Cultural Holidays

While we are enjoying the break between home schooling semesters, we want to feature some interesting cultural destinations around the world. For both those travelers fortunate enough to be able to visit their destinations as well as for those who travel the world through vacation sites and photos, we would like to suggest some interesting holidays that can bring rich cultural diversity and learning to your family.

Goan holidays are one of the first places we would like to suggest. Travelers can still expect to see women dressed in saris, following age-old traditions. The Wednesday Flea Market at Ajuna is a good place to peruse a huge variety of unique handcrafted goods and jewelry. The wildlife of India is spectacular, and highly diverse. And while the expected fish, curry, and rice do make up staples of the Goan cuisine, there are many more exotic tastes and spices to enjoy. This “Pearl of the Orient” — also known as the “Rome of the East” is a great place to explore culture and geography.

Located between Europe and Asia, and distinct from both, holidays in Turkey promise an exotic locale with a flavor completely its own. The metropolis of Istanbul, named the 2010 Capital of Culture for Europe, actually occupies two different continents. The Agean is home to two of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, while the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean coast offer the Aspendos Theatre. The East and Southeast regions include some outstanding examples of Turkish architecture, as well as Mount Ararat, the supposed resting place of Noah’s Ark. The Black Sea region has majestic mountain peaks surrounded by forest. Overall, Turkey is one of the most culturally diverse places we have featured.

Finally, a little closer to home (at least for us!) is the holiday in Florida, which offers more cultural diversity than originally meets the eye, and is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Beaches of course are available throughout most of Florida, and the native population of alligators could prove interesting. There are many tourist attrations in Orlando, especially. But for cultural study, it is worth it to make a quick trip to the Holy Land Experience, and then look into Epcot at Walt Disney World. The back portion of Epcot is divided into eleven “countries.” In each area, the architecture is patterned after the traditional architecture from the featured country, the plants in that section are native to that country, as are the people who staff the area. (Many are international students.) There are also shops that offer wares from and associated with the country, and foods in the area are usually representative of those from that country as well. Often entertainment from that country is featured as well. So with an afternoon trip to Epcot, it is possible to visit Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morroco, France, the UK, and Canada.