Global Q&A: ‘What is your country’s biggest contribution to the world?’

November 21, 2012 2:16 am Last Updated: September 29, 2015 5:27 pm

Great Canary Telescope, culture, the number zero, and Machu Picchu are representative of grand contributions to the world. This is what Epoch Times reporters from Greece to Peru discovered when they asked locals:

Josefa Godoy Ruiz, Canarias, Spain (The Epoch Times)

Canarias, Spain

Josefa Godoy Ruiz, 53, Diploma in Industrial Relations

One of the most important contributions of my country to the world has been the Great Canary Telescope, located on the Island of Palma, in the Canary Archipelago—on the Rock of “los Muchachos” at 2,426 m (1.5 miles) above sea level. This location was chosen for the great quality of the sky and the purity of the atmosphere. Its construction and its scientific infrastructure has been one of the biggest contributions of my country, to the rest of the world. I think that humanity still has great things to explore in the scientific field of spatial matter.

Cicero Rosa, Santa Maria, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

Santa Maria, Brazil

Cicero Rosa, 25, Fireman

Brazil, unlike the United States, signed the Kyoto Protocol, which has pledged to reduce the rate of emission of harmful gases into the environment. Also, recently Brazil had a peacekeeping mission in Haiti, managed by the U.N.

Consuelo Salas, Chiclayo, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Chiclayo, Peru

Consuelo Salas, 60, Degree in Culture

First, I consider that Peru has given to the world a cultural contribution. We know of its rich cultural manifestations starting from the pre-Hispanic era, where we observe impressive findings of the techniques of our ancestors. We have the ruins of Machu Picchu, Moche, Lambayeque (Lord of Sipan), et cetera. Then, we have food such as: Kiwicha, maca, quinua, tarwi. These are nutritious products of our mountains that are sold throughout the world. In summary, we have two wonders of the world: Machu Picchu and our river Amazon.

Alexis Grenell, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

New York, USA

Alexis Grenell, 29, Media and Communications Strategist

The idea that you can make it if you try. The United States was founded by religious refugees and developed by fringe philosophers who got together and wrote the Declaration of Independence before they even thought of the constitution. They just wanted freedom. They later were like ‘Oh, we’d better develop a government too. Let’s work it out now.’ My great grandmother was a dirt-poor Jewish immigrant, but that didn’t stop her from fighting for her rights as a suffragette, and seeing the changes that happened with labor unions, and women’s rights even within her lifetime.

Ola, Akerberg, Lund, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Lund, Sweden

Ola, Akerberg, 37, Civil Engineer

I think it is good that our government donates money to the third world; I think it is 1 percent of our [Gross Domestic Product]. Even when our country’s economy is in crises we still donate money to SIDA [Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency], I think it is a good way to contribute to the world.

Khadija Bhaijee, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Khadija Bhaijee, 20, Student

Being an Indian, I would say India’s biggest contribution to the world was the invention of the number zero by Aryabhatta. In today’s day and age, we cannot even imagine what it must be like to not have a zero in our numerical system. And I am extremely proud that it was my country that made this contribution. As Albert Einstein said, “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

Steve Blackbourn, Bli Bli, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Bli Bli, Australia

Steve Blackbourn, 63, Pharmacist

I don’t think there is any one thing; I think it’s a whole range of things in terms of the sports people and sportsmanship that’s shown around the world by Australians. The scientific community has certainly excelled for our population. We’re probably got the greatest number of inventions and excellence awards for basically health, lifestyle, everything per population. I think we’ve shown that we’re a reasonably multicultural society that things can succeed. Yes, I think overall we are seen as [having] a fairly nonthreatening good lifestyle. We have the climate that’s a fairly mixed bag, but we seem to welcome most people to our shores.

Kostas Dimopoulos, Athens, Greece (The Epoch Times)

Athens, Greece

Kostas Dimopoulos, 31, Goldsmith

I believe that medicine is an important contribution of the Greeks as well as all the applied arts.

Cesar Antonio Gutierrez, Puerto Montt, Chile (The Epoch Times)

Puerto Montt, Chile

Cesar Antonio Gutierrez, 30, Security Guard

My country’s greatest contribution to the world is a little bit difficult to define with accuracy in a world so globalized, where all comes and goes. But I believe its fundamental contribution is to participate actively in the U.N., with its military troops joining the peacekeeping forces. Also, my country tries to respect human rights and preserve the environment (according to the International Kyoto Treaty), for example. My country, through its free commerce, contributes products and commodities that help other countries produce manufactured goods to help the world’s economy.

Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “Were things better or worse in the past?”

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