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Cultural Strength

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Title Principles

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Local Music

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Local Food

There is, and rightfully so, much concern about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) which are found throughout the industrial food chain. They are necessary to industry for several reasons, including the fact that because the industrial food chain depends on insanely low wages to deliver food at everyday low prices, hand-tended food like most fruits and vegetables cannot be grown nearby in countries with minimum wage laws. So a tomato coming from Panama to Pennsylvania must be genetically modified to be tough enough that it can be jostled around in the back of a refrigerated truck for several weeks without turning into red mush. Never mind the fact that it tastes more like moist wood fiber than an actual tomato. Local food, on the other hand, need not touch the industrial food chain because it comes from nearby, so the local tomatoes can be heirloom varieties which have been delicious in these parts since at least your great-grandparents' day. And because many people value tend to value delicious over cheap and tasteless, those local farmers who never touch the industrial food chain can actually earn a fair wage because the dollars spent by those enjoying the fruits of their work mostly don't leave town.

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Local Craft

There are always great stories behind local craft, making it every bit as much of the culture of a place as the music, food, or art. This fellow came to Belize as a US expat hippie musician in the 1960s, but whenever one of his instruments broke, there was nobody nearby to fix it. Rather than shipping them off and being unable to play until they returned, he decided to start learning how to repair them himself. It wasn't long until word got around, and all the musicians on Ambergris Caye started coming to him. For decades now, his craft has grown and his fame has followed, so that he is now widely sought out by musicians across the region.
Craft as a foundation of culture gains strength from its art, but also from its necessity. In this case, the necessity of having instruments in working order to entertain both the locals and the travelers. Someone local who is able to meet that need with skill, art, and a great story is incomparably better than buying a repair or a new instrument online.

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Local Art

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Local Environment

We are as much peoples of where we are as we are peoples of what we do. Mountain people. People of the plains. River people. People of the seaside. Especially when the local environment isn't always friendly. Like the volcano in the background here, or on a coast frequented by hurricanes. It takes a special culture to live in a place where great beauty can occasionally turn deadly.

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What of Popular Culture?

As much as some of my hardcore traditionalist colleagues might like to think otherwise, we cannot pretend that popular culture does not exist. The proper question is one of balance. Post-World War II, American culture became arguably as homogenous as any nation that large in world history. The American Top 40 dominated the airwaves. On TV, you had a choice of three channels, and hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie became national icons.

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Principle

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Title Conditions

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Title Tools

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