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.
HOW TO STAY HUMBLE AND GROUNDED FROM HOME
From experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen to discovering new music and gardening, our team shares what are their tips for staying grounded at home during the isolation
Words: The Editors
Photography: Content Pixie
21 April 2020
At uncertain times like this it is often easy to get bored and unmotivated. Regardless of whether you are experiencing this lock-down with your family or you are at home by yourself, self-isolation is daunting, nevertheless. Sometimes even though the thought of everyone in the whole world going through the same thing can be comforting, it doesn’t necessarily ease the process that much.
This is a historic time we’re living through and it is important to make the most of it as we possibly can. Our team gathered together over a phone conversation to share some ideas we’ve tried during those weeks of isolation that helped us stay grounded and humble. We encourage you to include the ones that sound good to you in your daily routine and see if this uplifts your spirit and motivates you to get out of bed each morning.
Start each day by tidying your room and keep your house or flat organised throughout the rest of the day. Tidy house equals clear mind. Instead of leaving the coffee mugs in the sink to pile up and wash them later once you finished with your brunch, wash everything as soon as possible. It’s an easy trick that will make you feel like you’re achieving little things throughout the whole day.
Garden and grow plants.
If you have a garden, now is the time to pay attention to it. If you don’t, get yourself to the shop and buy some seeds you can easily plant and grow at home. Taking care of plants and maybe even plant vegetables and herbs, such as green beans and parsley, is a great way to bring some more positive energy into your home.
Water your plants.
Create a schedule of when each plant needs to be watered. If you’ve grown something during the quarantine, you’ve probably found that taking care of it gives you something to look forward to. Our editor-in-chief, Emily, planted radishes and basil and is happy to report that they are growing perfectly healthy indoors due to regular watering.
Have you got that one friend, who always talks about the yoga classes and meditation session they’ve started going to and how they changed their life? Maybe it’s time you gave it a go too. Clear some space at home and practice meditating each day. Start off by doing it for a smaller amount of time and increase it gradually. Trust us when we say that meditating in not overrated.
The only way to feel energized is to get your body moving. Schedule workout session and complete one each day. Once you get into a routine, you’ll love the way exercising makes you feel, and chances are you’ll carry on doing it even after the lock-down is over. There are plenty of free sessions and workout videos online so you can find your pace and style.
Pick up a new hobby.
Experiment with what you can do from home. Start sketching and drawing or take an online course for a skill you’ve always wanted to have more time to learn. There are numerous podcasts that will motivate you to have a go at any skill you’re interested in. Whether you want to learn the craft of picture editing, interior design tips or learn how to start your own successful blog, now is the time to dive into those possibilities and turn them from dreams to reality.
Try out new recipes.
Cooking is fun, but usually not everyone has the time to prepare homemade meals each day. Now is the time to experiment with new ingredients and try out recipes from different corners of the world. Our co-founder Aleksandra is jumping between Mexican, Italian and Thailand culinary styles. The dishes she managed to nail so far are avocado and sour cream chicken enchiladas and vegetarian pad tai. Yum!
If you’ve finished going through our articles and reading other independent magazine content, make a list of the books you want to read and start making your way through it. There are small independent bookshops in every town that can benefit from your support. Find out which is your local bookshop and pay them a visit to find new reads and complete your book list.
Discover new music.
If you’ve got friends who are musicians and have released music, give it a listen. Discover new playlists that include music from independent artists and make your own playlists with the new songs you discover. Maybe you can go really old-school and create a playlist for each thing you do around the house – from exercising to cooking and gardening, made a different music combination.
Connect with others.
Staying home doesn’t mean you have to be completely alone. Give your friends a call to organise a trip somewhere once we’re allowed to travel again, check up on your grandma to exchange cooking recipes, call your best friend to talk about your favourite summer trip. Stay connected with your loved ones so you can make sure you distance yourself physically, but not emotionally. This is by far our team’s favourute tip.