Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Happy birthday Blog!

It's exactly a year since I started this blog - 13 countries later, with 80 blogposts by yours truly and almost 2,000 unique visits from all over the world!  I've had the first 12 countries printed up in book form, as I feel like it's a great reference for myself and a proud reminder of all the blogging I've done in the past year - I must have written a novel's-worth by now! 
To celebrate one year of Learning about the World, I thought I would use this blogpost to remind myself (and you, my loyal readers) of the things that I have read, cooked, listened to and watched with the express purpose of increasing my understanding of this amazing world we live in :-)

In the past year, I've read 23 books related to my blog.  They were:

The President by Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala)
An Insular Possession by Timonthy Mo (Hong Kong)
Independent People by Halldor Laxness (Iceland)
History of Jamaica by Clinton V Black (Jamaica)
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost (Kiribati)
Singing Away the Hunger by Mpho 'M'atsepo Nthunya (Lesotho)
Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia by Louisa Waugh (Mongolia)
A Heart of Stone by Renate Dorrestein (Netherlands)
Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction by Roger Scruton (Netherlands)
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (Oklahoma)
House Made of Dawn by N Scott Momaday (Oklahoma)
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Oklahoma)
(part of) I, the Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay)
At the Tomb of the inflatible Pig by John Gimlette (Paraguay)
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf (Queensland)
A Kindness Cup by Thea Astley (Queensland)
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (Queensland)
Desert Places by Robyn Davidson (Rajasthan)
A Princess Remembers by Gayatri Devi (Rajasthan)
Hinduism: A very short Introduction by Kim Knott (Rajasthan)
Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif (Saudi Arabia)
(part of) Islam: A very short Introduction by Malise Ruthven (Saudi Arabia)
Arabia through the Looking Glass by Johnathan Raban (Saudi Arabia)

I learned to cook a variety of international meals, some of them I've made several times since:

Tapado (Guatemala)
Sweet and Sour Pork Hong Kong style (Hong Kong)
Liffrarbuff and Plokkfiskur (Iceland)
Jerk Chicken (Jamaica)
Palu Sami (Kiribati)
Chakalaka and Pap (Lesotho)
Tsuivan (Mongolia)
Stamppot and Limburg Beef Stew with Apples (Netherlands)
Cornbread, Choctaw Catfish and Fried Okra (Oklahoma)
Sopa paraguayana and Zoo-Tosopy (Paraguay)
Kangaroo Fillets with Mushroom sauce (Queensland)
Daal Baati (Rajasthan)
Chicken Kabsa (Saudi Arabia)

I watched 15 movies:

Reykjavik 101 (Iceland)
Noi Albinoi (Iceland)
Dancehall Queen (Jamaica)
Turkish Delight (Netherlands)
The Fourth Man (Netherlands)
Dances with Wolves (Oklahoma)
Gunfight at the OK Corral (Oklahoma)
Oklahoma! (Oklahoma)
A Man called Horse (Oklahoma)
The Mission (Paraguay)
Swimming Upstream (Queensland)
Praise (Queensland)
Dor (Rajasthan)
Jodhaa Akbar (Rajasthan)
Lawrence of Arabia (Saudi Arabia)

I listened to all kinds of music - some of my favourites were:

Sigur Ros (Iceland)
Phyllis Dillon (Jamaica)
Egschiglen (Mongolia)
Bettie Serveert (Netherlands)
Woody Guthrie (Oklahoma)
Eric Bogle (Queensland)
Jagjit Singh (Rajasthan)
Mohammed Abdu (Saudi Arabia)

One of the reasons I started this blog was so I would read, watch, listen to and taste things that I wouldn't otherwise have read, watched, listened to or tasted.  One year down the line, I feel incredibly enriched by the cultural experiences I've had through my 'armchair' travelling - I look forward to the next year and all the learning it will bring.

In the languages of some of the countries I've blogged about:

Happy Birthday!  Feliz cumpleaños! Sun yat fai lok! Til hamingju með afmælið! Letsatsi le monate la tswalo! Tєрсєн єдрийн баяр хvргэе! Vy-Apave Nde Arambotyre! जन्मदिन पर हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं! Janam ghaanth ri badhai, khoob jeeyo! كل عام وأنتم بخير!
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