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THE WORLD CULTURE JOURNAL    published by The WebdaK Group

Cultural Diversity is threatened all over the world. Globalization pushes people towards western lifestyle. The influence of the American mass culture overshadows film industries and media in many countries. 

Cultural survival means saving the basic cultural identity. Cultural contamination has reached the last undiscovered areas of this planet. Celebrating cultural diversity through supporting all forms of alternatives will help saving endangered cultures.

With this Journal, I continue my mission to bring but a small fraction of world culture to You - the reader/ the WebSurfer - may you discover something new...

Wigbert Böll
(see UNESCO quotes & definitions)

world cultures news feed...

>>> more news from the ticker...

The Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is the oldest and most important African Film Festival - coming up again in February 2005. We are supporting the festival and happily forward donations or inquiries.  check here for updates or send a mail to for more information.

The big Buddha Statue in the Bamyian Valley, Afghanistan - destroyed in March 2001The Afghanistan Museum in Exile and the New7Wonders Foundation Society started the fundraising for the reconstruction of the demolished Buddha Statues in Afghanistan. The rebuilding of the full size Buddha on location in Afghanistan is the 3rd stage and will happen only after the country found peace. The project is internationally supported by Afghans in Exile and leading cultural experts.
The construction plan began with a virtual 3-D construction of the great Buddha. The 3-D exact replica cyberspace-Buddha is available for everybody to view on the web site.   >>> more

"First Writing Since..." by Suheir Hammad

"African Identity" by EKB Dumas

selections from the Archives:

The Bamiyan Buddha Reconstruction Project

Afghanistan & the Silk Road

9/11 & beyond - reactions, thoughts and images

The German Class

Digital World
Cebit 2001
WebdaK Intelligence Reports
HTML & Lesen (de)


visit our Journal [Archives] or browse by keyword:

World Music Grammy

No surprises in yesterday's GRAMMY Awards World Music Category:
Best traditional album went to "Raise Your Spirit Higher" by Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and the best contemporary award went to "Egypt" by Youssou N'Dour, which he actually produced already in 2001, but just released in 2004.

WB. on 2005.02.14 at 09:46 NY [Link]

Hawaiian Music new category at the 47th Grammy's

After years of intense lobbying, Hawaiian music became a new category at the 47th Grammy Awards. It established itself under the header Folk Music and became category #69 of by now 107 different categories/ awards.
While we always welcome initiatives to gain more recognition for local cultures, it seems a truly interesting precedent. Why Hawaiian music and not also French “Chanson”, Portuguese “Fado” or “Klezmer music”? Should not other national, regional or local music art forms have the same right as the Hawaiian tradition, instead of being judged against each other under the umbrella “World Music” or “Folk”. However, Hawaiian music does share its enhanced role already with “Reggae”(#70), “Native American Music(#68)” & “Polka(#73)”. Just imagine other musical traditions lobbying for their own spot in the music industries Oscar celebrations and we could have over 200 categories at the Grammy’s…

WB. on 2005.02.11 at 22:09 NY [Link]

Japanese Actors & Films

I fyou ever wanted to research some of the actors in a Japanese movie, but did not know, where to look, try, which calls itself also "Japanese Drama Home" - in English and Japanese. The site is maintained by a "website and Japanese drama hobbyist from Singapore" and features an A-Z index for actors and "dramas" and a time table and has many pictures.

WB. on 2005.02.02 at 17:58 NY [Link]

When English becomes a threat...

When the German government recently announced its official recommendation to radio stations “to play more German music”, it reacted to a real threat, which became increasingly apparent around the world. In a world of globalization the English language is spreading out like the newest fashion trend in teenage groups. Very often English words replace original ones and other modern words become part of local languages all over the world (“e-mail”).

Even the Chinese realize this as a danger to their own language, as recently published in China Daily:
"Chinese, as one of the world's oldest languages, is now facing unprecedented challenges. We cannot speak good English to the detriment of our mother tongue. For everyone of us, mastering a foreign language should be based on having a good command of our mother tongue. We Chinese have enough problems with our own language ...And beside the standard spoken putonghua, there are another seven main dialects, which are each further divided into several accents."

A Culture can survive in adapting to changes and languages are an important part of local cultures. It is therefore important to safeguard the traditional languages beside the international English.

WB. on 2005.01.19 at 06:33 NY [Link]


Tay Nguyen gongs (Vietnam)

Vietnam has submitted documents to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), asking for recognisation of Tay Nguyen gongs as a non-tangible and oral cultural heritage of the world.
The diverse and distinctive culture of the ethnic people in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region has been receiving special attention along with increasing investment in socio-economic development to improve their living conditions reports VietNam News

WB. on 2005.01.19 at 06:05 NY [Link]

Watch, what the Middle East is watching!

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in Washington, D.C. is providing much needed understanding of the islamic world through its projects, but also with its MEMRI TV web site. Any interested person can log in and view a variety of actual TV-programming from the Middle East, which is translated into English and a number of other languages. MEMRI started this new service in March 2004 and is adding to the possibilities, non-arabic speakers can access directly TV-Media from the region.
Another highly praised program is MOSAIC on the independent non-profit channel LinkTV, which is airing daily a 30-minute edited TV-News-collection from Lebanon, Quatar, U.A.R., Egypt, P.N.A., Sudan, etc.. LinkTV is available to all Satellite (DISH and DirecTV) subscribers. MOSAIC is also streaming the latest episode on its website.

WB. on 2004.12.01 at 12:58 NY [Link]

Was Shakespeare a Sufi?

"There's an old joke about William Shakespeare being an Arab - how else, it explains, can you account for the name, Sheikh Zubair." writes Ali Jafaar in the (Lebanon) Daily Star and I stop and read it again. I hadn't heard about it so far, but it proves a good introduction into an article, reporting about an Islam awareness week at the Globe Theater in London, titled "Shakespeare and Islam".
The right project at the right time to answer public ignorance and prejudices (again) with cultural and arts projects, presenting the unknown in order to enhance understanding. Aren't Shakespeare's characters Prospero ("The Tempest") and Edgar ("King Lear") maybe even strongly influenced by Sufi Philosophy?

WB. on 2004.11.29 at 23:23 NY [Link]

Beyond Bollywood

OneWorld South Asia reports how India's Aalternative Film Movement defies censors to impact change:

"A forum of over 300 documentary filmmakers is campaigning for the right to freedom of expression in India's capital, New Delhi, screening over 60 powerful films, most of which were rejected by the country's draconian censor board." 64 alternative - or independent - films were chosen from a successful filmfestival, called "Vilkap". The festival in Mumbai (India's film capital) proved the need for new voices beyond Bollywood, India's famous mass film production synonym. Most of the films are dealing with issues of community, development, human and women rights and all of them were heavily censored by India's authorities. Declaring themselves a "campaign against censorship", the organizers called September "the month of Free Speech!"

WB. on 2004.09.22 at 09:57 NY [Link]

from September 2001:
The Journal from New York
Tagebuch aus New York

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Copyright: 2001-2002 The WebdaK Group
communicating World Cultures

Bakithi Kumalo
Bakithi Kumalo...
...lives now in Setauket, Long Island (NY), when he is not touring the world together with Paul Simon, who discovered the magic "South African Bass Player, while preparing his album "Graceland" 16 years ago.

German & European TV in the USA
After the somehow successful establishment of the French TV5, Polish TV and other European TV channels in North America, GERMAN TV started with high ambitions to finally bring a German language program to the largest genealogical group in with still over 1 Million active German speakers today. With a growing subscriber base for Satellite reception, GERMAN TV is now targeting also the cable systems.

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"Cultures, like species, can be enriched and strengthened by contact with outside influences!"
"Jede Kultur trägt ihre Wurzeln in der Geschichte, und es ist ihre historische Vision, die es uns gestattet, die Errungenschaften, die Probleme, die unterschiedlichen Möglichkeiten, die Kraft und Originalität jeder Kultur richtig zu ermessen und einzubringen in einen Dialog, der zu einer gemeinsam verantworteten und beantworteten Entwicklung der Menschheit führt."

Quotes by Federico Mayor
(former Director-General of UNESCO)


"all interaction between a sender and a recipient";
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world cultures:
original & traditional cultures, representing the beautiful diverse heritage of our planet beyond a singular mainstream popular global culture

The World Culture Journal
is published by The WebdaK Group
page was first created: 2001.09.25
page was last updated: 2003.05.24

© 2001-2003 The WebdaK Group