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.
THE PEARL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
Exploring the treasures of Mallorca to see an untouched-by-human side of the Mediterranean
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Oscar Nord, Marc Schadegg
13 June 2019
There is a lot to be seen in Mallorca. It is a place so beautiful, it has often been portrait in movies and in books. In other words, known as the pearl of the Mediterranean, Mallorca guards some places, which until today have only been influenced by nature. Although a popular tourist destination, the Balearic island has a hidden potential that needs to be seen in it.
Serra de Tramuntana is considered to be the least known place in Mallorca. It is a mountain range, located southwest–northeast. Its location gives the mountain a unique space advantage, as it covers about 30% of the land's territory. With its dimensions, 90 km long and 15 km wide, the mountain range forms the backbone of Mallorca. What makes the place so precious is the way people have adapted to it. Humankind had to learn to exist in this mountain region, which was lacking water. When the first people started leaving their marks upon the land, they found a way to bring water to the region. Engineering Arab water-channelling systems, they were able to tame the mountain and make it their home. Their co-existence with the land is the reason Serra de Tramuntana has been listed in the UNESCO heritage. The uneven nature of the mountain gives it a water view as the range overlooks the sea. It is a place so beautiful because of its natural capacity and how easy it is to feel at one with nature there.
Cala Banyalbufar guards a bay, hidden within a cliff. The stone-build nature of the place is an ideal source for experiencing the wideness of the Mediterranean. There, water runs through the rocks, falling freely down the bay. It is the perfect spot to take a nature sourced, refreshing shower. Cala Banyalbufar is a secret Mallorca spot because of its tranquillity. Thanks to the very few boats that are passing by and the almost no human presence, when being there experiencing the island through its wideness is a rare pleasure. Swimming in the calm waters and exploring the cliffs in peace and quiet is an idyllic preposition for anyone who wants to get to know the natural side of Mallorca.
One of the largest Mediterranean canyons, Es Torrent de Pareis is a natural challenge. It is a spot for the lovers of hiking as the rocky surface of the canyon makes it interesting to climb. Many narrow walk paths lead a way going higher up and around the rocks. Surrounding a sandy bay, Es Torrent de Pareis' view will make you forget all worries and focus on your inner peace.
If you travel through the picturesque villages, surrounded by trees and tranquillity, you might find yourself in the town of Sóller, known as the Valley of Oranges, or wonder around the Deià village. Deià has charmed numerous artists and other creative individuals in the past because of its simplicity, unpretentious aura and the view that looks like it has been painted there by a skilful hand. There is, however, another small village under the name of Llucalcari. The area guards waterfalls and rocky bay. It is so small, that there are only about twenty to thirty houses. The limited amount of the population makes it a very special place to see. There people respect nature and co-exist with its wonders. Often people go there to dive in the crystal-clear sea waters or experience the mud therapy as they apply layers of it on their skin, as it is known to be healing. Llucalcari is the kind of place that is accessible only on foot. There is no other way to get to the heart of it and explore what it offers than simply walk into it but the views that it reveals will be worth every step taken.
Stone bays form the cost of the village of Colònia de Sant Pere. Just after it, there is Betlem, known for the distance between it and the rest of Mallorca. Many Mallorcan citizens are known to own properties in the region, which is the reason this place is a bit more private and deprived of tourist attention. The winter is not easy on the area. The sea starts showing its character. It is common that during the cold months the waves will push against the cliffs, shaping their surfaces differently, according to the water's wishes.
While talking about the influence of the sea, we can't miss mentioning the beach. Migjorn and its white sand beaches are a symbol of the Mediterranean. The charm of Santanyí and the bay of Es Caló des Moro surprise with their tropical outlines. Hidden around trees, rocks and pine forests, those are places that showcase the details of a sea-city. The sand is soft, the beach line is tiny, and the sea is the shade of blue that cannot be compared to anything else.