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…
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.
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.
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 ...
Austrian tour operators launched an unusual touristic tourdesigned for fans of singing style called yodel. Hikers wander through the Ziller Valley, a broad trail narrows opening the way for only the most avid travellers, then track leads upwards. Tourists look into the interactive station shaped as a giantsonorous walk-in cowbell, then they go around thelargest alpine horn and head to place...
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.
Perhaps, everyone who is going to plunge into fun holiday has already planned spectacular routes and scenic spots. In order not to spoil your trip and not to see gates to the desired gateway closing right in front of your nose, we encourage you to read our selection of locations forbidden for visits.
So, to wash your hands, you have to leave indoor slippers before bathroom threshold, step into the bathroom, slip into the special footwear, wash hands, remove those special bathroom slippers, and switch for indoor slippers when re-entering the living area. Earlier, probably in jest, Oba-san warned me that if I step onto the living area in the toilet slippers, he will tell me about hara-kiri rules.
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.
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.
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...
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
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.