Inscriptions on mountain walls and tribal traditions define our culture and our identity. They give us a perspective of our beginnings and it build us inside and out. Our heritage shapes our character, likes, dislikes and our food preference. Some cultures prefer eating raw food or even fermented food, it transcends into the countries modern cuisine. These heritages eventually become the country’s greatest treasure.
They say history is visible through your food culture, hence if you want to understand a foreign country always join in people and food. Sometimes you might even be invited to join an amazing dance and an after party with traditional wine.
There are many countries that uphold their ancestor’s traditions and if you’re looking for a culturally enriching adventure then this would be a great read for you.
1. Iceland – The Land of the Vikings.
Over the years, Iceland has been known for its gender equality, its scenic beauty and its wonderful traditions. Iceland or Is-land known to many Scandinavians and Central European community, is a land which offers wondrous opportunities and great living standards. Iceland is often associated with women rights and the land of the Vikings.
Iceland has always been associated with their brother countries such as Sweden and Norway as they share the same roots and heritage. The atmosphere and the love for great unique cuisine is something interesting in Iceland. However, Iceland is the one country which celebrates their ancestor’s tradition and names it as one of the most important public holidays.
During the era of the Vikings, the common food would be the cold Icelandic shark meat. These sharks have a coat on the epidermal layer which protects them from the cold. However, this coat is a form of toxin which becomes a dangerous poison for the human body. Hence fermenting has been a common tradition to release these toxins which could result in fatality if eaten without caution.
However, if you’re in Sweden you might find a similar cuisine but it isn’t celebrated with a festival. In Iceland there’s a harvest feast where you tend to indulge in a platter of fermented shark’s meat, cow brain and ox eyeballs. It’s a feast where you enjoy the cuisine of your ancestors and waste nothing, it’s the way of the Vikings.
If you’re in Iceland be sure to take part in the amazing festivities and community gatherings.
2. Mongolia – The Land of Genghis Khan.
Mongolia is a land which is at the borders of China, they’re an exquisite country who treasures their nature and have a culture which is both welcoming and unique. They tend to celebrate their differences in tribes and their history. A nation which is known for its perseverance, it’s tenaciousness, it’s strategizing and its leadership. It’s the land of Genghis Khan.
For the people who aren’t familiar with Genghis Khan he may have been known as a cruel and a tenacious leader. Their culture is a mix of influences from the Chinese, Russians, Tibetans, and Buddhist which has incorporated in their nomadic culture. One of their most renowned traditions are their marriage traditions. A bond between a man and a woman is viewed as something sacred. Hence, their cuisine and their weddings are one to be remembered by.
During the older times, the women used to exchange a fur coat, equivalent to the worth of the women. Hence the higher the quality the more the women are worth. Even though in this modern world this tradition has changed and they have moved on from past belief’s, they still have it as part of the ritual. Their marriages are filled with classic traditions, good food and a party to be remembered.
So if you happen to be in Mongolia, make sure to take the opportunity to be part of a traditional family and if you’re lucky you might be able to be part of a wedding.
3. Argentina – The Bridge of Tradition and The World.
I recall when my partner and his friends made a vacation to Argentina, I’ve never heard the end of the same story. However, they’ve claimed it to be one of the best countries in the world for its hospitality and it’s love for music and history. Argentina, is known for its huge influence in the Latin American world, for its culture, character and its beautiful history.
They became world famous after their findings of the very first Inca Tribe sacrifice in the Argentinian mountains. It’s believed that a child is sacrificed for the good of the community and becomes a holy savior. Although these practices are no longer practiced, plus the mere existence of the Inca tribe has been destroyed, Argentina still celebrates this part of their culture as their greatest treasure.
Furthermore, for those who are enthusiastic about wine and good meat then this is the place to be. It’s the place where you can learn about history and modern culture all with sharing a table with an Argentinian. You can go around drinking mate as well as embracing the beautiful nature, and great food.
Hence if you’re planning to head to Argentina be sure to try that good old lama steak. I’m sure you wouldn’t regret it.
4. Kazakhstan – The Land of Eagles.
A world known for its nomadic lifestyle and beautiful nature, Kazakhstan is a land where the influence of nomadic turkey and Islamic culture became part of their heritage. They believe in superstitions with animals as well as the balance of the universe. Hence they have a strict practice of nurturing the universe.
Although it’s not a traditional place for many travelers, it’s definitely a place worth visiting. Their traditional cuisine is horse meat; they prefer the traditional beef jerky in the form of horse jerky. Usually enjoying a great meal means sharing it with families and friends.
They’ve carried forward their ancestor’s practices in mercy killing of the livestock and having the head of the women prepare the dishes. The men share the head of any livestock, while the woman are forbidden to touch the head. Furthermore, the men are the first to begin the meal and the women tend to enjoy certain parts of animal organs which guarantee to keep their youth flourishing and which increase their fertility.
The country is divided between the modern society and the traditional families who work hard to preserve their culture. Every year before harvest they celebrate this culture with their traditional Eagle Trainers. These eagle trainers train the birds to become hunters and to catch preys, without vision. It’s amazing, despite many hurdles they’re still holding on to their custom and heritage as a part of their lives.
Hence if you’re ever travelling to Kazakhstan, make sure to enjoy your time with the locals instead of in hotels. It will be an unforgettable adventure.
In a nutshell, it’s amazing to travel and discover different cultures and heritage, so I hope this article has been of great read for you.
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