Topics of the World

The platter of culture: the cultural variety of india

When it comes to the music and movies of India hardly any other country can ever throw a challenge, except maybe for the United States in the amount of diversity that is served on a platter here. When it comes to the context of movies and India’s so called soft power, many people may have a preconceived notion about Bollywood being the only film industry which involves a lot of larger than life elements. However in India there is a lot of cultural difference when it comes to the movies, music and even dancing forms.

Priyanka Chopra performing at 18th Annual Colors Screen Awards 2012

Photo: Wikipedia Commons


December 11, 2013 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Cycle path in Japan

cycle path Niigataken Japan

This is a cycle path in my old village in Niigataken, Japan that led to the mountains. You can see from the trees that it is springtime. Although this photo captures the edge of the suburbs, the path becomes more rural as you cycle on passing rice fields and then forest.

Moving in Gift in Japan
Ancestor Worship in Okinawa, Japan
Street Scene in Tokyo, Japan

December 9, 2013 Comments disabled

100th anniversary of the Buenos Aires underground

December 1st,  2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the Buenos Aires underground.

The Compañía de Tranvías Anglo-Argentina (the Anglo-Argentine Tramway Company) built the first underground line, the A Line, in just 26 months. The line started at Plaza de Mayo and went as far as Plaza Miserere. These are still two of the busiest stations! Then it was extended to Primera Junta, about 7 kilometers from Plaza de Mayo. President Roque Saenz Peña led the official opening ceremony in 1913.


Plaza Miserere station (A line)


December 6, 2013 Comments disabled

A Family Thanksgiving in Georgia, USA

“Gobble, Gobble.”

These are two words that my children first learned to associate with Thanksgiving Day. Celebrated on the last Thursday of November every year, this holiday is a time for us Americans to gather together with family and friends, and give thanks for our blessings over huge feasts of traditional foods that we save for just this special occasion. And that is where the “gobble, gobble” comes in. No other Thanksgiving dish is more symbolic of the holiday than roasted turkey. “Gobble” is the sound a turkey makes, and it is also what we do with our turkey and side dishes: gobble them down. Throughout the year, in my multicultural family, I cook meals fused with curry and masala. But being a southern girl, I leave out the curry once a year, and fix up some southern comfort, passed down to me from generations.


November 27, 2013 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: The Great Outdoors in Argentina

Today’s photo was taken by our Contributing Editor, Ana, who says,

This photo was taken at the beach resort town of Mar del Plata in Argentina.
The summer months of January and February are the most popular with
beachgoers, who clearly don’t mind large crowds.

Argentinian Customs: asado al asador
Argentinian Customs: Street coffee vendors
The Legend of the Irupé

November 25, 2013 Comments disabled

Argentinean customs: asado al asador

Beef has been central to Argentinean cuisine since time immemorial. We like our meat grilled slowly over embers, never over open flame, to let the flavour develop. Nowadays, most people use a traditional charcoal grill (parilla), in which they lay the meat, sausages and sometimes offal (chitterlings, sweetbreads, black pudding) flat on the metal grille over the charcoal embers (brasas.)

However, the traditional method used by the gauchos -and still used on special occasions- is the asado al asador or en cruz.

Asado (Argentiean barbeque) al asador in the making

Asado (Argentinean barbeque) al asador in the making (photo courtesy of my dad)

Whole racks of short ribs or lamb or pork are skewered in cross-shaped metal frames (from where the name a la cruz comes), which is then dug in an open pit. The meat is kept at a distance from the flames so that it doesn’t get charred (we don’t like char) but slowly cooked to delicious golden perfection.


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Argentinean customs: the penguin shaped pitcher

Submarino, anyone?

Argentinean customs: street coffee vendors

November 19, 2013 1 comment