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.
Israel is comfortably chaotic, beautifully thriving and incredibly diverse. This is our itinerary covering all the things that should be on your radar
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Jasmin Chew, Dave Herring, Christina Chauskina, Amith Titus, Yoav Aziz, Chen Mizrach, Ivana Cajina
20 November 2020
You've made it to Israel and now you can't wait to make the most of your visit. We understand how you feel. With so much diversity, rich history and incredible culture, it can be difficult to explore most aspects of the country, especially if you are short of time. We made an itinerary ideal for all types of travellers heading to Israel.
Regardless of whether you have a week to spend in the country on a business trip, if you are planning a relaxing stay in Tel Aviv or an enlightenment journey to Jerusalem, we've got a list of things you can do in Israel that will help you experience the country to the fullest.
Old City in Jerusalem
Hundreds of thousands of years history in one place - welcome to the Old City. This place should be on the bucket list of every traveller who is passionate to make their way to Israel. Spend the day with a tour guide to learn the history in more depth or explore the magnificent site on your own. Whatever you decide, you will learn something from the place. Whilst you are there, why not head to the Underground city and trace the Jewish sites below the streets?
Travellers can choose to visit the fortress either by cable car or the snake path. Located near the Dead Sea, this monument is a must-see, especially during sunset.
The Dead Sea
Whenever we think of Israel, Dead Sea definitely comes to mind. This incredible place is as if it had materialised out of a fairytale. If you have had enough fun at the Tel Aviv and the Caesarea Aqueduct Beach, head to the region where the Dead Sea is located and relax whilst floating on the surface of the healing water.
Surf, swim and snorkel
Catch some vitamin D and enjoy all that the seaside offers you. Relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sunshine is not the only way to remember the beaches of Israel. If you are an adventure enthusiast, why not plan a surf lesson or snorkeling experience?
If you are headed up North, a stop at the Gardens should be your number one priority. The Bahai Gardens are gorgeous to say the least and being there will feel like you have ended up in a cozy tucked-away part of the country. As if this wasn't enough to convince you to go, the Gardens overlook the sea so the view will be equally stunning.
Located in a close proximity to the Lebanon border, Rosh Hanikra is the perfect way to start your journey of North Israel. The abstract geological formation is a representation of the beautiful nature.
Plan a day at the Safari Park Ramat Gan. It is a good balance between the modern and the rural aspects of Israel. A home to the most extensive range of animals in the Middle East, the park is an unforgettable experience, different than the attractions the cities provide.
The Dolphin Reef
Have you alway dreamt of swimming with the dolphins? You can do it here. The reef is extraordinary and you'll have the chance to see some of the most incredible sea mammals. Sign us up!
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Spark your artistic curiosity by heading to Tel Aviv Museum of Art. With regular exhibitions, there will be something new to see each time you visit.
Design Museum Holon
A definite stop for lovers or architecture, the museum is a home to innovative designs and modern features that will inspire you as much as awe you. Spend a couple of hours there if you have the time.
Make a stop at the Shuks
To make sure you have made the most of Israel, make sure to head to the markets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They can be intimidating hectic during Saturday so our tip is to arrive there early on Friday morning.
Tel Aviv is a modern gem and as one art and culture are everywhere. Why not book an Urban Tour of the 'White City'? Wander from the iconic Bauhaus buildings to the smaller neighborhoods where the street art scene adds a funky vibe to the city.
A trip to Petra
You have finally explored all the things you wanted to do and learn more about in Israel. Don't worry, the adventure doesn't have to stop here. From Tel Aviv you can book between one and three days experience heading to Wadi Rum or Petra. To make the trip even more authentic, you will have the opportunity to sleep in a Bedouin tent.