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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Book Review – The wrong scramble

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Equatorial Guinea is one of the world’s poorest countries. The two main islands offer little, while the Rio Muni, the portion of country on mainland Africa, has some natural resources. People live in poverty. In 1996, oil was discovered offshore and, from 2004, it has contributed to the rise of national GDP. On paper, Equatorial…

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Uruguay – Mate, the herb of friendship

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Visitors aren’t truly welcomed to Uruguay until they try their first round of mate. It is the supreme proof of friendship rooted in the history of the Southern Horn of Latin America. Not all enjoy the initiation. Once they overcome their reluctance – sharing the same pot with others and digesting a hot, bitter infusion…

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Peru – Earth interwoven in the soul

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The rich textile tradition in Peru has created a time-honoured dialogue between the land and its inhabitants that has played out like the strains of an unusual symphony. Every small town has its own unique cloak. Every community has its homespun cloth, and every culture its breathtaking legacy. Each piece of fabric is imbued with…

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Equatorial Guinea – The village clown

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The Ndowe people of Equatorial Guinea live along the banks of the Rio Muni. Of all their traditional feasts, the Mekuyo celebration stands out for its rich popular flavour. Any social event is reason to celebrate. The Mekuyo – the clown, as the Ndowe call him – is completely covered with small bamboo canes tied…

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Environment and the African way

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The African world view and its beliefs encouraging the sacredness of the universe and of all created beings should be considered if contemporary Africa wants to preserve the environment. African religious heritage, linking Africa with nature and God, should be the starting point in preserving the environment.Africans view themselves as part of the environment. Man…

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Latin America – To become reality

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“Creating theology means collaborating so that God becomes more real in history and for the poor.” We discuss the subject with Fr. Jon Sobrino, 74, a Spanish Jesuit theologian and a naturalised citizen of San Salvador. He is one of the main exponents of liberation theology. What does it mean to create theology beginning with…

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Chile – “Give us our daily water”

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“Destroying Patagonia puts an end to a culture, a history, and a people,” says Monsignor Luis Infanti de la Mora, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Aysén, Chile. He is committed to caring for Creation and the dignity of people in a natural paradise almost “at the end of the earth,” between the Straits of…

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Brazil – World Youth Day

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Pope Francis will be in Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day (WYD) from 22 to 28 July 2013. It will be his first international trip as Pontiff. The Pope will visit the Shrine of Aparecida and a huge slum, and will also meet young prisoners. Expectations and enthusiasm are growing. More than two million…

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The Maasai Marriage

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When a man wants to marry a young woman, he takes the initiative by singing her praises, and giving her a little necklace or jewel. When the news spreads, he brings honey to the women from his clan living in his future wife’s house. They give the honey to the young woman’s mother, and, if…

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The birth of a Child

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“God, please give us children; please give us livestock.” In the prayers of the Maasai, children and cows are inseparable. If a Maasai has children, he will need cows to feed and dress them, and he will need children to herd the cows. Children and cows, therefore, are equally important. If the Maasai had to…

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The Maasai Colours

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Red and black are two of the fundamental colours in the Maasai culture and symbolize God’s two main traits. Red depicts anger and benevolence, and black (or dark blue) the sanctity of a person or object. Above all, they invoke God himself as Papa Jai Orok (the Black father) and they ask him to cover…

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Kenya – A Journey into Maasai Culture

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In the land where the Maasai live, the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania, cacti trees dot the green savannah. There are ample lakes, winding rivers, and vast plains leading sweetly towards green hills. The far away mountains have magical names – Kilimanjaro, Kenya, Meru, and Lengai. They look after this savage and mysterious…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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