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Culture July 2019

Bolivia. The ritual of potato planting.

Before planting, Quechua farmers ask Pachamama (mother-earth) for permission. Pachamama is the fertility goddess  who presides over planting and harvesting. Then the Ispallamama (spirits) are invoked. The sowing of the potato begins with the preparation of the land. Farmers select a fertile land, which has rested for two or three years; then they leave the…

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Africa. The art of food. Ancient flavours and genuine ingredients.

From the Maghreb to Southern Africa, a myriad of flavours, aromas and colours. A journey through past and present tells of the rich traditions in the art of African food. Fonio is an ancient cereal that is resistant to drought. It is one of the oldest crops cultivated in West Africa, from Nigeria, through Benin,…

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Herbs & Plants. Acalypha indica. A useful source of medicine.

It is a plant used as a medicine for several therapeutic treatments. The leaf decoction is dropped into the ears to treat earache and infections. The paste made from powdered leaves is applied for skin infections. In some communities leaves are cooked as a vegetable. Acalypha indica (Euphorbiaceae Family) is an erect, often simple-stemmed annual…

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Philippines. The Tattoo Practitioner of Kalinga.

In a remote village in Buscalan, Tinglayan Kalinga in northern Luzon, Whang-ud, a 90-year-old tattoo practitioner (manbatok) resides and continues to practice an age-old tradition of tattooing (batok). In the Butbut village, Whang-ud would sit quietly in her hut and would greet local and foreign visitors entering Buscalan. One could easily recognize Whang-ud with both…

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Advocacy

Widen the horizon of Empowered Women.

Concluding the Special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, Pope Francis in his homily said with a witty remark that the final document speaking of…

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Baobab

Hare and the Hyena.

0ne day, a long time ago when there was a famine in a certain part of Africa, Hare met Hyena. “How thin you are looking,” said…

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Youth & Mission

Young Indios: “The world must listen to us”.

During the Synod for Amazonia, we heard stories of young Indios who struggle against environmental exploitation, in recognition of their own identity, and they want to…

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