It is customary to measure legs of life in pairs of worn out shoes. You tread on to discover new and glance at ancient things. And when leather shoes begin to gaze your feet, you can't help but recall huge wooden clogs that you happened to find behind your great grandmother's oven in Poltava. It is as if Ms. Holland herself salutes you, because... Is there really a person who hasn't heard about Dutch klompen?
Now everyone knows the Netherlands as the country of tulips - and variety of those makes you reach for a photo camera in your backpack. But after having admired flowers as much as to take your breath away and when you plunge into a cool bed in a nook of the Netherlands, don't rush to fall asleep. Through an open window you may hear wierd klomp-klomp, klomp-klomp sounds in the silence of the night. This is history of Duthch peoole itself clattering on stone block pavement with wooden klompen.
No wonder in that because such shoes appeared 500 years ago. Ordinary countrymen and fishermen worked hard to earn their leaving so oftentimes they couldn't afford expenses on real shoes, while humid and cold climate forced them to look for a way out. This was how wooden footwear emerged to protected from moisture in summer and from cold in winter thank to thick soles. Frequently to preserve warmth people put straws or paper inside. Typically such shoes were gouged from poplar but willow, beech and aspen are also good for it.Photo cs323723.userapi.com
"As easy as a pair of klompen" – this is how Duth national saying goes instead of "as easy as shelling peas" familiar to English-speaking public. Really, what's so hard about it? A piece of wood, a gouge and a hammer, a drop of patience, a bit of power of a man and craft - and there you go, your shoes are ready. Then again, it was like that in ancient times and nowadays when klompen serve more as an attraction for tourists, they are made on workbenches over 10 minutes using moulds for left and right feet. They are later painted and decorated with various patterns to remind owners about wonderful and hospitable Netherlands somewhere there, in distant countries.
But in own homeland such unusual footwear can still be seen on some farners and fishermen. Being loyal to traditions, the Duth walk down the isle wearing klompen, too. Bright, with hand-made carvings, after weddings they fit into interior designs perfectly and find their place somewhere on the hall wall or nearby a fireplace. Locals joke that judging by amount of wooden shoes in a house one can easily learn about the owners’ private life.Photo monique-ickenroth.nl
You will probably be surprised to hear that klompen were even certified by European Union as one of the safest kinds of footwear made of natural materials. Also, in wooden clogs you can walk on broken glass or modern chemicals without being afraid to hurt you feet or damage your shoes. The Dutch say that such footwear is good for health because it doesn’t squeeze toes and is beneficial for leg muscles. There is also an idea that the fact that local dwellers are predominantly tall is the courtesy of their predecessors wearing wooden clogs.
You have an opportunity to look at various kinds of klompen at Zaanse Schans Museum. Craftsmen will show you shoes making process, those who feel like will have a chance to take a picture sitting in a huge four-meter long clog or even paint a pair to own taste to shows friends and relatives later.
Who could have thought back then, several centuries ago, that not only will everyday footwear of ordinary people stay in use in twentieth century but will even become a pride of the nation. In world’s most famous galleries canvases depicting people in simple shoes of countrymen are exhibited. Have a closer look at Bernard Blommers’s Family Meal or Children with Cerries as well as Frederik Carel ten Kate’s Dutch Fishermen.Photo ic.pics.livejournal.com
Such great footwear could be seen in other countries, too. Dwellers of Western Ukraine and Poltava region used to make ones from wood and wear to animals. Using clogs called sabot French workmen even used to assert their rights: they threw them into mechanisms of machines to attract attention to own problems – this is where the word ‘sabotage’ comes from. But no matter how shoes of the kind are called: Träskor, zoccolo, clog or sabot, when listening to clatters on stone block pavement, you clearly hear klomp-klomp, klomp-klomp, klomp-klomp...
Lovers of olives and olive oil mark small town of Baena on the map of Spain with the red pen. Annually from November 9 till November 11 it becomes the place where gastronomists from all over the world gather. Various events, background information and plenty of diverse delicacies are awaiting those who dare crack the stone of wonder-fruit.
Hebron is well known for being the city of 3 [three] religions and 3 [three] civilizations, a real place of power. Perhaps that is why by twist of fate there emerged glass which looks fragile, but is centuries old, the same as Hebron.
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips. The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only...
Famous Kazakh proverb says: “Art of a craftsman can only be told in gold and silver”. Nevertheless, no matter how skillful hands of a creator are, in order to make a truly worthy thing it takes hard work, obstinacy, and, sure enough, courage to make a claim about yourself and about your talent.
Every other person has considered having a tattoo, maybe not permanent but at least a temporary one. Absolutely painless application of drawings that can be altered in a couple of weeks is offered by Mehndi art – henna painting.
In this cheerful and mischievous dance, the all Europe and America are spinning, modestly adding to their word "polka" their geographical location. For example, there are Finnish, Andijon or even Mexican kinds of dance. It is with this choreography that the children begin, they consider it to be the "upper class", which only the hardy dancers with a strong vestibular apparatus can do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
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.
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau - nomadic seafarers who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
You should not condescendingly treat gastrotours as a newfangled invention. Gastronomic tourism is one of the aspects of world science. Her star, American scientist Eric Wolf, who in 2001 founded the International Association of Gastronomic Tourism, states: food is the quintessence of the nation, its mentality, character and, of course, history ...
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...
Nihongami is a certain way to arrange hair in Japanese tradition. Interestingly, in the Land of the Rising Sun hairdos were legally controlled and served as some sort of dress code for ladies of different social statuses and classes. Therefore, each class had strictly determined corresponding outfit and hairstyle and those laws are still obeyed by geishas and their apprentices.
Euphoria comes with freedom, masterpieces are in museums, and fantastic architecture is done by human and nature… Netherland capital Amsterdam is famous and unknown simultaneous. It might sound strange but Netherlands are not visible in this cosmopolitan and tolerant European city. So, we will try to search for it in the suburbs of the capital, particularly, in the village Volendam.
If you spent half a day enjoying chips with mayonnaise, herring, eel and cheese; your imagination managed to find solutions for all the riddles of the universe while waiting for hours in endless queue to the Rijksmuseum; and within a couple of hours you were almost knocked down on the road thrice, it means, no doubt, you were spending that day in Amsterdam.
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.