Stories from Quick Reads and Arts & Culture
One Vibe Africa uses music and art to inspire Kenyan youths to appreciate culture and tradition and to develop their own creative potential. Their latest initiative #Africafromtheskies needs your support. Africa From the Skies is an expedition to create empowering films and media, capture culture and facilitate workshops.
Esta Vida Boricua [This Boricua Life] is a digital storytelling project which explores the past and present of Puerto Rico through the collection of experiences of people from all walks of life and all ages. At its most basic level, it is “a place to share stories,” as explained in their “About” section. Elaborating on that thought, they write:
Thus, the stories herein are a journey. They offer splashes of color and texture, shades of shadow and light as well as fragments of shape and depth to the existing Puerto Rican mosaic. They unravel the stereotypes and biased images of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican culture presented in the media and beyond. They speak of a generation of young people struggling under the uncertainty of colonialism —and a backlash from the slow cultural genocide that has taken place since US occupation after the Spanish-American War and the advent of modernism.
The content, which can take the form of writing (in either Spanish or English), video or audio recordings, is entirely produced by volunteers, most of whom are students from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, on the western coast of the main island. Poets, musicians and writers are also welcome to contribute original content.
Karthik Shashidhar, a freelance management consultant and data scientist, shares interesting statistics from the National Family Health Survey. Shashidhar discusses the percentage of women in India who are married to someone of their own caste. The caste system in India is based on an order of (predominantly) endogamous groups rendering marriage out of caste deplored by the society. Most of the marriage out of caste is out of love and defying the socio-cultural norms.
The survey, which was carried out in all states in India, asked “ever-married” women whether they were married to someone from the same caste, or to someone from a higher caste, or to someone from a lower caste. The result shows that the national average for the percentage of women who are married to someone of their own caste is 89%.
Kheng.Info is a useful portal to learn Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. Aside from word translation, the website also offers an audio recording of Khmer words which is helpful to understand the meaning of the Khmer script. Check out how the word ‘love’ translates to Khmer:
Traveling duo Jürgen Horn from Germany and Mike Powell from the United States wander around the world by picking a country and staying there for three months, or about 91 days. During their three-month stays, the two globe-trotters attempt to experience life in their new location more thoroughly than a regular tourist and relate their experiences in a blog, saying they plan on eventually authoring e-books on the subject.
Horn and Powell have visited lands on different continents, from Japan to Yucatan, from Idaho to Iceland and Istanbul, with Sri Lanka and many others in between. Currently, they are exploring and writing about Macedonia, providing multimedia notes on the small southeast European country's cities and towns, places related to culture, history and nature. The duo's journey can be followed on social networks and their blog
— For 91 Days (@for91days) September 1, 2014
Njeri Wangari highlights 9 amazing animation videos for African children:
1. Jungle Beat
Jungle Beat is a fun, family friendly series of CGI animated self-contained, dialogue-free, 5 minute episodes focusing on different animals and the bizarre situations they encounter in nature. From the firefly who is afraid of the dark to the giraffe with a stiff neck, this wholesome series aims to entertain, inspire and ignite children’s curiosity!
2. Kirikou and The Sorceress
In a little village somewhere in Africa, a boy named Kirikou is born. But he’s not a normal boy, because he knows what he wants very well. Also he already can speak and walk. His mother tells him how an evil sorceress has dried up their spring and devoured all males of the village except of one. Hence little Kirikou decides, he will accompany the last warrior to the sorceress. Due to his intrepidity he may be the last hope of the village. Kirikou et la Sorcière or Kirikou and the Sorceress is a french animated film based on Western African folklore directed by Michel Ocelot.
The story has been translated to English and into Kiswahili.
Referring to English art critic Sir Herbert Read‘s book Education Through Art, Carmen Dragman, via Srananart's Blog, looks at the value of art in education, suggesting that the current Caribbean model is shortchanging students by not recognising the power of art as a creative outlet and learning tool:
Teachers and policy makers often actually know that art education is important for each individual, but don’t actually realize as yet how important the subject is. These lessons are mostly seen as ‘means of relaxation’ but not as means of support. Surely not before tests and examinations…
Dragman believes in learning through doing – movement, games, modeling, play – and gives several examples from her own teaching experience that are testaments to the success of this approach. She explains:
If expressive education is given correctly, the cognitive, socio-emotional, sensitive, motoric, affective and creative development of the child will be stimulated. It is therefore very important that this subject be not only presented as an isolated subject, but be also integrated in the other school subjects.
Despite being uncertain of what the future might bring, dozens of non-Japanese people decided to remain in their adopted home of Sendai, a coastal city located in the north of Japan hit by massive tsunami triggered by the earthquake of March 11, 2011.
Sharing the footsteps to recovery, those standing together with the locals will join the parade “Da-te-fes“, a walk on September 28th with Sendai residents of ten different nationalities dressed in traditional kimono.
Participants will include geisha, a bride and bridegroom, and traditional dancers who succeed the moves from 17th century.
With support from Finnish Wellbeing Center Project in Sendai, the parade looks to boost the welcoming mood for upcoming UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in next March, and let the residents know about the conference.
Learn more about Sendai on Tourism Sendai's Facebook page.
The communities, characteristically living in the mountains or their fringes, have depended mostly on plants and other natural products from the forest to prevent or treat sickness. But environmental degradation and the onslaught of lowland mainstream cultures now threaten their healing traditions.
As has happened every September 5 since the year 2000, Buenos Aires celebrated the Day of Lunfardo, a dialect that originated and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the lower classes of the city. From there, it spread to other cities nearby.
Originally, it was slang used by criminals and afterward by other people of the lower and lower-middle classes, but later, many of its words and phrases were introduced in the vernacular and disseminated in the Castilian of Argentina and Uruguay.
The tango “Mi noche triste” (My sad night), written by Pascual Contursi and popularized by Carlos Gardel, was the first song to use Lunfardo on its lyrics.
Twitter users remembered the date:
Hoy 5 de Septiembre se celebra el Dia del Lunfardo. pic.twitter.com/UmMNEOowNx
— elrincònderosiano (@Rinconderosiano) septiembre 5, 2014
Today, September 5, we celebrate Day of Lunfardo.
@lalybuss mi vieja lo hablaba con una facilidad asombrosa, probablemente se debía a que lo aprendió a usar de muy chica.
— Carlos N✌® (@gringodeboedo) septiembre 5, 2014
My mom used to speak it with amazing fluency, probably because she learned it at very early age.
— Foro Prof en Turismo (@PROFenTURISMO) septiembre 5, 2014
Today it's Day of Lunfardo, the language of the port of Buenos Aires.