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Water Cooler: Learn about Asian and Pacific Island nations on YouTube

UPDATED: Tue., May 25, 2021

A large section of land between the trees washed away in 2015 due to continuing rising sea levels on Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Geography Now on YouTube gives an up-close look into the political and physical geography of the Marshall Islands.  (Associated Press)
A large section of land between the trees washed away in 2015 due to continuing rising sea levels on Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Geography Now on YouTube gives an up-close look into the political and physical geography of the Marshall Islands. (Associated Press)

Knowing where Asian countries and the Asian and Pacific Islands are on a map is one thing, but it takes a bit of a deeper dive to know what life is like there. For this Asian Pacific American Heritage month, hop over to YouTube for a convenient and free way to learn more about these nations and cultures from the comfort of home. Here are just a handful of the videos to start with that show a little bit about the places Asian American and Pacific Islanders have cultural connections to.

“Geography Now! MARSHALL ISLANDS,” posted by Geography Now - Get an up-close look into the political and physical geography of the Marshall Islands. Learn about the individual islands that make up this nation, the unique challenges that come with living on small, narrow islands, their relationship with the United States and how locals access fresh water when surrounded by ocean.

“Beautiful Islands of Fiji – BBC Documentary 2016,” posted by Gregory Heck - This 40-minute documentary covers a wide variety of facts about Fiji, such as descriptions of its ecosystems and geography, Indigenous cultures as well as modern life, unique traditions, struggles against natural events and climate change, and the impact of the sugar cane industry.

“101 Facts About Pakistan,” posted by 101Facts - Get an overview of of Pakistan’s geography, early evidence of human existence and sophisticated systems, its history of cultural and religious fusion, the political and religious history behind existing tensions with India, Pakistan’s national animal and bird, its famous and intricate truck art, and more.

“Japan for Kids – A kids guide to Japan,” posted by World of What’s - This quick video is great for young learners as it covers unique foods, explains its geography, its technological advances, its gorgeous rock and Zen gardens, as well as a bit of the Japanese language.

“Seoul, South Korea: Exploring Korean Culture in Seoul,” posted by Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi - Dancer and traveler Mickela Mallozzi takes viewers to Gwangjang Market for a hearty dose of Korean culture. Get a first-hand look at the foods and goods offered at this market. Venture out to the city of Seoul and see a mix of towering skyscrapers and small villages with homes that are more than 100 years old.

“Wonderful Indonesia: Culture and Heritage,” posted by Indonesia.Travel - See footage of the cultural diversity and a variety of Indigenous practices that are found across Indonesia. Get a quick introduction to the rich traditions and the arts and crafts of Indonesia, such as dance, ceremony, block printing, mask making and tapestry weaving.

“How Diverse is MALAYSIA?!,” posted by Drew Binksy - This travel vlogger interviews Malaysians to learn about all the different heritage and ethnicities found throughout the country. While some are ethnic Malays, others claim to be ethnic Indian or Chinese, or having a mix of several ethnicities. The country also has a mix of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. This diversity is also reflected in the cuisine, which fuses influences from Indonesian, Indian, Chinese and even Dutch and British culinary practices. This diversity also means that many Malaysians speak multiple languages, including English. Also get a look at the skyscrapers and bustling business of the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

“Sunday and Family – American Samoa Culture and Ocean Conservation Film Series,” posted by Ocean Futures Society - Community members of American Samoa discuss the importance of family within their culture and the preparations that go into Sunday family meals such as readying the umu, or above-ground stove oven where food is often cooked wrapped in banana leaves.

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