Xenophobia in the times of new right-wing populism

Throughout the history of mankind, the “foreign” has always frightened people. Unknown and different approaches to life including culture, language, appearance and traditions were often seen as a threat or evil. Hence “foreigners” have always been encountered with prejudice and hate. They were often blamed for otherwise inexplicable phenomena, problems and grievances. Especially in times of social and economic hardships, the “foreign” easily becomes a scapegoat for all kinds of ills, which has too often culminated in genocides and wars.

Maori Women and Sacred Tattoos

The moko kauae, a sacred female chin tattoo for the Maoris of Polynesia, is making a revival amongst the indigenous women of the region. This body and facial tattooing is known as Ta moko, and amongst the Maori women, "was a rite of passage, maeking the passage between girl and adulthood." This meant to signify family and social heritage, along with beliefs regarding the afterlife. The tattoos are of intricate design, none alike in their make, and used to be made through a chiseling tool and black ink.

Free Speech Can Cause Real Harm

People from outside one culture or circle should feel free to express their opinions and not have them dismissed so easily. With debate, we learn to extend our empathy and understanding beyond what we consider familiar. However unnecessarily controversial or aggressive statements can undermine everything that the notion of free speech has given us, ridiculing it or reducing it to silly debates.


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