Day of the Dead

The film Coco is inspired by the Mexican festival Day of the Dead. It is an important cultural artefact of Mexican life. In 2008, the celebration was added by UNESCO to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO stated “The Day of the Dead celebration holds great significance in the life of Mexico’s indigenous communities. The fusion of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Catholic feasts brings together two universes, one marked by indigenous belief systems, the other by worldviews introduced by the Europeans in the sixteenth century.” According to this article by the National Geographic (Day of the Dead), … Continue reading Day of the Dead

Dances of India

Sangeet Natya Academy, the national academy for performing arts in India, recognizes eight traditional dances as Indian classical dances. These have roots in the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra. The Indian Classical Dances of India has developed a type of dance-drama that is a form of a total theater. The dancer acts out a story almost exclusively through gestures, through the enactment of stories from Hindu mythology. The Sangeet Natak Akademi currently confers classical status on eight Indian classical dance styles:  Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu),  Kathak (North, West and Central India),  Kathakali (Kerala),  Kuchipudi (Andhra),  Odissi (Odisha),  Manipuri (Manipur),  Mohiniyattam (Kerala), and Sattriya (Assam) Bharat Natyam Considered to be the oldest dance and an … Continue reading Dances of India


The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16 to 18 day folk festival running from mid- or late September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is called d’Wiesn, after the colloquial name for the fairgrounds, Theresienwiese. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since the year 1810. Oktoberfest began as the marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, … Continue reading Oktoberfest

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al-Aqsa Mosque located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as the Al Aqsa Compound or Haram esh-Sharif in Islam, several decades after Muhammad’s death. Modern Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Great Mosque of Mecca to this location during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the 16th or 17th month after his migration from Mecca to Medina, when Allah directed him to instead turn towards the Kaaba in Mecca. The covered mosque … Continue reading Al-Aqsa Mosque


Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c. 300 B.C.E. It was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics, and it engaged in vigorous debates with the Skeptics, the Academics, and the Epicureans. The name comes from the Stoa Poikile, or painted porch, an open market in Athens where the original Stoics used to meet and teach philosophy. Stoicism moved to Rome where it flourished during the period of the Empire, alternatively being persecuted by Emperors who disliked it (for example, Vespasian and Domitian) and openly embraced by Emperors who attempted to … Continue reading Stoicism


Ayahuasca, also known as yage, is a blend of two plants – the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and a shrub called chacruna (Psychotria viridis), which contains the hallucinogenic drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Indigenous people across South America have been using Ayahuasca for thousands of years, mostly for religious or spiritual purposes. It is considered a medicine, a way to heal yourself  and reconnect with nature. In 2008, Peru’s government recognised ayahuasca’s status, stating that it was “one of the basic pillars of the identity of the Amazon peoples”. Peru’s government also claimed that consumption of the “teacher” or “wisdom” plant “constitutes … Continue reading Ayahuasca