culture tagged posts

The Nine Best Aboriginal Experiences in Australia

Learning to spear fish at Kooljaman at Cape Leveque

Indigenous tourism is flourishing all over Australia as visitors and locals alike are keen to learn more about the ancient wisdom and cultural traditions of the world’s oldest living culture.  Here is a sampling of intriguing offerings that range from short bush tucker walks, didgeridoo lessons and guided rock-art tours to multi-day cultural immersions.  For more information, check out Aboriginal Tourism Australia.

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How to best enjoy New Orleans music scene

The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra has spectacular costumes.

Chanting in a deep rhythmic voice, an African-American Indian chief (yes, I said that right), who is adorned headdress-to-toe in powder-pink feathers, beads and sequins, leaps onto the Louis-Louis stage by the wide lazy Mississippi River. An eight-piece band with horns, saxophone, drums, guitars, fiddle, cello and tambourine echoes his primal call.

The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Band has me and the rest of the 800-strong audience in thrall, its culture as mysterious as it is hypnotic.

New Orleans French Quarter Festival

Not far away, the Pinettes, the world’s only all-female brass band, is jamming with “Rock the Boat, Don’t Tip the Boat Over”, while on another stage deep in the bowels of the French Quarter, everyone is swinging to the toe-tapping Cajun fiddle tunes of Amanda Shaw and Rockin Doopsie Jr.

A New Orleans virgin, I am here for the four-day, ten-stage French Quarter Festival, the largest free music festival in the South of the United States...

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Brisbane is Australia’s New World City with great food, shops and culture

Overlooking the Brisbane CBD as it wraps around the Brisbane River

There’s an old joke that does a pretty good job of describing Brisbane compared to Australia’s other major capital cities. It goes something like this. In Melbourne, people ask where you went to school. In Sydney, they ask what suburb you live in. But in Brisbane they say, ‘Come and have a beer mate!’

Brisbane has always had a big country town demeanour, which of course has its plusses and minuses. Growing up here in the 1970s, it felt like I was drowning in its laconic torpor with not much more going on than the horse races and cricket on muggy weekend afternoons. Fast forward forty years and Brisbane is now marketing itself as Australia’s New World City and there are plenty of cultural and culinary adventures in store.

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Discover Hawaii’s Ukulele Culture

Roy Sakuma in his Ukulele Studio

Roy Sakuma in his ukulele studio

Hawaii is the birthplace of the ukulele and there are so many places where you can discover the passion and the precision behind these islands’ love affair with the little stringed instrument that could!

It is Thursday afternoon at Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios in suburban Kaneohe, about 30 minutes and a million miles away from Waikiki’s tourist strip. I feel a palpable Hawaiian spirit upon entering the room jammed with kids, mums and dads, retirees and young ukulele instructors. A crazy quilt of photos and festival posters covers the walls. At the centre of it all is Roy himself, a smiling grey-haired man whose name has become synonymous with the Hawaiian ukulele.

Ukule...

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In the Wake of Bikini Models: 8 Adventures on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands

Aitutaki MFP

The world’s most beautiful lagoon can be found on Aitutaki, a tiny unspoiled dot in the South Pacific. Having visited recently, I can vouch for its massive WOW factor. Aitutaki is in the north of the Cook Island archipelago, which is scattered across 2.2 million square kilometers, halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii.

It is likely to get a lot better known thanks to the recently launched world’s most beautiful safety video, Air New Zealand’s Safety in Paradise.   In the video, Aitutaki starred alongside the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models who were celebrating 50 years of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. And just in case you have any doubt how the regular punters feel about ...

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