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Environmental Issues


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Title: Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues
Dear Minoo and environmental team here's Hamdi's
poem (he is 15 years old) There's a feeling I
get When I am all wet From the rain that falls
down from heaven That the is near While the
reason is so clear What will happen, we don't
know until then There's a dream I see where I
am upon a tree And I am looking down to the
Earth Where there is nothing but fire Nothing
left to admire And the children cry for help
Dreams of death and tears Dreams of the worst
of all tears Those are not dreams, those are
just night mares The Earth is dying in our hands
Pollution is reigning all lands Shrieks are all
across their heads, but who cares Angels crying
in the sky Pain and tears with a sign As they
see the face of the Earth when they roam Seeing
no birds in the day seeing the roses fading away
This the world of tomorrow A world of misery
and sorrow But who cares WE DO...
Students _at_ Work
Table of Contents
Climatic Variation A picture of the past
World Climatic Zones Climatic Zones In the eve of Ibn Khuldun
An over view of the cultural-cum-seasonal traditions of the world
Prospects for cultural contacts
This study addresses about the role played by
climatic variation on human life and its effects.
It also tells you whether different cultures and
traditions are a part of its by-product or not.
Further, if you will read it will give you
possible prospects for the cultural contact among
different countries of the world. And many such
interesting things which you will enjoy reading.
The best part of this presentation is the
contribution of the teacher of Social Science
Learning Area and the students of Class VIII A
(40) and the spirit of their teamwork.
  • There are different purposes of doing this
    project of IEARN like
  • To make the children aware of other international
    projects going on
  • in this circle.
  • 2) To let the children know about the cultures of
    other countries.
  • 3) It will help students know much about the
    cultural education and will increase their
    awareness about the customs and traditions of
    different countries.
  • 4) They can exchange their ideas with other
    children and can know their living style.

If we peep into the retrospect what we find that
climatic variation has dominantly affected the
human activities with devastating results. For
understanding the relations between the two
strands, interesting historical events have been
mentioning here in order to calculate the costs
and benefits of this aspect.
In the mid-1970's, weather - or, more accurately,
climate - suddenly seemed to emerge as a new
factor in the history of mankind. In the wake of
summer droughts in Europe, heavy rains in arid
Saudi Arabia, a disastrously dry winter in the
Rocky Mountains, savage blizzards in New England
and the deadly spread of deserts in Africa. Some
writers, openly alarmist, predict that a new Ice
Age is upon us, while others, looking to sales,
darkly blame nuclear explosions or hint at
imaginative conspiracies. Even the more
restrained observers suggest that changes in
weather patterns will have a disturbing impact on
modern history.
Actually, weather has always played an important
role in history. Taking the example of the great
Mediterranean Greek civilization of Mycenae -
which abruptly fell about 1200 B.C. - Bryson
established some guideposts from relatively
verifiable data of that same historical period
but in different parts of the globe an
emigration of people from Libya to Egypt, a
series of horrendous floods in Hungary an
abnormal rising of the Caspian Sea, and so on.
Why did the Mycenaean people leave? Was it an
invasion of Dorians from the north? A good
example of this is the recent desertification of
the Sahel in north central Africa, where
overgrazing plus a variation in climate patterns
produced almost six years of famine conditions
Another example - from both the Bible and the
Koran - is Joseph, who laid aside seven years'
worth of food in Egyptian granaries in
preparation for a coming period of famine. Joseph
implicitly recognized the decreasing productivity
of the soil resulting from a discernible climatic
variation the slow but inevitable course of
desiccation - similar to that now taking place in
Climate, together with human demands on the
environment, has already had an immense, if not
always recognized, impact on the history of the
Middle East Herdsmen, for example, have let their
goats and sheep overgraze Middle East pasture
lands for millennia, and both armies and
priesthoods have stripped such regions as ancient
Anatolia and Syria of their forests. Combined
with climatic changes over the same periods, such
practices transformed many areas - where
civilizations once flourished - into useless
Where exceptional individuals learned or foresaw
impending changes in climate and were able to
take action, the results were quite different
Noah, for example, was alerted to the Flood -
possibly a result of storms in the region of Iraq
with the addition of melting snow from the
Caucasus Mountains - and miraculously understood
what his neighbors obviously did not that such
climatic variations can change men's lives - and
in a remarkably short time.
On August 20 in AD. 636, for example, a perverse
change in the weather helped determine the
outcome of a battle in Syria that, in turn,
became a watershed in the history of the Middle
The battle, which took place on the Yarmuk River
near the Golan Heights in Southern Syria, pitted
the armies of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius
against thousands of Muslim Arabs, and the
outcome - a resounding Arab victory - reshaped
the known world. For Arab victory that day erased
forever the power of Byzantium in Syria, and
opened the way for the subsequent conquest of
Egypt and all of North Africa by the armies of
Islam. Eventually the victory at Yarmuk also
opened the eastern Mediterranean to the Umayyad
dynasty, led to the conquest of Spain and, still
later, to three sieges of the greatest Christian
city Constantinople. The memory of the glorious
day at Yarmuk would even echo in the 20th-century
Arab struggle against colonialism. A key factor
in the battle of the Yarmuk River was a change in
the weather.
Such perversity of weather is not uncommon in the
history of the Middle East. In 717 the Umayyad
dynasty, bent on conquering Constantinople, was
turned back as much by the fickleness of
miserable winter weather as by the Byzantines'
secret weapon - "Greek fire" and the great
rampart system surrounding the city. In 1098
unseasonable cold nearly thwarted the first
European Crusaders' siege of Antioch, and in 1529
one Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent -
turned back from Vienna after unseasonable
rainstorms in the Danube Valley bogged his cannon
down in the mud. Half a century later the
Christian Holy League defeated the Ottomans in a
naval battle at Lepanto, but could not follow up
their advantage because of a severe storm on the
morrow of the victory.
Commanders of those periods, of course, had no
weather satellites to help them time their
campaigns, but they were, nevertheless, acutely
aware that weather could have catastrophic
effects on their plans and they did what they
could. From earliest times, they attempted to
placate the gods, sought the opinions of
soothsayers and astrologists, and called upon
various holy men to ascertain weather conditions.
But such activities provided only psychological
solace, not practical help.
Today, modem science is gradually changing this
state of affairs. The scientific revolution has
not only provided a rational understanding of
curious and perverse weather changes but, by
averaging out such changes, discerned predictable
patterns of climate. Gathering together
barometric, temperature and rainfall data in many
parts of the world over many decades,
meteorologists have determined that climate - the
long-term accumulation of weather changes -
occurs in definable patterns. If carefully
analyzed, these patterns may foretell what the
inhabitants of a certain region can generally
expect over a period of days and even months.
Such data can also give insights into the
climatological probabilities for the future -
perhaps even years ahead.
Existing in any case on a narrow margin of
economic subsistence, nomads normally migrate
from the drier regions to the more verdant and
when extraordinary variations in climate occur,
mass movement toward more fertile regions is
inevitable - with results that are politically
devastating. The Persian-Turanian enmity, lasting
for centuries and dearly articulated in the
10th-century epic Shah-name (The Book of Kings),
may be an example of this it seems to have had
its roots in just such extraordinary pressures by
the nomadic Turanian cultures on the urban
Persian civilization. Because climatic variations
apparently dried up their normal grazing grounds,
various Turkish tribes east of the Oxus River
pushed west, crossed the natural boundary of the
river, and swarmed over portions of pre-Islamic
Persia's urban culture.
At the other end of the climatic spectrum,
excessively moist years in normally vegetated
areas can create abnormally rich nutrients for
mosquitoes, grasshoppers or rodents and, as a
result, lead to deadly plagues. In the Middle
Ages the fertile oasis of Damascus in Syria had a
continuing reputation for being plague-ridden,
probably malarial. And although an abundance of
water is of course vital to agriculture, it can
also result in the spread of liver flukes which
carry the disease called bilharzia, a problem in
Egypt and some other Middle Eastern countries.
The most common misery and the worst suffering
attributable to unexpected climatic variations
are those which arise when climatic change alters
vast agricultural regions generally considered
fertile - the so-called "breadbaskets." Every
pre-modern Middle East power had its major source
of food the Byzantines' was Anatolia and Syria
the 'Abbasids had the lower Tigris-Euphrates
region plus Khurasan and Bukhara and the
Ottomans possessed Egypt. But there was also an
inherent political danger in such agricultural
dependence, and it eventually materialized. When
climatic patterns changed, the farmers, unable
and unwilling to migrate, could be provoked into
rebellion against the established authorities.
Nomads could move on, but for sedentary peasants,
flight from their ancestral homes was simply not
an acceptable alternative.
One example of political upheaval possibly rooted
in climatic variations is the Jelali revolts of
the late 16th century in Ottoman Anatolia.
Following a period of several decades of poor
growing seasons and severe desiccation, the
Anatolian peasants rebelled for more than a dozen
years, striking terror into the Ottoman
government and almost severing Anatolia from the
Have you ever wondered why one area of the world
is a desert, another a grassland, and another a
rainforest? Why are there different forests and
deserts, and why are there different types of
life in each area? The answer is climate.
Climate is the characteristic condition of the
atmosphere near the earth's surface at a certain
place on earth. It is the long-term weather of
that area (at least 30 years). This includes the
region's general pattern of weather conditions,
seasons and weather extremes like hurricanes,
droughts, or rainy periods. Two of the most
important factors determining an area's climate
are air temperature and precipitation. World
biomes are controlled by climate. The climate of
a region will determine what plants will grow
there, and what animals will inhabit it. All
three components, climate, plants and animals are
interwoven to create the fabric of a biome.
The sun's rays hit the equator at a direct angle
between 23 N and 23 S latitude. Radiation
that reaches the atmosphere here is at its most
intense. In all other cases, the rays arrive at
an angle to the surface and are less intense. The
closer a place is to the poles, the smaller the
angle and therefore the less intense the
radiation. Our climate system is based on the
location of these hot and cold air-mass regions
and the atmospheric circulation created by trade
winds and westerlies. Trade winds north of the
equator blow from the northeast. South of the
equator, they blow from the southeast. The trade
winds of the two hemispheres meet near the
equator, causing the air to rise. As the rising
air cools, clouds and rain develop. The resulting
bands of cloudy and rainy weather near the
equator create tropical conditions.
Westerlies blow from the southwest on the
Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the
Southern Hemisphere. Westerlies steer storms from
west to east across middle latitudes. Both
westerlies and trade winds blow away from the 30
latitude belt. Over large areas centered at 30
latitude, surface winds are light. Air slowly
descends to replace the air that blows away. Any
moisture the air contains evaporates in the
intense heat. The tropical deserts, such as the
Sahara of Africa and the Sonoran of Mexico, exist
under these regions.
The Earth rotates about its axis, which is tilted
at 23.5 degrees. This tilt and the sun's
radiation result in the Earth's seasons. The sun
emits rays that hit the earth's surface at
different angles. These rays transmit the
The Köppen Climate Classification System is the
most widely used for classifying the world's
climates. Most classification systems used today
are based on the one introduced in 1900 by the
Russian-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen.
Köppen divided the Earth's surface into climatic
regions that generally coincided with world
patterns of vegetation and soils.
The Köppen system recognizes five major climate
types based on the annual and monthly averages of
temperature and precipitation. Each type is
designated by a capital letter. A - Moist
Tropical Climates are known for their high
temperatures year round and for their large
amount of year round rain. B - Dry Climates are
characterized by little rain and a huge daily
temperature range. Two subgroups, S - semiarid or
steppe, and W - arid or desert, are used with the
B climates. C - In Humid Middle Latitude Climates
land/water differences play a large part. These
climates have warm,dry summers and cool, wet
D - Continental Climates can be found in the
interior regions of large land masses. Total
precipitation is not very high and seasonal
temperatures vary widely. E - Cold Climates
describe this climate type perfectly. These
climates are part of areas where permanent ice
and tundra are always present. Only about four
months of the year have above freezing
temperatures. Further subgroups are designated by
a second, lower case letter which distinguish
specific seasonal characteristics of temperature
and precipitation. f - Moist with adequate
precipitation in all months and no dry season.
This letter usually accompanies the A, C, and D
m - Rainforest climate in spite of short, dry
season in monsoon type cycle. This letter only
applies to A climates. s - There is a dry season
in the summer of the respective hemisphere
(high-sun season). w - There is a dry season in
the winter of the respective hemisphere (low-sun
To further denote variations in climate, a third
letter was added to the code. a - Hot summers
where the warmest month is over 22C (72F).
These can be found in C and D climates. b - Warm
summer with the warmest month below 22C (72F).
These can also be found in C and D climates. c -
Cool, short summers with less than four months
over 10C (50F) in the C and D climates. d -
Very cold winters with the coldest month below
-38C (-36F) in the D climate only. h - Dry-hot
with a mean annual temperature over 18C (64F)
in B climates only. k - Dry-cold with a mean
annual temperature under 18C (64F) in B
climates only.
Climates are described by agreed-upon codes or by
descriptive terms that are some what loosely
defined but nevertheless useful. On a global
scale, climate can be spoken of in terms of
zones, or belts, that can be traced between the
equator and the pole in each hemisphere. To
understand them, the circulation of the upper
atmosphere, or stratosphere, must be considered,
as well as that of the lower atmosphere, or
troposphere, where weather takes place. Upper
atmospheric phenomena were little understood
until the advent of such advanced technology as
rocketry, high-altitude aircraft, and
satellites. Ideally, hot air can be thought of as
rising by convection along the equator and
sinking near the poles. Thus, the equatorial belt
tends to be a region of low pressure and calms,
interrupted by thunderstorms
Three major climate groups show the dominance of
special combinations of air-mass source regions.
  These climates are controlled by equatorial a
tropical air masses.
Rainfall is heavy in all months. The total annual
rainfall is often more than 250 cm. (100 in.).
There are seasonal differences in monthly
rainfall but temperatures of 27C (80F) mostly
stay the same. Humidity is between 77 and 88.
High surface heat and humidity cause cumulus
clouds to form early in the afternoons almost
every day. The climate on eastern sides of
continents are influenced by maritime tropical
air masses. These air masses flow out from the
moist western sides of oceanic high-pressure
cells, and bring lots of summer rainfall. The
summers are warm and very humid. It also rains a
lot in the winter Average temperature 18 C (F)
Annual Precipitation 262 cm. (103 in.)
Latitude Range 10 S to 25 N Global
Position Amazon Basin Congo Basin of equatorial
Africa East Indies, from Sumatra to New Guinea.
A seasonal change occurs between wet tropical air
masses and dry tropical air masses. As a result,
there is a very wet season and a very dry season.
Trade winds dominate during the dry season. It
gets a little cooler during this dry season but
will become very hot just before the wet season.
Temperature Range 16 C Annual Precipitation
0.25 cm. (0.1 in.). All months less than 0.25 cm.
(0.1 in.) Latitude Range 15 to 25 N and S
Global Range India, Indochina, West Africa,
southern Africa, South America and the north
coast of Australia 
These desert climates are found in low-latitude
deserts approximately between 18 to 28 in both
hemispheres. these latitude belts are centered on
the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which lie
just north and south of the equator. They
coincide with the edge of the equatorial
subtropical high pressure belt and trade winds.
Winds are light, which allows for the evaporation
of moisture in the intense heat. They generally
flow downward so the area is seldom penetrated by
air masses that produce rain. This makes for a
very dry heat. The dry arid desert is a true
desert climate, and covers 12 of the Earth's
land surface.
Temperature Range 16 C Annual Precipitation
0.25 cm (0.1 in). All months less than 0.25 cm
(0.1 in). Latitude Range 15 - 25 N and S.
Global Range southwestern United States and
northern Mexico Argentina north Africa south
Africa central part of Australia.
Climates in this zone are affected by two
different air-masses. The tropical air-masses are
moving towards the poles and the polar air-masses
are moving towards the equator. These two air
masses are in constant conflict. Either air mass
may dominate the area, but neither has exclusive
control. Dry Midlatitude Climates (BS)
steppe Characterized by grasslands, this is a
semiarid climate. It can be found between the
desert climate (BW) and more humid climates of
the A, C, and D groups. If it received less rain,
the steppe would be classified as an arid desert.
With more rain, it would be classified as a
tallgrass prairie.
This is a wet-winter, dry-summer climate.
Extremely dry summers are caused by the sinking
air of the subtropical highs and may last for up
to five months. Plants have adapted to the
extreme difference in rainfall and temperature
between winter and summer seasons. Sclerophyll
plants range in formations from forests, to
woodland, and scrub. Eucalyptus forests cover
most of the chaparral biome in Australia. Fires
occur frequently in Mediterranean climate zones.
Temperature Range 7 C (12 F) Annual
Precipitation 42 cm (17 in). Latitude Range
30 - 50 N and S
Global Position central and southern California
coastal zones bordering the Mediterranean Sea
coastal Western Australia and South Australia
Chilean coast Cape Town region of South Africa.
Dry Midlatitude Climates (Bs) grasslands
biom These dry climates are limited to the
interiors of North America and Eurasia. Ocean air
masses are blocked by mountain ranges to the west
and south. This allows polar air masses to
dominate in winter months. In the summer, a local
continental air mass is dominant. A small amount
of rain falls during this season. Annual
temperatures range widely. Summers are warm to
hot, but winters are cold. Temperature Range 31
C (56F). Annual Precipitation 81 cm. (32
in.). Latitude Range 30 - 55 N and S Global
Position western North America (Great Basin,
Columbia Plateau, Great Plains) Eurasian
Moist Continental Climate (Cf) Deciduous Forest
biom This climate is in the polar front zone -
the battleground of polar and tropical air
masses. Seasonal changes between summer and
winter are very large. Daily temperatures also
change often. Abundant precipitation falls
throughout the year. It is increased in the
summer season by invading tropical air masses.
Cold winters are caused by polar and arctic
masses moving south. Temperature Range 31 C
(56 F) Average Annual Precipitation 81 cm (32
in). Latitude Range 30 - 55 N and S (Europe
45 - 60 N).
Global Position eastern parts of the United
States and southern Canada northern China
Korea Japan central and eastern Europe.
Polar and arctic air masses dominate these
regions. Canada and Siberia are two air-mass
sources which fall into this group. A southern
hemisphere counterpart to these continental
centers does not exist. Air masses of arctic
origin meet polar continental air masses along
the 60th and 70th parallels.    
This is a continental climate with long, very
cold winters, and short, cool summers. This
climate is found in the polar air mass region.
Very cold air masses from the arctic often move
in. The temperature range is larger than any
other climate. Precipitation increases during
summer months, although annual precipitation is
still small. Much of the boreal forest climate is
considered humid. However, large areas in western
Canada and Siberia receive very little
precipitation and fall into the subhumid or
semiarid climate type.
Temperature Range 41 C (74 F), lows -25 C
(-14 F), highs 16 C (60 F). Average Annual
Precipitation 31 cm (12 in). Latitude Range
50 - 70 N and S. Global Position central and
western Alaska Canada, from the Yukon Territory
to Labrador Eurasia, from northern Europe across
all of Siberia to the Pacific Ocean.
The tundra climate is found along arctic coastal
areas. Polar and arctic air masses dominate the
tundra climate. The winter season is long and
severe. A short, mild season exists, but not a
true summer season. Moderating ocean winds keep
the temperatures from being as severe as interior
regions. Temperature Range -22 C to 6 C (-10
F to 41 F). Average Annual Precipitation 20
cm (8 in). Latitude Range 60 - 75 N.
Global Position arctic zone of North America
Hudson Bay region Greenland coast northern
Siberia bordering the Arctic Ocean.
Highland climates are cool to cold, found in
mountains and high plateaus. Climates change
rapidly on mountains, becoming colder the higher
the altitude gets. The climate of a highland area
is closely related to the climate of the
surrounding biome. The highlands have the same
seasons and wet and dry periods as the biome they
are in Average Annual Precipitation 23 cm (9
in.) Latitude Range found all over the world
Global Position Rocky Mountain Range in North
America, the Andean mountain range in South
America, the Alps in Europe, Mt. Kilimanjaro in
Africa, the Himalayans in Tibet, Mt. Fuji in
The natural environment of man effects on his
personal and social habits. Ibn khaldun was one
of the important political thinkers who
propounded the theory about geographical and
atmospheric background and human activities.
He meticulously divides the habitable earth,
known to him, into seven zones, and includes in
them not merely Africa, the Arab regions and the
region of southern and eastern Asia as far as
northern  China, but also Spain, France, England
and practically the whole of Europe. It is on
such world-wide data that he bases his
conclusions. He begins with the axiom that north
and south (the latter, meaning the equatorial
regions) represent opposite extremes of cold and
heat, while the regions in the center of the two
are moderate in temperature giving rise to arts,
crafts and sciences, distinguished by fine
buildings, foodstuffs and fruits and even the
animals living in these regions are of
well-proportioned bodily character. Human beings
are also well proportioned, moderately fair in
color and of good qualities. They use the very
best of tools and implements, and their coins are
made up of the two leading minerals, gold and
On the other hand, in regions away from the
moderate zones either south or north, the
conditions are different. Those living in south,
away from the temperate zone, have their
buildings made up of clay and reed. Ibn khuldun
says that the conditions of those living right in
the north, is also of a low standard, except
those who have adopted Christianity or Islam as
their way of life. He says that there are
exceptions to this rule especially in the regions
which are situated close to the sea, for the
resultant humidity moderates the influence of the
regional heat. Such for instance, are the Yemen,
South Arabia, Hijaz, Yamama etc.
He is quite candid that the color of the skin is
not due to the race being descended from white or
a colored progenitor like Ham or Japheth, but to
the composition of their caused by great which is
again the result of the sun being constantly at
the zenith near the equator. Similarly the
northern races have blue eyes, freckled skin and
blonde hair owing to the composition of the air.
It is therefore natural that the inhabitants of
the central zones have the capacity of living an
organized existence needing not merely political
groupings called states but also political
leadership culminating in royal authority. They
also respond to religious teachings as well as
natural sciences. Among these Ibn khaldun counts
Greek, Romans, Persians, Jews, Chinese and
It hardly needs any proof that the quality and
quantity of food is directly effected by the
fertility of the soil as well as the amount of
space which can be set aside for cultivation.
There are those who live on the fringe of
deserts, or weather there is not enough space for
cultivation, and they have to work harder and
generally live meat and milk products.
They are therefore physically healthier and
mentally more alert, while those who have
plentiful of grain and other varieties of food
are generally culler and prone to great comfort.
For the consumption of excessive quantities of
food generate superfluous matter causing the
dullness of mental capacities, and this naturally
reacts on the social life of the people. Ibn
khulduns theories regarding the effect of
climate on human societies is interspersed with
illustration from the animal world as well as the
history of various human races.
It should be clear that this is not hard and fast
rule to be believed on it but the possibilities
can be here. We live are living in the world of
science and technology and those countries
working hard and with consistency are reaping the
benefits of materialistic and intellectual
This part of the project is related with the
culture and traditions of those countries having
uniqe and interesting aspects in this regard.
The study of the traditional spiritual culture
of the Romanian people starts from the study of
beliefs, customs and ancient magic practices that
have been preserved, along with Christian cult
practices, to this present day. Under the hard
conditions of our historical existence this has
been an important moral support. Since times
immemorial ancient beliefs and customs have been
transmitted and they have existed in close
connection to the daily working activities and
the wish for fulfillment of the Romanian people.
Within the area stretching between the
Carpathians, the Danube and the Pontus Euxinus
the memory of such customs goes back a long time.
The main symbols of these traditions have been
the sun, the earth, the water and the air,
primary sacred elements whose importance has
lasted to the present day. Our folklore has
traditions dating back from the times of the
Roman Dacians. These beliefs make the originary
fund of the Romanian spiritual culture. The
customs are evryday practices, with traditional
individual and collective rules , through which
fertility and wealth , human and animal health
are invoked and natural and supernatural evils
are kept away.
A great number of these practices are
reminiscences of ancient agrarian rites off
fertility and passage.In the creations and
manifestations of the traditional folk culture
the profane co-exists in close relation with the
sacred. In his book 'from Zalmoxis to Genghis
Kan', Mircea Eliade says' All the religious
conceptions of the Roman Dacians are at least
contemporary with those we decipher in the folk
traditions.' A basic manifestation of these
customs is the traditional tryptic charms,
magic, incantations.
In incantations we find the desire to cure the
sick through the traditional medical magic. Al.
Rosetti discovered that some incantations are on
a similar pattern with some ancient Latin ones
'A comparison between the constituents of the
Romanian magic incantations and those existing in
the Roman empire proves an undeniable parallelism
between the two'.In fact the very word descantec
has a Latin etymology, coming from th e word
discantare. The incantations were accompanied by
some ( medicine, concoctions, plant mixtures),
whose curing properties were derived from the the
belief accordind to which the water, together
with the earth, the air and the fire, is one of
the primordial elements of nature. Another
important argument is the fact that in the
Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space even Plato
registered, the importance of the exorcism in
Enchantments were magic practices used in the
past, in which there were expressed, also through
exorcism, wishes for fulfilment in social or
individual life, for preventing or banishing the
evil from enemies or witches. As appendage in
practising them, there were used metal objects or
made from iron and silver, and also spontaneous
or cultivated plants sweet basil, chicory. The
spells were considered "evil" practices, in
which, for fulfilling wishes and banishing pains,
you resorted to witches, who conjured evil
spirits. Many ancient traditions are today
connected with the settlement. For the settlement
and the dwellings we have prevalent Latin-Roman
base terms "casa"( casa (house)
"fenestra"(fereastra (window) "pariet"(perete
(wall) "mensa"(masa (table) "coperio"(acoperis
(roof) "scala"(scara (stair) "scandula"(scandura
(piece of wood) The three territorial limits
with magic load were the household, the field's
gate and the village border.
Building the house posed a lot of problems
beginning with choosing the place, the material
used and especially laying the foundation, which
supposed sacrificing a life, like in "mesterul
manole", ritual with a great spread (m. Eliade).
Also finishing the constructions meant some
traditional habits adorning the roof with green
branches, putting in corners plants to banish the
supernatural evil.
The dacian-roman inheritances are felt especially
in the customs directly in contact with the cycle
of life (birth, marriage and death), the ones
connected to death being prevalent. During the
formation and christianizing of the romanian
people, the ritual of incineration from the
traditional dacian-roman fund was abandoned, by
the generalization of the ritual of inhumation
completed by christian cultural practices. Some
prechristian practices survived, being adopted by
dacian-roman population in the process of
leavening the folk romanian culture. So, at the
thracians, when a child was born one would cry,
and when someone died one would joke and have
fun, celebrating in this way getting rid of the
lives' burdens. Those two rituals are certified
by the archeological discoveries not only during
the time of the roman occupation from dacia
traiana, but also during the migrations. The
games of deathwatch are an eloquent example of
this circulation.
Especially the games of deathwatch from vrancea
conjures up the ancient ritual of incineration of
the dead, by the purifying and protective power
of a burning fire at the funeral, around which
people that wore antropomorfe and zoomorfe
masks, named "unchiesi" (uncles), gamboled.
Another game, "chiperul" was also danced around
the fire. The dancers, arranged in indian file,
were thrown in fire, but, first of all, the dead
was taken through fire as well. "cantecul
bradului" ("the song of the pine tree") and
"cantecul zorilor" ("the song of dawn") are
connected to the burial traditions. "the song of
dawn" doesn't have a correspondent in the
folklore of other people.
Through this song, the dawns are prayed not to
hurry so that they could finish the preparations,
for the long journey the man had to cover to the
other world. "the song of the pine tree" is part
of the ceremonial of the tineri necasatoriti
single, the pine tree symbolizing the youth of
the one who died and as well the fact that the
dead will get married on the other world. Some
researchers maintain their belief that the pine
tree replaced the mediterranean cypress, which
the romans used to put in front of their house
and at the head of the dead, announcing death.
Also, they used to sprinkle the tombs with water
(ceremonial named at greeks hydrophoria). This
custom is certified at the geto-dacs by what was
found in their tombs some broken ritual vases,
destined to "soothe" the thirst of the dead.
The gets were the ones who cultivated some kind
of aquatic pantheism, attributing the water
miraculous powers. For them the principal of
life, that impels materia, identifies with the
water. Humans returned to their primary element,
the water, in order to achieve a new life.
Another reason for the proverbial thirst we have
mentioned previously is that the faith has
preserved during the roman conquest. The
principal holidays from our time have been
established depending on older traditions, in
connection with the year's cycle.
So, the winter holidays marked the beginning of
the year, the spring holidays the beginning of
the cycle of vegetation, the summer holidays were
meant to protect the crop from the nature's
forces and with the occasion of the final
holidays, the autumn ones, the first fruits were
offered as an offering for the dead. The
perrenial character of these holidays is to be
notuced. Their functions were essential they
kept up the relationship with the sacred,
reproduce the community group and harmonise
society with the universe.
There is a strong traditional heritage related to
the first celebration of the year. With some
primitive archaic peoples the beginning of the
year was celebrated at the spring equinox, when
the agricultural labours started. For the Romans
,during Romulus, when the primitive agrarian
calendar was in function, having a 10-month year
division, the beginning of the year was the 1st
of March( the Ides of March). Only under Numa
pompilius did this date change to the Ides of
The holiday of the new year was as well the
holiday of Ianus. From here derives the agrarian
character and the name of the first month
"ianuarie" (january). Ianus, the god with two
faces, personified the past time and the future
time, therefore the beginning. That is why the
day of Ianus's auspices brought to the romans a
feeling of a sacred excitement, of rebirth of
time and life. Some time later, due to the
julian calendar, introduced by caesar in 46 b.
Hr., The holiday was set for good on the first of
january, being spread in the whole roman world,
including dacia. With the occasion of this
holiday the house was adorned with green branches
(of laurel, in the mediterranean spaces, of pine
in our parts), the children, the relatives, the
municipal magistrates, the counsels and the
emperor would receive gifts ("strenae") and well
whishes ("oratio", "vota"). These gifts had the
magical role of assuring in the mew year the
fulfilling of all hopes for the ones who received
The existence of these traditions on the dacian
territory is proved by several gifts (equestrian
figurines made of terracotta equipped with wheels
sigilla piggy for money, bronze rings) found
at potaissa, gilau, cristesti, sucidava etc.
Even our well wish "iti doresc un an nou fericit"
(i wish you a happy new year) derives from latin
"annum novum faustum felicem tibi (mihi)".
The roman christianity has tried to cancel the
memory of the customs connected to the heathen
gods, and to oppose them a adequate holiday,
establishing in this way christmas exactly when
"saturnalia", "dies natalia solis invicti" and
"calendele lui ianuarie" were. The survivals in
the roman cultural fund are more obvious in the
zones inside the carpathians than in the ones
outside the carpathians due to the creations and
manifestations of daco-roman tradition.
The more obvious ones are the christmas carols
and the new year's wishes. Another holiday that
dates from the roman time is the "cosmadionul"
the cosma and damian saints, celebrated on the
first of july, these two saints being the ones
who made, when they were not christians, the
poison for saint gheorghe it's a sin to work on
their day. As well in this cycle of ancient
holidays you will find "rusaliile" during it
two other christian holidays take simultaneously
place "pogorarea duhului sfant" and "sfanta
treime" - the holy trinity, and also a complex of
rituals dedicated to fairies and an important
episode from the cult of dead ("mosii de
rusalii") this holiday is seen at the greeks as
well, being called "ingenuncherea" (the
The old agrarian rituals left their marks on many
folk traditions. So are the magical rituals for
invoking the rains, for the fecundation of the
cows, for the fertility of the fields
"sangeorzul", "plugarul", "dragaica". The origin
of some folk dances like "hora" and "calusarii"
must be found in the same old substratum. In
these dances persist the memory of some magical
medicine rituals, some initiating rituals and of
an ancient cult of the sun, as well as some
mythical symbols of nature. In the traco-dacian
substratum consta) the originality and
personality of the romanian people, while the
roman sorginte has invested us with the
universal vocation of the romans.
Regarding winter activities, Lebanon is one of
the few winter sports centers in the Middle East
and certainly the most extensive. The season
begins in December and continues until April in a
winter landscape surprising in its variety and
beauty. The largest resorts have hotels, chalets
and other facilities, including good ski lifts.
There are six winter resorts The Cedars (2,300
meters), Faraya/Ouyoun es Siman (1,890 meters),
Laklouk (1,740 meters), Faqra (1,750 meters),
Qanat Bakiche (1,900 meters) and Zaarour (1,900
meters). Moreover, winter in Lebanon is the best
time to visit the coastal cities of history-
Tripoli, Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre- or even the
snow bound Roman temples of the mountains. Not
only does a winter sky add drama to old stones,
but these sites can also be pretty hot on a
summer day, and the mild winter temperature can
make a sightseeing tour through ruins more
enjoyable. As for familial winter activities,
most of them-especially in the mountains- are
centered in one room dominated by a huge chimney
or stove
This room becomes the heart of all domestic
arrangements in winter. The lady of the house
usually sits on a thick carpet near the
chimney/stove and cooks. Meals are served in this
room, too. At night, mattresses are spread around
the chimney/stove and all the family and some
neighbors gather with a kettle of tea or coffee
beside them. Concerning summar activities,
Lebanon's long varied coastline and its
Mediterranean climate make it an ideal place for
water sports. Numerous resort complexes, beaches
and swimming clubs have aquatic amusements and
sports on offer, including water skiing, surfing,
underwater fishing, sailing, scuba diving and
Furthermore, the Lebanese fish, go on picnics to
nearby picturesque places such as local rivers,
public gardens , or walk with friends along the
seaside corniche, dodging sea spray and
wondering at the clarity of mountains. Often on
these walks, people run across an enterprising
vendor selling roasted chestnuts from a pushcart,
or sometimes it is a cart seller offering kidney
beans spiced with cumin.
The local climate affects the actual
environmental conditions of the houses. In a cold
climate, or in the winter of temperate climate,
passive solar heating, good insulation and
careful control of air infiltration would reduce
the heating requirements. In a hot-dry climate
the massive building, evaporative cooling and
good shading may succeed in ensuring comfort. In
warm-humid climate as in coastal cities in
Lebanon, the designer should ensure that the
indoor temperature does not become higher than
the outdoor. Adequate ventilation may ensure this
by removing any excess heat input, but this is
not enough. Undue increase of ceiling temperature
may be prevented by using a reflective roof
surface ensuring adequate ventilation of the
attic space using reflective surfaces both for
the underside of the roof and for the top of the
ceiling using some resistive insulation for or
on the ceiling
In winter, people wear woolen long sleeved
shirts, pullover, coats, or jackets. They cover
their heads with woolen or water resistible caps
and their hands with gloves. They also wear
woolen socks and high- heeled boots which prevent
their legs from water. In summer, they wear
light and bright cotton shirts, blouses, socks
and underwear to prevent sweating because of the
high degree of humidity in summer season.
Food seems particularly significant during the
Lebanese winter. In late summer, people
traditionally store up on provisions for the cold
days ahead. Families who live in villages and
modern apartments in cities prepare their winter
supply of burghul (cracked wheat), lentils, chick
peas, dried beans, oil and olives. At autumn,
city-dwellers return to their native villages to
pick olives and to secure their all-important
provisions of olive oil. In rural areas,
qawarma(fatty meat) is boiled with salt and
preserved in jars.
Firewood is gathered, and jam is made from
quinces and apples. Figs, which have been drying
in the open air, are combined with sugar, pine
nuts, sesame seeds and mastic to make delicious
jam. Another traditional winter food, kishk (a
combination of crushed wheat and yogurt dried in
the sun) is prepared. During the summer season,
light dishes are favored to keep the body fresh.
People prefer various types of mezza such as
tabbouly, fattouch, baba ghannouj, mtabbal,
pickles, kebbe., and grilled meat or fish. As
for desserts, fresh local juice and fruit such as
watermelon, grapes, lemon, peach, cherries,
blueberries, strawberries, figs.in addition to
several ice cream flavors are offered.
Its latitude, and its proximity to the Gulf
Stream that moves northward along the coast of
the Atlantic Ocean determines the climate of the
city and the surrounding area (states of New
York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) about 43
degrees north. Winters are not as cold as in the
inland sites at the same latitude. At the same
time, summers are cooler than those of the center
of the country are.
The city has four seasons. Its temperatures range
from as low as -15 degrees Celsius in the winter
to around 35 in the summer, humidity and winds
are factor that make the temperatures feel very
different. Because of these conditions, New
Yorkers live in houses or apartment buildings
equipped to protect them from these extreme
Houses and apartments are built of hard material,
usually concrete, brick, and even rocks. Natural
illumination is very scarce in our houses.
Buildings are so close to each other that they
prevent solar radiation from passing through, so
that people have to utilize artificial light.
Buildings must have -heating system to
maintain a minimum temperature of around 18
degrees C in the winter, -double window or storm
windows to protect people from strong winds, and
low temperatures, -a tank for storage of fuel
oil during the winter, -if the houses are
located in rural areas, they also have a basement
that protects people in case of tornadoes or
other weather related hazards, -most of the
places need air conditioning system because of
the extreme high temperatures and humidity of the
We all know that todays era is the era of
interaction and due to the differences of ideas
and beliefs countries of the world are hesitate
to share their reservations with each other. That
is why we see a sharp distance among the
different cultures of the world. The world is
going so fast and becoming the hub of evil
activities and being the builder of the coming
world we, the new generation, should come ahead
with a new visions and peaceful ideas. In this
regard the avenue of the climate and its
alteration can be helpful for us. Because most of
the countries of the world are facing
environmental issues and are unable to cope with
them due to the lack of cooperation.
  • Here are the few suggestions and prospects by
    which we can introduce possible avenues in the
    way of cultural contacts.
  • We can work on the impact of climate variability
    on human health from an ecological systems
    perspective. The identification of the causal
    relationships and interactions between climatic
    events, regional ecology and human behavior are
    vital possibilities in this regard.

  • We can also focus upon migration patterns, land
    use change, and infectious disease transmission
    in order to examine governmental and
    non-governmental responses to these interactions
    and to disease incidence.
  • Investigating these interactions in one region
    risks focusing on a set of interactions that are
    very location-specific. The interaction between
    agricultural production, migrations, and
    migration-related health status changes needs to
    be systematically studied in zones with different
    climate variability and climate adaptations if we
    are to develop appropriate early warning systems
    and other mechanisms to facilitate positive
    adaptations to climate variability.
  • In this regard work has already been done by
    experts who initiated comparative study of two
    very different climatic zones Mali, in the
    Sahel, and Kenya, in East Africa. These
    particular climatic zones embody both
    similarities and contrasts in their climate
    situation, productive ecologies, and health

In the light of ongoing discussion what we
conclude that climatic variation is one of the
stimulating elements in the human activities
which not only effects its basis but also opens
new avenues for the cultural harmony and
contacts. It has devastating as well as
constructive nature but the fact that by using
such types of opportunities the inter and intra
states relations can be improved for peaceful
http//www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals www.
google.com www.yahoo.com Encarta Encyclopedia
CONTRIBUTED BY Jafri Otham and his team Abir
Abdallah and his team Luis Jorge and his team
Nazlin Shiraz Learning Area Cordinator
(English) Muhammad Azeem Social Sciences Learning
Area Teacher Sarfaraz Vallani Computer
Instructor Students of Class VIII A (42)
Nazlin Shiraz
Thank You
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