Sunday, March 30, 2008

Five new flags since yesterday!

I must admit: this rather blows me away. I glanced over at my neocounter and did a double take this afternoon. 92 countries? It was just 87 yesterday. Wow.

So a very hearty welcome to our visitors from Bahrain, Barbados, Egypt, Latvia, and Lithuania! Glad you dropped by.

Tylos was the Greek name for an island that had been called Dilmun. The Persians called it Mishmahig and we know it as Bahrain. Its strategic location in the Persian Gulf has made it of interest to many nations throughout history.

Another island nation, located among the Lesser Antilles, is Barbados. Bajan is the local dialect of the official language, English. "Pride and Industry" is the motto on the coat of arms, which includes a fish and a pelican as supporters and and arm holding what appear to be crossed sticks of sugar cane on the badge.

It seems superfluous to add anything about Egypt, one of the great centers of ancient civilization (and part of last week's geography post). Did you know the ancient Egyptians had done a lot with plumbing? (A trivium from my high school humanities class; what can I say?) I am a great fan of plumbing, myself. God bless modern toilets and all the technological steps through the millennia that led to their development. Meanwhile, when I was in high school we had an exchange student from Cairo named Salwa Mansour. She and I have the same birthday.

Latvia was famous for its amber from ancient times. It lies on the Baltic between Estonia and Lithuania. Another way cool coat of arms with a red lion and a silver gryphon.

Latvia's southwestern neighbor is Lithuania. As someone who loves languages, I am intrigued that Lithuanian is "the most archaic among the living Indo-European languages" which means that it is, perhaps, more similar to the Indo-European tongue underlying most western languages than any of the others. Lithuanian and Latvian, though related, are not mutually intelligible. They are the two living Baltic languages. The geographic center of Europe is in Lithuania.

I apologize for such a cursory overview but five countries in one day is, well, overwhelming. And delightful, of course.

LITHUANIA - The Journey to the Centre of Europe

A young man called a Lithuanian Caruso (and why not have a little Tenor treat?):

"Sounds Like Latvia" - a fast-paced promotional vid

h2o - Uzmini nu (Guess) - The best pop song 2006 in Latvia, according to Latvian Music Awards

IĻĢI - Sēju vēju (some Latvian folk music to make your hips get moving)

A shift to the tropical:
Green Camouflage, David Kirton, Barbados Reggae music video

Looking for "Bahrain music" I find this (allow it to develop):
Pearl divers music of the Gulf: Sanqini- Al Amiri Ensemble 1

A modern beat from Bahrain:
A Road Trip in Bahrain (Ne Yo - All Because of You)

Egyptian Musicians Perform, Luxor, Egypt

Brought to you by your global DJ,
--the BB

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