The EEC in Africa = Advocate or Adversary?

The EEC, European Economic Community, means nothing but the best.  They, made up of the cream of the crop from their respective countries and regions’ anthropological and social sectors.  They seek to help Africans preserve their history through a series of museum installations across the dark continent.  The organization has gained much support throughout the EU, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East for their efforts to assist the people of Africa in the preservation of their cultural heritage. 

“In 2008,” the EEC has been credited with opening “the re-vamped Kenya National Museum…opened with great fanfare” (Miller, 2012, p.322).  I personally can attest to the eagerness of Kenyans to learn about their heritage.  However, I have come to understand through rooming with a Swahili gentlemen in University that much of their preservation is through that of oral tradition.

Much of the arguments against and criticisms that the EEC have accrued are merely that of “whether objects from non-Western cultures should be exhibited, like western art objects, with little or no ethnographic context” (Miller, 2012, p.322).  To me, the very nature of this argument is embedded in that still of ethnocentric-isms.  It fails to rise to the occasion of addressing this issue.

Perhaps the most pressing issue for cultural anthropologists, ethnographers, linguists, and especially cultural preservationists is to what extent are these museums effecting the oral tradition that many of these cultures have come to rely on?  Is there a wall somewhere to which all village elders are speaking their last indegenous words?

Source: Barbara Miller, “Cultural Anthropology,” (Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2012).

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Will Masai pastoralists adopt gardening in plastic bags, pots or bottles? (A. TONIUTTI / Willem VAN COTTHEM)

My thoughts: Only if it is feasable! But, undoubtedly, yes (in spite of my tendencies toward non-linear models of livelihood and reality)!

CONTAINER GARDENING

That’s the basic question coming to my mind when I was reading Alessandra TONIUTTI’s message :

‘Dear Doctor Van Cotthem,

I read with a lot of interest your various articles on container gardening and cultivation of plants under drought conditions.

I am from Italy. A couple of years ago I made friends with some Tanzanian Masai who live on the Northern coast close to the city of Handeni. I spent a fortnight at their village. The Masai are pastoralists and not at all accustomed to cultivation. They use the little money they have to buy rice, flour, beans, tomato, carrots and other vegetables. They have no idea where to start from in terms of cultivation practices and it is a fact that they live in a very dry area. Getting water from holes miles away is a very toilsome task and every single drop is a value in itself.

I…

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Scam City: Buenos Aires

Several nights ago a television series entitled Scam City premiered.  It sought to help tourists avoid traps of counterfeiting, pick-pocketing, and down-right thievery.  I thought perhaps it was a bit unfair to portray the country of Argentina in such a way based on some of the worst areas of its Capitol, and additionally, most populated city.

Let’s hear from some people from Argentina.  What is your country really like?  Is the aforementioned portrayal fair or not?  Can this be avoided? Was this merely sensationalism?

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focal vocabularies

I noticed that there wasn’t much posted online about a linguistic anthropological topic that is of particular interest to the study; focal vocabularies.  These are vocabularies that a particular culture or people have developed in relation to something that is a central focus point or important aspect of their respective livelihood.  For instance, “many circumpolar languages have rich focal vocabularies related to snow…[Likewise,] in mountainous areas of Afghanistan, people use many terms for varieties of rocks”.

Source:  Barbara Miller’s “Cultural Anthropology,” (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2012), 262.

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purple foods

purple foods

Purple foods are really really healthy and good for us. “That’s because many purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are red, blue and purple natural pigments. Anthocyanins are healthy because they’re powerful antioxidants and may help boost the immune system, maintain health and prevent disease, said J. Scott Smith, Kansas State University professor of food chemistry.”.

Source:  https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/feb11/purplefood20911.html

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April 17, 2013 · 7:15 am

Just completed first Subaru oil change!

Very excited.  I hadn’t changed the oil in my own vehicle for years, but I finally decided to buy the necessary equipment and supplies when I bought my most current car, the ’99 Subaru Outback.  I knew that I’d enjoy owning the car for a long time, considering it’s a station wagon, super-reliable, not bad on gas mileage, and a ton of fun to drive.

I literally spent about 10 minutes changing the car’s oil and about two weeks putting it off because I didn’t want to run into unforeseen problems.  Yes, it did cost a little bit more than a cheap-o $17.99 job from a corner shop, but now I own the tools to perform the task myself on ANY vehicle, rendering future oil changes cheaper.  The sense of accomplishment is pretty great, I must say.

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Hot Sandwich Recipe

Image

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2-1/2 slices bacon
  • 6 ounces chipped chopped ham, shredded
  • 1/4 onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce (such as Heinz® Original BBQ Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon bottled sweet chili sauce (such as Heinz® Premium Chili Sauce)

    • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (such as Heinz® Sweet Relish)

    • 1 tablespoon chopped sweet pickle slices (bread-and-butter type)
    • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
    • 4 hamburger buns, split

    Directions

    NOTE: The times on this recipe are for a much larger sandwich platter.  Do yourself a favor, the first time you make it, stick around and watch your sandwiches’ progress.
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Allow the bacon to cool, and chop.
    3. Cook and stir the onion in the bacon grease left in the skillet until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bacon, chipped ham, barbecue sauce, and chili sauce until the mixture is well combined. Transfer the ham mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the pickle relish and chopped pickle.
    4. Place about 1/4 cup of ham mixture on a bun, and top with a slice of Cheddar cheese. Close the sandwiches, wrap each in foil, and bake in the preheated oven until hot and the cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

    This could also be an excellent dish for making on the engine of your car as well!

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