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    CC Countries And Current Events CC Countries And Current Events Presentation Transcript

    • Countries and Current Events Carlee Cantwell
    • US Virgin Islands
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size-1,910 sq km
      • Climate-subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September to November
      • Population- 109,825 as of 2009
      • Location- Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
    • Geography
    • Geography
      • St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda are the four main islands.
      • The terrain is very hilly with little flat land.
      • Saint Thomas has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean
    • Geography
      • Rivers- Salt River, Battery Gut, Fish Bay Gut, Cob Gut, Guinea Gut, Turpentine Run
      • Lakes- Flamingo Pond, Great Pond, Salt Pond, Southgate Pond, Southside Pond, Westend Saltpond
      • Oceans- Caribbean Sea/Atlantic Ocean
      • A view of the capital of Charlotte Amalie. The port city's deepwater harbor was once a haven for pirates. Today, it is a famed cruise ship port of call.
      • 1) Cruise ships in Charlotte Amalie harbor.
      • 2) An anchored yacht off the island of St. Thomas.
      • 1) Cinnamon Bay, St. John
      • 2) Trunk Bay on Saint John; its beach, considered one of the Caribbean's most beautiful, even features an underwater trail.
    • History
      • During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.
    • Current Event
      • Virgin Islands Jury Finds Newspaper Libeled Judge By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
      • This article describes the verdict of a trial involving a newspaper and false accusations. The case was filed by Judge Leon Kendall who thought that several articles were slandering him. The articles accused him of setting several criminals free.
    • Politics
      • These islands are organized, unincorporated territories of the US with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior.
    • Economy
      • Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for 80% of GDP and employment. The countries manufacturing consists of petroleum refining, rum distilling, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. The Virgin Islands export refined petroleum products and import crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials. Trade partners include the United States and Puerto Rico.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 90-95% of populations
      • Internet Usage- 30,000 people in 2008
      • Clothing- beach lifestyle; swimsuits on the beach with flowing lightweight wear on the islands.
      • Standard of Living-average 33% higher then most US jurisdictions
    • Culture
      • Religions on the islands include Baptist(42%), Roman Catholic (34%), Episcopalian (17%), along with others.
      • Languages-English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%
    • Food
      • Cassava, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are native to the islands, and a variety of seafood is found in the surrounding waters. Many recipes are based off of African Culture. Killaloo, a local stew with local greens and fish, and in fungi, a cornmeal-based side dish; conch appears in fritters, chowders, and mixed with rice. Guava, soursop, and mango are eaten, along with mamey and mesple.
    • Food
      • Sugar cakes made with coconut and boiled sugar, are a traditional mid afternoon snack. Maubi, a local drink, is made from the bark of a tree, herbs, and yeast. Souse is a stew of pig's head, tail, and feet, flavored with lime juice that is served on festive occasions.
    • Customs and Traditions
      • Politeness is considered important. Children are told to address adults as "sir" or "ma'am." Visitors are encouraged to smile, use greetings, and maintain a courteous attitude. A "bogeyman" is used as a threat to correct children's bad behavior. Education is compulsory and free. Multicultural education is seen as a necessity, but there is growing concern about the public schools, and those who can afford private schools generally choose that alternative.
    • Customs and Traditions
      • Carnival in the USVI is part of a 30-day tradition commencing in early June and culminating with  the July 4th celebration of Cultural Day. The holiday features bike races, calypso shows, parades and fireworks.
    • Music and Dance
      • Popular styles include calypso, soca music, reggae, fungi, meringue, rock steady, salsa, and Zouk.
      • The quadrille is a folk dance that was formerly an important part of Virgin Islands culture; it is now rarely performed, except on St. Croix.
      • The masquerade jig uses elements of theater, dance, music and oratory, and functions as simple entertainment with improvised jigs alternated with humorous monologues..
    • Dance cont.
      • Tea meetings are now only performed as reconstructions in folkloric ensembles; they were evenings of speech-making, feasting and the singing of hymns and parlor songs.
      • The Virgin Islander cariso tradition is extinct in a true folk context, but remains an important symbol of Crucian culture, and is performed by folkloric ensembles for educational and holiday events.
    • Winter Olympics
      • The citizens of the Virgin Islands would compete on the US team. I could find no participants from the islands, however.
      • The US won 37 medals. 9 gold, 15 silver, 13 bronze were achieved.
    • Conclusion
      • The Us Virgin islands, being a dominion of the US, has a very similar lifestyle to America. They have the same rights and the economy is stable thanks the to the tourism.
    • Indonesia
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size-1,904,569 sq km
      • Climate-tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
      • Location- straddles equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean
      • Population- 240,271,522; 4 th highest in the world
    • Geography
    • Geography
      • Indonesia consists of an archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited).
      • There are eight major islands or island groups in this enormous chain. The largest landmasses consist of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes) and Irian Jaya (the western half of Papua New Guinea). The smaller islands fall into two main groups: the Molluccas to the northeast, and the lesser Sunda chain east of Bali. Bali is a unique island, which for a number of reasons can be put into a class of its own.
    • Geography
      • The flora and fauna of the island is idiosyncratic. Major rivers include Mahakam, Barito, Kahayan and Kapuas. Species found nowhere else on earth have flourished in certain areas, including the famous Komodo dragon on the island of the same name. Also in abundance are rare flowers, including exotic orchids, unusual insects, birds of paradise and numerous indigenous spices such as cloves, nutmeg cinnamon, mace and many more.
    • Geography
      • Volcanoes and mountains make up the majority of the islands’ land mass. Innumerable volcanic lakes surround them.
      • 1. Kuta Beach, Bali
      • 2. View from the cliffs at Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali.
      • 1. The Sea Temple of Pura Luhur at Uluwatu in south Bali dates back to the 11th century.
      • 2. The Sea Temple of Pura Luhur at Uluwatu in south Bali perches on some very impressive cliffs.
      • The monkeys at Pura Luhur Uluwatu on Bali are notorious pickpockets.
    • History
      • The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence after Japan's surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949.
    • Politics
      • Indonesia is now the world's third-largest democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state, and home to the world's largest Muslim population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for past human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling avian influenza.
    • Politics
      • President Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since 20 October 2004); Vice President BOEDIONO (since 20 October 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government. President and vice president are elected for five-year terms (eligible for a second term) by direct vote of the citizenry.
    • Economy
      • The major industries of Indonesia include petroleum and natural gas, textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, food, and tourism. They export oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles, rubber and import machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs.
    • Economy
      • Indonesia still struggles with poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment, and unequal resource distribution among regions.
    • Economy
      • Major trade partners include Japan, US, Singapore, China, South Korea, India, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy-90.4% of the population
      • Internet Usage- 30 million users
      • Languages- Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (the most widely spoken of which is Javanese)
    • Clothing
      • Traditional dress is still commonly seen in rural areas and is especially important throughout Indonesia for national ceremonial occasions. For both men and women, traditional dress in Indonesia includes a wrap-around lower-body cover—a kain (a rectangular length of fabric, generally in batik) or a sarong (a length of fabric with ends sewn together
    • Culture
      • Major religions include Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census).
    • Culture
      • Each area in Indonesia has its own traditional food and custom. Sundanese ("orang Sunda") in West Java likes to eat fresh vegetables and sambal. Sundanese like to drink tea without sugar. Padang (West Sumatra) likes to eat hot/spicy food. They are famous for their spicy food and fast delivery. The waiter can bring dozens of plates with various dishes with his two hands (like juggling) in one trip. You'll eat whatever you like and at the end of meal the waiter will calculate the price. You'll find "Rumah Makan Padang" (Padang restaurant) everywhere in Indonesia.
    • Culture
      • The staple food crop of northern region of India is wheat. A typical traditional north Indian balanced diet would consist of Roti (baked wheat pancakes) or Parathas (wheat pancake stuffed with mashed vegetables) served with dal, which is a watery preparation of pulses. Yogurt, milk, ghee (clarified butter), butter and paneer (cottage cheese) are widely used in most dishes along with spices. The non-vegetarian variety is highly inspired from the Mughlai cuisine and is absolutely delicious. Oil is generously used, as many people prefer deep fried curries and other preparations
    • Culture
      • The southern food is ruled by rice and preparations made from rice. It is light and easily digested. A main ingredient used in most dishes is grated coconut or coconut oil, which adds to the essence of the food and creates an aroma which is enough to send you scurrying to the nearest food joint. A typical south Indian meal would consist of rice served with piping hot sambhar (vegetable gravy with pulses), rasam (soup like preparation), curd and pickles along with atleast two different varieties of vegetables prepared in two different styles.
    • Culture- Music and Dance
      • Tembang sunda, also called seni mamaos cianjuran, or just cianjuran, is a form of sung poetry which arose in the colonial-era. Kecapi suling is a type of instrumental music that is highly improvisational and popular in parts of Java. The most popular and famous form of Indonesian music is gamelan, an ensemble of tuned percussion instruments that include metallophone drums, gongs and spike fiddles along with bamboo flutes.
    • Music and Dance
      • Dances are usually about stories and tales of fairy-tale characters. The stories are usually about good challenging evil and also the other way round. But Balinese dances are usually about religion and religious ceremonies. The Rejang is a dance that is performed by women They. move in a slow and grand fashion towards the altar, twirling fans or lifting their dresses. The Baris, means warrior. It is a dance usually performed by men. The movements are sharp and fast and it is hard to decide whether it is the dancer that follows the music, or the other way around.
    • Culture
      • A cultural heritage passed on through generations offers a wealth of traditional arts and crafts.  Batik, wooden carvings, weavings, silverworks and many other traditional skills produce exquisitely beautiful items.  Indonesia's multi-racial and multi-religious culture mean festivals steeped in traditions are celebrated throughout the year. 
    • Winter Olympics
      • Indonesia did not compete in the Winter Olympics.
    • Current Event
      • Suspect’s Death Leads to Questions on Indonesia’s Border Security By PETER GELLING
      • This article is talking about a recent security breach that led to a terrorist attack. More terrorists then originally suspected may have entered the country, and powerful ones at that. The police still continue to look for rebel militants
    • Conclusion
      • Did you know that Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, spans three time zones? Indonesia is a unique country with varying conditions. Also, this country is a member of G20. Interestingly enough the international phone service is in better condition than the local ones. Hmmm?
    • Turkmenistan
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 488,100 sq km
      • Climate- subtropical desert
      • Location- Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
      • Population- 4,884,887 (July 2009 est.)
    • Geography
    • Geography
      • On the eastern border is the Caspian Sea. Rivers include Amu Darya, Atrek, Karakum (canal), Kushk, Morghab (Murgab), Sumbar (Sari-su), and Tejen. There are two natural lakes: Sarygamysh Lake and Kattashor Lake. Over 15 artificial lakes can be found in the country as well.
    • Geography
      • The western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau.
    • History
      • Eastern Turkmenistan for centuries formed part of the Persian province of Khurasan; in medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1924. It achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
    • Politics
      • Turkmenistan defines itself as a secular democracy and a presidential republic; in actuality displays authoritarian presidential rule, with power concentrated within the executive branch. The legal system transitioning to civil law system and influenced by Islamic law tradition; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
    • Politics
      • There is universal suffrage for all those over 18.
      • President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007);
    • Economy
      • Turkmenistan currency
    • Economy
      • Poor harvests in recent years have led to an almost 50% decline in cotton exports. Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. Privatization goals remain limited. Industry consists of natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing.
    • Economy
      • Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty, endemic corruption, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat's reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. In addition, the global recession and a contract dispute with Russia that had virtually stopped exports via this major export route for about 9 months slowed Turkmenistan's economy in 2009.
    • Economy
      • Exports- gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
      • Imports- machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
      • Trade Partners- Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China, Turkey, UAE, Germany, Iran
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 98.8% of the populations
      • Internet Usage-75,000 users
      • Language- Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
    • Clothing
      • The famous Karakul sheep are bred in Turkmenistan, and their gray, black, or brown wool has always been used extensively in clothing. Cotton and heavy silk were used in traditional clothing for the summer season. Women's costume was usually made from plain fabrics. All colors were used, but yellow, red, green, and blue were especially popular. The most popular color was red, in all its shades.
      • Everyday clothing was simple and consisted of a long tunic shirt and pants. The upper part of pants was wide, gathered with a lace. Pants were worn very low, almost at the hip level, leaving the belly bared. Pants' legs narrowed from knee level down. Women wore scarves and little woolen dome-shaped caps on their heads. Women's flat, soft, leather shoes or boots had pointed, slightly upturned toes.
    • Culture
      • Major religions include Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%.
      • Turkmen cuisine , the cuisine of Turkmenistan, is similar to that of the rest of Central Asia. Plov is the staple, everyday food, which is also served at celebrations. It consists of chunks of mutton, carrots and rice fried in a large cast-iron cauldron similar to a Dutch oven. Manty are dumplings filled with ground meat and onions or pumpkin. Shurpa is a meat and vegetable soup. A wide variety of filled pies and fried dumplings are available in restaurants and bazaars, including somsas, (often filled with spinach) and . These are popular with travelers and taxi drivers, as they can be eaten quickly on the run, and are often sold at roadside stands. Turkmen cuisine does not generally use spices or seasonings, and is cooked with large amounts of cottonseed oil for flavor.
    • Culture
      • The music of the nomadic and rural Turkmen people is closely related to Kyrgyz and Kazakh folk forms. Important musical traditions in Turkmen music include traveling singers and shamans called bakshy , who act as healers and magicians and sing either a cappella or with instruments such as the two-stringed lute called dutar.
    • Winter Olympics
      • Turkmenistan did not compete in the Winter Olympics
    • Current Event
      • U.N. Chief Urges Turkmenistan to Focus on Rights By REUTERS
      • The UN wants Turkmenistan to focus on humanitarian efforts. Also how Turkmenistan, as the worlds largest gas producer, could share the wealth. The article also discusses other issues being addressed by the United Nations.
    • Conclusion
      • Overall, Turkmenistan seems like one of those countries that will drift in and out of existence until the end of time. The economy is a drastic decline and the government seems to have no interest in helping its people.
    • Lithuania
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 65,300 sq km
      • Climate- transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
      • Location- Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
      • Population- 3,555,179 (July 2009 est.)
    • Geography
    • Geography
      • Lithuania consists of lowland, many scattered small lakes, and fertile soil. Fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits. The main river is Nemunas. Other rivers include Neris, Merkys, and Dysna. The largest lake is Drūkšiai.
    • Geography
    • History
      • Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795, when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991.
    • Current Events
      • May 18, 2009 Woman Is Elected to Lead Lithuania By REUTERS
      • This is the most recent event that i was able to find. It talks about the new president of Lithuania. Dalia Grybauskaite is the first woman to lead the country and has a long list of credentials. The article also briefly explains the roles of this position.
    • Politics
      • Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy.
      • Chief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
      • Head of government: Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS (since 27 November 2008)
      • Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
    • Economy
      • Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Industry includes metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, and amber jewelry.
    • Economy
      • Exports-mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles, foodstuffs, plastics
      • Imports- mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
      • Trade Partners- Russia, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Belarus
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 99.6% of population
      • Languages- Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)
      • Internet Usage- 1.777 million users
    • Clothing
      • Lithuanians dress in modern, Western-style clothes. Traditional clothing is worn only for festivals. A traditional costume for women consists of a woven, colorful full skirt, embroidered blouse, vest, and head-piece with ribbons. Jewelry made from amber found on the shores of the Baltic Sea is treasured.
    • Culture
      • Religions- Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5% (2001 census)
    • Culture
      • Food has always been treated with great respect by Lithuanians. It is seen as a gift from God. Until the early 1900s, eating was a very serious and even holy act. The family dinner table was not the place for talking or child's play. In traditional Lithuanian culture, meals were presided over by the male head of the household. He led the family in a short prayer before dividing the bread and meat. Other dishes would then be served by the wife.
    • Culture
      • Sour cream is an important part of Lithuanian dishes. Varske (curd or dry cottage cheese) is also important. It is used as a filling in such dishes as varskeciai (rolled pancakes with sweetened curd), cepelinai (large, blimp-shaped potato dumplings), and virtinukai (ravioli-like dumplings). The latter two dishes commonly feature a filling of meat and are topped by a large mound of sour cream or fried bacon bits.
    • Culture
      • A very popular summer dish is the refreshing saltibarsciai, a cold soup of sour cream and buttermilk or sour milk, with sliced beets, cucumbers, green onions, boiled eggs, and parsley. It is usually eaten with a hot boiled potato. Among the large variety of pancakes, potato pancakes form a separate category. Roasts of pork, veal, beef, or poultry, as well as pork chops, are more common on Lithuanian home and restaurant tables than are beef steaks. The seasoning of Lithuanian dishes is mild.
    • Culture
      • Lithuanians are sports enthusiasts. Riding and hunting are traditional activities. A popular traditional game is ripkos, involving the throwing and hitting of a wooden disk. Over fifty types of sports are practiced and played in Lithuania, including rowing, boxing, basketball, track and field, swimming, hand-ball, and table tennis.
      • Basketball is the most popular sport in Lithuania today. It was introduced by a Lithuanian American named Stasys Darius after World War I (1914–18).
    • Culture
      • Lithuanians have long prided themselves on their hospitality. A visit to a Lithuanian home is sure to include a warm response, a richly laid table, and perhaps storytelling and singing. Easter is the most important religious holiday among Lithuanians. Lithuanians begin celebrating Easter by attending a church service before sunrise with their immediate family. The service is followed by a festive breakfast.
      • Lithuanian first names for males end in as or us. Typical first names include Algimantas, Jonas, Darius, and Vytautas . Female first names often end in the letter a and include Rasa, Daiva, Laima, Ruta, and Aldona .
    • Culture
      • The old Lithuanian dainos (songs) are famous for their beauty and variety. The dainos were created by women doing farm work or celebrating festivals. They were also created to mark mournful occasions. Romantic love and leave-taking are important themes.
      • Many folk songs have been harmonized or used in compositions by modern composers. Folk song festivals and performances by choral groups are an important part of cultural life. Folk music is played solo or by instrumental groups. Popular instruments include kankles (zither), skuduciai (pan-pipe), lamzdelis (recorder), ragas (horn), smuikas (fiddle), birbyne (folk clarinet), and skrabalai (cow bells).
    • Winter Olympics
      • Athletes from Lithuania were VAICIULIS Modestas, TERENTJEVA Irina, STROLIA Mantas, RUMIANCEV Vitalij, RASIMOVICIUTE Diana, and NOVOSELSKI Aleksei. They competed in Cross- Country Skiing, Alpine Skiing, and Biathlon. Lithuania took home no medals from Vancouver.
    • Conclusion
      • Lithuania is a country rich with tradition and history. Recently the government has made reforms in order to help its people but cancer is still the leading cause of death in the country. Alcoholism is also a major issue. Lithuania is in good standing.
    • Cameroon
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 475,440 sq km
      • Climate- varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
      • Location- Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
      • Population- 18,879,301
    • Geography
      • Lake Nyos is a crater lake on the flank of an inactive volcano. Magma beneath the lake leaks carbon dioxide into the waters. In 1986, the lake emitted a large cloud of carbon dioxide that suffocated some 1,800 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby villages.
    • Geography
      • Lakes in Cameroon include Lake Monoun, Lake Nyos, and Lake Chad. There are many inactive volcanoes in the area and parts of Cameroon are located on the Sahara Desert. The principal rivers of Cameroon include the Sanaga and Nyong rivers which flow west to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mbéré and Logone rivers that flow north from the central plateau into Lake Chad.
    • Geography
      • Cameroon is home to rain forests that contain a number of different kinds of trees, including oil palms, bamboo palms, mahogany, teak, ebony, and rubber. Variety of wildlife can be found which includes monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, antelope, lions, and elephants, as well as numerous species of birds, squirrels, frogs, and snakes.
    • History
      • The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.
    • Current Event
      • YAOUNDE, April 6 (Reuters) - Cameroon have fixed a friendly against fellow World Cup qualifiers Serbia in Belgrade on June 5, the Cameroon football federation have announced.
      • Cameroon have already scheduled warm-up internationals against Slovakia on May 29 and Portugal on June 1.
      • "These countries were chosen as sparring partners because their football style is similar to that of Cameroon's World Cup adversaries, the Netherlands and Denmark," said the federation.
      • Cameroon will also face Japan in Group E
    • Politics
      • Government Type- republic; multiparty presidential regime
      • Leaders- Chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
      • Head of Government: Prime Minister Philemon YANG (since 30 June 2009)
    • Economy
      • Because of its modest oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks.
    • Economy
      • The main industries are petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair.
      • Exports- crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
      • Imports- machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
    • Economy
      • Cameroon trades with Spain, Italy, US, France, Netherlands, Nigeria, China, Belgium.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 67.9% of population
      • Languages- 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official
      • Internet Usage- 725,000 users
      • Cameroon is plagued with AIDS, with 100s of people dying every day.
    • Clothing
      • Cameroon clothing is influenced by western clothing. The area of Cameroon which was under the influence of the west and was colonized, one finds a great impact of the western world, its culture and religion. The traditional clothing of Cameroon includes the Kabba which is mostly worn by women in the confines of their homes. These are free flowing garments and movement is pretty easy. Cotton is used to make most of the clothing. It is locally produced at the CT-CAM factory. Embroidery and basain are frequently used in Cameroon clothing. A cotton fabric in a single color with a pattern woven on it is known as basain. The Afritude style of clothing is common in Cameroon. It is a more contemporary style of dressing up and is reflective of the modern life in Cameroon.
    • Culture
      • Religions- indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
      • The staple foods eaten by the people of Cameroon vary from region to region, depending on climate, and what is grown locally. In general, the Cameroonian diet is characterized by bland, starchy foods that are eaten with spicy (often very hot) sauces. Meat on skewers, fried and roasted fish, curries and peppery soups are common dishes.
    • Culture
      • Fresh fruit is plentiful in Cameroon. The native mangoes are especially enjoyed. Other fruits grown locally and sold in village marketplaces include oranges, papayas, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, grapefruit, and limes. Most Cameroonians celebrate Christmas, even those who are not Christian. It is a time for visiting friends and family, and exchanging gifts. Holidays and events, such as coronations; saying goodbye to someone going abroad; weddings, and even funerals, are marked by feasts and meals at which friends and neighbors gather to eat local favorite dishes. It is traditional to slaughter and cook a sheep or goat at important occasions
    • Culture
      • At mealtime, damp towels may be passed out to diners (before and after the meal), to wash their hands; Cameroonians eat out of communal bowls. Using their right hands, they dip three fingers into the starchy food—often fufu or a millet dish—and then into the stews or sauces of the meal. It is customary for the men to serve themselves first, while the women wait patiently and the children eat what is left after the adults have finished.
    • Winter Olympics
      • Cameroon did not participate in the Winter Olympics.
    • Conclusion
      • Cameroon may seem like an insignificant nation on the coast of Africa, but it is actually a popular tourist destiny. Even though AIDS is prevalent in the country there is a great sense of community and connection to everyone.
    • Turkey
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 783,562 sq km
      • Location- Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
      • Climate- temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior
      • Population- 76,805,524
    • Geography
      • A view of Istanbul from the International Space Station
    • Geography
      • 1. Mount Ararat (5,166 m, 16,949 ft) is the largest volcano in Turkey, but is not currently active. It is located in extreme northeastern Turkey, near the borders with Iran and Armenia.
      • 2. A view of Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey through the fog.
    • Geography
      • 1. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) in Istanbul is the national mosque of Turkey.
      • 2. Distinctively shaped volcanic cones in the Cappadocia region of Turkey were shaped by centuries of wind and rain erosion
    • Geography
      • "Fairy chimneys" create a surreal landscape in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Created by volcanic eruptions and shaped by centuries of wind and rain erosion, each of these structures consists of a soft cone topped by a layer of harder rock. They reach heights of up to 40 m (130 ft).
    • Geography
      • 1. Seagulls come to rest on one of the colorful fishing boats anchored on the shore of the Bosporus Strait in the heart of historic Istanbul.
      • 2. The ancient Greek city of Ephesus on the western coast of Anatolia was once the site of the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World)
    • Geography
      • The Topkapi Palace courtyard in Istanbul. The Palace was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains many holy relics of the Muslim world. Construction was begun in 1459, and at its height, the complex housed 4,000 people. In 1924, a governmental decree transformed the Palace into a museum of the imperial era.
    • Geography
      • The Roman Theater in Ephesus, which could seat 25,000, was in continuous use until the 5th century A.D.
    • Geography
      • Rivers in Turkey include the Euphrates, Tigris, Kizilirmak, Yesilirmak, Büyük (Great) Menderes, Küçük (Small) Menderes, Ceyhan, Seyhan, Çoruh, and Gediz among others.
      • The main lakes of Turkey are Lake Tuz and Van Lake but there are hundreds of smaller lakes as well as reservoirs.
    • Geography
      • Turkey is famous for its flowers, especially the tulip. Many wild plants flourish on Anatolia which has long been famed for its fertile soil. The fallow deer now common in Europe was introduced from Turkey in the 17th century. Birds have taken advantage of Turkey's strategic position as a bridge connecting Europe to Asia and Africa for thousands of years.
    • History
      • Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians.
    • Current Events
      • Quake Kills Dozens in Turkey By SEBNEM ARSU
      • So what's going on with all these earthquakes recently?! Another struck early this morning in Turkey with a magnitude of 6.0. The majority of the village was destroyed and there were few survivors. Since Turkey sits right on a fault line they are no stranger to earthquakes producing damage equivalent or equal to this disaster. The final comment of the article is from a professor at Istanbul Technical University. He says that students there are working on development to make earthquake resistant buildings while still supporting the local economy.
    • Politics
      • Turkey is a republican parliamentary democracy.
      • Chief of state: President Abdullah GUL (since 28 August 2007)
      • Head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (since 14 March 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Cemil CICEK (since 29 August 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Ali BABACAN (since 1 May 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Bulent ARINC (since 1 May 2009)
    • Economy
      • Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for about 25% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, and while the state remains a major participant in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication, this role has been diminishing as Turkey's privatization program continues. Turkey’s largest industry is textiles but others include food processing, autos, electronics, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, and paper.
    • Economy
      • Turkey's financial markets and banking system also weathered the 2009 global financial crisis and did not suffer significant declines due to banking and structural reforms implemented during the country's own financial crisis in 2001. Economic fundamentals are sound, but the Turkish economy may be faced with more negative economic indicators in 2010 as the global economic slowdown continues to curb demand for Turkish exports.
    • Economy
      • Exports- apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment
      • Imports- machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment
      • Trade Partners- Germany, France, UK, Italy, Iraq, Russia, China, US
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy-87.4% of population
      • Languages- Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages
      • Internet Usage- 24.483 million users
    • Clothing
      • The earliest sources found in the history of Turkish clothing date back to the miniatures and wall pictures uncovered in Central Asia. Leather and felt materials had priority due to natural and social conditions. In addition to these materials; sheepskin, fur and woolen materials were major constituents in clothes of that period.
      • Sources indicate that central Asian Turks used to wear leather boots, mintan shirt, a short caftan used with a belt and a kind of riding trousers loose at the top narrowing downwards suitable for horse riding. Caftan and boots also gained significance as a sign of status.
    • Clothing
      • Bashlyks, head coverings, as in clothes, were made of fur or sheepskin with the purpose of protection from the cold. Bashlyks were also observed to be symbols of status. In the Ottoman period, as the borders of the empire expanded, new relations were set up, cultures and their clothing traditions reached a static state.
    • Clothing
      • While the Palace and its court displayed showy clothes, the common people were only concerned with covering themselves. The administrators occasionally brought about legal regulations on clothes. The clothing of Muslims, Christians, Jewish communities, clergy, tradesmen state and military officials were strictly regulated during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent.
    • Clothing
      • With the industrialization process of the 1960's women entered the work life and tailors were substituted by readymade clothes industry.
      • The contemporary fashion concept, as it is in the whole world, is apparent in both social and economic dimensions in Turkey as well.
    • Culture
      • Tradition in Turkey says that a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered "God’s guest" for at least three days. Istanbul has the historical building of Sirkeci Train Station. This was the last stop of the Simplon-Orient Express - "kings of trains and train of kings" - between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul) from 1883 to 1977. Agatha Christie was one of the passengers of this famous train.
    • Culture
      • Religions- Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
      • Turkish Cuisine has a very pure quality. The variety and simplicity of the recipes and the quality of the ingredients are guarantees of delicious meals.
      • Kebabs are dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. Almost every district of Anatolia has its own kebab specialty. Lamb is the basic meat of Turkish kitchen.
    • Culture
      • A delicious Turkish specialty is "pilaf", a rice dish which is difficult for the inexperienced cook to prepare. Börek are pies of flaky pastry stuffed with meat, cheese or potatoes. The delicious Turkish natural yoghurt, "yogurt", is justifiably renowned. Among the national drinks, Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, ayran, shira, salgam, sahle and boza should be mentioned. Turkish coffee comes thick and dark in a small cup and may be served without sugar, with a little sugar or with a lot of sugar.
    • Culture
      • Turkey also has a love for sports including skiing, soccer, and more uniquely camel wrestling, and Turkish oil wrestling. The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and music from Ottoman Empire dominions such as Persian music, Balkan music and Byzantine music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences.
    • Culture
      • Turkish pop music had its humble beginnings in the late 1950s with Turkish cover versions of a wide range of imported popular styles, including rock and roll, tango, and jazz. Turkey’s dance traditions are dominated by the Ottoman Empire influence. Some styles of dance are Bar, Horon, Halay, and Zeybek.
    • Culture
      • Coffee-houses ("kahve") are very specific to Turkish people. Even the smallest village has at least one "kahve." In old times men used to smoke hubble-bubble pipes ("nargile") while talking about the matters of the day. You must take off your shoes when entering any Turkish home. If you are invited over to dinner then you are expected to stay past midnight.
    • Winter Olympics
      • Turkey had participants competing in Figure Skating, Cross Country Skiing, and Alpine Skiing. Their names were CETINKAYA Kelime, DASDEMIR Tugba, KARADEMIR Tugba, OGLAGO Sebahattin, and TURKSEVER Erdinc. Turkey took home no medals.
    • Conclusion
      • Turkey is an exciting place, both to live in and visit. The country revolves around Muslim faith and customs. Make sure to study up on local traditions and plan your trip around the important holidays if you plan to visit. Turkish influences can be seen throughout the world.
    • Niue
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 260 sq km
      • Climate- tropical; modified by southeast trade winds
      • Location- Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga
      • Population- 1,398 (one of the smallest in the world)
    • Geography
      • Terrain- steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau
      • Niue is one of world's largest coral islands. It sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
      • There are no rivers or streams in Niue.
    • History
      • Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook Islands, have caused it to be separately administered. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an estimated 1,398 in 2009) with substantial emigration to New Zealand 2,400 km to the southwest.
    • Politics
      • Niue is self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue
    • Politics
      • Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner John BRYAN (since May 2000)
      • Head of government: Premier Toke TALAGI (since 18 June 2008)
    • Economy
      • The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. Niue suffered a devastating typhoon in January 2004, which decimated nascent economic programs. While in the process of rebuilding, Niue has been dependent on foreign aid.
    • Economy
      • Industries of Niue are tourism, handicrafts, food processing. They export canned coconut cream, copra, honey, vanilla, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, and handicrafts. They import food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, and drugs.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 95% of population
      • Languages- Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English
      • Internet Usage- 1,000 users
    • Culture
      • Religions- Ekalesia Niue (Niuean Church - a Protestant church closely related to the London Missionary Society) 61.1%, Latter-Day Saints 8.8%, Roman Catholic 7.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, other 8.4%, unspecified 8.7%, none 1.9%
    • Culture
      • Niue is a tropical island with small variety of natural foods. Some local foods include Pawpaw, coconuts, limes, lemons, bananas, taro, uga, poke loku, and pitako kapia. Ships come once a week from New Zealand to supply food to the island. The name ‘Niue’ translates as ‘Behold! The coconut!’.
    • Culture
      • Niueans are fairly relaxed folk, so respect the islands languid nature and you may have arrived as a visitor but you’ll leave as a friend. The country is deeply Christian, so Sunday is truly a day of rest and very little is open or happens. For example, fishing, diving and boating is not permitted on Sundays. Light clothing is acceptable in public.
    • Winter Olympics
      • Niue did not participate in the Winter Games.
    • Conclusion
      • Niue is a small, mostly undiscovered island. Tourism supplies most of the countries revenue and they depend on New Zealand to survive.
    • Burkina Faso
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 274,200 sq km
      • Location- Western Africa, north of Ghana
      • Climate- tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
      • Population- 15,746,232
    • Geography
      • Terrain- mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
      • Burkina Faso is landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas. Other rivers are The Volta, Komoe River, Oti River.
      • Lake Bam, a natural lake in Burkina Faso, almost dries out during the dry season and floods the nearby town and fields during the wet season.
    • Geography Local Market Lake Bam
    • Geography
      • The country's vegetation varies with trees and thick bush in the south and near-desert conditions in the north. The landscape changes dramatically according to the seasons. In the driest months, extreme drought and the Harmattan, a dusty cold wind from the Sahara, desiccate all vegetation; widespread manmade bushfires add to the burnt aspect of the landscape. With the first rains, leaves sprout on trees and bushes and the savannah grass grows to several yards within a few months
    • History
      • Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries. In January 2008, Burkina Faso assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term.
    • Current Event
      • 85 Euros and a Bicycle
      • By FRED ECKHARD
      • This article is ore of an op-ed than a current event but since it had to do with Burkina Faso i thought it would work. The author talks about the city of Koudoudou which is the third largest town in Burkina Faso, which is the 2nd poorest country in the world. He goes on a missionary trip with a parish church providing refrigerators, bikes, clothing, and the like, aimed at girls. In particular a girl, Souli, who had benefited from a previous trip came back and talked about how she had used the bicycle she received to sell cakes. The missionary group goes back every year, visiting their beneficiaries.
    • Politics
      • Government Type- parliamentary republic
      • Chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)
      • Head of government: Prime Minister Tertius ZONGO (since 4 June 2007)
      • Unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    • Economy
      • One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop and the government has joined with three other cotton producing countries in the region - Mali, Niger, and Chad - to lobby in the World Trade Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing countries. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Having revised its investment code in 2004, Burkina Faso hopes to attract foreign investors.
    • Economy
      • While the bitter internal crisis in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is beginning to be resolved, it is still having a negative effect on Burkina Faso's trade and employment. Burkina Faso received a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) threshold grant to improve girls' education at the primary school level, and signed an MCC compact that focuses on the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, and land reform in July 2008.
    • Economy
      • The industries of Burkina Faso include cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, and gold.
      • Exports- cotton, livestock, gold
      • Imports- capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
      • Trade Partners-Singapore, Belgium, China, Thailand, Ghana, India, Niger, Denmark, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Togo, Libya
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 21.8% of population
      • Languages- French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
      • Internet Usage- 140,000 users
    • Culture
      • Religion-Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%
      • Burkina Faso food comes in wide variety. Though there are some staple foods in the country, which include maize, beans, rice, potatoes, okra, millet, yams and peanuts, there are some other foods in Burkina Faso too that are extremely popular in the country. With abundant livestock in most of the villages, eggs are available in plenty. The rivers act as storehouse to several varieties of fish, which are also consumed by the local people of the area. Meat is not eaten quite often as it is pretty expensive. The main staple food is tô, a kind of paste prepared with millet or corn flour. It is eaten lukewarm and accompanied by a sauce.
    • Culture
      • Burkina Faso foods also uses variety of sauces to spice up their meals. Sauces are usually mixed with rice and vegetables to give a distinct flavor as well as to enhance the taste of the dish. The sauces are known by different names in various tribes. Burkina Faso people use several spices to add that extra flavor to their food. Food of Burkina Faso remains incomplete without drinks. Beer is the most common form of drink that is consumed by maximum number of people apart from water. Dolo and Bissap are the two most popular forms of beer that are available in the country. Another soft drink that is popular in the country is called Zoomkoom, made with millet flour and water and flavored with ginger and lemon.
    • Culture
      • Today arranged marriages, which were the rule in former times, are rare, especially in urban contexts. In a customary marriage, the husband pays bride price to the bride's family. Extended family is very important and relatives from the husband's or wife's side may live together with the nuclear family. Three, four, or more generations living under one roof is common. Infant care and child rearing is the responsibility not only of the biological parents, but of the whole compound and, in rural areas, the entire village. The aim of all education is not to encourage an individual personality but to integrate children into the social environment.
    • Culture
      • Hospitality and politeness is important to the Burkinabè. Salutations are an elaborate procedure always involving shaking hands. Conversations are rarely direct, and general issues are discussed first to set everybody at ease. Women are expected to refrain from wearing very short skirts and low-cut dresses, and from smoking in public. Officials and uniformed people are always approached with respect. They and official buildings should not be photographed. When the national flag is lowered, everyone is expected to stand still. As a rule, elders, even if only a few years older, are treated with high respect.
    • Culture
      • Dancing is a long-time part of the culture of Burkina Faso, both traditional dancing and contemporary dancing. There are many small groups of dancers that perform locally or travel small distances for special events.
    • Winter Olympics
      • Burkina Faso did not compete in the Olympics.
    • Conclusion
      • Burkina Faso has been effected negatively by the war torn countries around it. With little natural resources, it does the best it can with what its got. The country, like most African countries, is highly hit by AIDS.
    • Venezuela
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 912,050 sq km
      • Location- Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
      • Climate- tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
      • Population- 26,814,843 (July 2009 est.)
    • Geography
      • Mount Roraima is the world's highest tepui (tabletop mountain).
    • Geography
      • Terrain- Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
      • Venezuela's capital, Caracas, and all the other major cities are located along the coast. Historically the coast has been the most populated area in the country and is where most of Venezuela's population lives today.
    • Geography
      • The llanos is by far the largest region in the country, making up one-third of the territory. The region is mainly great open plains with small foothills toward the north, dividing the region into low and high llanos. To the east the llanos end at the Macizo Guayanés (Guyanese Mount) which is one of the oldest rock formations in the world. The region to the south, the Guiana, is also referred to as La Gran Sabana (Great Savanna) since it is composed of savannas and flat mountaintops (referred to as tepuis in the indigenous Pemón tongue). It was this environment that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) immortalized in his epic, The Lost World. Further south is the Amazonas with its hot and humid tropical forest. The Amazonas region is sparsely populated even though it includes 70 percent of Venezuela's indigenous population.
    • Geography
      • 1. Playa Colorada in Venezuela
      • 2. Angel Falls, the tallest water fall in the world.
    • History
      • Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.
    • Current Events
      • February 2, 2010 OAS Commission Urges Calm Amid Venezuela Protests By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
      • There is currently a huge battle between pro-Chavez and anti-Chavez groups. Recently, street demonstrations have gotten violent. Venezuelan and American groups have urged authorities to reason with the young rebels and encouraged them to protect the innocent villages. Chavez is only egging the riots on, saying the ones against him are wrong and for every protest they have, his supports will have another one.
    • Politics
      • Venezuela is federal republic.
      • Chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Executive Vice President Elias JAUA Milano (since 26 January 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    • Politics
      • The two main political parties are the Social Christian (COPEI) and the left-leaning Democratic Action (Acción Democrática), although the left-leaning MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) and Radical Cause (Causa Radical) also have popular followings. Nevertheless, the fragile political party structure is still evident in the election of strong caudillo figures such as Chávez and in his explicit effort to try to dismantle the political party system.
    • Economy
      • Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 90% of export earnings. Declining oil prices in the latter part of 2008 are undermining the government's ability to continue the high rate of spending. President Hugo CHAVEZ in 2008-09 continued efforts to increase the government's control of the economy by nationalizing firms in the agribusiness, banking, tourism, oil, cement, and steel sectors. In 2007, he nationalized firms in the petroleum, communications, and electricity sectors.
    • Economy
      • Besides oil, other industries in Venezuela include construction materials, food processing, textiles, iron ore mining, steel, aluminum, and motor vehicle assembly. They export petroleum, bauxite and aluminum, steel, chemicals, agricultural products, basic manufactures and import raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials.
    • Economy
      • Venezuela trades with the United States, Netherland Antilles, China, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 93% of population
      • Languages- Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
      • Internet Usage- 7.167 million users
    • Clothing
      • The Liqui liqui is traditionally made of linen or cotton cloth, although gabardine and wool can also be used in its elaboration. The outfit is made up of a pair of full-length trousers and a jacket. The jacket has long sleeves and a rounded Nehru-style collar, which is fastened and decorated by a “junta”, or a chain link similar to a shirt cuff, which joins the two ends of the collar. The jacket is also fastened by 5-6 buttons, and may or may not have pockets (if so, no more than four). Overall, the outfit is very simple and has clean, elegant lines. Traditionally, the Liqui liqui is worn with “alpargata” – an open-toed kind of sandal – and a “llanero” hat.
    • Culture
      • Religion- nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
      • Venezuelans have three main meals: a large breakfast, a large dinner (around noontime), and a very light supper in the evening. Venezuelan hospitality is widespread, so something to drink and eat is expected when visiting someone's home. Arepas, the most distinctive Venezuelan food, are thick disks made of precooked cornmeal, either fried or baked. Large arepas, with a variety of fillings (ham and cheese is the most popular one), are eaten as snacks throughout the day; smaller arepas are typically served as side companions at all meals.
    • Culture
      • Tequeños, long small rolls filled with hot cheese or chocolate, take their name from Los Teques, a city just outside Caracas. The typical drink of the llanos, chicha, is made out of ground rice, salt, condensed milk, sugar, vanilla, and ice.
    • Culture
      • Venezuelans practice open-ended marriages, meaning there are few legal restrictions as long as the person marries someone of the opposite sex and of legal age.
      • In Venezuelan society the family and the role played by the mother are essential in the maintenance of the social fabric. Most people tend to live in nuclear families (parents and siblings), although extended kin (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) traditionally live close by. When migration has produced a break in the family, the ties are closely maintained through letters, phone calls, and e-mail. In this manner it is not surprising that children (both male and female) live with their parents until their mid-twenties or until they marry and can move out on their own
    • Culture
      • Venezuela provides free and compulsory education through grade twelve for all its population. In 1995 literacy was estimated at over 90 percent. Private and Catholic schools provide a large array of grade and high schools ( liceos ) mainly in the major urban centers. These private institutions have far better reputations and are where most of the middle and upper classes send their children.
    • Culture
      • Venezuelans are characterized by their outgoing and gregarious nature. This extroverted behavior is visible in the traditional forms of greeting and in people's body language. When meeting somebody, even if it is for the first time, it is common to give two kisses, one on each cheek; women greet men and women this way, while men only kiss women.
    • Culture
      • Body language between Venezuelans is also much more fluid and pervasive. People stand very close to each other while talking and will gesticulate with their hands and bodies to make a point. It is also common for people to touch each other to even further emphasize what it is that they are saying. Friendly conversations can also appear to be arguments because of their loud and freewheeling nature. Meanwhile there is also lots of unique sign language. For example, pointing with one's finger is considered rude and vulgar; it is much more acceptable and widely understood if one just points with one's mouth. At the same time a smaller version of the "okay" symbol is usually meant as an insult rather than as a symbol of agreement
    • Winter Olympics
      • Venezuela did not compete in the Vancouver Games.
    • Conclusion
      • Venezuela is a beautiful country under strict political control. Even though there is great controversy over the leaders, Venezuelan economy continues to prosper. Many things attract tourists to the country.
    • Comoros
    • Map
    • Fast Facts
      • Size- 2,235 sq km
      • Climate-tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
      • Location- Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
      • Population- 752,438
    • Geography
      • Terrain- volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
      • The Republic of the Comoros is a group of three volcanic islands totaling 719 square miles (1,862 square kilometers), lying between Africa and Madagascar. The capital, Moroni, is on Ngazidja, which has an active volcano, no rivers, rocky coasts, and beaches.
    • Geography
      • Wildlife is rich in rare species, including coelacanths, sea turtles, and lemurs.
    • Geography
      • Scenic view of Nioumachoua Town. Moheli, Comoros.
    • Geography
      • A man taps water from a baobab tree, which acts as a natural water reservoir, Grand Comore Island.
    • History
      • The islands were colonized by Africans in the eighth century. The presence of Islam is recorded as early as the eleventh century. With the arrival of Muslim Arabs, chiefdoms evolved into sultanates in the fifteenth century. The era of "battling sultans" saw the flourishing of commerce and the slave trade as well as numerous Madagascan raids. At the end of the nineteenth century, colonial occupation imposed unity and peace in the archipelago. That unity ended in 1975 with the removal of Mahore (Mayotte), which remained French; it was threatened again in 1997 by the secession of Ndzuani.
    • Politics
      • Comoros is a republic.
      • Chief of state: President Ahmed Abdallah SAMBI (since 26 May 2006)
      • The US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Madagascar is accredited to Comoros.
    • Economy
      • One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity, high unemployment, and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, contributes 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports.
    • Economy
      • Export income is heavily reliant on the three main crops of vanilla, cloves, and ylang-ylang and Comoros' export earnings are easily disrupted by disasters such as fires. The country is not self-sufficient in food production; rice, the main staple, accounts for the bulk of imports. The government - which is hampered by internal political disputes - lacks a comprehensive strategy to attract foreign investment and is struggling to upgrade education and technical training, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports, promote tourism, and reduce the high population growth rate.
    • Economy
      • Comoros trades with France, China, India, UAE, Italy, Pakistan, Singapore, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Brazil, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia.
      • Major industries are fishing, tourism, perfume distillation.
    • Daily Life
      • Literacy- 56.5% of population
      • Languages- Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
      • Internet Usage-23,000 users
    • Culture
      • Religions- Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
      • Rice is the staple of the daily diet, along with manioc and other root vegetables, plantains, fresh and dried fish, and milk from grated coconuts. Food taboos provide a way to establish connections and acknowledge identity. Ceremonial dishes include beef and castrated goat served with white rice and curdled milk as well as enormous cakes. Another traditional dish is gruel or porridge made with the dried fruit of sago palms. French cuisine and imported beverages are becoming prevalent.
    • Culture
      • On average, men and women marry two to four times but sometimes much more often. Very few men are polygamous and even then have no more than two wives at a time. The great wedding must be held in the village and within the family so that the wealth being exchanged remains within the community. Residency is matrilocal.
    • Culture
      • The birth of a child is considered a divine blessing. A child is always held by adults or by its brothers and sisters. Children are rarely scolded, though rowdiness is sometimes criticized. Chronic malnutrition affects a third of children below age three. All children attend a religious school, where they memorize the Koran. The instructor, often a local parent, is a respected educator. French secular education favors urban residents and men. Public education is disorganized, and private schools open their doors when teachers at public schools go on strike. Boys enter into the age-class system between ages fifteen and twenty. Pubescent girls are watched closely because pregnancy eliminates the possibility of a great wedding.
    • Culture
      • One must respect and greet one's elders regardless of their social status. A woman may not go out without a head veil. The wife eats in the kitchen with the children; the husband eats at the dinner table or in the living room, where he may invite a parent or friend. Master in his wife's house, a man must behave with dignity and authority.
    • Culture
      • Traditional musical genres coexist with music performed by modern village orchestras. Comedic and tragic theatrical works deal with historical themes and often are critical of society. Local villages have their own festive dances and ceremonies.
      • Young women in the traditional dress of the Comorian Islands
    • Winter Olympics
      • Comoros did not compete in the Winter Olympic Games.
    • Conclusion
      • Comoros is a small series of islands off the African coast. Communities are tight-knit and family is important. Although lacking in natural resources, the economy is stable. It is a beautiful place to visit.
    • Sources
      • www.cia.gov/library
      • http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/United-States-Virgin-Islands.html
      • http://www.islandways.com/Traditions.htm
      • http://www.vancouver2010.com/
      • http://www.indo.com/indonesia/archipelago.html
      • http://www.bookrags.com/research/clothing-traditionalindonesia-ema-02/
      • http://www.bharatonline.com/travel-tips/traditional-food.html
      • http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/indonesia/about_indonesia.htm
      • http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Lithuanians.html
      • http://www.mapsofworld.com/cameroon/tourism/lakes.html
      • http://www.foodbycountry.com/Algeria-to-France/Cameroon.html
      • http://www.allaboutturkey.com/rivers.htm
      • http://www.turkishculture.org/pages.php?ChildID=158&ParentID=14&ID=66&ChildID1=593&miMore=1&&PagingIndex=1
    • Sources
      • http://www.enjoyturkey.com/info/culture/Customs.htm
      • http://www.niueisland.com/history/
      • http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Burkina-Faso.html
      • http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Venezuela.html
      • http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Comoros.html