Glossary of Terms

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Animal Rights

Animal rights represent a philosophical concept according to which animals have a moral value, independent of their usefulness to humans (DeGrazia, 2002), i.e. that all animals have the right to be treated with respect as... individuals, the right to bodily integrity and the right to freedom of movement (Taylor, 2009). According to the concept of animal rights, the basic interests of animals, such as the avoidance of suffering, should be taken into account in the same way as for human beings.
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Animal Welfare

Animal welfare implies the physical and psychological state of the animal, in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies. An animal is in a good state of wellfare, when it is healthy, well-nourished, safe, able to... perform behaviors important for its physical and mental state, if it is comfortable and when it does not suffer from unpleasant conditions such as pain, fear and distress. Good welfare includes disease prevention and adequate veterinary care, provision of shelter, nutrition, stimulating and safe environment, humane treatment and humane slaughter or killing. Animal welfare refers to the condition of the animal, and the treatment of the animal is described in other terms, such as animal care and animal husbandry (World Organization for Animal Health, Terrestrial Animal Health Code, Article 7.1).
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Apple of Discord

The apple of discord is a term from Greek mythology. Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited to the wedding of Peleus, the father of one of the greatest Greek heroes, Achilles, with the goddess Thetis. In revenge, Eris... brought to the wedding a golden apple from the garden of the Hesperides, on which was written "This apple belongs to the one who is the most beautiful". Paris of Troy, was tasked with choosing the most beautiful goddess and he gave that title to Aphrodite, who promised him Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful of mortal women. These events were the cause of the start of the Trojan War. Find out what symbolism fruit, as one of the most beautiful gifts of nature, has in literature and mythology, here.
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Aquascaping

Aquascaping, simply put, is the art of gardening underwater. It includes techniques for forming, decorating and arranging a set of natural elements such as aquatic plants, stones, wood and substrate. These elements are combined... and arranged in such a way that they become aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. Learn more about aquascaping and forms of living art that you can enrich your home with in an interview with artist Filip Stefanovic, here.
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Ayurvastra

Ayurvastra is a branch of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian health care system known in India for 5,000 years. It is a fabric dyeing technique using medicinal Ayurvedic herbs. Clothes dyed in this way are used as a medium for... treatment, remediation of allergies and various other skin diseases, as well as for pain relief. Learn more about natural colors and techniques of using them from an artist who lives and creates in Serbia, here.
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Biomimetics / Biomimicry

Biomimetics or biomimicry literally means "imitation of the living" and represents an approach in the development of science and technology that is based on taking principles from nature. It is an imitation of natural processes... and materials that have been "tested" for millions of years by other living beings in nature. Learn how biomimicry has to do with airplanes and Velcro, and how nature-based engineering is changing the world, here.
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Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that we produce through our activities. The average carbon footprint of one person, on a global level, during a year is... about 4 tons, and in order to avoid the rise of global temperatures, we need to reduce the carbon footprint to 2 tons per person. We can do this by changing certain habits, such as eating less meat or air drying your laundry instead of using a tumble dryer. Some people have decided to reduce their carbon footprint by moving their entire lives "off the grid". Find out how several families from Serbia started their lives off the grid, here.
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Culture

Sir Edward Burnett Tylor, a renowned English anthropologist, defined culture as "the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of... society" (Tylor, E. 1871). Culture, in its broadest sense, represents the way people engage with other individuals and the world around them. It is the cumulative result of experiences, values, beliefs, attitudes, meanings, knowledge, social organizations, procedures, roles, spatial relationships, concepts of the universe, material objects, which have been secured or acquired over generations through individual or group efforts and interactions (Žegarac, N, Kišjuhas, A, Koprivica, I, 2016).
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Donkey

Donkey (Equus asinus), also called domestic ass, belongs to the horse family, Equidae, and is descended from the African wild ass (Equus africanus). It is known to have been used as a beast of burden since 4000 BCE... Donkeys have a bad reputation for being stupid and/or stubborn, which is not true. Find about the donkey’s true nature here.
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Earth Architecture

Earth architecture is a traditional technique of building using soil and natural materials. Earth has great potential for construction, and apart from the fact that earthen architectural creations can meet the highest aesthetic... and ecological standards, they contribute to architectural diversity, combining modern with inherited. In Serbia, there are many old earth houses that can be renovated, and the number of interested people who would like to build new ones is growing. In this they are helped by the "Club of fine crafts" from Mošorin, experts in earthen architecture who are bringing back to life this underutilized heritage of our ancestors. Find out how you too can make a house out of earth, here.
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Eastgate

Eastgate is a mall in the center of Harare (Zimbabwe), designed by architect Mick Pearce, based on his fascination with termite mounds and their fantastic ventilation systems. Eastgate is the first building in the world to... successfully implement natural cooling of rooms to such a level of sophisticated technology, based on nature. Thanks to that, this facility is also energy efficient, as it saves energy that would otherwise be spent on room air conditioning. Eastgate is an excellent example of architecture based on nature, or biomimetic architecture. Learn more
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Ecosystem Services

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines ecosystem services, or services of nature, as "benefits that ecosystems provide to people". They directly or indirectly affect the survival of people and their... quality of life. Natural ecosystems, as well as the plants and animals in them, provide people with services that would be difficult to duplicate if they were lost. Food, clothing, housing, transportation, medicine and energy are products or services of different ecosystems. Read more about the four basic groups of ecosystem services in relation to their importance for people here.
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Emotional support animals

Emotional support animals can be animals of any kind and do not have to be specially trained for therapeutic purposes. It has been scientifically proven that the company of animals has significant benefits in the recovery of... people from various diseases or conditions. In these situations, animals provide much-needed comfort and support to people in the recovery process. This is especially important in situations where people are fighting cancer, as two brave women can testify here.
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Fibonacci Sequence

Mathematically speaking, the Fibonacci sequence represents the sum of the previous two numbers that give the value of the next member of the sequence. The idea of ​​the Fibonacci sequence came from the Italian mathematician... Leonardo Fibonacci, better known as Leonardo of Pisa. At the beginning of the 13th century AD, he wrote down a mathematical equation that even today, after more than 800 years, best describes this mathematical law. More about the Fibonacci sequence, the connection with the ideal of human beauty and examples from nature around us that hide the Fibonacci sequence, find out here.
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Garden City

A garden city is a concept in urban planning that implies carefully planned circular settlements, interconnected by a rich system of greenery. These settlements contain all functions necessary for the city - housing, industry,... transport and agriculture. A garden city also implies the existence of green belts, which would prevent the uncontrolled expansion of the city, provide enough green areas and support a higher quality of life - cleaner air and a healthier environment. Read more about the garden city concept here.
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Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio is a design concept based on the use of the Fibonacci sequence to create visually pleasing proportions in art, architecture and graphic design. The proportion, size and position of one element in relation... to another creates a sense of harmony that appeals to our subconscious mind. The golden ratio as a mathematical concept has been known since the time of the ancient Greeks. It is considered the ideal of perfection, which is almost impossible to achieve. Find out how the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio, the number phi, sunflowers and pine cones are related here.
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Great London Smog

Great London Smog is the deadliest air pollution ever recorded in the world. It happened in December 1952 in London. Then, as a result of the big cloud of pollution that lasted for five days, 12,000 people died, while... more than 150,000 people were hospitalized. A large number of domestic and wild animals also died. The reason for this environmental and health disaster was a combination of industrial pollution and weather conditions. Find out more about the great smog and how it caused a turnaround in London's urban planning and turned a polluted city into a green one here.
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Green Belt

Green belt is a policy and land use zone designation used in land use planning to preserve areas of undeveloped, wild or agricultural land that surround or border urban areas. Related concepts are greenways and... green wedges, which are linear in nature and can be located within urban areas, instead of around them. The importance of green belts in improving the quality of life and protecting the health of citizens is immeasurable, bearing in mind that they protect against pollution, purify the air, provide opportunities for walking and recreation, and protect biodiversity. Find out how the green belt ensured the recovery of London, after the ‘Great Smog’ when over 12,000 people lost their lives, here.
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Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy or equine therapy is a type of physical therapy that uses the natural movements of the horse to stimulate the patient's motor and sensory functions. Basically, the movement of the horse encourages the movement of... the patient riding it. Hippotherapy has a proven positive effect on improving the motor skills of people with impaired motor functions, and this method is used to strengthen the body, increase self-confidence and suppress fears, as well as to develop friendly relationships and a sense of belonging. Learn more
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Indian yellow

Indian yellow is a complex natural pigment consisting primarily of magnesium salts. The crystalline form dissolved in water or mixed with oil to produce a transparent yellow paint which was used in Indian frescoes, oil... painting and watercolors. It’s commercial use stopped around 1921. Find out more about the natural pigments and their use in modern painting, here.
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Lagumica

‘Lagumica’ is a Serbian word meaning a house built of earth using a special technique. They can be seen buried in Titelski Breg in Vojvodina or along the Danube, like earthen caves where people once lived. In addition to... ‘lagumice’, dugouts can also be seen in Serbia, in vertical cuts in the ground, at a depth of about a meter. There are also ‘putrike’, houses with a flat earthen roof. 12 basic construction techniques, with about 100 variations, characterize earthen architectural creations, and in Serbia there is a team of experts who know these techniques and help to preserve traditional construction techniques, as a legacy of our ancestors, from being forgotten. Learn more
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Living Art

Living art is a combination of art and nature. Instead of canvas, brushes and paints, artists use materials from nature - wood, earth, gravel, stone, mosses and different plants, in order to create their works of art, i.e. "live... installations". They can be of different shapes and dimensions - from large living sculptures to miniature works of art - real ecosystems placed in smaller containers such as terrariums and aquariums. Find out how an artist from Serbia gives life to living installations, here. The term ‘live art’ also refers to the situation when the artist decides to create his work at the moment of meeting the audience (e.g. a performance that takes place at the same time as the audience is present).
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Mega City

A mega city is a very large city, with a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants. Different sources give different data about the total number of megacities in the world. There are certainly more than 30 of them... About half of these large urban agglomerations are located in China and India. The term mega city began to be used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and in the middle of the 19th century, London became the largest, most powerful and richest city in the world, that is, a mega city. Find out what problems London faced with this title, but also how it solved them, here.
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Mud Maid

The Mud Maid is a famous 'living' sculpture, located in the 'Lost Gardens of Heligan' in Cornwall, in the Southwest of England. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are the result of the largest garden restoration project... in Europe, which were forgotten on this estate in England during the World War I and were brought back to life in 1990. Today, the property spans 80 acres of breathtaking paradise for plants, wildlife, explorers, plant lovers and romantics of all kinds. The mysterious gardens hide several impressive living sculptures, one of which is the Mud Maid, whose "clothes" and "hair" change with the changing seasons, as grass, ivy and moss flourish and then wither. Learn more about live art from Serbian artist Filip Stefanović, ovde.
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Naive art

Naive art is most often defined as visual art, created by a person who does not have the formal education and training of a professional artist (Benedetti, J.M, 2008). Naive art exists independently of clearly... defined features of style and artistic education, separated from external influences. It does not tolerate rules - the rules are usually revealed only after the act of painting is finished. It is impossible to learn it - just as talent cannot be learned. It does not want to learn, but, thanks to the unbridled imagination of the creators, imposes on us its personal script and new forms of aesthetics (Nina Krstić, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts). Such was the art of Florika Puja, an uneducated artist from Uzdin, who created a real "art revolution" in this small Banat village. Find out why the rooster was her main artistic inspiration, here.
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Nature

Nature refers to the phenomenon of the physical world, as well as to life in general. Nature can include living animals and plants, geological processes, atmospheric conditions, matter and energy. Nature often means "natural... environment" or "wilderness" consisting of wild animals and plants, forests, beaches and generally areas that have not been significantly altered by human influence or those that persist despite human influence (Cambridge Dictionary). Nowadays, there is no standardized definition of "nature" in the biological literature and authors generally do not use references when writing about the concept of nature.
Nature can be viewed more broadly than the natural environment, plants and animals. There are four modern definitions of nature, which are the result of different interpretations of nature throughout history. According to one of them, nature is "the totality of material reality, which is independent of human activity and history." Another definition says that nature is "the entire universe, as the place, cause and result of material phenomena, including man." According to the third definition, nature is "a special force that is at the heart of life and change", and the fourth says that it is "the essence, inner quality and personality, the set of specific physical characteristics of an object, living or inanimate" (Ducarme, F. Couvet, D. 2020).
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Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based solutions are "actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that respond to social challenges effectively and adaptively, while ensuring human well-being and biodiversity... benefits". Nature-based solutions address today's social problems that they seek to solve through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of natural and modified ecosystems in ways that benefit both biodiversity and human well-being (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
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Off the grid living

Off the grid living, represents a lifestyle that is independent, without reliance on public utility services such as water supply, sewage, electricity (Vannini, P. Taggart, J. 2014). In terms of size, it can mean... a single household or entire smaller communities of households. Life off the grid implies that the buildings and the people who live in them are completely self-sustaining, i.e. able to independently produce food and energy - provide drinking water and manage waste and wastewater. This lifestyle is attractive to people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and cost of living, and is an advantage in areas that are remote and isolated, and where utilities are not available. Find out more about living off the grid around the world and in Serbia here.
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Permaculture

Permaculture is an approach to land management and human settlement design that adopts principles observed in natural ecosystems. It includes a set of principles that apply to design, engineering, agriculture, water resource... management, urban planning, and the like. It includes sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-sustaining habitats and agricultural systems modeled after natural ecosystems (Hemenway, T. 2009).
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Pine Cone

A cone is an organ that carries reproductive organs, which is found in gymnosperm plants. Cones are unisexual, and cones of both sexes are most often found on the same plant. In most species, the male cones are herbaceous, while... the female cones are woody. Inside the female cones, seeds develop. In addition to being used by plants for reproduction, pine cones are also one of the most famous examples of the Fibonacci sequence in nature. This mathematical regularity is hidden all around us, and based on it, a design concept was created that implies visually pleasing proportions in art, architecture and graphic design. All this from just one pine cone? Learn more
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Rusalka

‘Rusalka’ is Serbian term to describe a feminine entity in Slavic folklore, frequently associated with water and similar to the concept of mermaids. Rusalka is often malicious toward mankind and would entice unsuspecting... travellers and drag them into depths of the lakes and rivers. Find out more about how Rusalki are connected to watermills and what are other mistical properties of watermills in Slavic folklore, here.
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Self-sustainability

Self-sustainability is a type of sustainable living where only what is personally produced is consumed. Practices that enable or assist self-sustainability include permaculture, sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy... production, recycling or repurposing materials. A self-sustainable lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular in modern times, as the world faces ever-increasing environmental and economic challenges. Self-sustainable living improves physical and mental health, saves money, and protects nature by reducing an individual's carbon footprint.
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Smart Colours

Smart colours are special colors used in street art, i.e. creating graffiti and murals. Their characteristic is that they purify the air by removing carbon dioxide from the air. The use of smart colors is a must in a special... branch of street art - ecological street art, which is increasingly conquering Europe and the world. Find out where the first eco-mural in Belgrade is located and who are the artists behind eco-graffiti in Serbia here.
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Sparrow

Sparrow, a favorite bird of Belgraders and many other Serbs. The house sparrow is closely related to human settlements and can live in urban and rural environments. This small bird feeds mainly on grass seeds and insects... Considering that it is such a common inhabitant of towns and villages, the sparrow also plays an important role in culture. Artists often attributed to him human qualities, diligence, liveliness and cheerfulness. In Serbia, the sparrow is an unofficial symbol of the capital, Belgrade. Find out more about the sparrow and other animals that are symbols of cities here.
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St. George's Day morning

On St. George's Day, early before dawn, the people go out into nature together for the "St. George's Day morning". They find a suitable place in the forest, in a glade or by the river. Food and drink are prepared for this, and... songs, dances and revelry often last until noon (Milan Vuković, 1985). Considering that in the traditional agrarian culture, St. George's Day was perceived as the beginning of the summer half of the year, the custom of St. George's Day morning arose as a celebration of the beginning of spring (Aleksandar Petijević, ethnologist). Today, this custom has been transferred to the May Day morning, and the celebration usually takes place in nature, on lawns. We invite you to reconsider how in Serbia we culturally experience being in nature and on the grass – by reading this article.
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Sunflower

Sunflower is an annual plant from the sunflower family, whose botanical name of the genus Heliantus comes from the Greek words (Greek: helios - sun and Greek: anthos - flower). It is most often grown as an agricultural crop for... the production of cooking oil, but also as a fodder plant. In addition to its extraordinary beauty and usefulness in agriculture, the sunflower is also interesting because it represents one of the most famous examples of the Fibonacci sequence in nature. The disk of the flower is arranged spirally, and within the pattern of interconnected spirals, the number of left and right spirals represent successive Fibonacci numbers. This pattern produces the most efficient mathematically possible seed packing within the flower head (Motloch, John L, 2000). Learn more
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Sustainable Development

The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development or Brundtland Commission (WCED, 1987) defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of... future generations to meet their own needs." From the publication of the Brundtland Report to the present day, the notion of sustainability has become the mantra of the 21st century (Dyllick, 2002). Economically developed countries and developing countries today consume more resources on an annual level than resources are produced. Additionally, not all people have equal access to resources and the same standard of living. If economic growth in developing countries continues at the same rate and with the same impact as it is now, we will soon need more than three planets, in terms of resources, instead of one (World Wildlife Fund, 2012).
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Therapy Animals

Animal companionship has scientifically proven advantages in medical and psychological therapeutic work. Therapy animals can be animals of any species, which have undergone appropriate training for a therapy animal, that is,... have appropriate positive evaluations by veterinarians and animal behavior experts (American Veterinary Association). Therapy animals are used to help people recover from various physical and mental illnesses or conditions. Horses and dogs are often used as therapy animals, and what benefits people with disabilities have from them, find out here.
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Velcro

Velcro is a product consisting of two components: usually two pieces of thin fabric, one of which has small hooks attached, and the other has small loops. Pressed together, the hooks catch on and the two components are... temporarily attached. When separating these two components, a characteristic raspy sound is heard. Today, Velcro is indispensable in the textile industry, the military equipment industry and many other industries. The origin of Velcro is accompanied by an interesting story, involving the Swiss engineer Georges de Maestral and his dog. Learn how Velcro came to be and what it has to do with a special branch of engineering inspired by nature, here.
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Zapis

‘Zapis’ is a Serbian term to describe a sacred tree in the Serbian tradition. An oak tree is most often chosen to be Zapis, due to the traditional connection with the Old Slavic god Perun, but another tree can also be... chosen: cherry, elm, wild pear (Čajkanović 1994: 271). Every village has its Zapis - a sacred tree, around which the locals gather and celebrate village festivals and perform religious ceremonies. Find out more about the sacred tree among the Serbs and the customs associated with it here.
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Wabi-sabi

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in nature's imperfections, accepting natural cycles as such, and a philosophy of life. You can find it in everything - Japanese gardens, philosophy, literature,... art and architecture. It is an integral part of religious rituals, but also of everyday life. Learn more about this concept and how you can apply it to your life here.
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Yellow house in Subotica

Yellow house in Subotica is a cultural heritage object. Built originally as a savings bank, a branch of the National Bank of Serbia, its facade has intricate details, one of which is the beehive as a symbol of diligence and... savings. Beekeeping is deeply rooted in the tradition of the Serbian people, so it's no wonder that beehives as symbols can be found on cultural heritage objects. Learn more about history of beekeeping in Serbia, here.
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