War decimated the landscape of Vietnam. The drastic economic times that followed drove Vietnam into the globalizing economy at lightning speed — and the country soon became the second largest exporter of rice in the world. After the war, Vietnam catapulted into the global marketplace, fast becoming the second largest producer of rice in the world. But the price of this rice is still being calculated: one out of every seven people in Vietnam goes hungry, for lack of rice, and farmers are spending more on chemical fertilizer than they are earning in profits.
LiveHopeLove looks at the universal problems faced by people with HIV/AIDS, through the specific lens of Jamaica, where almost no one is unaffected by the disease.
What are the unique realities of this small island state that set its HIV/AIDS sufferers apart from those in the rest of the world? Poet and writer Kwame Dawes travels to Jamaica to explore the experience of people living with HIV/AIDS and to examine how the disease has shaped their lives.
The Story of Lata explores the efforts by the people of a remote part of Solomon Islands to preserve their traditional boat building culture and navigation. It explores traditional Polynesian navigation in a region where the technology and knowledge is still intact. We listen to the older women who remember the old days of sailing, and who consider their role were this tradition to be revived. And we also consider the reality of modern life, which they are slowly being required to adapt to. How feasible is it to revive these ancient arts, which take time to learn?
Along the Thai-Burma border, we meet the women peace activists working in the midst of the world’s longest running civil war. In the Karen language, Kawthoolei is the name of a mythical homeland in eastern Burma (Myanmar). The Karen people have been struggling for control of this land for nearly 60 years. This conflict between the Burmese military regime and the Karen National Union is now considered the world’s longest running civil war. There are numerous reports of ethnic cleansing, and hundreds of thousands of Burmese and ethnic refugees have flooded western Thailand, yet this conflict is often overlooked by the western media.
In January of 2005 our team travelled to Cambodia to meet Chanthol Oung, the head of the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, a grassroots organization dedicated to preventing violence against women, and working to stop the illegal sale of young women into the sex industry. We talked to a number of young women who told us their stories of having been sold into brothels, and who had managed to escape. They also told us about what they are doing with their lives now.
In “The Hula Lesson” we join Hawaiian Hula teacher Roselle Bailey and her multicultural halau to find out what hula is, what it means to Hawaii, and why so many non-Hawaiians love it. Hula is more than girls dancing with coconut bras and grass skirts, with strains of Don Ho in the background. In fact, hula is a complete expression of a traditional culture, which uses dancing and singing for teaching social lessons, and for recounting history.