Countries and Their Cultures, Volume 3: Laos - Rwanda

Countries and Their Cultures, Volume 3: Laos - Rwanda

Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember

Language: English

Pages: 652

ISBN: 2:00235338

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Like the ten-volume Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Macmillan, 1996), the four-volume Countries and Their Cultures is based on the collection of ethnographic information known as the Human Relations Area Files based at Yale University. Unlike World Cultures, which is organized by culture, the new work is organized by country. This work's strength is that readers who know very little about a country can quickly obtain a good orientation to the major issues, history, and social structure of a nation. The 225 entries are between ten and 20 pages long and read like a cross between a well-written encyclopedia article, a travel guide, and a social science essay. They provide a good general overview of a country without greatly oversimplifying or distorting. All entries have the same structure, with sections on geography, history, demography, languages, food, economy, etiquette, politics, family, religion, and arts and humanities. A country's degree of cultural unity as well as its cultural variations are described in the sections on national identity, ethnic relations, and social stratification. Each entry has a map with a regional insert, black-and-white photographs, and a bibliography of recent scholarly books. Recommended especially for libraries that do not own Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Marc Meola, Coll. of New Jersey Lib., Ewing

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123–127, 1984. Schatzberg, Michael. ‘‘The Coup and After: Continuity or Change in Malian Politics?’’ Occasional Paper no. 5, African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1972. Schulz, Dorothea Elisabeth. ‘‘Praise in Times of Disenchantment: Griots, Radios, and the Politics of Communication in Mali.’’ Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1996. Silla, Eric. People Are Not the Same: Leprosy and Identity in Twentieth-Century Mali, 1998. Sonfo, Alphamoye, and Urbain Dembele. ‘‘De l’oral

1987, has diagonal stripes of white, blue, and green. White is symbolic for peace (khotso), blue for rain (pula), and green for plenty National Identity. Lesotho is a very homogenous nation, both in terms of the ethnic makeup of its population as well as religion and culture. Lesotho’s strong cultural identity does not translate into a strong national identity, however, since its location deep in the heart of South Africa has historically forced the small country into dependence on its much

linguistic or other imperialism on the part of its more powerful French and German neighbors and protection from economic and political instability that would threaten the country’s prosperity and extremely high standard of living. B E L G I U M rf C le Wiltz Vianden Sûre Diekirch Bettendorf Sûre Ettelbruck Echternach Sûre The national anthem consists of the first and last verses of the song Ons Heemecht (‘‘Our Fatherland’’). Written in 1864, immediately before the nation gained full

mainland as political and economic refugees) but did not protest when it became inevitable. They acquired, however, a distinguishable identity as Macanese-Chinese visa`-vis the rest of China’s people, though this will inevitably fade after the handing over of Macau. Ethnic Relations. Ethnic relations in Macau, though hierarchical and rooted in a colonial relationship, developed into a largely harmonious and relaxed pattern. Major tensions did occur when China interfered in the internal affairs of

than those associated with religion, but folk beliefs about food abound. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Among Christians, a bird is eaten for Christmas, and lamb for Easter. Among Muslims, a lamb is slaughtered for Kurban Bayram. At Christmas Eve dinner it is traditional to serve a cake with a coin in it. Sweet desserts are associated with religious holidays, New Year’s Day, births, weddings, and funerals and commemorations. Blaga rakia (hot sugared fruit brandy) is served by the parents

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