Friday, December 04, 2009

Dec 7-11 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: As much as I enjoyed having Nicholas Kristof on Here on Earth – I’ve followed his column in the New York Times for years and have always been impressed with his activist journalism especially in the area of women’s rights – it was really the extraordinary Tererei Trent, who really stole the show. Had it not been for the intercession of Heifer International, Tererei would be an illiterate cowherd in Zimbabwe. She grew up doing her brother’s homework to teach herself how to read and write because as a girl she wasn’t allowed to go to school. Now she holds a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, setting a great model for her five children. My favorite moment was when she talked about achieving reconciliation with her abusive husband nursing him through the final stages of AIDS.

Lots of themes of myth and ritual coming up in next week’s programming: -- must be something in the air!

Monday: Invictus: Shortly after becoming the president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela found an unusual cause to unite the country after the apartheid -- rugby. How did he turn a white supremacist team into a world champion and symbol of unity? Learn about the true story behind the new film, Invictus, released next weekend in Wisconsin.

Tuesday: Learning Arabic: We’re celebrating World Languages Day a little late this year, talking with the authors of the most popular Arabic textbook in the world, the husband and wife team, Kristen Brustad and Mahmoud Al-Batal. It turns out more people are studying Arabic these days and finding out it’s not so difficult after all.

Wednesday: Hunting as a Rite of Passage: Does hunting encourage violence or can it teach empathy and compassion? Randall Eaton is a behavioral scientist with an international reputation in wildlife conservation who teaches boys how to hunt in the Native American way. He’s the author of From Boys to Men of Heart.

Thursday: The Power of Ritual: What’s the difference between saying, “I’m going to get a cup of coffee,” and saying, “I’m going to get my cup of coffee.” Dr. Bradd Shore wants to debunk the idea that rituals are only powerful in the exotic sphere of The Other. He says, for Americas, the most meaningful rituals may very well be the hidden ones we most easily overlook.

Friday: Christmas Eve Food Rituals: The Sicilians have an amazing Christmas Eve ritual that involves making thirteen different kinds of fish. I once attended one such celebration and ended up with shrimp scampi poured over my head which I took as a blessing. We’ll talk with Toni Lydecker, the author of the all new Seafood Alla Siciliana and find how much he knows about it.

Have a lovely weekend!


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