Preserving dying martial arts

Source: https://youtu.be/xXJIVJSBYBM

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsZinc/videos/746701262197209/

Questions:

  1. Is it necessary to continue / preserve these (martial arts) traditions? Why (not)?
  2. Can people be encouraged to practise these martial arts?
  3. What other ways are possible to preserve these arts?
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How some glue and a rusty bike helped a Nepalese girl escape child marriage | The Guardian

Read: https://www.theguardian.com/working-in-development/2017/nov/09/nepal-the-girl-who-started-a-business-instead-of-becoming-a-child-bride

 

Questions:

  1. What do you consider a good age to get married at?
  2. Who are likely to marry early? Why?
  3. Who are likely to marry late? Why?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of marrying early / late?
  5. Does marrying early have more advantages or disadvantages for girls? What about for boys?

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?

Malawi’s fearsome chief, terminator of child marriages | Al Jazeera

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/03/malawi-fearsome-chief-terminator-child-marriages-160316081809603.html

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.

Questions:

  1. What are some bad customs in your culture?
  2. Why are the customs bad?
  3. Who they cause the most problems for?
  4. Why do you think these customs came about?

“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?

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?

The Skype sex scam – a fortune built on shame | BBC

Read here: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37735369?

The “23-year-old Lebanese girl” who seduced Samir on Skype was almost certainly a young man from Oued Zem – a small town in central Morocco that has become known as the capital of the “sextortion” industry.

The Oued Zem scammers trawl Facebook for victims, and as soon as a man answers a video call – either on Skype or, increasingly, within Facebook itself – they activate software that shows the victim a pre-recorded video of a girl downloaded from a porn webcam site.

They are so familiar with this video that they are able to chat-message their victims at exactly the points where the girl appears to be typing on the keyboard.

“We ask him to take off his clothes and to do obscene gestures,” says one young scammer I will call Omar.

“It’s crucial that his genitals are visible while he’s doing these gestures. This is filmed with his face on screen so the video looks credible. When we’ve got the recording we upload it to YouTube and send it to him in a private message. That’s when the threatening starts. We spend 20 minutes chatting, 20 minutes for the video, and 20 minutes threatening – threatening and negotiating. They all pay.”

He adds: “The weak point of Arabs is sex. So you look for their weaknesses, and you exploit them. The other weakness is when they are married, for example. You can exploit that. Then there are the really religious guys. You see someone who looks like a sheikh, carrying the Koran, and you think, ‘There’s no way he’ll fall for this – but let’s try him anyway.’ And when you try, he falls for it.”

Salaheddin El-Kennan, a labour activist, does not blame the town’s young men for making money from extortion. He points the finger at the state-owned company that mines phosphate in the surrounding countryside but employs very few local people.

“I chose not to go down the route of scamming because I consider it incompatible with our Moroccan and Islamic values,” he says.

“But unemployment rates in our town are higher than in the rest of Morocco. Nationally, unemployment is at 8.7%, while in our town we estimate that it’s as high as 60%. With the lack of employment, and no apprenticeship schemes in the city, many people look for other ways to make money.”

Omar said he was not proud of what he does, and that he wanted to stop scamming.

Questions:

  • Are cases like this common in your country/hometown?
  • Why do you think more people have fallen prey to these conmen?
  • What can be done to change the situation?

Perceptions

Source: https://www.facebook.com/playgroundenglish/videos/359205304412806/

Questions:

  • What was your first impression of the girl in the hijab/tudung?
  • Do you think that women should/can be as aggressive as men?
  • What do you feel about people who don’t dress/behave in a similar way to other people?
  • What is your opinion of Kubra Dagli?
  • Why has she created a controversy?

With its tourists behaving badly, China embarks on some soul-searching | Today

http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/china/its-tourists-behaving-badly-china-embarks-some-soul-searching

Two young Chinese tourists carve their names on the Great Wall. Hundreds of picnickers leave their garbage moldering on the banks of the Yellow River.

Such episodes during the recent National Day holiday have produced a flurry of photographic postings and a spasm of soul-searching in China, highlighting anxieties over the habits and image of tourists at home and abroad in a nation that is increasingly cash-rich but, some say, short on manners and experience with the outside world.

Questions:

  • When you travel, how do you behave? Do you expect things to be similar to your country? Do you say things like, “We do this better/differently where I come from.”
  • What is ideal behaviour from a tourist?
  • Although tourism can improve the economy, there can be negative effects as well. What are some negative effects that tourism/tourists bring?