By Orly Halpern
He can't read or write, but Zumra Nuru created a society that would have made Karl Marx proud. The 60-year-old Ethiopian farmer founded and cochairs Awra Amba, a commune where men cook, women plow, and religion has no place.
His inspiration came from his childhood: He was sent to the fields instead of to school and beaten for eating meat at his Christian neighbor's home.His mother had to work much more than his father.
"It made me sad," says Mr. Nuru. "When I asked my parents about it ... they acted as if I were foolish."
In the 1980s, Nuru finally launched the egalitarian society he dreamed of with 19 other people who adopted his vision.
Today Awra Amba has some 400 members and is lauded as a model to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in a country where women generally hold a subservient status to men.
The experimental community first came to national awareness when Nuru gave an interview on national television a few years ago.
Since then numerous camera crews have driven out to the northern village. They are not alone.Original Article
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New York Times, USA
Aug. 28, 2006
Michael Luo The help-wanted ad had the whiff of a practical joke. “Documentary will pay you $5,000 to start your own religion,” it said. “No exp. necessary.”
“I laughed out loud,” said Joshua Boden, 35, a bald-headed bassist in an indie rock band, the Angelic Bombs, who stumbled across the ad in the Village Voice last spring.( Read more...Collapse )
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
Julie Beasley looked out her window one morning and saw a teenager changing clothes in the middle of the street.
"She opened a passenger side door and dropped her pants. She took her pants off and reached in the car and pulled out a skirt. Then she put the skirt on and pulled off her sweatshirt. She had on a camisole with spaghetti straps with her midriff showing," says Beasley, 46, of Iowa City.
Living less than two blocks from a high school gives Beasley a bird's-eye view of teenagers - and a startling view, as well.
"I'm not a mother," she says. "All of it surprises me. I think they're oblivious to adults, period."
To baby boomers and other adults of a certain age, young people may seem rude, disrespectful and generally clueless about established social mores.
But to social scientists, the phenomenon is more complicated.Original Article
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The Toda tribe in India - one of the country's smallest communities - is gradually breaking up as its women marry men from outside. Is this the end for the Toda?
The Toda are based in the Nilgiri Hills in southern India, and number around 1,700. While the tribe's men own property and work in agriculture, the women are renowned for their skills and embroidery. They are not allowed near the tribe's tall temples.
But growing numbers are rejecting their tribal traditions and its highly patriarchal society.
"When a girl is very young, they decide who she is to marry," Jaikumari Piljane, a Toda woman who got married outside the tribe - to a Tamil film star - told BBC World Service's Everywoman programme.
"They exchange buffalos - that is the tradition. So when she comes of age, she is sent off to the boy's house. They then have babies at a very early age. ( Read more...Collapse )
We're all living longer. But will this just mean more pain and immobility? Or could science cure the illnesses of old age? Alok Jha reports
Wednesday March 8, 2006
The Guardian Every minute that you spend reading this article, the average life expectancy in Britain will rise by 12 seconds. By the time you finish reading g2, your life expectancy will have gone up by six minutes. This time tomorrow, it will have increased by almost five hours. The reason is clear: rapid advances in medicine and biology have been one of the biggest achievements of the past century and we are all living longer. Where anyone reaching the age of 60 was considered to be near death's door at the turn of the 20th century, it is barely old enough for retirement at the turn of the 21st century.
And scientists are still not holding back. Shripad Tuljapurkar, a population studies expert at Stanford University, told a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that, as new anti-ageing treatments become available, our species will get even older. Soon, the average age of death will jump by a year every year - five times the current rate.( Read more...Collapse )
Brian Handwerk, for National Geographic News, February 2, 2006During times of widespread stress, a mother's body may be more likely to spontaneously terminate weak especially male fetuses, a recent study suggests.
The finding adds new perspective to a long-standing debate in population science: Why do male birthrates decline during periods of major societal stress?
The phenomenon has been observed in many animal populations—including humans.
Previous studies have linked the decline in male births to political unrest, natural disasters, environmental changes, and economic recessions.
But scientists are undecided about how and why the decline occurs. ( Read more...Collapse )
[related story: Too Many Males: A Fast Lane to Extinction?
Sunday January 22, 2006, The ObserverFor a growing number of Afrikaners, the new South Africa is an alien world of squatters' camps and begging bowls. Photojournalist Simon Wood meets the people who lost most when Mandela won.
It is a Thursday afternoon at a busy intersection in Johannesburg's Bryanston district. The traffic robot turns green and the white Mercs and BMWs, four-wheel-drives and the occasional pick-up truck, with a black family's whole world piled on to the tailgate, pull away from the lights. Not far off are the gleaming towers of Sandton, a symbol of South African prosperity and an area where great wealth can be glimpsed, albeit behind electric fences and razor wire. The majority of up-market cars are still driven by middle- and upper-income whites, but many belong to the growing class of wealthy blacks. In a country where carjacking and other violent crimes are an everyday fact of life, all have their windows closed and doors firmly locked. Alongside the cars weave the inevitable gaggle of roadside Africans selling a variety of useful and useless items, many of them dressed in no more than rags. This is the new South Africa that many now expect to find.( Read more...Collapse )
By Steve Israel, Times Herald-RecordThe most profound open secret in our nation, one that will soon rip apart the fabric of our society, is this: Boys are in trouble. They are falling far behind girls in elementary school, in college, in life.
An 11th-grade boy now reads and writes at the level of an eighth-grade girl. Just three decades ago, there was no disparity.
Forty years ago, three-quarters of all college graduates were men. Now, less than half of graduates are male. If the spiral continues, and every statistical trend says it will, men will soon account for only one-third of all college graduates. ( Read more...Collapse )
Jan. 17, 2006— The marriage of a low caste villager to an Australian woman in the Indian state of Bihar has brought prestige to his community, who have for decades been battling their "rat eater" status, relatives said Tuesday.
"It is a matter of great pride for us that one of our villagers wedded a foreigner even when society looks down upon us," said Reejhan Manjhi, a cousin of the groom, Sanjay Manjhi.
The 24-year-old Australian, Erin Butlet, married Manjhi in a traditional Hindu ceremony in New Taradih village in the Gaya district of Bihar at the weekend. ( Read more...Collapse )
Monday January 23, 2006, The Guardian
London can claim to be the most multicultural place in the world, its population drawn from every race, nation and religion on earth. But what about the rest of Britain? How many new immigrants move here, who are they and where do they settle? As a follow-up to last year's award-winning issue charting immigrant communities in the capital, Leo Benedictus set out on an even bigger task: to meet these populations across the whole country. The result, which ranges from the century-old population of Cardiff Somalis to the much newer Portuguese in Lincolnshire, is a snapshot of the extraordinary cultural richness of the UK today.( Read more...Collapse )
23.01.2006: 23.01.06, Leo Benedictus: All together now
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Somalis in Cardiff
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: East Europeans in the Isles of Scilly
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Pakistanis in Woking
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Italians in Bedford
23.01.2006: 23.01.06:Filipinos in Cambridge
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Portuguese in Boston, Lincolnshire
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Kurds in Hull
23.01.2006: 23.01.06: Lithuanians in Glasgow
I found this to be very interesting.
So different from Western Gay culture.http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20060117zg.htm
And for the Link Phobic the same article in here.
annakas( Read more...Collapse )
- Tags:asia, beauty, buddhism, culture, dating, families, gay, gay culture, gender, gender roles, homosexuality, human rights, japan, men, relationships, sex, sexuality, social interaction, society, stereotypes, taboo, television, traditions, urbanization
More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research.
Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year.
Their research was based on a national survey of 1.1m households in 1998.
The researchers said the "girl deficit" was more common among educated women but did not vary according to religion.
The unusual gender balance in India has been known about for some time.
In most countries, women slightly outnumber men, but separate research for the year 2001 showed that for every 1,000 male babies born in India, there were just 933 girls. ( Read more...Collapse )
By M.L. Johnson, Associated Press Writer | January 7, 2006PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Brown University's library boasts an unusual anatomy book. Tanned and polished to a smooth golden brown, its cover looks and feels no different from any other fine leather.
But here's its secret: the book is bound in human skin.
A number of prestigious libraries -- including Harvard University's -- have such books in their collections. While the idea of making leather from human skin seems bizarre and cruel today, it was not uncommon in centuries past, said Laura Hartman, a rare book cataloger at the National Library of Medicine in Maryland and author of a paper on the subject.
An article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from the late 1800s "suggests that it was common, but it also indicates it wasn't talked about in polite society," Hartman said.( Read more...Collapse )
Original Article (with pictures!): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/scienc
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 - If the mere sight of Tai Shan, the roly-poly,
goofily gamboling masked bandit of a panda cub now on view at the
National Zoo isn't enough to make you melt, then maybe the crush of his
human onlookers, the furious flashing of their cameras and the heated
gasps of their mass rapture will do the trick.
"Omigosh, look at him! He is too cute!"
"How adorable! I wish I could just reach in there and give him a big squeeze!"
"He's so fuzzy! I've never seen anything so cute in my life!"
( rest of article - kind of long but very goodCollapse )
Kate Ravilious, Monday December 19, 2005, The Guardian Happiness, rather than working hard, is the key to success, according to research published today. Cheerful people are more likely to try new things and challenge themselves, which reinforces positive emotion and leads to success in work, good relationships and strong health, say psychologists.
The findings suggest that happiness is not a "feelgood" luxury, but is essential to people's wellbeing. What is more, happiness can also extend across an entire nation, with people in "happy" nations being more likely to have pro-democratic attitudes and a keenness to help others.
The link between happiness and success was investigated by a team from the University of California Riverside, led by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky.
First, they analysed questionnaires that ask people about multiple aspects of their lives. "For example, they show that happy people tend to earn higher incomes," said Prof Lyubomirsky. Having established the link, they wanted to discover the cause.( Read more...Collapse )
Press Association, Saturday November 26, 2005, The Guardian Members of the UK's Jewish community have become the first mainstream religious organisation to create and authorise a gay marriage service.
Liberal Judaism, one of the three major strands of Judaism in Britain, has created a liturgy called Covenant of Love, a service of commitment for same-sex couples.
The service has been produced to tie in with the civil partnership law, which will come into force on December 5. But the Orthodox Jewish movement, which is led by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, said that it would not be following suit.
In Silicon Valley, two high schools with outstanding academic reputations are losing white students as Asian students move in. Why?
By SUEIN HWANG, November 19, 2005; Page A1
CUPERTINO, Calif. -- By most measures, Monta Vista High here and Lynbrook High, in nearby San Jose, are among the nation's top public high schools. Both boast stellar test scores, an array of advanced-placement classes and a track record of sending graduates from the affluent suburbs of Silicon Valley to prestigious colleges.
But locally, they're also known for something else: white flight. Over the past 10 years, the proportion of white students at Lynbrook has fallen by nearly half, to 25% of the student body. At Monta Vista, white students make up less than one-third of the population, down from 45% -- this in a town that's half white. Some white Cupertino parents are instead sending their children to private schools or moving them to other, whiter public schools. More commonly, young white families in Silicon Valley say they are avoiding Cupertino altogether.( Read more...Collapse )
I have recently gotten myself into a discussion with someone about whether or not Universal uman Rights is a realistic concept. I have trouble shaking the belief that the concept of a truly universal set of human rights can exist without a healthy dose of ethnocentrism. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or could anyone reccommend some reading on the specific subject of human rights and ethnocentrism?
Rioting by youths in a Paris suburb has highlighted the discontent among sections of France's immigrant population.
The BBC News website's Henri Astier explores the sense of alienation felt by many French Muslims.
When Nadir Dendoune was growing up in the 1980s, his home town of L'Ile Saint-Denis, north of Paris, was a fairly diverse place.
"We were all poor, but there were French people, East Europeans, as well as blacks and Arabs," says Mr Dendoune, 33, an author and something of a celebrity in his estate. ( Read more...Collapse )