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Dancers during Urkupiña's Autochthonous  Parade (©photocoen)

Applauding Dancers and Musicians during Bolivia’s Urkupiña Festival

According to the most popular story a young shepherd girl daily herded her sheep on a stony hill, where the Virgin Mary appeared to her several times. At one time she indicated the Virgin to her parents, shouting, "Orkopiña" – "There, on that hill", as the Virgin was ascending towards ...
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Dumfries House (photo credit Ann Burnett c 2013)

Appreciating Chippendale Furniture at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland

If it hadn’t been for Prince Charles, we wouldn’t be walking through the grounds of Dumfries House. In 2007, the House and its extensive grounds were put up for sale by the owner, the 7th Marquess of Bute. The Prince heard of this and, realizing the importance of the house ...
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An example where Oscar Niemeyer's architecture and Burle Marx's landscape garden complement each other (©Coen Wubbels)

Appreciating Modern Architecture in Brazil’s Capital of Brasília

"Why would you want to go to Brasília? It is an ugly city that lacks a soul," is the most common remark I have heard from Brazilians about their capital. Despite these discouraging words I decided to visit the city and judge for myself. My verdict: "Brasília is an ugly city ...
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Where the Tooth Relic is kept. (Roberta Sotonoff)

Attending the Perahera Festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Tammattam drums throb in the distance. The steady boom, boom, boom of these small-sized, kettle-like drums grow louder. Their rhythm is almost hypnotic. Then comes the sound of cracking whips. A troupe snaps them to the drum beats. For the next four hours, I am dazzled by what passes before me ...
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1920 Fowler Road Locomotive (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Attending the Traditional Cart Marking Ceremony in London, England

What do Montgomery’s Rolls Royce and a butcher’s handcart have in common? They appeared in a London ritual dating back to 1667: Cart Marking. The first time I heard the name of this ceremony -- Cart Marking Under the Worshipful Company of Carmen -- I admit wondering who Carmen was. We ...
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The shadow of a hot air balloon falls on a forest's autumn colors. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Autumn Hot Air Ballooning Along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The pilot guides our hot air balloon toward a forest ablaze in autumn colors. She gently lowers the basket until it brushes the treetops, a maneuver she tells me is called contouring. I’ve gone leaf peeping by car on scenic drives and on foot hiking through forests, but this is the ...
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