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.
CHASING THE AUTUMN SUN
From India's Ivory Cities travelling all the way to Egypt's pyramids and Morocco's colourful markets we take you on a tour to chase the warmth of the autumn sun
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Frank Holleman, Tim Van Kempen, Matias Pugliese, Anna Auza, Jessi Pena, Isabella Juskova, Kevin Langlais, Charlie Marusiak, Vesela Vaclavikov, Alba Iglesias, Annie Spratt, Daniel Burka, Aachal Lal
27 October 2019
Are you looking for destinations to get away and celebrate the start of autumn? Look no further! Summer may be over, but another mesmerising season is now upon us. Before you start thinking about decorating your house with pumpkins and starting to work on your mulled wine recipes, why not enjoy the last warm touches of the year?
Our team made a quick list with some of the best destinations you can visit if you are on a mission to chase that autumn sun. From Egypt to Italy, take your pick and follow us to those beautiful lands where the summer seems to last just that bit longer.
Culturally incredible and architecturally stunning, India is a place on the map that will have you feeling perhaps a bit nostalgic. Almost each place seems to have the charm of an Ivory City that has come out of a fairy-tell about princesses and towers, treasures and ancient traditions. A country that seems to somehow be part of a long-forgotten time, India has a heartbeat of its own and one visit is simply not enough. Go during mid-autumn to experience the magic of this place and soak up the warmth of the South Asian sun.
Well, this one is on our list because the time is never wrong to visit Italy. Apart from the mesmerising architecture, this European pearl is the place to end up if you want to relive those nostalgic summer evenings where you drink tasty wine in a small restaurant by the sea and spend some quality time with your closest friends. Whilst you are there you might even start picking up on the language and become a tour guide for the next time you and a group of your friends decide to schedule a city-break at the Italian fields. To make the summer last longer you can even go for a swim if the weather allows it. Even in autumn we get the summer blues, don't you?
Egypt made the cut because it is one of those places that come to mind when we think about the sun. There is no better place to escape to before you emerge yourself into the autumn season. It gives you the best aspects of an exotic vacation - you can get more familiar with the culture and customs of the locals, plan a trip to the Egyptian pyramids and even go sandboarding if you're feeling a bit adventurous. Besides, by the time you stop by Cairo and them move towards Giza to see Giza Necropolis and Great Sphinx of Giza you will have soaked enough sunlight and be ready to get back home just in time for the fall of autumn leaves.
Chances are when you saw the title of this article Greece possibly crossed your mind. This white-charming country is a preferred place by many and gets especially crowded during the summer period. This is why visiting later in the year is a great strategy to make the most of your stay there. The climate will have you feeling happy and recharged in no time. No matter which part of Greece you would want to see, you won't leave feeling disappointed. The islands are especially beautiful during the off-peak season while the cities offer an opportunity to have fun and explore the country to its core. We recommend Greece if you are after that Mediterranean vibe you want to remember the summertime by.
One of travellers' favourite destinations across Morocco is its formal imperial city - Marrakesh. This place is pure magic and it will stay on your mind long after you leave. From visiting splendid gardens and mosques to roaming around the street markets and buying textiles, spices and pottery, there is a whole different world to be explored in Marrakesh. It is a paradise of its own kind and a great stop for this autumn sun chasing adventure. Morocco is without a doubt one of our personal go to places so make sure to check it out and tell us what you thought about it.
Istanbul is the biggest and one of the most well-known cities in Turkey, but there is so much more to discover beyond it. The nature alone makes it an amazing place to visit because there is just so much to see and do. However, the culture is what makes this destination interesting. As a foreign tourist you will have the opportunity to see a mixture of Asian charm and European presence. Turkey is a very popular destination so you will probably blend in with the crowd no matter what time of the year you decide to visit but we recommend going during the autumn months just because getting away from the cold and ending up exploring Turkey's cultural heritage will feel like such a good guilty pleasure.