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Beyond Our Borders

American students retain geography and history information better when they experience living images of world cultures. These 33 programs about some of the world's major countries help students understand other peoples' environments, values, and significant historical contributions. They also feature information-rich maps that clarify geographical data such as a country's global location, major regions, and important cities. The scripts and narrators reflect indigenous cultures, but each program uses language appropriate for North American classrooms.

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  • Kenya
    Tuesday, June 18
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Take a grand tour of some of the wildest wildlife in creation. The Nairobi National Park and the nearby Masai Mara Game Reserve feature exceptional populations of lions, cheetahs, gazelle, wildebeest, leopards, rhinos, zebra, elephants, and crocodiles. Amboseli National Park boasts more of the same with the added bonus of Mt. Kilimanjaro providing dramatic background. Cross the equator to see two more reserves, then take a side trip to Lake Nakuru to see the gathering of millions of flamingoes.
  • Lithuania
    Monday, June 17
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    From its creation by King Mindaugas in 1253 as the Kingdom of Lithuania to the modern day, Lithuania has been at the centerpoint of European politics. Invaded by the Germans in World War II and annexed by the Soviets at the war’s end, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to proclaim its independence in 1990. Today, it remains strongly democratic and progressive, with thriving cities like its capital, Vilnius, but the land is still dotted with castles that harkens back to stormier times.
  • Guatemala & Belize
    Friday, June 14
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This area was the ancestral home of the ancient Mayas - a sophisticated culture that flourished for 10,000 years. Before its decline around 950 A.D. the Mayan civilization had developed advanced mathematics, astronomy, architecture and building techniques that still amaze present-day scientists. The civilization may have faded away, but ancient pyramids, observatories, temples and other ruins can be found throughout the area. So can Mayan descendants: today's Guatemalans and Belizeans.
  • Czech & Slovak Republics
    Thursday, June 13
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    East meets West, and treasures of the Old World are rediscovered. The two republics, previously conjoined as the Soviet satellite Czechoslovakia, continue their successful transitions to democracy - to the benefit of everyone. The stories behind the long struggle for freedom are interwoven with visits to Prague, Slovakia's Tatra Mountains, the Punkva Cave network and the Macocha Abyss outside Brno. Revived cultural touchstones and traditions are presented throughout the program.
  • Uzbekistan
    Wednesday, June 12
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Journalist and travel expert Rudy Maxa follows the route of ancient caravans on the Silk Road, and passes through the heart of a country that's an emerging economy in Central Asia. Along the way, he stops at painstakingly restored, centuries-old mosques. He's also invited to join a family for the preparation of the national dish "plov," and later visits the yurt of a nomadic family living on an isolated desert plain. The storybook adventure continues through Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.
  • Bali
    Tuesday, June 11
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Bali occupies an almost lyrically mythic place in the world's collective imagination, and yet it's a place where real people have lived, worked, and raised families while building a society and culture over four thousand years old. We'll learn about Ubud, the country's cultural center, where Bali's unique traditions of painting, poetry and dance flourish. We'll visit the rice terraces overlooking the temple at Lake Bratan, the beaches of Sanur, the port of Singaraja, slumbering volcanoes, and more.
  • Malaysia
    Monday, June 10
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Gilded minarets and opulent temples sit side by side with sleek high-rises in the modern capital of Kuala Lumpur, but the surprising contrasts and the completely unexpected seem to be the norm here. Intricate Hindu shrines are hidden deep within the limestone recesses of the Batu Caves, and devout worshippers burn paper money in the Malaccan Temple of Bright Clouds. Finally, a mysterious longboat journey deep into the jungles of Borneo brings you face-to-face with former headhunters.
  • Virgin Islands
    Friday, June 7
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The U.S. Virgin Islands are a part of the Lesser Antilles Island chain and lie to the east of Puerto Rico where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. Visit the lively port of Charlotte Amalie and historic Fort Christian, then board a small, sleek submarine to observe the teeming marine life up-close without having to dip a toe into water. Next up is the island of St. John for a hike through a tropical wilderness, then snorkel along underwater trails near Buck Island and explore a sugar plantation on St. Croix.
  • Puerto Rico
    Thursday, June 6
    11:06 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The 16th century fortress of El Morro once held off would-be conquerors. Its sole function now is to give picturesque welcome. Old San Juan's charms have aged very well - you needn't look any further than Casa Blanca, where governors long past lived. Savor serenity that's lasted one thousand years in the groves of the Yunque National Rainforest - where the trees were young in the 1st millennium. Learn about the early explorers who founded Puerto Rico, and tour such sites as Ponce's Museum of Art, the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, Boqueron, Bahia Salinas, San German and Porto Coelhi, the oldest continually occupied church in the New World.
  • South Korea
    Wednesday, June 5
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Populous modern Seoul offers startling contrast to the serenity of the South Korean countryside. With both ultra-modern cities and mist-shrouded pastoral tableaus, her people balance an abiding respect for nature and tradition with a zeal for global success in tech and other industries. Visit Inch'on and Mt. Soraksan National Park, see the Copper Buddha, learn the history behind Tumuli Park, and finally arrive at Pusan. Sample cosmopolitan delights and otherworldly tranquility where monks invite weary guests to stay the night at mountain temples so they too can learn the truth behind Korea's claim to be the Land of the Morning Calm.
  • Scotland
    Tuesday, June 4
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    There's more to Scotland than haggis and kilts. So, here's a chance to watch everything you wanted to learn about Scotland, but forgot to ask. Like, who invented golf? Why are Aberdeen buildings made of granite? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie? Learn the answers to these questions and more as you travel to Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, the Hebrides and the Isle of Skye, among other unique and beautiful places.
  • Portugal
    Monday, June 3
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Portugal's treasures begin to mount once you step onshore at Cascais or the Algarve. The wealth turns green in the sheltered forests of Sintra, and then flows deep red with the port wines of The Duoro. Touring Portuguese ruins, castles and cathedrals is always a valuable experience, but it's made all the more so when they're Roman or Moorish and just around the corner in Lisbon or Evora. And if Portugal needed one jewel more, it might be found in Aveiro, The Venice of Portugal.
  • Norway
    Friday, May 31
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Norway - home to magnificent glacial fjords and a people who find inspiration in nature and family. Explore bustling Oslo, a city of lakes, islands and a thriving cultural scene. Visit the Munch museum and take in a night of Ibsen at the National Theatre. See Bergen's colorful waterfront, the Nidaros Cathedral in historic Trondheim, and the awesome beauty of Geiranger Fjord. Follow the history of skiing at Lillehammer, and learn about Thor Heyerdahl at the Kon Tiki Museum.
  • Jamaica
    Thursday, May 30
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Originally settled by the Arawak Indians, Jamaica was later colonized by both the Spanish and the British, who imported slaves from Africa to work the banana and coffee plantations. See some of the historical remnants of this era in the plantation houses of Ocho Rios, Kingston and Port Antonio, and discover the natural beauty of the island with Dunn's River Falls, Rio Grande, and the Blue Mountains. Also, learn what impact George Stiebel and Bob Marley had on the island.
  • Ireland
    Wednesday, May 29
    11:01 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This is a vivid celebration of a vibrant people, their living heritage and the loveliest of landscapes. Take in marvels by the sea such as the ancient Aran Islands, the Giant's Causeway, and the Ring of Kerry, 179 scenic kilometers tracing the Iveragh Peninsula. There are legendary castles, too, like the mighty Rock of Cashel, and the castles of Blarney and Dromoland. Learn the secrets of the fine crystal-making at Waterford, and visit Dublin, Belfast, the Iveragh Peninsula, Cork, Aran, Inishmore, Pettigo and more.
  • Nepal and Kashmir
    Tuesday, May 28
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Glimpses of life in the Himalayas are offered for study. These include the ancient agricultural and social traditions reinforcing the bonds of remote mountain communities, the difficulties undertaken by Buddhist pilgrims to mountain temples, and the challenges facing nomadic herdsmen. See the Festival of Indra Jatra, learn about the Ghurkas, pay a visit to Royal Chitwan National Park, and climb Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak.
  • Finland
    Monday, May 27
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This prosperous Nordic country is renowned for its civil liberties and high quality of life, all of which is on display in its thriving cities. Helsinki and Turku on the Gulf of Finland, and Tampere further inland project modern images with glimpses of the past. Historic Jyvaskyla and Savonlinna in the Finnish Lakeland are set among the thousands of lakes left behind by the Ice Age. The northernmost province is Lapland, home to herds of reindeer grazing an unspoiled wilderness above the Arctic Circle.
  • Costa Rica
    Friday, May 24
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    With plenty of active volcanoes, lush tropical rain forests, and more than 1400 miles of coastline on both the Caribbean See and the Pacific Ocean, modern-day Costa Rica is a major destination on both the ecotourism and outdoor adventure circuits. Nearly 25 percent of the land area is protected in national parks and other designated areas, providing ideal conditions for its abundant biodiversity to thrive. With an average daily temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it's something of a paradise for our species, too.
  • Taiwan
    Thursday, May 23
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Known as the Ilha Formosa, or Beautiful Island, Taiwan is a lesson in contrasts--ancient and modern, bustling cities and peaceful retreats. These contrasts are explored with visits to such places as Taipei, said to be the second most densely populated city in the world, and the historical city of Tainan. Alishan, Beitou, Taroko Gorge, Penghu Island, Yenshui, and festivals at Taitung and Pingshi offer an additional glimpse into Taiwanese culture.
  • Turkey
    Wednesday, May 22
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Istanbul, with over 15 million people, has been a world city since it became the Roman capital of Byzantium, changing during the Middle Ages to Eastern Orthodox Christian Constantinople, and then in 1453 to Muslim Turkish Istanbul. Many viewers are surprised to learn how tolerant and open Istanbul and parts of Muslim Turkey are, but we see how its multicultural history may have helped this secular state to become the crossroads between Europe and Asia. The southwestern coast of Turkey has numerous Greek and Roman ruins because these classical civilizations established colonies here, beginning many cultural interactions between the East and the West.
  • Austria
    Tuesday, May 21
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Austria dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, when a Celtic kingdom was conquered by the Romans in approximately 15BC. Its past as a European power and its cultural environment have generated a broad contribution to various forms of art, most notably among them music. Austria has been the birthplace of many famous composters, including Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart.
  • Vietnam
    Monday, May 20
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Beginning in Saigon and ending in Hanoi, this program films life in Vietnam today, capturing the optimistic attitude and entrepreneurial spirit of the Vietnamese people, who remain positive despite ever-present reminders of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Rice farming on the Mekong Delta, rush hour traffic in Saigon, French architecture, and markets full of electronic goods start the voyage. A brief section introduces Cao Dai and the religion's importance to millions of Vietnamese. Then the trip up Highway 1 begins, with visits to the resort town of Dalat and the former center of the Cham empire, Nha Trang, where Hindu temples dot rural farming areas. At the university city of Hue, the narrator reviews the bombing of the Imperial City by B-52 bombers during the Tet Offensive. Restricted travel in the demilitarized zone follows; remnants of bombs and other armaments are everywhere, and viewers learn that many Vietnamese risk death from land mines to make a living selling scrap iron. The North of Vietnam features a train ride through beautiful scenery, rice paddies on the Red River Delta, and a tour of Hanoi, where the serenity of this city of lakes sharply contrasts with the bustle of Saigon, where the journey began.
  • Tibet
    Friday, May 17
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    A unique view of Tibet and the Tibetan people focuses on ancient agricultural and social traditions, which provide unity and self-sufficiency in remote mountain communities. A group of Tibetans are followed on their arduous journey down narrow mountain pathways and across the raging Yarlung Tsangpo River to worship the Buddha. Emancipated Tibetan women are shown carrying heavy loads and acting as the final arbiter in family decisions. A brief section films Tibetan nomads and their dependency on the yak. The holy city of Lhasa boasts key tourist sites, such as the market, the Jokhang Temple, and the Potala Palace. Evidence of the Communist takeover is everywhere, including shopping malls, restaurants where Chinese is spoken, and in the countryside, where Tibetan forests have been ravaged to support the Chinese economy. A brief introduction to the Dalai Lama closes the program, and his message of world peace advises Tibetans to promote a spirit of non-violence, in spite of Chinese abuses.
  • Myanmar
    Thursday, May 16
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Outstanding photography of the geography of the resource-rich country provides an illuminating introduction to Burmese culture and politics. The first section, on Myanmar's history, reviews the legacy of the British colonial system.
  • Cambodia
    Wednesday, May 15
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This program visits Cambodia today, explaining the reasons for the great disparity of wealth that is evident everywhere in the streets of Phnom Penh, the capital. The rest of the world did not know about Khmer culture until 1861, when a French biologist discovered the ruins of Angkor Wat. The first half of the program recalls the horrors of the reign of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot's lack of humanity, and the atrocities performed in the Killing Fields. The section closes with photos of Cambodians who died in the slaughter and shelves of skulls retrieved from mass graves. The architectural and artistic splendors of Angkor Wat are displayed, cautioning that the global community has yet to resolve the problem of looting at this historical site.
  • Iran
    Tuesday, May 14
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Iran (formerly Persia) is a land of contrasts— ancient and modern. Informative maps pinpoint Iran's major cities. Archival footage, artworks, and artifacts chronicle Iran's tumultuous past, while contemporary footage reveals how ancient traditions and modern ways coexist.
  • India
    Monday, May 13
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    India is one of the most diverse nations on earth, the result of many historical invasions that brought new peoples and cultures. How these influences have impacted modern India, and how it reacts to influences from other modern cultures is discussed.
  • China
    Friday, May 10
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    China has the world's fastest growing economy, yet is also has many ancient traditions. Beginning in Bejing, and proceeding through China's rural villages, we see the many ancient and modern traditions that influence Chinese culture.
  • Zimbabwe
    Thursday, May 9
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Zimbabwe is a fascinating but troubled African country. At Great Zimbabwe, we witness the remains of its historic culture, and we learn how British colonial and native cultures co-exist in Harare, the capital, and in other regions and cities.
  • Ukraine
    Wednesday, May 8
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Ukraine has often been threatened by its larger Russian neighbor as well as by other invaders, despite being Europe's second vastest country. Its greatest city, Kiev, has its own renown and historical treasures, as have other cultural and environmental sites.
  • Thailand
    Tuesday, May 7
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Bangkok displays a rich history and imperial culture, but there are also many hill tribes in the north of Thailand where silk weaving, orchid farming, and traditional arts and crafts are witnessed. We see many examples of ancient monumental art and architecture.
  • Switzerland
    Monday, May 6
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Switzerland is small, but important for its banking and other business and technical skills. Its cities reveal both history and modernism, and stunning Alpine settings make it a destination for many visitors.
  • Spain
    Friday, May 3
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Spain's history emerges by visiting its most important regions and cities, starting with Madrid, moving to Avila and other cities in the north, then to the south in Andalusia, and finally, Barcelona and one of Spain's most dissident cultural regions, Catalonia.
  • South Africa
    Thursday, May 2
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    South Africa has a conflicted past, a beautiful landscape, and Africa's strongest economic engine. We learn about its various ethnic groups, African, Indian, and European, that give the country both vitality and instability.
  • Scandinavia
    Wednesday, May 1
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are Europe's 'north countries', which have varied and beautiful landscapes, high standards of living, and the remains of significant histories. We learn about the major cities, rural economies, and natural spaces of each.