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The Proud Kalinago of Dominica

00:16:55

The Proud Kalinago of Dominica

The Kalinago, previously known as the Caribs, are a proudly independent group of people who emigrated from South America to the Caribbean islands around the 13th century. Their skills as boat builders and sailors helped them expand their territory so that by the time the Spanish arrived two centuries later, they were the dominant culture on the islands. Today, most of the remaining 3,500 or so Kalinago live in Kalinago Territory, an autonomous region on the rugged eastern coast of Dominica. Fortunately, certain elements remained very strong, including basket weaving, cassava processing and canoe-building. Canoes have been a bedrock of the Kalinago culture since their ancestors left the Orinoco River Delta in South America 800 years ago. Through the concept of a living museum, the Kalinago Cultural Village by the Sea has created direct and indirect economic opportunities for the people, including employment for the Kalinago youth that enables them to showcase their traditions.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-19   979 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-19

Bulgarian Folk Melodies: Harmonies of the Soul, Part 2 of 2

00:15:57

Bulgarian Folk Melodies: Harmonies of the Soul, Part 2 of 2

An artistic people, Bulgarians hope to better the world through music and dance. Thus, it’s no wonder that Bulgarian folk singing is recognized as a national treasure. Now Let's hear a famous traditional folk song called “Dilmano Dilbero,” performed by Le Mystѐre des Voix Bulgares, or The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices. A major aspect of Bulgarian folklore is the fact that its music and song Lyrics give rise to a playful childlike joy and mood. From generation to generation, many songs expressing the most casual, funny moments from everyday life have been passed down. Our next song, “Sama Li Si Den Zhanala?” or “were You Alone in the Fields?” is one of these ancient songs. We’ll now conclude our program with a beautiful piece performed by the Bulgarian folk choir Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria, with Conductor Gancho Gavazov in collaboration with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-01   609 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-01

Traditional Musical Instrutment: The Ukrainian Bandura

00:20:00

Traditional Musical Instrutment: The Ukrainian Bandura

The Bandura was believed to be a companion of humanity, producing heavenly reverberations to comfort our souls in this material world. This exceptional instrument originates from the spiritual culture of the ancient Sumero-Akkadian civilization. The Akkadians played early versions of the Bandura in their religious events as well as in festivities and for entertainment. Later, the charming instrument was introduced into eastern European countries. The beautiful bandura where several distinctly recognizable styles are used in performances. Many Ukrainian people considered these singing bandurists to be “God’s messengers,” or “vessels of God’s word.” Like their musical predecessors, modern-day folk bandurists assimilate melodies from a wide range of inspirations. Let’s now enjoy a delightful solo by a famous bandurist, Victor Mishalow, as he performs for the National Library of Australia Collection.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-04   462 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-04

Holy Songs: Uplifting Ethiopian Songs

00:18:22

Holy Songs: Uplifting Ethiopian Songs

Ethiopia is one of the world’s oldest countries. In today’s show, we are delighted to share with you three Ethiopian worship songs in Amharic. The First song is called, “Holy Spirit,” performed by Zuriyash Tsega W/Tensai and Samuel T Michael. The song expresses one’s deep longing for the radiant presence of the Holy Spirit. Our next song is “Igziabeher’s Peace” composed by Mesfin Gutu, and performed by Bereket, Ephrem, Sammy, and Teddy. “Igziabeher” means “Our Father Lord of Eternity” in Geez, a language used by the ancient Ethiopian Tewahado Church. Finally, our third song is called “It is Possible,” performed by Kalkidan Abebe and composed by Ayouab Gebremariam. This Amharic Gospel song uplifts our spirit and reminds us of all the things we can do when we remember God.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-12   443 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-12

Holy Songs: Joyful Bangladeshi Melodies

00:17:17

Holy Songs: Joyful Bangladeshi Melodies

Since ancient times, humans have expressed their love and longing for God through singing and music. These holy songs connect us with the Divine and remind us of our heavenly Home. In today’s show, we are delighted to share with you three Buddhist Songs from Bangladesh. The first song is called “Lumbini Kanon,” which praises the Lord Buddha. “Lumbini Kanon is a flower. The name is Buddha. In the sweet aroma of the flower, the world is fascinated today in meditation, in thoughts and philosophy. Make life pure.” Our next song is “Ajj Ki Je Valo Lagche,” or “I Feel So Good Today,” is also performed by Ms. Moumita Barua with lyrics by Pankaj Dev Opu and music by Subrata Das Anup. By following Buddha’s Teachings, many Buddhists have found inner peace and happiness. The next song is “Buddham Saranam Gacchami,” or “I Take Refuge in the Buddha” Sung by Apon Barua Ami. We thank all the singers and songwriters for making these beautiful songs that remind us of Buddha’s love and wisdom.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-22   392 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-22

Traditonal Musical Instrument: Taiko - The Heartbeat of Japan

00:19:28

Traditonal Musical Instrument: Taiko - The Heartbeat of Japan

In Japanese “Taiko” means the “great drum.” For generations, the method of taiko playing has been taught and passed on by grand masters. In varying shapes and sizes, taiko drums have long been a part of Japanese cultural, religious, and musical traditions. The art of taiko drumming is known for its tightly choreographed movements similar to martial arts. The instrument’s fluid, powerful, and rhythmic playing style symbolizes the heartbeat of Japan. With the emergence of art forms such as Noh and Kabuki dance-drama, taiko drums eventually became an accompanying instrument in theatre and court music. The Buddhist and Shinto religions gave taiko drums a sanctifying role. Taiko drumming is also an integral part of Matsuri festivals in Japan, where communities celebrate the gods and honour their ancestors. There are now over 8,000 taiko groups in Japan, more than a dozen groups in Canada, and many more worldwide. Let's enjoy a synchronized drumming performance by Kokyo Taiko.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-26   387 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-02-26

Zaouli: Côte d'Ivoire's Mesmerizing Mask Dance

00:14:52

Zaouli: Côte d'Ivoire's Mesmerizing Mask Dance

Dance is an integral part of the African culture, and today we are delighted to share with you a very exceptional and unique dance form from West Africa. Zaouli is regarded as a homage to feminine beauty. The dance was created in the 1950s by the Gouro, an ethnic group in the midwestern part of Côte d’Ivoire, with each Gouro village having a prized Zaouli dancer. The dance and accompanying music were inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2017. Let's now enjoy a spirited Zaouli performance. An interesting component of the distinctive dance is that it is always performed by a male! The costume consists of bright colors. The mask and cloth adorn the body from the head down to the shoulders and arms. They will perform at parties, social gatherings, and funerals. Zaouli is viewed as a peace-making component of West African culture. Ethnic Jewels Magazine describes the dance as “a celebration of calm following conflict.”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-08   381 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-08

The Timeless Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

00:15:38

The Timeless Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prominent architects in American history. During his lifetime, he designed over 1,000 structures, including churches, schools, museums, and residential houses, eight of which were acknowledged as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in July 2019. Mr. Wright is recognized as “the greatest American architect of all time” by the American Institute of Architects. His design philosophy of “organic architecture” which emphasizes the harmony of human structures and nature, still influences generations today. One of the most famous designs that best exemplifies Mr. Wright’s philosophy is a house called, “Fallingwater.” The most famous one was The Robbie House, built in 1906. Another of his famous designs is the Unity Temple. Frank Lloyd Wright passed away in 1959, but his legacy lives on. The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-29   364 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-29

Holy Songs: Mongolian Spiritual Songs

00:24:59

Holy Songs: Mongolian Spiritual Songs

The Mongolian people are devout spiritual seekers. Their sincerity in searching for spiritual elevation is expressed through many songs that praise and worship the Divine. Today, we would like to introduce three of these sacred songs. The first, “Khelkhee Ayalguu,” is a folk song that was performed by M. Saruultugs of the Erdenet Ensemble at the 2nd International Artist Day Celebration concert, “Awakening through Art,” in 2018. The song “Khelkhee Ayalguu,” expresses worship for the Great Burkhan Khaldun mountain and Mother Nature. Our next song is called “Tsagaan Shukhert” or “Blessing from the White Goddess.” The White Goddess in the song refers to our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai. Ms. Erdenechimeg’s voice seems to have brought sunlight into our hearts. Our last song, called “Queen Mother of the Universe,” was dedicated to Supreme Master Ching Hai by Ganchimeg, a state-honored artist of Mongolia at Mongolia’s Save Our World Concert. “From the Buddha’s Land, You descended on Earth, taking care of our destiny bestowing Your lullaby upon us.”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-22   299 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-22

The Open House Culture of Malaysia

00:18:23

The Open House Culture of Malaysia

Fully embracing their multi-culture identity, Malaysians have a unique custom called, “open house,” which means during important cultural and religious festivals, they would open their houses to welcome not only friends and families, but also strangers. Through feasting and chatting together, cultural barriers are broken and new friendships are formed. Though 60% of the population are Muslims, national holidays such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, and native harvesting festivals are also celebrated, alongside various Islamic holidays such as the holy month of Ramadan, Eid-ul Fitr, and Eid-ul Adha. Now let’s take a look at how Malaysians celebrate some of their other holidays. His Excellency, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, actively promotes harmonious existence among citizens of different races and backgrounds. “Malaysia was built on the foundations of tolerance, goodwill, mutual respect, the readiness of giving and sharing, selflessness, and a desire to make sacrifices for the sake of the country.” “Without such traits, Malaysia would not have grown into a developed country, which is capable of giving its people all the comforts and progress it has today.”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-17   286 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-01-17

Traditional Musical Instrument: The Swiss Alphorn

00:20:09

Traditional Musical Instrument: The Swiss Alphorn

Also known as the alpenhorn or alpine horn, the alphorn is a traditional wooden wind instrument that delivers natural tones. Historically it is known as a means of communication among shepherds, who often play it in the evening to call their cows to return home, as its resonating sound can travel for miles, ushering in the falling dusk. The instrument has no lateral openings, making the sound it produces a pure natural harmonic series. In Switzerland, the length of an alphorn is set at 3.5 meters, which corresponds to the key of F sharp/G flat. And, despite its original, simple form, it is a difficult instrument to play. The distinctive sound of the alphorn offers listeners the richness of a brass instrument, and the softness of a woodwind. The famous traditional Swiss song, “Ranz des Vaches” or “Kuhreihen” is often heard played on the alphorn. It is a herdsman’s song that describes alpine cowherds singing to call their cows home from the pasture. The song’s simple melody often evokes nostalgic feelings in the hearts of the Swiss people. The sound of the alphorn belongs not only to the mountains of Switzerland, but also to the words of jazz, funk, and rock music.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-29   259 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-29

Bulgarian Folk Melodies: Harmonies of the Soul, Part 1 of 2

00:17:33

Bulgarian Folk Melodies: Harmonies of the Soul, Part 1 of 2

Since ancient times, singing has been mainly a female attribute in Bulgaria, while men mostly serve as instrumentalists. The powerful resonance, range, texture, and its penetrating quality are the most distinct characteristics of the Bulgarian voice. The songs are mostly traditional folk ballads, with the lyrics emphasizing people’s everyday feelings and lives. This simple, yet “straight from the heart” from allows the Bulgarians to express their deepest feelings, let go of difficult situations, and connect with their Divine nature. In the 1950’s, a famous Bulgarian composer, Filip Kutev, gathered female singers from all corners of the country, even remote villages, to form the first ever female choir. Today the choir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, or Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, continues to touch the souls of people around the world. Let’s listen to an excerpt from a song entitled “Polegnala e Todora,” or “Todora Fell Asleep.” There is a natural transcending energy that seems to flow from the beautiful harmonies. “Todora fell asleep, Maiden Todoro, Todoro, Todora fell asleep, Maiden Todoro, Todoro, Under a tree, under an olive tree.”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-25   257 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-25

The Tradition of Respecting the Elderly, Part 1 of 2

00:15:40

The Tradition of Respecting the Elderly, Part 1 of 2

In this 2-part program, we celebrate the cultural traditions of respecting elders around the world across various religions. In Asian societies, honoring elders is one of the fundamental principles. For example, in the Chinese culture, there is a saying, “among hundreds of moral behaviors, the virtue of being filial comes first” The long tradition of Filial Virtue or Filial Piety is considered the highest virtue in Chinese culture. It is more than just respect, and also includes love, care for, support, and devotion to the elderly. Honoring the elders extends to older siblings, family members, teachers, and citizens of high position in the Chinese culture. This moral principle contributes to establishing a peaceful society. In Âu Lạc, also known as Vietnam, there are usually many generations living together in one household. This allows all the generations to support and care for one another. In almost all the cultures of the Orient, there is a common reverence for elders for their wisdom, lifelong hard work, and all the sacrifices for family.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-04   240 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-04

The Tradition of Respecting the Elderly, Part 2 of 2

00:13:49

The Tradition of Respecting the Elderly, Part 2 of 2

Senior citizens are an invaluable source of precious wisdom and provide us with love, understanding, and advice whenever we are in need. In Greek culture, elders are associated with wisdom and closeness to God. In ancient times, sages and oracles were mostly associated with the wise older men and women. It was noted in the history of ancient Sparta that politeness for elders was customary. In Ancient Rome, elders were respected for their wisdom and virtue , and were often looked up to as role models for the young. In many European nations, especially northern countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Germany, are deemed the “best region in the world for the elderly.” Governments ensure their seniors are well cared for by providing quality healthcare and generous pensions. Africans regard their elders as treasures, and expected to pass down knowledge, beliefs, and precious traditions to the younger generations. In Australia, the native Aboriginal people believe that respect is an essential virtue everyone must have, and is the foundation of harmonious relationships between humans, and with the natural environment. Care and respect for our elders is also an important principle in many religious doctrines.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-11   215 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-11

Traditional Musical Instrument: The Delightful European Recorder

00:19:37

Traditional Musical Instrument: The Delightful European Recorder

The recorder sings, excites, and soothes across the ranges of the upper musical spectrum. Historical mentions of the recorder, a member of the woodwind family, began to appear during the Renaissance in the 16th century. After a quiet interlude spanning several decades, the recorder was brought back into the mainstream at the end of the 19th century by certain virtuoso players such as Frans Brüggen. In the 20th century, there were two main branches of recorder development. One involved repertoire and performance enhancements, while the other focused on modern woodwind making. Originally, recorders were made of wood, but today's recorders are also constructed from other materials, including plastic, ceramic, and resin. Due to their rich and smooth tones, wooden recorders are often preferred in performances. The sound of the recorder is truly divine, as it takes us far away from worldly concerns.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-08   199 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-08

The Waorani People – Pioneers and Protectors of the Amazon

00:16:26

The Waorani People – Pioneers and Protectors of the Amazon

Ecuador hosts a portion of the magnificent Amazon rainforest and is also home to the native Waorani people, also known as the Huaorani, Waodani, or the Waos. Like other indigenous tribes across the globe, the Waorani have a symbiotic relationship with the natural environment. The forest is their beloved space, and they rely on nature for sustenance, water, safety, emotional fulfillment, and comfort. Hence, they passionately seek to protect and preserve the forest and its resources for younger generations. Indeed, the forest is full of natural treasures, such as a range of plants that are thought to keep the Waorani people healthy and strong. Phytochemicals are biochemicals that plants make to survive. The plants use these chemicals to defend themselves against dangerous microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even certain parasites. Human cells have receptors that absorb these protective plant phytochemicals. The Waorani also rely on the forest in the construction of their homes. While Waorani society is reported to be quite egalitarian, with relative equality between men and women, many Waorani women, in particular, are boldly leading the people into the future and raising awareness of the necessity of forest protection.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-18   163 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-03-18

Hula Dance, the Spirit of Hawaii, Part 1 of 2

00:19:50

Hula Dance, the Spirit of Hawaii, Part 1 of 2

The hula dance is an integral part of Hawaiian culture, and dates back 1,500 years ago, when the ancient Polynesians voyaged to Hawaii. In ancient Hawaii, there were different dances for various occasions. One of the rules in Hula dancing is “Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka” or “Where the hands move, there let the eyes follow.” In other words, a dancer should always watch their hands at all times, rather than looking at the audience. In Hawaiian Hula dance, each movement, expression, and gesture is deliberate, with a specific meaning. “A hula dancer is a storyteller, you’re telling the story. So, if you’re talking about ‘This is my song.’ So of course you’re gonna be, your hands to your mouth and out, and because you want to give to your audience.” According to Hawaiian legend, the goddess of Hula is Laka, who is also the goddess of the forest, and watches over all vegetation. It’s believed that Goddess Laka provides inspiration for Hula dancers, and so many dancers today still pray to her for successful performances. With soothing music, and body movements connecting natural vibrations and energy, Hula is not only spiritual but also therapeutic.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-06   161 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-06

El Salvador’s Indigenous Peoples – Jewels of the Nation

00:14:32

El Salvador’s Indigenous Peoples – Jewels of the Nation

EI Salvador is in Central America and has the Pacific Ocean to the west, Guatemala to the north, and Honduras to the east. The Pipil people, who are the predominant indigenous group in the country, refer to their territory in Western EI Salvador as Cuscatlán, meaning “The Place of Jewel Necklaces.” Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to visit this exquisite nation will agree that it is a land of many jewels. There are about 37,000 Lenca in EI Salvador, concentrated in the eastern park of the nation. One of the fascinating aspects of the Lenca culture that has persevered to this day is the Guancasco, which is a pre-Colombian peace process. Economically, the Lenca are focused on agriculture. Specifically, they continue to use the milpa, which is a system of farming they embraced from the Mayan civilization. One aspect of Lencan culture that has been retained is that of pottery. Today, art galleries in the United States and Europe display the beautiful, bold geometric patterns crafted by Lencan potters.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-15   135 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-15

Hula Dance, the Spirit of Hawaii, Part 2 of 2

00:16:27

Hula Dance, the Spirit of Hawaii, Part 2 of 2

As mentioned in the previous episode, Hawaiian mythologies, history, genealogies, and traditions were passed down from generation to generation through chant, or “oli,” and accompanying dance called “hula.” Today we are honored to have on our show Kumu Hula (master hula teacher) and choreographer, Ms. Nawahine Kuraoka. Ms. Kuraoka is here to share with us her knowledge of the beautiful hula dance. “We all got to love hula as much as we love our family, as hula is part of our life. And hula is not just hula. Hula is life for us. Everything is Hula.” “We talk about the ancient ways of hula Kahiko with ipu, ipu heke and the pahu drum. And we use these instruments to dance ancient hula.” “Everything is alive, living plants, living hula, that’s what we do. Living hula each and every day, from morning to sunset. We thank God each and every day with ‘pule’ or pray to give thanks for all that we have. That's why I tell a lot of people, ‘Don't take for granted where you live, that we are so lucky, so lucky!’”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-13   123 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-13

Holy Songs: Devotional Hindu Songs

00:18:24

Holy Songs: Devotional Hindu Songs

Our program today will feature Hindu songs composed and performed by Mr. Ramanathan Brahmanandam, a respected Hindu scholar and musician. He is also a compassionate vegetarian, who practices ahimsa (nonviolence) to aid his own Self-realization. Apart from being a distinguished scholar of Hinduism, Mr. Brahmanandam is also well-versed in the classical music tradition of South India. He composes and sings his own compositions in Tamil, which are steeped in philosophical content. The first song is called “kaņņirundum,” which stresses the importance of learning the scared text Ātma-bodha, or knowledge of the Self. The song initiates with a sloka, which serves as a prayer to the Divine Self, the true essence of our being. The next song is called “Thaye-en-Thuyar,”which expresses one’s longing to see the Mother Goddess Pārvatī in Hinduism and to be saved from the cycle of transmigration. “You are the illusion manifesting as reality! The Empress of the universe! Goddess of good qualities! Will You not cast Your glance at me?”
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-27   108 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-27
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