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.
FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
If you are all packed and set to embark on your next journey, make sure to tick off these essential details that could save you plenty of drama when travelling
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Emma Dau, Logan Weaver, Jake Blucker
03 June 2020
Planning your next adventure is all fun and games until somebody stresses out. Don’t leave packing for the last minute because a few little details can really trip you, if you forget to take care of them before departure. If you have already started worrying – don’t. we have got you covered with these five essential details to take care of before you travel.
FIRST NIGHT’S STAY
It is tempting to simply arrive at a destination and take it from there. Yet, as first impressions matter, so do first stays – this will be among the memories that stick with you when you arrive home from that dreamy destination. Even if you haven’t sorted your accommodation for the entire trip, make sure to at least book your first night’s stay.
Bonus tip: many places will need to scan your ID. Carrying a photocopy – or two – of your passport may come handy.
HIT PAUSE ON YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BILLS
This is especially essential for those of us hitting the road for longer than a few weeks. There is nothing more annoying than travelling abroad for a year or so only to be hit with an automatic renewal of that pricy gym membership of magazine subscription. Save your money to spend at the actual trip by cancelling what you do not need. If you wish, you can also inform all relevant companies and people of a forwarding address for your meantime correspondence.
THINK ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY
Experienced travellers usually have a few emergency dollars (usually between $50 and $100 works fine) for the first few days of visiting a destination with different to their local currency. Having some cash for emergency situations will save you time searching for ATMs and the potential huge charging fees of such machines. Dollars usually work best, if you need to exchange money for local currencies in most places. You can also bring a travel optimised bank card that doesn’t charge for overseas withdraws.
Bonus tip: if you don’t want to bring and exchange cash, you can always legitimately use your regular bank card abroad. Just don’t forget to notify your bank of where and when you’re going to prevent them from blocking your card due to suspicions of fraudulent activity.
BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY
This is important. Although we never want to think of accidents happening on our adventurous trips or holiday travels, emergencies do happen. More importantly, in case of an emergency, the last thing you’d want to do is panic over finding essential information. Create a simple A4 list of all the contact details for you and your travel companion. You simply need to feature information on next of kin and other important family members; country consulate; insurance claim numbers; your bank’s helpline for lost or stolen cards.
You can make a few physical alongside digital copies of your emergency list to have handy at any point of your trip.
GET YOUR GADGETS TRAVEL READY
Whether you need offline mapping or translation apps in case of language barriers, make your gadgets ready. Install the phone apps you need before departure and make sure to screenshot or download the accommodation and flight conformations – just in case. Avoid roaming charges and overseas bills by using your mobile data right – in most cases you can just keep your phone on airplane mode and just turn on/off the wifi. If you plan on taking travel photos or videos, don’t forget to ensure you have space to back them up whether that’s on SD cards or online platforms.
Pro tip: juice up your gadgets! From navigating, to Instagramming your travel, make sure your phone, cameras, laptops and any other gadgets are fully charged before departure. Most apps use plenty of battery and the last you want is for your tech to die mid-flight.
When you have taken care of all the little details before embarking on your next travel venture, we take a moment to remind you a couple more pro advises from experienced travellers.
Assuming you travel with luggage, consider that your big bags and suitcases may get delayed or even lost. Make sure to pack the essentials in your hand luggage to have with you at all times. These include chargers, local currencies and bank cards, essential toiletries, converters, valuables, some change of clothes and above all – your travel documents.
If it’s already about 24 hours before you leave, make sure to double-check your airport routes, flight times and connections. There is no need to arrive at the airport three hours before departure, but leaving too little time can easily turn on you. Make sure your luggage complies with the regulations and that you leave yourself enough time to check in your bags and yourself. If your travels require visa, make sure all your arrangements and paperwork are easily accessible with the rest of your travel documents. Flights to closer destinations are easily checked online, while longer flights and connecting travel information is usually accessible at the airport.
At last set your alarms and reminders the night before and make sure to get a good night’s sleep before you embark on your next adventure stress-free and travel-ready.