Culture

Chopsticks: symbol of Chinese food culture

Most of us, at least once in our lives, have tried to enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese dishes with chopsticks. Someone uses them properly, others feel a little awkward, continuing to prefer the classic western knife and fork. Chopsticks are the symbol of Chinese tradition and culture and can be made of wood, bamboo, ceramic, plastic, but their shape always remains the same.  The origin of this culinary tool is uncertain and there are various legends about it, but it certainly dates back to a very ancient era. Initially, millet was the main ingredient of Chinese recipes so spoons were the only practical utensil to have meals. Later, when millet began to be processed and consequently the dishes were also more elabo...

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Arts

“Portrait of a Lady” is home again: the stolen Klimt has been missing for twenty-three years

The world of art is experiencing a significant moment. On November 28, a live streaming conference announced a very important news not only for the city of Piacenza, but for both Italian and European culture. The Ricci Oddi art gallery of Piacenza has announced the return of Gustav Klimt's work "Portrait of a Lady", stolen twenty-three years ago.  In 1925 the Austrian artist’s painting was purchased by the Italian collector Giuseppe Ricci Oddi, then in 1997 it was stolen from the gallery and only in December 2019 was found in a bag in the same art gallery where it was exhibited. A rather mysterious fact, almost like the painting itself. In 1996 the student Claudia Maga realized that...

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BooksPublishing

Personal growth books: 3 of the best according to the New York Times

There are not just novels. For quite a few years now, in the publishing world there has been a boom of the so-called personal growth books. How to be successful at work? What are the rules for a correct and persuasive communication? And the best habits to increase productivity? By now there are so many and they give a helping hand to people for both relatively simple issues such as "how to sleep better" and much more complex and philosophical ones such as "finding happiness". It is not easy to choose the very best ones, but with the help of the New York Times rankings we can find our way towards some of the best-in-class. Atomic Habits by James Clear With more than a million copies sold worldwide, James Clear's book continues to be an all-time favorite, remaining i...

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Culture

The story of Nelson Mandela and his fight against apartheid

Nelson Mandela was a South African politician and president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He is best known for his fight against apartheid and all forms of racism, which led to his incarceration, making him the most famous political prisoner ever. Mandela was born in July 1918 in the then British colony Union of South Africa. At that time, although the majority of the population was black, it was a white minority that held the power. They controlled everything and they had established a discriminatory social structure later called apartheid. In fact, this term indicates the policy of racial segregation which provided for the separation within the country between whites on the one hand, and blacks, mixed-race and Indians on the other. The African activist was descended from...

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Economy

Design e PMI in Italia

Italia tra i leader europei del Design, settore a cavallo tra creazione artistica e produzione industriale di massa. Se il comparto in Europa conta un numero di circa 217mila imprese, l’Italia è il Paese con il maggior numero di aziende in quest’area (34.000), che offrono occupazione a 64.551 lavoratori e generano un valore superiore a 3 miliardi di euro. Il nostro Paese contribuisce infatti al 14,8% del giro d’affari a livello Ue, dietro a Regno Unito e Germania. Tuttavia, il 53,4% del nostro tessuto imprenditoriale è frammentato tra liberi professionisti e piccolissime imprese. Queste le principali indicazioni che emergono dal report «Design Economy 2020», elaborato da Fondazione Symbola, Deloitte Private e POLI.design (da quest’anno con il supporto di ADI, CUID e Comieco e il patrocini...

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Arts

Nuovi spazi per l’arte sul canale tematico di Sky

Da sempre l’arte, per esplicitare la propria essenza, ha bisogno del pubblico e di un luogo nel quale prendere forma. Oggi più che mai la creatività necessita di una “piazza” per raccontare se stessa e la nuova serie condotta da Nicolas Ballario, in onda su Sky Arte, realizzata da Tiwi, rappresenta uno spazio in cui potersi esprimere. Al via giovedì 26 novembre The Square, un luogo in costruzione i cui contenuti vengono dai palcoscenici del mondo dell’arte e della cultura, ora vuoti, e sono emblema di nuove modalità in risposta all’epoca complessa nella quale siamo immersi. Gli ospiti sono artisti, musicisti, registi, attori, danzatori, finalmente accolti da un luogo che si trasforma in cassa di risonanza per la loro attività. Durante il primo episodio sarà raccontata l’evoluzione digi...

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Arts

Totem poles: a true form of art or objects of consumption?

The word totem is often misused to refer to the poles depicting animals associated with Native American culture. Actually by totem, a term deriving from ototeman, we mean a natural or supernatural entity that takes on a symbolic meaning for a person or within a clan or tribe. The cult based on the presence of totems is called totemism and it is a religious practice of tribal origin. Several native tribes of North America who adhered to this cult used to carve tree trunks and decorate them to depict overlapped totems, hence creating the so-called totem poles. These symbolized and/or commemorated cultural beliefs related to family legends, clan lineages or other important events.  Many think that the art of totem poles is a peculiarity of all Native Americans. The truth is that t...

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Traditions

Jarramplas: the Spanish festival where people throw turnips

A shower of turnips, people running, others singing, excitement and adrenaline come together in the streets of the town, we are in Piornal, a Spanish municipality in Extremadura. Here every year, precisely on January 19 and 20, on the occasion of San Sebastián, one of the most heartfelt and most important holidays of the area is celebrated, the famous Jarramplas.  The origins of this festival are rather uncertain, most of the inhabitants of Piornal say that Jarramplas represents a cattle thief who in the past, once discovered by the villagers, was hunted and hit with vegetables. Others claim that this ancestral festival has mythological origins, whereas others attribute it to a Native American tradition. Whatever its...

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Arts

Hakone: Japan’s first open-air museum where art and nature live together

Today we can live and experience art and its forms in different ways and places. Exhibitions, museums, theatres are not the only settings where you can enjoy the beauty of the masterpieces. It would be exciting to walk in a park and admire works of art in the open air surrounded by the beauty of nature, in any season of the year, would not it? In Japan, but not only, it is possible. Today we are going to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum, close to Mount Fuji. Hakone is a very popular area for nature lovers who enjoy relaxing among the tranquillity of parks, museums and nature trails.  The Hakone Museum is the first open-air art museum in Japan that was founded in 1969. The surfa...

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Traditions

Thanksgiving Day: origins and traditions of the most envied American holiday

Every year, on the fourth thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For our Canadian friends, the holiday falls on the second monday of October. An all-American festivity, which is so famous all over the world (especially due to the incredible amount of American films that we always watch) that when November comes we would like to celebrate it too. But where does this holiday really come from and how is it traditionally celebrated? Let's start by saying that Thanksgiving Day, along with Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July (Independence Day), is one of the most important and heartfelt holidays for Americans. Hence the enormous interest in it. It was initially of religious origin but it is now considered secular. Apparently, the first Thanksgiving Day was cel...

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