Posts Tagged With: culture

This is Flamenco: Guitars and Gypsies in Granada

When you think of Spain chances are that you think about flamenco, sangria and bull fighting.  That’s partly true, but especially so in the south of Spain.  Flamenco is perhaps Spain’s most notorious export; but to the people of Andalusia, flamenco isn’t just a style of music…it’s a way of life.

The Vagabrothers explore the back streets in the shadow of the Alhambra and speak to a master guitar maker to find out what flamenco really is.  Come along to jam with the Gypsies of Granada.

Disfruta amigos!  Ole!

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#MyBBB Vlog #2: Agur Euskadi (Goodbye Basque Country)

Spend the next 3 minutes with the Vagabrothers as they recount their amazing memories from a very special place.

Goodbye Euskadi…for now.

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Interview: Travel, Culture & Basque Country (English, French & Portuguese Subtitles)

Good News: We’ve added English & French subtitles to our interview with the local Basque newspaper, Diario Vasco (see article on their website).

Learn more about the Vagabrothers’ philosophy and why we’re so stoked on the Basque Country by turning on the caption in the bottom right corner.

Aupa Euskadi!

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Searching for Scotland (4/4): The Secrets of the Isles

In their last instalment on Scotland, the Vagabrothers sail to the the Outer Hebrides in search of something many don’t know exist – and find something much different altogether.

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Searching for Scotland: Why Independence? (1/4)

The Vagabrothers set off through Scotland to try to find out what it means to be a Scot and why some people want independence from the UK.  They begin in Glasgow to try to find what’s happening on the streets today before going back in time to learn about one of Scotland’s most legendary stories.

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Vagabrothers on Basque TV (Entrevista con Diario Vasco)

We’re proud to announce that we were just interviewed about our project by the local Basque paper El Diario Vasco.  For five minutes, we talk culture, travel and the awesomeness of the Basque Country!

See the video here (in Spanish)

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 12.16.09

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Next Episode Teaser: In Search of Scottish Identity

As Scotland prepares to vote on independence from the UK, the Vagabrothers set off in search of Scottish identity, trying to figure out why Scots are so different from the rest of the UK.

To find out, they travel across the country asking locals what it means to be Scottish, replacing their preconceptions with insights on the country’s unique history and culture.

They wind up in some unexpected places, make new friends and come home with great memories.

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San Sebastian Day – The Tamborrada

We stood in the middle of San Sebastian’s main square, a regiment of Napoleonic soldiers on our left squaring off against a few hundred elderly men dressed up as chefs. It felt as if we’d stepped into a bizarre time warp, but more strange still was that the soldiers had no guns – instead, both sides bore drums, massive wooden spoons, and absurdly large golden knives and forks.

As midnight drew nigh, the whole city poured into the square, pushing through the porticoes for a view of the standoff and cheering from the balconies above. We didn’t quite understand what we were seeing, but we knew where we were – moments before the start of the biggest celebration in San Sebastian, the Tamborrada.

Cultures can be difficult to understand, their traditions more mystifying still. For us, the annual celebration of San Sebastian’s day, known locally as the tamborrada, was one such case. Why were locals so stoked to dress up in 19th century costumes and spend 24 straight hours banging on drums? As with many foreigners, it left our ears ringing and our minds befuddled, but curious.

In the spirit of exploring cultural identity, we decided to take a closer look at the unique celebration that forms an immense source of pride of locals. What we discovered inspired us to jump into the festivities – how a tragic event from the city’s darkest days transformed into the beautiful celebration we see today.

But we weren’t satisfied to stand on the sidelines, so we bought a 3€ chef get-up and drummed away to the beat – between filming, of course! So stay tuned for a new video on Vagabrothers, – San Sebastian’s Tamborrada – the best day of the year of our favorite city in the world!

 

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Anarchism in Barcelona: Part 1

This week, we go to Barcelona to figure out a question we’ve been wondering for a while – why is anarchism so big in Spain?

Is it just a passing phase or could it be part of something bigger? We hit the streets to find out.

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Vagatip – Doing Your Homework

This is the first written post on Vagabrothers. We hope to roll out Words & Fotos in addition to the Videos we produce. This week, we shed some light on the importance of learning about your host culture before you travel.


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For the Vagabrothers, as much as travel is about having fun and enjoying a new country, it’s also about learning and discovery. Though travel almost always teaches you something, it’s always worthwhile to do your homework beforehand.

We recommend brushing up on the following subjects before you fly:

 

The Past. Our histories make us who we are. Travel deeper by learning what major events shaped a country’s national identity.  History and cultural traditions combine to create the present.

Tip: Most nations have a “national myth”, or a story about how their country came into existence. Identifying this story will help to understand their values and beliefs.

The Present: No country is static. Cultures are constantly evolving. Figuring out what issues are shaping a nations’s future will make sense of what you see on the streets.

Tip: Read their news.  Skim your target country’s headlines for a week or two before you leave. There are plenty of English-language papers/websites abroad.

Credit: Woodleywonderworks

The Language: Language is the best gateway into a culture. But you don’t have to be fluent – even learning a few phrases will help you connect with locals.

Tips: Smart phones make learning basic travel phrases easier than ever. Search directly from your phone, or download one of LonelyPlanet’s many audio phrasebooks.

The Culture: Assume most know about Lady Gaga and The Simpsons and get curious about what culture their country has created.  This will give you a valuable perspective, new music, and some great conversation starters.

Tips: Seek out foreign music via Spotify.  Then flip through a list of foreign films or Lonely Planet’s country-specific reading lists.

The Customs: Nobody wants to be the “ugly American” – often it is a result of misunderstanding. Learn what the Romans do. A bit of research will help you feel more respectful and confident as you leave your comfort zone behind.

Tips: Check out the slim and informative CultureSmart! books, a series of crash-courses in the customs of over a hundred countries.

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The Key:  Doing your homework helps, but travel can only teach if you are willing to be a student.  The key is having genuine interest in where other people come from.

Curiosity has drawn the Vagabrothers  to discover the world.  We hope to inspire you to do the same.

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