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Cultural Perspectives

2013

  • Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney, was among the first talking animated characters to win widespread popularity with the American public. Mickey is shown here with his friends Goofy and Donald Duck on a U.S. postage stamp.
    American Animation Brings Unique New Life to Film

    Mickey Mouse and Shrek are just a couple of the American animated characters that are beloved the world over. And they are examples of the evolution of animation, which has brought unique new life to the film industry .. 

  • Peace Corps volunteers Luke Willson, Maryn Lewallen, Max Martini and Luther Flagstad are using music to break down cultural barriers and connect with their local communities in Kyrgystan.
    Music Helps Break Down Cultural Barriers in Kyrgyzstan

    Peace Corps volunteers Maryn Lewallen of Littleton, Colorado, and Luke Willson of Chicago are using music to break down cultural barriers and connect with their local communities in the Kyrgyz Republic. Lewallen, a health volunteer, and Willson, an education volunteer, formed a band to express their interest in the local culture. 

  • U.S. Seeks Expanded Partnerships with Faith-Based Communities
    U.S. Seeks Expanded Partnerships with Faith-Based Communities

    Faith-based communities will have a greater voice in the U.S. foreign policy process, thanks to the State Department’s new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives. At an August 7 event announcing the new office, Secretary of State John Kerry said the mission of the office will be “to engage more closely with faith communities around the world with the belief that we need ..  

  • Students in Georgia play volleyball.
    Georgia Youth Sports League to Promote Gender Equality, Health

    Peace Corps volunteer Jonathan Brands of Alexandria, Virginia, is working to improve physical health and promote gender equality among Georgian students by establishing a youth sports league for local schools .. 

  • Below the surface of Lake Huron, a diver photographs the German freighter Nordmeer, which ran aground in 1966 and eventually sank in 12 meters of water. The relatively shallow depth of the wreck site provides divers more time to explore.
    Agency Moves to Expand Protected Site of Historic Shipwrecks

    A U.S. federal agency is asking for public comments on a proposal to expand a marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes that holds historic significance because of the shipwrecks below its waters .. 

  • Peace Corps volunteer Greg Plimpton with artifacts from the Cerro de Oro burial site in Peru
    Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Preserve Peruvian Culture

    Peace Corps volunteer Greg Plimpton of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is preserving Peruvian culture by helping to protect an ancient burial site near his Peruvian village. Plimpton, known by his community as “Goyo,” has been raising awareness of the site’s importance since July 2012 ..  

  • In Tajikistan, “Little Drops Make the River
    In Tajikistan, “Little Drops Make the River

    In Tajikistan, there is a familiar proverb: “In every drop of water, there is a grain of gold.” Water is the most precious resource in this mountainous, landlocked nation that is slightly smaller than Wisconsin .. 

  • In Hokusai’s Ehon Sumidagawa ryōgan ichiran, poetry is marginalized by stunning pictures.
    Centuries-Old Manga on View at Smithsonian Gallery

    As revolutionary in their day as today’s social media, according to museum curator Ann Yonemura, the lively illustrations in Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books, on exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, entertain and fascinate .. 

  • Johann and his classmates enjoy a break from their language studies in Central Asia.
    Young Language Scholar Goes on Odyssey Through Central Asia

    A love of the Persian language, a fascination with hiking and the outdoors, and a sense of adventure sent Johann, a secondary school student from the United States, to Central Asia to study the language last summer .. 

  • This copy of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, an account of the life of Cyrus the Great, belonged to Thomas Jefferson, who studied it carefully.
    Ancient Persian Ruler Influenced Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Democracy

    The discovery of the Cyrus Cylinder was a hundred years in the future when Thomas Jefferson and other founders of the United States adopted the progressive ideas of the ancient Persian ruler Cyrus the Great. They knew of Cyrus through classical Greek writers and Biblical accounts ..  

  • The Cyrus Cylinder, on a U.S. tour courtesy of the British Museum, is a document inscribed on fired clay in Babylon, Mesopotamia, after 539 B.C. The text is written in cuneiform.
    Cyrus Cylinder: Ancient Persia Foreshadowed Modern Values

    The Cyrus Cylinder has left its British Museum repository for its first U.S. tour, beginning at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington. “The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia” showcases this 2,600-year-old archeological treasure amid other artifacts from the Achaemenid Empire (550–331 B.C.) founded by the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great .. 

  • Vice President Biden and U.S. Representative John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, lead a group across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 3 to commemorate the 48th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.”
    13 New Historic Landmarks Celebrate U.S. Diversity

    U.S. officials March 11 announced the designation of 13 new national historic landmarks that recognize a more complete story of America. The new landmarks include an Alabama bridge that was the site of “Bloody Sunday” during the civil rights movement, a 400-year-old historic district showcasing the influence of Spanish culture in Puerto Rico, the home of author ..  

  • These fifth-graders in Ukraine are among those who will benefit from a new resource room built with Peace Corps help that contains textbooks, dictionaries and a projector system to help students learn English.
    Peace Corps Installs English Resource Room in Ukraine

    Peace Corps volunteer Joseph Miller of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, is working with his Ukrainian community to create a resource room with textbooks, dictionaries and a projector system to help students learn English ..  

  • Heartbeat's performances show what can happen when cultural influences blend, and when Israelis and Palestinians are free to collaborate.
    For Israeli and Palestinian Musicians, a Song of Coexistence

    As young Israeli and Palestinian musicians from the group Heartbeat perform, smiling as they combine the sounds of Jewish and Arab instruments, rhythms and chords, they sometimes shock their audiences into a vision of what peaceful coexistence could look like on a wider scale and the bright potential that it could bring for both their peoples .. 

  • The tail of this British Airways aircraft used art from this community in Botswana.
    Peace Corps Helps Renovate Art Center in Botswana

    Peace Corps volunteer Shanta Adeeb of Accokeek, Maryland, is working with her community in Botswana to renovate and expand the local art center. The center serves as a space for more than 65 area artists and craft producers to create and sell contemporary pieces in the traditions of their ancestors .. 

  • U.S. Navy Captain Edward Zellem poses with members of the 205th Corps of the Afghan National Army in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
    Sailor Builds Bridges with Books on Afghan Proverbs

    Macdill Air Force Base, Florida — “This book does not exist anywhere else in the world.” “This book has three faces: It helps Afghans learn English, it helps English speakers learn Dari, and it helps everyone learn about Afghanistan’s culture.” ..  

  • Mufarrah performs a traditional Uzbek dance in costume for students at Indiana University.
    Fulbrighter Brings Uzbek Language and Culture to College

    Muparrakh ("Mufarrah") Bahromovna Musaeva, a talented 23-year-old Uzbek woman, is a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The FLTA program that Mufarrah is engaged in provides an opportunity for international teachers in their 20s to refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency ..  

  • Born in the Mississippi Delta, blues music has been at the heart of the most popular American music styles, from jazz and bluegrass to rock and hip hop.
    American Blues Music Formed by Pain to Cure Pain

    By design, blues music takes its name from a state of feeling depressed or melancholy. Its purpose, for both the performer and the listener, is to overcome those feelings and lift spirits. As legendary blues guitarist B.B. King describes it, “The blues is pain, but it’s pain that brings joy.” ..  

  • Literacy Program Taking Off in Afghan District
    Literacy Program Taking Off in Afghan District

    Ghazni Province, Afghanistan — As the Afghan Local Police entered the village of Shagowlay, children from all over the village ran to greet them. The smiles from the children were returned by smiles from the ALP .. 

  • Peace Corps Volunteer Shares Love of Reading in Romania
    Peace Corps Volunteer Shares Love of Reading in Romania

    Peace Corps volunteer Kelly Forster of Barrow, Alaska, is sharing her love of reading with students in Romania — and updating their library with more than... 

  • U.S. Seeks World Heritage Listing for Ancient Earthworks Site
    U.S. Seeks World Heritage Listing for Ancient Earthworks Site

    Washington — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar January 17 announced that the United States is nominating Poverty Point State Historic Site and National Monument in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, for inclusion on the World Heritage List .. 

  • Volunteer to Publish First Full Kyrgyz-English Dictionary
    Volunteer to Publish First Full Kyrgyz-English Dictionary

    Peace Corps volunteer Willoughby Ann Walshe is preparing to publish the first comprehensive Kyrgyz-English dictionary to be printed in Kyrgyzstan. 

  • New Exhibition Tracks Progress of Civil Rights in America
    New Exhibition Tracks Progress of Civil Rights in America

    The Emancipation Proclamation was a significant step toward making slavery illegal, but it was only the beginning. Years of work and legislation followed ... 

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Cultural Perspectives Archive

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