Swing time: Thais go dancing in the streets

This photo taken on February 25, 2018 shows people swing dancing in front of Phra Pathom Chedi temple in the central Thai province of Nakhon Pathom. (AFP)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Swing time: Thais go dancing in the streets

Nakhon Pathom, Thailand: Dressed in top hats, vintage outfits and shiny shoes, hundreds of Thais grooved to swing music in a town more famous for its ancient Buddhist stupa.
More than 300 enthusiasts, including foreign dancers, came out for the shindig on a street in Nakhon Pathom, about an hour from Bangkok.
Thailand’s swing dance community has grown in recent years and Sunday’s street party was organized by a group called “Bangkok Swing,” founded in 2011.
They have held three such parties in Nakhon Pathom and hope to make it an annual event.
The group’s co-founder Chayapong Naviroj, 29, said he discovered swing dancing while attending university in the US.
“I wanted to dance and it’s a happy dance with swing music,” he said.
“Humans like to dance. Humans like to touch. Humans like music. It can go on forever.”
Nakhom Pathom is home to Phra Pathom Chedi, one of Thailand’s most revered Buddhist structures, which loomed in the distance as the dancers stomped to music by bands The Shirt Tail Stompers from the UK and the US-based Casey Macgill & Friends.
“It’s just meeting people, beautiful people.... Having really beautiful music and it’s just great fun actually,” said Kris Asvanon, a 61-year-old creative consultant based in Bangkok.
Nan Kitnichee, a 33-year-old art director also from Bangkok, said she enjoyed the event’s throwback theme.
“We dress up just to pay respect to the culture and how people in the old days dressed up very nicely and went social dancing,” she said.


Rare footage of Brazil tribe threatened by loggers: activists

Grab of a video shot by Midia India on August 2018 and released by Survival International activits of a purportedly uncontacted member of a Brazilian indigenous tribe hunting in the Amazon rainforest near Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil. (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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Rare footage of Brazil tribe threatened by loggers: activists

  • Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped get him elected

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rare footage of purportedly uncontacted members of a Brazilian indigenous tribe hunting in the Amazon rainforest was released Monday by activists who warn the group could be wiped out by logging.
The 58-second clip filmed in the northern state of Maranhao shows members of the Awa tribe, which Survival International says has been frequently attacked by loggers who have been emboldened by pro-business President Jair Bolsonaro.
“Only a global outcry stands between them and genocide,” said Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, which published the video that had been shot by a member of neighboring indigenous tribe Guajajara. The footage was shot in August, the NGO said.
“Loggers have already killed many of their relatives and forced others out of the forest.
“President Bolsonaro and his friends in the logging industry would like nothing more than for those who still survive to be eliminated.”
In the footage, a young man holding a machete in the rainforest appears to sniff the blade before he looks toward the person filming him. Seconds later he and other members of the tribe carrying spears run away.
“We didn’t have the Awa’s permission to film, but we know that it’s important to use these images because if we don’t show them around the world, the Awa will be killed by loggers,” said Erisvan Guajajara of Midia India, an indigenous film-making association.
Members of the Guajajara tribe belong to the Guardians of the Amazon group, which aims to protect isolated indigenous people.
While most Awa have been contacted, some are known to still live uncontacted in an area of rainforest that is being “rapidly destroyed,” Survival International said.
Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped get him elected.
Bolsonaro, whose anti-environment rhetoric has included a pledge to end “Shiite ecologist activism,” has questioned the latest official figures showing deforestation increased 88 percent in June compared with the same period last year.
He uses the word “Shiite” as a synonym for radicalism rather than denoting a branch of Islam.
“We are experiencing a real environmental psychosis,” Bolsonaro said Sunday.
Bolsonaro also accused foreign journalists Friday of wanting Brazil’s estimated 800,000 indigenous people to remain in a “prehistoric state, without access to technology, science and the thousand wonders of modernity.”