Egyptian Vacation?

egypt-pyramids

I have always been interested in visiting Egypt, mostly to see the Pyramids, learn about the history of the Egyptians, and to see a part of Africa. I have learned about the pyramids, the sphinx and Cleopatra all through elementary school and a little as a grade eight in high school, therefore all I knew about Egypt was the famous landmarks and people who lived in ancient Egypt. No one I knew when I was younger had visited Egypt so I could not even ask my friends what it was really like. Until I saw Egypt on a travel show in grade 8, I always thought the grand pyramids were in the middle of the dessert, untouched by tourists, and preserved by the native Egyptians. I found out that was not the case, the pyramids are in the center of a city called Cairo, and are bordered by pizza huts and housing. The sand around the pyramids is covered in garbage and does not look like it does in the post cards. Later on in my high school years I met a girl who was Egyptian, but had moved here when she was four, so she did not really know what Egypt was like. She went later on to visit her relatives, but went to a poor village where she was from, she never saw the pyramids, visited Cario, or went to the tourist attractions. This did not give me any indication of what the tourist part of Egypt was really like, because I had never experienced anyone who has been there. Now that I am older, all I hear about Egypt is on the news, and it is plastered with war and violence. The news has covered stories about Mubarak being the dictator of Egypt and the army siding with the people over Mubarak and finally he was forced out of the county. The army was then in control of the government, and promised the people an election.  They had an election and Morsi won, creating a “new democracy.” In between all of the army and elections, there were many riots that were shown on the news and in the newspapers. Replacing the beautiful pictures of what I had been taught about Egypt and filling them with guns and riots. Either the country itself has changed in the time span of my childhood, into a place with more violence, or because I didn’t watch the news or read newspapers as a child, I had no clue what Egypt was really like. So the only way to really know for myself what Egypt is really like is to go to there myself and see. Therefore now I am stuck with the choice of going to Egypt to explore what I had wanted to as a child, or believe what the media is showing me and maybe pick a different destination for my long awaited vacation.

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Festivals Around the World

       Famous festivals and celebrations around the world are practiced by the country, but are known all around. Celebrations like “Festival” in Rio, “Chinese New Year” in China, and the “Oktoberfest” in Germany, all started in different centuries, but all have significant meaning. Festival in Rio started in the 1700’s, Oktoberfest in the 1800’s, and the Chinese New Year in the 1900’s. Each celebration is unique to the county of origin, though countries like Canada have adopted these practices and have had similar alterations to them. “The Festival [in Rio] was considered the most important religious celebration in nineteenth-century” (Abreu, 2005). The Brazilians celebrate the festival with parades, like the Samba Parade, balls, street parties, and bands (Franco and Isabel, 2013). In Quebec they also celebrate Mardi Gras which is a religious festival that is also connected with Carnival. Even though it originated in Brazil, Canada has adopted this celebration and rejoices the festival here. When With alcohol, partying, and celebrations, this festival is known all around the world to be one of the most colourful and upbeat. Another festival with a variety of colour and tradition, is the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is a massive celebration for Korean, Vietnamese and other East Asian cultures. The holiday celebrates the New Year, but not the way that we do. It is based on the cycles of the moon. This celebration is a time for family’s to be united and a time for the family to pass the New Year season as a collective group. Preparation for this tradition occurs a while before the actual day. The families emphasize keeping peace between each other so that everyone can enjoy the reunion meal when the time comes (Tan, 2001). It has become a part of the Canadian culture also. We have adopted many of the traditions that these cultures express during this time of year. Vancouver is known for being multicultural which means that we have to adapt to different cultures and assume new traditions that are brought to our attention. We have big celebrations in the downtown core to show that we are involved in the culture that we have taken in. Canada’s adopting of the festivities that come along with this celebration has made it easier for the Eat Asian cultures to fit in and feel at home. Every culture adopts different traditions that they strongly believe in. Living in a multicultural society allows us to also adopt these different traditions and celebrate the ones that we choose to. It is a great way to open your mind to all of the different cultures and really see how cultures that are not your own celebrate and enjoy life.  One country’s citizens enjoy their lives in a significant manner.  For the people of Munich, Germany this sense of satisfaction is received through large amounts of alcohol and oxen.  With the marriage of the crowned prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12th, 1810, one of the largest and most intoxicating festivals known as Oktoberfest was born.  While over 200 years have passed, this party stills lives on, including litres of beer and pounds of oxen still being distributed in vast quantities to a demanding public.  Marked as the world’s largest fair, Oktoberfest is an entertaining and attractive way to celebrate Bavarian traditions and cultures.  The true Oktoberfest is always held at Theresienwiese which consists of 103 acres where, “more than six million visitor who consume roughly six million litres of beer, 80,000 litres of wine and 100 oxen.” (Kasey, 2010) Meet to celebrate this centuries old tradition.  Not only is it free entrance into Oktoberfest but it is also forbids sponsorships (with the exception of the Munich breweries) which makes it quite impressive with a revenue of 450 million Euros generated within the fair grounds.  The Schottenhamel tent, one of thirteen other beer halls is where Oktoberfest officially kicks off.  This tradition begins with the lord mayor of Munich tapping the first keg on the first Sunday at noon while calling out “Ozapft is!” (“It’s tapped!”).  Once this tradition has occurred the beer may flow.  To really get the full sense of this celebration, outside the fair grounds are vendors who sell traditional attire such as lederhosen for the boys and dirndls for the ladies; a word of warning for visitors though, change rooms are slim, if not non-existent.  Oktoberfest extravaganzas are held throughout the world celebrating this 200 year old tradition. However none can grasp the levels of intensity, intoxication and excitement than the true Oktoberfest festival held in Munich Germany, has to offer.

Paige Chapman, Matthew Black, and Nicole Samson

                                                              Work Cited:

Abreu, M. (2005). Popular culture, power relations and urban discipline: The festival of the holy spirit in Nineteenth‐Century rio de janeiro. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 24(2), 167-180. doi: 10.1111/j.0261-3050.2005.00130.x
 
Coholan, K. (2010). Oktoberfest: Munich. Canadian Business, 83(16), 85.
 

Ford, R. L. (2005). Get involved in the Lunar New Year. Public Relations Tactics, 12(1), 6.

Franco, R. S., Isabel, V. (2013). Rio Carnival. The guide for Carnival  in Rio de Janeiro. http://www.rio-carnival.net/
 
Shirley Lewis. (1998). Dragon new year: A chinese legend. Bowie: E L Kurdyla Publishing LLC.
 

Tan, B. S. (2001). The Contextualization of the Chinese New Year Festival. Asia Journal Of Theology, 15(1), 115.

The significance of festivals to rural economies: Estimating the economic impacts of scottish highland games in north carolina. (2003). Journal of Travel Research, 41(4), 421-427. doi: 10.1177/0047287503041004012

A Miscommunication in Japan

In Japan, there have been many miscommunications because of language barriers and translation. When Asian students or travellers come to Canada or the United States they hear the word “fuck” a lot. The word is thrown around by North Americans on the street just as much as any other word. This then gives the impression that this word is okay to use anywhere, even as restuarant names. There have been many times when people are walking down the street in Japan and have seen signs to restaurants saying “Fuckin Good Burgers”, or “Fuckin Fresh and Delicious”. Since North Americans only use it around the streets with friends, and not at church or infront of grandparents, Japanese people are believed to think that the word is not filthy. The denotation for the word “fuck” is either sexual intercourse or it is used as slang, though most of the time the connotation of the word is used in a variety of ways that sound less harsh and not as rude. Much like  “Fuckin Fresh ad Delicious”.    This is an example of what people might see in the streets of Japan.

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