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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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unit 3 culture

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

"BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war."

Source: www.economist.com

This is an older article (2012), but the pattern mentioned here is all the more relevant.  Belize has a much higher Human Development Index ranking that its Central American neighbors such as Guatemala.  That fact alone makes Belize a likely destination for migrants.  Given that Belize was ‘British Honduras’ during colonial times, English is (still) the official language, but that is changing as increasingly Spanish-speaking immigrants are changing the cultural profile of Belize.      

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Pie Chart of the World’s Most Spoken Languages

Source: imgur.com

This infographic has been making the rounds again this year and it is worth shaing again.  It is a great way to visualize the dominant languages on Earth.  Since this only counts one language per person, mother tongues are listed.  Consequently, lingua franca’s such as English and France are smaller than you might have presumed them to be.  

 

Tags: language, culture, infographic.

In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture Alive

For 50 years, high school students in Rabun County have chronicled their region’s disappearing traditions and mountain people, from blacksmiths to moonshiners, in publications and a living museum.

Source: www.npr.org

This is an excellent, rich example of preserving old elements of rural, folk cultures that are rapidly disappearing.  The project ties local students to the region to appreciate past more and creates a remarkable archive for the future. 

 

Tagsculture, historicalrural, folk culturesthe Southpodcast, unit 3 culture.

Portraits Of NYC Immigrants Reveal Cultural Backgrounds

Here are just a handful of the 12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits show immigrants wearing the national dress of their country of origin, including military uniforms from Albania, bonnets from the Netherlands, and clothing of Sámi people from the Arctic regions.

The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station. In 1907 some of the photos were published by National Geographic.

Source: www.buzzfeed.com

These images show some of the diverse cultural backgrounds of turn-of-the-century American immigrants.  The formal clothing that represents the folk cultures that they came from hint at the massive cultural shift that these immigrants must have experienced upon arriving to the United States.  These photos of migrants wearing clothing representing their Old World lives right as they are about to culturally assimilate (or acculturate) into the New World are pictures I find quite poignant and personal.    

 

Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, folk culturesethnicity, unit 3 culture.

The history of African-American social dance

Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together.

Source: www.youtube.com

Dance is more than just a way to have fun; dance reflects cultural forms of expression and communal identity.  This Ted-Ed talk demonstrates the rich cultural heritage that can be seen in particular cultural traits (such as food, clothing, dance, music, etc.).  This is bound to be a fun, vibrant way to show the how cultural patterns and processes play out using something that young people generally enjoy. 

 

Tags: culturediffusion, popular culture, music, race, historicalthe South, TED, video.

The world’s most spoken languages

Source: matadornetwork.com

This infographic is a great way to visualize the dominant languages on Earth.  Since this only counts one language per person, mother tongues are listed.  Consequently, lingua franca’s such as English and France are smaller than you might have presumed them to be.  

 

Tags: language, culture, infographic.

How religion(s) spread across the world

VIDEO: 5,000 years of religious history in two minutes.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

Short, sweet and to the point–this video is a great way to show the historical geographies of major world religions.  What are the cultural barriers to the diffusion of one of these particular religions?  What geographic factors helped to facilitate the expansion of one of these world religions?  

 

Tags: religiondiffusion, culture, ChristianityIslamBuddhismHinduismJudaism,
unit 3 culture.

 

Comparing the five major world religions

“It’s perfectly human to grapple with questions, like ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘How do I live a life of meaning?’ These existential questions are central to the five major world religions — and that’s not all that connects these faiths. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.”

Source: www.youtube.com

This TED ED Lesson outlines the basics of five major world religions which in turn have profoundly reshaped the cultural geographies we see today.  While the narration in the video might be a bit dry, the visuals immerse the viewer into the cultural context from which these religions emerged.   

 

Tags: religion, culture, TEDChristianity, Islam, unit 3 culture.

Malaysia’s ‘Allah’ controversy

Is limiting the use of the Arabic word for God a sign of growing intolerance towards minorities?

Source: stream.aljazeera.com

In Arabic, the word Allah means God.  Christian Arabs refer to God as Allah and Arabic versions of the Bible reference Allah.  As Arabic and Islam have diffused in interwoven patterns, the linguistic root and the theological meanings have became intertwined to some.  BBC World and Al-Jazeera have reported on this issue as the Malaysian government has attempted to ban the use of the word Allah to any non-Muslim religious group.  Language and religion just got very political.  

Tags: languagereligion, political, Malaysia, SouthEastAsia, culture, Islam.

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