THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
10 TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY THIS WINTER
From bedtime rituals for better sleep to easy ways to keep your energy up, here are 10 simple ways to stay well this winter
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Ellieelien, Kelsey Curtis, Sandi Benedicta, David Crumpton, Susan Wilkinson, Priscilla Du Preez, Brooke Cagle
21 December 2020
It is important to make time to take care of yourself especially during the winter months. When the weather gets harsher, knowing how to treat your skin and give your body the energy it needs can make all the difference. Our team made a list of tips that will help you feel healthier, happier and will keep your energy up tis winter. From coyzing up your home to bedtime rituals for better sleep and easy ways to make sure you are taking enough vitamins, here are 10 easy things you can do on daily basis that will help you stay well this winter.
Make your bed.
Make this a habit of yours if it isn't one already. Fixing your bed in the morning makes all the difference and it is a good way to make sure you have started the day right. It is a simple thing to do that will not only make your room look more spacious and tidy, but will also help you sleep better at night. You will wake up more energised and ready to welcome the new day.
There is nothing better than coming home after a long day and lightning up a candle. The house smells divine and it helps you relax so you can get ready for the evening. Use scented candles with softer tones to prepare your mind for resting. There is an unlimited choice when it comes to candles so have fun playing with the different scents until you find one that fits your style best. We reccomend shopping local and supporting independent artisian candle makers and their businesses.
Surround yourself with plants.
Are you a plant collector? Do you stop at plant shops everywhere you travel and your friends have to make you leave before you buy yet another cute cactus to add to your collection? We get that completely! Plants are friends and having plenty of them at home can only make you happier so make sure to include them in your interior design plans.
Take some time for yourself to relax and just destress. This year has been crazy so it is more than necessary to learn to enjoy taking time for yourself without feeling guilty about it. Wear cofortable clothes like oversized jumpers and shirts; make the time to read a book; allow yourself the pleasure of watching a good movie and make the most of your time at home.
Put screens away.
One of the most important things to consider when thinking about how to take better care of yourself is paying attention to your sleeping pattern. If you can, make a routine out of it. Waking up and going to bed at simillar time each day can make all the dfference. To make sure your brain takes into consideration the time, let your curtains or blinds down at least half an hour before you go to sleep to indicate to your brain that it is getting closer to bedtime.
Bake it yourself.
Make your own food at home to make sure you know what ingredients you are coooking or baking with. It is a fun way to play around with recipes and ensuring you eat a variety of foods for a balanced diet. Cooking and baking are also a cool family activity so get everybody to help out and enjoy a delicious homemade dish/cake.
Show some love.
This year has been particulary difficult when it comes to travelling and seeing family and friends. We understand that a lot of you might feel a bit exhausted from it all and the new regulations around Christmas don't make the situation easier to deal with. This is why, if you are lucky enough to have a pet or if you are living with your family, your best frind from university or your siblings, make sure to be present. Give love and surround yourself with it - be it through spending time with your loved ones or keeping in touch in the virtual space.
Use natural cosmetics.
Be gentle to your skin and put less products on it if possible. The harsh winter months are a great excuse to wear less make up and focus on bettering your skincare routine instead. The weather requires you to moisturise more often so make sure to use products that are nature-based without unneccessary ingredients such as paraben.
Enjoy what you eat.
While it is important to make sure you eat enough vegetables and fruits to strenghten your body and immune system, don't forget to also enjoy a dessert every now and then. The best thing abut winter is that it is known as a festive season and we can all take advantage of the small things in life that bring us happiness. Look up recipes that are both delicious, a bit healthier and more nutritious. Spoiling yourself with little things like that is always a good idea.
Keep it fresh.
To all the wine lovers - we see you and we salut you! There are numerous ways to make sure you are giving your body the vitamins it needs this winter. You can even add some yest to your wine with a slice of fruit and a delicious cheese and fruit platter to compliment your drink. Enjoying a nice glass of wine with friends has never tasted better.