The Japanese cultivate sakura, consume tons of rice, make rolls artfully, walk around in kimono and… call bad manners NOT to champ at table. While former facts are strongly associated with the Land of the Rising Sun inhabitants, the latter one isn’t common knowledge. However, aside from unusual protocol, the nation has a dozen distinctives proper to them alone.
Even such eager beavers as the Swiss of the Dutch are in no fit state to compete with sky-high level of pathological work addiction of the Japanese. They always come to the office in advance and prefer to stay two – three hours longer in the evening. Besides, out of three weeks of vacation they are entitled to, they only “serve” one tops. Even local lexicon was recently added with a new word – “karoshi” – that translates as “death of overstrain” – not infrequent for the country. Despite that, here they believe that it is better to die of work than of idleness and boredom.
The Japanese are one of the politest nations. Drivers, when halting at traffic lights, turn off headlights not to blind pedestrians. And in trams and trolleybuses fare takers, before selling tickets, greet everyone loudly and even bow. No wonder there are no obscene words with the most insulting expressions being “idiot” and “fool”.
The summit of indecency for the Japanese is unpacking a gift in the presence of a giver. They normally thank for it and put it aside till the end of the celebration to open later when alone. As to bouquets, their traditions contradict ours, too. Number of flowers is bound to be even.
Speaking of the abovementioned champing. Should you come to visit a Japanese and fail to champ once or twice at table when trying treats, the master will think that the food wasn’t tasty. He can even get offended because of his culinary abilities being unvalued by the guest.
The Japanese are rarely plump although they eat quite a lot and are reputed to be one hell of gastronomists. Traditional issue to discuss during family dinners isn’t how everybody’s day was but peculiarities of dishes cooked instead. When travelling abroad, in a Japanese version of a to-do list number one item will be “Try something delicious”. And when back home, they tell about it as if it was as nearly as the most interesting adventure of the whole trip.
This nation can also compete for the title of the least drinking one. A small tumbler is enough for almost any Japanese to get fairly drunk. They prefer either light plum wine or traditional saké with alcohol contents of no more than 15-17%.
The Japanese are trying not to consume too much chocolate for there is this popular spooky story that because of its excessive consumption one will start bleeding from one’s nose in torrents.
In local restaurants man is primarily ministered to. First his order is taken and drinks served and only then a woman is addressed. In shops it is also customary to greet a stronger sex representative first.
Profession of a school teacher is believed to be male one. Respectively, their pedagogical universities when compared to ours seem some sort of “parallel reality” because 80% of students there are guys.
The Japanese treat their traditions very carefully. People who wear kimono in their everyday life (and, trust us, there are such ones) get discounts in shops and are allowed to use public transport for free. By the way, these privileges apply to tourists in the same outfit as well…
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?
The first thing every tourist shall learn in a country is a transport system. Very often it seems to be complicated and confusing, and it takes weeks or even months to make head or tail of it. OUTLOOK reader Natalia Usenko visited Japan and is sharing her impressions about the most comfortable and safest transport in the world.
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
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.
Anime admirers would never pass by contemporary Japanese art. Especially if this trend is directly related to manga comics. Artist Takashi Murakami was the first to think about how to dub an art that catches inspiration in every new anime, but speaks of eternal values, interlacing with the ethnic canvases of Western artists.
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!
It is an open secret that this world is full of paradoxes. Outlook, in its turn, tries to figure them out therefore today we’ll tell about armed forces of the world’s most militarized state that, however, hasn’t been at war with anyone for over two centuries. Our feature is about the army of Switzerland.
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.
There’s hardly anything that compares to bright-starred sky and silence. It is the stars that OUTLOOK want to tell you about or more precisely about the places with the best view on them. In Europe it is recommended to go stargazing not to some place but to… Slovenia. Point is, this small country is one of the cleanest in the world and consequently isn’t that polluted with smog.
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
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.
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in Outlook.
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.
In Japan there is a city with the citizens who trust each other. It seems that they drink water from one source that flows along their houses. As well, they wash hands after the meals in the same places. Satoyama in translation means an ideal place for life in harmony with the nature. It is situated in Northern prefecture Gifu that is isolated from the rest of the world with the mountain tops and rice fields.
Outlook often tells about the kitchens of the peoples around the world, but when it comes to Italy, writing about the country should be a crime. Each of its twenty regions has its own culinary world with the subtleties and specialties. Let the title of gastronomic capital of Italy be Bologna, its official capital - Rome, too, has something to boast about. We are telling you what is remarkable about Roman cuisine and what dishes are worth trying in the Eternal City.