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.
BEST BEACHES IN BRAZIL
Transparent azure waters and white sand that goes on for miles - we explore Brazil's most exquisite beaches that are ideal for both laid-back as well as luxury seeking travellers
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Joao Ferreira, Kensuke Saito, Jonathan Borba
22 March 2019
Hot weather, white sand and transparent azure waters - take us there as soon as possible. The beaches in Brazil are some of the most pristine ones in the world. Truly reflecting the rare nature of the country, the places where the land meets the sea are stunning all across the country. How could you possibly resist a visit to the beach if you ever find yourself in Brazil?!
We love the crisp smell of sea salt in the air that hits you as soon as you enter a beach town and the sand that sticks to your feet when you walk along the coastline. There is nothing quite like it to give you an authentic experience of Brazil. Here is a list of our favourite beaches you should head to once you have explored the exciting cities and visited the smaller villages.
Praia do Leblon
If you want to find the perfect combination between the buzz of the city and the tranquility of the seaside, look no further than Praia do Leblon. The beach is easy to get to and its beauty is worthy of your time. Sitting right next to Ipanema, the beach is ideal if you don't want to waste time travelling. After you are done soaking up the sunshine, visit the city and lose track of time wandering the markets and alleyways where you can always find something beautiful to buy and a nice restaurant to have dinner at.
Have you already ticked Copacabana off your list and now you are looking for a similar spot? We've been there and we managed to find the ideal beach. Existing as an extension of Copacabana, Leme Beach is everything you need from a bohemian hotspot. Locals have moved there to settle in a peaceful tucked-away corner of the Brazilian coastline and the view of the Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance will have you fall in love with the country all over again. The hills of Forte do Leme and Forte Duque de Caxias will be quick to get to if you are up for a hiking adventure after you have enjoyed the day swimming in the sea.
We simply love this place. It is so elegantly attractive that our team cannot resist a stop there whenever we travel to Brazil. Imagine turquoise waters, soft sand that goes on for miles and the kind of silence that fills your soul with happiness. Jericoacoara is where you should head to whether you are a luxury traveller looking for their next dream vacation spot or if you are a bohemian nomads expecting to find one-of-a-kind beaches that will make it to the top of your list.
Praia da Joatinga
We love to encourage travellers to visit places with the locals in mind. There is no better way to connect to a destination and learn about its culture and history than when you are chatting to a local about things you are curious to know, which are not included in your travel guides. This beach is located near resident areas, which gives nomads the perfect opportunity to bond with the trendy locals. The beautiful water transforms from light blue to green giving the beach an Insta worthy appeal at any moment. Grab your sunscreen, your beach towel and your caps and head down to Praia da Joatinga.
A stunning oasis, this beach will manage to spoil even the pickiest of travellers. Surfers head there to catch waves in the peaceful bay and lovers of the sun visit to spend the day with nothing else to worry about but the sunshine warming up their skin. Enjoying nature at the beach is easy enough as unlike many other hotspots across the coast in the country, Prainha Beach hasn't been affected by developments yet. Instead of apartment complexes and boutique hotels, expect to find white sand and kiosks from which you can buy freshly caught seafood to enjoy at the beach.