Monthly Archives: February 2014

France the Beautiful – Parc National des Calanques…

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N.B. “calanque” comes –from Corsican and Occitan words of pre-Indo-European origin:””calanca””, plural “”calanche”” in Corsican, “”calancas”” in Occitan, meaning “”inlet”” – a steep-walled valley, cove, or bay – developed in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata, found along the French Mediterranean coast… more here: http://www.ot-cassis.com/fr/les-calanques-par-les-sentiers.html

Ainu Kotan, Hokkaido, Japan…

Ainu village by the Akan lake and my ryokan room – another world at 1000 kms away from Tokyo… 🙂

The Ainu(humans – literally) are indigenous people who live mostly in Hokkaido, Japan. They have a cultural and racial background somewhat different from that of the ethnic Japanese. They populated parts of Honshu, the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin. According to one of several theories, the Ainu are descendants of Mongoloid migrants who entered the Japanese islands before the Jomon period. They were later gradually displaced and assimilated when the ethnic Japanese expanded their territory northwards over 1500 years. During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), the Ainu received the status of “former aboriginals”, but suffered official discrimination for several years.

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In 1997, a new law was passed with the provision of funds for the research and promotion of Ainu culture. The Ainu believe in the interaction of nature, humans and gods, and they utilize nature around them for clothing, food and housing, and NEVER take a life unnecessarily. Fish, bear meat and wild plants are gathered and stored for winter. They have a deep reverence and respect for nature and the belief that gods do exist in all things. They also believe that each entity comes from its own world and returns there after accomplishing its role. This view of life and the wisdom of their lifestyle are now recognized as ecological living…

Ainu Kotan is a tiny village which is basically a street with souvenir shops selling Ainu handicrafts… 🙂

 

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