In previous generations in Democratic Republic of Congo, dowries were often livestock or home furnishings. But today, prospective fathers-in-law are asking for smartphones, televisions and motorcycles, and would-be grooms are wondering how to pay for it all.
When water sources dried up for the village of Samzong, a village in Nepal’s rural Upper Mustang region, residents built 18 new homes in a new village, Namashung. But there’s no road between the two places, so cattle and valuable property remain in Samzong – and so do about half of the members of the village’s families.
For centuries, Buddhists belonging to Nepal’s Newar caste have been making and selling metal statues and figurines of their sacred deities. But more members of the caste are choosing other careers, and with demand for the sacred sculptures growing, Newar members are revealing the secrets of their art to Nepalese from other castes.
More than 7 million Rwandans do their banking through their cellphones, but many of the agents who facilitate the banking transactions never declared their income to the country’s tax authority. Now the tax authority has started taking a 15-percent withholding tax from these agents’ incomes with the cellphone provider, plunging some of these agents into financial turmoil.