PiU (samedi) wrote,

  • Music:


We watched two films in my Cultural Ecology class today. One was Buddha & the Rice Planters, about rice cultivation in Sri Lanka, and the 1981 publication date was noticeable through the frequent comments on how the influence of Buddhism in the area has led to an idyllic community of peace that the Western world would be wise to follow. However, it's worth noting that it wasn't long after that ethnic fighting broke out on the island between Tamil freedom fighters (popularly known as the Tamil Tigers) and the Sinhalese majority. Sad, but true.

The other film, Taram: A Minangkabau Village, comes from an Australian video series on Indonesia called "Our Asian Neighbours". It was an interesting - if short - ethnographic study that showed rice cultivation in a matrilineal society where men work in the paddies of either their own family or the family of their wife depending on the day. All the websites I've checked show a publication date of 1992, but the movie looked old enough that my notes include the following statement - "would not be surprised to find colonials jumping out of the bushes speaking Dutch to one another". Let's hear it for historical sarcasm.

I noticed that a Polish instructor at the university tends to shorten the word "and" to such a degree that it's more a symbol than an actual word. This isn't normally a problem, as a glance at any typewriter or computer keyboard will illustrate how [ & ] is a viable option, but when she uses the white board in class her abbreviation looks more like the Greek letter [ α ] than anything else. But hey, if the PRC can switch from traditional Chinese to simplified characters who am I to judge how someone writes an abbreviated symbol?
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