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.
HAND LUGGAGE ONLY
If you’re heading on a small getaway venture, dive into our guide of city break packing essentials. These are our editors’ tips and suggestions on how to breeze through the travel hustle straight into your next city break adventure
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Khiet Tam, Patrick Hodskins
22 October 2020
We all need to hit pause on reality from time to time. NOMADSofORIGIN’s editors find that the best remedy for a work overload is a weekend getaway in a nearby destination. Europe is full of amazing cities to explore in cultural, artistic, architectural, gourmet and historic aspect. Whether you seek an adventurous wine-tasting trip to Spain with a friend, you plan a romantic getaway to Paris, or you are simply down for the cheapest mid-week travel option on Skycanner, these are the city break packing essentials.
Avoid the airport luggage hustles and breeze through a stress-free travel to your next weekend adventure with our guide on city break hacks and tips.
Best tip above all is PACK LIGHTLY. We can tell you from experience that less is more. A small hand luggage is more than you’ll need for a couple-days getaway into another city. While it’s easy to go head over heels with the thought of exploring a new destination, you’ll enjoy both your trip and your stay much more with a light baggage. We are suckers for carry-on luggage only. It will save you big on:
Time – without packing for ages or waiting for your bags at the airport you’ll have more time to explore;
Money – no check-in or oversized bag charges;
Effort – no running through airports and train stations with the weight of the world in your bags.
Another pro tip is to STEER CLEAR FROM STEREOTYPES. Portugal is not always sunny; Poland isn’t always cold. Simply check the forecast and pack accordingly, potentially adding a sweater just to be on the safe side. For most city breaks you will only need to pack two or three outfits depending on your stay, alongside your travel clothes, pyjama, a spare shirt or two and an option for a night out depending on your plans. Restrict your shoes to only one pair that’s stylish but comfortable enough to keep up with all the walking you’ll be doing. Alternatively, you can also pack a pair of elegant shoes for the evening.
Don’t forget WEATHER ESSENTIALS like hats, sunglasses and sunscreens – for sunny destinations; and scarves, gloves and moisturising skincare – for colder weather. Avoid taking too much tech since you’ll have little time to use it. Restrict your choice to only a phone, headphones, camera and chargers with a universal converter that will suit any destinations rather than buying different adaptors for each travel. A pro tip we use is to also PACK A TOTE BAG, which takes no space at all but you can take with you while you’re exploring to store the street essentials like REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE, sunglass cases and cameras.
Pay attention to the TRAVEL TOILETRY you need and sort out the ones you can live without for a day or two. Remember that with carry-on luggage only, there are restrictions on the liquids you may take. Listed below are the liquids limitations according to official UK government information on hand luggage restrictions at UK airports:
containers must hold no more than 100ml
Make sure to PACK TWO NIGHTS IN ADVANCE. This might seem a bit much but most low-cost airlines usually schedule their departures at inconveniently early times. In addition, low-budget airlines also depart from out-of-the-way airports that take longer to get to. Generally, on the day of your flight you’d most likely have to be up in the early hours of the morning to make it in time so packing the night before would save you plenty of stress and hassle. Finally, ensure you have all the TRAVEL DOCUMENTS you need, and you’re set to venture on that much-needed city break.
Small getaways like a weekend city break or a mid-week cheap escape to a nearby country are a great way to explore more places and cultures. You can visit the must-see locations off the high season in top tourist spots and map out other cities you wish to visit for longer in the future. Taking along a friend to escape to a different city with a language you don’t speak, streets you haven’t walked and people you don’t know, is a saving grace from the monotony of work and your home city.
Remember to travel ethical, stay curious and respect the cultural values of others. City breaks are a great way to learn about others; discover yourself.