Something I find fascinating is when people use their own language but try to write it as if it is another one. Here is an example of some English on a packet of herbs from a New Zealand supermarket that is written to look like Thai.
Our new topic on Picture Postcards is “Skies of the World” so look forward to seeing lots of photos from around the world of the thing we all have in common. This shot was taken from in front of my house here in Auckland, New Zealand.
PocketCultures brings you some reading material written by our own contributors on their personal blogs. Happy reading!
Mike, our contributor from Japan, published a photo taken at the house of a priestess in Itoman Okinawa
Ski, our contributor from Hong Kong, wrote a post about the medicinal uses of snakes in Chinese medicine.
One of the earliest recorded use of snakes in Chinese medicine was the application of sloughed snake skin, described in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (ca. 100 A.D.)? It was applied in the treatment of superficial diseases, including skin eruptions and eye infections or opacities.
Marie, our contributing editor from New Zealand, wrote about her feelings towards Asia in Coming of Age in Asia
When I first got to Asia I felt like I’d come home. For someone who doesn’t have a home town, that means a lot. I remember falling asleep in my tiny Hong Kong guesthouse with the TV on. I couldn’t turn it off because it was the familiarity of the Cantonese speaking that was lulling me to sleep. Asia was letting me know that I’d arrived where I was meant to. That I had some connection or reason for landing on this continent. Had I been here in another life? Why was it so familiar?
Anu, our contributor from India, describes her visit to a forest shrine in Wayanad.
A stone idol of Ganesha, with a small stone container (probably a lamp), with a feather lying by the side – doesn’t it look like the feather might be a quill, and the container might hold ink, ready for the Lord to pick it up and write? As the one who penned down the Mahabharata as Vyasa dictated it, the sight was appropriate, don’t you think?
Celia, our contributor from Kazakhstan, writes about natural disasters and earthquakes in that Central Asian country.
If you’re reading this and haven’t been to Kazakhstan, I’m not sure what image you have of the people here. But I find my colleagues and friends very thoughtful, and several people have asked me recently how things are in Oklahoma, as well as how the krizis (worldwide economic lag of the past few years) is affecting people at home.
During May we tried something new, with a theme of books, reading and writing throughout the site. In case you missed anything, here’s a roundup of PocketCultures book month. Thanks to Celia, PocketCultures contributor in Kazakhstan, for suggesting the topic.
On Picture Postcards we peeked at a free library housed in a container from New Zealand, the oldest public library in Paris, a chalkboard in Kazakhstan and a children’s culture section in a public library, again in New Zealand.
For a special collaborative post on books from around the world our contributors recommended books which represent each of their countries in some way.
On People of the World we interviewed a couple of people who are writing books: Alexey from Russia, who wrote his novella on his frequent train trips between Moscow and St Petersburg whilst working for a telecoms company, and Marcel, who is writing a book about the extraordinary life of his grandmother.
On Topics of the World, our Italian contributors Simona and Caterina both had something to say. In Italy is younger than you think, Simona explains a bit of Italy’s recent history, including origin of the Italian language as we know it, while Caterina shares her love of books, in particular one well known book about Italy, Forster’s A Room with a View.
And finally, some good news for book lovers: Ana wrote about the stunning Libreria El Ateneo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is housed in an old theatre, and full of people buying books.
I snapped this photo in a local library here in Auckland, New Zealand because it reminds me of when I was a child and would check out all the books in this section, one by one (and then a second time).
More about literacy, books and writing:
Book recommendations from around the world
Author Tash Aw on Moving to China and the South Asian Novel
LX Factory in Lisbon