With the increase in the population, Kathmandu valley's dynamics and structures of population have changed. New migrant families are coming up and the structures of old families are transforming from extended ones to nucleus. The family relation is no more confined to a particular locality and caste as it has become heterogeneous in nature. Many families even have married relations to international families.
Since valley has turned into a metropolitan, one can witness the transformation taking place in our age-old rituals, festivals and cultures. From celebrating rituals to marriage, the valley has seen drastic and dramatic transformation. Traditional systems are fading away and new system is gradually replacing the older one. As usual, Kathmandu valley is embracing change keeping intact its tradition of harmony and accommodation >> continue
Two new links, found via Science Blog/ Open Directory Project:
The Okavango Delta Peoples of Botswana: Short overview, many links. By John Bock, professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Fullerton: "The Okavango Delta of the Republic of Botswana is a large wetland surrounded by the Kalahari desert. The Okavango is a unique ecosystem and has large populations of African mammals, birds, and other animals. Of less interest have been the 100,000 people who call the Delta home. This site is dedicated to the dissemination of information concerning the Okavango Delta People" >> continue
The Maithil Brahmans in India: an online ethnography by Carolyn Brown Heinz, Department of Anthropology California State University, Chico - including fieldnotes and many pictures. Confusing site navigation. >> continue
Alana Lentin, Open Democracy
The multiculturalist model that elevates difference to a social principle is under attack. People committed to creating a world of justice and equal rights should not waste time defending it.
Multiculturalism’s exclusive focus on culture can present an apolitical picture of “minority” experience and agency that evades the daily realities of institutionalised racism. This emphasis on culture lies at the heart of the problem of multiculturalism, and – I would argue – makes it an unworthy prize for progressive voices now seeking to reclaim it. >> continue
Thomas Hylland Eriksen's homepage
There are, plainly, no good arguments against allowing increased labour migration into European countries. Their labour is needed in our countries with their ageing populations; they enhance and widen the scope of national identities; their remittances help out at home; and their children have opportunities only dreamt about a generation earlier.
The problem for a country like Norway is, therefore, not how to limit the number of asylum-seekers or labour migrants, nor how to mitigate the conflict between immigrants and the domestic working class. The problem consists in attracting professionals. >> continue
AP / Yahoo News
Nearly 400 years after the worst of the Norwegian witch trials ripped through the area, approximately 100 people have made their way to the small town of Vardoe, just over 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) from the North Pole, for northern Norway's first ever witch conference.
"When we take the low population of Finnmark (Norway's northernmost county and home to Vardoe) into consideration, the persecution of accused witches is almost the worst in all of Europe," Rune Blix Hagen Hagen, historian at the University of Tromsoe, says. Approximately 20 percent of the 138 people convicted of witchcraft in Finnmark county between 1598 and 1692 were Sami.
While the belief in witchcraft and magic may appear firmly lodged in the past, the willingness to participate in witch hunts has not ebbed with the passing centuries, according to social anthropologist Jan Broegger. >> continue
National Catholic Reporter
American scholars are alarmed by a controversial education bill that would increase government monitoring of federally funded programs in international studies at colleges and universities.
Backers of the bill say it will help restore balance to Middle East studies programs, which they say are overly critical of Israel and of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Opponents say the bill could lead to intrusive investigations of faculty and will undermine the credibility of American scholarship.
The proposed board would have the authority “to study, monitor, apprise and evaluate a sample of activities” to ensure that programs represent “diverse perspectives.”
Although the legislation was born out of the polarized debate about Middle East studies, it will apply to a variety of other academic programs related to international studies, including the study and research of modern languages, area studies and anthropology. >> continue
Forum Barcelona 2004
The World Congress on Human Movements and Immigration from September 2 to 5 will bring together some 1,500 delegates from all over the world to assess the effects of migration flows and think of new ways to address these issues in a global and efficient way.
The dialogue, which will begin on Wednesday, is divided into three main topics: transformation (understood as he impact of the knowledge and information society on migration flows); cultural diversity (with specific attention to the new relations established between different communities, identities, territories and cultures); and justice (given the social and economic contrasts and the different levels of access to goods resulting from migration flows). >> continue
The Jakarta Post
A Papuan anthropologist, Marlina Flassy, has been declared the winner of the Peniti Emas community research award, capping a series of science and technology achievements by people in the remote province.
Marlina's research conducted in 2001, found changes to the value systems of the patriarchal Papuan communities, which had begun to provide women with access to education to improve their prospects for marriage.
"In the past, when a man proposed to a woman, he gave the woman only a package of kain timur (eastern cloth) as a bride price. But now, the higher the educational background the bride has, the higher she will be priced, sometimes amounting up to Rp 50 million (US$5,500)," the lecturer of the state Cendrawasih University in Jayapura said. (no longer available online)