Wikipedia: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

If you need to go down a Wikipedia rabbithole, this is a good place to start. It’s important to learn about other cultures to me and this list provides a wealth of cool cultural tidbits. Here are a few I found interesting:

  • Hurling (Ireland) – It’s kind of like a combination between lacrosse and baseball. I’d recommend watching some gameplay to get a feel for the sport. I have to say, it looks really fun to play and watch. Happy St Paddy’s!
  • Epic of Manas (Kyrgyzstan) – Central Asian culture is tragically overlooked and I’m guilty myself for not knowing enough about it. The Epic of Manas is the national epic of the Kyrgyz that rivals the Mahabarata and King Gesar in length.
  • Turkish Bird Language (Turkey) – Whistling languages use a language’s rhythm and melody to communicate. Turkish Bird Language certainly lives up to its name.
  • Nowruz (various) – This entry is what led me to the cultural heritage list. Nowruz Mobarak! Persian New Year is this weekend and I wanted to learn more about it after going to a Nowruz festival. With Tibetan New Year (Losar/ལོ་གསར) a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice that sabze is really similar to lophue (ལོ་ཕུད) – coincidence? I wonder if they share some ancient Central Asian origin…
A big bowl of sabze or wheat sprouts
Sabze, wheat sprouts, are one of the most recognizable symbols of Nowruz and are one of seven components of the Persian New Year table arrangement Haft-Sin. They represent rebirth and growth.
Credit: VisitOurIran
A Losar (Tibetan New Year) shrine with lophue and other offering items
Lophue (left), barley sprouts, are an important Losar offering item wishing for a good harvest and luck in the upcoming year.
Credit: Phayul

Article: The Strange Rise of the Bluefin Tuna

A lot of what we think we know about sushi are lies. For instance, most raw fish for sushi isn’t fresh but frozen and salmon sushi is only a thing because of the Norwegians. Well, be prepared to add another one to the list of sushi lies: tuna isn’t traditionally in sushi either.

YouTube: The Chinese Student Crisis

Anybody who’s been on a college campus can tell you that Chinese students make up a large proportion of international students. Combined with the context that a lot of people online claim college is a scam, this video was really interesting.

Podcast: Arroz a la zorra

Palindromes are pretty fascinating. A nut for a jar of tuna. Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog. UFO tofu. This podcast is about one guy’s obsession with palindromes. Before this podcast, I’ve never given second thought about palindromes in other languages but I can see how Spanish would be a really good language for palindromes.