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.
THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT SPAIN'S MONTJUIC
Barcelona has tons of sightseeing locations, tapas-tempting venues and entertaining activities to offer to visitors. These are ORIGIN Magazine’s insightful tips on why you should visit the Montjuïc hill and where to go from there
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Kristijan Arsov
?? June 2019
The heart of Spain and among the most visited tourist destinations in Europe is Barcelona. The lively city is buzzing with vivid culture, a mixture of contemporary and traditional architecture, must-see monuments and authentic tapas restaurants. But alongside tasting sangria, visiting Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família and treating yourself to a Flamenco Night, here is why Montjuïc must make it to your bucket list too.
Montjuïc is a 184,8 m broad and shallow hill, which overlooks the southwest part of the city centre of Barcelona. The location is perfect for sealing your Spanish trip memories in outstanding photographs with the beauty of the city and its surrounding mountain hills as a background. The eastern side of Montjuïc offers visitors a bird’s-eye view of the waterfront harbour, Port Vell, home of the Aquarium Barcelona.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc by Carles Buïgas are located at the bottom of the grand staircase leading to the palace. Visitors can enjoy their entertaining water effects created by spraying 700 gallons of water per second through 3,620 jets.
The Palau Nacional:
On top of the hill raises the Palau Nacional, where tourists and locals alike can visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia’s collection of over 5,000 artworks.
Designed by Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà under the supervision of Pere Domènech i Roura, the ‘National Palace’ became the main site of the 1929 International Exhibition. The architecture was inspired by the Spanish Renaissance. The rectangular floor plan stretches over 32,000 m², hosting an elliptical dome in the centre.
Montjuïc lays alongside the Llobregat River and near the Mediterranean. The importance of the communication channel and its strategic location turned it into the birthplace of the city of Barcelona. The Castle of Montjuïc dates to the 17th century.
Since 1842 the fortress served as prison, predominantly for political prisoners. Among the most famous period of the castle’s history was the 1897 Els processos de Montjuïc executions of anarchist supporters and the workers’ rights repressions that followed. One of the most famous execution in Montjuïc was that of Catalan nationalist leader Lluís Companys in 1940. Both Nationalists and Republicans were executed in the fortress during the Spanish Civil War, while the site was under rule of their opponents.
More to be Seen:
Formula One fans may know of the Montjuïc circuit racetrack located at the slopes that face the city. The track hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times until the 1975 race accident when Rolf Stommelen's car crashed into the stands resulting in the death of four people and the end of the Montjuïc circuit taking part in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Olympic stadium, near the Montjuïc castle was completed in 1929. It was meant to host anti-fascist alternative Olympics that were intended to happen in opposition to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The Spanish Civil War outbreak prevented the event from happening. The stadium was used by the football team Espanyol until 2008 when the new stadium in Cornellà/El Prat was finished.
More to be Done:
The Funicular de Montjuïc is part of the Barcelona Metro that can take visitors to the top of the hill. Thrill seekers take the gondola lift that connects Montjuïc with the Barcelona harbour waterfront, offering the rare opportunity to see part of such a worldwide famous megapolis from above.
The eastern slope of the Montjuïc hill is where you will find the Miramar terminal of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway. Enjoy the ride from the mountain hill down to the marina. Make sure to leave your fear of heights behind and to take your camera on board. This is your chance to experience a journey in a glass cable car, as it will move above Barcelona’s plazas, colourful parks, well-maintained gardens and past La Rambla’s famous 60m tall Columbus Monument.