What ethnic groups are generally uncomfortable with hugging? How do you say "hug" in French? Why Asians don't always hug. Should I hug my Japanese friend? More hugs please, we're Chinese [NYT]. Do you know how to give an "American hug"? Ahmadinejad criticized for hugging. Ebola's cultural casualty: hugging in Liberia [NYT]. Kiss, hug, or shake hands? How to give a man a hug.
After seeing the results of Esther Honig's Before and After project [previously], journalist Priscilla Yuki Willson wanted to expose the standards of beauty for women of diverse backgrounds. [more inside]
Shelby Lee Adams has spent decades photographing the holler families of rural Kentucky and the mountain folk of Appalachia. More B&W images from the Edelman gallery. Interview With An Artist: Shelby Lee Adams (alternate B&W PDF version); Essays by Adams: All of Us and The Napier's Living Room, 1989; Interview with 92-year old Scotty Stidham.
The Dark Side of Literacy - Indian education reform organization Shikshantar, who aims to encourage concepts of "Swaraj", or self-rule in local education, argues that current education and literacy models do not take into account local cultures and languages and gives too much credit to the Western alphabet. They also argue that there are many serious flaws in what they describe as UNESCO's campaign of "McEducation For All".
So, you're planning to take a trip around the world, are you? Well, in that case--you'll need to know a couple of things before you leave (in order not to offend the sensibilities of the local population). Let's see--suppose you're making your way through Azerbaijan for example, and your host happens to be a businessman who is about to embark on a journey to the city: what would you do to give him the appropriate send off? Would you:
- a) Bid him farewell and shake his hand.
- b) Dance in front of him and do a traditional jig that everyone else is doing in order to ward off evil spirits.
- c) Throw a bowl of water in his wake.
Wife thief - the Wodaabe of Nigeria are one of the world's few remaining Nomadic peoples, retaining age-old customs and ways. Physical beauty and charm are highly prized, qualities much in evidence at the annual Gerewol ceremonies. After donning elaborate makeup and clothing, men engage in stylized dance and preening to win the favor of a desired woman - often one who is already married. [more inside]
Reasonable people are capable of thinking about complex issues without resorting to simplistic oversimplifications. These two scholarly types discuss what seems obvious but lacks traction amongst most people. What can be done to make these voices heard and more importantly, accepted?
Afraid Happy To Say We're Out Of Stock: Heh. Shopping in Southern Europe is indeed very much unlike shopping anywhere else in the world... [ More inside.]
Is The Cult Of Designer Cultures And Cute Primitivism Keeping The Third World Back? In a brief but pointed book review, Raymond Tallis asks whether "the ideology of culture [has] replaced patriotism as the last refuge of a scoundrel". Can excessive cultural relativism and respect for pre-industrial cultures have the perverse effect of maintaining and indeed reinforcing the conservative, National Geographic/Discovery Channel/geopolitical statu quo?