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Indigenous Groups Demand World Interest (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on May, 28 2005 @ 12:19 AM
Indigenous groups from around the world entered their voice at the end of a two week long United Nation forum. The forum was held to address the U.N.'s two priority long-term projects - the cutting in half of global poverty and a universal primary education. Indigenous concerns include the potential loss of their culture and way of life.
UNITED NATIONS -- Turban-clad tribesmen and monks in saffron robes joined indigenous groups from around the world Friday in demanding that their home countries and the United Nations take their interests into account in the push to spread education and eradicate poverty.

Indigenous groups wanted to make sure that governments don't rob them of their culture and history _ or their right to speak their own language _ in efforts to achieve the goals. They also called for national and international action to address ongoing human rights violations against native peoples.

Indigenous groups also must confront challenges that may not occur to city dwellers _ isolation, lack of birth certificates or other documentation, and the insistence that they keep indigenous names or dress.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In my opinion, an important consideration to make amidst the colonization of our planet by Wal-Mart, Mcdonalds, Starbucks, and Disney......the various cultures and regions of the world which have continued to thrive without modern day convenience.

Now, I'll be one of the first to say that most of these places should be philanthropized whether they want it or not; the world has changed and the quality of human life experienced by the brunt of western civilization can and should be made available to all. But the key statement in that supposition is "made available." The incorporation of culture and regional influence should be a primary concern. After all, it is other people we are trying to affect.

I thought it was an interesting reminder to the diversity of life when the article mentioned the different considerations used to determine the value of their lifestyle.....of course they wouldn't use our standards, so why should we impose them without their influences?

Just some food for thought........

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 12:50 AM
The Buck Stops Where?

I'm all for indigenous people and cultural preservation.

However, I have my own culture and heritage, and it is not my responsibility in any way shape or form to preserve someone else's culture and heritage.

That's their job, not mine.

Those who say otherwise have already lost their pride, which means their culture will not be far behind.

If you value your culture, then preserve it.

If you don't value it enough to preserve it, then don't expect anyone else to, either.

That may seem brutal, but that's the way it is.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 01:05 AM
My culture is pretty much what the pop icons have thrown me.....pretty much sets up my stance.....what a rip to be so involved in something only to have it lose favor for the 'next big thing.' Attention deficit disorder society has really set the stage for our culture.....

Diversity breeds perspectives.......let me emphasize.....perspectives.

If we are to succeed in our quest for universal domination, it will be because we had the experience of many different intelligences shaping the decision-making and problem-solving skills of our peoples.

The physical disciplines of the far east....the subtle attentuations of our tribal communities.......culture is the expression of how their experiences shaped their perception.....and you're discarding that as trite and of ill consequence, Majic? Just because mass production can flood the environment with 'a good answer' doesn't make it the best, and just because a tribal influence can't seem to influence beyond the boundaries of the tribe doesn't make it archaic.....

Respect your thought, Majic, though I think that you were too quick to opine on this one.......I find a decided lack of your usual consideration via objectivity that I have come to equate you with.......

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 01:30 AM
Broadening Our Perspectives

Originally posted by MemoryShock
Respect your thought, Majic, though I think that you were too quick to opine on this one.......I find a decided lack of your usual consideration via objectivity that I have come to equate you with.......

I was hoping someone would bite, and I'm glad it was you.

I'm going to be candid, but please don't take that the wrong way. I'm passionate about this, but definitely not pointing a finger at you.

You have made good points, and now I should elaborate on mine.

I agree wholeheartedly that cultural diversity is a good thing. I'm all for it, and not knocking it.

I also have direct experience with what happens when “cultural preservation” sets in and government money starts pouring in to “keep people cultural”.

I have several problems with this “solution” which is really just a way of making the problem worse.

First, it assumes, if tacitly, that one culture is inferior to another. The irony is trying to figure out which.

It also assumes that culture is some sort of commodity which can be stored and preserved, which is utter nonsense.

The Ephemeral State Of Being

All cultures change over time, any which does not is already dead.

“Cultural preservation”, which should refer to people preserving their own culture, is usually not what it seems.

The more common and erroneous definition of “cultural preservation” assumes that one culture can bribe another to “not change”, which again, is preposterous.

But worst of all, it is a notion that seeks to enslave people to their own culture. To force them to stay “ethnic”, and not find their own ways through life.

People are people, not museum pieces or animals to be displayed to tourists.

I find those ideas intolerable, and what I see happening on “Indian reservations” around me -- to people I know and love -- makes me cry.

These are the descendants of great people who now sit around getting drunk or stoned waiting for the next check from the BIA.

What does that preserve? Nothing more than humiliation.

I am proud of who I am, and have passed my culture on to my children.

Those who are proud of who they are will do likewise, not stick their hands out like beggars.

Culture can only be preserved by those who live it. All else is fallacy and a sham.

And that's my point, to which I have already devoted a great deal of thought.

A culture is only as strong as those who live it.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 02:14 AM
Excellent response, Majic, I fear that I was too quick to assume that you were merely reacting without consideration........

Originally posted by Majic
All cultures change over time.

Very true, however, cultures evolve/change in response to the societal pressure of it's practitioner's. The issue on slate for the U.N. to implement by 2015 is something that is being referred to as a universal education. This is a set standard of the instillation of values and attenuations to strictly cognitive reiterations.....roughly, the memorization of facts and equations that really only provide a base foundation for the future relationship with the industrial(now silicon?) society. What is the point of a universal education if the education teaches right off the bat a disinclination towards ones family and friends of the previous generation? Maybe a necassary evil, I concede, but I suspect that a universal teaching and thusly interpretation of Animal Farm will preclude any look or reference to communal atmospheres that precluded an us vs. them attitude.......

Originally posted by Majic
But worst of all, it is a notion that seeks to enslave people to their own culture. To force them to stay “ethnic”, and not find their own ways through life.

I agree with 'force' the retention of ethnicity is a comparable evil if not greater......the stagnation that can occur has been evident in more than one situation.
But the point I was making way above tended toward the 'should we civilize a situation that doesn't need to be?' That question precludes an interaction of cultures an d in itself would preserve a culture by allowing to progress as it should.....maybe the option should be presented and be applied only at the behest and inclusion of all point is pretty much wrapped up in the is it what we want, "to distract a person from everything they ever knew because they can now get a cheeseburger already prepared by use of a monetary system they didn't utilize previously but now feels obligated towards because of what they were taught by the new institution with more people?"

Originally posted by Majic
Culture can only be preserved by those who live it.

True enough.....but an initiative drawn up by the United Nations and backed by international money is with the intent to change how others live because they don't quite mesh with our standards. And the use of international money where the ideals and beliefs of potential consumers is concerned is not undertaken with any tolerance for failure. A philanthropic measure that is in many cases called for, but how far does our imposition need to go........their are many details that most likely haven't been discussed thoroughly or at all because of their incongruency to the economic goals.

The ending of poverty also has it's implications........although the introduction of education and an economic system could very likely produced a very different culture than we have seen so far......

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 04:23 AM
The Savage Noble

Hey, I hear you. The problem with “cultural preservation” is that the people talking about doing it aren't usually the members of the cultures in question.

We can complain about “cultural imperialism” -- that's basically what America is: a cultural empire which grew from the European empires which spawned it.

But what can we do about it?

Well, we can take on the “white man's burden” and speak in patronizing tones of those who have been steamrollered by the latest cultural juggernaut, funnel them money, pat them on the head and encourage them to pretend the world around them hasn't changed.

Just grand.

We can treat people like zoo animals and dress them up in their “native costumes”, but it won't really change anything.

Native Spirit

Where I live, we have Paiutes and Shoshones mostly. They dress like I do, talk like I do and do pretty much the same things I do.

Why don't they go around in “native dress”? Because it's a hassle. “Native dress” was developed for living conditions they don't have to deal with anymore.

More importantly, living conditions they don't want to deal with anymore. Should we force them to live in caves, huts and under the open sky to make ourselves feel better?

By the way, lest anyone think I was painting with a broad brush, no, not all Indians sit around wasted waiting for checks. Just enough to really bum me out -- and all the people who love them.

Welfare is slavery, no matter who you are.

And for what it's worth, most of the “Indians” I know do bother to learn some of the language, songs and dances their elders teach them, but they are fading.

For an ironic contrast, we used to have cowboys around here. Genuine cowboys who rode horses and drove cattle.

What happened to them? Do we care? Do we not care because most of them were white?

What makes one culture better than another?

What truly underlies all this sentimentality is a sense of superiority and benevolent paternalism.

In other words, classic cultural imperialism.

Fade To White

Vanishing cultures are vanishing because each succeeding generation cares less.

We can beat our chests and stamp our feat, but it won't change a damn thing, because this matter is not in our hands, but the hands of the generations to come, and they will do as they see fit -- even if we try to force them to do what what we want to satisfy our own imperialistic vanity.

Can we make the next generation care more about their cultural and ethnic heritage? Or the next after that?

According to the article, most of these “indigenous” types are actually lobbying for money and more integration to “combat poverty”. Basically, they want money, just like pretty much everyone else on the planet.

And they want “education”. What sort of education? Obviously they are dissatisfied with the education their own ancestors have provided, or they wouldn't be demanding education.

So now they demand someone else's.

The Real Culprits

Talk about condemnation of one's own culture. They are demanding that we teach them our ways!

Why is living the way their ancestors lived now considered poverty? The answer to that question is the key to understanding why their cultures are dying.

By their own judgment as inheritors, their cultures are bankrupt.

The irony is thick enough to be cut with a hand-crafted flint knife.

As I said before, I'm all for all for indigenous people and cultural preservation.

The problem is that whether I am for it or not doesn't mean diddly squat if the people of a culture abandon it themselves.

Hence my challenge to those who bemoan dying cultures. The only way a culture will survive is for people to embrace it.

Forcing anyone to embrace one culture over another -- because we deem one “bland” instead of “colorful” -- is an ultimate expression of hypocrisy.

I recommend taking lots of pictures, writing down lots of stories, archiving languages and recording lots of songs, because their fate is already sealed.

Sorry, but that's the way it really is.

The Ultimate Example

I wonder if anyone will be demanding U.N. protection for American culture anytime soon?

It has already changed so much in my lifetime that most of the old customs of my people are already extinct.

Not too many people churn butter in my town, or ride horses. Should I complain about that?

And yet there are nonetheless people who do preserve the old ways in my country. They are the Mennonites, Amish and the like.

They don't need “cultural preservation”, because they willingly preserve it themselves, as they have for many generations.

I don't seen them hypocritically “demanding world interest”.

Anyone who cares can preserve their culture, just as the Mennonites -- or the French, for that matter -- do.

Those who don't care will not gain my sympathy for their lack of commitment.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 03:16 PM

Originally posted by Magic
I recommend taking lots of pictures, writing down lots of stories, archiving languages and recording lots of songs, because their fate is already sealed.

Sorry, but that's the way it really is.

No need to apologize. You're right and I knew it. Archiving is probably the best answer at this point. My concern probably lies in the hopes that cultural integration will be a matter of choice and not a rimrod from behind, ala Manifest Destiny.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 03:28 PM
I actually laughed out loud when I read this title...

These are the same people who have been screaming to be left alone for centuries, remember?

Now they want the white knight of civilization to ride in and save them from their lives?

I feel sorry for them..for their dying ways of life, and their eventual submission to the grinding wheels. It's a shame, but it was inevitable.

I hope some individuals manage to salvage the future...

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 04:19 PM

My concern probably lies in the hopes that cultural integration will be a matter of choice and not a rimrod from behind, ala Manifest Destiny.

Cultural integration is always a choice. It's not as if the "dominant" culture rams it down the throat of the recieving culture. It is not a one way street. They recieve it, and they work with it. It will not be the same as the culture it was originally recieved from.

I remember reading complaints from French intellectuals from the late 1940's and early 1950's about being bombarded by American culture. The way they painted it, it was as if America was the culprit and responsible for the French adopting certain practices. They didn't seem to see that it was their own people who chose to accept it, who welcomed it with opened arms and made it their own.

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