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.
HOT BEACHES FOR THE ULTIMATE SUMMER HOLIDAY
We created a list of some hot beaches you need to visit this summer. Grab the sunscreen, book your tickets and head for the ultimate summer relaxation experience
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Alex Perez
19 August 2019
Who doesn’t crave a little sun every now and then?! With the summer season almost about to end, we have some last-minute suggestions for beaches you must stop by. There is nothing better to do on a hot sunny day than lay on the fine sands of beautiful beaches with a cocktail or book in hand and the ocean singing its endless songs at the background… Talk about relaxation!
We created a list of some of the spots that should be on your radar this summer season. How many have you been to so far?
If you are planning on making your way to France this year, make sure to check out Antibes. This gorgeous place is ideal for a day spent under the warmth of the sun! Get your beach towel and your sunscreen and get ready to experience life at its best. Situated between Cannes and Nice, this resort will give you the chance to get to know the area a bit better and familiarize yourself with the locals’ lifestyle. Although it is very touristy, the location of this beach makes it the perfect stop for those who are enthusiastic about rediscovering a place or learning more about France from a different perspective. Enjoy Antibes during the day and explore the surrounding area at night to get an authentic sense of France and its beach towns.
Desenzano del Garda, Italy
Enjoy the shores of northern Italy is this fascinating place. If you are looking for the ultimate summer experience, then you should definitely consider this destination. Between the villas with intriguing mosaic floors and the natural wonders of high calibre such as the largest lake in the country, no two days at Desenzano del Garda will ever be the same! It is true that the beauty of the beaches attracts a lot of attention from international travellers, but beaches such as La Spiaggia della Rivoltella and La Spiaggia d’Oro are worth paying a visit to.
Naples, United States
A bit further away from the European destinations, Naples is a stop that will cool you off. Pick between spending a whole day at the beach or explore what the area is famous for – from the fine dining and the good wine to getting familiar with the art scene and culture. It is a well-known tourist destination because it is affordable, and rumour has it a day spent at the beach there is a day well spent!
Ah, Mexico! This place steals our hearts times and times again! For the ultimate vacation abroad, head to Cozumel as this is the place to be on a summer day in Mexico. Take your pick from the several beaches there. If white and soft sands are your kind of thing, then the atmosphere of this place will have you smiling all day long. We recommend checking out Playa Bonita as it is famous for being one of the most romantic beaches you can find this side of Mexico. For the lovers of different summer adventures, you can book a kayaking experience in Cozumel. This way you’ll get to experience what the town has to offer to the fullest.
San Diego, United States
A famous place, it almost doesn’t need to be introduced, but San Diego is where you should plan your holiday if you ever find yourself in the States during summertime. We recommend this place mainly because of its location. Although a beach holiday is always a good idea, San Diego has a lot more to offer. Whenever you get enough of those days sunbathing and listening to the sound of the ocean (if this is even possible), you can always explore the city. We recommend paying a visit to the local museums and stopping by the art galleries to get in touch with the cultural aspect of the place. San Diego is such an interesting place that a day at the beach combined with a late afternoon spent roaming around the long streets and little corners is the best way to see the city like a local.
Another European destination, we saved Nice as our last suggestion because it can be said that it is the desert of this list. Travelling to France means there is always something new to do and more to see because it is, after all, an ever-changing country! Nice is just like that – intriguing, upbeat, modern and full of energy. It is a great stop adored by many sun-chasers. It seems that no matter how many times you’ve been to the beaches in Nice, you always want to come back for more. And this tropical weather will have you in that Mediterranean mood in no time!
Is there a beach destination of your list you think we should explore? Send us an email at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!