Carpets hang on walls as a symbol of wealth, lay on floors to create coziness and are presented as expensive gifts. Studying fancy pictures in the shapes of diamonds and stars on them attempting to figure out their meaning is a fairly amusing thing to do. Globally spread carpeting traditions were borrowed from eastern peoples who were the first to learn how to make yarn and fabric out of fibrous materials. Specimens preserved in museums and private collections as well as researches of historians and archeologists testify to the existence of this craft in ages thousands years ago.
Steppe nomads of Central Asia started producing and using carpets as an essential part of interior design and additionally as a means of warming habitation. Thank to strong wind-proof fabric these attributes helped preserving heat inside nomad tents at the same time ensuring aesthetic view from the outside. Weaver-craftswomen used to create entire pictures on napped front surfaces depicting household and traditions of those times: caravans of camels carrying utensils, wedding ceremonies and images of tribes resting by the fire. By the way, such masterpieces were weaved intuitively, without neither drafts nor sketches. Therefore it was impossible to come across two identical “carpet units”.
The oldest napped long-liver was discovered during diggings in one of grave-mounds in high-altitude Altai. Approximate date of its production, specified by the scientists, is 5th century B.C. But despite conditions of preservation (2500 years in ice) the item turned out to be almost undamaged. Now the only carpet, that you won’t be mocked at after having a photo against, is displayed in Hermitage.
Women who had learned the trade of carpet weaving were acquiring the status of the most respected people of their tribes. Taking for a wife a weaver was nearly more prestigious then a chieftain’s daughter. Leaders of communities themselves treated handywomen with as much respect as ordinary people did. Special nomad tents were built for them, far more spacious and cozy, so that they could have comfortable rest in their time off. Alongside personal dwelling, needlewomen were allocated their own camels in the amount far larger then anybody else had. They performed a role of production equipment “transporters”. There was another special tradition to dress pack animals carrying property. Special pentangular twin carpets used to be made for the purpose, moreover every owner was obliged to have a gala outfit for the pet for festive occasions, but there was no way to buy it in those times just as any other napped items: they weren’t subject to purchase and sale back in the time. People had to queue to craftswomen in order to get a desired unit or exchange it for something from fellow tribesman.
With transition to sedentary life everything changed yet importance of carpets in household of eastern people still remained significant while one of the most honorable crafts became also very profitable. New ornamental traditions began their formation in those times, knowing the interpretation a carpet could have been read like a book. Vegetation patterns resembling trees or flower bouquets were considered a symbol of nature and eternal life worshiping. Items with images of the kind often served as dowry for brides and were given as presents for weddings and birth of children.
Geometrical motives consisting from various lines, dots, dashes, rectangles and other figures bore magical meaning. Depending on symbols and their combinations, such carpets performed functions of dwelling talismans. Special units were even picked for every room with one or the other element prevailing. For instance, items with numerous triangles were customary hung or laid in a living room: it was believed that they scared away people with evil intents. Another traditional eastern pattern is a star symbolizing luck and wisdom. Such carpets were often given as gifts to representatives of other regions.
In a number of Middle East countries carpet weaving still represent the most important field of population’s occupation. And although production became automatized to a certain extent, people keep memory of the craft’s origins and old hand-made traditions.Azerbijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Turkey supply the world with the best handmade napped items. In some states national holidays dedicated to the art of carpeting exist; record-setting large units are made, able to cover not just a room but as much as a square… Insight into a history of this craft isn’t over yet. OUTLOOK will tell about its significance for cultures of different countries in coming features.
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,...
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed.
Stealing the bride's shoe in the midst of the celebration, and to require unimaginable redemption from the groom, is an interesting action for which it is worth to go to the wedding party. This is not the only wedding tradition of country, by which the legal wedlock of two hearts acquires a special flavour. What are interesting rituals of different parts of our planet?
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes.
Trip to Latvia breaks the chain of mundanity, awakes secret fantasies which usually remain dormant in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Wandering between the centuries-old pine trees, fresh Baltic breeze languidly runs over strings in wait for off-beat adventure. Dreams do come true – you just need to know a right place to make a wish.
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!
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...
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.
When Bahriddin’s mother was getting ready for work, she was assiduously arranging her hair around her tubeteika. It resulted in some sort of a crown. On holidays she plaited special adornments into her black hair with a tinge of blue. When she walked, they were tinkling slightly to create an aura of a dance. And in evenings little Bahriddin couldn’t fall asleep without holding her tight braid in his hands.
Everyone knows that being in Scotland you should try whiskey, in France you should taste wine, and in Japan t is all about sake. But few people think about national soft drinks. They were created by peoples with far more practical intentions - refreshing and burning, repelling from the climate features, possessing nourishing properties.
In this day and age, it is difficult to surprise anyone, especially an urban resident, with some large department store or market, since nowadays one can buy everything from a humble convenience store next door. However, the iconic bazaars and flea markets are still operating across the globe, they are famous in legends and described with delight.
Our "Peruvian cycle" is replenished with the story of the most revered animals in Peru. Being the link between the present and the past, they play an important role in the life of this nation. Wise ancestors of the modern Peruvians, the ancient Incas, were living in harmony with all life that surrounded them.
OUTLOOK studied the brightest Pakistani holidays, because the saying goes for a reason: people live same way they hang out. An amazing game of history. Pakistan appeared on political map relatively short time ago yet one doesn’t have the heart to call it ‘young’ for it is inhabited with heirs of one of the most ancient civilization.
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
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.
The New Year in Ukraine did not always start with a Christmas tree, and instead of Santa Claus and Snow Maiden, guests were waiting fora minx girl - Malanka and motor-boy Vasyl accompanied by the retinue. All the follies were out of hand: the ridiculed riddles carried a sacred content, dictated by the logic of the myth of the duel of spring and winter.