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.
COOLEST BLACK SAND BEACHES
An alternative to your typical beach holiday, we explore ten of the best black sand beach destinations that will make you feel like you’re living in a photonegative dreamland
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Adrien Olichon
10 May 2020
Travelling has become a lifestyle for so many people around the world. We are naturally drawn to experience more bizarre and diverse places as an alternative to the typical destinations we’ve seen and heard plenty of already. With summertime just around the corner, we can’t help but dream about long beachy days spent by the ocean with an iced coffee and a book in hand, just relaxing and soaking up the warmth of the sunshine.
As an alternative to the beach layouts we are all so familiar with, we explore several rare destinations that we love, which offer black coastlines as opposed to the fine-white-shore paradise destinations. Wouldn’t you love to take a snap at a black sand beach that contrasts with the crystal deep blue waters of the ocean behind? We know we would!
Black Sand Beach
The pebble place is a volcanic smoky sand stretch along the Maui coastline. The black pebble beach tells the story of a volcano, which lava flew toward the ocean, only to shatter once it touched the water. The result was stunning underwater and surface caves, ancient temples and lava shaped construction that will leave you in awe.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
A place that is everyone’s summer dreamland, the Canary Islands is known as a famous tourist destination. However, people usually head to the sandy beaches that attract visitors with their somehow tranquil business. Playa Jardín is unlike any of the other spots alongside Tenerife. Its dark coastline with its huge palm trees and next-to-the-water restaurants is the place to be if you are after lazy afternoons dedicated to self-care and slow travel experiences.
Pearl-white beaches, ouzo in the afternoon and tons of blue water – welcome to Greece. This country feels magnificent each time you visit, regardless of the season you choose. However, after dedicating enough time to explore the ruins, communicate with some friendly locals who will more likely than not strike a conversation with you at their local coffee shop or tiny bistro, and familiarise yourself with the rich history of the country, it is time to head to the beach. Perissa Beach is the one you should consider making your priority. The deep black sand will seem surreal at first but getting used to this paradise won’t be difficult. Sunbathe at the beach in the morning and pick a different lunchtime beach bistro each day to enjoy the Mount Vouno view, which can be seen in the near distance.
Lovina Beach, Bali
Looking for cool volcanic territory to be the highlight of your summer travels? If so, make your way to Lovina Beach. The black sand originates from volcanic activity and is a physical definition of a postcard destination. The beach is surrounded by seven fishing villages so it will be easy to design a stay that follows your own pace and blend in with the locals’ lifestyle. The beach is ideal for spotting dolphins, learning how to snorkel and going in for dives. The nearby small towns are a great way to get closer to the area and experience Bali in a more authentic way.
Black Sand Beach
Prince William Sound, Alaska
On the cold side, Alaska offers stunning destinations that will fit every traveller’s desires. It has a wild side and a calm side, and the Black Sand Beach most definitely falls under the second category. Rock formations and glaciers will be your background while in the distance you’ll see some sea lions enjoying their daily dose of sun at the water’s surface. Alaska will welcome you with its stunning reflective surfaces and natural wonders you wouldn’t be able to take your eyes off from. Why not kayak deeper into the water to take a look at the black sandy beach from afar? Then the reality of standing at an Alaskan beach will really settle in.
A beach next to a jungle? Sign us up! This Caribbean place is not what you would expect from the land of relaxation and family holiday. The beach offers a more exciting type of experience ideal for solo travellers and couples. The coal-coloured coastline will have you feel as if you are living in a photonegative while the jungle situated nearby will give you a real tropical vibe. This spot should be on your bucket list.
Black Bay is undoubtedly one of the hard to find gems on this list. Situated just north of St. George in the town of Concord, this beach will make you work to find it. You would need to go on a short hiking expedition through the jungles of Grenada to reach the water. Once you get to the beach, it will all be worth your while. The unspoiled place is ideal to recharge as escape reality.
Santo Domingo Beach
The country is in itself a modern paradise. Wherever you decide to head to, there will be plenty to see and explore. The Philippines often remind us of carefree summer days, and we cannot help but dream of spending as much time as possible there. However, if you are after a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a never before seen place, book a trip to Santo Domingo Beach. At first it won’t look like it’s real because the black sand and the contrast between the tropical feel of the palm trees, the coconuts and the waterfront will take your breath away. A bit of a deserted beach, this Philippines spot is stunning and perfect for seekers of peace and quiet summertime experience.
Cahuita, Costa Rica
This is a volcanic sand beach and the perfect place to surf with fellow surf lovers all the way from December to March when the beach is more deserted due to the colder weather. The beach is not the only stunning thing about the area. The marine life is extraordinary, and you can expect to find Costa Rica’s only living reef in the area. Nearby, the rainforests give the location a tropical charm, but the natural beauty won’t be the only thing you’ll get addicted to in the city. The Afro-Caribbean culture is incredible and will have you wishing to go back to this Costa Rican gem as soon as possible for another round of tropical holiday.
Rocky shore and black sandy beach – the ideal combination to partly summarize the landscape of the country. Iceland is stunning and an alternative destination altogether when we discuss beachy spots. That’s why it is the last destination on our list. It might not be your typical sunny beach town, but Stokksnes is the place to be in Iceland if you want to soak up all the warmth of the sunshine. The terrain of Iceland is mesmerizing and there are other beaches to head to if you’re mapping out the locations with black sand. Consider visiting Vik or as locals call it Reynisfjara, if you want to see some cool volcanic caves, cliffs and lava formations.