Size: 41,543 sq km and is somewhat less than twice the size of New Jersey
Climate: Cool summers and mild winters
Location: shares borders with Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea to the east
The Flag of the Netherlands was first introduced in 1572, and is one of the first and oldest tricolor flag that is still in used today. On February 19, 1937, a Royal Decree issued by Queen Wilhelmina laid heraldic colors of bright vermilion, white and cobalt blue as the colors of the national flag.
The most famous point of interest in The Netherlands is the capital city of Amsterdam; where there are more cafés there than in Rome. Amsterdam is just like any other large city just in smaller perimeters. Anything you can imagine to do, you are able to do in Amsterdam like; rock climb, deep sea dive, shop, drink, go to the Van Gogh museum, the Anne Frank house, and much more. Amsterdam is not only defined by its red light district where anything goes. But it is also a place of great culture and having a good time with interesting people
1st cent. BC The area's first inhabitants - Frisians, Batavians, and other tribes - settle the coastal territory along the Rhine River. The Batavians become allies of Rome.
4th cent. AD Barbarian invasions. Saxons settle in the east and Franks in the south.
814 On the death of Charlemagne, the Frankish emperor of the West and conqueror of the Saxons and Frisians, his empire is divided. The Low Countries become part of Lotharingia, squeezed between the German lands and France.
10th century The counts of Holland and Zeeland and the bishopric of Utrecht begin to gain greater control of their own affairs.
1275 Count Floris V of Holland grants "Aemstelledamme" freedom from tolls on travel and trade. The year is regarded as Amsterdam's official foundation date.
1421 A storm on St. Elizabeth's Day breaks dikes along the Maas and Waal rivers, causing a flood that drowns 10,000 people.
1477 Beginning of the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs
1578 Amsterdam abandons the Spanish and Catholic cause. Calvinists take over in what is called the Alteration. Public Catholic worship is outlawed and churches are confiscated.
1626 Peter Minuit "purchases" Manhattan Island from the Manhattoes Native Americans for the equivalent of $24, legalizing the Nieuw Amsterdam settlement founded the previous year at the mouth of the Hudson River. In 1664 it was renamed New York by the English.
1813 The Netherlands regains independence from the French.
1853 Birth of Vincent van Gogh.
1917 Despite Dutch neutrality in World War I (1914-18), the Netherlands suffers from severe food shortages, triggering street riots.
1920 Dutch airline KLM launches the world's first scheduled air service, between Amsterdam and London.
1928 Amsterdam Olympics where the Netherlands won 6 gold, 9 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
1940 World War II: Nazi Germany invades on May 10. Holland surrenders 4 days later after the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam. Queen Wilhelmina goes into exile in London.
1942 Anne Frank and her family, along with other Jewish friends, go into hiding in Amsterdam. Dutch East Indies occupied by Japan.
1944 The Frank family refuge is betrayed and its occupants are transported. Anne dies the following year at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
1944-45 Thousands die during the "Hunger Winter," when Nazi occupation forces blockade western Holland.
1997 The Treaty of Amsterdam confirms European Monetary Union and the euro as the future common European currency.
2001 The world's first real same-sex marriage, husband and husband, with a legal status identical to that of heterosexual matrimony, takes place in Amsterdam (by 2004, around 8% of marriages in Holland are same-sex).
2002 Euro banknotes and coins replace the guilder. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander marries Argentine Máxima Zorreguieta. Dutch parliament legalizes regulated euthenasia ("mercy killing"), making the Netherlands the first country in the world to do so. Pim Fortuyn, a flamboyant, gay, populist right-wing politician, is shot to death in Holland's first political assassination of the modern era.
April 9, 2010 A fundamentalist Christian political party led entirely by men was told by the Netherlands' Supreme Court that it must accept women in leadership roles.
Timeline from http://www.sacred-destinations.com/netherlands/netherlands-timeline.htm
The economy in the Netherlands is stable industry that as a low number of unemployed citizens. The country of Netherlands is very open and dependent on foreign trade from their main traders and financial services, but was effected greatly by the global economic crisis in today’s economy.
Their main exports, machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs, that is mainly traded with Germany, UK, Italy, France, and Belgium.
Their major imports, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, and clothing, are mainly from Germany, China, Belgium, US, UK, Russia, and France.
In Amsterdam the cost of living in the city is high like in any other capital in Europe. Gasoline is heavily taxed, with prices running about $5 to $7 a gallon. But since cars are smaller and fuel efficiency now it’s a little bit better than having a gas-guzzler. You pay more taxes for the real food that you get in the Netherland than what we are fed here in the US. Also most of the clothes, fresh foods and other things at a cheaper rate down at the farmer market on weekends.
99% of the Dutch people over the age of 15 can read and write who are expected to complete about 16 years of schooling.
Traditions: the feast of Sint Nicolaas or Sinterklaas which is celebrated on the evening before Sinterklaas' birthday on December 5 in which people exchange presents to each other and especially children. This is the Dutch’s major Christmas holiday. On November 11, children go door to door with homemade paper lanterns and sing songs in exchange for treats. And on April 30 th the Queen Beatrix’s birthday is celebrated even after her death. It is on this date that people sell all of their belongings that they are no long in need of on the street and wear orange in her honor.
Religion: Roman Catholic 30%, Dutch Reformed 11%, Calvinist 6%, other Protestant 3%, Muslim 5.8%, other 2.2%, none 42%
Food: traditionally the food is characterized by the high consumption of vegetables where dairy products are eaten to great extent. Dutch cheeses are world renowned with famous cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leiden. The pastry is extremely rich and eaten in large amounts. Wine has long been absent in Dutch cuisine but has been changed during the last decades; traditionally there are many brands of beer and strong alcoholic spirits
Dance: has many different versions of their traditional folk dances that use clogs which is called "Folkloristisch”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7ooe6R83Eg
Size: 69,700 sq km, slightly smaller than South Carolina
Climate: warm and pleasant since it is near the Mediterranean Sea
Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia
white rectangle, in its central portion a red cross connecting all four sides of the flag; in each of the four corners is a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross; the five-cross flag appears to date back to the 14th century
Georgia is the home to many different historical sites like the silk road, home of the First European, and the Golden Fleece.
The Golden Fleece is a symbol of cultural achievements of ancient Georgian tribes and mainly the high level of development of metal processing, gold in particular, although getting particles of gold from flowing mountain rivers was practiced in Georgia till the 20th century.
You can also visit the Great Caucasus, which is the highest mountain range in Europe.
Or test some wine which Georgian people are well known for making.
Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century but was given independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution. Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Russian troops remain stationed at four military bases and as peacekeepers in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The country continues to move toward a market economy and greater integration with Western institutions.
As a current event that happen almost exactly 2 months ago, a fatal luger Olympic crash. While in the middle of his test run, Nodar Kumaritashvili, age 21, crashed into a steel pole on the luge course hours before opening ceremony. He lost control of his sled during a training run, shot off course and slammed into a trackside steel pole at about 90 mph.
Georgia is a republic government that is a civil law system that accepts necessary jurisdiction, that gained their independence on April 9, 1991.
Georgia is hoping to renewed growth on the effort to continue the liberalize the economy by reducing regulation, taxes, and corruption in order to attract foreign investment. Unfortunately the economy is facing more difficult investment climate both domestically and internationally.
The major exports are scrap metal, wine, mineral water, ores, vehicles, fruits and nuts to Turkey, Canada, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.
The major imports are fuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals from US, Germany, China, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tradition: An unusual traditions of dining is Supra , or Georgian table , which is a way of socializing with friends and family where the head of Supra, Tamada, conducts the highly philosophical toasts, and makes sure that everyone is enjoying themselves.
Religions: In the first half of the 4th century Christianity was adopted as the state religion. The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church is one of the world's most ancient Christian Churches. It was founded in the 1st century by the Apostle Andrew the First Called.
Foods: Traditional Georgian breads are baked in a large well-shaped oven called T'one. The foods of other countries have been brought to Georgia by immigrants from Russia, Greece, and even China.
Many of the customs and traditions of Georgia are very common to those of the surrounds countries. Each country has its own history that defines their traditions and who they are today. And that is shown greatly in what they do today in their cities and towns.
Size: 21 sq km and only about 0.1 times the size of Washington D.C
Climate: tropical with regular rainy seasons between November and February.
Location: A small island directly northeast to Australia in the South Pacific Ocean
Population: about 14,000 people
The twelve points on the star represent the island's twelve original tribes. While the white represents the phosphate, through which the island acquired much wealth from mining. The separation of the blue flag cloth into two equal parts recalls the urban legend of the land, that the first inhabitants were to have been brought to Earth from two boulders. The golden stripe with the thick width which takes up the entire length of the flag represents the Earth’s Equator.
The island of Nauru has many large areas of scrub and creepers that live in and around the vast about of coconut trees that are common to the south pacific land area. Some hibiscus, frangipani, and other tropical flowers grow, but they do not abound here as on other Pacific islands. Although there are no indigenous land animals, however, hogs and poultry were introduced many years ago. Since Nauru is an island, fish are a major part of the culture and economy of Nauru. Good catches of tuna and bonito are taken from the surrounding ocean.
The island of Nauru was not discovered by Europeans until 1798. It was then that Captain John Fearn, of the British whaling ship Hunter , first landed on Nauru but named it Pleasant Island. The name was used until Germany annexed the island 90 years later. The Nauruans’ only contact with Europe was through whaling ships and traders who replenished their supplies on the island in the 1830s. Around this time, beachcombers and fugitives began living on the island. The islanders traded food for alcoholic toddy and firearms.
In World War I, the island of Nauru was not greatly involved except being controlled by different countries. First was Australia, then Britain until they gained their independence on January 31, 1968 becoming the world's smallest independent republic.
During World War II, the island of Nauru was badly treated whether it was from bombing, the unwanted occupancy of the Japanese, or being enslaved.
Once it became independent, the island became a republic country that is ran by the executive branch, legislative branch, judicial branch, and a Parliament.
Standard of living: Nauruans grew up under a broad welfare system in which all their welfare needs were met. Those funds came from the Australian administering authority out of a special Nauru Trust Fund whose money came from phosphate profits. Housing, education, health care, and the public service were all paid for under this administrative account.
Literacy: NA but they are excepted to finish at lease 8 years of schooling
Since everything on the island of Nauru is from the Austlians, they have adopted their customs and traditions even to date.
Religions: Christianity arrived in the 1880s, introduced by both a Catholic missionary and a Congregational minister which are the 2 religions that are dominate today. The Catholic Church provides a secondary school, while the Congregational Church has a major church in the center of the downtown area and smaller churches in the districts.
Food: almost all food is imported, with the exception of fish caught by Kiribati fishermen. Nauru provided fish and sometimes eaten with coconut meat.
Three equal vertical bands of green , white, and red; the coat of arms, an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus, is centered in the white band. Italy has a very similar flag with the same color but lighter hues with nothing in the center of the white band.
Cancun is not the spring break location for many college students, but it is also a great place to take the family to see the historical Mayan ruins, go to the interactive aquarium, and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can always go shopping! Since there is a steady stream of cruise ship passengers passing through Puerto Vallarta, it is geared toward the shopper, with virtually anything Mexican-made being readily available. The marina boardwalk, its nearby market, and the surrounding streets are full of shopping opportunities.
In 1519, the first Spaniards arrived and quickly absorbed the native peoples into Spain's vast colonial empire. For three centuries, Mexico was a colony, during which time its indigenous population fell by more than half
Sep 16, 1810 Father Manuel Hidalgo called for Mexican independence from Spain which became its independence day.
In 1917 U. S. withdrew on eve of its entry into World War I. New Mexican constitution adopted.
During WWII, Gov bank established to help their industry, Mexican tankers were torpedoed by German submarines, Mexico declares war on Axis, and Squadron 201 of the Mexican air force fights in Pacific theater.
In 1952 Women were finally allowed to vote.
In 1968 the Tlatelolco massacre occurred and held the summer Olympics
Mexico has a free market economy that contains a mixture of modern and antiquated industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. But is currently facing many economic challenges, including improving the public education system, upgrading infrastructure, and modernizing labor laws.
Mexico’s major exports are manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton to the US, Canada, and Germany.
Its major imports are metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, car parts for assembly, repair parts for motor vehicles, aircraft, and aircraft parts from the US, China, Japan, South Korea, and Germany.
Literacy: 91% of the population over the age of 15 can read and write.
Clothing: similar to what is worn in the United States. But village men usually wear plain cotton shirts and pants with leather sandals called huaraches. The village women wear blouses and long, full skirts and are usually barefoot. The women use shawls, which are called rebozos, to cover their heads and mothers the use rebozos to wrap their babies to their backs.
Traditions: Mexican artists have been creating art of papier mache for many years. It is used to make masks and other type of art figures through wet newspaper that is layered upon each other to create a lasting art work that is later painted on with bright vibrant colors.
Religion: although Mexico does not have a major religion, the majority of the citizens are Roman Catholics.
Food: The tortilla forms the basis of most Mexican dishes, mainly served with rice and beans, which are not always spicy hot. Mexican desserts Mexican desserts include flan and some popular drinks.
Music/Dance: perform Jarabe Tapatio (the Mexican Hat dance) at their various fiestas and other big events.
an example of traditional Mexican dance and costumes Traditional use of the rebozos
the red soil and white beaches, the four points the four major languages (Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, English) as well as the four points of a compass the blue symbolizes Caribbean waters and skies the stripes represent the island's two main "industries”; the tourists to the beautiful beaches and the minerals from the earth
The first people to inhabit the island were a nation of Arawak Indians called the Caiquetios who migrated north from the Orinoco Basin in South America and settled here approximately 2,000 years ago.
In 1824 Aruba saw the discovery of gold near Bushiribana. The gold rush continued until 1916 when the mines finally became so unprofitable that they had to be shut down.
In 1924, Aruba became one of the world's largest oil refineries. The Lago refinery was located on the east end of the island and on the west end Royal Dutch Shell had a small refinery, the Eagle Refinery which closed soon after World War II.
But for the last decade in the 20 th century until today, Aruba’s main focus has been its sudden boom in tourists.
Aruba’s economy is mainly from the large tourist crowds it receives even with the sudden dip since 9-11. Since then, the government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.
The island’s major exports are live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment to Panama, Venezuela, US, the Netherlands, and Netherlands Antilles.
The island’s major imports are machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and re-export, chemicals and foodstuffs from the US, the UK, and the Netherlands.
Literacy: n/a but 97% of the people are literate and are expected to complete at least 14 years of school.
Clothing: Women wear mostly casual cottons, linens and lightweight synthetics and hats for protection against the sun; and flat-heeled or soft shoes for comfortable walking. While the men wear casuals and shorts are appropriate during the day.
Dutch influence can still be seen, as in the celebration of “Sinterklaas” on December 5 and 6 and other national holidays like April 30, when in Aruba and the rest of the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrates the Queen's birthday or "Dia di La Reina”.
The holiday of Carnival is also an important one in Aruba, as it is in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, and goes on for weeks.
It’s the celebration that Aruba started, around the 1950s, influenced by the inhabitants from the nearby islands who came to work for the Oil refinery. Over the years the Carnival Celebration has changed and now starts from the beginning of January till the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday with a large parade on the last Sunday of the festivities.
Food: rice, chicken, beef, and fish are mostly eaten
Music/Dance: music extends far beyond cultural celebrations. Types of music most often heard on the island are calypso, soca, merengue, and a local combination known as socarengue, which is usually accompanied by dancing that many would consider risqué.
In today’s society, Aruba is just another place to go for vacation, and the people of Aruba are very happy to have that title stamped on their forehead. Aruba is a beautiful place to live and play and just have a good time which is what they like to do in Aruba!
The red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country. ( https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/flags/flagtemplate_bo.html )
Around 464 species of invertebrates and more than thirty thousand vertebrates are in Belarus. About 60 species of fish and 305 species of birds are present here. About six classes of mammals represent the mammal family in Belarus such as elks, wild boars, deer, roe deer, and wolves which are mostly found in the country.
The flora consists of around 111 different types of trees and about twelve thousand species of plants and mushrooms that can be found in its many forests.
Around the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth centuries, the Kievan Rus kingdom formed. Its two administrative provinces, the Polock and the Turov Principalities, covered the area of today's Belarus.
In 1569 the Great Lithuanian Duchy and the Polish Kingdom fused into a multiethnic federal state, one of the wealthiest and mightiest in Europe of the time, called the Commonwealth ( Rzeczpospolita ). The state enjoyed a powerful position in Europe for two centuries.
Once Belarus were under Russian rule, great poverty especially to Jews cause a great number of people to move to the United States.
In April 1917 the Congress of the Belarusian National Organizations took place and became the national awakening process which delegated the claimed autonomy for Belarus.
On July 27, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR adopted the Declaration on State Sovereignty
In March 1994, Belarus adopted a new constitution, creating a presidency and reconstructing the 260-seat Parliament
Belarus has seen limited structural reform since 1995, the launching of the country’s path of "market socialism“ which is being re-imposed by the administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprises.
Belarus’ major exports are machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs to Russia, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, the UK, and Latvia.
Belarus’ major imports are mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals from Russia, Germany, and the Ukraine.
Literacy: about 99% of the citizens over the age of 15 can read and write and are expected to finish 15 years of school.
Clothing: Fabrics were traditional made out of flux and wool, decorated with printed or embroiled ornaments, or weaved from using threads of different color. The male clothing consisted of a shirt with a belt and trousers. While females wore a shirt (longer than males) and "paniova" which is a type skirt. An outside clothing was usually a "svita“, type coat often lined with fur inside for winter clothing.
Belarus is a major country that is full of MUSHROOMS! Many of their cuisine and plants are mushrooms. Mushrooms make what Belarus is today in my mind. Which isn’t a bad things since they can be really good in curtain dishes.
Guinea belonged to France as one of its colonies in the 1890s, and made was made as part of French West Africa. Guinea declared its independence from France on October 2, 1958.
Under Touré, the country was the first avowedly Marxist state in Africa. Diplomatic relations with France were suspended in 1965, with the Soviet Union replacing France as the country's chief source of economic and technical assistance.
Customs: one interesting fact about Guinean etiquette is A son-in-law is always supposed to approach his mother-in-law with great respect and never treat her with familiarity.
Religions: the majority of the country calls themselves Muslims
Food: A visitor who arrives in a compound while a meal is in progress will be invited to join in the meal. Food often is served in large communal bowls and eaten with spoons. In large families, the men will eat from one bowl and the women from another.
Music/Dance: traditional music is mainly accompanied by stringed instruments during festivals and celebrations.
The country of Guinea is a very poor country that can use all of the help it can get from any country that is willing to help. It is these type of countries that make you grateful for the things you have. The major of the people in Guinea wont even be able to write “hi my name is…” which I think is wrong. Thankfully they have not lost touch in their culture and who they are in the end.
Yemen is a low income country that is highly dependent on declining oil resources for revenue. Despite the plans to reform the country’s top ten development priorities, Yemen faces difficult long term challenges, including declining water resources and a high population growth rate.
Yemen’s major exports are crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish, liquefied natural gas to China, Thailand, South Africa, India, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Yemen’s major imports are food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals from the United Arab Emirates, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the US.
Religion: Muslim including Sunni) and Shia, and a small number of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu.
Food: the festive meal of the nomads, roasted or boiled meat from goat or sheep are served on heaps of rice are eaten at celebrations. In town and villages it is served with side dishes of roasted or fried eggplant and mixed green salads, with fruit or custard with raisins or grapes for dessert
Music/Dance: Traditional performaces include musical-poetical improvisations called dan in the Hadhramaut, at which singers chant a tune without words and poets offer them a freshly created text line by line
Overall Yemen seems like it is just waiting for a bigger and more developed country to bail it out of the tough time it has been going through for the past couple of decades. Which I believe they can greatly use.
The disk represents the moon which the Palauans considers to be the optimum time for human activity and also considered a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility. The blue color represents the ocean which surrounds all of the islands that make up Palau.
Food: basic meal comprises a starch food, preferably soft or hard taro, tapioca, or rice, and a protein food, normally fish.
Music/Dance: Dancing is a highly developed art form where traditional dances are performed by village groups. The women's dances are stately and performed by two lines of women, while the men's line dances often include war stances and stick dances.
The green field, which stands for the country's natural resources and vegetation, with a panel of three vertical bands of red, the struggle for freedom, black, the people of Zambia, and orange, the country's mineral wealth, below a soaring orange eagle, that represents the people's ability to rise above the nation's problems, on the outer edge of the flag.
Between 1500 and 1800 the Lunda and Luba people traveled from the Congo and became a powerful group. By the beginning of the twentieth century, these tribal migrations had transformed the area into a complex society tied together by conflicts and trade.
In 1898 Cecil Rhodes was granted a charter by Queen Victoria to govern the territory then under British control.
In 1929 the British government made the area along the Zambia River a protectorate named Northern Rhodesia.
In 1953 the British Colonial Office decided to unite Nyasaland (Malawi), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and Northern Rhodesia into the Central African Federation.
The republic of Zambia gained its independence on 24 October 1964 with Kaunda as the first president.
Zambia’s government in a republic that is based on the English common law and customary law and has a judicial review of legislative acts in an ad hoc constitutional council. It also has not accepted required jurisdiction.
President Rupiah BANDA is currently head of the Zambian government.
Zambia's economy has experienced strong growth in recent years. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, consisting of approximately USD 6 billion in debt relief.
Zambia’s major exports are copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton to China, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Egypt, Italy, and India.
Zambia’s major imports are machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer; foodstuffs, clothing from South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and China.
The country of Zambia seems to be very similar to almost every other African country that had their set ways of doing things and are not going to change that because modern time do not accept it. It is with that thought that I believe the reason for Zambia to still be an underdeveloped country.