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Culture and Lifestyle

Stories related to society, culture and lifestyles.

 

Opinion: Kazakhstan’s "Yurts of Invincibility" are more than just a humanitarian initiative for Ukraine

In early January 2023, amid the freezing temperatures and power blackouts of Bucha - the Kyiv suburb now infamous for it being the location of Russian massacres of Ukrainian civilians in early 2022 - there popped up a Kazakh yurt where residents were served free traditional Kazakh food and tea, could keep warm and could charge their electronic devices. Soon after, another yurt appeared in downtown Kyiv.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/24/2023 - 09:56 Dubai scraps 30% alcohol tax and fees for personal alcohol licences

The UAE emirate of Dubai has announced that it has scrapped the 30% tax on alcohol, and will no longer charge for personal alcohol licences.

Known as the Gulf's "party capital", where expatriates outnumber nationals by nine to one, Dubai has historically been more attractive to tourists and wealthy foreign workers than its neighbours, partially because of its tolerance of a more liberal lifestyle.

Despite this, the high alcohol tax had led to residents often driving to Umm al-Quwain and other emirates to buy alcohol in bulk.

patrickn97 Mon, 01/02/2023 - 10:33

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Global culture hits The Hague at the 2022 Embassy Festival

On Saturday 3rd September 2022, embassies from 55 countries came together in the centre of The Hague, the Netherlands, in a boisterous and technicolour celebration of world culture. Among the countries present at the festival this year were Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Algeria, Oman and Yemen.

patrickn97 Mon, 09/19/2022 - 11:45
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Interview
Art-Gene Turns Nineteen: In Conversation with Tamar Melikishvili

Art-Gene Turns Nineteen: In Conversation with Tamar Melikishvili

July 2022 saw the 19th edition of what has become a staple event in the Georgian cultural calendar. Founded in 2003 by artists Tamar Melikishvili and Giorgi Baramidze, musicians Zaza Korinteli and Niaz Diasamidze, sculptor Nika Anjaparidze, and photographer Maria Lanevski, the Art-Gene music and crafts festival has played a huge role in reviving Georgia’s now thriving traditional cultural scene since its dog days of the early 2000s. Looking forward to Art-Gene’s 20th anniversary next year, commonspace.eu’s Deputy Editor Patrick Norén spoke to Tamar Melikishvili about Art-Gene’s origins, ethos, community, and future. Melikshvili told commonspace.eu that ‘if a country keeps and loves its own culture, it will become very open and interested in the culture of other countries. The world is nice because we are so different, but we also make one big picture, like a painter. When I am working on the canvas, all of these different moods and colours become one symphony, and that is what makes the picture interesting.’
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News
Slava Ukraina: Europeans embrace Ukraine, catapulting it to victory in the Eurovision Song Festival

Slava Ukraina: Europeans embrace Ukraine, catapulting it to victory in the Eurovision Song Festival

Kalush Orchestra have won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine with their song 'Stefania', at the end of an emotional festival final held in Turin on Saturday (14 May). It was a memorable night for the iconic Eurovision Festival as Ukraine's Kalush Band swept to victory with the backing of a popular vote from across Europe. If European politicians are hesitant in embracing Ukraine as one of their own, the people of Europe have shown no hesitation in embracing Ukraine's music and culture, and the cause of the Ukrainian people as they fight against Russian aggression. Receiving the winning trophy, lead singer Oleh Psiuk declared: "Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraina." Speaking backstage, the singer said he hoped Ukraine could stage the contest in 2023. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Kalush Orchestra and said Ukraine's courage "impresses the world". In a post on Instagram, he vowed one day to host Eurovision in a "free, peaceful and rebuilt" Mariupol, the port city that has been completely destroyed by the Russian invaders and is now mostly under Russian occupation.
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News
German president hails the contribution of migrant workers to the state, economy and society

German president hails the contribution of migrant workers to the state, economy and society

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaking on the 60th anniversary of the day Berlin signed a migration deal with Ankara that allowed tens of thousands of Turkish citizens to find jobs in Germany said that "being German today can mean having grandparents from Cologne or Königsberg as well as from Istanbul and Diyarbakir". He said that German identity now includes "all those who want to live peacefully in this land of law and freedom."