July 16, 2017

3112 FRANCE (Saint Barthélemy) / THAILAND - A Thai spot in Gustavia

Located right in the heart of Gustavia, the main town and capital of the island of Saint Barthélemy, the restaurant Black Ginger serves authentic Thai cuisine, concocted by a trio of Thai chef. Its unique interior courtyard opens on the starry sky, matched only by its contemporary design combining a palette of red and black colors, max domes spreading a soft light,and minimalist furniture, including Charles Eames chairs.

3111 MALAYSIA (Johor) - Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque in Johor Bahru

Erected between 1892 and 1900 in Johor Bahru, the capital of the state of Johor, Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque sits on top of a prominent hill, overlooking the Straits of Johor. The architect Tuan Haji Mohamed Arif bin Punak intentionally based much of its appearance on colonial English Victorian architecture as noted by the minarets that take the form of British 19th century clocktowers. The architecture additionally includes some Moorish architecture elements, along with some minor Malay influence.

3106, 3110 HUNGARY - The map and the flag of the country

3106 The map of Hungary

Posted on 05.07.2017, 16.07.2017
Located in Central Europe, in the Carpathian Basin, between Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Ukraine, Hungary covers an area of 93,030 square kilometres and has 10 million inhabitants. Its capital is Budapest, officially created in 1873 by the merger of the neighboring cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda. Originally a Celtic settlement, then the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia, it was from around 1300 to 1873 the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary for five periods of less than a century each, and after that, until 1918, became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

3110 The flag of Hungary, with its map and coat of arms
(from the series Flags of the World)

Following centuries of successive habitation by Celts, Romans, Slavs, Gepids and Avars, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád in the conquest of the Carpathian Basin. The year 972 marked the date when the ruling prince Géza officially started to integrate Hungary into the Christian Western Europe. His first-born son, Saint Stephen I, became the first King of Hungary, and turned Hungary in a Catholic Apostolic Kingdom.

July 9, 2017

3109 GERMANY (Saxony-Anhalt) - Magdeburg

3109 Magdeburg: 1. Magdeburg Cathedral 2. The town hall
3. Magdeburg Rose 5. The three churches on the banks of the Elbe river

Magdeburg is the capital city and the second largest city of Saxony-Anhalt, and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe. Founded by Charlemagne in 805 on the Elbe River, the town was fortified in 919 by King Henry I the Fowler against the Magyars and Slavs. In 929 the city went to Edward the Elder's daughter Edith, through her marriage to Henry's son Otto I (both of them will be buried here). In 1035 Magdeburg received a patent giving the city the right to hold trade exhibitions and conventions, which form the basis of the later family of city laws known as the Magdeburg rights.

July 8, 2017

3108 CZECH REPUBLIC (Zlin) - Hody in Moravian Slovakia

3108 Stárci with Rights in Kostelan village,
near Uherské Hradiště

Centre of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th century, the Moravian Slovakia (Slovácko) is in nowaday a cultural region in the southeastern part of the Czech Republic, on the border with Slovakia and Austria, known for its characteristic folklore, music, wine, costumes and traditions. Due to the cultural and linguistic links to Slovakia, many ethnographers consider Moravian Slovaks as a people which politically belong to Czech lands but ethnographically and culturally to the Slovak ethnic group. Its most important center is the town of Uherské Hradiště, founded in 1257 on the Morava River by the Czech king Otakar II.

July 6, 2017

3107 ROMANIA (Bacău) - George Bacovia Memorial House in Bacău

George Bacovia Memorial House is the starting point for any cultural itinerary in Bacău,  a city situated in the historical region of Moldavia, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, and on the Bistriţa River. George Bacovia (true name - Gheorghe Vasiliu; 17 September 1881 - 22 May 1957) is the most important Romanian symbolist poet, precursor of Romanian Modernism, and one of the most important interwar Romanian poets.

July 3, 2017

0913, 2039, 3105 CZECH REPUBLIC (Zlin) - The traditional clothes in Haná region

0913 Children from Haná in traditional clothes

Posted on 24.12.2013, 15.11.2015, 03.07.2017
In addition to its agricultural productivity, Haná (or Hanakia), an ethnic region in central Moravia, located mainly in the lowlands of the Morava River and the Bečva River, is known for its costumes, traditional customs, and Hanakian dialect, still spoken nowadays. The traditional clothes fully correspond to the character of the region, i.e. are dignified and attractive. The male attire can give the impression of being too opulent and boastful, but it's very beautiful, and has the most varied accessories.
2039 Little girl from Haná in traditional clothes

The Haná costume is distinguished according to individual localities, particularly through the color of the trousers - gate - and the tunic or the shape of the hat. For example, a Haná native in Kroměříž, Holešov and Prostějov would have red leather trousers (bane) tied under the knees with tassels. The calves from the knees to the ankles are clothed in linen leg wraps, or velický. These cover about a third of the boots, which are high, and shiny with a woollen rosette on top at the front. The Haná waistcoat is green, colorfully embroidered around the holes and adorned with bright (often silver) buttons.

3105 Peasants from Haná on wheat harvest
at the end of the 19th century (reconstitution)

There is a leather, nicely embroidered belt, about as wide as a palm, around the body. The most interesting are the belts made in the vicinity of Litovel, which were adorned with fine metal strips hammered into them and often combined with embroidery of very narrow straps of multicolored leather. Typical women’s folk dresses consist of petticoats, mudflaps, embroidered bodices, embroidered lace shirts, collar, main trimmed skirt, folk shoes, wreaths, scarves, and caps.

July 1, 2017

1318, 2232, 2647, 3104 TANZANIA / KENYA - Maasai people

3104 Tanzania - Young maasai milking a cow

Posted on 26.10.2014, 22.01.2016, 03.07.2016, 01.07.2017
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people, pastoralists, inhabiting southern Kenya (840,000) and northern Tanzania (800,000), i.e. the African Great Lakes region. They originated from the lower Nile valley and began migrating south around the 15th century. Their territory reached its largest size in the mid-19th century, and covered almost all of the Great Rift Valley and adjacent lands. Followed a period of epidemics and drought (1883-1902), then the British evicted them from the fertile lands between Meru and Kilimanjaro, and most of the fertile highlands near Ngorongoro, to make room for ranches.

2647 Tanzania - Maasai men

As with the Bantu, and the Nilotes in Eastern Africa, the Maasai have adopted many customs and practices from the neighboring Cushitic groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms. They are herdsmen, and had a fearsome reputation as warriors and cattle-rustlers. The raiders used spears and shields, but were most feared for throwing clubs (orinka) which could be accurately thrown from up to 100m. In modern time they have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle.

1318 Kenya - Maasai morans

The Maasai are monotheistic, worshipping a single deity called Enkai or Engai, who has a dual nature: Engai Narok (Black God) is benevolent, and Engai Nanyokie (Red God) is vengeful. The end of life is virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers. A corpse rejected by hyenas is seen as having something wrong with it. The Maasai lifestyle centres around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food. They eat the meat, drink the milk and on occasion, drink the blood. The measure of a man's wealth is in terms of cattle and children.

2232  Tanzania - Maasai dancers

Maasai society is strongly patriarchal, with elder men deciding most major matters. A full body of oral law covers many aspects of behavior. The men are born and raised to be warriors, and the central unit of the society is the age-set. Every 15 years or so, a new generation of Morans or Il-murran (warriors), formed boys between 12 and 25, will be initiated. One rite of passage to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision (emorata) ceremony. The healing process will take 3-4 months, during which urination is painful and nearly impossible at times, and boys must remain in black clothes for a period of 4-8 months.