Estately found the weirdest town name for every state in America, including Booger Hole, WV, and Old Roach, CO.

Source: www.thrillist.com

I know, I know.  You have a better name that should be on this map of strange toponyms.   Having driven MANY times from San Diego to Utah, I’m kind of partial to Zzyzx, CA…just because.  What’s you favorite toponym? What value is there is having a strange name for a town?  How does a place name contribute to the local sense of place?   

Tags: place, toponyms.

England, Britain and the UK

This is the short version of the differences between these interrelated places and terms; the long version (in the video below) is much more complicated than this.

Tags: Europe, political, unit 4 political, states, toponyms.

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