Culture June 2014

Myanmar – Tattoo not taboo

From ancient time to nowadays, tattoo has became part of Burma’s culture. Between art and mysticism. An old Burmese saying goes: “Getting married, building a pagoda and getting a tattoo are the three things that once undertaken can only be altered afterwards with great difficulty”. Despite the advice, tattooing has become fashionable again among today’s…

Read more

Music – Vusi Mahlasela

Vusi Mahlasela can truly be considered a perfect son of the South Africa Nelson Mandela believed in, the ‘Rainbow Nation’. In other words, those of the renowned writer and 1991 Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, ‘his tender and strong voice was ours, South Africa’s. He sings our changes, our achievements as a free people, and our…

Read more

Guinea-Bissau – The sacrifice of the rooster

The Manjak people are an ethnic group living in Guinea-Bissau. They number about 100,000 and are scattered throughout both the continental and insular region. They are mainly rice cultivators. Keeping cultural traditions alive is important among this group. The ritual and traditions related to marriage are among the most interesting ones. During the kakaw, when…

Read more

Book review – Horn of Africa

Broaden the discussion in order to make the topic simpler: paradoxical as it may seem, that is exactly what Kidane Mengisteab does – quite successfully – in his book The Horn of Africa, which aims to deal with two crucial challenges. In the author’s own words, ‘one is to provide a comprehensive and yet concise…

Read more


Rely on one own strength first.

We are in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, Senegal. Father Armel Duteil, is the one telling the story. He is an 80-year-old Spiritan missionary. French by…

Read more


The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger.

Once there lived a hard-working farmer in a small village who had a water-buffalo. Every day, with his plough on his shoulder, he led his water-buffalo…

Read more

Youth & Mission

Nine Challenges Facing Young People in Syria.

For over nine years, violence and displacement have devastated opportunities for youth across the country. Here are nine of the most pressing challenges facing young people…

Read more