TAG: Culture

In Your Face Art

In Your Face Art

Sometimes artists can get very personal, reflecting a piece of themselves in such a way that is prolifically in your face. One such example is called the Buddhist Bug Project. From artist Anida Yoeu Ali, her living exhibition is a traveling narrative taking place throughout different landscapes. Her journey of self-exploration, religion and environment is displayed in a brightly colored and odd looking suit. Unexpectedly inching into the gazing eyes of onlookers, the suit represents her background and upbringing but also an adult interest in Buddhism. She performed in Cambodia, taking her performance into both cities and rural areas. According to… read more

These 2 Educational Centers Make The Grade

These 2 Educational Centers Make The Grade

Schools are fundamental places that house creativity, knowledge and social interaction. Designing for educational venues can often be a challenge, as there are many considerations to be addressed. Given their proactive approaches to education, but also in promoting environmental awareness and global citizenship, the following are designs to be modeled after. The Green School, located in Kfar Saba, Israel, has built sustainability into the curriculum. Designed by Knafo Klimor Architects, there is a focus on the environment and fostering a sense of community. Accommodating children in the 1st through 6th grades, the layout includes laboratories and a library in addition… read more

Set the Date For Change

Sprout_Lightbulb

Words can start a revolution, change the course of a life, and bring mass attention to social injustice. Utilizing one of civilization’s strongest tools is 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an annual event on September 28, which takes place essentially everywhere. Despite the name, it is an all-inclusive event, with both poets and non-poets coming together to bring awareness to current political and social issues. All the while promoting the need for cultural change, including the move to a more sustainable future. This is achieved through organized gatherings scattered throughout multiple countries across the globe. Events are full of planned… read more

Traditional Laws – Are They Still Relevant?

Traditional Laws

Legal pluralism is not uncommon in many countries which were once colonies of western powers. In an era where colonisation was the norm, colonial masters introduced new cultures, lifestyle, and laws to the lands in which they sought to have influence. Swaziland is no different from the many African countries with legal pluralism. There are so- called “western courts” where common law and statutory law is administered by state appointed judicial officers. Then there are traditional structures where Swazi customary law is administered by chiefs appointed by a complex Royal order which is beyond the scope of this article to… read more

Japan: All Wrapped Up

gift_box

In Japan, wrapping is not a mere nicety reserved for gift giving. It is a custom steeped in tradition and remains ever present in Japanese culture as they continue to wrap their bodies in kimonos, their rice in seaweed, and their relics in decorative paper. In Japan, the wrapping of gifts is a heartfelt sign of respect, while wrapping personal items can be seen as a form of spiritual security. Not only does it enclose an item in a decorative exterior, it keeps it separate, safe even, from outside impurities. In this way it preserves an item’s sacredness and keeps it… read more

Slow Food Movement

Farming local produce

By the second half of the 20th century the world was already moving at a fast pace, with a majority of people living fast, driving fast, and eating fast. Then, as now, you couldn’t turn onto any major highway without a billboard, sign or restaurant promising cheap, fast food uprooted alongside every exit. But these fast-food chains did more than frequent busy stretches of traffic, as soon they were beginning to invade sacred sections of the built-environment. During the 1980s in Italy, the fast food industry went so far as to propose the construction of a new McDonald’s next to… read more

The US To Embrace Biking?

Cycling in the City

As a potential solution to combat the rising dangers and costs associated with climate change, many have advocated for a biking revolution in America, similar to European biking cultures such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The benefits are numerous: less traffic on the roads making it easier for public and commercial transportation to get where they need to go; less carbon emissions from vehicles; a healthier population; cheaper fuel costs, etc. There are problems associated with a biking revolution, but most of those are logistical issues such as bike paths and how to incorporate travel via bicycle into the current transportation… read more

Culture and Environment

Umhlanga Reed Dance, Africa

If Swaziland were a ship, culture would be her anchors. Even though change and modernisation have permeated into society, strong cultural values remain unchanged in the Swazi people. So important is culture to Swaziland, that there are holidays reserved for cultural events. One such event is the Umhlanga Reed Dance. This particular day generally involves a large number of girls marching for miles to harvest reed which is used to build beautiful huts at the royal residences. The large number which may be up to 80 000 maidens gives one an idea of the amount of reed collected. The environmental… read more

Green and Gorgeous

Green hair dye

Many people assume that the beautiful have it easy. That glamour is for the blessed and deserved. That good things come to gods and goddesses effortlessly. Well, it may be so, however beauty can also come at a price. Preening oneself is an age-old tradition. Some cultures go to extreme lengths to adorn themselves with what they consider beautiful. Members of an African Shilluk Tribe are considered to look their best with body scarification. Shona witch doctors wear skins and beads. Kayan people wear neck coils from as young as two years old. All have an effect on the bearer… read more