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…Photo reddit.com
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. Photo huckmag.com
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.
This entertainment is strictly forbidden in almost all countries of the world. But lovers of cockfights do not stop. Partly illegal competitions always gather full halls or courtyards, depending on the fact where the deadly bird fights are. Spectators literally savor the way the birds tear each other to shreds, without showing pity for themselves and their rivals.
Stores, shopping malls, markets - all these places are an integral part of daily goings-on of almost every person on our planet. It would seem there is nothing special about them: they are all alike, just goods and prices vary depending on country or city. In fact, it is not quite true since some markets are only accessible via waterways. Our today’s story is about them.
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.
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.
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
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!
Have you ever thought how many grains of history are stored in each item sold at little booths in Thailand? Yet, strolling along those souvenir stalls you are browsing craft records of the whole nation, briefly looking through notes survived from a thousand years ago to the present day. Some pages have thinned to transparency, but marks did preserve their former accuracy.
Our journalist came back from Ecuador with unique experience and we share it with you. For the first time I was suspected of drug trafficking. Alone, in the country where there is no Ukrainian Embassy, I was standing and feverishly figuring out if someone could plant something on me on the way to the airport.
How can you understand the nature of finance, if there is no desire to go deep into the jungle of science? It is better to see once, than to read a hundred times: a trip to the island of Yap in Micronesia replaces the entire university course of monetary theory. Yap roads are lined up with giant doughnut-shaped, carved disks the size of a millstone - rampant inflation has made the world biggest money into fun for tourists.
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.
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?
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!