Really, Alison? Tell You More?

You mean that, really? Because OH MAN, do I ever not mind blabbering more about the international textile industry and global economics.

For instance, did you know Guatemala's primary source of foreign income is not exports or tourism, but former residents who moved away during the country's 36-year civil war? Remittances from the expatriate community exceed the total value of exports and tourism combined.

Also, the CIA assesses the Bangladesh phone system as "totally inadequate for a modern country," which seems harsh but fair.

And, Mauritius's flag looks like some Life Savers.

Another thing that interested me was the listing of religious affiliations in the various countries my clothes came from. Based on the sampling of shirts and pants in my closet, which are admittedly overwhelmingly manufactured by Gap Inc and its various subsidiaries, the predominant faiths in each nation break down like this:

[Chart kindly generated by The National Center for Education Statistics "Kids' Zone" webpage]

Now that's not counting Japan and the U.S., which are of course predominantly Shinto/Buddhist and Protestant, respectively, because neither of those countries can be counted in the "Third-World" category we were discussing earlier. Except for certain parts of Alabama.

Still, I think it's an interesting proportion. Religiously, it's much more evenly distributed than I'd have expected. And it's also good to note that, in contrast to my initial fears, the majority of the nations manufacturing my clothing are not, in the way we commonly use the term, "third-world" after all — their economic and quality-of-life prospects are relatively good, and improving. It would seem that seeing a country's name on your clothes label could actually indicate progress in that nation, rather than exploitation, since a clear difference exists between industrialized (and textile-exporting) countries like Malaysia, Mexico and Sri Lanka and the truly impoverished places like Haiti, Chad and Afghanistan. Sadly, those places are a ways off from sustaining even basic manufacturing industry.

And if you'd like to hear an animated mouse-like humanoid character recite the nations of the world, circa 1993 (And can overlook the fact that he leaves out Singapore, Mauritius and my favorite country Vanuatu, among others), click here:

And if you were wanting to know the actual belief statistics in the various places I mentioned, here's this:
Bangladesh - Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)
Cambodia - Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
China - Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2% note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Colombia - Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Egypt - Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%
Guatemala - Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Honduras - Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%
Hong Kong - Eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Indonesia - Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census)
Korea - Christian 26.3% (Protestant 19.7%, Roman Catholic 6.6%), Buddhist 23.2%, other or unknown 1.3%, none 49.3% (1995)
Malaysia - Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%)
Mauritius - Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)
Mexico - Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)
Sri Lanka - Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%
Thailand - Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000 census)
United Arab Emirates - Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%

1 comment:

coloredsock said...

ok i am SO crackin' up watchin the mouse sing the nations of the world! that is just awesome.