Global Glance: Lichtenstein

 

Capital Vaduz
Size/Population 61 sq. mi./36,281 (2011)
Land Mountains (completely within the Alps), completely land-locked
Politics Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
Economy Business, finance, and tourism
Currency Swiss franc
Language German
Religion 78% Roman Catholic, 8% Protestant
Ethnic Groups Mostly Germanic
Interesting Facts Named for the Lichtenstein family dynasty, highest per capital GDP in the world, second-lowest (after Monaco) unemployment rate in the world, tax haven
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Global Glance: Azerbaijan

 

Capital Baku
Size/Population 33,436 sq. mi./9,165,000 (2011)
Land ½ mountains; ½ lowlands, rivers, and lakes
Politics Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Economy Oil, natural gas, agriculture, tourism
Currency Manat
Languages Azerbaijani
Religion 95% Muslim (85% Shia, 15% Sunni)
Ethnic Groups 92% Azerbaijani
Interesting Facts No official religion, but largest Shia muslim community outside of Iran
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Global Glance: Mozambique

 

Capital Maputo
Size/Population 309,496 sq. mi./22,894,000 (2009)
Land Hills, plateaus, highlands, mountains, rivers, lakes
Politics Presidential republic
Economy Agriculture
Currency Metical
Languages Portuguese, also Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena
Religion 56% Christian, 18% Muslim, 7% Animist, 19% None
Ethnic Groups 98% Bantu
Interesting Facts Civil war from 1977–1992, world’s lowest life expectancy
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Global Glance: Kosovo

 

Capital Pristina
Size/Population 4,212 sq. mi./1,733,872 (2011)
Land Mountains, plateaus, lakes, forests
Currency Euro, Serbian dinar
Languages 88–92% Albanian, 5–7% Serbian
Religion 90% Muslim, some Christian (Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, and evangelical Protestant
Ethnic Groups 88–92% Albanian, 4–8% Serbs
Interesting Facts Claimed itself an independent state in 2008, previously known as “Dardania” in Roman times
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Global Glance: Bhutan

 

Capital Thimphu
Size/Population 14,824 sq. mi./708,427 (2011)
Land Plains, valleys, forests, and mountains (Himalayas)
Politics Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Economy Hydroelectricity, agriculture, forestry, tourism
Currency Ngultrum
Language Dzongkha
Religion 66–75% Vajrayana Buddhist, 25–33% Hindu
Ethnic Groups Bhutanese (Ngalops—west, Sharchops—east) and Nepalese (Lhotshampa—south)
Interesting Facts The happiest country in Asia, tourists required to spend min. $250 per day
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Global Glance: Mauritania

 

Capital Nouakchott
Size/Population 397,954 sq. mi./3,069,000 (2009)
Land ¾ desert, plus plateaus and some mountains
Politics Islamic republic
Economy Iron ore
Currency Ouguiya
Languages Arabic, French, and various African languages
Religion Sunni Muslim
Ethnic Groups 30% Arab (Moors, Berbers, Beidane), 30% Black (Soninke, Haratins, Serer, Toucouleur, Fulas)
Interesting Facts One of two countries in the world (along with Madagascar) that doesn’t use a decimal-based currency
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Hispanic Heritage Month

HHMHispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 each year in the United States. This commemorates the following significant dates:

Sept. 15: Independence Day of five Central America countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica)

Sept. 16: Mexico’s Independence Day

Sept. 18: Chile’s Independence Day

Sept. 21: Belize’s Independence Day

Oct. 12: Spain’s National Day, Día de la Raza

Second Monday in October: Columbus Day

 

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A short, informative video for Hispanic Heritage Month…

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Global Glance: Philippines

 

Capital Manila
Size/Population 115,831 sq. mi./92,337,852 (2010)
Land An archipelago of 7,107 islands—mountains and tropical rainforest
Politics Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Economy Geothermal energy, agriculture, industry, and services
Currency Peso
Languages Filipino (Tagalog), English
Religion 80% Roman Catholic, 10% Other Christian, 5–10% Muslim
Ethnic Groups 92% Malayo-Polynesian, 5% Chinese
Interesting Facts Named in honor of King Phillip II of Spain
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Global Glance: Guyana

 

Capital Georgetown
Size/Population 83,000 sq. miles/752,940 (2010)
Land Mixed: marshy plain, sand belt, rainforests, savannah
Politics Unitary, semi-presidential republic
Economy Agriculture, bauxite and gold mining
Currency Guyanese dollar
Languages English, Guyanese Creole
Religions 57% Christian, 28% Hindu, 7% Muslim
Ethnic Groups 44% East Indian, 30% Black, 17% Mixed, 9% Amerindian
Interesting Facts Former Dutch, then British colony
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Highlights of Hungary from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2013

This year’s country for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was Hungary. The focus was on eight regions of the country and folk art and traditions from these regions. Some of the highlights include wood working; textiles, including flower embroidery from Kalocsa, a town in the south central part of the country; live music and dance on two stages; and the huge modern sculpture of a puli dog, a native Hungarian herding breed.

Photos of Hungarian folklife

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