Vietnamese Art: Origins and Influences

Vietnamese art rshutterstock_38331889uns the gamut from ancient wood sculptures to modern oil paintings. This proud nation in Southeast Asia has a long and storied history that is filled with cultural achievements.


Vietnam is a populous country in Southeast Asia. It is the easternmost country in the Indochina Peninsula. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, the South China Sea to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, and Laos in the northwest. Its capitol city is Hanoi, in the north. Vietnamese is the official language.

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What Is Bachata?

what is bachataWhat is bachata? The short answer is that it is a style of music and dance from the Dominican Republic. But there is much more to the history and style of bachata!

This dance is rhytmic and sensuous, and the lyrics of the music tell sad stories. But it is also a music played at gatherings of friends and family, and it is a proud element of the culture of the Dominican Republic. The music and the dance of the bachata are both gaining international popularity.

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Japanese Katakana: Learn More About Written Japanese

japanese katakanaJapanese katakana is just one way of writing the Japanese language. Three different systems render the spoken language onto the page. The first and most traditional system is kanji. The other systems fall under the umbrella term of kana. Kana consists of two systems: hiragana and katakana. These are syllabic renderings of the language. Together, these three form the Japanese written language.

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Facts about Russia: An Introduction

facts about russiaBridging the continents of Europe and Asia, Russia is a country with a long history. Due to its large size – both in terms of geographic size and population – it abounds with different people and cultures. The following facts about Russia may teach you something new, or prepare you for travels!

Russia’s Prime Minister – and thus its head of government – is Dmitry Medvedev. The current President – and thus the head of state – is Vladimir Putin. He was previously President from 2000-2008. He was Prime Minister from 1999-2000 and again in 2008-2012.

Name Origins

Rus was the name of a medieval state populated by Slavic peoples. The Rus people themselves were possibly descended from Swedish Vikings; they founded this nation near Kiev around 900 CE. Western nations knew it as Ruthenia. The name carried through and Russia – “the land of the Rus people” – persists to this day. Its official governmental name now is the Russian Federation. In the Russian language, the name is said as Rossiya, or “ross SEE ya.”

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Portuguese Cuisine: An Introduction

portuguesecuisinePortugal is a republican country in Europe with a long and storied history. It is located at the southwestern end of the Iberian Peninsula, to the west of Spain and along the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal is the westernmost country of the continent of Europe, and it still holds authority over the islands of the Azores and Madeira. Portugal formerly controlled colonies around the world, from Brazil to Mozambique to East Timor. Portugal’s cuisine is influenced both by its European location and its historical worldwide influence. [Read more…]

Middle Eastern Spices

Spices Sold In The Traditional Turkish BazaarWhy Use Spices?

Middle Eastern spices gives the region’s cuisine its unique flavors. Alone or in mixtures, they can work culinary magic. Spices can do everything from make dinner to delicious to heal your body. (Ayurvedic healing – and of course Ayurvedic cooking – use spices based on the principles of this ancient Indian healing philosophy.) Knowing more about these spices and how they are used can liven up your recipes, dare you to try new things, and help your health. Some say that you will even eat less when you eat something more flavorful, so spices could be your key to healthy eating.

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How to Draw For Kids

how to draw for kidsWhat are your reasons to learn how to draw for kids? There are plenty! You can use your drawing skills to teach art to children. You can entertain your own kids with unique creations. Or, you can even illustrate a children’s book. You will soon be creating coloring books or sketching out favorite characters to delight kids with the skills you learn.

Learning to draw is an easy new talent you can learn – you do not need to go to art school in order to pick up a pencil and start sketching. Soon you will unlock the secrets to drawing. The more you practice, the better you will become. In no time, you will be illustrating with ease and confidence.

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Team Building: Quotes to Inspire

shutterstock_125165846Team building quotes from great minds and great leaders can be the inspiration that your group needs to pull together. These wise and pithy sayings will open your eyes and strengthen your resolve as you work with others. Whatever your endeavor might be – sports, work, or community service – learning to work as a team is crucial. Team building is an important skill you can learn. Knowing how to work together and make a team function is important for the team leader and every team member alike. [Read more…]

Body Language Facts: How We Communicate Without Words

body language factsWhat do we say with our hands, our posture, or our faces? What are the basics of nonverbal communication? These body language facts can help you interpret the ways in which people are communicating without saying a word. Unlocking the secrets of body language is a talent you can learn. You will learn more about what others are telling you, and you will realize what image you are projecting yourself. Whether it’s showing confidence or detecting lies, knowing more about body language is useful.

You can become better at reading the emotional states of others based on their physicality. You will be able to interpret their body language and understand what they are not actually saying in words. Is this person stressed? Is this person romantically interested in me? Is this person lying to me?

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Astrology vs. Astronomy

astrology vs. astronomyWhat are the differences between astrology and astronomy? Astrology is the belief that studying the stars can tell us more about our personalities and our futures based on the alignment of celestial bodies. You may be familiar with your own star sign – like Libra or Scorpio – and the supposed effect it has on your own life. Astrologers outline different personality types, and then predict how you will interact with others. They use the movement of the planets for each sign to explain the forces affecting you and predict your future.

Astronomy, on the other hand, is the science of studying the stars that can tell us more not about human lives but about the fate of the universe and its various elements. Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler were all notable astronomers who helped us better understand the way the universe works. Astronomers study everything from comets to galaxies to black holes. [Read more…]