Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Gaurav Sharma
Argentina, the South American giant defined by the majestic Andes mountains, pristine glacial lakes and verdant Pampas grasslands celebrates its Independence Day today.
Known for reinventing the sensuous dance of Tango, gastronomy of luscious steaks and riveting style of football, Argentina has seen its fair share of controversies. The most noteworthy among them being the discovery and subsequent colonisation of the Falklands islands.
Although presently the Falkland archipelago, along with South Georgia and South Sandwich islands are official territories of United Kingdom, Argentina persists with total stakeholder claims over the islands.
Numerous countries have invaded and staked control over the nation, beginning with French colonization, moving towards a long phase of Spanish settlement and a transitional shift towards an equally long British subjugation merged with an Argentine ownership claim.
In 1982, the dispute between Argentina and Britain transformed into a full-fledged war. Caught in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and violent civil unrest, Argentina invaded and controlled the islands for 74 days. Soon, Britain launched a diplomatic offensive and gained the support of the United Nations for wrestling control over the islands.
Following a naval engagement, Britain ousted the Argentine occupation of the islands and reestablished supremacy over them.
Presently, Falklands Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a degree of internal self-government. Issues pertaining to defense and foreign affairs are handled by Britain.
Flame rekindled into raging conflagration
With the discovery of oil blocks on Falkland’s shores, the controversy over ownership which had subsided following the British conquest, have resurfaced.
Six companies, 3 belonging to the US and the rest to Europe which are drilling for oil near the islands have come under intense attack from Argentina. The Argentinian court has ordered the seizure of assets of these companies worth about $156 million.
While Argentina, along with its Middle Eastern allies such as Iran accuses UK trawlers of subjecting migrant workers to psychological and physical abuse and plundering Falkland’s natural resources, the US and Britain dub its move as “an orchestrated smear campaign against the islanders.”
The controversies have snowballed further into a geopolitical nightmare as Argentina has decided to restrict the availability of fresh fruit available to the island from neighbouring countries.
Following the economic bullying, prices of food have spiked up drastically, with one apple costing 80 pennies and islanders forced to shell out an exorbitant 6 pounds for a punnet of grapes.
Shouting slogans against the fishing activity in and around the Falkland area has also brought Argentina under a dubious light, as fishing contributes 50 to 60 per cent of Falkland’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
Straddling stocks, or fishes which migrate from one water to another in the South Atlantic, are also under dispute. The issue has been reignited after Argentina pulled out of the joint scientific meetings between the two nations in 2005.
“The persistent and ongoing attempts by Argentina to reign in the ownership of the islands are nothing more than bullying tactics precociously bending towards harassment“, say British officials.
To corroborate their views, they point to the 2013 referendum in which Argentina’s call for the islands’ sovereignty, had been overwhelmingly rubbished by the islanders who instead voted for continuation of their present status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.
Argentina, on the other hand contends that the resolution was passed by “an implanted population” and accuses Britain of living a “fake reality”.
“Britain wrote the book on colonialism, but now they are trying to tell us this is a case of self-determination”, says Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman.
Also, when Britain which is itself one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council(UNSC) holding veto power passes or supports resolutions at the UN, it seems like a farce miles apart from credible reality.
The membership of the UNSC is undoubtedly a pricking issue that needs to be resolved through expansion of the number of members or quashing it altogether.
The British conflict-of-interest notwithstanding, the undisputed fact is that Argentina should respect the mandate of the people.
For the interest of people living in Falkland Islands, Argentina on its Independence Day, should make a resolution to allow them to live freely without any economic threat.
Geopolitically, the ownership issue can and should be pursued through diplomatic avenues following whose failure people should have the unequivocal right to determine their fate.
India is known for its pickles, popularly called 'Achaar', even across the world. But who thought about the idea of pickles in the first place? Apparently, the idea of making pickles first came from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, where archaeologists have found evidence of cucumbers being soaked in vinegar. This was done to preserve it, but the practice has spread all over the world today, that pickles mean so much more than just preserved vegetables.
In India, the idea of pickle has nothing to do with preservation, rather pickle is a side dish that adds flavour and taste to almost anything. In Punjab, parathas are served with pickle; in the south, pickle and curd rice is a household favourite, and in Andhra, it is a staple, eaten with everything. The flavour profile of pickles in each state is naturally different, suited to each cuisine's taste. Pickles are soaked in oil and salt for at least a month, mixed with spices and stored all year round. Mango season is often synonymous with pickle season as a majority of Indians love mango pickle. In the coastal cities, pickles are even made out of fish and prawns.
The Indian Achaar Image credit: Photo by Rahat Hossen on Unsplash
In other cultures, the pickling process has more to do with preservation. Cold countries, where temperatures drop to very low levels, pickle their vegetables in brine, vinegar, or salt. Sweden is famous for pickled herring, because fishing all year round is hard with all the snow and ice. The German Sauerkraut, originally composed of rice, cabbage, and wine, is now made using salt instead of wine. This gives it a sour flavour that is characteristic of the beloved German delicacy.
In Korea, kimchi is the national delicacy. It is a pickle that is made from pickled cabbages with a distinct mix of spices. Kimchi is made with various core ingredients, and is gaining popularity these days with the Korean Wave hitting the globe. It is a practice that represents the Korean winters, which are too harsh to grow anything. The Kimchi business is one of the largest in Korea, while the individual family recipes are also well-preserved as it is believed that each is unique in its own way.
The pickles made from dill and vinegar are most famous in America. It was introduced to the Americans by the Jewish immigrants. Dill pickles are best paired with sandwiches.
Keywords: Pickles, Culture, Brine, Vinegar, Preserves
It is impossible to detail the history of bookbinding without understanding the need for it. A very useful, and yet simple invention, spiral coils that hold books together and allow mobile access to the user came about just before WWII, but much before that, paper underwent a massive change in production technique.
Beginning in China, paper was made of bamboo sticks slit open and flattened. In Egypt, papyrus was made from the reeds that grew in the Nile. In India, long, rectangular strips of palm leaves were stitched together to form legible documents. When monasteries were established, scrolls came into being. Parchment paper, or animal hide, also known as vellum, were used to copy out texts periodically to preserve them. Prior to all this, clay tablets were used to record important events, and in some cases, rock edicts were made.
But all this changed with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. Paper became the medium by which inscriptions, announcements, and almost everything was made. Once paper became so accessible, printing began in full scale. Newspapers and the Bible were printed every day.
Metal coils were used before the world war Image credit: Photo by Dan Bucko on Unsplash
With wads of paper, something had to be done about keeping them together. Bookbinding began as a booming business. First, the pages were just sewn together. A special sewing machine was invented just for books. When this did not suit all book types, the process of punching and binding began. Holes were punched in books, and they were tied together.
Much later, an adhesive thermoplastic strip became available by which book pages were stuck together. They sold in this format for a long time. Ideas began to flow in for notebooks when people discovered that they could attach pieces of paper together. A machine was invented that drew lines. This made it easier for people who wrote a lot.
After a while, when people got used to having their books a certain way, The Spiral Binding Company opened in 1932, which changed the way bookbinding was done. Books could now be bound by coil and this was not only economical, but also convenient, because pages could easily be turned without breaking the bind. The original spiral bind coil was made of metal, but when supplies were rationed during WWII, they were made from plastic. This trend has remained to the present day, where spiral bound books are preferred to the other kinds of binding except in cases of publishing and official documentation.
Keywords: Spiral Binding, WWII, Paper, Books, Printing
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
To keep the value and quality of what you offer, whether it's a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift that will be remembered for years. The concept of gift-giving has taken on a number of shapes in today's society. Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.
Q: What do consumers expect from the gifting business and packaging designers these days?
A: Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. They are now more conscious about how their purchase affects the environment. Considering this shift in consumer buying, it's extremely important for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices and design products that are meant to be reused or recycled.
Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. | Photo by Superkitina on Unsplash
Q: The practice of self-gifting is being driven by millennials. What are your thoughts on the subject?
A: I absolutely agree with this. Millennials are so creative and expressive. They are more into personalized products with which they can tell the world something about themselves. We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. They truly believe it's the best way to stand out from the crowd and establish a signature style and we couldn't agree more.
We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What impact do colour trends have on gift designs and packaging?
A: 'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends and we hope to continue this association with colour even while we break through to more sustainable products and collections.
'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What has changed as a result of the pandemic in terms of how we commemorate special occasions and the gift-giving tradition?
A: It's smaller in quantity but more luxurious and thought through.
Q: What giving trends should one keep an eye on in 2022?
A: Consumers, including millennials and members of Generation Z, are especially concerned with sustainability. So, the trend is definitely to go green with eco-friendly.
Q: How does Le Jahaan keep its clients coming back?
A: Our products speak for themselves. We make small batches with exceptional quality with a personal touch.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: gifts, le jahaan, festive, millennials, sustainable, gen z, paradigm, gifting