Books from around the world, recommended by our contributors

In a recent online chat between PocketCultures contributors from around the world, we talked about books which reflect our countries and cultures. Here are our recommendations.

Art installation at ArteBA 2012. Photo by Ana O'Reilly


May 22, 2013 1 comment

From our contributors: week of May 20, 2013

Have a look at what some of our contributors have published on their blogs:

The Lighter, Astana. Photo credit: Celia

Mike, our contributor from Japan, published  a post titled One of the 170 Species Called Jatropha Plants is on Okinawa (Photos)

“It’s always a pleasure to give readers some interesting facts about plants and flowers. So, I go to great lengths researching any new ones I capture with the camera. Here are a few photos of Jatropha hastata found in the 21 Century Forest Park.That’s in Nago City, Okinawa, Japan and the plants were photographed Mar 11, 2013.” (more…)
May 21, 2013 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: A chalkboard in Kazakhstan

Today’s photo that is related to language, reading and literacy was taken by our contributor in Kazakhstan, Celia. She says, it is a chalkboard “Filled with lessons in Kazakh grammar, this classroom chalkboard demonstrates the cursive Cyrillic script used for everyday Kazakh. Although the language was first written down in Arabic script, then transliterated into Cyrillic under the Soviets, Kazakhstan has recently proposed a shift to the Latin alphabet, which may provide wider integration with modern technology and the English-dominant internet. Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2012.”

The Oldest Library in Paris
A Free Library in Auckland, New Zealand
LX Factory in Lisbon, Portugal

May 20, 2013 Comments disabled

From our contributors: week of April 7, 2013

Some of our contributors have been busy at work publishing great content on their personal blogs. Here’s a roundup of those articles.

Ski, our contributor from Hong Kong, wrote about  fresh food at Hong Kong markets

Food can’t get fresher than this in Hong Kong. The buyer inspects a chicken and then picks one which is healthy, energetic and has bright feathers. The butcher wastes no time in weighing the chicken to determine a price.  The rest, most people will say, it should be history and the focus should be a happy meal on the table. (I wouldn’t want to go into more details, but let’s just say most butchers try to make it quick and painless for the chicken by heading directly for its jugular vein.) (more…)

April 9, 2013 Comments disabled

Kazakh Dancing, Kara Jorga Style!

Қара Жорға (Qara Jorga) is a popular dance song in Kazakhstan. My first connection with it is when my infant host brother was trained to perform it for houseguests. Snapping his little fingers and moving around, he’d dance around on his little toes and everyone would clap and give him candy. At the time (three years ago) I understood that the repeating “bolmasa” means “if there’s not,” but didn’t get the poetic language at all. Here’s a modern version of the song:


March 27, 2013 5 comments

What is the biggest Kazakh sport?

When people ask about Kazakh sports, the first thing that comes to mind is kokpar. Often described as Central Asian polo, kokpar is a competitive sport on horseback for nomads (Kyrgyz kokboru and Tajik buzkashi are similar: see a great buzkashi film trailer here!).

I haven’t yet seen the game in person, but the piece below is a great representation by a local TV channel:


March 8, 2013 1 comment