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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Civilizations & Cultures (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

lippy
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I've been asked by a school to do some shows that teach the kids about different civilizations and cultures, specifically Oriental (Japan/China), African tribes, Ancient Egypt & Australian culture.

I'd like to just put a spin on common effects, perhaps a pyramid shaped temple screen, an appearing pole designed like a didgeridoo, Colouring book of African Animals or Chinese linking rings.

Has a book/DVD ever been published on this or do you have any ideas that come to mind?

Thanks so much for the advice, really appreciate it.
randysburtis
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Do they just wantfacts. Or do they want a program. First one easy to do.the second on not so much.
jimgerrish
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What can you teach them and what can they learn about Egypt (for instance) from a pyramid shaped temple screen invented in 1944 by U.F.Grant and originally produced with an attempt to make it look Chinese? The one thing you mention, Chinese Linking Rings is actually something that seems to have been Chinese in origin. For Egypt, you can show the hieroglyphs of cups and balls being performed. That is YOUR history as it relates to those two cultures. You can find others in Milbourne Christopher's "Illustrated History of Magic" to show actual magic that has its roots in a particular culture. But what those tricks teach children ABOUT the culture is questionable. Ask the school to go half-way and have the school librarian provide groups of books about each culture or civilization that they want you to include. Then spend some preparation time with the librarian who chose the books so you can see what magic tricks they suggest. But unless you are prepared to PLAY an appearing pole and have it SOUND like a didgeridoo playing AUTHENTIC indigenous Australian music, I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. But then, I am a former teacher from the days when teaching history, geography, cultures and civilizations actually meant something.
https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.mZNKv......178&h=89
There, now. What did you learn about Egypt from that?
lippy
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Thanks for that feedback. You're right, they want routines that actually depict or teach elements/examples of those civilisations or cultures. I can't play the didgeridoo but I could 'pretend' to play together with synched downloaded didgeridoo audio which could introduce the kids to a sound they've likely never heard.

I've made a list of ideas for each culture I want to teach (e.g. tea ceremony in Japan), but I just wanted to get some ideas from you first rather than limiting/narrowing the thought process. Any ideas would be great. Thanks so much
Cartoonist
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Hello lippy.

I live and work in Japan.

Personally, I'd avoid any magic referencing tea ceremony as this is held in extremely high regard.

One thing you could do, I've done, is this: Talk about Karate and how in English it means Empty Hand. Show your hands to be empty, then produce something from a TT. I usually produce a small silk flag of Japan. I then put it into an "empty change bag" and then add some other country silk flags into the bag as the audience names the countries.

I then say that although these are all different countries, we are all one world as I produce one "flag" of many countries woven together.

If you want to teach about animals and blind people, you can mention it's because of Helen Keller that the Akita species of dog was introduced into America.

Another option is Snow Storm in China (even if you're in Japan) saying the Cherry Blossom Season is very beautiful and brief, but at the end, all the blossoms fall, etc. You can turn this into a brief history lesson saying that all the cherry blossom trees in Washington DC were presents from Japan. This has worked well. Good Luck.
lippy
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Thanks cartoonist, some good ideas. I also lived in Japan many years in my 20's so I'll be well equipped to teach the nuances and concepts of their culture! It's a truly pure culture with so much for us to learn from them, you've done well to end up there. Thanks again
Cartoonist
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You're quite welcome lippy.

Actually, since you've lived in Japan, you probably don't even need to hear what I have to say as it's quite possible you know more than I do on many things here.

If you have any questions or requests or anything, please feel free to PM me. Thank you and good luck.

PS - I'm now learning the Jugemu Jugemu Rakugo name - it's challenging, but I think students will enjoy it.

I'm going to incorporate it somehow into my magic, juggling or balloon routines, I just haven't figured out how to yet. I already know how I'll use it in lectures.
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