Wednesday, November 28, 2012

exploration 11

i did research on south africa and what i find out is that south africa's their economy has been improving. in fact the countries economy is better than its surrounding countries.  just like the USA, south africa also had a recession in 2009 but the world cup that was held in 2010 in the country helped boost their economy.  one thing that the country is struggling with is their crime rate. there are a lot of rapes, murders. i also found out that many people take rhino horns to sell.

                                     The 14th Dali Lama receiving the nobel peace prize in 1989

the 14th dali lama is a spiritual leader, he is a monk.  The main thing he does is to try to restore peace in tibet and around the world.  China has a big problem with him because part of his movement is to end communist and he made a plan for the country of tibet to become a democracy.  he changed the lives of the people in tibet.  thanks to him tibetans have more rights now, and just like every other democracy they chose their leaders. he has won many awards for promoting freedom and peace.  one of those awards include the nobel peace price in 1989.

Global Citizens means global reading

We know we need an awareness of what's going on in the world to understand the world.

Here are some links to short and medium length articles and opinions on events past our borders.  They are all thought-provoking.  The one on the woman who was murdered and found yesterday in Mexico is heartbreaking and inspiring.

Take some notes as you read.  And yes, I know you are not used to doing that, but give it a try.  It will help you for the Quiz on Monday and believe it or not, I do want you to do well.

All best,


This one connects to our discussions of social media, and unrest in China.

These two cover the murder in Mexico of this very brave politician.  Feels great for the U.S. to be Mexico's number one customer for drugs, doesn't it?

Maria Santos Gorrostieta
These two deal with religion and environment in China.  They are both huge issues of concern in the West and East.

Enjoy, and learn!

Exploration Eleven

I really thought that it was intriguing how a man who plotted the violent overtaking of the South African Government could turn around and win The Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson Mandela served almost 28 years in prison for organizing a group (Umkhonto we Sizwe), whom he says was for defensive purposes against the violence of apartheid. I think it was a great achievement for Mandela to not let 27 years in prison stop his efforts to restore peace in his homeland of South Africa. When I initially thought about the Dalai Lama, I thought about a wise monk who is
packed to the brim with witty and philosophic quotes like that

of Confucius; of course I was only partly right. The Dalai Lama is a renowned advocate for peace - particularly in his homeland of Tibet. In a room full of bankers seeking his insights to further their fortunes (how that is even possible, I am not sure), he opens up the floor by telling them that he is "a Buddist-Marxist." This alone tells me that the Dalai Lama is os open-mind, and not just fixated on the teachings of Buddism. After reading his Nobel Peace Prize Speech, Inner Peace and Human Rights, I was amazed at how is truly aware of issues that occur everywhere in the world - not just in Tibet. Overall I think that it is very remarkable how it seems that direct, but non-violent action against inequality has yielded massive and positive results. Who would have thought of such a thing?! Using peace (not war) to gain peace... Now there's an idea. Although there was this one instance in Tiananmen Square... I guess the peaceful approach is not always the best route to take, but should always be considered over the alternative.

Exploration 11

     The most interesting article I found about Myanmar/Burma was at The article was written October 17, 2012 so it is a little over a month old. It talks about how much Burma has changed over the past two years. They have lifted bans on foreign visitors, got rid of media and press censorship, political prisoners have been released, former leaders have resigned,  and by-elections have been held. These are substantial steps of progress but as Aung San Suu Kyi said, "We are not yet at the end of our struggle, but we are getting there." The military still has strong power over the people of Burma but reform needs to continue being encouraged to promote a Burma democracy. (
   According to the, the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the people of Tibet and is guided by three major commitments in life: the promotion of basic human values in the interest of happiness, the fostering of inter-religious harmony and well being of the Tibetan people, and focusing on the survival of the Tibetans' identity, culture, and religion. I found it interesting when in his profile before his speech in our book it said that he was recognized as being the reincarnated 13th Dalai Lama. The main conflict with Tibet and China was that they both have very different styles of government and the People's Republic of China wanted to take over Tibet but the Dalai Lama and Tibetans didn't want that. This all forced the Dalai Lama into India, from where he travels around spreading the word of his religion and established a Tibetan government. It is surprising that he could make a Tibetan government without even being in Tibet, but that goes to show how much of a respected figure he is in Tibet.

Above is a cover of Time magazine from when the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Exploration 11

        The article that I read was on BBC news and it is a profile of South Africa. It tells about how diverse the country is and that they have 11 languages recognized as official languages. They have a very diverse community structure with many different types of leaders. The country has a very prosperous economy compared to surrounding countries because of the mining and manufacturing businesses. They had a recession in 2009 due to the slowdown of these sectors, and most of the citizens are still poor and unemployment is high.

One of many great quotes from the 14th Dalai Lama
         The 14th Dalai Lama designed a plan for Tibet to set up a democracy and have them live without the communistic control of China. He made it possible for them to choose their leaders and have a vote in what goes on in the country. He truly changed the way Tibetans would live and how officials would be elected. Not only does he want peace and equality in Tibet, but he stands up for world peace and has traveled to more than 62 countries and  met with various governmental leaders.

While Aung San Suu Kyi was still on house arrest, A cyclone tore down Kyi's house's roof top. This event took place in 2008. It was called cyclone Nagris. A huge tree fell on her front gate and her roof, damaging the roof completely. Her house didn't have power for a while and she had to live in a house without power. She relied on Candles to go through the night. When I first read about this little incident, it didn't have any info on how Kyi felt about it or if she was bothered at all. I think that is probably because it didn't bother her, she could probably careless about her powerless house. As brave as Kyi is, I doubt having no power was a big deal to her at all because her focus was something completely different. It wasn't to live a comfortable life but to fight for freedom for herself and others.

Dalai Lama is considered to be a spiritual leader of Tibet. He was asking for Tibet's independence from China which he never end up being successful in achieving. However, recently he changed his mind and is not  fighting for independence anymore but merely wants to negotiate a level of autonomy for Tibet. Chinese government is finding it difficult to trust Dalai Lama and so far has refused to go along with Lama's request. In my opinion, to see someone like Dalai Lama who has been working toward gaining independence for Tibet and all of a sudden changed his mind about it seems suspicious. Although, it can be true that he truly desires it due to his own claim that people of Tibet would have benefits but at the same time he knew this before as well. So, I think I understand Chinese government's position on this situation and personally wouldn't go along with someone like Dalai Lama who has been working against China.

China blamed Dalai Lama for the Violence and attack

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

exploration 11

Something interesting that i found about Nelson Mandela was jailed for sabatoge while being the leader of the ANC and was sentaced to life. He was released after 22 years in prison and soon after acheived a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in desegregating South Africa.

F.W. de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993 for his work i desegregating South Africa although he was president before the desegregation took place. He was and is the last white president scince 1994 when Nelson Mandela took his place.

 I found Aung San Suu Kyi  interesting because she was on house arrest her whole life because she was fighting for what she thought was right, and punishment for what people see as right seems like a trend between leaders like Nelson Mandela, and MLK jr.

The Dali Lama is a "pope-like" figure for Tibeten Buddhists, he is believed to be a reincarnated person of the previous Dali Lama's. His work is to spread peace and give advice to the world. He is dis liked throuout China because he claimes to be "tibeten in appereamce but indian in spirit". The Chinese dont see him as a worthy leader to the tibeten buddhists if he claims to be indian.

Exploration 11

In 1962, Mandela was put in prison for a life sentence but while he was in prison he was the most signifiant black leader in South Africa. Also, became the potent symbol of resistence as the anti- aparttheid movement. Frederik Willem de Klark was the reason why Mandela got out of prison. They worked together to change South Africa. The thing I found very important about Aung San Suu Kyi is she was on house arrest her whole life because she was fighting for what she thought was right.

 Dalai Lama the 14th.

Dalai Lama actau name is Lhamo Dhondup but that changed when he was recognized and recarninted by the Dalai Lama the 13th. To become what he became he had to do five majors and five minors which he suceeded with honors. He was giving the full political power after China had an invasion with Tibet. Throughout the years, Dalai Lama made the Five Point Peace Plan which was:
  1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.
  2. Abandonment of China's population transfer policy that threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people.
  3. Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
  4. Restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste.
  5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.
This helped out his country.

Exploration 11

In the South Africa of today many still struggle. Hunger and crime still plague the majority citizens, and education is lacking in just about every single way for the people of South Africa. What we take for granted in United States are luxuries for those in Africa nation.

On the education front, many cannot attend school simply because they are too poor to be able to afford basic education. It's not like the US, where even the those with great debt can still send their children to school. Out education, for K-12, is free (in most cases). Another issue with the education system in South Africa is over crowding in the schools. One teacher, Priscilla Maseleme, talks about how she has fifty students in one class. The only bright side is that they all have textbooks.

One of the biggest issues, however, is segregation. Many feel they have much more freedom now than their parents, but the issue is still there. One man stated that he will not live to see the full effects of a joint society, but his children just might.

Link to BBC Special Report on South Africa.

The Dalai Lama, though not part of any Western religion, is still an icon. He advocates peace, frowns upon the use of weapons in his home country of Tibet against China, and has been traveling the world since leaving Tibet in 1959 due to Chinese rule over the area. He is a man of great will in the peaceful fight for freedom from China, and a man of wisdom.

Buddhist monks protest with Dalahi Lama picture looking over them.   

The issue between Tibet and China is not a simple matter. It's rather complex with a mix of political conflict and religious conflict.Strong enough feelings exist that, in Tibet, two monks within the past five years have lite themselves ablaze in protest. It's true that religion and politics spark great fights, and this is a perfect example in the modern world. On one hand, Tibet says that that China will not allow them to practice their form of Buddhism, but a watered-downed communist form. China says differently, that Tibet (which is a Chinese territory to Beijing, but independent to Tibetans) has religious freedom.

The Dalai Lama was forced out of Tibet in 1959 because of a failed uprising against China. If not for the Dalai Lama, most people would probably be unaware of Tibet and the issues within the country.

Link to BBC News Q&A: China and the Tibetans

Exploration 11

Nelson Mandela's father was chef of Tembu Tribe in South Africa, so he was born with the traits of a leader.  In 1942, Mandela studied Law at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand . In 1944 he joined the African National Congress and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He was put on trial from 1956-1961 was ruled not guilty in 1961.  In 1963, Mandela was arrested for plotting to overthrow the government with violence, he was release from prison in 1990.

The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and are considered enlightened beings, they give up their lives to be rebirth'd so they can serve humanity. A conflict I found is that the Dalai Lama, in 1992 issued guidelines for the constitution of the future free Tibet from China.

Exploration 11

An article I found along with interesting facts about Nelson Mandela is that he was first charged with high treason in 1956 but after a four-year trial the charges where dropped, then in 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison and he served time starting in the summer of 1964. But during his time in prison his followers grew steadily and he was quickly accepted as a very significant leader in South Africa. After his release in 1990 he worked even harder to make the goals he had set earlier possible.
The 14th Dalai Lama as a child

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader of Tibet, they are considered enlightened beings who have given up their lives to be rebirth'd so they can serve humanity. A conflict I found is that the Dalai Lama, in 1992 issued guidelines for the constitution of the future free Tibet from China.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Exploration 11

   Nelson Mandela was the co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize he shared the award with Frederik Willem de Klerk.  Mandela had a very interesting upbringing and young life, he was born one of 13 children.  His father had four wives, and Mandela was born to the third wife.  He was the leader of an anti-government organization and orchestrated many bombings and sabotaging escapades for which he was imprisoned.  After his release, Mandela launched himself into politics once again, only this time it resulted in his election as president, instead of imprisonment.  Mandela is now 94 years old and resides in Johannesburg.  South Africa is now fairly stable but has an injured economy.
The Dalai Lama's Winter residence--Living in humble simplicity.
            The Dalai Lama is a position of religious power created by the Mongolians in the late 14th century.  The name the full Mongolian title of Dalai Lama means the wonderful Vajradhara, good splendid meritorious ocean, often summarized as The Ocean of Wisdom.  Some of the past Dalai Lamas have been overthrown for their lack of self-discipline.  There is naturally a conflict between China and the Dalai Lama because of the Dalai Lama’s Mongolian origins.  China and Mongolia do not have a very amicable history, in fact they are known for their relentless wars and conflicts.  In a modern perspective, the Dalai Lama stands for world peace, and being one with everything.  China, on the other hand, stands for large armies, large corporations, large government, large bank accounts communism and small regard for human existence.  I have respect for the Dalai Lama, however, I do not remotely agree with his religious views.  I do like his passion, and determination… and his house