Photography © Gina Buliga | Madagascar

Around the World on Fridays (“M” | Part 1)

“Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa

Today: Macedonia | Madagascar | Malawi | Malaysia | Maldives | Mali | Malta | Marshall Islands | Mauritania | Mauritius

Cover Photography © Gina Buliga | Madagascar

 

MACEDONIA

Photo © AP / Boris Grdanoski | Catholic priests walk in a procession through the main square in Skopje, Macedonia, Sunday, Sept 11, 2016. Saint Teresa’s canonization.

Photo © AP / Boris Grdanoski | Catholic priests walk in a procession through the main square in Skopje, Macedonia, Sunday, Sept 11, 2016. Saint Teresa’s canonization.

Did you know?

Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia. Born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, in the former Yugoslavia, Mother Teresa was the youngest of three children. Her family was of Albanian descent. After living in Macedonia for eighteen years she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life. Mother Teresa received a number of honors, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

 

MADAGASCAR

Photo: unidentified photographer | Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Photo: unidentified photographer | Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Did you know?

Lemurs live only in Madagascar and they play an important role in Malagasy ‘fady’ or taboo-related folk stories: lemurs are protectors and, in some cases, even relatives. In Malagasy culture lemurs, and animals in general, have souls (ambiroa) which can get revenge if mocked while alive or if killed in a cruel fashion. Because of this, lemurs, like many other elements of daily life, have been a source of taboos, known locally as fady, which can be based around stories with four basic principles. A village or region may believe that a certain type of lemur may be the ancestor of the clan. They may also believe that a lemur’s spirit may get revenge. Alternatively, the animal may appear as a benefactor. Lemurs are also thought to impart their qualities, good or bad, onto human babies. In general, fady extend beyond a sense of the forbidden, but can include events that bring bad luck (Wikipedia).

 

MALAWI

Photo © Danforth Lodge | Early morning fisherman on Lake Malawi

Photo © Danforth Lodge | Early morning fisherman on Lake Malawi

Did you know?

Malawi got its country name from its incredible sunrises and sunsets. The name Malawi comes from local Chichewa language, meaning “flames of fire” – because of the stunning sunrises and sunsets that can be seen over Lake Malawi. The rising sun scintillating on the waters of the lake is also drawn on the flag of the country.

 

MALAYSIA

Photo © Ahmad Junaidi Kasmi | Holi Festival of Colors in Malaysia

Photo © Ahmad Junaidi Kasmi | Holi Festival of Colors in Malaysia

Did you know?

Malaysia is a multicultural country. The standard of living in Malaysia is quite high, comparing to other countries in Asia. That’s why it has many immigrants, especially from China and India. Streets of Malaysia are very colorful and you can see almost every nationality there. You can also hear different languages and that’s what makes this country beautiful. We love the diversity of people, cultures and food in Malaysia. Even though everybody is so different, they have somehow found a way to coexist in the same place and accept each other. (Karolina Patryk)

“As Malaysians, it is important to have an open mind and tolerance. Respect for other religions and cultures is vital to maintain harmony and unity. Being patriotic should not just be on Merdeka Day but throughout.” Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysian orthopedic surgeon and the first Malaysian astronaut

 

MALDIVES

Photo: Raudha Athif Collection | ‘Maldivian Girl with Aqua Blue Eyes’

Photo: Raudha Athif Collection | ‘Maldivian Girl with Aqua Blue Eyes’

Did you know?

Threatened by climate change, the president of the Maldives held an Underwater Cabinet Meeting. For the Maldives, climate change and a rising ocean level is a very real threat, with a handful of islands already evacuated due to the rising ocean waters that have interfered with fresh water sources. In order to draw attention to their concerns, President Mohamed Nasheed moved the October 2009 cabinet meeting to the bottom of the ocean. The president and 13 other government officials strapped on scuba gear and sat at desks that had been sunk to the bottom of the sea in an attempt to raise awareness about the dangers facing the island chains. He also wanted to draw attention to the sustainability projects he had in mind for reducing the carbon footprint of an entire nation; those plans include biodegradable resorts and sustainable tourism, as well as harvesting all energy sources on the islands, like wind, water, and solar power. (Debra Kelly)

 

MALI

Photo © Reuters / Joe Penney | Mali

Photo © Reuters / Joe Penney | Mali

Did you know?

Bògòlanfini is a handcrafted cloth dyed with fermented mud, produced only in the Mali area. Bògòlanfini or bogolan (“mud cloth”) is a handmade Malian cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has become a symbol of Malian cultural identity since about 1980. The cloth is being exported worldwide for use in fashion, fine art and decoration.

In traditional Malian culture, bògòlanfini is worn by hunters, serving as camouflage, as ritual protection and as a badge of status. Women are wrapped in bògòlanfini after their initiation into adulthood and immediately after childbirth, as the cloth is believed to have the power to absorb the dangerous forces released under such circumstances. Bògòlanfini patterns are rich in cultural significance, referring to historical events (such as a famous battle between a Malian warrior and the French), crocodiles (significant in Bambara mythology) or other objects, mythological concepts or proverbs.

 

MALTA

Photo © Franklin Balzan | Holy Week in Malta

Photo © Franklin Balzan | Holy Week in Malta

www.fbalzan.com

Did you know?

Malta’s capital – Valletta – is the first planned city of Europe. Valletta was the first ever planned city in Europe. The city was sketched out back in 1565 during the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Completed in just 15 years, it also holds a record as one of the quickest scaled cities in the world. The City of Valletta was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Valletta has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2018.

 

MARSHALL ISLANDS

Photo © Rick Miller | Ailinglaplap Atoll, Marshall Islands

Photo © Rick Miller | Ailinglaplap Atoll, Marshall Islands

Did you know?

The Marshallese greeting is one of the most beautiful in the world. In Marshallese, iokwe means hello, goodbye, and I love you. Translated literally, it means “you are a rainbow.”

Take care thus of lovely Marshall Islands and its people! The Marshall Islands likely won’t exist if we warm the planet 2 degrees. Read more.

 

MAURITANIA

Photo © Michal Huniewicz | Mauritania

Photo © Michal Huniewicz | Mauritania

Did you know?

Sadly, slavery has been called “deeply rooted” in the structure of Mauritania. In 1981, Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery. However, no criminal laws were passed to enforce the ban. In 2007, under international pressure, the government passed a law allowing slaveholders to be prosecuted. Despite this, the number of slaves in the country has been estimated by Global Slavery Index to be 43,000 in 2015 and by the organization SOS Slavery to be up to 600,000 (or 17% of the population).

“In my country, people come into the world already owning other human beings.” Biram Dah Abeid, Anti-Slavery Activist from Mauritania

 

MAURITIUS

Photo © Jebulon | The Dodo

Photo © Jebulon | The Dodo

Did you know?

Mauritius is the only known habitat of the extinct flightless “dodo” bird. The first recorded mention of the dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598. In the following years, the bird was hunted by sailors and invasive species, while its habitat was being destroyed. The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo was in 1662. Its extinction was not immediately noticed, and some considered it to be a mythical creature.

The dodo achieved widespread recognition from its role in the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and it has since become a fixture in popular culture, often as a symbol of extinction and obsolescence.

 

Around the World on Fridays: A visual experience of people portraits and a curiosity glimpse into alphabetically selected countries for each post & regular updates in “A Country a Day” (*) on Madalina Dobraca People & Culture Boutique. For the love of humans everywhere!

(*) “A Country a Day” is a mini-project I started on the 4th of June 2016, aiming to alphabetically cover each country of the world through a daily photo-pictorial illustrating the unique and diverse personalities of the featured countries. Enjoy the variety and beauty of people and cultures every day!

Previous related posts: Archive A – L

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