Christmas arrives with a warm overjacket on its shoulders. At night it brings warm light of the first evening star and in the morning it wakes you up with shine of white but warm sun. If my great-grandmonther’s grandmother had been asked about her Christmas feelings, I believe, her words would have been identical to mine. Because together with a bowl of kutia, generations of Ukrainians transfer their traditions from hand to hand.
Traditional Ukrainian Christmas wiped windows of calendars with its mittens to mark all 13 days of its stay - from Christmas Eve on January 6 to Theophany of Jesus Christ on the 19th.
Back in the days they used to prepare for holidays in advance. They cleaned houses and surrounding territories, and by whitening houses they gave their dwellings new clothing to fit show-white piles and welcomed holidays wearing new looks. They never forgot outfits for the family, too, stored up fabric in advance, embroidered ornamentation with cross stitches at taught kids and youngsters various kolyadkas and shchedrivkas in the meantime.
Christmas Eve that comes right before Christmas, on January 6, is a good time to have some culinary art practice because there should be as much as 12 dishes on the table, all Lenten only. The finest bowl this night is taken by kutia – mush made of cereal grain, it is it that the treat starts with. When somebody lightens first shimmering star with a Christmas match up there in the skies, only than it is allowed to have the first spoon of food in a day.
Together with the family that attempts to gather in full muster on this day of all others, spirit of forefathers, didukh*, joins festive dinner. It is brought into khata as the star begins to shine however it is assembled long before Christmas holidays from last harvest’s cereal ears. When adorning it for the dinner, they put bead strings made of guilder rose berries on it, tie a tie made of colorful ribbons or decorate it with dried flowers. Didukh takes the most dignified spot – by holy images. The way it looks is a statement of respect towards ancestors and representation of immortality of the family, welfare and rich harvests.
Christmas paints bright pictures: piles of white crunching snow, footpath winding among them from house to house, carved window shutters half-covered with white blanket after a snowstorm and bright spots of girls’ holiday kerchiefs in the endless sea of white: red as heat, green as grass, blue as cornflowers in the field. Chatter and clutter of girls catches up with deep voices of young men to join in Christmas kolyadkas and greetings for hosts. “We say good night to you, the master of the house…” (“Dobryy vechir tobi, pane hospodaryu..” in Ukrainian). Different regions of Ukraine had own days for caroling. Some expected guests after Christmas Eve, others on the very Christmas day and some – even after that. And each had own timing and direction: small children more often than not only visited neighbors to get sweets, nuts and other delights from hosts after singing. Adult boys and girls tried covering larger routes; they visited almost every khata in a village.
Bethlehem start was a must-have attribute for all carolers; it was usually made of stuff at hand: mainly paper of yellow, orange or golden color and decorated with spangles, ribbons and lanterns. Christmas image could be placed in its centre.
And sure enough there was no way a holiday could have gone without nativity scenes! Nowadays there is hardly a toy house that surprises. However back in the days people looked into small boxes that contained miniature decorations and characters that depicted Biblical story. Frequently those weren’t mere figures but a whole puppet theatre that developed into a live story thank to voices and skillful moves of actors. With time nativity scenes escaped small boxes so more and more often it can be seen with human-size characters.
Theophany of Jesus Christ doted all the i’s of Christams holidays. In its run-up Ukrainians celebrated Malanka holiday. On such days youngsters and teenagers hid behind masks to fall into personas of folk characters and animals for loud sounds of shchedrivkas to be heard in towns and villages till late at night.
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.
Today in honor of Independence Day of Ukraine OUTLOOK prepared interesting stories about sites that are in UNESCO world heritage list ! We want not only to see beauty of foreign cultures and places of interest but also to pay attention on Ukrainian ones!!!
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.
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!