Happy World Music Friday!
Today we travel to Mexico, with perhaps one of the most fascinating cultures in the world. The mixture of strong native legends, artistic expressions and Spanish cultural elements make the Mexican culture so unique.
Mexican legends are very important, like the legend of “La Llorona” (“the weeping woman”), a woman whose spirit still cries for her lost son, or the legends of the Sacred woods of Chapultepec, where Aztecs emperors had their effigies sculpted in order to achieve immortality. But maybe one of the most important legends present in Mexican culture is the legend of the god named Quetzalcoatl, the most important figure of the Mexican cosmogony. It is said that Quetzalcoatl, while searching for bones which he needed to create mankind, gets to the Mictlan (“the region of the dead”), where the evil god Mictlantecutli tries to prevent him from collecting what he was looking for. Aided by his sacred bees and worms, Quetzalcoatl finally is able to get the precious bones and uses them to bring the human kind into the world.
Lila Downs, a Mexican singer-song writer and actress interprets one of the versions of the legend “La Llorona”. Click here, and enjoy the music!
Have a wonderful weekend!
With the World Cup Brazil 2014 starting on June 5th, excitement is in the air for visitors and spectators all over the world. Brazil is a beautiful country, large in scale, with diverse topography and ethnicity throughout the country.
Planning to visit Brazil? Well, a word of caution from the chief of Sao Paulo's World Cup police squad. "Don't scream or argue when robbed", so that a petty theft doesn't lead to murder. Kevin Raub, a contributing writer for Lonely Planet in Sao Paulo says, “People have been killed over a backpack and others have been killed simply out of frustration when the thieves couldn’t get what they wanted. It's best not to antagonize them whatsoever.” So there you have it, in case of robbery or pick-pocketing, don't scream. For more information, visit this article.
When we visited Brazil in 2011, most places outside of major cities felt very peaceful and safe. Also having a local with you taking you around, helping to avoid any situations would help as well.
On a lighter note, that should not stop you from visiting this beautiful country with amazing cultural diversity and addictive smiles. We especially enjoyed the high quality food everywhere we went, even at the highway rest stops!! The rest stop food was like an International Buffet at a hotel! Needless to say, my recommendation would be to rent a car and go to a remote town, and enjoy the rest stop foods along the way!
A very typical breakfast from Brazil, pão de queijo, is an absolute delight, and there is no comparison. The cheesy, chewy texture is so unique and delicious, you won't be able to stop popping them into your mouth. If you haven't had them before, I promise you, it is the most delightful experience you will have. Visit a local Portuguese or Brazilian bakery, or try this recipe.
Wherever you might be during the World Cup 2014, keep safe and enjoy the cultural experience!!
It’s Friday! Let’s greet the weekend with our World Music section.
Today we want to share the music of an artist from Senegal, Ismael Lo. To listen to Ismael Lô - Tajabone click here.
In Senegal greetings are crucial and their importance should never be underestimated. Exchanging greetings each time you meet someone, even if it is later in the same day, is pivotal to maintaining good relationships. You are expected to exchange lengthy inquiries into the health and well-being of the other person and their family before asking any other question or beginning a discussion. If you ask to speak to someone without going through the ritualized greeting process, you may be told “They went to learn how to greet”, which is basically a polite way of pointing out that you were rude.
To the Western mind the amount of time spent in greetings may appear unnecessary or even wasteful (especially in business), but they are used by the Senegalese to feel each other out and achieve a sense of group harmony.
Enjoy the music and have a great weekend! Please follow our blog for more interesting facts about world cultures. - Alba Serrano-Miro
Unicultural team and trainers, sharing our views and experiences on everything cultural.