New Year’s in Japan: Joya no Kane, Hatsumode, and Shishi-mai

I’ve heard a lot and have spoken to a lot of people about the New Year’s traditions. There were so many small pieces that lead up to the evening itself that I decided to focus on two of the biggest and give them a go: Joya no Kane (New Year’s Bell) and Hatsumode (First Temple […]

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Musical Instrument Museum

One of the places that anyone has to visit in Phoenix is the Musical Instrument Museum. It’s located in the northern-most reaches of Phoenix proper, but going there is a must. It is, to my surprise, the only global musical instrument museum in the world. And when they say it is a global instrument museum, […]

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Ballet Arizona: The Nutcracker

I’m quite the novice when it comes to ballet, much like musical theater. Given the holiday season, I decided to take the plunge with my wife and go see The Nutcracker, as performed by Phoenix Ballet (Ballet Arizona), at the incredibly beautiful Orpheum theater in Downtown Phoenix. I went into the performance knowing next to […]

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Dia De Los Muertos Festival

This year, being busy Halloween weekend, I wanted to check out Phoenix’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival. It’s part of my cultural heritage that I never really did much with growing up nor as an adult up until this point and I wanted to change that. From the description of the festival on their website, […]

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Gymnastics

With Mongolia’s relatively small population, you wonder sometimes if certain aspects of performance, culture, and art matriculate into modern Mongolian consciousness. While you may not get much of it in the villages, due to lack of people who know how to coach or train athletes and performers, you tend to get a fairly healthy sampling […]

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The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t

“You can’t have a Halloween party. A few years ago, a girl in UB, she died. From being shocked. I think Mongolians cannot handle this holiday.” Words that, in retrospect, sound like they came from someone who had only read about Mongolia, and never experienced it. Mongolians have taken to Halloween. It comes naturally. Interest […]

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