Public Diplomacy and Global Communication 2014c

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FOOD + POLITICS = Gastrodiplomacy

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It consist on enhancing unique heritage food, shared among states and non-states actors. It not only shares states typical dishes but also, expressing the culture and its values. It is also an important way of practicing soft power which can, therefore lead to increase trade, economic investment and tourism.

Gastrodiplomacy is essentially a subfield of cultural public diplomacy that was first mainstreamed and perfected by Thailand through their 2002 “Global Thai Program [1].

Thailand’s main purposes was to spreads the culture and heritage earned from the past over countries and different generations by offering them, blend of tastes, nutritional value, seasonings and cooking charms. At the same time, improving states’ capabilities and reflecting culture on economic growth. Thai program’s aim was also to raise the number of restaurants worldwide, which has almost double in quantity although keeping its quality and mores.

A great comparison of soft power can be agreed to Joseph Nye concept when he refers to soft power being used through ‘carrot and sticks’, which literately are used on the gastrodiplomacy and international relations, not just over individuals but also over states, where its power of persuasion brings people and cultures together. [2]

It is interesting the perception of a French Chef Chef Loïc Dablé, with inherence in Africa’s cuisine trying to implement the very common ‘fish and chips’ in England, although only using African ingredients. It comes from breadcrumbs made of ‘cassava’ flour (bread of the tropics, introduced to African through Portuguese traders in the 16th century) and also by using African fishes only. According to the chef, it makes the food more attractive and better known in the European market. Another example it is the raise of the Peruvian culture among French cuisine and specialities, where a Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio, (see here) and ambassador of the cuisine, has worked over two decades towards improvements and sees gastrodiplomacy as way to promote tourism and introduce Peruvian’s cuisine among states. It would not be possible without the support of the French government to better popularise it, of which still considered the best cuisine nowadays. [3] 

Japan also, in order to  promote their cuisine globally has ‘seasoned’ it early in the 1950’s and encouraged legislation over Japanese ‘Natural Cultural Treasure’. The Japanese intentions of recognising its practices and preserves heritage was seen of an influential policy-maker by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisations . (UNESCO). Ever since, UNESCO also adopted a Convention Concerning the Protection of the World and UNESCO’s designation of cultural and natural heritage sites have become increasingly significant in many nations’ strivings for status and prestige (and tourist revenue). As of December 2013, UNESCO has designated 981 World Heritage Sites across the globe (759 cultural sites; 193 natural; and 29 mixed; across 160 states). Seventeen of these are Japanese, including the recently added Mt. Fuji in 2013.

washokuThe washoku or ‘’Japanese Cuisine’’  has recently been included on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Cuisine list – a privileged formerly reserved for French Cuisine. [4] Where it includes chefs from worldwide in a meeting, to understand better and exchange ideas and knowledge. In Britain, the first restaurant to introduce the washoku ideas was in Nottingham, by the British chef Michelin, after it success of flavours, he came back to Japan to learn and improve his knowledge on the hague cuisine which mixes tiny courses, again well flavoured as the Japanese Cuisine, although mixed with sweet and sour flavours, balanced on its contents, proteins, and cutting the salt and fat its their main aim. A healthier dash (stock made with dried kelp and bonito flakes)[5] makes part of its great mix in a broth. The English based chef Jozef Youssef, who’s a specialist of food, sees the Japanese cultural heritage as an amazing technique on exploring food, he says, “They are taught to bring out the essence of an ingredient. It seems very simple, but some of the methods are quite complicated. They use colour, texture, scent and presentation to enhance the diner’s sense of seasonality and transience.” [6] It is great the importance of the Japanese cultural aspects when it refers to quality, and the way its seen and respected by others. The Japanese ambassador from England, noted a diversity of implications when cooking outside Japan, and specialised it way of growing and picking Japanese ingredients in order to get results and flavours as the vegetables and seasonings grew in their homeland. And the knowledge was only gathered by studying and practicing the making and theory by going to Japan.

Gastrodiplomacy has the power of influence, using food and not only for politics but in order to foster countries, it providing creativity and public relations. The gastrodiplomacy encourages the expertise of the chef to tells the history of a country.

Bibliography 

[1] Rockower, Paul. “The Gastrodiplomacy Cookbook.” The Huffington Post. September 14, 2010

[2] Joseph Nye (2011)ICD – Academy for Cultural Diplomacy. Available t < https://youtu.be/-elJQGCcYbA > Last seen on 14th of May 2015

[3] The Telegraph (2010) UNESCO declares French cuisine ‘world intangible heritage’. [online] Available at < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8138348/UNESCO-declares-French-cuisine-world-intangible-heritage.html > Last seen on 13th May 2015

[4] Sybil Kapoor (2014) Japanese Cuisine: how washoku is taking over Britain | Life and Style | The Guardian. [online] Available at: < http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/05/japenese-cuisine-washoko-unesco-britain-chefs > Last seen on 14th of May 2015

[5] Just One Cook Cookbook (2011) How To Make a Dashi. [online] Available at < http://www.justonecookbook.com/how_to/how-to-make-dashi-jiru/ > Last seen on 14th of May 2015

[6] Sybil Kapoor (2014) Japanese Cuisine: how washoku is taking over Britain | Life and Style | The Guardian. [online] Available at: < http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/05/japenese-cuisine-washoko-unesco-britain-chefs > Last seen on 14th of May 2015

  • France 24 (2014) Gastrodiplomacy : is French food losing its flair? . Available at < https://youtu.be/F9ErS3QpJew > last seen 13th of May 2015

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The Lack of True Information – Christian Burned Alive in Nepal

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In 2006, the newspaper Daily Mail, has published an article on a thief burned alive in Nepal. [1] He was not burnt to death, although, was tied up on a cross, stripped off and set on fire by the villagers whom take theirs summary of justice by making use of their own hands. In the event there was a priest as shown on the picture above.  And after the incident, sharers through social media have shown this picture as the man been crucified for religious matters. If not strong religious beliefs, explain the fact of someone else be set on fire as punishment. However, the same issue was raised again when Nepal appealed for help after the recent earthquake.

Then, on the 25th of April 2015, Nepal suffered a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake. It was a disastrous happening and around 8 thousand people were dead and over 15 thousand homelessness. Their rural crops were extremely affected and damaged by avalanches with the impact of the earthquake. The entire world is appealing for support, medical staff and donations. Those who still have a shelter, are still sleeping in the streets fearing the terrific consequences of the regular aftershocks. The (Disasters Emergency Committee) DEC members alongside their partners are working in order to get the basic needs for the population as clean water, food and blankets, so later they will be able to approach those communities and support them with a possible rebuilding of life.Considering the support needed by the Nepalese population nowadays, within all the consequences left from the earthquake, and the global appeal in regards supportive actions. How strong and dangerous is the effect of a tagged unreliable news/message of a man burned for preaching christianity.

The spread of the social media networking showing the heading ‘Christian Burned Alive in Nepal for Preaching God’ can possibly changed christians intention of donating any sum for the earthquake disaster? Even if the picture shown is from 9 years ago, it was raised once again, refreshing readers’ mind the way of the nepalese justice.

The affect of a possible black propaganda, saying that a man was burnt for preaching God, rather than been  punished for stealing, became a reason for many christians to possibly ignore Nepal’s need  or refuse to help towards a population in need after an environmental disaster. It is interesting the fact that different beliefs and religions, changes the population mentality of helping. Nepal has had occasions where people are accused and burnt for witchcrafts and yet, sources coming from reliable media, as The Telegraph reported. [2] Which empowers the strength of an information towards an anti-christian community possible.

The impact is seen through Facebook, newspapers and daily media sources of communication. Contributors are neglecting help by simple arguing that Nepalese do not deserve anyone’s else help for their hindu cruelty and misery. By all means, burn for theft or religion should not be accepted.

At the time of the break news of Nepal earthquake on the 25th of April 2015, readers have raised once again those happenings and their indignity for a country where mercy is not considered. For an instance, the truth beyond the man action of stealing, could have been taken under consideration, starvation or poverty which consequently could have driven him to steal. But then, there is no excuses for burning a human for beliefs or religion. Another event happened in 2013, when a husband simply burned his pregnant wife [3]. This beliefs of torture as a way of problem solving, encourages new generations to behave in the same way, denying others a chance of freedom of speech decent living.

An overall critic, it is the strength of a distorted propaganda. Readers, most of the time, react and understand as the heading of an article says so and therefore create its own conclusions.  It is extremely important to avoid false information, by committing your reading towards reliable sources of information in order to gather an efficient understanding.

Bibliography

[1] Dailay Mail, (2006) Burned alive for being a thief. [online] Available at: < http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-410133/Burned-alive-thief.html > Last accessed 5th of May 2015

[2] The Telegraph. (2012) Nepal mob burns ‘witch’ alive in horrifying attack. [online] Available at: < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/nepal/9089001/Nepal-mob-burns-witch-alive-in-horrifying-attack.html > Last accessed 5th of May 2015

[3] The journal.ie (2013) Nepalese man burns pregnant wife alive by stuffing her in a hay bale. [online] Available at: < http://www.thejournal.ie/nepalese-man-burns-pregnant-wife-alive-by-stuffing-her-in-a-hay-bale-863045-Apr2013/ > Last accessed 5th of May 2015

– Save the Children (2015) No time to waste. [online] Available at: < http://blogs.savethechildren.org.uk/2015/04/nepal-earthquake-no-time-to-waste/ > Last accessed 5th May 2015

– DEC (2015) Nepal Earthquake Appeal. [online] Available at: < http://www.dec.org.uk/appeals/nepal-earthquake-appeal > Last accessed 5th of May 2015

United Kingdom possible withdraw from the European Union!

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Early in 2013, the British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron, a stronger conservative has said that if elected in 2015, he and the conservative party are hardly considering the possibility of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union. A union that has started with EEC (European Economic Community) it is now, fearing the possibility of losing a member.

Back in the years, there has not been a state that has ever withdraw from the European Union. In 1962, Algeria has left upon its independence, which has no longer been part of France, and then Greenland, in 1985, that has been voted to leave by EEC, the EU predecessor.

David Cameron, British Prime Minister has been promising to the British people and government an In/Out referendum. Such an issue has been raised since 2010, when the public opinion has been evaluated getting 41% of remaining or not and 18% of undecided, considering that the British interests would be better protected if renegotiating its place in the EU.

Ms Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has expressed her first acknowledgement in a meeting in Brussels as UK reaching a ‘point of no return’. At the same time, Mr Cameron has considered a possible renegotiation  about his main concern of immigration. And to ban/deport those imigrants unemployed and that are living under and/or abusing the benefit system and are unable to support themselves/their families after a certain period of time. Again Ms Merkel, has said that UK is looking to impose limits judging only ‘their own interests’ and not undertaking the union main principles which is freedom of movement, and therefore, she would clearly not fear an UK withdrawn.

Now and then, speculations come around whether Mr Cameron it is maybe looking into being like Americans, competing with a single market, with the Chinese and others and ensuring that Britain will always come first in a sense of increasing its population higher-skilled knowledge and not paying for these low income countries workers to fled to UK to claim benefits seeing by him as ‘unqualified right’(see here). Is he trying to change EU’s rules? Possibly, and not really disagreeing, I would strongly believe that, if paying more taxes, instead of being just unemployed and claiming benefits, these countries would not ‘force’ Mr Cameron to encourage the government of a withdrawn from the EU.

At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that ‘we are nothing if we are not an open, vibrant economy’. and might not see a successful future for UK outside of EU. Whether the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, insists that the union is not working for UK and standing here, unhappily pretending that nothing is happening and here and there spending more than its monthly/yearly income to cover costs it is not working. He believes probably in a ‘reformed union’, and I believe that it is what UK needs, a reform to avoid tax payers to support those who are keen to live an easy life on us.

Home Secretary Theresa May describes the conservatives action more likely to be a ‘comment’ rather than a promise. and the Former Conservative Minister Greg Barkertold the BBC’s Daily Politics (see here) that judges Mr Cameron desire to bring down the immigration by tons next year would be ‘incredibly challenging’, although still the party main aim.

Bibliography

http://www.itv.com/news/2013-05-09/backbench-tory-mps-to-force-vote-on-eu-referendum/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29874392

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29877746

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29985949

PS: I have created a personal blog account by mistake when I first register. So, these are the dates and posts I have done so far. I do apologise for the inconvenience.

https://carolmoreno3000.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/united-kingdom-possible-withdraw-from-the-european-union/

Child Soldiers!

Currently around the world, it is estimated about 250.000 thousands child soldiers in at least 14 countries worldwide. However, it is yet believed that such numbers can easily go up to 300,000. Figures are shown as females been 40% of all child soldiers, been sexually abused as well as been threaten by the combatants. In many of these cases, family members can be murdered and yet the girls are forced to go to the battlefield (see here).

Besides the female threat, family murdering are also applied to the underage boys. Children under 18 are imposed to register and recruit to serve armies in the front line are part of their national duty. Training are been held at school time as ‘patriotic education lesson’ and they are easier manipulated rather than an adult to fight. Such an atrocity, has been brutally used for jobs such as couriers, porters, cooks or spies (see here).

Whenever used as spies, children are seen to be playing both sides in a conflict, passing on messages to whoever its better worth it. A report shown by the a Russian TV, for example, reports two ‘underage soldiers’ (see here)serving alongside separatists in Donetsk do not fear using heavy artillery, and also forced signing up as suicide bombers or volunteering to kill Ukrainians in the region. Also, they are seen as heroes by their commanders and Russian TV.

It has been happening also in Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic(see here), Chad, Colombia, DR Congo, India, Iraq, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan (see here), Sudan, Thailand and Yemen. Each one of them on its different ways and intensity, however all facing the same problem. Children losing their humanitarian rights and childhood.

Recruitment of underage soldiers are considered as illegal and strongly prohibited by The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the UNICEF, “reintegration of these children into civilian life is a complex process” (see here) . They are submitted to serious mental and psychological consequences after series of killing witnessing, bombing attacks and slavery sexual violence.

Organisations such as UNICEF and Peace Direct are fighting against children soldiers around the world, trying to return them to their families, sponsoring them with psychological care, a daily regular meal to avoid poverty and a volunteering rescue programme, which has returned back in 2011 around 650 children soldiers from their life of violence. A rebuilding of communities and disarming rebels are also taking place. It is not up to The International Law rules. It is a humanitarian issue, a right of a favourable way of living and a civilian welfare.

References:

Can be checked on the online sources over the post.

PS: I have created a personal blog account by mistake when I first register. So, these are the dates and posts I have done so far. I do apologise for the inconvenience. 

https://carolmoreno3000.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/child-soldiers/

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