Saturday, October 19, 2019

Catastrophes, Cultures, and the Angry Earth Essay

Catastrophes, Cultures, and the Angry Earth - Essay Example â€Å"The waters came and took our house and all of our belongings. Now we have returned and officials tell us that we can’t rebuild here, our land will be used for something else. This is our land, we want it back, and we want our lives back.† -----Anonymous Survivor in Aceh, 2005 â€Å"We would all love to see Tokyo rebuilt along the lines of Paris or Berlin, but do we have the resources? No! Why should people in rural areas who suffer each year, toil and sweat yet more for those of Tokyo? Rural areas need attention too, they are the foundation of the nation.† -----Japanese Parliamentarian, 1923 Answer: In the course, the main idea being taught revolves around the nature of the human society specifically during the time of catastrophes and disasters. Based on the quotation that introduced the course according to the historian Marc Bloch, calamities are instruments that help see, study, and analyze the nature of human society. This can be attributed to the fact that as a human body, society has the capacity to maintain, to operate, and to defend itself. It also has the capacity to rebuild once it had been destroyed. The only question in the process of coping with the different forms of trials and disasters is the manner by which it can be undertaken. The course is aimed to open the minds of the students to the need for larger and more holistic objectives in the society which can help understand the reason for the need for continuous improvement of the different groups in the society such as political, economic, and social institutions. Due to the continuous exposure to natural disasters, human society had learned to establish ways and means to cope with the effects of calamities and disasters. The lessons of the pasts and the technologies of the present are used as tools to plan and to cope with possible dangers in the future. Discussion of the First Quote: Calamity in Aceh The first quote was expressed by an anonymous survivor in the calamity that affected Aceh in 2005. Based on the quote, aside from the natural calamity which is the flood that affected many lives, there are other issues that hinder the process of recovery and reconstruction. Upon the return of the survivors to their land, officials prohibited reconstruction. Thus, the aside from the fact that the natural calamity took their home, the social and political issues and policies affected their land. There are different issues that can be discussed in the quote since it expressed a view of the different dynamics that can occur in times of disasters. One is the background of the disaster in Aceh. Aceh, formally known as Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (or the State of Aceh, Abode of Peace) is considered as one of the most Islamic region of Indonesia. The culture and traditions of Aceh is strongly based on Islamic principles and practices. For that matter, religion can be considered as one of the guiding view in times of major calamities and natural disasters (Clarke, Fanany, and Kenny, 2010, p. 30). Due to the influence of Islam in the culture of Aceh, it is considered as one of the main context in terms of the study of the event of 2005. The Islamic law, or sharia, is known to affect the post-tsunami state of Aceh resulting to the question on the re construction and rehabilitation efforts in the area. The political policy in the state had been considered as one of the most highlighted factor in the rehabilitation problems since it is the only state in the country that applies Islamic law. The application of religious laws on political context can be considered as a point of continuous criticism since it can greatly affect the road to reconstruction of Aceh (Clarke, Fanany,

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