A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘ethnic minorities

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait reports on the fragility of asteroid Ryugu.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the JUICE probe, planned to explore the three icy moons of Jupiter.
  • John Quiggin at Crooked Timber reports on the fact that Jimmy Carter was warned in the 1970s about the possibility of global warming.
  • D-Brief notes that the Earth might not be the best world for life, that watery worlds with dense atmospheres and long days might be better.
  • Jessica Poling at the Everyday Sociology Blog writes about the construction of gender.
  • Far Outliers looks at the Nigerian city of Agadez, at one point a sort of port city of the Sahel.
  • Gizmodo asks a variety of experts their opinion on which species is likely to be next in developing our sort of intelligence. (Primates come up frequently, though I like the suggestion of bacterial colonies.)
  • JSTOR Daily looks/a> at the genderless Quaker prophet Publick Universal Friend.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money comments on the interview of Amy Wax with The New Yorker.
  • Marginal Revolution shares the enthusiasm of Tyler Cowen for Warsaw and Poland.
  • Peter Pomerantsev writes at the NYR Daily about how the alt-right has taken to culture-jamming.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the exceptional power of cosmic rays.
  • Window on Eurasia shares the lament of a Chuvash writer about the decline of her people’s language.

[MUSIC] Five music links: minority languages, country music, Corey Hart, Britney Spears, Troye Sivan

  • This Chaka Grier article on NOW Toronto looks at how activists for different endangered languages–Wolastoqey, Yiddish, Garifuna–use music to try to keep them alive.
  • Hornet Stories takes a look at some gay-themed country music.
  • This year, 1980s pop star Corey Hart will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. CBC reports.
  • Sarah MacDonald at Noisey takes a look at the prescience of Britney Spears’ 1999 song “E-Mail My Heart”.
  • At Wired, Jason Parham praises the new Troye Sivan single, “Lucky Strike”, for its profound curiosity in and empathy for other people.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bag News Notes examines the use of a stock photo of some Dutch immigrant youths to illustrate a variety of different alarming articles.
  • Crasstalk’s Maxichamp introduces readers to the Port Chicago disaster during the Second World War, which incidentally led to a notable civil rights case.
  • Daniel Drezner didn’t find many surprises with the terms of the Cypriot bailout and notes that Russian disinterest in bailing Cyprus out underlines the extent to which it’s a status quo, non-revisionist power.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Edward Hugh speculates that the current trend of emigration from Spain may put the Spanish health and pension systems at risk, especially inasmuch as Spain needs skilled labour to boost its productivity.
  • A Geocurrents comparison of Bolivia with Ecuador, two Andean republics with large indigenous populations and radical governments, underlines the differences (Ecuador’s government draws its support from the coastal Hispanophone majority and is somewhat hostile to the indigenous minority of the interior).
  • Language Hat links to a site describing the small languages of Russia.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen seems much more worried about the outcomes of the Cypriot bailout than Drezner.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi notes the unsustainability of Ohio’s current constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, legally and in terms of popular opinion, and suggests it indicates current patterns of change.
  • Window on Eurasia’s Paul Goble notes that the Moldovan enclave of Gagauzia, an autonomous Turkic-populated district, wants a voice in Moldovan foreign policy.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham notes the proportion of edits to geotagged English-language Wikipedia articles coming from users in the relevant countries. There are significant variations, with African articles being largely maintained by non-national users.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Andrew Barton at Acts of Minor Treason wonders about the next generation of birthers, concerned with “natural-born” presidential candidates: what of the genetically engineered?
  • blogTO notes that People’s Foods, an iconic diner in The Annex on Dupont Street, is closing down due to rising rents.
  • Far Outliers profiles the displacement of classical Chinese as the written language of Vietnam by Latin-script Vietnamese under the French.
  • Geocurrents observes that Eurovision’s second-place winners, Russia’s Buranovskie Babushki, come from the pagan-inflected Finnic republic of Udmurtia.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis provides a sympathetic review of the Earth Liberation Front and the documentary If A Tree Falls.
  • Language Log notes the controversy in Ukraine regarding the introduction of Russian as an official language.
  • Open the Future’s Jamais Cascio blogs about his impressions of Kazakstan’s new capital Astana–being built practically overnight in the middle of the steppe–and an economic conference being held there that’s curiously tone-deaf.
  • Torontoist noted that red-paned Toronto skyscraper Scotia Plaza has been sold for a cool $C 1.27 billion.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham compares English- and French-language geotagged articles on Wikipedia and finds with the exception of France, the Maghreb, and selected points elsewhere, English outnumbers French.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Andrew Barton at Acts of Minor Treason wonders about the next generation of birthers, concerned with “natural-born” presidential candidates: what of the genetically engineered?
  • blogTO notes that People’s Foods, an iconic diner in The Annex on Dupont Street, is closing down due to rising rents.
  • Far Outliers profiles the displacement of classical Chinese as the written language of Vietnam by Latin-script Vietnamese under the French.
  • Geocurrents observes that Eurovision’s second-place winners, Russia’s Buranovskie Babushki, come from the pagan-inflected Finnic republic of Udmurtia.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis provides a sympathetic review of the Earth Liberation Front and the documentary If A Tree Falls.
  • Language Log notes the controversy in Ukraine regarding the introduction of Russian as an official language.
  • Open the Future’s Jamais Cascio blogs about his impressions of Kazakstan’s new capital Astana–being built practically overnight in the middle of the steppe–and an economic conference being held there that’s curiously tone-deaf.
  • Torontoist noted that red-paned Toronto skyscraper Scotia Plaza has been sold for a cool $C 1.27 billion.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham compares English- and French-language geotagged articles on Wikipedia and finds with the exception of France, the Maghreb, and selected points elsewhere, English outnumbers French.

[LINK] “Estonia’s Seto minority strive to protect traditions”

The Setos, a small Finnic group concentrated in southeasternmost Estonia and adjacent parts of Russia, are the subject of Anneli Reigas’ Agence France Presse article. Existing on the fringes of the Estonian cultural area, the Setos both retained more pre-Christian traditions than other Estonians and were exposed to other cultural influences, especially from Russia.

Estonia’s Seto, a group of only 15,000 in this Baltic nation of 1.3 million, are struggling to keep their way of life alive as young people leave their close-knit communities to seek new opportunities.

For many of the estimated 2,000 who live in what is known as Setoland, a cluster of villages in southeast Estonia, tradition is key.

[. . .]

Some suggest that the Seto were a separate group from among the Finno-Ugric tribes who settled across eastern Europe 5,000-8,000 years ago and gave birth to the modern Finns, Estonians and Hungarians.

But pointing to similarities between Seto and the southern Estonian Voru dialect, most experts consider them to be ethnic Estonians whom historical peculiarities formed into a distinct culture.

For example, the Seto are staunchly Orthodox, because their home region was under Russian rule for centuries.

Most of the rest of Estonia was long controlled by Catholic and Protestant Germans and Swedes, before being conquered by Tsarist Russia in the early 18th century.

The 20th century, Reigas notes, saw sharp assimilatory pressures, first from the young Estonian nation-state in the interwar period then from the Soviet Union, which–apart from annexing some Seto communities directly into the Russian republic–repressed Seto religious traditions. Independence led to a resurgence in Seto freedoms, but economic pressures in this rural area of Estonia remain significant. Seto identity seems to be morphing into something more associated with ancestral traditions than actively lived identities.

“The good thing is that since Estonia regained independence in 1991 the general attitude towards Setos has got better. While in Soviet time the word Seto seemed to mean you were a bit bizarre, today introducing yourself as a Seto sounds like an honour,” said Aare Poolak, 46, head of the local administration.

“I’m fully Seto and very proud of it,” Poolak told AFP.

But the post-Soviet freedom to flourish has been far from perfect.

“In 15 years the population of Mikitamae county — one of the Setoland counties — has decreased from 1,500 to 1,000,” said Poolak.

“Many men from our county have to work in Finland, 400 kilometres away, because of a lack of jobs here. And many young people have left permanently because entertainment like theatres and cinemas are far away and expensive to reach,” he added.

Seto living elsewhere in Estonia, or abroad, flock to their ancestral home for religious festivals and secular vacations./blockquote>

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

[LINK] “Estonia’s Seto minority strive to protect traditions”

The Setos, a small Finnic group concentrated in southeasternmost Estonia and adjacent parts of Russia, are the subject of Anneli Reigas’ Agence France Presse article. Existing on the fringes of the Estonian cultural area, the Setos both retained more pre-Christian traditions than other Estonians and were exposed to other cultural influences, especially from Russia.

Estonia’s Seto, a group of only 15,000 in this Baltic nation of 1.3 million, are struggling to keep their way of life alive as young people leave their close-knit communities to seek new opportunities.

For many of the estimated 2,000 who live in what is known as Setoland, a cluster of villages in southeast Estonia, tradition is key.

[. . .]

Some suggest that the Seto were a separate group from among the Finno-Ugric tribes who settled across eastern Europe 5,000-8,000 years ago and gave birth to the modern Finns, Estonians and Hungarians.

But pointing to similarities between Seto and the southern Estonian Voru dialect, most experts consider them to be ethnic Estonians whom historical peculiarities formed into a distinct culture.

For example, the Seto are staunchly Orthodox, because their home region was under Russian rule for centuries.

Most of the rest of Estonia was long controlled by Catholic and Protestant Germans and Swedes, before being conquered by Tsarist Russia in the early 18th century.

The 20th century, Reigas notes, saw sharp assimilatory pressures, first from the young Estonian nation-state in the interwar period then from the Soviet Union, which–apart from annexing some Seto communities directly into the Russian republic–repressed Seto religious traditions. Independence led to a resurgence in Seto freedoms, but economic pressures in this rural area of Estonia remain significant. Seto identity seems to be morphing into something more associated with ancestral traditions than actively lived identities.

“The good thing is that since Estonia regained independence in 1991 the general attitude towards Setos has got better. While in Soviet time the word Seto seemed to mean you were a bit bizarre, today introducing yourself as a Seto sounds like an honour,” said Aare Poolak, 46, head of the local administration.

“I’m fully Seto and very proud of it,” Poolak told AFP.

But the post-Soviet freedom to flourish has been far from perfect.

“In 15 years the population of Mikitamae county — one of the Setoland counties — has decreased from 1,500 to 1,000,” said Poolak.

“Many men from our county have to work in Finland, 400 kilometres away, because of a lack of jobs here. And many young people have left permanently because entertainment like theatres and cinemas are far away and expensive to reach,” he added.

Seto living elsewhere in Estonia, or abroad, flock to their ancestral home for religious festivals and secular vacations./blockquote>

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm