Shenzhen village plays host to Hakka descendants – including Jamaican/African Americans | South China Morning Post

Source: https://www.facebook.com/scmp/videos/10155800196534820/

Read: http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/2118971/shenzhen-village-plays-host-hakka-descendents-including-jamaican/african

Although finding her Chinese grandfather was Madison’s primary goal, coming to Luo Shui He connects her with relatives from around the world.

“What my mother experienced was, if you get too far away, you don’t know how to get back. My mother didn’t grow up as part of the Lowe family; my grandfather looked for her for the entire 15 years he was in Jamaica until he returned to China, but he couldn’t find her. I think it’s important that all our family members have the opportunity to come back every once in a while. Come back and know that you’re connected, you’re grounded, you’re not floating alone in the world. You’re not lost.”

She says China cannot ignore this growing multi-ethnic diaspora, which challenges the definition of being Chinese. “You cannot tell me that I am not Chinese and you cannot tell me that I’m not Hakka, because I am,” she says.

“So what do you do, China?” she asks. “You need to welcome us. Welcome us as we come home because we are also products of Chinese culture, civilisation, principles, and we have an allegiance to our Chinese ancestry, our heritage. That’s why I want people to come here, to Luo Shui He.”

Questions:

  1. How do you define Chinese / Vietnamese / American etc.?
  2. Imagine this: Your grandparents were from Vietnam but migrated to Australia. You do not speak Vietnamese but English, and enjoy Australian pursuits. How do you define yourself?
  3. In a fast changing world where inter-cultural marriages are on the rise, is it necessary to investigate one’s roots? How closely should customs be followed?
  4. Do intercultural marriages have a positive or negative effect on the world?
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“A bus designed for people who never take buses”: how London’s Routemaster became a £300m white elephant |City Metric

The article has an interesting take on tradition vs modernity.

http://www.citymetric.com/transport/bus-designed-people-who-never-take-buses-how-londons-routemaster-became-300m-white

Summary:  Routemasters were the iconic London buses that were decommissioned in 2004. To revive this cultural icon, Transport for London (TfL) reportedly spent £11.4m to get the new Routemasters designed. Each new bus cost £375,000 (which was almost double the price of a normal bus at £190,000), were heavier and thus less environmentally friendly, could carry fewer passengers due to its design, caused discomfort for the passengers (too hot in summer, and too cold in winter), and cost more to run (a conductor is needed in addition to the bus driver due to the possibly unsafe open design at the back).

Questions:

  • Should cultural icons or traditions be preserved at all costs?
  • If traditions are allowed to die out, what might the repercussions be?

A Fairytale Kingdom Faces Real-Life Troubles | National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/setomaa-culture-estonia-russia-photographs/

The Setos have fiercely maintained their traditions for centuries. Those include their ancient polyphonic singing, recently recognized on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

But they’ve also created entirely new traditions, complete with their own royalty, to stave off modern threats to their cultural identity.

The greatest threat today is a border between Russia and Estonia—traditionally more of a suggestion than a demarcation—that divides the Setos. The border shifted multiple times over the 20th century—a span that saw two world wars, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and the early stirrings of a European Union.

But by the mid-1990s, Estonia was relishing its post-Soviet independence. And the border—though still not ratified to this day—was becoming an enforced one, dividing Setomaa’s Russian and Estonian sides. Yet it was also dividing the Setos from one another, cleaving their crop fields, churches, and cemeteries.

“The border came, and it broke their daily life,” says Elena Nikiforova, a research fellow at the Center for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg who conducted field work in Setomaa as the border was strengthened.

“The border became this trigger for them to start thinking of themselves as a separate people,” she says. “Being divided by the border, they became united.”

Unable to alter the course of foreign policy and torn between two countries, the Setos in 1994 declared for themselves a new, unified entity: the Kingdom of Setomaa.

Now, more than two decades later, they are keeping that kingdom alive.

Patients should have the right to choose marijuana over prescription drugs | ATTN

Source: https://youtu.be/6VjLwUtiUYs

  • What are the drugs that are legal in your country?
  • Is marijuana legal in your country? Why (not)?
  • What do you know about marijuana?
  • Do you think that people have an accurate idea of drugs?
  • Why might a “harmless” drug like marijuana be banned?
  • Do you think that this video is accurate, or is there a slant (bias) to it?

Minneapolis Somali man using cartoons to counter ISIS recruitment | MPR News

Read here: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/11/24/daily-circuit-average-mohamed

The videos, aimed at ages 8 to 16, often directly respond to videos already online.

“We take the ideology piece by piece, value for value, and we create that counter-narrative,” he said on The Daily Circuit. “That counter-narrative is meant to question, challenge and agitate minds into not accepting what has been told in the propaganda videos that these organizations of extremism keep on creating.”

Ahmed said he’s taking the videos to mosques, community youth organizations and even families dealing with a family member joining an extremist group. He said it’s important to reach the siblings in this moment to help them understand other ways to look at their religious beliefs.

Source: https://youtu.be/7vJ-SlxjRrQ

Source: https://youtu.be/j_1F_yGw7SQ

The Bloody Truth About Vampires | National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/vampires-europe-new-england-halloween-history/

Often, these legends arose from a misunderstanding of how bodies decompose. As a corpse’s skin shrinks, its teeth and fingernails can appear to have grown longer. And as internal organs break down, a dark “purge fluid” can leak out of the nose and mouth. People unfamiliar with this process would interpret this fluid to be blood and suspect that the corpse had been drinking it from the living. (Read “Archaeologists Suspect Vampire Burial; An Undead Primer.”)

Bloody corpses weren’t the only cause for suspicion. Before people understood how certain diseases spread, they sometimes imagined vampires were behind the unseen forces slowly ravaging their communities. “The one constant in the evolution of vampire legend has been its close association with disease,” writes Mark Collins Jenkins in his book Vampire Forensics. Trying to kill vampires, or prevent them from feeding, was a way for people to feel as though they had some control over disease.

Questions:

  • What are some superstitions in your culture? Why do people still believe in them despite scientific explanations?
  • Do you think that superstitions can be good forpeople? Should they be continued?