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

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO points out a map–well-grounded, this time–by a pro-Transit City group that doesn’t want all the money put to subways.
  • Bruce Sterling links, at Beyond the Beyond, to a promo video by fashion deisgners Rodarte, combining their distressed fabrics with the Space X experimental labs.
  • Centauri Dreams also reports on the anomalous heat generation on Enceladus, suggesting that this makes the case for oceans on that Saturn moon all the more likely.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the various stealth aircraft projects around the world.
  • Daniel Drezner engages with the question, newly energized by the revelations surrounding the interactions and support lent by prominent political scientists and others when Gaddafi seemed a reformist, and what the academy’s relationship with power should be.
  • Eastern Approaches reports on the Estonian elections, which kept the free-market Reform Party in power.
  • GNXP notes DNA studies suggesting that the most diverse human populations are in southern Africa, not eastern Africa, suggesting either that southern Africa is where our species evolved or that greater diversity in eastern Africa was overwhelmed by recent migrations.
  • Language Hat takes a look at language in Libya, where the Arabic language is well-ensconced but notable language minorities remain.
  • Language Log has at Christopher Hitchens for his tendentiousness re: the usage of “brutalizes”. Who knew he was so retro?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money’s Scott Lemieux wonders when Instapundit Glenn Reynolds is going to note that, actually, all that it took was for anti-gay policies to be removed and campuses did see ROTC again.
  • Slap Upside the Head is thoroughly unimpressed with Mayor Ford and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, inasmuch as their feud is threatening city funding of Toronto pride.
  • Spacing Toronto’s Jessica Lemieux takes a look at soil remediation in formerly industrial areas of Toronto.
  • Torontoist’s reports on the straight students in a Toronto school’s gay-straight alliance.
  • Towleroad’s Andrew Belonsky notes Grindr’s expansion to Android, wondering about the potential for spontaneous contacts the software offers based on shared interests.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • At 80 Beats, notes are made of the fact that, at the time of the Roman Empire’s fall, the climate of the Mediterranean was drying out. Was there a connection?
  • Beyond the Beyond’ Bruce Sterling observes that plans are being made in the United Kingdom to build a working replica of EDSAC, the first working computer.
  • blogTO’s Derek Flack shows, with pictures, the speed and state of the renovations of Toronto’s Maple Leafs Gardens arena.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Edward Hugh summarizes the post-crash Estonian recovery. He admires the swift recovery, but fears that the low-hanging fruit have been plucked. Where will Estonia’s future growth prospects come from?
  • Inuit Panda Scarlet Carwash’s Ian is decidedly unimpressed by the self-entitlement and selective blindness of modern composers.
  • Language Hat provides an update on the latest issues of the Polish minority in Lithuania, this time relating to Lithuania’s location in a time zone one hour in advance of Poland’s.
  • Slap Upside the Head remarks on an American minister who blamed recent mysterious mass bird deaths in Arkansas on same-sex marriage..
  • The Search’s Douglas Todd links to a moving essay on the nature of love in a time of tension ans fear and hate.
  • At The Way the Future Blogs, Frederik Pohl is really unimpressed with the NRA for its role in legalizing the Glock handgun used in the Arizona mass shooting.
  • Finally, A Yorkshire Ranter’s Alex Harrowell observes that while a large-scale war between the Koreas is unlikely, smaller conflicts are still quite possible.

[LINK] “What it is to be French”

Back on the 30th of October, Denis Colombi at Une heure de peine… posted a provocative essay (in French, “Ce que c’est d’ĂȘtre un français”) on the ways in which people on the outside on a nation-state coming in (here, France, but generally applicable) always have question marks associated with their identity, how their belonging to the nation is questions by ongoing interrogations and indoctrinations and tests, and even then, as he puts it later in the essay, one can become French but not be French. What, he asks rhetorically, does it mean to be French? (My somewhat idiomatic Google-based translation is below.)

To be French today means that you don’t have to answer this question, or at least not having to provide his own answer. Is this a rhetorical response?. Rhetoric as a response? This would be the case if it wasn’t anchored in a reality that all those who have had the opportunity to spend time with immigrants have learned. One doesn’t have to go to the most deprived and the most difficult areas of our country, it will do to go to a single university or other institution of higher education hosting some students of foreign nationality, especially the extracommunitari as the Italians subtly say.

Only rarely do insiders, those who are established certain relationships, those who have legitimate status, have to explain why they are there and why they are legitimate. They usually just explain why others should not be there, why others should not join them, why they are illegitimate and unworthy to participate in the same activities and enjoy the same rights.

Go read the whole thing.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm