March 11, 2014
Cournoterral, France
A carnival reveller takes part in the ‘les pailhasses’. The event is held according to a tradition that exists since 1346 and represents an old war between the two villages of Cournonterral and Aumelas (via Guardian)

Cournoterral, France

A carnival reveller takes part in the ‘les pailhasses’. The event is held according to a tradition that exists since 1346 and represents an old war between the two villages of Cournonterral and Aumelas (via Guardian)

March 11, 2014

'Battle of the Oranges' Gets Messy in Italy

Crowds in Ivrea bombard each other with oranges to commemorate a medieval popular uprising (via Telegraph)

February 15, 2014

Burano, Italy’s Technicolour Town

Though located in the same lagoon as Venice, Burano has kept its quiet bucolic atmosphere for centuries. An old fishing town, its fishing traditions date back to ancient Roman times. The colors of the houses have been with the resident families for centuries, and if they want to repaint, they need to write the government for a list of colors they’re allowed to use. (via When On Earth)

April 13, 2012
Tbilisi, Georgia
A boy jumps through a fire during the Chiakokonoba folk festival. According to legend, fire leaping purifies the spirit of participants (via guardian.co.uk)

Tbilisi, Georgia

A boy jumps through a fire during the Chiakokonoba folk festival. According to legend, fire leaping purifies the spirit of participants (via guardian.co.uk)

February 22, 2012
Binche, Belgium
Revellers perform a traditional dance while dressed as ‘Gilles of Binche’ during a carnival parade (via guardian.co.uk)

Binche, Belgium

Revellers perform a traditional dance while dressed as ‘Gilles of Binche’ during a carnival parade (via guardian.co.uk)

January 13, 2012
Sweden’s teachers free to ban Islamic veils
Teachers in Swedish schools can, in certain situations, prohibit students from wearing Islamic veils that reveal only their eyes, the country’s school’s agency has ruled.
The ban covers clothing that could hinder interaction between students and teachers or which could pose a specific risk, such as in a laboratory.
However, a general ban on headscarves isn’t possible.
Teachers will have the power to decide whether or not to require students remove their headscarves, although schools should attempt to be as accommodating as possible, according to updated guidelines issued by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skollverket) on Wednesday.
The guidance comes in response to a 2009 case in which two women sued an adult education centre in Spånga north of Stockholm after they were banned from class for wearing niqabs. (via The Local)

Sweden’s teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Teachers in Swedish schools can, in certain situations, prohibit students from wearing Islamic veils that reveal only their eyes, the country’s school’s agency has ruled.

The ban covers clothing that could hinder interaction between students and teachers or which could pose a specific risk, such as in a laboratory.

However, a general ban on headscarves isn’t possible.

Teachers will have the power to decide whether or not to require students remove their headscarves, although schools should attempt to be as accommodating as possible, according to updated guidelines issued by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skollverket) on Wednesday.

The guidance comes in response to a 2009 case in which two women sued an adult education centre in Spånga north of Stockholm after they were banned from class for wearing niqabs. (via The Local)

December 22, 2011
Should the Nazi flag have a place in Sweden’s Christmas traditions?
On Christmas Eve, it seems as if nearly every television set in Sweden is turned in to the Sveriges Television (SVT) broadcast of ‘Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton' ('The story of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve').
Made in 1975, the animated movie follows a Robin Hood style theme whereby a young Karl-Bertil Jonsson takes packages destined for wealthy Stockholmers and instead hands them out to the city’s poor and destitute, much to the dismay of his father.
Karl-Bertil’s angry father takes his son around town to apologize in a taxi cab featuring an antenna decorated with string of small flags which wave in the breeze as the boy and his father ride about town.
Included among the flags and clearly visible is the flag of Nazi Germany.
As the story is set in Sweden during World War II, including the Nazi flag does lend to the programme’s historical accuracy, some might argue.
However, considering the programme was created in the mid-1970s, one could also question whether or not it was really necessary to include such a provocative symbol in a Christmas programme aimed at children. (via The Local)

Should the Nazi flag have a place in Sweden’s Christmas traditions?

On Christmas Eve, it seems as if nearly every television set in Sweden is turned in to the Sveriges Television (SVT) broadcast of ‘Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton' ('The story of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve').

Made in 1975, the animated movie follows a Robin Hood style theme whereby a young Karl-Bertil Jonsson takes packages destined for wealthy Stockholmers and instead hands them out to the city’s poor and destitute, much to the dismay of his father.

Karl-Bertil’s angry father takes his son around town to apologize in a taxi cab featuring an antenna decorated with string of small flags which wave in the breeze as the boy and his father ride about town.

Included among the flags and clearly visible is the flag of Nazi Germany.

As the story is set in Sweden during World War II, including the Nazi flag does lend to the programme’s historical accuracy, some might argue.

However, considering the programme was created in the mid-1970s, one could also question whether or not it was really necessary to include such a provocative symbol in a Christmas programme aimed at children. (via The Local)

November 18, 2011
Sattel, Switzerland
A group of men with pikes march through the fog as part of a procession to mark the Battle of Morgarten in 1315 (via guardian.co.uk)

Sattel, Switzerland

A group of men with pikes march through the fog as part of a procession to mark the Battle of Morgarten in 1315 (via guardian.co.uk)

November 3, 2011
Salgótarján, Hungary
Candles burn on graves to mark All Saints Day in a cemetery (via guardian.co.uk)

Salgótarján, Hungary

Candles burn on graves to mark All Saints Day in a cemetery (via guardian.co.uk)

November 3, 2011
Casabermeja, Spain
A woman cleans the grave of a relative in the cemetery (via guardian.co.uk)

Casabermeja, Spain

A woman cleans the grave of a relative in the cemetery (via guardian.co.uk)

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