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.
Experience Croatia from the traces of its past to the details of its present
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Annie Spratt
09 May 2019
Away from the dazzling depths of the turquoise water, there is a whole other, different side to the Mediterranean country. The city stands strong where the edges of an Empire once used to be.
Croatia is situated between the Balkans and Europe and has a very complicated history. Croatia has been ruled by kingdoms, empires and republics. Different kinds of rulers have had possession over the territory over the centuries. This variety can be seen in the architecture and the ruins of what is left from the past to remind about itself in the present. From the Napoleonic forts to the Roman columns and spacious plazzi, from the splendid mansions to the Slavic churches the history speaks very loudly through the buildings.
A lot of museums and theatres can be seen around Croatia. They successfully showcase the legacy of the European art that has been created there and left for the world to see and for Croatians to be proud of.
The territory of Croatia varies. With the deep lakes, the long-running rivers and the pastel canyons, there is always something to do. You can explore the hike trails, go rafting or zip lining over the forests as Croatia is known to have the fastest zip line in all of Europe. The Dinaric Alps are quite a scenery to see. They run from Italy to Albania. You can also head towards the 40 km long cycling trial, running around the country. There are several competitions held there for the lovers of biking. The Pmonian Challenge is a competition where BMX and Mountain bikers compete for the duration of a couple of days. The European cycling road runs through the country, connecting the Black Sea with the Atlantic.
The food culture revolves around freshness. Sea food is very popular, and you can go to the fish markets and pick what you want to eat yourself. Olive oil, sheep milk, Pag Island cheese and wine taste incredible and are a must try if you want to have an authentic Croatian experience and eat the way that locals do. Wine gets produced in Croatia. The history of the wine production dates back more than 2 500 years.
A total of 3.9 million people identifies themselves as Croats and 80% of the population are multilingual. The languages people speak vary depending on the region they live in. The nation is very welcoming. They are used to tourists and like showing their cities off.
Festivals are widely celebrated within Croatia. Some of them are worldwide famous. From the Love International Festival in Tisnu to the Outlook Festival in Fort Punta Christo near Pula and The Dimension Festival, they are tons of fun and a promise of a great time. Some of the parties are held within the medieval walls of the in Istria for the entire duration of the festivals.
There still exist some places that haven't been spoiled by tourism. Zadar is a place that combines traditional and modern in its tiny streets. Pula is a town build 3 000 years ago and you can find a lot of reefs, beaches and caves there. You can also swim around shipwrecks if you are a fan of depths and the bottom of the sea. The town of Senj is positioned at the bottom of two mountains while Sibenik is known to be an oceanfront town that has 150 islands and is very culturally and historically diverse. The town of Pag fills up with locals, who go there to celebrate multiple carnivals. It gets especially busy in September after the Outlook Festival finishes.
Interesting facts about Croatia:
The water is incredibly clear, and you can see the bottom from the surface. The reason for this is the fact that the Croatian beaches are stony instead of being covered with sand. The pebbles and rocks filter the water and keep it clean. There is a total of 803 beaches across the country and the water is crystal clear and beautifully blue in all of them.
You can see dinosaurs' footprints in the Brijuni National Park in the isle of Veliki Brijun as dinosaurs once walked over those lands sometime around 79 - 145 million years ago.
Osijek was the first Croatian city and the first ever place in this part of Europe to have urban transport. In 1884 the tram started moving up and down the streets of Croatia.
The islands of Brac are very graceful because of the white and glorious stones. They have been used in the construction of The White House in Washington D.C.