Best of of 2010: a world tour in twenty-three posts

We’d like to say goodbye to 2010 wıth a world tour of favourite posts from each of our contributors. Here they are, in the order in which each one celebrates midnight. Happy New Year!

Marie (New Zealand): The New Zealand Dairy

Where would Kiwis be without the local dairy? Certainly situations such as running out of the milk needed for the perfect cup of tea or not having enough snacks to share while watching a film on TV could get quite hairy.

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Rebecca (Australia): How Irish am I?

Growing up in Australia I had very little understanding of my cultural background. With the knowledge that I had Irish ancestry, I told people I was Australian and one quarter Irish.

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Mike (Okinawa): An Eisa Festival photo essay

The photos below were taken on August 14, 2010 at an Eisa Matsuri (Festival) in Kin Village, my hometown. This time of year there’s a Festival going on somewhere every weekend and I attend as many as possible, sometimes two or three a day.

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Bryan (Philippines): How Now Carabao

In my country, dogs are met with the same affection but they also face stiff competition against our beloved carabao.

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Napatra (China): When real China doesn’t feel so Chinese

Once arrived in Menglian, I practically found myself somewhere closer to rural Thailand than China. As a Thai native, the Dai/Thai pop tunes that Menglian cab drivers rocked out to put an ear-to-ear smile on my face.

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Kitty (Thailand): Khao Chae: A cooling Thai summer treat

April is the start of the Thai summer. Actually it’s one big hot summer all year long here in Thailand, but this particular month is important. Not only that it is the hottest month of the year, it’s also the month that we celebrate our Thai new year, known as Songkran.

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Nargiza (Kyrgyzstan): Komuz – music of nomads

We left the car and felt a unique sense of traveling in time. I was not in the past, but in the future Kyrgyzstan. Mountains of surprising beauty and at the foot of the mountains – a yurt. But not made of wool and wood as it has always been made, but of brick and clay.

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Sanjay (India): Eating right – the Indian way

You would have made Indian friends by now. The trick is to lead the conversation to food, then to homemade food and then to the fact that his mother, wife or even the grandmother cooks like no one else you know.

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Elizabeth (Zambia): The Chitenge – a Zambian fashion essential

Go to a village in Zambia and it would be very unusual to find a woman not wearing a chitenge. It is a practical item too, it covers your clothes which can become dirty quite quickly in the dust and charcoal stoves of rural life…

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Carmen (Romania): How to overcome your shyness

Getutza lives in Campulung Moldovenesc, a small, calm town in a mountain region of Romania. She is a timid person who has discovered that blogging can help her overcome her shyness. Here is her story:

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Jenna (Poland): What does your name say about you?

I say “Makowski” in America, and people think I’m Polish. I say “Makowski” in Poland, and people think I’m American.

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Arwa (Netherlands/India): The Dutch Way

The Dutch landscape extends beyond the tulips, cheese, dykes, canals and windmills as anyone living in The Netherlands for some time would vouch for.

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Marta (Spain): A magical midsummer night

When I was a child, this night was one of the best moments of the year. It marked the end of the school, the beginning of a 3-month summer holiday riding bikes and swimming in rivers or beaches. Living in a big city like Barcelona, I never knew all my neighbours, but I remember the great sense of community I felt that night when all the neighbours would gather and light a big bonfire.

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Marcel (Germany/Ireland): Everyone’s Irish on March 17th

But please be aware that you’ll only see the colourful floats and marching bands in bigger cities like Dublin and Belfast – if you should attend a Paddy’s Day parade in a rural town it’s more likely that you’ll see the local fire brigade, the Garda (Irish police) and many tractors parading down main street.

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Sandra (Portugal): Portugal abroad – a historical tour of Europe

As you may already know, British people like to drink tea very much. The five o’clock tea was introduced to Great Britain by the Portuguese Princess, Catarina de Bragança, when she married the English king, Charles II, in 1662. She also introduced orange jelly and the use of tableware.

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Carla (Brazil): Powerful Brazilian women singers

Yes, of course Samba is huge, and I just love it. It is part of our tradition and it goes in most Brazilians’ veins. However, our musical scenario is such a rich encounter of rhythms, sounds and voices that it wouldn’t be fair to insist on just one type of music.

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Ana (Argentina): Tango: Passion and Nostalgia

My own rediscovery of tango came about when I left my beloved Buenos Aires to live in a foreign country. In a strange sort of way, living abroad made me reconnect with my culture. One of the things I did was, of course, listen to tango, especially electronic tango.

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Camden (Peru): What’s polite in Peru?

It was one of the first things I noticed about Peruvian conversation when I arrived – its distinct lack of the niceties and political correctness of English-language chat.

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Genevieve (Roatan, Honduras): A conversation with Joan

Our first meeting, Joan was sitting at the entrance to the library, fanning herself with a book. The air conditioner hadn’t been working for some time and the temperature was well over 90F (32C). In between taking breaks from the sweltering heat, she would go back to organizing books.

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Sean (Chicago and Midwest, USA): Fireworks and American culture

If you buy many kinds of fireworks in Ohio, you have to sign a contract that says that you agree to set them off in another state. Yes, you read that correctly. Where it probably won’t be legal to set them off either.

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Nuria (Costa Rica): Costa Rica is Pura Vida!

When you say, hear or see “Pura vida”, the facial expression of the person changes and a smile is drawn on his face. It is a very meaningful word for us “ticos” (Costa Ricans) because it reminds us of home and its beauty.

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Jason (California, USA): American Baseball: Why do they call it a world series?

This past weekend was also the American holiday of Halloween, a time when kids and adults wear costumes every October 31st. One of the more popular costumes was a Giant’s baseball uniform and a big fake black beard.

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Kelly (Canada): Vancouver says “Thank you Japan”

Sushi is often the last meal a Vancouverite will have before heading abroad and the first upon returning home. We call it the “sushi-fix”.

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Do you have a favourite that we didn’t include? Tell us in the comments!

All photos are credited in the original articles, unless it says otherwise.

About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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