Bookmark and Share

December 23 & 26: from Pakistan - Peja, Kosovo - Hawaii - New York

A hula dancer performs a traditional Hawaiian dance at the nightly torch-lighting and hula show held at sunset on Kuhio Beach in Waikiki in Honolulu. By Marco Garcia, AP

Think you know hula? You don't know hula. "Pops" Pilippo, he knows hula. And he'll teach you to dance it with integrity.

Women living a man's life. Meet the "burnesh" of the Balkans. Women who lead their lives as men.

Could you live on $2 a day? You'll be surprised how many do.

Are you a burger or a bun?  In Pakistan you're be called one or the other depending on what you eat.

Download the show   To download, right click -- then select "save target as"
Or listen to the program now...

Hold the hoop, here's the scoop

Hula dancing was little more than high camp and low art once missionaries and Hollywood had their way with the Hawaiian Islands.

But in its original form, hula was actually a kind of...cultural semaphore -- hidden signals and motions that tell a story and connect a culture to the cosmos.

And its secrets are still known to a select few, and Dispatches contributor Hadani Ditmars was there last fall to hear them.

Listen to Hadani's dispatch now


Lasting virginity and enduring pride

The Balkans are a region of ancient traditions. Some of them harsh. The blood fued for example, still exists.

So does the practice of "sworn virgins." These are women who chose to live out their lives as men.

Some do it for honour. Some do it for status. But they almost always do it for the good of their families, and Dispatches contributor Lisa Hale was there last November to hear their stories.

Listen to Lisa's documentary now


Life on two bucks a day

Saiful and Nargis live with their two small children in a hut in rural Bangladesh.

He does some farm labor, sometimes drives a rickshaw. The family gets by on about two dollars a day.

So do another two-and-a-half billion people worldwide. But they manage to save some of it too.  Until now, there was no hard data about how they get by. So it's been difficult to create policy, banking and businesses to serve their market.

But a group of American academics recently completed yearlong studies in Bangladesh, India and South Africa. And it changed their perspective on world poverty. The findings are contained in the book called Portfolios of the Poor

And Jonathan Morduch is one of its co-authors. He's Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University, and last January he joined Rick from our New York studio.

Listen to Rick's interview with Jonathan now

Portfolios of the Poor is published by Princeton University Press. He was in New York.


Pakistan's food con-fusion

Natasha Fatah enjoys a meal with her extended family in Karachi (photo/Natasha Fatah).

They say, you are what you eat, and that's never been more true than it is in Pakistan right now.

The urban elites like western-style fast food so much, it's become their nickname.

And the average man-in-the-street is also tagged with a gastonomic handle all his own.

In Pakistan, food can define you.

Food is culture. Food is politics.

It can fill and confuse you, as Natasha Fatah first told us last March, after she'd returned to her homeland to get acquainted with its future, and her family.

Listen to Natasha's dispatch now


This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston, and senior producer Alan Guettel.


  • Commenting has been disabled for this entry.