The state of contrasts where beaches look like gardens of heaven while cities and villages resemble dumps; where over 80% of population are faithful Catholics who practice bloody cult of vodou at the same time; where absolute poverty on one hand and unthinkable luxury on the other feather in.
“This country is so good that there isn’t enough words to describe it”, – an omnipresent and omni-discovering Christopher Columbus who discovered the isle of Haiti in 1492 used to elucidate in a letter to Spanish king. He must have meant coastline beauties since should a navigator have gotten to the countryside of the state, especially nowadays, his views would have hardly remained the same.
Walking around settlements with absent infrastructure, unpaved roads by the houses that lack window frames and are surrounded by dumps many meters high, you get surprised how people can live here at all. But barefooted tots running around and adults busy with household cares illustrate that it is possible. Impression of travelers changes entirely once they head to the shore. High coconut palms, warm white sand and azure water make bring one to understanding of what Columbus was writing about and feel yourself a holiday-maker on the world’s best resort…
It is surprising how that state with natural resources this rich can be one of the poorest in Western hemisphere. Nevertheless, there is no encountering beggars and tripled prices for “the whites”, which is customary for markets of countries alike. This is how locals were influenced by recent rough political regime. Dictatorship left a strong impression in consciousness of citizens concerning the fact that all the resources have to be honestly earned. So one shouldn’t be surprised on seeing seven-year-old boys transferring goods or cleaning counters. This is no exploitation of children – it is a very special mentality of Haitians. Agriculture is considered to be the main source of the country’s income. Poor people work the land growing rice, coffee and corn. They sell harvest on local markets. Families that do not have land plots of their own hire themselves out to more prosperous farmers.
A completely different atmosphere is in the capital’s suburb, small town of Petionville apparelled with luxurious villas of the island’s nobles. This spot is no different from any other resort of the Caribbean. Shopping malls, brand boutiques, galleries and restaurants – all of these are settled here, in a small civilized nook in Haiti. Numerous hotel complexes and cottages that belong to local crème de la crème and bring them substantial financial resources are situated here. Official currency of the state is considered Haitian Gourde but US dollars are in free circulation as well.
Yet, there is something in the country that unites the both tiers of Haitians – it is religion, or more precisely as much as two of them. Almost entire population practices Catholicism. But many buildings nearby cathedral churches are a riot of vodouist flags colors. It is the main sign that masters of the cult carry out their bloody rituals there.
Sure enough, tourists are not invited to ceremonies in daily life, yet it is very much possible to get to a special Vodou holiday that is celebrated annually almost at the same time with Halloween. However, if you are extremely sensitive beware because spine-chilling sacrificial offerings of animals are still conducted here. The most popular since ancient times till today have been such rituals as fresh blood of a freshly slaughtered cow drinking and biting off of a living cock’s head. Guests of the country are heartily welcome to take part in celebrations. But don’t forget to bring some sal-ammoniac with you in case you happen to be such a guest.
Composers of antiutopias predict hundreds of sorrows to the people of the future who are from times to times forbidden to celebrate weddings, however, it seems, everything is not so terrible. In Chinese province Yun Nan near the foot of Himalayas the matriarch tribe mosuo resides that is not familiar with the concept of marriage at all.
History of Estonia isn’t preserved in scrolls of parchment but in leaden chronicles of the North Sea. Winding coastline three thousand kilometers long has seen millions of sails starting with striped cloths of drakkars to nap-of-the-earth flight of clippers over the waves in the era of steam and electricity.
The free fight has not feminine face. The good girl could smile in a pretty way and care colorful dress but not strike out wildly. But in the fierce Ands such gentle flowers do not grow. The true Bolivian cholit will be quick on the uptake, and it is able to fill in if necessary. But on Sunday, having gathered the starched skirts, she will desperately go to fight
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
If early morning you walk along sandy beaches of Oostduinkerke, located in one of Belgium western provinces, you can see several suns. One, of course, is in the sky, and others are bright yellow spots riding horses carrying heavy wicker baskets, while plying the shallows along the North Sea coast for shrimps. Oostduinkerke and shrimps are hand and glove, so horseback shrimping is still practiced here.
There are so many things that Italy mixes in its cauldron: gondolas that travel along olive-green rivers, scorching sun that, like a juice, flows into the bottle of Pisa Tower, entwined spagetti of streets and crusts of squares covered in a mixture of Italian herbs and dialects. Also, it has ducks in its teasury. Oh yes, it is these creatures that allow you feel a flavor of genine national distinctive. And this ducktale is over thirty years old.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning,...
Upon hearing word combination “Hindu woman” an image of a beautiful woman wearing sari and definitely with numerous adornments and pictures on her body emerges in our imagination. Where does passion for body decoration come from in national traditions of this people?
Do you happen to get hungry? That is great as we go on with our story about the most popular street food from around the world. It’s freshly cooked - fall to, you guys! Let's start with the South Asian countries, namely Singapore - seafood-rich in vitamins and minerals occupy a key place in the diet of residents ...
We continue publishing author’s column of Sabina Safarova on traditions of Azerbaijan.We have already learned about the matchmaking and the engagement, and now OUTLOOK proposes to plunge into the traditions of rituals and xinayaxdi – henna nights ceremonies which precedes the wedding itself.
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery that has long been considered the art of the nobility. We will tell you about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
All over the world, winter brings bright celebrations to people's homes, the traditions of how to celebrate them are born. The customs of one state differes from the other but people from different corners of the planet are equally waiting for miracles, pleasant surprises and a good fairy tale. On the eve of the New Year holidays, we decided to ask the diplomats about the peculiarities of New Year and Christmas celebrations in their countries.
Few of us, while our favourite tea is steeping, are scrutinizing about the way this drink went through to get into our mug. Of course, stereotypically, we know that most likely it came from India or China, but in fact origin can vary. In the world there are about 30 countries which are very seriously engaged in tea business, and within this community a very clear hierarchy emerges, headed by the so-called Big Tea Seven.
When Hawaii folk costume is mentioned, imagination immediately pictures a hula skirt with lei flower necklace and coconuts; the same immediate association is gorgeous sari embracing India; while Japan is tightly folded into silk kimono.
A Ukrainian woman with Azerbaijani blood Sabina Safarova respects her family roots and, being a member of the Union of Azerbaijani Youth in Ukraine, popularizes the culture of her country. Today, the story of a girl about one of the most interesting traditions of Azerbaijan - matchmaking, we are launching her author's blog, which will be filled with cognitive facts and subtleties of manners.
"A poor peasant lived in a remote Gagauzian village, and wealth of his was his three sons ..." so begins one of the folk tales composed by the Gagauz people. This Turkic people really lived a not wealthy life, roamed the villages, feed sheep... When a family gathered together to have some rest, old and young composed legends in their own way explaining the phenomena of nature noted by a curious and observant eye: why crows are afraid of people, why geese gabble, why an ant has thin waist, and what happens when you put fox and wolf in one harness.