From our contributors: week of December 20th

Here’s what some of our contributors have been up to in their blogs in the last couple of weeks. Happy reading!

Blogging trailblazer? (Flicker)


Sandra, our contributor from Portugal, describes the many festivities that take place in the Netherlands in November and December. She’s been very busy!

This year was the most cheerful Saint Martin’s Day that I have ever enjoyed! I didn’t stop all evening. Many children knocked at my door with their paper lanterns, singing Saint Martin’s songs. In the end of the evening, the three bowls filled with candies got almost empty! That means all the children have sung very well.


Anu, our contributor from India, opens her home and shares the 3-day celebration of Kathikai, a sort of Diwali in South India.

In our south-Indian dominated colony, Karthikai arrives with much fanfare, with special pujas in the temple, which I have never attended, thanks to having to celebrate the festival at home, and stay guard over the lamps, which have to be constantly replenished with oil! But more interesting are the beautiful red and white kolams decorating every house and the beautiful lamps which light up the usually dark passages


Ski, our contributor from Hong Kong, published a thought-provoking scene in the streets of Hong Kong.

Spotted during a tour with Renate. It was a scene that touched my heart and made me pensive for a few moments. When Renate stopped to take a few pictures of them as unobtrusively as possible, I waited at the side, appreciating the finer details of that beautiful moment.


DeeBee, our contributor from France, writes about the meaning and delights of decorating a Christmas tree.

The decorations must be removed on 12th day after Christmas, or January 5!
Pagan civilizations believed that the branches of holly, ivy, mistletoe and guy used to decorate their house during the Winter Solstice celebrations housed the Tree-Spirits. The sprigs were not only used as decoration but also protected the Tree-Spirits during the 12 days following the celebrations of the Winter Solstice, when the sun had disappeared and evil spirits roamed the earth.


Jenna, our contributor from Poland, reflects on her love for Polish trains.

When I first started teaching in Poland, my students often asked me what I thought about the country. I once answered that I really liked the train system. I thought it was great that there are train connections to nearly every city and town in Poland, and that I can live a car-free life. They stared in response. “You like the  Polish train system?” They couldn’t believe me. “Polish trains are terrible!”

Read more

Christmas in Wroclaw, Poland
How we celebrate New Year in Portugal
Neha, from Mumbai to Zagreb

December 20, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: week of November 21

Here’s this week’s roundup of articles written by some members of our contributors team on their personal blogs. Happy reading!

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, wrote a post about the historic houses of Lower Silesia.

“There’s something distinct about the 100+ year-old houses in the Lower Silesian region of southwest Poland. This certain distinctness isn’t immediate in the way these houses look, even though they do have similar characteristics – weathering gray stone facades whose rough edges warm and smooth with distance; even windows with thick, crocheted lace curtains; pointed roofs.” (more…)

November 22, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: week of November 7

We continue with our bi-weekly roundup of articles written by some members of our contributors team on their personal blogs.

Anu, our contributor from India, writes about a visit to the Corbett National Park, a wildlife sanctuary  in Uttarakhand -India- and her search for “the elusive tiger”.

“At present, the reserve extends over more than 1300 square kilometers, including about 500  sq Km of core area, and about 800 sq Km of buffer area. The dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, pipal, rohini and mango trees, and these trees cover almost 73 per cent of the park. 10 per cent of the area consists of grasslands. The sanctuary is home to around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. However, the main attraction here remains the elusive and endangered Bengal Tiger.”

DeeBee, our contributor from France, writes about All Saints Day celebrations in France.

“In France, the Toussaint – All Saints Day (November 1st) and the Jour des Morts – Day of the Dead (November 2nd) have become one celebration during which French people honour their dead and put chrysanthemums on their graves…  In the Language of Flowers the chrysanthemum is the symbol of Peace and Resurrection.”

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, describes the celebrations of All Saints Day in Poland.

“November 1st in Poland is a day for cemetery visits. The tradition is inextricably linked to All Saints’ Day, a significant holiday in the Christian (and particularly, the Catholic) Church. The holiday, followed by its companion All Souls’ Day, is designated as time to reflect on the lives of the Saints and to remember all who have died. Different ways of celebrating and honoring deceased ancestors manifest themselves in communities around the world. The colorful masks and skulls associated with the Day of the Dead in Mexico is one example that comes to mind.”


Read more

Travel Tales from Kerala, India
Bastille Day celebrations
Christmas in Wroclaw, Poland

November 8, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: August 16

This week we introduce some posts published by our contributors on their personal blogs. Happy reading!

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, writes about hand-made pottery in southwest Poland:

“The Manufaktura pottery factory in southwest Poland produces thousands upon thousands of pieces of pottery a month, each with a delicately-detailed paint job. I’d expected the factory interior to resemble something like an assembly line at a car factory: one machine molds, another spins, another washes, another smacks on paint.”

Mike, our contributor from Okinawa, posted a photo essay about a Sunday spent shooting photos in Okinawa:

“Around noon RyukyuRusty and RyukyuRu were here and we goofed off for awhile before heading out to try and pinpoint the exact location of this waterfall.  This shot was taken at 2:41PM from a bridge along an expressway where people drive like they own race cars.”

From Marta, our Spanish contributor: an announcement about the Festes de Gracia festival in Barcelona.

August 16, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: 2 August

Here’s the weekly roundup of articles posted by our contributors on their personal blogs:

Carmen, our contributor from Romania, brings us a Bucharest artisan

Mike, our contributor from Japan, attended the Shinugu Matsuri (Festival) in Okinawa:

This weekend an event that happens only once every two years takes place in Ada, a coastal village in the northeast area of Okinawa, Japan.  It’s called the Shinugu Matsuri (Festival) but, there won’t be any of the trappings you’d see at most festivals.

Anu, our contributor from India, writes about a curious monument she came across in Gulab Bhag:

Following a butterfly, we moved away from the well trodden path, and suddenly, right in front of us was a marble edifice. Curious, we moved closer, and both of us were stunned!

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, takes us on a visit to a glass studio in southern Poland and muses about art:

The youngest son’s wife was able to speak about the various sources of her husband’s inspiration: traveling, diving, books, animals, National Geographic specials. But when I asked her about the philosophy behind the art, she was quiet.


August 2, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: 26 July

Here’s another list of posts written by our contributors this week. Good reading!

Carmen, our contributor from Romania, brigs us a snapshot of Bucharest in summer.

“Every weekend of July & August, at Via Sport, Kiseleff Blv. in Bucharest is closed for cars and opened for people who like play sports: tennis, basketball, cycling, etc.”

From the archives of Jason‘s blog (our contributor from USA – West Coast): Quilting Bee in the Andes. [Bolivia]

“I later learned that the contest wasn’t about speed; it was about quality and village involvement. Each of the villages we support had a few months to weave a manta (Andean blanket)…”

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, writes about a chapel built in a salt mine in The Art of Salt.

This chapel is also over 100 meters underground, accessible via 54 flights of wooden planks stacked as steps that zigzag vertically down a narrow shaft, straight into the Earth’s throat. The room is also almost carved entirely, inside out, from a giant block of salt.

July 26, 2011 Comments disabled