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  noun 1. The act of immersing oneself in other cultures without crossing national borders. 2. Local cultural diversification. 3. Traveling on a budget. 4. A website that will allow you to accomplish all the above from the very seat in which you sit.


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NYC: end of the line

Why didn't we think of this first?

Going to the End of the Line: a photo and video montage of the places at the end of NYC subway routes.

For those subway riders who get off before the last stop — almost everyone — the end is just a sign on the train. What's there, anyway? It turns out there is often mystery, lonesomeness and beauty. Explore through photographs and video below.


Check out the article >>

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Mongolia: throat singing

Mongolian (or Tuvan) throat singing is an ancient type of overtone chanting still performed by the people of Central Asia that involves the manipulation of harmonic resonances as air travels out the lungs, past the vocal folds, and through the lips. The sound produced is both haunting and enchanting, making it one of the most unique forms of musical expression humanity possesses. For a sample...

Below is a similar style performed by Inuit Eskimos in North America. An interesting cultural connection between native people of Siberia and America to note when pondering migration pattern theories.

And for your visual stimulation, a stunning image of a Mongolian eagle trainer:

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Morocco: blue

posted by Jamila

A blue door. A Moroccan door, South of Morocco.

My Moroccan blue door, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

A little paint is all it takes for that flavor of Maroc.

The color blue is believed to ward off the evil eye - the eye of envy, one of the worst human sins.

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Morocco: Moroccan mint tea

Simple & delicious. Mint tea is not just a hot drink in Morocco; it is a necessity & social grace. No sitting conversation goes on without it and high praises are given to those who make it particularly well. You'll find a few variations on steps to make it, but here is how I do it:

For a 3 Moroccan-style cup yield (each cup = 4 oz = 150 ml)

Start with about 7 sprigs fresh mint.

Add to a small pot of water and bring to boil. Don't bruise the mint by leaving at boil.

While water & mint heats, add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar and a green tea bag to a teapot.

Once water beings to boil, pour water and mint into teapot and mix. Let tea bag steep for 1/2 - 2 minutes depending on how strong you want the green tea. After removing the bag allow the tea to continue to steep for a few minutes.

Pour tea into stemless glasses and serve. Traditionally the tea is poured at a great distance from the cup so as to create a foam on the surface of the tea. If the tea is not foaming, it can be poured into cups and back into the pot several times to create the necessary air and foam.

After experimenting and adjusting the amounts of mint, sugar, and green tea, you discover the precise amounts you need to make the tea to your own taste. I prefer mine more minty, slightly sweet, and subtly green (which you can tell by its more pale color).

For more authentic Moroccan tea supplies and stunning pots, trays, cups and tables, try Berber Trading.

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United States vs. Syria: American girl

An eye-opening article from New York Magazine: "American Girl" tells the story of a Syrian-born, Arabic immigrant and her family as they were abruptly woken in the night at their homes and arrested as conspirators against the U.S. They were several of thousands of Arabs who were denied basic Constitutional rights in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Rasha is a petite five foot four. She walks with a feather step and looks at you with penetrating obsidian eyes. Her lips are often lightly glossed in pink, and her serious brown hair is commonly tied in a librarian’s bun. She’s fine-boned, with features as brittle and hard as porcelain: If you drop her, she’ll break, but she’ll cut you, too. She’s tough and tender, enraged and exhausted, withdrawn and outgoing, a pessimist brimming with hope.


[image and text © New York Magazine]

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