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.
EXPERIENCE LOS ANGELES LIKE A LOCAL
Past the Walk of Fame and the film studios, 'The City of Angeles' has plenty to offer to travellers in search of beyond tourist experiences
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Roberto Nickson, Logan Weaver, Patrick Tomasso
?? April 2020
Artists from all over the world make their way to Los Angeles every year with the dreams to make it big. The 'City of Angels' is not a home only to dreamers but to the Hollywood set too.
Travellers who seek to explore this iconic destination have plenty of activities to keep themselves occupied. While we make a stop at some of the most famous tourist spots, we also take you on a tour beyond the tourist areas.
Follow the footsteps of those, who worship the Hollywood sign, and continue road-tripping the streets and venues across LA like a true local. From cultural bits to surfing, food, film and music let yourself enjoy the glamorous, cinematic and above all cultural side of the city.
If you've done your research, you are already aware that you cannot explore LA to the fullest in a day or two. this is the time frame needed only for theme parks and studios such as the Disneyland Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and Paramount Pictures Studio. Yet, once you're done exploring these, the city becomes your playground with plenty of entertainment to offer.
At the south face of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory overlooks the Los Angeles basin. It offers scenic views and great exhibitions.
You will probably take a stroll down Sunset Boulevard - setting for countless films and a symbol of the Hollywood area. The palm-lined street connects downtown LA to Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the Pacific Coast Highway. The Walk of Fame is another street tourists put high on their bucket list when visiting Los Angeles.
The lovers of architecture, international culture and art head for the museums. The most famous ones include The Broad, The Getty Centre and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the unique architecture stretches across 20 acres of land and appears in major film productions.
If you love the seaside, the Santa Monica Pier beach will definitely tempt you. it gathers all sort of tourists and locals alike. The culture in this region is skyrocketing as you can see people rollerskating, dog-walking, sunbathing, skateboarding, sightseeing. With over 200 days of sunshine a year, the "State Beach" is home to delicate sand and an abundance of nightlife venues and restaurants. If you wish to skip the most legendary beach of the United States, head over to Zuma Beach - a public coastline amid Malibu's private lavish exclusivity and wealth. Much cleaner from the Santa Monica and Venice beach, this spot is ideal for swimming and tanning.
If you hope to see fashion icons, head for Rodeo Drive. Private boutiques and designer stores are scattered across the legendary shopping street at the heart of Beverly Hills. The Third Street Promenade is also popular among shopaholics especially if you don't have a small fortune to spend on designer clothes.
Those of you, who wish to skip the shopping crowds, can catch a gig at LA's outdoor amphitheatre Hollywood Bowl, having hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry. Los Angeles is either the home or the career boost city for many music and film stars. If you ever find yourself visiting the area, make sure to pop your head in the little record and book stores hidden between the shiny shops.
Browse through collections of artistic and rare CDs, vinyl records, books and magazines. These are the names and faces that made it big from the very city you are visiting.
Retrace the footsteps of film legends and immortalised musicians, who left a legacy born in the glamorous Los Angeles. Apart from souvenirs, make sure to return home with works of art by some of the greatest creators in history.
Don't settle for the noisy downtown. Look up to the sky and the mountain hills where a couple of hours drive and a healthy dose of hiking elevates you above the tourist crowds. Sink into the serenity of nature at the Angeles National Forest. The San Gabriel Mountain trades dense forest for desert terrain. The forest is easily accessible and ideal for biking, camping, swimming, skiing, horse riding and hiking. You can also trade the busy downtown LA for the urban Runyon Canyon Park. A popular exercise route for celebrities, the canyon is just outside of Hollywood Boulevard, offering great views and palm tree-lined hiking trails.
Explore the coastline in the area for good surf spots. Adventure lovers can catch some sun alongside great waves, which brings that note of memorable activity while travelling. Los Angeles is much more than celebrity homes and film sets. Beyond the theme parks and film studios, locals keep active. Whether your thing is swimming, surfing, running, skating or hiking, in this American city locals do it all.
Foodies can tour LA's Grand Central Market, located just by Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Visitors praise it as a true food heaven. The market has been in operation since 1917. It has high ceilings and open layout with stalls offering cuisines from all over the world.
Try to shop locally. Apart from the open markets, LA is full of little independent shops such as the Compartes artisan chocolate stores.
Another must-visit foodie venue is The Original Farmers Market and The Groove, sounded in 1934 south of West Hollywood. Ready-to-eat snacks and fresh produce greets tourists and locals past the creamy-coloured building facade. Make sure to bring your appetite and some cash.