isolation

Feb 14th, 2008 Posted in cultures | no comment »

The Sentinelese people live on the Andaman Islands off the coast of India. They are among a number of tribes in the world that have shunned contact with the rest of the globe. And with a culture that has survived intact and served them well for 60,000 years, you can’t really argue with the wisdom of their choice. The Indian government tried for a while to establish contact, but met with little success since the Sentinelese are quite happy not to be bothered. Here is a video of one attempt to contact them. These links come from Survival International, an organization devoted to supporting the rights of tribal peoples worldwide.

australia apologizes

Feb 14th, 2008 Posted in cultures | no comment »

Yesterday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially apologized to the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia for the state-sponsored mistreatment that they have endured over the last century. It’s an important symbolic step that was long overdue, but of course it remains to be seen what happens next. For an overview to this sad chapter of history, read the Stolen Generations article in Wikipedia. Better yet, watch the excellent and heartbreaking film Rabbit-Proof Fence and check out Midnight Oil’s 1987 song “The Dead Heart:”