ホコリを誇るヨーロッパ!?

ラベル

今日は7月14日。フランス革命記念日・・・ということで。夏休み中の人も多いことでしょうから、楽しいお話をしましょう。 経済大国日本とアメリカを経由してヨーロッパにたどり着いてから、欧州の後進性やいい加減さにたびたび唖然としましたが、日本では知らなかった「ゆたかさ」にも多く出会いました。そのひとつがワインです。これはスノッブな人向けで、自分には無縁のモノだっと思っていたら。ワインの奥深さに惹かれ、多少、酒質も分かるようになり、今では日常生活を豊かにする必需品のように感じます。

Sachie’s Home Remedies

I am not a medical doctor. Though, since I was not so strong and healthy, I had to learn how to take care of myself. Also, I have been with many people suffering from a chronic, rare, or incurable illness. Moreover, I know quite a few people who have defeated an often-unbeatable disease or handicap. So, I have learned a lot about illnesses.

If you are poor or if you do not have a health insurance, you cannot afford to see a doctor so often. You can try my approach as a way of health promotion and self-care strategies. But, if you are ill, you should go to a public health clinic, so you have more chance to escape a serious illness. If you or your family member has a terminal illness, I know how you feel and what you have to go through. My approach does not work like the Lourdes’ miraculous water, but some work pretty well. What I strongly believe is that we can still have the good quality of life no matter terminal or severe illness we have.

Courage!

Is it time we rethink the way we treat old people?

Never before has the world reached such level of maturity in terms social and human rights, but yet those advances seem to be applicable to the younger generation rather than the elderly. For a long time, our generation and the one before have perceived old people as a burden, a social class considered to be more a liability than an asset. The creation of care homes, pensioner homes and the likes came as a better way of getting rid of them while making ourselves feel less guilty for doing so.

田舎という概念

春 ヨーロッパで好きな季節といったら、やはり4月から6月にかけてが最高。陰鬱な鉛色の長い長い冬がようやく終わって、訪れる春。冬が暗く厳しいだけに春がきた喜びといったら、ない。

青々とした牧草の丘がゆるやかにうねり、菜の花畑が重なる。緑と黄色の広大なパッチワークを車窓から眺めながら、目的地に向うのもこの季節の楽しみのひとつだ。近くには新緑の木々の青葉が日差しに輝き映える。芝の緑のじゅうたんに赤いひなげしが咲きほこり、まさに春爛漫。家々の庭には手入れの行き届いたバラが咲きそろう。「ジューン・ブライドは幸せになる」という、いわれはよく知らないが、納得ができる。一年の中で幸福や希望を一番強く感じる季節だから。

Vél’oh! in Luxembourg, Vélib’ in Paris, Bicing in Barcelona!

Vél'oh! sign Vélib’ is a self-service rent-a-bike system available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Paris. There are so many similar initiatives in other cities in Europe.

For this blog post, I tried to take a few photos of Vélib’ on Boulevard Saint-Michel near the Sorbonne. Vélib bikers were in a rush in the morning, fearlessly riding downhill at top speed to reach their destinations. I felt a bit overwhelmed in Paris since I live in a calm provincial city, so I failed to take the photos!

But, here are some photos of Vél’oh!

Shrinking Sado by Peter Matanle

This presentation titled "Shrinking Sado: Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Regions" was presented by Dr. Peter Matanle of the University of Sheffield at the British Association for Japanese Studies Annual Conference that took place on 11-12 April 2008 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Sado was once famous for the biggest gold and silver mine in Japan.

Booming times are long gone. A rural prefecture, Shimane, also used to have the thriving Japanese silver mining industry in Iwami-Ginzan. Today these rural areas depended on natural resource extraction have failed to attract people and businesses and have succumbed to depopulation and demographic aging.

Click here to see Peter's presentation.

Shrinking_Sado : Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Regions presented at the British Association for Japanese Studies Annual Conference, at Manchester, UK, on the 11-12 April 2008 by Dr Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield

Identity: Parody songs of Englishman in New York

You know the song about an Englishman in New York by Sting. Here are two parody songs; one is quite funny and the other is quite serious.

関西人in Tokyo (Kansai person in Tokyo)

Social-issues.org is now running D.6.2

Hi everybody.

I just drop here a few lines to inform the community that the platform now runs on Drupal v.6.2.

"Public Forums" section is now open

I know that this feature should have been working a long time ago. No need to cry anymore (or to complain), now it's here!

Why we should all be suspicious of this organ called heart

For all those who find themselves faced up with the following crucial question: Is he\she the one for me ? this article gives you a hard but sensible advice: Listen to your brain rather than your heart.

Témoignage visuel du vieillissement rural au Japon

image extraite du livre de M. Kajii

Cela peut ressembler, aux yeux des citadins, à un univers parallèle - un monde moyenâgeux et décalé - et pourtant il n'en est rien. Cette scène aux accents anachroniques se passe de nos jours dans les campagnes japonaises oubliées du Monde Moderne. On y perçoit le côté obscur du Japon d'aujourd'hui - un des pays les plus développés en termes d'infrastructures et des plus technologiquement avancés. Un pays fait de mégalopoles qui n'aiment pas trop regarder du côté de ce parent pauvre que sont les campagnes où des personnes à l'âge plus que vénérables perpétuent - faute de moyens - des techniques agraires désuètes - sans se plaindre - dans le silence et l'oubli.

Aging villages in dire need of attention

image from the book of M. Kajii

It may look like an unfamiliar parallel universe for many city dwellers.  But, this is REAL.  You can see how the countryside of Japan, one of the world's most materially developed country, looks like and how older people continue farming practices.

You see, living in a remote rural village is not easy.  Rural elders have to do everything by themselves.  They have to shovel the snow in winter, prepare their own meals, heat the evening bath, etc.  Rural people are hardy souls as they need to be.  The next photo shows a septuagenarian or octogenarian granny, who is probabaly suffering osteoporosis, though she continues hard toil.  But, what if she becomes a housebound?

 

Money makes the world go round, world go round, world go round ... or Dirty cash

There is one interesting subject I was thinking of for a while now. At a first glance, one could say that the discussion around it could stay at a surface, and that there would not be much to say about. However, I will try to relate it with some deeper issues, in order to settle the field for discussion. Needless to say, I’ll appreciate very much your responsiveness.

少子化と公園 

ある公園の注意書きを読んで、仰天した。「公園利用者やご近所の迷惑になるようなボール遊びはやめてください」「花火をしているのを見かけたときは警察へ通報します」このような注意書きがいたるところにある。なにやら公園で遊ぶ子供たちを迫害し、告発するようで穏やかでない。なにしろ、その公園には公衆トイレ以外、大した遊具も設備もない。最低限の公園

日本人「難民」

3日前、フランスに戻った。今回は関西に2週間、滞在した。昨年は3週間、帰国した。時差ボケ、文化ボケで過ごす一週間目、「あれはナンだったんだ」とヘマや混乱を分析する二週目、そしてやっと慣れたころに出国する日本。

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