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When Nigeria marked its 50th anniversary in 2010, organizers of the Seven wonders of Nigeria Project saw a need to renew national pride and and develop a communal love for the country, and therefore the need to identify national icons of international repute. They wanted to identify a body of locations that are “must see” destinations that can be universally recognized and promoted as Nigerian destinations that would draw attention to the beauty of Nigeria and its people.
Ikechi Uko, leader of the Seven Wonders of Nigeria Project said that the idea of Nigeria’s seven best destinations was a product of his extensive travels which gave him another eye to appreciate the tourism potentials of Nigeria. “From our experience abroad, we found out that other countries celebrate what they have, but there are better places in Nigeria that have not been celebrated in the same manner.”
Uko said the the Seven Wonders of Nigeria Project was designed to draw global attention to what God and our ancestors have endowed us with. "Nigeria was not as bad as people thought and the best tourist destinations in the world have worse security and other challenges than Nigeria,” he explained.
NTDC Director General Otunba Segun Runsewe, commended the various subcommittees that invested their time and other resources in the project and described them as assets to Nigeria and the tourism sector in particular. He said that the committee has made Nigeria proud by giving the country seven wonderful sites that his agency will celebrate home and abroad. Runsewe disclosed plans to visit state governors, in whose domain the sites are located, promising to avail the state all the assistance they need to develop the sites to the delight of domestic and foreign tourists. “The committee has added a great deal of value to the destination marketing efforts of the NTDC, Runsewe said”.
With the new Nigerian Seven Wonders, it is hoped that the states with these wonderful sites, will develop them and benefit from the socio-economic gains that will accrue from the venture. The Nigerian Seven Wonders Sites have also been endorsed by the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP).discount lipitor
1. discount lipitor-described as a paradise in Nigeria with unpolluted fresh air, chilling weather that can be compared to winter season in Europe. It is the most developed with one of the longest cable cars in the world.
2. discount lipitor in Adamawa State: The first world heritage site in Nigeria.
3. discount lipitor The second World Heritage site in Nigeria and popularized by the annual Osun Shogbo Festival in Osun State, and the late Austrian, Susan Wenger, who was a priestess at the shrine.
4. discount lipitor With 17.5km in circumference with 16 gates, protecting what is still an important centre of trade. Within the walls, the Gidan Makam Museum is a national monument of architectural excellence.
5. discount lipitor, Ondo State: Said to be 800 years old and can be accessed reached by 442 steps with spectacular views overlooking the new Idanre town.
6. discount lipitor, Edo State: One of the largest man-made excavations in the world.
7. discount lipitor, Umuahia, Abia State: Housing the famous Ojukwu Bunker, from where the Biafra war command operated during the Nigerian Civil War.
For more information, visit .]]>
With representation from many countries all over the world, the Seychelles carnival is called the community of nations. Some of the best and most reputed carnival participants from all over the world will perform at the 'Carnaval International de Victoria' 2012. You must go to experience the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the countries participating. As Seychelles is home to several different ethnicities, you will also get to check out the traditions and lifestyles of the people that live there. Carnival-goers will be able to experience the various cultures all under one roof – I mean all on one island. This is your chance discount lipitor to have to travel all over the world to experience cultural diversity. Seychelles 'Carnaval International de Victoria' 2012 is your ‘one-stop shop’ for the ultimate experience in multiculturalism.
Last year Seychelles inaugural international carnival was a phenomenal success. During the three-day event, the islands’ capital city of Victoria was turned into an open alfresco restaurant-styled entertainment venue with music and food from around the world. That opening evening, singers, dancers and performers from the various visiting countries dazzled the audience with all types of entertainment. The next day during the parade, excitement was everywhere as the spirit of the carnival was upon the local islanders and visitors alike. The parade was too much to behold with all the exhilarating carnival music and dancing, and most of all the beautiful, unique colourful floats representing many countries including China, Korea, Indonesia, Tanzania, UK, France, South Africa, Italy, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zanzibar and the US Hawaiian Islands, as well as the nearby Indian Ocean islands of La Reunion and Madagascar.
It was later confirmed that the parade had the largest gathering of spectators ever in Seychelles. When the parade was over, everyone socialized, just hung out and enjoyed the festivities, street parties and all kinds of musical bands. The partying and street fun went on throughout the night into the wee hours of the morning. The final day was Family Fun Day where carnival-goers got to relax, walk around the city, enjoy more festive activities, sample the different types of delectable island food and immerse themselves in the Creole culture of Seychelles. There were all types of games for adults and children, and also art shows, exhibits, vendors and culture performances located all around the city for enjoyment. And of course, we got too enjoy the parks, beach scene and water sports.
This year’s 2012 Seychelles International Carnival promises even more fun. Most of the countries who came last year will return for all the excitement that has already started brewing. The organizers are anticipating a growing number of carnival participants for this year’s edition. Vacationing in Seychelles for the 2012 carnival is an ideal time to enjoy Creole culture, friendly people, and to get in on all the fun and entertainment. Make plans to attend because there’s so much to do and see in Seychelles in addition to the carnival.
After being blown away by the carnival, you can take the time to explore the peaceful, enchanting islands to see if you believe that it really could have been the legendary ‘Garden of Eden.’ Some people claim this, and I can see why.discount lipitorThe luscious greenery, wondrous terrain, pure sandy white beaches, clear turquoise blue seas all against a backdrop of lush green towering hills and incredible big glacis boulders all combine to make Seychelles a mystical island of splendid, unprecedented natural beauty. A visit just to take in the scenery and serenity would be well worth the trip.
Seychelles is also a living museum of natural history, and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth. With almost fifty per cent of its landmass set aside as national parks and reserves, communing with the island’s natural beauty is the best way to come down from the highs of the carnival and to unwind. And with the many fruit trees spread around the island, I can also see why ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ would have been unable to resist partaking of the fresh fruit, if Seychelles really was the “Garden of Eden.” Whether it was or not, one thing for sure is that the tranquillity, peacefulness and natural beauty of the island is as pure as it gets, conjuring up experiences in mysticism and spiritual oneness.
In all of its exquisite beauty, you can enjoy this paradise island in many ways. And you will indeed feel like you are in paradise. I know you will want to spend some time on the beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the world according to many vacationers. Seychelles is also a one-of-a-kind adventure in ecotourism. It is a top spot to watch rare birds, giant tortoises, exotic fish and beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitats. It is also home to the Coco de Mir, a unique type of coconut that has a legendary history and is unique to the islands here. Seychelles has two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, where coco de mir grows in abundance. Guided garden and nature tours which have been very popular with visitors are also available.
Seychelles is an ideal place for water sports, boating and fishing. One of the world's top diving destinations, you can go snorkeling and scuba diving to observe coral reefs, and marine life as visibility is excellent anytime of the year. Sightseeing is also available by helicopter and glass bottom boat tours. You must find time to visit the national monuments, beautiful Creole houses, national reserves and marine parks. If golf is your thing, you can get in a game or two at one of the islands’ beautiful golf courses, or you can go horseback-riding on a trail or along the beaches. For your shopping pleasures, there are many specialty shops and the Sir Selwyn Clarke Marketplace located in the heart of Victoria. Seychelles has a laid back, yet upbeat nightlife scene complete with a casino, local bars and fine restaurants where you can enjoy signature Creole and international cuisine.
Seychelles is the right vacation spot if you are looking for a real learning experience, but don’t like calling it that. You are welcome to call it an experience in multiculturalism, nature’s tranquility, ecotourism, or just plain beach fun, but it will still be a learning experience through all that Seychelles has to offer. Seychelles has something for everyone, regardless of your age, culture, and background no matter what type of vacation you are seeking. It is the perfect vacation spot for couples, families and groups. There are secluded resorts and hotels scattered all over, making Seychelles an ideal place for retreats, meetings and special events. The entire ambiance of the islands lends itself to a top choice for world-class festivals and of course, this international carnival.
If you are still not convinced that the Seychelles carnival is a must-attend event, I’ll offer one more incentive: Emirates Airlines is the official airline for the carnival again this year which means that you can visit Seychelles by way of Dubai. I did last year, and if you want to know about the fabulous Dubai leg of my trip on my way to the carnival, look for that in another article. Better still, why don’t discount lipitor go and tell discount lipitor about Dubai? Coupling a visit to Dubai with the Seychelles carnival is the once-in-a-lifetime vacation. I rest my case. With the carnival less than three months away, I guarantee that deciding to go will be the best last minute decision you’ll ever make. There is only one thing better than visiting Seychelles, and that is visiting Seychelles during the 'Carnaval International de Victoria' 2012 - by way of Dubai! I’ll see you there!
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‘Black in Latin America’ may prove to have far reaching effects similar to the ‘Roots’ phenomenon of the 70’s. Even though Gates’ television episodes came out before the book, (unlike Roots where the television series came out afterwards based on Alex Haley’s book) ‘Black in Latin America’ is creating quite a buzz on the culture and heritage scene. It may not become as monumental as the ‘Roots’ phenomenon was, but at the least, ‘Black in Latin America’ is certainly capturing the attention of different groups of people from different walks of life.
Gates’ book like its PBS series forerunner is more than just research and the reporting of facts. Through music, cuisine, art, dance, politics, religion and language, Gates, a noted Harvard professor explores black history in the six countries that he visited in 2010. The book is a thought-provoking travelogue of his experiences and fact-finding journey through Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru. Like the television episodes, some of the book is based on Gates’ conversations in cafes, hotels, museums, social clubs and other community settings.
Gates quests for knowledge about blacks in Latin America was stimulated by research showing that only about 450,000 Africans of the roughly 11 million who survived the trans-Atlantic slave trade lived in the United States. The rest were taken to the Caribbean, Latin America and South America. Gates became interested in knowing more about how the descendents of slavery outside of the United States lived. Renowned for his tracing black ancestry and studies in African-American history, Gates reveals living links to Africa and other legacies of the slave trade in his “Black in Latin American” book.
Like in the PBS episodes Dr. Gates also reveals in his book more evidence that racism is alive no matter how subtle and that skin color played a factor in the everyday lives of blacks all over Latin America. Despite the societal pledges of multiculturalism and diversity, people were still judged by the color of their skin in an even more pronounced way than in the United States. ‘Black in Latin America’discount lipitorabout the impact of the slave trade and its lasting effects on Latin America's cultural history.
In an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross Gates said, "Brazil got 4.8 million slaves alone. When I was growing up, I thought to talk about the slave trade was to talk about the experiences of our ancestors here in the United States. But it turns out that the real 'African-American experience' — judging by numbers alone — unfolded south of our borders. The average American — and even the average academic and the average journalist — has no idea of the huge number of black people who landed south of the United States over the course of the slave trade."
In the interview with Gross, he went on to say that the descendants of slaves brought to Latin and South America don't identify as white or black the way many Americans do. “In Brazil, there are 134 categories of blackness to describe someone of African descent. [They say], 'I'm not black. I'm murano [or] I'm kubuku,'discount lipitorhe says. "You could say that these societies have refused to be locked into this ridiculous binary opposition between black and white the way we are here in America, and they've socially constructed race or ethnicity in a more subtle way than we could ever imagine."
In each of the countries Gates examined, there were also policies enacted to "whiten" the complexion of the country soon after receiving an influx of slaves. In Brazil for instance, 4 million white Europeans and 185,000 Japanese immigrants were allowed into the country between 1884 and 1939. Cuba and Mexico also had similar policies in place.
"They were trying to do two things," says Gates. "They wanted to bring in white families so that the white population would increase. But they also assumed, because so many of these indentured immigrants would be men, interracial sexual liaisons would ensue -- and indeed they did. So whitening was to be achieved in two ways: through white people marrying white people and a browning movement, when a series of racial gradations would be created through interracial sexuality."
In many countries in Latin America, says Gates, race is no longer recorded as part of the census. "But there's a slight problem with that," he says. "If because of historical reasons, the people who are disproportionately discriminated against happen to be that group of people with dark skin, kinky hair and thick lips, how do you count them if you don't have a census category?"
In both Mexico and Peru, political activists are fighting for the right to have race reintroduced in the federal census. "Until that's done, political activists can't argue for affirmative action or more equal opportunity because they have no statistics," says Gates. "A great academic told me that he went to the government to complain about the lack of blacks in higher education, and he was told, 'We don't have racism because we don't have races.' And if you can't count the race, then you can't have racism. And that is the pernicious argument that they're trying to fight with this movement to expand the categories on the federal census."
In case you missed any of the four-part television episodes, you can read about the history and culture of black Latin Americans in the book. Dr. Gates’ book reveals not just a hidden history, but also an evolving sense of identity among black people in Latin America. The “Black in Latin America” book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the peoples of the African Diaspora.
Top Photo: Black in Latin America Book Cover (NYU Press)]]>
As a black cultural tourism destination, the Bahamas has much to offer because African heritage is very much ingrained throughout the islands. The black heritage trail sites convey the rich, diverse history of the peoples of the African Diaspora through artistic expressions, written and oral stories, landmarks, monuments and artifacts. A vacation in the Bahamas, is not only a beach lover’s dream, but also an exciting, unforgettable culture heritage and educational experience.
The rich African Diaspora Heritage Trail begins with a visit to Nassau on the island of New Providence, where many vacationers go for fun and relaxation. Everyone loves “funky” Nassau! But did you know that much of Nassau’s history contains references to African presence and contributions? Enjoy fun in-the-sun and the clear waters, but don’t forget to visit the Venue House in Nassau, the original marketplace where captured Africans were sold along with household goods and other commodities in the 18th and 19th centuries. A museum named in honor of Pompey, a brave African slave who led a slave rebellion in Exuma in 1830 is housed here. The Pompey Museum is dedicated to the study and interpretation of slavery.
Unveiled in March 2007, the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue is one of three of its kind worldwide recognizing the evils of the slave trade. The half-ton bronze, 15 ft. sculpture depicting two people melded in an embrace is a symbol of apology for slavery. Identical statues are in Liverpool, England and Benin, West Africa memorializing the British, African and American triangular trade route, now identified as the Reconciliation Triangle. For three quarters of the 18th Century, Liverpool, Benin and Richmond represented one of the largest global commercial trade triangles of enslaved Africans. Richmond was once one of the busiest slave centers in America with more than 300,000 slaves sold in the years leading up to the Civil War.
The Slavery Reconciliation Statue, located in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom district, is one of nine sites on the Richmond Slave Trail.The entire path along the Richmond Slave Trail is filled with interesting bits of history about slavery and the slave trade, making it one of the most significant African Diaspora Heritage Trails in the United States. In an effort to educate people, make amends for the horrors of its past and to recognize the slavery perspective as part of its own heritage, the city of Richmond has made plans to further develop the Slave Trail and its black heritage sites.
Even though the allocation of so much money has been met with controversy, architects for the project say that the trail is the first phase of a three-part plan to develop a $100-$150 million heritage complex in Shockoe Bottom. The project will include a slavery museum, an African-American genealogical center, a glass-enclosed site of Lumpkin’s Jail, and the revitalizing of the historic Negro burial ground. Funded by a $50,000 grant from Venture Richmond, the Slave Trail will feature 16 3-foot-by-3-foot enamel panels set on a granite base, each describing an aspect of the area’s history as it relates to the slave industry and/or emancipation.
A trail outlining the paths countless slaves traveled on their journey into forced servitude, the Slave Trail presently is a walking tour with markers along the 2.5-mile trek, found along the site of the Manchester Docks, to the site of the First African Baptist Church. Along the Canal Walk Plaza, you will find a marker honoring Henry Brown, a slave that escaped Richmond by nailing himself in a crate where he was packaged for 27 hours until his deliverance to freedom in the North. You can also visit original auction houses in Shockoe Bottom where slaves were auctioned and sold along other commodities. Another marker on the Richmond Slave Trail is Lumpkin's jail, once one of the largest and most notorious slave jails in antebellum America, where a rented complex of this jail later evolved into Virginia Union. Also, pay homage at the Negro Burial Ground, where you will find many unmarked graves around the hillside.
Continue on your heritage tour to visit one of the nation’ s oldest intact African America neighborhoods Jackson Ward, the largest National Historic Landmark District associated with African American history. Once referred to as the "Harlem of the South" because of its vibrant culture and thriving community, this is the neighborhood district where Bill “Bojangles" Robinson danced and Duke Ellington played. One of the birthplaces of African American banking and commerce, many generations of blacks worked here in what was then also called The Wall Street of Black America because of its many banks and businesses. Jackson Ward is where Maggie Walker, the first woman in the US to charter and serve as president of a bank, lived and worked.
You can learn more about this remarkable woman by visiting the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site which includes the bank she ran, her residence of 30 years and a visitor center. The bank is still intact and operating today where you can experience firsthand how banks operated back then. Additional information on Maggie Walker and other notable blacks can be found at the nearby Black History Museum and Cultural Center on Clay Street also in the Jackson Ward District. Founded in 1981 and open to the public in 1991, the museum is a repository for visual, oral and written records and artifacts commemorating the lives and accomplishments of blacks in Virginia. The museum holds works by renowned artists, and extensive collections of African Artifacts from different ethnic groups throughout Africa.
Continue on Richmond's black heritage trail to visit the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church organized in 1867 by legendary slave minister John Jasper, who was one of the nation's most well-known post Civil War African American preachers of that time. Serving as pastor of the church for 34 years, Jasper is remembered most for his "De Sun do Move" sermon which he delivered by invitation more than 250 times to both black and white audiences, and once before the Virginia General Assembly. Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church has a large collection of materials documenting its long history and a room dedicated to the memory of John Jasper.
No black heritage tour in Richmond would be complete without a visit to the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and Capitol Square. Tredegar is the nation's first museum to interpret and represent aspects of the Civil War to include African American perspectives along with the Union and the Confederate views. When visiting Capitol Square, be sure to do the outdoor walking tour where you will find a state building named for Oliver Hill, a prominent black attorney who helped mandate some of today's laws. The Oliver Hill State Building is the first and only building on Capitol Square to be named for an African American. Capital Square is the location where the country's first elected African-American Governor took oath as well as the location where an oak tree was planted in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and dedicated by his wife in 2001. Another dedication to a notable African American in this evolving city is a statue of legendary tennis star and civil rights activist Arthur Ashe located on Monument Avenue.
As Richmond continuously recognizes the contributions of slaves and blacks to the building of America, it is definitely a city on the move in a positive direction. A visit to learn about history, politics, city government or cultural diversity would be an enlightening experience. With its various neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, cultural events and entertainment, Richmond has something for everyone. Visit for more information.]]>