Saturday, October 25, 2008

Circumsicion Celebration and Targeting Tomboys: Relevant World Views

Interesting items from around the world:

  • In South Korea a story recounts how a man would rather that people believe that he had an extra-marital affair that produced a child, rather than divulge that the child had been adopted, such has been the cultural stigma in a country that takes pride in precise familial histories and bloodlines. But as increasing numbers of the country's orphans began to find homes with foreigners, an effort has mobilized to alter the cultural perception of adoption, and in fact the country plans to bar foreign adoptions by 2010.

  • Sex education is always a hot button issue. Britain has increased the heat with its recent announcement that it plans to begin sex education at the age of five in its schools. The children would not be taught the mechanics of sex, but rather taught awareness of their bodies.

  • I would have not done to well in today's Malaysia. Recently, Islamic clerics have banned tomboys. The cleric reasoned that "girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam." While I rode horses and built forts with the boys in the neighborhood, I was no less a girly girl. Ask my husband about my pre child/budgetary restriction accessory habit.

  • I think many western men may have difficulty calling this a "festive" occasion, but in the southern Balkans once every five years they hold a festival to mass circumcise their sons. Interesting cultural perspective.

  • Many people take shots at those they term "lactivists," but the current situation in China illustrates how vulnerable we leave our populations when breastfeeding rates significantly wane. As wealth has increased, access to formulas has spread, and pressure upon women in the workforce has increased, drawing them away from their children earlier and earlier, rates of breastfeeding fell in China. Currently as a result of the melamine dairy industry scandal, 34,000 children have been sickened by tainted formulas, and nearly 1,500 still remain hospitalized. Now anxious Chinese parents to be are turning back to breastfeeding.

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