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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.

Beyond Our Borders  
  • Cambodia
    Friday, November 8
    11:15 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.
  • Argentina
    Monday, November 11
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The stark, spectacular beauty of Patagonia and tierra del Fuego wildernesses is contrasted with the somewhat faded but highly civilized ambience of the city of Buenos Aires. Diverse peoples and other terrains of this remote country are also revealed.
  • Australia
    Tuesday, November 12
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Australia is a country and a continent of impressive cities and geography. Its vast interior outback is shown, as are the characteristics of its major states and territories. Both the English heritage and the aboriginal influence are seen.
  • Brazil
    Wednesday, November 13
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This country comprises 50% of the landmass and population of South America. We explore the five distinct regions that make up Brazil and learn that it has some of the greatest potential as well as many of the most serious problems in the world.
  • Canada
    Thursday, November 14
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Canada's relatively small population lives mostly along the US border, in the world's second largest country. Its history made it bilingual, with a French-speaking minority. Diverse economic, scenic, and cultural features of each Province and Territory come alive.
  • Cuba
    Friday, November 15
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    An overview of history and geography shows how Spaniards intermarried with Natives and Africans, producing a rich Cuban culture. The importance of sugar, tobacco, the Spanish-American War, Jose Marti, Fidel Castro and several cities becomes clear.
  • Egypt
    Monday, November 18
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    One of the greatest ancient civilizations, Egypt, now plays an important role in the Middle East. Cairo juxtaposes sleek office buildings with bustling bazaars and mosques, and the Suez Canal, Sinai Peninsula, and Alexandria reveal their continuing importance.
  • England
    Tuesday, November 19
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The modern and historic features of London set the tone for an introduction to the small, but extremely important island nation of England. Economic and cultural features of its major regions are revealed along with the many visible historic influences.
  • France
    Wednesday, November 20
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The cultural richness and geographic variety of France emerge, along with many historical features. The intensity of Paris contrasts with diverse rural economies and traditions, and the many international contributions of the French are shown.
  • Germany
    Thursday, November 21
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Detailed maps anchor the early history of German states. From the southern Baviarian Alps to the Baltic Sea ports, and from former communists to western regions, geographical, cultural, and economic characteristics of a reunified Germany emerge.
  • Hungary
    Friday, November 22
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Hungary is a land of Baroque palaces and cobblestone streets echoing with gypsy rhapsodies. Budapest reveals this historic richness mixed with emerging free enterprise. Outside the capital, varied traditional cultural settings and experiences are also seen.
  • Indonesia
    Monday, November 25
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Spread among thousands of islands, Indonesia's history has brought many religious and national influences together. Its rich resources, beautiful environments, and diverse peoples make it both captivating and potential unstable.
  • Israel
    Tuesday, November 26
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The historical significance of Israel can be felt at the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and Al-Aqsa Mosque, holy places of three religions. Best known as the home of modern Jews, Palestinian peoples also inhabit this ancient yet modern country.
  • Italy
    Wednesday, November 27
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The diversity and unity of the Italian people, history and geography are experienced in this episode. The economy, occupations, and characteristics of the great regions and many cities are revealed, including less known ones such as Liguria and Umbria.
  • Japan
    Thursday, November 28
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Japan has a very homogenous society, but its highly volcanic terrain crowds many of its people into huge megalopolises. It is both traditional and modernist, making it one of the most fascinating and economically powerful countries in the world.
  • Jordan
    Friday, November 29
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Jordan is a monarchy and one of the key countries of the Middle East. Its history includes many influential events. Part of it is the land of the Old Testament, but the capital, Amman, reveals western influences along with Arabic and Islamic faces and cultures.
  • Low (Benelux) Countries
    Monday, December 2
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, historically small and relatively weak Low Countries (near or below sea level), formed the Benelux union in 1947. They have contributed much to the industry of Europe, and the similarities and differences among them are revealed in urban and rural environments.
  • Mexico
    Tuesday, December 3
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    From the arid deserts of the North to the Lacandon rainforests of the South, Mexico's varied geography and history come into view. Spanish language and culture dominate, but many Indian groups and traditional indigenous influences persist.
  • Morocco
    Wednesday, December 4
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Morocco has been a bridge across European, North African, and Arabic cultures, and some of these historic traditions can still be seen in old marketplaces, mosques, and desert camel herders. This land has fertile valleys and mountain ranges as well as deserts.
  • New Zealand
    Thursday, December 5
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This two-island nation varies from Alpine landscapes in the south to breathtaking coasts in the north. The British heritage and native Maori culture intermingle in seeming harmony. New Zealand's economy is largely self-sufficient, but also global.
  • Peru
    Friday, December 6
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    It's Inca heritage makes Peru one of the most important Latin American countries, but it's Spanish heritage can be seen in cities like Cuzco and Lima. The Amazon jungle and rubber barons' buildings reveal even more diversity in this land where the past still lives in the present.
  • Phillipines
    Monday, December 9
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The Philippine's Spanish past can be seen in many places, but its 7,000 islands reveal many indigenous cultures in a terrain of great variety. We visit the largest island, Luzon, with it's capital, Manila, as well as remote tribal villages and settlements.
  • Poland
    Tuesday, December 10
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Poland has been invaded and occupied by many other countries, yet has maintained its own proud heritage. Roman Catholic roots are seen, Auschqitz reveals it's darker history, while pristine natural areas and burgeoning industrial enterprises show its variety and vitality.
  • Russia
    Wednesday, December 11
    11:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    After countless rulers, decades of Communism, and former domination of Eastern Europe, Russia remains the world's largest sovereign landmass. We see Russia's most important regions and natural wonders, and the new free enterprise.
  • Scandinavia
    Thursday, December 12
    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.
  • South Africa
    Friday, December 13
    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.
  • Spain
    Monday, December 16
    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.
  • Switzerland
    Tuesday, December 17
    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.
  • Thailand
    Wednesday, December 18
    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.
  • Ukraine
    Thursday, December 19
    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.
  • Zimbabwe
    Friday, December 20
    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.
  • China
    Monday, December 23
    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.
  • India
    Tuesday, December 24
    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.
  • Iran
    Wednesday, December 25
    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.
  • Myanmar
    Thursday, December 26
    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.
  • Tibet
    Friday, December 27
    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.
  • Vietnam
    Monday, December 30
    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.
  • Austria
    Tuesday, December 31
    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.

 

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