Mongolian monk Batbayar Khasbazar was tired of seeing children glued to their cellphones. He hatched a plan to connect them with an old tradition – and it started with purchasing 36,000 sheep anklebones.
Playwright Mohamed Safeer, known as M. Safeer, is drawing more Sri Lankans to the theater with his innovative stage techniques. He also founded the annual Colombo International Theatre Festival, which drew performers from around the globe for the fifth year to Sri Lanka in late March and early April.
When colonialist Cecil John Rhodes died, he asked to be buried in Zimbabwe’s sacred Matobo Hills. His gravesite has long been a popular and lucrative tourist destination. As the threat of COVID-19 has shuttered the site and killed the nation’s tourism industry, local people are renewing the debate over whether the polarizing politician deserves to stay.
Traditional spiritualists say Zimbabwe’s current problems are due to the government’s failure to recognize their work and to honor ancestral spirits who helped the country win liberation. They are seeking government funding, saying it would help rectify this oversight and lead to economic recovery.
Tourism accounted for 11 percent of Rwanda’s GDP in 2016, but many Rwandans continue to see tourism as reserved for foreigners. A government program, which aims to boost domestic tourism by offering Rwandans and East Africans discounted admission to tourist sites, encourages citizens to explore the internationally renowned attractions in their own country — and it seems to be working.
The mbira, a traditional Zimbabwean instrument and genre of music, is believed to connect the living world with the spirit world, with mbira players facilitating this sacred link. One such musician owes his success to an origin story as mystical and weighted with meaning as the music he plays.
The contributions of Africans in Mexico and their descendants have gone unappreciated, advocates say, and it was only recently that an attempt was made to even count this population. As a result, the group’s access to employment and education is hindered, some say.
The number of traditional obsidian carvers in Mexico has steadily dwindled. The remaining artisans faced financial hardship and a risk of illness that threatened to destroy their ancient art form – and that was before the coronavirus arrived.
When the coronavirus struck neighboring China, Mongolia was preparing for the February Lunar New Year, its biggest holiday of the year. But public events and outdoor celebrations were eventually banned, and seamstresses were stuck with shops full of clothes that nobody needed. Now they’re fighting to survive.
Food vendors in San Cristóbal de las Casas spend months preparing traditional foods to sell at the city’s popular annual food festival. This year, with the festival canceled due to the global COVID-19 crisis, they’re left with a pile of ingredients – and no idea how to budget for the future.