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Leah Davies
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FREETHINKER CO.
FREETHINKER CO.

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STORY: Stories from Carrying Everest # 3 - Identity and its Preservation
STORYTELLER: Leah Davies

Call it a myth, call it a story, call it a sequence of sacred tales.

To the Kulung, it is known as Riddum (or Mundum/Mundhum) and since time immoral, these series of memories and fables have been shared orally from one generation to the next to depict the origins of the cosmos – or simply, how the world came to be, even before humans appeared on the face of the earth.

Identity means everything to the Kulung people of eastern Nepal from a region known as the Mahakulung on the lower slopes of Everest. On a visceral level, the Kulung understand that their unique history, culture and customs sets them apart to every other ethnic group in the Himalayas, in Nepal and around the world for that matter. The Riddum is a way of preserving their distinctive collection of lives and the value they hold in the face of a government that refuses their official recognition as an Indigenous group.

This story is the third of a five-part series sharing my experiences as the storyteller on the film project Carrying Everest.


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We're back with new stories to share!

STORY: Hope beyond Trump's tax returns
STORYTELLER: +Weh Yeoh

It’s 2017. Looking out only for yourself is encouraged, being outright mean is a-okay, and young people are apparently less empathetic than their parents. These days you have to work hard to find signs of hope. But from talking to school students, I’ve found that these signs do exist.

Enjoy the read.

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STORY: Alive With Theatre
STORYTELLER: Daniel Chrisendo

Claudio and I started to write each other almost 14 months ago, and on this sunny September day, I would see him for the first time in his home city.
Claudio Del Toro is an Italian theatre artist and has been acting since he was 14. He has been performing in front of audiences all around the world now for the past 19 years. One year ago, Claudio went to Bali in Indonesia and learnt a traditional Balinese acting dance called Topeng Tua, which tells the story of fabled kings to Gamelan music in a mask costume.



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STORY: emPoWERment, Taking Action On What Is Important To Us
STORYTELLER: Pip Bennett
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Just over a year ago, I moved back to New Zealand after living and working in Mozambique, one of the ten poorest countries in the world. I came back to hear people complaining about the way things were and not doing anything about it. I was furious. I couldn’t understand why people who had the capacity – educated, with access to information and political influence – to change things for the better, wouldn’t.

The world is full of issues that need fixing. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, not knowing what to do or what to focus on, but I’ve been wondering about why more people aren’t taking action. Why is it that people don’t recycle, don’t vote, don’t donate (as well as the other thousands of other actions possible?)

Turns out, it all comes down to P O W E R; or at least, perceptions of it.

Read Pip's story here: 

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STORY: If I was appointed the Minister of Education in Afghanistan...
STORYTELLER: Shokooh A

Imagine you were appointed the Minister for Education in Afghanistan. Imagine you had the power to change anything you wanted about the schools across the country.
Tell me, what would you do?

As I write this story, bombs continue to go off on the streets as children walk to school. Children take the risk because having an education means that much.

This is the reality in Afghanistan.


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STORY: Yes, I Am Muslim
STORYTELLER: Daniel Chrisendo

Dina went to a bar. Yes. She went several times to a jazz bar and salsa club in Ghent, Belgium. You might be thinking “so what?,” but you see, Dina is a young Muslim girl from Indonesia and shouldn’t go to these kind of places. They’re considered a place of sin by some Muslims.


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STORY: Your Racism is Disguised as 'Freedom of Speech'
STORYTELLER: +Weh Yeoh

Seeing the hate that has been directed towards Muslims recently over the past few months in Australia, I feel incredibly sad. It shows that we haven’t yet learnt from our past mistakes.

I grew up in Australia during the first era of Pauline Hanson. I remember her maiden speech in Parliament in 1996, where she said Australia was being swamped by Asians. Rather than speaking out against these views, the Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, said that, because of free speech, she was entitled to say whatever she wanted.

A week or so later, my family and I were spat on in public by a group of young Australian guys.

It was the first time I felt truly unwelcome in the country in which I was born.


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STORY: Transforming Depression - Five steps to an Alternative Perspective
STORYTELLER: Carolyn Trott

Clinically diagnosed depression rates around the world vary between countries, but fall somewhere in the vicinity of four to seven percent in each each population. A quick search online will give you another statistic: eighty percent of those with depression go undiagnosed. On top of this, Australian organisation Beyond Blue states that one in five women and one in eight men will experience depressive symptoms at some stage in their lives.

Clearly depression is a common experience worldwide.

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STORY: Climate Warriors Pray For The Pacific
STORYTELLER: +Fenton Lutunatabua

It was the October 17th 2015 and thirty 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors had just blockaded the largest coal port in the world in Newcastle, Australia. They had done this using traditionally made hand carved canoes to send a very clear message to Australia: that the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry was exporting destruction to the Pacific.

We decided to not drown, but fight.


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STORY: 6 Hassle Free Swaps At The Grocery Store To Reduce Your Plastic Waste
STORYTELLER: Iris Barzen
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Trying to reduce your plastic waste can be entirely overwhelming. When you look at your shopping, the majority of it is likely wrapped in plastic. So how do you still find something to eat yet stop producing massive amounts of trash?

I’d say start with tiny baby steps. You do not have to overhaul your entire lifestyle or even shop at the bulk store to make a difference.
When I started reducing my plastic waste, I made a few simple swaps to test out if this was something I could implement without making it the centre of my life.

I wanted to avoid waste, but I didn’t want to spend hours making everything myself to avoid the last bit of plastic packaging.
Here’s a list of a few simple swaps you can try next time you find yourself at a grocery store.

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