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.
A LOCAL'S GUIDE TO VERONA
Verona is one of the most exciting cities in Italy and among our favourite gastronomic destinations. We caught up with Irene, who provided her local's insights on how to best explore the city and its food scene
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Klara Kulikova
25 February 2021
Verona is without a doubt a destinations for foodies. Known for the incredible dining scene, the city never fails to surprise travellers with tasty pasta dishes, century-old recipes that require fresh ingredients and exciting modern twists to irresistible Italian classics. Local wines are combined with regional fruits and vegetables complimenting every meal with an authentic Italian taste. Whether you grab a quick bite to eat while exploring the piazzas or you have booked a restaurant reservation, Verona is the ultimate gastronomic destination for European trevellers.
Perhaps the Shakespeare associations are among of the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about exploring Verona. The Renaissance fame of this northern Italian gem leaves a nostalgic feeling of déjà vu in every escapist with appreciation for culture and cuisine. The architecture in the city is beyond compare - from detailed facades of numerous churches to the 1st-century Roman amphitheatre and the exterior of the buildings surrounding the alleyways in the Old Town. There are so many ways to explore the city, but in this insider guide we help you plan the ultimate trip to this Italian paradise.
NOMADSofORIGIN's editor-in-chief caught up with Irene Grigoli, who provides insider tips on how the locals best enjoy the city. Spend a night out in the trendiest bars, dine like a true Italian in the modern restaurants and explore the historic scene that Verona has to offer.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are your favourite coffee shops in Verona?
Irene: Unfortunately there’s no speciality coffee shops yet. Italians still think that burnt coffee is the best (laughs). I anyway recently found out about a Roastery in Verona, called Garage Coffee Bros. I’ve been there last August and had a lovely chat with one of the owners, Davide Cobelli. He’s definitely one of the Speciality coffee pioneers in Verona. He shared with me a lovey V60 and gave me free coffee to bring here in the UK. If you’re happy with a typical Italian espresso, any little bars in town offer that kind of coffee. I recommend Caffè Borsari, a tiny cute little coffee shop with a lot going on inside, super cluttered. I also had a pleasant experience in Caffè Tosca.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What about favourite restaurants?
Irene: Uuuh, I have loads but in my top three there are:
1. Alcova del Frate. A bit pricey but totally worth it as all the products are the best quality. Open kitchen (which is a plus) and a wide selection of fine wine. Even Sarah Jessica Parker had dinner there.
2. Le cantine dell’arena. Very close to the Arena, the restaurant is actually underground. I’ve had the best meat dishes there. Great wine and nice selection of cocktails. On Fridays they have Jazz night. Just perfect.
3. Pescheria i Masenini. Pricey. Very. But the fish... so fresh. The service on point. They whole experience is just perfect. For more affordable options, literally any Osteria or Trattoria won’t disappoint.
For aperitif, I recommend Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo, where they also have a super tasty selection of little finger food, normally slices of bread with super fresh and inviting toppings (it’s super typical in Venice as well, they call them Cicchetti); anyway most of the osterias offer this kind of aperitif. Other super cute and cozy osterias are in the area called Sottoriva. Lovely vibes there and great location.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What Italian dish we should definitely try?
Irene: When it’s homemade, any pasta dish. Literally any. Lasagna is definitely a winner (which is also called Pasticcio in Verona), Polenta e osei (it also exists a dessert version of this... so good), carne e pearà, trippe, risotto al radicchio, risotto all amarone... all traditional dishes from Verona.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are the must see places and things to do in the city?
Irene: I’m gonna list some locations:
Arena di Verona
My fave one is Sant’Anastasia Castelvecchio Teatro Romano Ponte Pietra Torricelle. You need a car to get there, but the view...
Walk, walk, walk. The town centre is pedestrian friendly and all the cool places are nearby. No need to take public transport.
Venice Berg: absolutely the coolest place for coolest people.
The Soda Jerk: speakeasy run by awesome bartenders.
Piazza Erbe: for the pre-night out/dinner, people gather there, sipping wine or Aperol Spritz and slowly getting tipsy.
Archivio: cute tiny bar with a great selection of cocktails.
Malacarne: weird, funny, easy-going bar.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What is the coolest thing about Verona?
Irene: It’s just so beautiful, like a smaller version of Rome but not as overwhelming and cleaner. Food and wine. Fashion (even though Italians don’t like to experiment as much as English people do). New little independent business to discover, especially in the university area.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What should travellers pack for a holiday in Italy?
Irene: Depends on the season. We have proper seasons in Verona. Pretty cold winter sometimes and extremely hot summers (40 degrees last year). Lake Garda is nearby, don’t forget. If you need anything, you have the right excuse to do some shopping in Via Mazzini. Definitely leave some space in the suitcase for food that you’re gonna buy there, lol.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Are there any new shops and places you haven't been to yet but can't wait to visit when you go home?
Irene: Definitely! As I mentioned, there are more and more small independent businesses in the university area. Here’s some places that
I’ll visit: Grande Giove Cocktail Bar
NOMADSofORIGIN: How would you sum up Italy in a sentence?
Irene: You can smell real food there (laughs).