Global Villages – What Are These? informs students that the world’s land masses are divided into eleven (11) separate and dominant culture regions. This website refers to each of these Eleven Regions as Global Villages, because the globalized world we now live in is both connected and interdependent, just as neighboring villages have always been. Read the Eleven Reasons for Eleven Regions before continuing this introduction.
Dividing the world into regions is nothing new. In fact Cicero, the famed Roman political philosopher, in the first century BC, described the world as having five zones: two frigid zones in the north and south; two temperate, (or habitable) zones in the center; and a torrid zone wrapped around the earth’s equatorial regions. (Lester 2009) Cicero’s description is found in his The Dream of Scipio. Later on before the great explorations of the 15th century, the map of the world contained only three regions: Asia, Africa, and Europe. The three regions were said to be separated by the Mediterranean Sea, the Don, and the great Nile river.
We might say that in the 12th century the world had only three Global Villages because the fourth continent of the Americas was unknown. A non-fiction book, written by Toby Lester in 2009 details how The Fourth Part of the World came to be. Old world maps illustrating some of the ways the earth was imagined and described in Lester’s book are shown here.
In reality, there are hundreds of culture regions across the globe, perhaps thousands. However, due to tribal conflicts, colonialism, wars, ethnic cleansing, regional disasters, and mass immigrations over time, nearly every region’s Global Village has changed in cultural make up from its humble beginnings.
Each Global Village is occupied by a variety of cultures, ethnic groups, and peoples; and diversity and cultural pluralism is the new normal for most of them. This new normal is due primarily to mass communication technologies, and the ease of traveling by air.
The Global Villages courses are overviews and summaries. They are not complete in either historical or cultural information; but are compiled to give the interested learner a broad and easily comprehended overview of how and where each Global Village had its beginnings, and where each one fits into the world’s cultural puzzle of today. The Global Villages courses study each region separately, beginning with the first cultural settlements to the present day.
I invite you into the classroom to learn more about each of the dominant culture regions that make up the Global Villages.