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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

City of Joy: More than just a film!

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The Thebarton Senior College Moodle
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Support material for film: City of Joy

The culture of the people of Calcutta you see in the film is based on the religion of Hinduism. Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. In this posting I have supplied a range of sites that help explain what you are watching in the film in terms of lifestyle, values, beliefs and rituals. The City of Joy is not a fiction film. Calcutta lives today as you see in the film, with people struggling, suffering, loving and identifying with their culture in a joyous way.

The following sites gives infor to aid your understanding of many of the scenes of the film, City of Joy. Pity Max did not have the opportunity to gain such an understanding before he dived into life in the slums of Calcutta with little understanding of the culture.

* Calcutta (Kolkata) rickshaw pullers.
Even today it is estimated that there are more than 18,000 rickshaws plying the streets of Kolkata, nearly 6,000 registered with the city government.

* A mission around railway stations in Calcutta

The Caste System in India.

* Child birth

* Hindu weddings

* Hindu marriage

* Hindu dowry

* Sati and child marriage

* Treatment of TB in Calcutta today

Saturday, February 25, 2012

City of Joy

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View the City of Joy trailer

This week we are going view the movie City of Joy. This movie, made in 1992, is a wonderful example of how two cultures can clash and that underneath the cultural differences is basic humanity and the universal culture that we have talked about. Here is some information on the movie to set the scene for you.

From Wikipedia
Hasari Pal (Om Puri) is a rural farmer who moves to Calcutta with his wife (Shabana Azmi) and three children in search of a better life. The Pals don't get off to a very good start: They are cheated out of their rent money and thrown out on the streets, and it's difficult for Hasari to find a job to support them. But the determined family refuses to give up and eventually finds its place in the poverty-stricken city.

Meanwhile, on the other end of Calcutta, disillusioned Texas doctor Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze) has arrived in search of some spiritual enlightenment after the loss of a patient. He, too, gets off to a rough start: After being tricked by a young prostitute, he is roughed up by thugs and left bleeding in the street without his documents and valuable possessions.

Hasari comes to Max's aid and takes the injured doctor to the "City of Joy," a slum area populated with lepers and poor people that becomes the Pals' new home and the American's home away from home. Max spends a lot of time in the neighborhood, but he doesn't want to become too involved with the residents because he is afraid of becoming emotionally attached to them. He soon, however, is coaxed into helping his new-found friends by a strong-willed Irish woman (Pauline Collins), who runs the local clinic.

Eventually, Max begins to fit in with his fellow slum-dwellers. And he begins to see that his life isn't half bad. There are many around him whose lives are much worse, but they look on each day with a hope that gives new strength to the depressed doctor

As you watch the movie I would like you to consider the attached questions (on Google docs and TSC Moodle) and to develop your understanding of the Hindu culture as previously discussd when Dr Chintamani Yogi visited us.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Primary and secondary research

Images: Students doing primary and secondary research.

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The Thebarton Senior College Moodle
Course Calendar for your time management

Stage 1 Society and Culture classwork

Just a reminder about the two types of research:

* Secondary research is based on the findings from other people's research. It involves the gathering of the results of other's research from books, reports or the Internet. Selections or summaries are made of the research allowing for evidence to be gathered to support your conclusions.

Secondary research may include:

* statistical analysis where information is readily available from the census studies, Australian Bureau of Statistics, local councils and other government bodies, is analysed to give a notion of the need for a particular target market for a project. This may be useful for establishing if there is a genuine need for a project.

* information research, including all forms of print, that is, texts, magazines, journals, pamphlets. It also includes electronic sources. These need to be checked for reliability and relevance. Anyone can publish on the Internet. Print sources should not be too out of date. Use your school and local librarians, they are trained to help you find information.

* Primary research
is the research you generate by asking questions, conducting trials and collating results. This research can take the form of quantitative research ('countable' data collection) or qualitative research(opinion/knowledge data gathering).

The most common way of collecting primary data is through surveys/questionnaires and interviews.

* A survey is usually general and covers a wide range of issues. It is designed to find information rather than to investigate specific questions about an issue. We tend to use surveys when we don't know about something and we want to identify the most important ideas, questions and issues.

* A questionnaire usually focuses more on a particular topic or issue. We tend to use these when we know something about the topic and w have some hunches about what might be the most important issue or questions to investigate.

* Interviews can be face-to-face or over the telephone or Internet. It is crucial to have a list of questions prepared. This helps prevent being side tracked and ensuring the information you require is collected.

I have uploaded the Powerpoint on culture onto the Moddle at . Go and have a look to support your 100-150 words on What is culture?

Monday, February 13, 2012

The issue of finding issues!

Images: Protesting US style on the issue of peace outside of the White House, Washington.

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Looking for an issue of interest

Today we discussed the nature of issues in society and the need to look at our views on issues and express our opinion about them. Many of you had difficulty thinking about an issue of importance to you. I thought the following websites dedicated to exploring and providing information on issues would be a useful exercise for you to look at and maybe see a topic/issue that you find of interest. You may even find an issue of interest that you could conduct research on later in the year when you are asked to undertake an issue investigation assignment(if not early in the year for the Research Project). Start thinking about it now!

Here are the sites to explore:

* Newspapers to explore for issues at

* Find out the facts on a wide range of issues at

* Research issues at the Social Issue Research Centre at

* Investigate a catalogue of issues at

* Find out information for issue studies at

* Investigate a directory of issues at

* Look at this Australian social action issue site at

* Here is a site full of issue ideas

Spend some time over the next week looking at these sites, identifying issues and learning about them.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Made us think!

Images: Cultural diversity in Nepal.

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The visit of Dr Chintamani Yogi to Thebarton Senior College

Thanks to everyone for your keen attention and interest during our session today with Dr Chintamani Yogi. I certainly enjoyed it and learnt a lot - I hope you did as well.

I thought I would just put down some of the things Dr Yogi said in his talk. They certainly make one think and is great fodder for our discussion on cultural diversity in coming weeks.

He said:

* Diversity is the beauty of the world.
* Gandhi said, "How many people killed" - not how many Hindu's or Muslims.
* How do people smile with nothing? It is because of culture.
* Two key aspects of culture: it cultivates (how to) and connects us (to nature, other people and the universe).
* How could I exist without you?
* I takes you away from humanity.
* Education is about maximising the I. But the I should be about how it can help the us.
* We work hard on the art of living but not as hard on the art of life.
* Spirituality helps you to learn the art of life.
* True love is based in humanity.
* Listen to the heart.
* The spirit of oneness.
* Spirituality is based on unity and culture is based on diversity.
* God is not a person but a principle. Truth, love and peace is God.
* When you are on the path of truthfulness you are with God.
* To live productively and beautifully.

Plenty to think about there. We must talk about what these quotes are saying in the next lesson.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Visit by Dr Chintamani on Wednesday 8/2/12

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Dr Chintamani Yogi: Founder of Values Education Nepal.

‘Let’s live in truth and understand the absolute truth; let’s practice love and understand unconditional love. Let’s realise inner peace and create global peace’

Dr Chintamani will visit our class on Wednesday February 8th. Attached is some background on Dr Chintamani and Hinduism.

Before the session:

1. Please read the document attached and come to the session.

Remember you will need to create a Google account to access Google Docs to open this document. Go to to create the account.

2. Visit this site to get some background on Hinduism.

3. Prepare at least one question to ask Dr Chintamani in the session on Wednesday.
Here is a sample interview with Dr Chintamani

See you on Wednesday in lesson 2 for what should be a fascinating lesson on cultural diversity.