Cultural Diversity and Global Sustainability

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;  Teach a man to fish and he will feed his whole village!”

 

UNESCO and the world’s foundations have come to understand that current measures provide short term fixes, generally, and a more long term approach to solving the world’s various problems is required. UNESCO in their latest annual report dedicated all 454 pages to the importance of Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Intangible World Heritages.  Why is UNESCO seeing these initiatives as the only viable strategies for protecting our communal, global future?

Continue reading

The smell of home.

Experienced real estate agents know that every culture has its own odor that reminds us of home.

 

In America, home sellers are told to stew apples before potential buyers arrive; in Italy, braising onions has the same effect. These are the scents that take us back to our childhood and help create our sense of comfort, safety and belonging. They are some of the most basic aspects of cultural identity.

In trying to understand any ethnicity, our olfactory senses have great importance…and yet they are invariably ignored by the tools used to represent culture: photos, video, recording, text and art.  As foreign entrants, how can we identify and capture this most essential genome in the cultural DNA?

Continue reading