Elephanta Island: No elephants but plenty of monkeys

Kayla O'Neill

Elephanta Island is misleadingly named; not one live elephant to be found! Instead, it is chockful of monkeys, goats, people selling souvenirs (many of which are ironically small decorative elephants), and ornate stone carvings. Elephanta Island, named such by the Portuguese upon finding a stone statue of an elephant (which has since been transported elsewhere), is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Elephanta is home to several Hindu and Buddhist caves, but I only had time to visit the “Great Cave,” a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the Destroyer.


In order to get to the island, we took an extremely short bus ride to the Gateway to India and then an awfully long boat ride on an awfully small boat. Upon arriving on the island, we took a mini train for about a minute and then had to walk the rest of the way to the caves. Small shops and tables…

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Baltic Way Memorial Wall in Vilnius

Man patinka Lietuva

P1000720Walk along Konstitucijos pr. from the city centre heading towards the Panorama shopping centre. As you come to the end of the road which you have to cross to get to the shops you see this wonderful memorial wall.

P1000501It has human shapes cut out of it and represents the Baltic Way, the unbroken line of 2 million people from Vilnius to Tallinn who protested about soviet occupation on August 23 1989.

DSCF1361Although the colours represent the Lithuanian flag, and each brick has the name of the person who contributed 25-50 Litas for it carved on it, if you look carefully you will also find bricks representing the flags of Latvia and Estonia.

P1000218It was officially unveiled on 24 August 2010

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Oyez, Oyez

One & All

town crier 1

“I’m a Town Crier. You’ve just missed the Town Crier competition.”
“Oh! I wanted to see that! Did you win?”
“You fluffed a word today, didn’t you.”
“Oh, what word?”
“Erm…… I can’t remember”
“It was something beginning with ‘M'”
“What do you get judged on in the competition?”
“Clarity, volume….”
“Yes. Hm… I can’t remember them all. Been doing it for 32 years.”
“Is there a uniform for town criers?”
“No, we’re not all the same. We design our own costumes, but they’re usually based on the 17th Century because that was the peak of town crying, when people couldn’t read or write. We’d tell them the news of the day.”
“Is there a particular significance in what you have chosen to wear?”
“Well there’s the Cornish yellow and black, of course.”
“Yes, and you have dressed to match.”
“Yes. See her bum.”
“Oh, you have…

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Heart & Seoul: Walking the Cheonggyecheon

The Goat that Wrote

Howdy again. I’ve been a terrible blogger of late — I know it — but I start redeeming myself right here and right now. What’s it been since the last post, a week or so? Unforgivable — I was shooting for two or three posts per week, pre-computer breakdown.

The shocking truth is that I can’t even blame the breakdown. Two Fridays ago, after skipping school at lunchtime and enduring one of those bruising trawls through the shabby Busan backstreets that I do so well, just as I was admitting defeat and retreating to the subway, I chanced upon a sign, which led me to an exit, and then a stairway, and finally the nondescript office building housing the approved Apple service joint serving the Southeast. A few minutes with the just-barely English-speaking technician, an arcane configuration of fingers on keys — something out of an I.T. Karma Sutra — 

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AUSTRALIA AND THE COLD WAR: Some Possible Reasons for Entering the Vietnam Conflict

Talking Points!

One of the significant historical debates in Australia concerns the reasons why Australia entered into a conflict in Vietnam. This debate has links to the historiography of the Cold War itself. When considering Australia’s reasons for entering a war in Vietnam alongside the USA during the 1960s, it’s necessary to consider a variety of perspectives.

Broadly speaking, when considering reasons for Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War, historians have pointed to a number of inter-related factors. These factors include:

 A historical undercurrent of fear within Australia of Asia

  • Deep roots to Australian fears of Asia and Asians are found in Australian history. Fears of China / Chinese were common throughout the 19th century while these were (to some extent) replaced by fears of Japan during the early decades of the 20th century. It is easy to draw links between these fears and an Australian xenophobia and racism.
  • The…

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