The plight of the Uyghurs

The plight of the UyghursUyghurs are Turkic-speaking Asians who live mainly in western China. Their history has been interwoven with that of China since they rose to prominence in the eighth century, when they established their first true state in Mongolia. Relations between the Chinese and the Uyghurs were never entirely comfortable, however, and the Chinese considered them a barbarian people.

Local village rituals aim to appease island gods

Local village rituals aim to appease island godsBetween Jan. 13 and 14, following the lunar calendar (Feb. 4 and 5 on the solar calendar), village rites (maeulje in Korean) are held all over Jeju. While all of the islandís village rituals share the common background of shamanism, they can be broadly categorized into two religious processes: Confucianism, where the ritual is performed by the villageís men, and shamanisim, with the ritual being organized by women and conducted by a shaman.

Australia's painful journey towards indigenous rights

AustraliaIn saying that I have conflicting views about the hustling of Julia Gillard, the prime minister, to her car through a cordon of Aboriginal demonstrators and police on Australia Day last month, I am merely reflecting a genuine confusion many of us feel.

On Mountains

On MountainsIn Gary Pak's diasporic, Korean-Hawaiian novel A Ricepaper Airplane (University of Hawaii, 1998) a woodsman named Uncle Bhak serves a warm bowl of rice porridge, or juk, to Uncle Sung Wha, a revolutionary on the run from the Japanese colonial army. The woodsman lives on Kumgangsan, a sacred mountain located in what is now the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Margaret Runyan Castaneda dies at 90; ex-wife of mystic author

Margaret Runyan Castaneda dies at 90; ex-wife of mystic authorThey were an unlikely couple, the Latin American immigrant and the West Virginia divorcee whose paths crossed in mid-1950s Los Angeles.
But, by Margaret Runyan Castaneda's account, she and Carlos Castaneda were kindred spirits whose time together helped turn him into a countercultural phenomenon.