Archive for From the web: Culture & History

The ancient guardians of the earth

The hidden people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains have emerged from centuries of isolation to help save the world from climate change, writes Christopher P Baker. [...]

Pilgrimage to the ancient penis monastery

Francky Knapp reports about Chimi Lhakhang, a Buddhist temple in Bhutan dedicated to fertility and the 'sacred phallus'. Published on Messy Nessy Chic on March 14, 2018.

Being 17 in Kiev, Ukraine

What little the general population hears about Ukraine are the constant violent political and ethnic armed conflicts with Russia. What is not known much about are how people live [...]

The street food that makes you dance!

Video about Sri Lanka's most popular meal on the go. Published on BBC on April 3, 2019.

Poem ‘Swipe Right’ danced by Aliens Crew

Dance troupe Aliens Crew performs a dance based on singer-songwriter Forest Blakk's poem, and is awarded 1st place at World of Dance Paris (video).

Humongous horizontal skyscraper in China

A megastructure featuring the world's tallest sky bridge has been erected in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, writes Tyler Durden on ZeroHedge. Published on March 1, [...]

Hand in hand

A story of faith and friendship at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (formerly called Allahabad). To Manorama and Girija the festival is like the "happiest old-age home in the world." [...]

I want to be who I am, not what society wants

Three Chinese women breaking stereotypes. Published on BBC on March 8, 2019.

Freda Bedi’s unusual and charismatic life

Andrew Whitehead (her biographer) writes about this British woman's remarkable story. Published by BBC on March 7, 2019.

Seven words that can help us to be a little calmer

A new book translates 43 different Japanese words into English, introducing ideas that can help people in the West live differently. BBC picked out seven of the most poignant. [...]

20 historical words that we should bring back

A video for lovers of words, language and expressions: Snollygoster, fudgel, twattling, hum durgeon, dysania...?

Gully boys: The defiant street rappers telling India’s story

Meet Bombay Lokal, one of Mumbai's home-grown hip-hop groups, whose music is about identity, discrimination and free speech. Published on BBC on February 15, 2019.

Capernaum – a child’s-eye view of a conflicted world

Arwa Haider writes about the Lebanese film Capernaum, which has been nominated for an Oscar. It tells the story of a child who sues the world, through his parents, for giving him [...]

Socrates dancing

Xenophon (ca. 430 BCE - 350 BCE) was a brilliant leader, kind horseman and friend of Socrates. Eve Browning writes about his intriguing portrait of Socrates, so contrary to what we [...]

Indian transgender gurus in landmark Hindu procession

The northern Indian city of Allahabad witnessed a historic procession on Sunday led by a Hindu congregation of transgender people. Photojournalist Ankit Srinivas reports. Published [...]

PC gone wild: Traditions that will never be the same after 2018

As we bid farewell to another year, it looks like we'll also be saying goodbye to some iconic pieces of cultural history along with it. Published on SOTT and RT on December 26, [...]

The Middle East’s travelling storytellers

They keep the story of the Kurdish people alive, strengthening Kurdish unity by recognising its struggle through its history and legends, writes Rhiannon J Davies. Published on BBC [...]

So far oldest rock art discovered in Indonesia

Artwork discovered on the walls of a limestone cave in Borneo’s East Kalimantan province might just be the oldest figurative painting ever discovered, writes Andrew Masterson. [...]

Pune, an Indian city with audacious attitude

Punekars, as residents of Pune are called, are considered high-handed across the region – often to the point of rudeness, writes Rathina Sankari. Published by BBC on October 29, [...]

Learning my mother tongue

Born and raised in Birmingham, Lola is both British and Nigerian. As the oldest daughter, she started the first generation of British-Nigerian in her family. But to what extent can [...]

The people vs the school system

Prince EA's poignant rap lyrics on the outdatedness of our schooling system.

Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation

The discovery of rock carvings believed to be tens of thousands of years old in India's western state of Maharashtra has greatly excited archaeologists who believe they hold clues [...]

Special words that don’t exist in English (yet)

September 30 is International Translation Day - on this occasion, the BBC published a video about some languages that have words and phrases that English speakers never knew they [...]

Rebuilding a relationship between father and son

The ever-ongoing struggle between generations and the effort to understand each other shown here between father and son from Ghana. Published on BBC on December 16, 2017.

Malana: a Himalayan village shrouded in myth

If you look beyond the hashish haze, you’ll find a treasure trove of legends, intrigue and unanswered questions, writes Mehk Chakraborty. Published on BBC on August 22, 2018.

Hindu temple in Malaysia gets stunning paint job

... with the 272 steps leading up to the Batu Caves (a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor) painted in a dazzling array of colours. [...]

Talking about sex to my Punjabi mom

Sex still being a touchy and often even taboo subject in many cultures and religions to this day, a mother and daughter from the Punjab have the courage to ask each other various [...]

Mumbai slum gets colourful make-over

Khar Danda, a tiny fishing village in India’s bustling city of Mumbai, has had a major makeover. Published on BBC on July 16, 2018.

Playing the piano for a century

Colette Maze is a French pianist of classical music. In this video, she speaks on how much music matters to her (French with English subtitles).

The woman with an unspeakable name

I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful old woman whose age is indeterminable and whose name is unspeakable, writes Mike Eveleigh on BBC on June 20, 2018.

‘Kindly adjust’ to our English

Indian English is a living, practical language, used by millions every day, writes Shashi Tharoor in The Week. Published on June 3, 2018.

My soul is from elsewhere

A deeply reflective poem by Rumi (1207-1273) exploring the soul is read to accompany the Bagong Silang documentary about a community that inhabits a cemetery in Manila, [...]

Murals of Tibet

A thousand years of Tibetan masterpieces revealed for the first time. Writer and photographer Thomas Laird’s 10-year project records crumbling Buddhist murals before they are [...]

Vada pav: move over, McDonald’s

Vada pav is synonymous with the city of Mumbai, with almost every resident, from factory workers to Bollywood stars, unabashed in declaring their love for it, writes Charukesi [...]

Postcards from Afghanistan

Along with his team, Ershad Honaryar from BBC Persian made the five-day trek to the Wakhan province in the far east of Afghanistan. Published on BBC on February 27, 2018.

The Rubáiyát – history’s most luxurious book of poetry

In 1909, two London bookbinders were commissioned to create a book that would become one of the most bedazzling the world had beheld. Joobin Bekhrad reveals how it ended up at the [...]

Shout “Holi Hai!” and get away with anything… almost!

Does Holi open the lid of the pressure cooker to release our suppressed steam? Strange, the whole year people are miserable and on Holi suddenly they break out of misery, singing [...]

‘No Hard Feelings’

A song on video by the Avett Brothers - with lyrics. When my body won’t hold me anymore / And it finally lets me free / Will I be ready?

Baa Baa Land

An eight-hour, slow-motion epic entirely starring sheep on location in Essex, England.

India and the World: A History in Nine Stories

A rare collection spanning two million years of history is on display -until 18 February 2018 - in an exhibition in Mumbai. It is a collaboration between CSMVS, Mumbai, The [...]

Khachapuri – a Georgian cousin to pizza

Hot on the heels of hearing about the expanding buddhafield in Georgia (Europe), we also got the details on a gooey, addictive, cheese-stuffed flatbread, ubiquitous in Georgia. [...]

Poem of the Atoms

Rumi's timeless poem, part of the soundtrack of the film Bab'Aziz, composed by Armand Amar, performed by Salar Aghili and Haroun Teboul.

How the river Ganges was taken to London

About an extraordinary journey that was made possible by the largest silver objects ever produced. Explained by Neil MacGregor, former director of the British Museum.

Why do we celebrate Halloween?

A video about the origins of Halloween. Why do we carve pumpkins and 'trick or treat'?

The Atlantic Slave Trade

315 years. 20,528 voyages. Millions of lives. Link to a two-minute animation. Article by Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie, published in 'Slate'.

Love prohibited to be listed as an ingredient

Of all the bizarre moves federal US agencies (and many also in other countries these days) came up with in the last few years, this one beats them all! Published in The Kansas City [...]

Dalit women breaking stereotypes

Savita Devi is leading a group of 10 Dalit (formerly known as untouchable) women who have broken stereotypes by coming together to form a drum band. Published on BBC on October 2, [...]

Earliest origins of zero symbol revealed

Carbon dating shows an ancient Indian manuscript has the earliest recorded origin of the zero symbol. Published on BBC, September 15, 2017.

The defiance of an ‘untouchable’ New York subway worker

Sujatha Gidla, who was born into the Dalit caste and now works as a conductor on the New York City Subway, wrote a remarkable and candid memoir, 'Ants Among Elephants'. Sudha G [...]

Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon

The world's longest and oldest 'art gallery' filled with tens of thousands of petroglyphs and pictographs is located deep in the Utah desert in the Western United States, writes [...]