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DIE WELT(Germany)

Worldcrunch

A Europe-wide study produced by the GfK research group for Swiss insurance company Zurich Versicherung has found that worry, stress and anxiety about the future affect young Europeans to such an extent that many of them can’t sleep at night.

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Asleep in school. Photo: Mc Quinn

In September, reports Die Welt, GfK polled a total of 500 young people in eight European countries.

In Germany, 57% of those between the ages of 14 and 29 reported sleep disturbances because of pressure at work or in school.

If young Germans – and young Swiss as well – take their daily stress to bed with them, in Italy, Austria, Russia, and Great Britain, although the economic situation may be a good deal less rosy, young people were not losing untoward amounts of sleep over daily worries.

Only 17% of Italians reported trouble sleeping because of work or school issues. However, 64% of Spaniards and 50% of Portuguese did report sleep trouble, which they linked to the present euro crisis.

Other showed that in general, families and religion were perceived as anchors of security in a world where jobs are not secure and politicians can’t be trusted. Twenty percent of young Germans said that their religion gave them greater feelings of security than the police.

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Society

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In a tribe in central Africa, male and female roles are practically interchangeable in caregiving to children. Even though their lifestyle might sound strange to the West, it offers important life lessons about who raises children — and how.

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No milk — but comfort and warmth for the baby

Ignacio Pereyra

The southwestern regions of the Central African Republic and the northern Republic of Congo are home to the Aka, a nomadic tribe of hunter-gatherers who, from a Western point-of-view, are surprising because male and female roles are practically interchangeable.

Though women remain the primary caregivers, what is interesting is that their society has a level of flexibility virtually unknown to ours.

While the women hunt, the men care for the children; while the men cook, the women decide where to settle, and vice versa. This was observed by anthropologist Barry Hewlett, a professor at Washington State University, who lived for long periods alongside the tribe. “It is the most egalitarian human society possible,” Hewlett said in an interview.

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