Smart phones and wireless internet technology provide people everywhere access to the world beyond their borders. This new connectedness hasn’t upended culture. On the contrary, in my experience, more often than not, this connectedness actually augments aspects of the regional and traditional culture.
Whether you applaud technology’s impact or remain dubious about its effect, it’s reassuring to know there are still places where not everyone is transfixed by their cell phone. For instance, I was surprised to find a man in Istanbul still making baskets by hand using bark from a local tree.
Just as I was fascinated watching Ugandan fishermen cast their nets into the upper Nile much as their ancestors had, or watching the man of African-Arab heritage building a traditional Arab dhow by hand without the aid of power tools, probably just like his father and grandfather had. (more…)