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 WILD TANZANIA
The wildlife in Tanzania is represented by four million wild animals that roam the territory of the country. We consider National Parks and safari trips as eco-friendly means to connect to the wild side of Tanzania
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Ommy Jay, Matthieu Oger, Isabella Juskova
20 March 2020
Wildlife is a significant part of the representation of the country. There are over 430 species and subspecies of animals across Tanzania. Wildlife play a vital role for the balance of nature. You can visit a number of National Reserves and Parks to get closer to animals and pay your respect to the beauty of the wild. More than four million wild animals roam the Tanzanian lands, some of which include zebras, lions, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, hippos, kudus and many more.
Tanzania is a place that values nature. Its wildlife is intact, and this is its power. Where animal species are going extinct in other regions of the world, especially in Africa, the balance in Tanzania is steady. The Black Rhinoceros are the most endangered species in the country. However, locals are trying to protect them, and you can still see them in Mkonzami National Park. A total of 40 Rhinos live in the whole of the country.
There is an opportunity to go to a safari in the country and experience this unique way to connect with nature. Safari trips are a popular attraction in Tanzania. It stays hot pretty much throughout the whole year with January being the hottest month, so make sure to bring some sunscreen with you, especially if you are planning a visit there at the beginning of the year.
The largest mass movements of animals on land goes through Tanzania as well. You can see over two million zebras, wildebeest and gazelles move through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems. The Great Wildebeest Migration is a world-famous event that happens annually. This event is provoked by the animals’ need to go on the hunt for green pasture. This often happens during the dry season, which is the months between July and October.
Tanzania is also one of the few places on Earth to see the Big Five roaming in the wild. Booking a safari trip is a practical and harm-free way to try and see those glorious animals in their natural habitat. National Parks are also a must-see. Expect to see Africa’s last wild dogs in Ruaha National Park. If you want to see elephant herds, head to Tarangire. This place is known for the variety of elephants. Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the wildlife Eden, is the home of flamingos, lions and endangered black rhinoceros.
Spreading to 365,000 square miles, Tanzania is East Africa's largest country and most bio diverse one. The tropical forests, volcanic massifs and dusty savanna don’t only reflect nature’s ability to create – they are also the home of species that can be seen at only a few other countries across the world. Mammal population in Tanzania formed as the biggest one on the continent. The second-largest number of bird species, around 1500, nest in the embrace of the country. Although more than a quarter of Tanzania is protected, illegal trading and poaching are still a factor when discussing the wildlife. Some of the most ancient and diverse biological communities in Africa are located in Udzungwa Mountain National Park, which is now under the protection of WWF. The organisation is working local communities, the private sector and the government to make sure the Park stays protected.
LIST OF ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES IN TANZANIA
Red Colobus Monkeys
Uluguru Bush Shrikes
Pemba Flying Foxes
Green, Olive Ridley and Leatherback Turtle