Fact File: Aztek

February 29, 2008

Human sacrifice as shown in the Codex Magliabechiano.What? The Aztek was one of the greatest tribes of Central-America. Moteuczoma, was the main chief of all azteks who ruled one of the richest countries in whole America. When the spanish adventurer Hernán Cortès led a group of soldiers from Europe in 1519, they met the city og azteks. It led to one of the most dramatic historical events in time.  

Who? The azteks were civilizated people, not very different from the Mayas. The azteks warriors wore clothes of cotton and feathers. They vere extremly religious, and believed in the so-called Moteuczoma, which was an philosophy where the Azteks gave human blood and human hearts as a sacrifice to their gods, so the world would not surrender. There were somewhere around 1 600 gods. One for each aspect of life. The ceremonies contained dancing, theater in exeptional detailed costumes and kanibalism.  

Where? As shown in the picture, the Azteks lived in central mexico. The Azteks settled down in a fertile area somewhere around 1325. They were contantly practising war, and formed allies with other tribes.

 If you want more information, the moviemakers Dreamworks has made a movie based on Cortés meeting with the Azteks. The Movie is called Eldorado, for those who wants to know more!

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Culture Of India

February 29, 2008

Indian culture as we know it today has its origin from one of the oldest cultures in the world. The Indus valley civilization. They were an ancient civilization who dates back to almost 3000 years BC. Archaeologists has found traces of dance sculptures, pottery, golden jewellery, trading networks, brick houses, make up, hair colour, string-instruments, toys and games, sea-going crafts, yoga postures and ornaments like swastikas, which indicates that we can trace modern Indian culture back to the Indus valley.

But none of these things can say anything about how the Indians developed their cultural traditions, customs and manners. Manners are a quality Indian culture highly treasures. They treat each other nicely and with respect. Because in Indian values and beliefs, all people are alike and everyone should be treated with the same respect. According to Indians themselves, they even treat their guests like a member of their own family. It seems like India is a “family nation”. They respect and love their family as a big part of their culture. Elders are the most respected ones in an Indian family, and to get their blessing, they touch their feet according to tradition. When India was invaded by Brittan in the mid 18th century, the Indians picked up English customs and language. Nowadays, the two main languages in India are actually English and Hindi. But India is a country of many languages, if we’d include all of them, India would have 415 living languages. Many of these are spoken in small religious societies spread all over the country. 

Hinduism is the main religion in India, with almost 80% of the inhabitants as followers. Hinduism is also the oldest and one of the world’s largest religions. Many things indicate that Indians got their manners and customs from Hinduism. After all, a Hindu’s life is mostly about how to live a good life and achieve good karma. (Then you can get in a better caste and finally reach moksha, which is a condition of nor life or death.) An important part of Hinduism is meditation, or yoga as it’s also called. Yoga is an ancient spiritual ritual which is originating in India. As said before, traces of yoga postures were found in the Indus valley. That way we know it’s a very old tradition in India. Yoga is a ritual where you sit in different positions or postures,It is supposed to help you relax and keep an open mind. The Gods is often pictured sitting in yoga postures. Hinduism as many other religions has its ceremonies. These ceremonies take place in beautiful temples, filled with wonderfully handmade god-sculptures and pictorial-art. It’s one of India’s main tourist attractions because of its rare character and greatness.India is sometimes referred to as the land of temples because of all these Hindu-temples. They are outstanding and truly a distinctive feature for Indian architecture and culture. When talking about Indian architecture, perhaps the most famous creation is the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is a huge mausoleum, also known as a monument build over a person’s burial chamber. It’s made of white marble and has elements of Persian, Islamic, Turkish and Indian style. The Taj Mahal is visited by millions of tourist every year and is considered one of the creations on UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Times New Their religion is an important component in their culture. First of all, it says a lot about how they live their lives and what values they have. Second of all, it brought on the temples, which is considered as rare beautiful characteristic architecture, and an important part of Indian culture. And third of all, it’s a huge impact on art, litterateur, poetry and music. Indian art is mainly influenced by religion. Their art express religious or spiritual truths of timeless character. It’s not important what and when the motive is from, what really matters is the spiritual presence of the gods. Almost all Hindus have their own statues and pictorial art in their homes. That way they can have their own little alter where they pray and worship their gods every day. Indian literature, poetry and music consist mostly of Hindu-text and stories about gods. Modern Indian music is a slight different thing. The largest modern culture society in India today must be the famous Bollywood. It’s India’s answer to the American Hollywood. Bollywood music can be about love and feelings, and not just stories of gods. The music, dances and movies are outstanding. They always wear bright colourful outfits with extravagant jewelleries. In regular days, the Indians have traditional clothes for both women and men. Women wear something called salwar kameez or sari, while men wear a dhoti, lungi or kurta.

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If I should mention one last thing about Indian culture, it’s got to be the food. Indian food is special in every region of the country. In the North they eat chicken, milk, cheese and other regular ingredients. While in the south, very spicy food and vegetarian dishes with rice and other vegetables is more common. Of course all over India, rice and wheat are the staple food. Every region or family has its traditional way of preparing and cooking the food. India, which is a social country, with many festivals and gatherings, food plays a very important part because it brings people together. At festivals as well as in everyday life when families sit down and eat together.

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