World Events: Highlights of February 15, 2017
Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration after even some Republican lawmakers voiced concern about his qualifications. . . . Trump urged Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop building Jewish settlements. He also said that peace between the Palestinians and Israel does not have to include a two-state solution. . . . U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis tells NATO allies to boost military spending or see the Trump administration moderate its committment to them. . . .A dash-cam caught video footage of a ‘hero’ cop pushing a burning pickup truck away from a drive-through restaurant in Texas. . . .
WorldsWays Story Of The World Timeline
Story Of Today, February 15, 2017
Looking At Latin America – Integrating With The Indigenous Part 1
Before Columbus . . Before Vespucci . . . Well before Vicente Yáñez Pinzón ever sailed up the Amazon River . . .people lived in the Americas. They had their own cultures and languages. They had their own rituals and their own forms of governing.
Explorers from Europe – many from Spain and Portugal – invaded Central and South America centuries ago. And you can make the case that they conquered the lands and the people who were living there. Even so, the natives – the indigenous people – have held onto their old ways.
To be sure, the Mayans in Guatemala and the tribal people along the Amazon have lost much of their pre-European culture. But after centuries of isolation or persecution – and maybe because of it – indigenous people in Central and South America retain a uniqueness in their ways that must be ascribed to the original cultures they came from.
The good news for today is that there are efforts in Central and South America to integrate the indigenous people with the larger population without too much cost to their ways of life.
Let’s start with the Amazon. Actually, let’s start with Brazil. . . Getting ready for Carnival. I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen images and videos. Looks pretty wild. From what I understand, many samba schools prepare brightly-decorated floats, costumes, and performances with music and dancing, and they get judged. It’s a wild party.
And it is completely foreign to the land they dance on. The tribes along the Amazon never had anything like Carnival.
Are they included in Carnival today? Are they even part of the Brazilian experience today? Do they think of themselves as Brazilian?
I realize the above questions have multiple answers depending on what tribe we’re talking about. I just wanted to put these questions out there for something to think about.
Today there was an article in VOA News about farmers in Brazil being upset with a particular samba school. The samba group plans to hit the parade route with a theme that honors the Amazon and the tribal people along the Amazon. Their theme highlights the need to protect the environment. Specifically they point to the shrinking rain forest and the land development that has destroyed much of the rain forest already.
Some farmers believe this theme points at them, accusing them of destruction of the environment. It turns out it’s a sensitive issue for the farmers. On the one hand, their farms have reached into the rainforest area. On the other hand, they are producing food and a fair share of the nation’s economy.
On yet another hand, the samba school has said they were not targeting the farmers at all. It is about the threats that native people and the environment face.
Which brings us full circle. . . In Brazil the indigenous people may live apart from the mainstream. Yet the mainstream takes pains to consider the needs of the native Amazonians. This may not qualify for integrating the indigenous people into the main society. Yet, the concern for the people and the environment IS integrated in the thought processes of the people who are in control.
In my opinion, that is a good thing. It is always a good thing when a more powerful segment of a population acts on behalf of a less powerful tribe of people.
For more on this, see the article below about, “Outraged Brazilian Farmers . . . .”
Be sure to see the next issue of this journal. What’s happening in Guatemala is much different than Brazil. You’ll see.
Timeline: Relevant News Stories February 15, 2017
Outraged Brazilian Farmers in No Mood for Carnival Samba
from VOA News
The peace and love that generally abound during Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival festivities is threatened this year by a spat pitting a well-known parade troupe against Brazil’s powerful farmers because of development in the Amazon rainforest.
Part of the show, “The Clamor that Comes from the Forest,” highlights the longstanding tension between development and conservation in Brazil, particularly with regard to the world’s largest rainforest and the industrial agriculture that at times helps destroy it.