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Vietnamese Culture

My religious identity is Buddhism. In the religion, some of the important rituals include paying homage to the Buddha, performance of Mahayana rituals and celebrating important dates such as holidays and birthdays associated with Buddha. The rituals assist in the formation of a religious identity by interacting with other people of similar faith. In our culture, there are birth, the naming ceremony, marriage, and death. In my life, I have gone through two rites of passage which are birth and naming.
I am yet to get married, which will mark the third rite of passage. I express myself creatively through the composition of poetry. The poetry expresses my feelings towards others and the environment. I also appreciate traditional music and visual arts such as sculptures (Muthukumaraswamy 262). I feel that they communicate and pass details of the culture to the young generations. The art forms show creativity in sculptures and shared values of unity for the culture. Apart from cultural growth, the arts are important in growing talents in the country.
The official language in the country is Vietnamese. The speakers of the language are in all age groups making the language the best in all social situations. However, some ancient groups have their unique languages spoken at their localities. The language communicates the culture in the society. It is the culture to speak in Vietnamese. By speaking the culture, the society appreciates the cultural variation of people in the world. Cultures offer traditional identity of people on the global platform (Wenhua 26).
Through the language, the culture teaches the people to uphold family values such as respect for the elderly and worship of the ancestors. It would be challenging to teach the values in English especially for the elderly in the society who guide the young ones. Losing the language is not a huge concern. Currently, the language is so rooted in the country reducing the chances of any loss. I am also very familiar with the language hence not possible to lose the language. People in my country appreciate cultural aspects such as language hence the passage from one generation to another.

Las Castas-Race and Dance Fusion in Latin America

What was the lecture about?
The lesson was about Las Castas -Race and Dance Fusion in Latin America. During the lesson, the impact of these dances on Latin America was discussed, as well as how their development was tied with the evolution of Latin American culture and society from the 16th Century onwards. The influence of race relations dance was also explored.
What was the purpose of dance?
The purpose of dance was many-fold. It all depended on the occasion. Dancing was performed during important social and religious events. At the same time, dance was to play a major role in the integration of South American society in later centuries.
What are three things that you learned today?
Things learnt
a. From the lesson, I have been able to learn a number of things. For instance, the development of Latin American society was the result of a complex fusion between native tribes, Europeans and Africans.
b. Also, the Castas and their special influence on the development of this society at a time when the renaissance was in full swing was also enlightening.
c. Thirdly, the integration of Latin American Society was also helped by cultural inputs such as las castas dance.
What impacted you most about today’s lecture?
I was particularly impressed by the input that dance had on racial integration in Latin America. Helping people share customs and cultures, and make the society more cohesive. This was at a time when the world was bitterly and radically divided along class, racial, and ethnic lines.
What connections or reflections did you make today?
I was able to make the connection between Spanish and African cultural influences in Latin America, and how they fused with native cultures to produce a unique and authentically Latin American identity.
What did the lecture teach you?
The lecture demonstrated that, cultural integration was a powerful weapon against racial stratification.
Why was today’s lecture important?
After the lecture, the role of dance in culture and society was clear, especially in the renaissance period.

Self Determination and Indigenous Rights

The concept of self determination is an internationally acknowledged practice that confers to the natives of a country the right to decide on their sovereignty and political status. Mexico has had a long history concerning this concept in allowing its indigenous nationals this right. This has been through respecting the decision making and internal processes of the indigenous people of Mexico. It follows the principle of fairness, equal rights, and opportunities. Self-determination is considered as a cardinal principle in international law. This right is enforced by the United Nations (UN) as per its Charter (Muehlebach, 2003).
Background of self-determination in Mexico
Mexico is a sovereign state located in southern region of North America. It has an approximated population of 120 million people. The country is quite ethnically diverse. A section of Mexicans refers to themselves as ‘Mestizo’ which is a partial disassociation from indigenous culture and Spanish culture. This new identity has aimed at creating a concept of a modern Mexican national identity. The indigenous identity has developed a negative connotation as lacking assimilation in the modern Mexico. The population of Mexicans who self-identify themselves as indigenous and preserve various cultural practices derived from original Mexican ethnic communities is approximately 25 million. Multiple policies since the post-revolutionary era have been geared towards assisting indigenous people to attain the same level of progress similar to rest of society. The literacy rate in Mexico is quite impressive at approximately 97% for youth under 14 years and 91% for ages above 15 years (Franck, 1998).
The push for indigenous autonomy has been there for decades. The first indigenous conference was held in 1974, and it entailed delegations from different Mexican ethnicities. The push for the autonomy of indigenous communities in Mexico has revolved around aspects such as economic, cultural, legal, political and decision making which are associated with the government at the national level.

The Chiapas Conflict is an excellent example of a struggle between indigenous communities and the Mexican Government. It refers to the 1994 Zapatista Uprising in the Chiapas State of Mexico which was a rebellion between indigenous people through a militant group (Zapatistas) and the government for lifting laws that restricted the privatization of native communal land. The Mexican government signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which required Mexico to relax the laws that restricted the sale and private ownership of native communal land. Native farmers feared they would lose their lands and there would be an influx of cheap imports from the USA which threatened their livelihood. This fuelled the rebellion of Zapatistas against the state. This prompted the government to begin negotiations with Zapatistas to quell the violence and initiate a peace process. The conflict culminated in the 1997 Acteal Massacre when the peace negotiations agreed upon collapsed (Polanco, 1997).
The country has signed various treaties regarding the issue. Accords on the Indigenous Rights and culture were signed in the year 1996 by the Mexican government. The traditions and the customs of the natives was the main issue for discussion during the conference of signing the commitment. This accord formed the basis of significant changes in aspects of political participation, indigenous rights, and the cultural autonomy. The major change was the recognition of the pueblo’s Indios who were the main political subjects in the town. The accords supported the validity of the internal governments formed by the indigenous people. The government promised in the accords to establish laws that guarantee the indigenous group to associate freely with other communities. They were also promised in the accord to coordinate and work as indigenous people as well as associating freely with municipalities that are indigenous. The 1996 San Andres Accords is viewed as the first time the Mexican Government acknowledged indigenous rights (Buchanan, 2007).
The current push for indigenous autonomy currently focuses on entrenching indigenous rights into law through legislation and constitutional amendments. This is the only best to ensure the conflicts regarding self-determination get a permanent solution. From the analysis, it can be observed that the Mexican state has historically been adamant in recognizing indigenous autonomy rights, but the trend has since been shifting with time, and the government has begun acknowledging self determination rights. This can be seen through actions such as the 1996 San Andres Accords. Such efforts have been made to re-establish the relationship between the Mexican government and its indigenous nationals. The Mexican constitution supports the rights to self-determination of its citizens which covers issues such as infrastructure, education and anti-discrimination (Polanco, 1997).
Mexico has made substantial progress over time on the issue of self determination. For instance, the San Andres Accord states that the different Mexican States could come up with their own legislation in respect to self determination. However, the journey has not been without resistance. For instance, notable politicians like the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo opposed some of the resolutions in the San Andres Accord citing that they would lead to the balkanization of the country. He also held the position that Indigenous Mexicans should not be given ‘special rights, ‘ but instead, they should enjoy the same rights as the rest of the citizens. The Mexican government has also demonstrated a sustained campaign of extinguishing the influence of indigenous groups that have in the past formed parallel self-declared governments. Such paramilitary groups have been blamed for some unfortunate incidents such as the Acteal Massacre (Barker, 2005).
However, much more a still needs to be done to address the rights of the indigenous populations. Several problems faced by indigenous communities revolve around natural resources, land, administration of justice, internal displacement, and education, among others. There are still several challenges that face indigenous nationals of Mexico which include discrimination and marginalization. The participation in the political leadership of this section of society is extremely low. Also, the indigenous populations receive undue bias as compared to other people such as harsher and disproportionate sentencing. Women from indigenous communities also experience much more discrimination as compared to other women. The effects of these discriminatory tendencies can be observed in high poverty levels and low developments in areas occupied by indigenous communities (Muehlebach, 2003).
Resolutions to the U.N concerning Self determination and indigenous rights
SUBJECT OF RESOLUTION: SELF DETERMINATION AND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
SPONSORED BY: MEXICO
THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
BEARING IN MIND the importance of the rights of indigenous autonomy and self determination in all countries around the world, the conflicts that have occurred in the past when indigenous nationals feel disenfranchised by their state in fundamental issues, the need to address all forms of discrimination against the citizens of any nation, the need to entrench fairness and equality for everyone,
AWARE OF the existing laws on self determination enforced by the UN as per its Charter, the assimilation of the right as a cardinal principle of international law,
STRESSING the importance of the rights of citizens to decide on the sovereignty, the importance to support autonomous decision-making modes of indigenous populations, the need to eliminate ratio, cultural, social, economic and gender inequalities,
1. CALLS UPON all nations to inculcate the rights of self determination and indigenous autonomy into their respective laws through constitutional means and legislation;
2. URGES all member countries to freely and proactively implement the laws supporting self determination of their citizens;

3. SUGGESTS that the UN steps up into their monitoring role to ensure that all member countries comply with the laws concerning the rights of self determination and indigenous autonomy;
4. PROPOSES that the UN imposes various sanctions on member countries that do not comply with the laws referenced above;
5. CONFIRMS the renewed vigor by the Mexican Government to adequately address the issue of self determination and indigenous autonomy.

The Best Tips on Providing Quality Translations

If you’ve already come across Pickwriters’ online translation services, then perhaps you have become curious about how they manage to provide such quality services without asking for an arm or a leg in return. You don’t need to keep thinking about this on your own because we have compiled this list just for you.

Although the term ‘best’ should be taken with a grain of salt because everyone has his or her own preferences, take a look below in order to find efficient tips that will transform your translations into high-quality products.

Tip #1 – Revision

Let’s start with something that should have been already on your ‘to do’ list. Before you even start your translation process, you have to revise whatever documents or files you got from your employer.

Also, you have to read through all the instructions that have been provided by the job. This way, you won’t have to worry about how you will approach the project. You wouldn’t try to assemble a puzzle without looking at the top of the box to see how it is supposed to look like, right?

Also, you need to make sure that your client has sent the right files. If you fix a leak, you can prevent a serious flood. Let them know if they sent something else.

Tip #2 – Hustle, but remain comfortable

We know that you are a hard worker that can put up with any demand. However, you will do a better job if you feel comfortable with the subject of the translation and the language style. A good level of communication between the client and your manager is another key ingredient that will keep you from messing up the project.

If you want to make more bucks, then you can expand your translation project to include fields in which you don’t have any experience yet. However, you must know that you will spend some time getting accustomed to the proper terminology.

You may also find that some fields simply aren’t for you. It is nothing to be worried about. It doesn’t mean that you are doing a bad job. There are plenty of translators that specialize in various niches and they hardly ever take a job from outside of their sphere of interest.

Tip #3 – Use all the available resources

Never ever ignore a resource, especially if it is provided by the client. You should access all the terminology databases and glossaries and you mustn’t refrain from using the available resource materials or style guides.

Even if it isn’t your first walk around the block and it might feel like they are underestimating you, you should place your ego aside and allow yourself to be instructed. If you have been sent a glossary, then you shouldn’t ignore it. That is also the case for a database created previously by your client.

If you are involved in a publication process, then it is quite possible that you are not the first translator that has been included in the project. If you want to make a name for yourself in this business, then you want to pursue regular, paying clients. That’s why you should make yourself able to keep a consistent style and terminology.

Tip #4 – Use the Internet

The Internet is a magical invention that made us more capable of taking on a new project even if we are not specialized in that certain field. The World Wide Web is a great way of finding relevant sources for references when you have taken on a new translating project.

For example, let’s say that your client asks you to translate technical documentation for cars; a great first step would be to enter the brand’s site that is available in your language.

If we were to paraphrase Inception, then allow us to give you a tip within a tip. Besides doing research on your client’s brand, look around for your client’s competitors as well. Their sites will provide great tools for acquiring the right terminology and style.

Tip #5 – What to do at the end

Before you decide on ending a translation project, you have to spellcheck the files and correct any eventual typos or misspelling. In other words, act as your own editor and read your work while comparing it with the original.

Another way of checking your work is by reading it without looking over the source material just to make sure that it makes sense.

Conclusion

It has never been easier to improve the quality of your translations. Some even say that a professional translator mustn’t be excused from acquiring new skills. Learn to use new tools and try to pick up techniques that may make your work better. Hopefully, we managed to give you the necessary guidelines to improve your work.