Category Archives: Cultural Connections

Outrigger Sailing

Sailing has been an important part of human discovery for thousands of years. More than 3,000 years ago, people from Southeast Asia used canoes to travel hundreds of miles across the ocean to the islands of Samoa and Tonga, which are located in the South Pacific Ocean. Those ancient people made new homes and came […]

Japanese Gardens

In the western world, gardens are spaces to enjoy nature. Often, they have trees and flowers that are specially cared for, but generally they are outdoor spaces. In Japan, gardens are treated a little differently than they are in other countries. They are works of art that are meant to inspire meditation and reflection. In […]

The Oldest Song

It is hard to know exactly when humans started playing music, but archaeologists have found flutes made of bone and ivory from 43,000 years ago. Archeologists have found many ancient examples of instruments, but written songs are much more difficult to find. It is likely that we will never know what the very first song […]


History of Embroidery Samplers

A sampler is a piece of embroidery that is created to show or test needle-

working skill. They were especially popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.

For many years, in England and America, needlework was an important

part of a woman’s education. […]


The Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is a museum and research complex. It is made up of 19 museums, nine research facilities and the National Zoo. It was established by and named after James Smithson. He was a British scientist. When he died, Smithson gave his wealth to the United States to create “an […]

Cultural Connections | February 2018

Newfoundland Uglystick

The music in Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong connection to fishing. The first people to settle in the region – Irish, Scots, French and English were all fisherman. In addition to their families, they brought their traditional instruments and songs. Many men shared their songs while they worked and while relaxing in […]

Cultural Connections | January 2018

Charles Christian Nahl

Charles Christian Nahl was born in Germany in 1818. He studied as an artist in Germany, but when his family moved to New York, they got caught up in the gold rush. In 1851, they sold many of their belongings and joined the thousands of people who moved to California to try […]

Cultural Connections | Hi-yah!

Many self-defense tactics are considered intense competitive sports and are often derived from a country’s history and culture. Norway is no different. Glima is a form of Viking martial arts, often referred to as Viking wrestling. It’s popular among men and women.

There are three variations of this martial art: free-grip, back hold and trouser-grip. […]

Cultural Connections | Chinese Brush Painting

Have you ever looked at a painting and suddenly felt as though it transported you to another place? Well, that’s what Chinese brush paintings do. This art form is viewd as an extension of calligraphy. As a general rule, the places in these paintings of rolling landscapes or other places are not real. They […]

Cultural Connections October 2017

Silk has been an important part of India’s culture and economy for centuries. The first Indian silk was spun in 1725 BCE. The beautiful cloth was and still is considered a symbol of royalty and prestige. It is used in important rituals and ceremonies. Making silk is a long process that the Chinese guarded for […]