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This Documentary Paints a Beautiful Portrait of Africa's Diverse Surf Culture

[embedded content]Color me naïve. But to see how the sport of surfing has transcended national borders is heartwarming. In the wake of landmark filmmaker Bruce Brown’s recent passing, media outlets from this one to the New York Times have obitted the man, making some mention of his opus The Endless Summer. Bruce Brown’s accolades are well deserved – it’s hard to overstate his contribution to surfing through the Endless Summer alone. Still, for as much as surf culture credits Brown for a collective desire to travel in pursuit of the perfect wave, there’s a flipside that sometimes goes unnoticed – the seeds of surf culture that are left in the wake of surf travel. Admittedly, surfing’s spread hasn’t been entirely positive – scores of formerly unknown coastal communities have become inundated with travelers and now deal with a myriad of issues like pollution and overdevelopment. But there are also numerous people across the world that were first inspired to surf because they saw a traveli..

The danger of confusing race and culture

DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFFRudi du Plooy celebrates the controversial Day of the Vow, an Afrikaans holiday commemorating a battle between the Voortrekkers and the Zulu. According to Florence Kerr’s December 20 article on Stuff, Rudi du Plooy, a South African expat, said he would like to see the Day of the Vow reinstated while speaking at a recent church gathering in Hamilton. The Day of the Vow commemorated the 1838 Battle of Blood River in which 460 white Voortrekkers fought off 20,000 Zulu. It was a mainstay of Afrikaaner identity during the apartheid era, but with the fall of the white minority rule, the day, which many saw as racist, was replaced with a new national Day of Reconciliation in 1994. His viewpoint has several worrying factors, but one in particular is du Plooy’s view on associating culture solely on race. Are New Zealanders racist? Share your stories, photos and videos.He states: “I don’t see a difference in race, my record is I knew a lot of black leaders and they’ve respe..

Blue Devil of the Week: Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Name: Ed Balleisen Title: Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of History and Public Policy Years at Duke: 21 What he does: While a focus on interdisciplinary studies has been a part of Duke’s strategic direction for a few decades, Balleisen stresses the impulse to span areas of study in search of answers to complex questions is something that occurs organically at Duke. Go in any school or department, he says, and you’ll find teachers and students whose curiosity and focus on big problems often leads them beyond the boundaries of their particular field, and often into intellectual partnerships with others from other disciplines. It’s Balleisen’s job to nurture that part of campus culture. As the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, a position he’s held since 2015, he’s helped guide the campus entities that have drawn on expertise from multiple schools and overseen the growth of the Bass Connections program, which teams students with faculty to pursue interdisci..

“Mama Tinga Tinga”, the African version of Santa? [Culture on The Morning Call]

Christmas is celebrated throughout the African continent by Christian communities both large and small on December 25. Except in Ethiopia and Egypt who celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar- which means that they celebrate Christmas on January 7. Many western Christmas traditions are now part of African Christmas culture, including buying trees, singing Christmas carols and children waiting for Christmas presents from Father Christmas. Speaking about Father Christmas or Santa Claus. He is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day. As African children, the image we get while growing up is that of a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. But..

Blue Devil of the Week: Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Name: Ed Balleisen Title: Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of History and Public Policy Years at Duke: 21 What he does: While a focus on interdisciplinary studies has been a part of Duke’s strategic direction for a few decades, Balleisen stresses the impulse to span areas of study in search of answers to complex questions is something that occurs organically at Duke. Go in any school or department, he says, and you’ll find teachers and students whose curiosity and focus on big problems often leads them beyond the boundaries of their particular field, and often into intellectual partnerships with others from other disciplines. It’s Balleisen’s job to nurture that part of campus culture. As the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, a position he’s held since 2015, he’s helped guide the campus entities that have drawn on expertise from multiple schools and overseen the growth of the Bass Connections program, which teams students with faculty to pursue interdisci..

Candle-lit Kwanzaa gathering celebrates African-American culture, unity

Tiny tea light candles illuminated the steps of the Mims House on Wednesday night in observation of Kwanzaa. The weeklong holiday — from Dec. 26 through Jan 1. — celebrates African-American family, community and culture. Its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa. Each day of Kwanzaa focuses on one of seven principles known as Nguzo Saba. Wednesday’s focus was the second principle, Kujichagulia, a Swahili word for self-determination. Eric Richardson, president of the local NAACP chapter, said at the gathering that Kwanzaa is a celebration created in the 1960s, when African-Americans were trying to “recognize themselves, find dignity and connect with Africa proper.” “Tonight’s message is about self-determination and always pushing forward,” Richardson said. “There are people of color all over the world who don’t have what we have, so we must keep pushing. There are historical examples of that, too; of people like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who powered t..

Why North African Jews Are Missing From the Holocaust Narrative

My grandfather was a very proud person. He uttered not a word about the Holocaust he endured in Libya; only once did I hear him talk about the renta, the reparations from Germany, which, by a cruel irony, began arriving a month after his mother died. I heard that his mother’s back had been broken in the camp and that from then on she was completely hunched over. So I also understood that there had been Nazis there. At first, my family’s involvement in that incomprehensible event seemed to me improbable, and later negligible. At some point I started to explore the subject more deeply, and heard about the Giado camp, closed in by a barbed-wire fence, with wooden huts holding more than 300 people each. About 2,600 Libyan Jews were transported to the camp and subjected to forced labor. They suffered from hunger and disease, and were the victims of daily abuse. Many were murdered – 562 Jews died there – and dozens more were sent to death camps, notably Bergen-Belsen. To this day, it remains..

Ride the world's tallest swing in this often overlooked South African city

Visitors to South Africa tend to favor Cape Town and Johannesburg, often overlooking the coastal city of Durban. But the country’s third-largest city shouldn’t be omitted. One local has an interesting take on this. “If South Africa were Destiny’s Child, Durban would be Michelle [Williams], but we think it can be the Beyoncé one day,” says Andrew Rall, before taking a swig of his Durban Dry Gin distilled with locally-sourced botanicals like African rose hip. We’re sitting in Rall’s restaurant, Distillery 031, a buzzy bar tucked inside the city’s Station Precinct district. This area of Durban feels a lot like Brooklyn — chic warehouse spaces peppered with clutches of craft coffee cafés and vintage clothing shops. Michelle Williams, like the other members of R&B group Destiny’s Child, isn’t a household name like Beyoncé. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' highlights Ireland's Skellig Michael Neither is Durban. But the city filled with plenty of gritty charm, culture, and na..

Africa: Balopi Relishes Miss Africa Title

By Omphile NtakhwanaGaborone — Twenty-one-year old Gaseangwe Balopi from Tonota has made the country proud by winning the second edition of Miss Africa 2017 hosted by Cross River state in Calabar, Nigeria on December 28. In an interview, Balopi said she first heard of Miss Africa from a friend in 2016 but decided not to pursue it then because it came too soon and she believed she was not prepared for it. "But last year I decided to join because of the longing and burning desire to make a difference in the world and the rest is history," she said. Balopi came back P350 000 richer as well as owning a Ford Edge Sport Utility vehicle. She indicated that before her historic milestone, she was among Miss Botswana 2016 finalists and that was where her love for pageantry and modelling journey began. "I have been featured on Elle magazine SA, Legit SA, shot with Sun goddess at SA fashion week and many more," said Balopi adding that she was honoured to have represented Botswana at the prestigiou..

Kwanzaa comes to Boathouse Row

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday observed for seven days beginning Dec. 26 and ending Jan. 1. Neither a religious nor a political holiday, Kwanzaa was established in 1996 by noted Black American scholar and activist Maulana Karenga to introduce and spread “Nguzo Saba,” which in Swahili means the seven principles that he developed from his ongoing African culture studies. Translated, these are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics (building Black businesses), purpose, creativity and faith. A candle is lit on each day to celebrate each principle. On the last day, a Black candle is lit and gifts are shared. According to The Associated Press, the name “Kwanzaa” is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language. However, Kwanzaa, the holiday, did not exist in Africa. “Kwanzaa is a celebration of the family which first forms us, names..

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