Happy Lunar New Year!
Often called the “Chinese New Year,” Lunar New Year celebrations took place yesterday across many countries in East and Southeast Asia. 2012 represents the year of the dragon, a zodiac sign that is considered to be one of the most powerful and is associated with “high energy and prosperity.”
To learn more about this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations (both in the U.S. and abroad), please check out the articles, videos, and photos listed below.
Year of the Dragon Brings Promise of Change (CBC News | Canada) An in-depth look at Lunar New Year and the beliefs surrounding the dragon zodiac sign, including several pictures from celebrations around the world.
Happy Chinese New Year: Millions Welcome Year of the Dragon (Mail Online) – Fantastic imagery from celebrations around Asia
Video – NYC Celebrates Chinese Lunar New Year (Washington Post) – A short video of celebrations that took place in New York City
Bill Would Create School Holiday for Lunar New Year (New York Times) – A short article about efforts to create a holiday for the New York City public schools in honor of “the Asian community’s most important and greatest holiday.”
Throwing a Chinese New Year Party in Pittsburgh (CBS Pittsburgh) – This article identifies ways to create your own Lunar New Year celebration, including some great local restaurants and grocery stores available here in Pittsburgh.
We at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh are always looking for ways to help out our students and teachers learn more about the world. In that vein, we have put together a list of some of our favorite online educational resources. These links include a wide range of information, including facts, photos, videos, podcasts, books, discussion boards, and lesson plans.
We have identified some general international resources at the top of the list. After the break, you’ll find information and resources relating to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
CIA World Factbook An excellent compilation of country facts (i.e. population, geography, etc.).
CNN for Teachers and Students Spotlights the day’s current events and offers printable quizzes, discussion questions, and maps.
National Geographic Kids A variety of resources are present on this website, including an online atlas with road, satellite, physical, and theme maps (population density, weather, and natural resources) as well as country profiles and pictures from around the world.
New York Times for Teachers and Students This blog highlights the day’s events, but also offers everything from lesson plans for teachers and comment boxes for students.
Outreach World This website offers a wealth of information for teaching students about the world. Under ‘Download Instructional Materials,’ it is possible to search for lesson plans by region of the world and age group.
PBS for Teachers Exclusively for teachers, this site acts as a network for lesson planning, programming, and resource guides.
PBS News Hour for Teachers and Students Offers lesson plans for teachers, but is also a great resource for students looking to comment on and follow world events.
Peace Corps World-Wise Schools Also provides lesson plans and resources created by Peace Corps volunteers around the world.
Time for Kids Interactive and informative, and is applicable to teachers and students. The site has sections with age-specific material.
Region-specific resources can be found after the jump.
Happy New Year, everyone! 2012 is off to a snowy start here in Pittsburgh, and this seems like a perfect time to review what has happened over the past 360-some odd days.
As always, the global stage was full of tumult and change: 2011 saw the deaths of influential world figures (Warren Christopher, Muammar Gaddafi, Vaclav Havel, Steve Jobs, Kim Jong-Il, and Osama bin Laden, for example); uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa; the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq; devastating natural disasters (earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, typhoon in the Philippines, floods in south-east Asia, and famine in the Horn of Africa); and economic crisis in Europe.
We’ve scoured the web to find some of the best of the “2011 in Review” resources, and compiled them below. Are there any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.
2011 Year in Review (Reuters): Photos and descriptions of the most important news stories of the year, including a dramatic 60-second multimedia video presentation of the key stories, and some of the top images from 2011.
Best Articles of 2011 (Foreign Policy Magazine): Although not necessarily highlighting the most important news stories of the year, here are the most-read articles from foreignpolicy.com in 2011.
Best International Relations Books of 2011 (Foreign Affairs): In every issue of Foreign Affairs, scholars review recent academic and nonfiction books. At the end of 2011, the reviewers were asked to select the best ones. Here you will find the best books in a number of categories, including: Western Europe; the Middle East; the Western Hemisphere; Eastern Europe; Economic, Social, and Environmental Subjects; Asia; Africa; the United States; Military, Scientific, and Technological Subjects; and Political and Legal Subjects.
Personal Favorites from 2011 (A Realist in an Ideological Age): Stephen M. Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and writes a blog, A Realist in an Ideological Age, for Foreign Policy. In this post, he shares his favorite blog posts from the past year, all of which are worth a read.
Shots Seen ‘Round the World (Foreign Policy Magazine): Fifty of the best/most important photographs from 2011, as selected by Foreign Policy.
Top 5 Foreign Policy Books in 2011 (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA asked its staff, editors, writers and bloggers to select the best books about foreign policy. Here is what they came up with.
Top 5 International Documentaries of 2011 (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA asked its staff, editors, writers and bloggers to select the best international documentaries on issues related to U.S. foreign policy. Here is what they came up with.
Twitter’s 2011 Year in Review (Twitter): It is no secret that social media is playing an increasing role in current events. Here is a look at some of the key stories, hot topics, and important moments of 2011 — as seen on Twitter.
Your Top 10 Stories of 2011 (The Guardian): Links to the top ten news stories of the year, as selected by readers.
The Year in Foreign Policy (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA looks at several key foreign policy events that promise to shape the coming year, including the 2012 election.
Year in Review (Foreign Policy Blogs Network): The FPA’s blog network has a number of great, topic-specific “Year in Review” posts, all of which can be found here. Read about 2011 in Russia or Israel, or the year in Global Food Security or War Crimes (to name just a few).
To wrap up the week, the Summer Seminar students welcomed Dennis Unkovic, Esq., an international lawyer who is an expert on Asia. Today he discussed the continent’s history, its current risks and US interests in the region. During his talk, he invited a lot of participation from students, saying that his role was to help them connect the ideas from information that they already know.
He began by dividing Asia’s history up into three periods. First, from 1545 to 1945, Asia was dominated by colonial powers. The terrible treatment Asian nations received at the hands of the imperialists left a lasting impression that continues to underlie current relations with the West. Meanwhile, in reaction to imperialism, Japan entered a period of sustained isolationism. Japan was also important for the role it played in World War II, since the US joined the war after Pearl Harbor.
The second period from 1945 to 1980 saw the success of Japan as it rebuilt its economy after the end of the war. The government led this process, deciding which industries to fund, a process which was repeated to much success in other Asian countries later. The US also experienced declining influence on the continent, especially after the Vietnam War and economic recession of the 70s.
Finally, since 1980, the economies of Korea, the Asian Tigers (Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia) and especially China have experienced dramatic growth.India also followed this path, albeit somewhat later.
Should the US be worried that the Chinese economy is set to become the largest in the world by 2022? Read the rest of this entry »