Tag Archives: Cultures

Books On Italy: ‘Tuscany Marvel’ (May 2021)

The Italian region of Tuscany is a feast for all senses. A creative incubator that has cultivated art and architecture for eras including Etruscan, Roman, Renaissance and modern times. Timeworn churches, once stops on nineteenth-century Grand Tours, stand tall in the towns’ piazzas. Rolling hills of wheat and colorful olive groves, that inspire authentic Tuscan cuisine, are dotted with villas built by the prestigious Medici family. 

 The Tyrrhenian Sea extends off its coast, lapping the shore of Elba, the island where the emperor Napoleon was exiled. Quaint villages, historic towns and bustling cities are scattered across its landscape, which is almost as varied as the communities themselves. From annual horse races at Piazza del Campo, and the centuries-old winemaking traditions of the Chianti region to the city of Pisa, an ancient Maritime Republic known for the youthful spirit of its Scuola Normale Superiore and Leaning Tower alike, Tuscany is the place of dreams, where thousands come to relive its history and take in the beauty of a region.

In the fashion world, Ferragamo, Gucci and Pucci all have ties to Florence and its endless inspiration. However, what truly defines Tuscany is its timelessness. Masterpieces from centuries past still lure immense crowds. Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence never fails to strike onlookers with awe.

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Culture: ‘Guinea-Bissau – A Matriarchy Rules’ (Video)

A matriarchy rules on one of the Bijagos Islands off the coast of Guinea-Bissau. The tribe of the same name lives on Orango, one of the most populated islands in the archipelago. Women dominate public and private life there. This documentary focuses on the women of the Bijagos tribe of Guinea-Bissau. Unlike many women in traditional and modern societies elsewhere, they pick their husbands, propose marriage and own their homes.

In addition to being responsible for raising children, they also act as high-priestesses in animist ceremonies, organize work, guard the keys to the rice stores, lead their families and ensure there are descendants to continue the line. The Bijagos revere women, who are believed to be in charge of the balance between the worlds of the living and the dead. A matriarchy of this kind is unusual, not only for Africa but around the world. Even though this culture has persisted for centuries, aspects of Western lifestyles are starting to gain a foothold. Rising rates of school attendance could contribute to the demise of the community’s traditions. Future generations will determine whether the Bijagos can retain their culture.

Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on West Africa’s Atlantic coast that’s known for national parks and wildlife. The forested, sparsely populated Bijagós archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve. Its main island, Bubaque, forms part of the Orango Islands National Park, a habitat for saltwater hippos. On the mainland, the capital, Bissau, is a port with Portuguese colonial buildings in its old city center. 

Travel: ‘Diverse & Exotic Cultures Of Turkey’ (4K)

The culture of Turkey  combines a heavily diverse and  heterogeneous  set of elements that have been derived from the various cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean (West Asian) and Central Asian region and Eastern European, and Caucasian traditions. Many of these traditions were initially brought together by the Ottoman Empire, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state.

During the early years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts such as paintings, sculpture and architecture. This was done as both a process of modernization and of creating a cultural identity.

Food & Travel: ‘Barbecue Around The World’ (Video)

Barbecue is so much more than just throwing meat on a grill. It is a time for family and friends to come together in celebration. From Turkey’s shish kebabs, which originated from hunted animals skewered on swords, to earth ovens in the South Pacific, which involve cooking food underground, we’ll take a look at how cultures barbecue around the world.

Customs: A Two-Minute History Of ‘Beards’ (Video)

You know how scratchy and gross beards can be? Who would want one, anyway? Take a 2-minute ride in our time machine and jump way, way back, 3000 years ago. We’ll check out what’s up with beards and why men (and women!) might have wanted one.

Arts & Culture: David Hockney’s “Lockdown Sunrise” And Other Masterpiece Dawns (Video)

David Hockney created a glorious depiction of a sunrise on his iPad in April and emailed it from his lockdown in Normandy to the Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones. He has made pictures from nature every day through this bitter spring as his artistic stand against despair – and what is more hopeful than the sun coming up? Jones describes how the picture reminded him of all the sunrises shut away inside the National Gallery, in London. From Bellini to Monet, Titian to Turner, a private view of some of the greatest masters’ sunrises