Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The Peace Wall in Belfast, separating the Catholic and Protestant sides of the city.

This video about the U.S./Canada border is fascinating. I've never been to Canada, but I was pretty shocked at some of this information. Am I the only one who didn't know there's a 20 ft wide space between the two countries (with no trees!) that stretches across the entire 5,500 mile border? It's so interesting how borders are created and decided (or not decided) upon. 

For the most part, the borders that I've visited have been fairly typical; in fact, if it weren't for the border patrol stations, you'd hardly notice you were in a different country. In 2012, though, I visited Belfast and although the wall going through the city doesn't divide two countries, it has a huge impact on the people living there. In some places as tall as 40 ft, the wall separates the Protestant (British) and Catholic (Irish) sides of the city. Although "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland technically ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement, the country is still on the road to recovery. On a black taxi tour, I learned that about 70% of people living near the wall are still not ready for it to come down. It's so sad to think about all of the people that have suffered as a result of religious and political differences and that the wall continues to divide the city. Even sadder to think that their are similar circumstances at borders all over the world. 

Another interesting border discussion: NPR's Borderland.  

Have you visited any borders? If so, what struck you the most about them?

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