Posts about Heritage

Mamuthone Mask_Credits: Enrico Spanu:www.enricospanu.com. License: CC BY-NC-SA..

Sardinia: Mamoiada Carnival

13.02.2020

From man to beast

Even a candidate as stubborn as winter himself must get cold feet at the sight of a Mamuthone (header image) – not to speak of an entranced hoard of them foot-stamping and cow-bell-rattling on streets and around the many bonfires lit for the grave occasion. The noise is deafening and the atmosphere perturbing. The aim of this ancestral rite being to scare winter and any evil away with all the might one can muster. Thus, room is made for spring and to welcome the good it promises to bring. In order for nature not to oversleep, the tradition of stamping and rattling, by employing full weight of body and bells, is a drastic means of reliably shaking her out of hibernation and to remind her: Now is the time for renewal! Measures that seem to have worked over ages.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Horses galopping in the snow: The White Turf Horse Race in St. Moritz.

White Turf: The „St. Moritz Roar“

26.01.2020

When the definition „perfect symbiosis“ between a resort and its guests needs to be satisfied, few places come to mind. St. Moritz is one of them. In by-gone decades, the glamorous guest list included Charles Chaplin, Greta Garbo, the Kennedy’s and the controversial Shah of Persia. Or actress Brigitte Bardot and Gunter Sachs in each other’s tow. All of them readily showcased themselves on this elitist alpine merry-go-round under the scrutinising eye of the rainbow press. Whereas generations, nationalities and names on the sophisticated society chart prove exchangeable, the denomination „St. Moritz“ has reliably positioned itself as a sparkling gem safely embedded in craggy mountainous surroundings.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Madeline Pickens spends her life saving America's Mustangs. Here with her horse "Paint".

Saving America’s Mustangs

3.01.2020

Madeleine Pickens is a businesswoman, animal welfare activist and philanthropist of European descent. When, in 2008, the Bureau of Land Management declared that the United States government considered euthanasia and/or the sale of more than 30,000 Wild Mustangs to slaughterhouses overseas, Madeleine resolved to establish a sanctuary for endangered native horses. A year later, Madelene testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of H.R. 1018, the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act. After acquiring the sanctuary in North Eastern Nevada, she saved over 600 Mustangs from slaughter and endeavours to rescue and preserve the Wild Mustang have been an ongoing process. Also, until this day, the sanctuary’s survival relies on Madeleine’s charity foundation „Saving Americas Mustangs“, through which the funding for the Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve could be raised. A series of recurring obstacles had to be overcome before the resort could be run according to plan.

Saving America’s Mustangs is a not-for-profit organisation accepting donations (tax-deductible).

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

9.12.2019

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
The Smetana Hall + Obceni Dum in Prague

Prague: Obecní dům – a Genius Loci of fine Art Nouveau

21.11.2019

Great sculptors and painters of their time have created an architectural treasure, whose masterly opulence bears witness to their genius to this day. Jan Preisler, Mikoláš Aleš, Max Švabinský, František Ženíšek, Ladislav Šaloun, Josef Mařatka, Josef Václav Myslbek or Alfons Mucha – names difficult to pronounce – were but a small fraction within the remarkable group of skillful artists involved in building and decorating Obecní dům – the Municipal House located right in the heart of Prague. Since its inauguration in January of 1912, the extraordinary building has served as a splendid stage for atmospheric concerts, grand festive balls and fancy fashion shows and is justly listed a national heritage site.

Its two protagonists – the Smetana Hall and the restaurant Francouzská – alone are well worth the trip to Prague, from whichever corner of the globe it may have to commence.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes