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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

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   303 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-04-22

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   260 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 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   200 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   162 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   136 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   124 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-13

Holy Songs: Devotional Hindu Songs

00:18:27

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   110 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-05-27

Bermuda - A Happy Place to Be

00:12:09

Bermuda - A Happy Place to Be

In today’s show, we will explore the history, culture, and natural wonders of Bermuda. Located in the North Atlantic off the east coast of North America, Bermuda is the oldest British colony. The water at beaches in Bermuda is always crystal-clear year round, making it a perfect relaxing destination for holiday vacations. Bermuda has a population of about 63,000 people, inheriting colorful cultures from descendants of mainly Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans, with a small percentage of Asians. Bermudians have a very distinct fashion sense, and the Bermuda shorts are renowned around the world. The people of Bermuda highly value social etiquette and are known for their good manners. The spirit of kindness and politeness is most exemplified by Mr. Johnny Barnes, a beloved figure in Bermuda. Mr. Barnes was a devout Christian. He credited the Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings on brotherly love as his inspiration. “Life is sweet, life is beautiful. No matter what happens in life, it is always sweet to be alive. Enjoy the sunshine, the flowers, the birds - they're happy.” Bermudians love nature and are avid wildlife conservationists. It is the biodiversity of Bermuda that makes it a truly special place. From old English ceremonies, to art festivals, concerts, and holidays, Bermudians embrace any chance to celebrate. In a culture of festivities, dancing and music is an essential part of everyday life. Bermuda music is a contributing factor to the overall Caribbean music genre. The Gombey dance is a symbol of Bermudan culture. One of the most notable events in Bermuda is the Gombey Festival, a celebration of African-Bermudan culture that usually takes place in September or October. Weekly events known as Harbor Nights are also held in Hamilton to showcase local musicians and performers. Every Wednesday night on Front Street, from May to October, outdoor arts and crafts are displayed. As if a testament to the colorful culture of Bermuda and its happy people, the majority of the artworks are bright water-color paintings inspired by the island’s vibrant hues of life.
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-06-03   76 Views
Cultural Traces Around the World
2020-06-03
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