The Day of the Creole Song is perhaps the most important Peruvian musical celebration. Since 1940, this celebration occurs on October 31st, to incorporate the old culture of Peruvian native music with the new that creates a huge and rich tradition of fun, and grace.
This celebration competes in some way with Halloween which arrived in Peru with a more banal and clumsy version between diabolic masks, treats, and allergic sweets, as with horror films that kill the monster many times with guitar and music box.
My son Jose plays soul music with the Peruvian music box.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Day of the Creole Song is perhaps the most important Peruvian musical celebration. Since 1940, this celebration occurs on October 31st, to incorporate the old culture of Peruvian native music with the new that creates a huge and rich tradition of fun, and grace.
It's the beautiful gracious Black Iris, found particularly in southern Jordan- Kerak to be more specific, and is rarely seen outside of Jordan. The Black Iris symbolizes growth and renewal and has six black petals, three drooping and three upright.
If you ever see an iris, please don't pick it for it's an endangered plant. The Black Iris blooms in Spring, if you miss that short season you'll have to wait for another year.
The Nidaros Cathedral (listen to the bells ringing from the link, at the end, audio/film) is the most significant church of Norway, the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world, and the largest in Scandinavia. It's lutherian and is locaded in Trondheim. It is our national sanctuary and has earlyer been the coronation church of Norwegian Kings. Later monarchs instead officially received the blessings of the church here. We have a very modern royal family; thus promoting sound values, and are gathering role models I think; the crown prince is married to a single mother and the princess is married to a nonconventional writer.
The Cathedral was build over the burial site of King Olav Haraldsson, who played an important part in the blood-drenched conversion of the Vikings to Christianity, and was killed in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. A year after his death, he was declaired a saint, Olav the Holy One, and Nidaros soon became a christian pilgrimage. In the middel age, it was known as "Cor Norvegia" which means the heart of Norway. The architectural style is romanesque and gothic. The Cathedral is one of the greatest attractions to visit. In Trondheim they have a distinct dialect and they pronounce it like "tronn-yam", where "tronn" rhymes with "gone". Better known from this area is Rosenborg, the best Norwegian football club, with 20 Leagues titles and 9 Norwegian Cup titles, this very sunday for the 10th time.
Hello All. I was revamping my blog (sorry it's in French), when I saw that "192 countries" had been updated.
I found Elspeth's idea to be very cool... so I decided to try to answer her three questions.
1. What is your favourite place (to be) in your country?
A very precise place : the marble yard of Versailles, right under the King's appartment windows.
It's the center of the civilized world, or at least it was. And nowhere in France do I feel so touched.
2. What, in your opinion, is one thing that makes your country 'special'?
That it was baptised in Christmas 496.
France is "The Elder Daughter of The Church".
3. What are three things you would currently change about your country if you could?
(A) The institutions. Republic failed. Bring back the king !
(B) The currency. Euro failed and made people sooooo poorer. Bring back national currencies.
(C) The national anthem. "May an impur blood shower our land..." wow, that's so terrible to sing...
Monday, October 30, 2006
Some time passed since I posted and my apologies to all of you for my delay. I have been on vacation for a while and for the first time in a very long time I stayed in Germany for this vacation. Usually people here tend to travel south (or recently more and more to the east) when they are on vacation. Many of you may have heard stories of Germans in Spain (especially Mallorca...) who flood the beaches, behave rather rude and drink a lot of beer.
Since I am pretty sick of wittnessing this kind of behaviour I tried something new: travelling through my own country. I love the sea and so I went to a tiny island called "Hiddensee" and loved it!!
Coming from an area that is very much determined by its industrial history I was surprised to see so much untouched nature. No big hotels, no busloads of people who wear socks in their sandals (is this a german thing or are other people doing this too???) and no "Schnitzelbank"-restaurants where you least expect them.
Instead you get all kinds of landscapes: the sea, grassy hills full of flowers, the coastal area and cute little villages which have all been formed by weather. the other tourists seemed to be overwhelmed by this island as well. they all treat this little jewel with a lot of respect which makes spending time there even more special.
So now I am back, promissing to be a better blogger and advising all of you who tend to go abroad for their vacations to give their own country a closer look. It surely worked for me.
This post is a bit of a 'game'. I've made up a 3-question questionnaire (below) - the answers will change according to where we each live. If inclined, the object is to answer the questions in the comments section of this post, then write your own 3 questions as a separate post - for the rest of us to answer in your comments section.
Mission Bay, Toco, Trinidad
1. What is your favourite place (to be) in your country? I like Toco and Manzanilla - two coastal areas that I go to frequently on my wanderings. In common these places give me a sense of openness, freedom and away-from-it-allness ... and they both are great for collecting driftwood, stones and other beach treasures. Their differences (in my eyes) are that Toco feels more blue and sunny, with inviting waters (but watch the strong currents). Manzanilla is a vast stretch of beach lined with about 2 miles of coconut trees. I've always found it has an untamed, raw, mystical energy to it. The waters are rough and roaring and usually greyish brown (by no means a 'touristy' kind of beach) but still strikingly beautiful.
2. What, in your opinion, is one thing that makes your country 'special'? This answer feels a but cliche, but I guess it's true: the cultural diversity, mix of people (multi-racial, multi-religious, etc.)
3. What are three things you would currently change about your country if you could?
(i) The crime
(ii) Our Prime Minister and his bizarre intentions of having 3 aluminium smelters on this tiny island of 1864 square miles (4828km2)
(iii) The destruction of the environment and prime agricultural land for housing and other concrete structures
We don't have a national flower. I guess the country is too young. But, there are a number of plants and trees that have specific associations with Israel.
All plants and trees mentioned in the Bible are national fruits of Israel. Seven species are particularly mentioned: wheat, barley, dates, figs, grapes, pomegranates, and olives. Which may not make perfect sense, as it's not at all clear that these were historically the most common species in Israel.
Grapes and wine play a big role in Israeli history, starting with the bunches carried back by the spies of the Israelites. Modern Israel became the first country to start producing world-class kosher wines. Unfortunately, one of our best wineries is on the Golan Heights, which as many of you may know is an area of contention.
Olive trees play a big role in Israel, as well. They are a big source of income for many Arabs and some Jews. There are old laws in the region that give ownership of land to someone who plants an olive tree and raises it for a certain number of years (or so I have heard; I can't find the source for this).
There is also a local fruit called the "sabra", which grows on a small cactus plant. It is hardy, prickly on the outside and sweet on the inside. Borrowing that idea as a metaphor, native Israelis call themselves "sabras".
One of our first and most well-known exports is the Jaffa orange, beautiful and sweet.
And come March every year, our fields and hills are covered with blood red poppies.
The pine forests that cover Israel today, those which haven't been burned down or destroyed by arson or wars, were planted by JNF, the Jewish National Fund, starting at the beginning of the twentieth century and through the nineteen-sixties. Before then, the country was fairly barren, as in the words of Mark Twain: "A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse.... a desolation.... we never saw a human being on the whole route.... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."
There exist some species of flowers that grow only in Israel, but I couldn't tell you what they are.
More on Israeli Flora and Fauna.
The Jordanian Blogosphere is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing Arabic Blogospheres. Jordan Planet was the first Jordanian Blogs Aggregator founded in 2004 by Isam Bayazidi. It links more than 100 active Jordanian writers residing in different parts of the World who get to meet every month to get to know each other more and discuss a variety of important topics including those related to JP.
Jordan Planet was featured twice in JO Magazine and once in the Jordan Times this year. Moreover, selective posts are being featured on a monthly basis in JO Magazine under the title "Best of the Web".
Other Web portals have emerged nearly two years after launching JP, such as toot and the very recent and incredibly creative iBaloo6, which was inspired by the itoot project, to know more about this check out Moey's blog. The guys are having loads of blogging-fun :-)
Just like in every Blogosphere (I think), the Jordanian has a very interesting variety of Bloggers, there's the creative, the artistic (also known as shoe-a-holic), the poetic revolutionist, the intelligent, the funny tech-guy, the Utopian, the activist and the outside-the-box writer to name a few. Other Bloggers are already famous people, such as Yousif Ghishan (an author of several books and a poet) and Kamel Nsirat (a journalist, political writer and a poet).
More about Jordan Planet here.
4th JP Meetup, June 2005
Photo Credit: Subzero Blue
"Forward Ever" is the motto of the Covention Peoples' Party (CPP), the party of the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who led the country in its fight for independent from Britain on March 6, 1957. Dr. Nkrumah's famous pronouncement that "the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it leads to the total liberation of Africa", is one that still warms the hearts of many pan-Africanists - decades after the overthrow of his government in 1966 and his demise on April 27, 1972. So powerful was such a visionary leader he was recently voted by BBC listeners in Africa as the greatest African in the 21st century. Not that he was infallible, but quite frankly, Ghana is yet to have another visionary leader since Nkrumah.
Sadly though, the Ghana that Nkrumah inherited and envisioned - and even the Ghana he left behind - is not the Ghana that I live in today. Ghana remains a 3rd World country, although it has all the potential to become at least a middle income country. One paradox that bothers me most is that many young Ghanaians find it easier to succeed in Western countries while many foreign investors find it easier to succeed in Ghana. Investment opportunities abound in Ghana in all sectors of the economy. The investment climate is friendly. The current government continues to improve the environment for doing business, so well that the World Bank ranked Ghana among the top 10 reformers in 2005/2006.
You may wonder why I've introduced my post with business. Well, I left University of Leicester Management Centre in the UK in 2004 and have strong interest in business. But Ghana has a lot of interesting places to visit - historical, cultural, pleasure and more. We boast of one of the largest natural lakes in Africa - Lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. And talking about the Ashanti Region, you will find the epitome of culture in the historical Manhyia Palace, where the king of the Ashantis and the Golden Stool reside. The king, called 'Otumfuo', is the spiritual head of the Ashantis, although politically, he is subject to the executive President of the Republic. Almost every one of the 10 regions of Ghana has interesting tourist attractions to occupy your entire holidays - all year round!
Ghana is very stable and peaceful. The people are the most friendly you can find anywhere else in the world, if you're the outgoing type. Language? No problemo. English is the official language and tour guides are available to help you out. Ghana is a democracy, although it has had several military interventions since its independence. Our current constitutional dispensation was ushered in with the 1992 Constitution and since then we have had 4 successful elections in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. There is rule of law and the courts work, albeit at pace that will annoy the slowest snail!
There is poverty and unemployment, but there are genuine efforts by the current government to give hope to the youth through series of interventions with support from development partners. It is not all despair, I can assure you. You may be surprised to see the latest of everything you enjoy in the developed countries right here - luxury cars, mobile phones, everything else; I mean everything else. Apart from the rich upper class, there are a crop of young professionals trained here and abroad who have deployed their skills in business to maximum effect. Not only are they able to live a good life, they are ever ready to partner with young people from the rest of the world in business and in other facets of life. Life in Ghana is largely not in the fast lane, and those used to fast-paced Western life can get frustrated. But, you can enjoy a vibrant media landscape and outrageous freedom of speech! To my envy, I must admit, foreigners get special attention and treat from Ghanaians, especially from government institutions. And those who are generous with their tips can expect even greater treat. There are literally tens of native languages spoken in Ghana, including Akan, Ewe, Ga, Hausa, Dagbani, among others. But English is the official language. Interestingly, Ghana is bordered by three French-speaking countries - La Cote D'Iviore to the West, Togo to the East and Burkina Faso to the North. The Southern part of the country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, with beatiful beaches all along the coast.
Hotels are cheap, compared to developed countries. But those who want real adventure might find even cheaper hotels for backpackers! The sun shines all year round. With temperatures around 30 degrees centigrade, you can escape the misery of winter for real fun - whatever you definition of fun is. Since this is my first post, folks, I will keep things brief. But, hey, feel free to ask me any questions about Ghana and I'll be most glad to answer in my next post. You can learn more about Ghana by visiting: www.ghana.gov.gh and www.ghanatourism.gov.gh . Until then, byeeeee and I welcome y'all to visit Ghana some day. You will always hear in my local language - Akwaaba!, which means you are welcome. Ciao!
Thailand is counting down for the opening of the International Horticultural Expo on 1 November 2006 - 31 January 2007. To date, all media give us a daily update of the progress while many press tours have been organised by various transport organisations including the railway where I work. The expo is held in Chiang Mai, capital of the Northern region where temperature is reported to be around 16 degree at the mo, almost like spring.
The event is held in the year in which the country is celebrating 60th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne of the most revened King Bhumipol, so the theme is to commemorate His Greatness. Many countries like Holland, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, New Zealand, etc also participate and set out beautiful cultural garden to show off their heritage. Very exciting! see for yourself here http://www.royalfloraexpo.com/index.asp
The Thai name for the event is 'Ratchahruek' (golden shower tree, Indian laburnum, purging casia), locally known as 'Khuun' which is also the national flower. It is once again that an international event is held here.
It is such a goog timing as my partner is visiting me from New Zealand (though he is scottish working there) so we are planning to spend almost a week up there. Can't wait.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Hello everyone! For my initial post here at Topics From 192 Countries, let me tell you a little about the Philippines, where I was born and where I live.
The Philippines is in Southeast Asia, situated very near other countries like Vietnam and Malaysia. Hong Kong is only a short flight away. I read somewhere that my country is more Spanish than "Asian" -- this probably owes to the fact that the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 300 years! In fact, the name of my country, "Philippines," is derived from "Las Islas Filipinas" (The Philippine Islands) -- after Spain's King Philip II (Felipe II). Much of our culture was influenced by those 300 years of colonialism: many of the words we use every day were taken from the Spanish; Catholicism is the religion of most Filipinos.
Here are some other tidbits about the Philippines:
-The sampaguita(Jasminum sambac) is the national flower of the Philippines. Its fragrance is strong and sweet-smelling, and you can find it just about anywhere here...it's even sold in the streets as garlands; taxi drivers place it in their cabs; it's strung into garlands and given to visitors. It also has a nice legend attached to it--something similar to the story of the star-crossed lovers Pyramus and Thisbe.
-Since there are so many ethnic groups in the Philippines we also have lots of dialects here. I believe there are about 170 languages in existence at present. Sadly, I can only speak one--the main language, which is Tagalog. English, however, is widely spoken. It's the language of instruction in the majority of schools. Foreigners usually don't have a problem asking for directions here. Even Filipinos with the most rudimentary of academic achievements will be able to direct you where you need to go--even if it's as basic as "Go straight, turn right," or "Ride taxi!"
-Poverty is a troubling and heartbreaking fact of life here. Currently, the majority of Filipinos live below the poverty line. That being said, you'll find us to be the most fun-loving and gregarious folks around despite our troubles (or perhaps because of them!).
-We have the most awesome beaches and other "undiscovered" areas in this part of the world. With more than 7,000 islands, it isn't any wonder! Take, for example, the beaches in Palawan, Boracay, and Siargao (among countless others); waterfalls; the famous Banaue Rice Terraces.
I hope to give you more information about this wondrous land that I call home. If you want to know about something in particular, feel free to ask. I'll do my best to accommodate; I could at least point you to a more knowledgeable source if the situation warrants.
Many, many thanks to Shinji@tokyo for giving me this chance to talk a bit about my country. I'm learning a lot about other countries from the other bloggers here.
In the background is the wall of dam Batak (not a big one, but the dam itself is large... maybe that's why there isn't much fish there). I was about to write the types of fish you could catch there, but I realize I don't know the names in English. But let me try: carp, zander, Crucian carp, yellow perch... In winter the Batak dam freezes and some people do ice fishing.
The majority of Indians (more than 1 billion of them) follow the sport of cricket. The Indian fans follow them with the same frenzy as that of those who follow Soccer in England or NBA in the USA. The national team members are worshipped as heroes and are given treatment probably more than filmstars. The entire business comes to a standstill when a cricket match is played. Of late, India has become the commercial capital of India. Any match that India plays is assured of huge amounts of television/internet revenue, irrespective of where they play and how many people actually watch it on the ground.
The sport, as such, is followed by mostly the countries that were ruled by British - India, Australia, NewZealand, West Indies (Carribean Islands), Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, England (of course), Bangladesh, Zimbabwe being the main countries.
Cricket is a team sport usually played between two teams of eleven players each. It is a bat-and-ball game played on a roughly elliptical grass field, in the centre of which is a flat strip of ground 20.12 m (22 yards) long, called a pitch. At each end of the pitch is a set of wooden stumps, called a wicket. Note that, rather confusingly, the pitch itself is also often referred to as the wicket. A player from the fielding team (the bowler) propels a hard, fist-sized cork-centred leather ball from one wicket towards the other. The ball usually bounces once before reaching a player from the opposing team (the batsman), who defends the wicket from the ball with a wooden cricket bat. Another batsman (the "non-striker") stands in an inactive role near the bowler's wicket. See more on wikipedia for details on the game.
Hey! I am Chris, and I am posting from and about the neighbourhood of Basle, Switzerland. I also have my own blog, courtesy of which Shinji has found out about me. I cannot wait to see how this great project of his unfolds - awesome idea!
Now, Switzerland. Despite of its tiny size and a population smaller than London's, Switzerland is a fairly high profile place with plenty of stereotypes about it around. But since my participation's mission is to share with you a (actually, my!) perspective on the real country, the attached is going to be the only postcard view you'll get from me. And if I may just start out by displacing a popular myth / stereotype: Cuckoo clocks are not Swiss, they're German.
P.S. The Swiss national flower probably would be the Edelweiss.
After reading Elspeth’s post the other day about national flowers, I was intrigued to find out what New Zealand’s national flower was, as I must admit I did not know. I went off and researched it and was surprised to find that New Zealand doesn’t have an official national flower, but it does recognise three unofficial national flowers as: the Silver Fern, the red Pohutukawa flower, and the yellow Kowhai. As the Silver Fern does not produce a flower as such, the red Pohutukawa flower from our native Pohutukawa tree is probably the closest to a national flower. These trees are protected by law, and there are rules about only moving them until they are a certain age, and then after which you are not allowed to ‘kill’ them. These trees are evergreen, and the beautiful red flowers appear from late December (the southern-hemisphere summer).
The Silver Fern plant is better known as a national symbol for New Zealand. The Silver Fern is also native to New Zealand, and is characterised by its fern leaves being green on the upper surface and silver on its lower surface. The Silver Fern is often seen on New Zealand military uniforms and gravestones, but more commonly on the uniforms of New Zealand’s national sports teams (which are predominately black with white trim). New Zealand’s national netball team is known as The Silver Ferns. A lot of patriotic New Zealanders often get themselves tattooed with a silver fern to mark them as a Kiwi.
New Zealanders are colloquially known as Kiwis, after our national bird. The Kiwi is native to New Zealand and is a short and fat little bird, brown in colour, with stubby wings and a long beak (although probably not politically correct to call it short and fat anymore). Its stubby wings mean it is a flightless bird, an lives by hunting bugs and worms in the soil using its long beak. I’m not sure if Kiwis are able to climb Pohutukawa trees, but theoretically I guess they could achieve flight for small periods of time from these trees – Flight time being calculated as ‘height of the tree’ x ‘gravity’.
Friday, October 27, 2006
South America's most famous park and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Torres del Paine is best recognized for its magnificent central massif, sculpted by glaciers into the unmistakable cuernos (horns) and torres (towers). Varied and abundant wildlife, including guanacos and dozens of bird species, make this Patagonia's top adventure travel destination.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The national flower of Trinidad and Tobago is the Chaconia (Warszewiczia Coccinea), also known as 'Pride of Trinidad and Tobago' or 'Wild Poinsettia'.
There are many sources that say it is named in honour of the last Spanish Governor of T & T, Don Jose Maria Chacon (1784 - 1797). However, I was browsing through a book, "Native Trees of Trinidad and Tobago" (Quesnell & Farrell) in which they state that the flower is actually not named after Chacon and therefore should not even be spelt 'chaconia', but 'Chaconier'. They go on to explain that the name is derived from the dance, chaconne, in which dancers were decorated with little flags, akin to the clusters of small, bright red petals adorning the national flower. (Personally, I think the latter explanation makes more sense).
One of T & T's highest national awards is the Chaconia Medal (gold, silver and bronze). Recent recipients of the Chaconia Gold whom many of you may have come to know this year are the Soca Warriors (our national World Cup 2006 football squad).
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Hi, my name is Rhys Postlewaight and I live and blog from New Zealand.
New Zealand is a country in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Our nearest neighbour is Australia, who lives about 1200 miles to our north-east. New Zealand is made up of many islands, but its two main islands are called North Island and South Island - original names I know!, These two islands contain 99% of the population. The landmass is approximately the same size as Japan, but our total population is only just over four million.
I live in the lower half of the North Island in a place called Bulls, although I grew up and went to school in Wellington, the capital.
I am an active blogger and have about nine blogs to my name - although half of these are photo galleries. My main blog is called A World of Reeholio. I welcome you to visit me there too.
Thank you Shinji for inviting me to participate in this blog. I am honoured that you have chosen me to be the representative from New Zealand. I look forward to contributing some more, and reading the posts from the bloggers from each of the other countries.
The evening of October 31st is Hallowe'en or All Hallow's Eve in the USA. The younger children dress in costumes and go to their neighbor's houses yelling "Trick or Treat", expecting candy. The older children go to parties to watch scary movies and eat. The pranksters go out with eggs and toilet paper to make a mess. Many adults have their own parties, complete with costumes.
Hallowe'en traces it's roots to the Celtic Samhain, the night in which the spirits of the dead were able to roam the earth. People carried candles in hollowed out turnips to keep the spirits away. The Europeans brought the idea to the colonies and it evolved to the present day celebration, with jack-o-laterns carved from pumpkins. Some groups are opposed to Hallowe'en on religious grounds, calling it a pagan ritual, but most folks just enjoy it as a happy fall tradition.
The pictures are of my neighbors' houses decorated for Hallowe'en.
This is my first Eid in Jordan, not counting the ones I had as a child (I left Jordan when I was 9 and now I'm back after 13 years in U.A.E), so I feel it's important and quite interesting to talk about Eid in Jordan, where social life is nourished and family ties and traditions are almost sacred. We -Muslims- have two Eids (two holidays), Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The one we're having right now is Eid Al-Fitr.
Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawwal, the tenth month in Muslim calendar. It marks the end of Ramadan, during which they have fasted. Ramadan is a holy month because it is the month in which the Holy Qura’an was revealed. Eid has an important religious aspect, that is charity which Muslims are expected to extend to the needy. Socially, Eid is known to be a joy to children and a special occassion to gather-up, or reunite with family and friends.
In Jordan, the usual rituals are to wake up early on the first day help the kids get dressed up, often quickly and happily because they've taken out their new Eid clothes the night before and placed them at the rear of their beds or somewhere really close to them so that they can change into them first thing in the morning, family members greet each other before adults attend Eid prayer which is followed by a sermon. After that prayer, hand-shakes, kisses and hugs peppers the joyful greetings of “kul 3am wa in intum bekheir” (may you enjoy a good health this year and every year). Chocolates and home made Ma'amool and Ka'ek are often ready to be served to visitors in every Jordanian home after the prayer when people start visiting. Kids often get money from the visiting relatives as Eid gifts, we call that "eideyyah".
First day is often exclusive for visiting close relatives or receiving them, and taking kids to fun parks in the evening if convenient. Second and third days are for both relatives and friends, and taking the family out for dinner, or taking kids to fun places where they can enjoy their time.
Despite of Eid being an Islamic holiday, Christians in Jordan share us the blessings and joy; they greet us as well as each other with the traditional greetings "kul 3am w intum bekhair" or "kul sanah w intum salmeen" and they feel equally thrilled at the 3 days holiday too. What I found strange though, is that the entire country takes at least the first day of Eid off! including shopping malls, which in my opinion is very bad for business.
Happy Eid everyone.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In Peru, the faith usually moves mountains but in October theology intensifies to levels more fertile than the imagination can anticipate. During the thirty-one days of the tenth month of the year, some devotee Catholics of the Miracles Gentleman -also known as Purple Christ, Mr. Pachacamilla and Tremors Gentleman- wearing purple tunics participate in a multitude of procession in the streets of the Historical Center of Lima.
The reason those who join this expression of faith are: to be close as possible to the Sacred Image, to request some impossible favor, to request a divine grace (better if it is material), or to implore a cure or capital intervention in the body or soul. In its way, the adored image leave so much fragrances of the incense and diverse waste thrown by thousands of engrossed devotees: an inspiration meeting and, at the same time, barbaric.
Against this magical-religious background are two details of extreme interest: Dona Pepa Candies and the bullfights. The first is a delicious Limean traditional candy, sold in great amounts in October, made of honey, sweet sparkles and canes of flour. The second… what I can say? Every year, in October, an old debate in my country starts again: to promote the brave celebration (called nothing less than Fair of the Miracles Gentleman) or end the brutal spectacle of watching the torture and killing of the bull.
In my case, October is one more month but for Dona Pepa Candy. Instead, I celebrate the birthdays of three fellow workers who are called Milagros (Miracles) and to think the consequences of the tremors. On Friday the twentieth, shortly before six in the morning, a tremor, that Limeans remember as the origin of the cult of the Miracles Gentleman occured. For here stood a miraculous wall located in the zone of Pachacamilla that could not be demolished by an intense earthquake that destroyed Lima on October 20, 1687. It is said the wall is miraculous because it still crosses the streets of Lima.
The devotion to the Miracles Gentleman is expressed by diverse ways.
From San Cristobal Hill a View of Acho Bullring, scene of the questioned brave celebration.
Saleswoman of Dona Pepa Candies at the Parade Ground of Lima.
Hi! This is my first entrance here, and I'm honoured and happy to introduce you to my home arena. I'm 30 and full time working in the capitol Oslo. Norway is a small country, and is known for its midnightsun north of the Arctic Circle; 24 hour sunshine during the wintermonths, as the country is placed partly at this degree of latitude, 66nd paralell. South of the polar circle, one can some cold winternights view aurora borealis or socalled northernlight, from up north, like white dancing clouds in the black sky. I'll find a picture of this later.
We're only 4,6 million people, and only half a million lives in the capitol. The pictures are taken in The Frogner Park in Oslo. The geography is long and narrow, and if turned the other way around on the map, it would reach all the way from Oslo down to Italy. The weather differs greatly thereby, between the northern and southern areas, the temperatures especially. The seasons is very distinct, and at this time of the year, it's getting darker every day, heavy rain and the temperature falls steadily; 10 degrees centigrade today. It feels a lot nicer to stay indoors and socialize in coffeeshops etc. The trees are dressed in beautiful colours right now, but in a while, the trees will stand naked left, waiting to be embraced by the first snowflakes. I really look forward to winter and snow; lightening up everything, and a lot of fun skiactivities to do, (norwegians are skienthusiasts) and even if the winter can be very cold, 0 till 25 minus degrees centigrade, we as former vikings like say: "There's no bad weather, only scanty clothing".
That would be Backgammon and Checkers, historically. For the last few decades, add Chess and Taki. The latter is a card game similar to Uno designed by local game designer Haim Shafir.
Checkers, Chess, and Backgammon are played at cafes and on cardboard boxes along the street. Not in vast quantities, but here and there.
Rummikub is also an Israeli invention and won Germany's game of the year in 1980. It is a big seller here, too.
A small segment of the population plays Bridge or Scrabble (Jerusalem has the largest English speaking Scrabble club in the world). Modern kids play video games, of course, as well as translated Dungeons and Dragons or other role playing or collectible card games, such as Pokemon or Vs.
And then there's me, and my little club, trying to spread the word about modern board and card games.
I would like to know the national card games in each of your countries. So far I've collected about sixty countries. But we only have thirty countries listed so far on our blog roll, so maybe I'll ask again when we have another hundred more.
So I won't post this, yet. Let's see ... how do you cancel a post? What does this button "P-U-B-L
The Italian blogopshere is a small world - nearly 650.000 blogs - but it is growing fast. A good point of view to start exploring it is a young blog chart created by Ludovico Magnocavallo.
It is a ponderated mix of a lot of parameters like Technorati, Google, Yahoo!, Alexa and Feedburner. In this chart you can find the most popular italian blogs. They are only in Italian.
Another site where You can find a lot of Italian bloggers is BlogItalia. It is a directory full of blogs from every corner around the Italian peninsula.
Link: Top 100 Qix and BlogItalia.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Ps The Picture shows a natural dye powder seller with her products in Cuzco, Peru. Unlike the behavioral differences i found of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, this small markets of natural products can be seen through out the three countries
Experience Papua New Guinea in Style
Welcome to the World's Last Frontier!OHKOWI STUDENT ASSOCIATION (PNGTRO) is a web-based directory of internal and external webpages with information relating to tourism, travel, and hospitality in Papua New Guinea. It is a volunteer initiative of Barry Raymonds Aki and is aimed at promoting the unique tourism market of Papua New Guinea online. PNGTRO is not (and does not represent) an organization but rather an individual project. The efforts and intentions of this website aims to complement OHKOWI STUDENT ASSOCIATION (PNGTPA) efforts in promoting PNG as an ideal eco-tourism destination. Comments, thoughts, questions, and suggestions may be e-mailed to email@example.com. Thank you and Welcome to the land of the unexpected!Important Travel Information:Country ProfileTourism IndustrySafety IssuesVisa InformationTravel GuideHotels & LodgesTour OperatorsPNG Tourism BureauCountry MapsSome Quick Facts on Papua New Guinea (PNG): PNG is an independent democratic nation located north of Australia and east of Indonesia. PNG enjoys a stable democracy, a capitalistic economic system, and is home to cultural, ecological, and biological diversity. Annual national government budget is US$1.3 billion. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per Capita is US$350. Economy is predominantly export-based. Land size is one-third larger than the American state of California. Has a total population of 5.2 million people, all originating from over one thousand different native tribes with each person speaking one or more of the 700 plus distinct native languages. English is the formal language of business, education, and professional communication. Population growth rate is 2.6 percent. Literacy rate is 4.5 percent. About 95 percent of the population live in remote rural villages, removed from modernization, and actively engaged in subsistence farming. PNG, a major coffee producer, has a vast natural resource base, including crude oil, natural gas, gold, and copper deposits. Regarded as "the world's last frontier", PNG is one of the top 20 ecotourism destinations in the world.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Some country-side Union is demonstrating in the middle of my city... and they had this very funny idea : bring a cow in the middle of the city, right in front of the City Hall. Sorry, not much to learn about in this post... but just some fun from France ! :-)
Ah, yeah... maybe this to learn : in vulgar language "La Vache !" (The Cow!) means "Oh f*ck !" :-) So, next time you come in France and the waiter brings you that huge bill after your two coffees, just say "Oh, La Vache !" :-)
One of the most given site for the tourist attration is the 'Mask Dance'. The Mask dances are displayed during the festivals and there are many festivals.
To the outsider, these dances seem to very unique to them and they say that they enjoy alot viewing the wonderful performance. The dances are performed in the rythm.
To the rythm they turn thier body in flexibility.
We consider this dances as very important to witness since they dances are performed with the eve and gives clear infromation on how we are treated for the good and bad deeds when we were alive that means after out dead.
Besides mask dance one of the center of the attraction toward the our country is the uniqueness of the dress code and the way of living, the consture of the house is completely different from the other world. Above all , the natural green in environment findout the country diferent from other.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
About me: I'm a student of chemistry in Nankai university, Tianjin, China. I like reading books, expecially about science fiction. Outdoors is also my favorite sport.
Friday, October 20, 2006
From a personal perspective, one of my best friends is from a Hindu family and for years I am invited to their house every Divali to light up deyas (small clay vessels, containing coconut oil and a wick) around the garden, followed by dinner (Indian cuisine prepared by her mother who's a fantastic cook). As children my sisters and I would look foward to devouring the little bags of Indian sweets that Hindu friends would share out - ladoo, barfi, parsad, kurma, gulab jamoon to name a few. (I still look forward to devouring them). At night our parents would take us on drives to 'look at the lights': impressive displays of deyas flickering on artistically-bent bamboo frames along many streets and in open spaces. Nowadays, to my dismay, there are a lot of electric lights replacing the traditional deyas . I prefer the 'old fashioned way' - the sight and smell of hundreds or thousands of deyas is far more pleasing that strings of electric bulbs. In addition to which ... Divali signifies light over darkness ... so what can be said for electric Divali lights if there's a power cut?
Indians are celebrating this weekend, the "Festival of Lights" called DIWALI or DEEPAVALI. It is supposed to represent the victory of GOOD Over Evil. Lamps are lit in every house as a sign of celebration. Celebrations include bursting crackers during the festival after visits to the temple as well as delicious food prepared at home.
Diwali is one of the most famous Hindu festivals. The main days of celebration include:
- Dhanteras: Dhan means "wealth" and Trayodashi means "13th day". Thus, as the name implies, this day falls on the 13th day of the first half of the lunar month. It is an auspicious day for shopping.
- Naraka Chaturdasi: Narak means 'of a new era of Light and Knowledge'. Chaturdasi implies fourteenth day.
- Diwali: the actual day of Diwali, is celebrated on the third day of the festival, when the moon completely wanes and total darkness sets in the night sky.
"300 Million Reasons to Worry? U.S. population growth is a sign of either impending calamity or enduring vitality—depending on your point of view."
It was headline news this week- the USA has over 300,000,000 people now. It was 39 years ago that we passed 200,000,000 but expect to pass 400,000,000 in just 20 more years. It is a moment of celebration for some, but a time for reflection for many. How much growth is good? While this country is not over-crowded now, how many people can be comfortable living here? How can we find the right balance of natural growth (birth/death rate), immigration and emmigration?
We pause and think, then go on with our lives.
But we do pause and think.
The article for the headline is here
A really neat map of population change in the USA can be found here (at least for now).
I add it because I thought the graphics were excellent.
In Japan, we take off shoes when entering the house.
I know only a few countries have this custom,Korea,Turkey and Japan.
(If you know other countries, please comment on this article.)
The photo is the entrance of Japanese typical house.
We take off shoes here.
Moreover I'm now taking off socks and barefoot.
This is my normal life.
I'm not sure how you all think about this.
India is a democratic country with President currrently being Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam who was one of the great nuclear scientists that served the country. The Prime Minister is Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was earlier a Finance Minister in the previous cabinets. Both of them are very good at their primary competency and have been doing a great job as Prez and PM.
The Official languages of India include Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu - Such is the diversity of the country. It is the 7th largest country with the world. The population of India is more than 1.1 Billion at the last count.
There are 29 states and 6 Union Territories in India. The nation also produces the world's largest number of motion pictures every year. There are a diverse range of religions that prevail in India - Hindus, Muslims, Christians occupy more than 90% of the population. In fact, it is reported that there are more Muslims in India than Pakistan.
Hi to all. This is my brief introduction ... A few days ago I got the e-mail from Shinji asking me if I would be a part of this 192 countries project. I found it to be an interesting idea with many possibilities: places, people, festivals, food, drink, art, music, architecture, names of things and places, languages, history, religions, customs, flora and fauna, national holidays, politics, social issues, sports, famous people ... etc. I'm not sure where I'll begin in writing about Trinidad & Tobago (T & T ... a twin island republic in the Caribbean). As I said in my response to Shinji's e-mail, sometimes I'm not too enchanted with some of the things that go on here, but I'm sure that applies to each of us wherever we live. Everywhere has it's good and bad ... elations and frustrations.
My name is Elspeth and I'm a multimedia artist (photography, music, video, writing and installation/conceptual art). My website, which I update daily, goes into more of who I am and what I do.
I was born in Trinidad and have lived there all my life except for times when I've lived in England (as a child when my father was lecturing at a University there and the whole family was there ... and when I was older, as a student). My travels thus far have led me to England, Scotland, Wales, France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the States, Guyana, Suriname, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Bequia (some of the places on that list a few times, some just once). I'm sure life will lead me to other places in time.
Living wherever we each live, there are many simple things we take for granted (geographically, culturally and otherwise) because they are so familiar to us ... E.g. It's easy for me to talk about the sea as an everyday thing because I live on an island. But there are people who have never seen (and may never see) the ocean in real life. Likewise, there are people who have only seen snow in pictures and have no idea what it is like in texture, taste, temperature. (N.B. T & T being tropical has only two seasons: rainy season & dry season. No summer, winter, autumn, spring).
The other day I was talking to an old woman who told me that she'd never left Trinidad, had never been on a plane and was not particularly interested in leaving land by plane or boat. For various reasons - personal, financial or otherwise - there are many like her who have never left their homeland. Maybe, to them, sites like this one enable them to travel, if only in their imaginations.
Israel starts school like many other countries at the end of August/beginning of September. What's weird here is that the Jewish holidays always show up around September/October. So the school year starts in fits and starts. You can't go ten steps without some holiday poking you in the butt.
You have school a few days, then none, then one day, then you're off for a week, then you go back for a few days, and then you're off for another week and a half, and then you finally start school. And that's only if there are no teacher strikes (which there weren't this year, for a change).
So school really started this week, and will continue until Hanukkah vacation in late December.
Israel also has a very divided school system. There are secular state Jewish schools, secular private Jewish schools, religious state Jewish schools, religious private Jewish schools, Haredi state schools, Haredi private schools, Arab state schools, Arab private schools, mixed secular/religious Jewish private schools, mixed Jewish/Arab private schools, and probably a dozen other variations. And there are good and bad versions of each of these. And we have home-schoolers and kids who don't go to school at all. Not to mention all of the adult educational opportunities.
People of the book, we are. Even funnier, is that any or every one of these schools might teach the same subject, such as "bible" or "math", and each one will teach something completely different.
In the last three years of high school, kids take many tests in different subjects called "bagruyot" (single: bagrut), the exact nature of which I still haven't figured out even after one of my kids has finished hers and two others are in the middle of theirs.
I just go to work and do what they tell me.
I posted an article on my blog which may be of interest here. It's called Israel, By It's Colors. It has too many pictures to post here.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Right above the place where Lady Diana died - in Paris - tourists can admire this flame. As you can see, people from all over the world bring flowers, put some small words, poems, etc. dedicated to the late princess. And these people stay there, pray, and thank France for having built this memorial so quickly... but that they are just WRONG ! :-)
This flame is "The Flame of Liberty", and it's the exact copy of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty - about which I already wrote a post here. It has absolutely no connection whatsoever with the former princess of Wales. It was here years and years before Lady Di died (no pun intended). Everytime I pass by this place (almost once per day when in Paris), I have loads of fun watching these people making that mistake. I took that picture for our blog, so that, you, at least, when you'll visit Paris, won't make that mistake.
For other points of view :
The flame from the sky
Way in and way out of the subterranean where she died