- Is it necessary to continue / preserve these (martial arts) traditions? Why (not)?
- Can people be encouraged to practise these martial arts?
- What other ways are possible to preserve these arts?
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.”
Slightly personal take on the issue; some gory details of what the customs entail.
She was shocked when she saw girls as young as 12 with babies and teenaged husbands, and was soon ordering the people to give up their ways
“I told them: ‘Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated.'”
A 2012 United Nations survey found that more than half of Malawi’s girls were married before the age of 18. It ranked Malawi 8th out of 20 countries thought to have the highest child-marriage rates in the world.
Last year, Malawi’s parliament passed a law forbidding marriage before the age of 18. But under customary law of the traditional authorities, and the constitution, Malawian children can still marry with parental consent.
On the human development index, Malawi is considered as one of the world’s poorest places, ranking 160th out of 182 nations. Early marriage is more common in rural areas, where parents are eager to get girls out of the house to ease their financial burden.
Emilida Misomali is part of a mothers group in the village of Chimoya, in Dedza district. They warn parents about the long-term ills of early marriage and childbirth, but say it falls on deaf ears.
Many parents did not want to hear Kachindamoto’s pleas to keep their girls in school, or her assurances that an educated girl would bring them a greater fortune.
The common response was that she had no right to overturn tradition, nor, as the mother of five boys, to lecture others on the upbringing of girls.
Realising that she couldn’t change the traditionally set mentality of parents, Kachindamoto instead changed the law.
She got her 50 sub-chiefs to sign an agreement to abolish early marriage under customary law, and annul any existing unions in her area of authority.
When she learned that child marriages were still taking place in some areas, she fired four male chiefs responsible for these areas. They returned months later to tell her that all marriages had been undone. After sending people to verify this, she hired the chiefs back.
The article has an interesting take on tradition vs modernity.
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).
Economists use “demographic time bomb” to refer to places where consumer spending and the national birth rate are both low. Often, they’re entangled in a vicious cycle: As people feel the economy tightening, they have fewer kids, leading to even less money flowing into the economy, and so on.
In Hong Kong, the government is faced with a striking gender imbalance; women outnumber men at nearly every age bracket above 25.
The imbalance is mainly due to men seeking women up north, in mainland China, as the women there are commonly viewed as less choosy than in Hong Kong, according to experts in gender studies. Each year, the city also brings in thousands of foreign domestic helpers (who are almost always female) from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. The two trends have coalesced into a tense climate for younger generations.
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.