Archive for December, 2006

Tracing the steps of Abraham

The three major monotheistic religions that sprang from the Middle East – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have been at the source of much division and conflict in the world.  What is sometimes forgotten, unfortunately, are the common roots of these three religions, such as their shared ancestry dating back to Abraham. The author Bruce […]

Thoughts on travel from Pico Iyer

There was a wonderful in-depth interview recently on World Hum with the travel writer Pico Iyer.  He is the author of Video Night in Kathmandu, Falling Off the Map, and a number of other titles.  Some excerts from the interview: How do you think travel writing has evolved over the past 20 or 30 years? I […]

Words that shock in different cultures

We all know, of course, that people in various cultures can have vastly different ways of communicating.  But different ways of swearing?  Well, as this recent article from the Washington Post points out, when French-speaking Canadians get angry, they tend to spew religious words that could have been taken straight out of Catholic Church service. “Oh, tabernacle!” […]

Japanese culture and U.S. baseball madness

Well, I wrote about a Japanese topic yesterday, but it’s hard not to post about the surge of interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka.  In case you haven’t heard, this Japanese baseball star agreed to a contract yesterday with the Boston Red Sox and a recent search at Google News turned up nearly 2,000 media articles about the signing.  This […]

Confucius versus modernity in Chinese schools

As China’s economy globalizes and its educational system tries to prepare students for a more interconnected world, there is a simultaneous push in Chinese schools to introduce young people to the country’s ancient culture, including the teachings of Confucius.  There is an interesting story in the Christian Science Monitor about these sometimes conflicting goals. On […]

Borat and the real Kazakhstan

The movie Borat, about a fictionalized journalist from Kazakhstan on a journey through America, has been the source of much laughter in movie theaters in recent weeks.  That is, when the same movie wasn’t causing horrified jaws to drop.  It has also caused a surge in interest in the actual country of Kazakhstan. USA Today recently ran a story […]

    Meet Bob Riel


    Bob Riel is a writer and a traveler. Go here to read more about Bob, his work and the Travels in the Riel World blog.


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