Sunday, January 27, 2008

Marco Polo’s Bestiary

“Partendosi dalla Giava e dal regno di Lambri, poi che s'ha navigato da circa centocinquanta miglia verso tramontana, si truovano due isole, una delle quali si chiama Nocueran e l'altra Angaman. E in questa di Nocueran non è re, e quelle genti sono come bestie, e tutti, cosí maschi come femine, vanno nudi e non cuoprono parte alcuna della loro persona.”...” Angaman è un'isola grandissima, che non ha re, le cui genti adoran gl'idoli, e sono come bestie salvatiche, conciosiacosachè mi fosse detto ch'hanno il capo simile a quello de' cani, e gli occhi e denti. Sono genti crudeli, e tutti quegli uomini che possono prendere gli ammazzano e mangiano.”

“Upon living Java (minor) and the kingdom of Lambri, and sailing about one hundred and fifty miles, you fall in with two islands, one of which is named Nocueran, and the other Angaman. Nocueran is not under the government of a king, and the people are little removed from the conditions of beasts; all of them, both males and females, going naked, withot a covering to any part of the body.”…”Angaman is a very large island, not governed by king. The inhabitants are idolaters, and are most brutish and savage race, having heads, eyes, and teeth resembling those of the canine species. Their dispositions are cruel, and every person, not being of their own nation, whom they can lay their hands upon, they will kill and eat.”

Rustichello da Pisa was an Italian romance writer best known for co-writing Marco Polo's autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa around 1298 after a clash between Genoa and Venice.

Marco dictated his tales of travel to Rustichello, and together they turned it into the book known as Il Milione or, in English, The Travels of Marco Polo - Description of the World.

Needless to say that I’m really impressed with the book, but what I like most about Description of the World is the fantastic description of what could be considered surreal stories.

It was very difficult at that time to separate scientific reports from bestiaries or Bestiarum vocabulum, a compendium of beasts. Bestiaries were made popular in the middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals, birds, etc. Their fantastic and magnificent writings and illustrations were quite highly prized amongst general public and were regarded as great appreciation of fine literature and poetry, and gain acceptance as a wonderful source of fantasy in reader’s minds.

In the late 18th century the English sailor Andrew Battell held prisoner by the Portuguese in Angola, had described two anthropoid "monsters" named Pongo and Engeco. His description was considered to be another bestiary tail but it is pretty obvious that he was referring to orangutans.

Hanno the Navigator, a Carthaginian explorer c. 450 BC had described "a savage people, the greater part of whom were women, whose body were hairy, and whom our interpreters called Gorillae". It sounds very much like a Rustichello’s report.

In the Early 20th century Carl Akeley of the American Museum of Natural History traveled to Africa accompanied by his friends Mary Bradley, a famous mystery writer, and her husband. When they come back Mary Bradley wrote “On the Gorilla Trail” this one was no longer a bestiary, it was a magnificent scientific report.

A research study has been deemed scientific when it pursues the application of scientific criteria in both its formulation and implementation.

Marco Polo described on his journeys through the Gobi desert the sound to evil desert spirits. The noise can be very loud, audible for over a kilometer. It was a bestiary report but today we know that in a Chinese desert, guides point to what Polo apparently saw–the Mingsha Dune–and explain that when the wind blows, the dune whistles because solid granite is just below the shifting sand.

Tough much of what of Rustichello de Pise wrote is impossible to be held as a true fact, I really wish that all relates would not be a lie. In that sense I’ve created some possible images of what Marco and Rusticello described as if a fictional explorer from late 19’s encountered such creatures and photographed them.

So rejoice yourself with this scientific beautiful report!!!
Those Blemyas (The Blemmyes - Latin Blemmyae) were really gentile when our tem photographed them. They are a race of creatures that live in Africa, in Nubia, Kush, and Ethiopia, generally on the south of Egypt. They are acephalous (headless) people who had eyes and mouths in their bellies and could die if not smell a special local fruit in daily basis.
The Sciapodes (σκιαποδες - 'shadow foots' in Greek) or monocoli (μονοκωλοι - 'one legged' in Greek) live in India and have only one leg, but are able to leap with surprising agility.
In this photo you could see one Sciapode protecting himself from the sun by the shade of his own feet.
A Roc or Rukh (from the Arabic and Persian رخ rokh, asserted by Louis Charles Casartelli to be an abbreviated form of Persian simurgh) is an enormous bird of prey, often white, reputed to have been able to carry off and eat elephants.

Marco Polo as quoted inAttenborough (1961: 32) stated "It was for all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous size; so big in fact that its quills were twelve paces long and thick in proportion. And it is so strong that it will seize an elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces; having so killed him, the bird swoops down on him and eats him at leisure".

The Panotti (panacios, panotti, panotos, panotios - from the Greek words for "all ears") were a race of creatures, described as possessing large ears that covered their entire bodies.

They are mentioned by classical writers such as Pliny the Elder, who writes that they live in the "All-Ears Islands" off Scythia (Greek Σκυθία Skythia, Engl. /'sɪθɪə/ or /'sɪðɪə/) was the area in Eurasia inhabited by people of Iranian language. Pomponius Mela, however, writes that they lived near the Orkneys.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Postal Address formats II

Do you want to make sure that your correspondence will arrive at its destination without unnecessary delays, here is some postal address formats, business culture and etiquette for some countries. This will help you direct your international correspondence properly and ensure that your partner will receive the package/letter.


Exmo.[1] Senhor[2]
Luis[3] Pagano[4]
Internacional Blemya S.A.[5]
Av. [6] 4 de Fevereiro [7] n. 39[8] - 4.°[9] B[10]
Caixa Postal n.º-802[11]
República de Angola[13]

[1] Exmo. - treatment pronoun – Excelentíssimo ("Your Excellency", or, less formally, simply "Excellency".)
Vossa Excelência ( V. Ex.ª ).normally used for:
Vice President
State Minister
[2]Senhor means "Mr."; not usually abbreviated.
[3]First given name.
[4]Family names; probably addressed as Mr. Pagano. (In domestic usage these two lines are more likely to be written as a single "attention" line under the following line.)
[5]S.A. = Sociedade Anônima, meaning an stock corporation,
Ltda. – Limitada meaning a Limited Company
[6] Av. – Avenida – Avenue
R. Rua is the most common word for "street."
[7]Street name.
[8]Building number.
[9]Fourth floor.
[10]Office B.
[11]Caixa Postal means Four-digit postcode P.O. Box.
[12] City name.Luanda – Capital
18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia);
Cuando Cubango,
Cuanza Norte,
Cuanza Sul,
Lunda Norte,
Lunda Sul,
[14] Country name.


Mr.[1] Pavel Safarian
Blemya Capital LLC[2]
9[3] Tpagrichneri [4]St.[5]
Yerevan[6] 375010[7]

[2 ]Limited liability company - similar to a corporation and a limited liability partnership.
Limited - Equivalent to PLC Public Limited Company in the UK
OJSC Open Joint–Stock Company
CJLC Closed Joint–Stock Company
Inc. "Corporation", "Incorporated" and the abbreviations "Corp." and "Inc."
[3] Building number.
[4] Street name
[5] St. – Street
[6] City name – Yerevan – Capital
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz);
Vayots' Dzor,
[7] Six-digit postcode.


Dipl.-Ing.[2] Andreas[3] Stuck[4]
Blemya International Stern[5] GmbH[6]
Glockengasse[7] 159[8]
1010[9] WIEN[10]

[1]Herr means "Mr.," Herrn means "to Mr."; usually on a line by itself.
[2]Dipl.-Ing. is an engineering degree.
[3]Given name.
[4]Family name.
[5]Company name.
[6]GmbH. - Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung Translated "company with limited liability". Similar to Limited Liability Company (LLC). In Germany, min. capital in Austria €35,000
[7]Street name; many names in older areas end in -gasse, meaning "street." Or “Alley” – Strasse, street – Platz, square.
[8]Building number.
[9]four digit Postcode.
[10]City or delivery-post-office name, not usually capitalized in domestic usage. Wien is Vienna.
9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland);
Kaernten (Carinthia),
Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria),
Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria),
Steiermark (Styria),
Tirol (Tyrol),
Wien (Vienna)


Attn:[1] Grigory[2] Polova [3]
7 [4] Behbudov [5]St.[6]
Baku,[7] Az-1014[8],

[1]Attn - ATTN is an acronym for the attention of
[2] Given name.
[3]Family name.
[4]Building number
[5]Name of the street
[6] street - st.
Поспект – avenue
Улица –street
[7] Baku – city name – Capital
59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)
rayons: Abseron Rayonu,
Agcabadi Rayonu,
Agdam Rayonu,
Agdas Rayonu,
Agstafa Rayonu,
Agsu Rayonu,
Astara Rayonu,
Balakan Rayonu,
Barda Rayonu,
Beylaqan Rayonu,
Bilasuvar Rayonu,
Cabrayil Rayonu,
Calilabad Rayonu,
Daskasan Rayonu,
Davaci Rayonu,
Fuzuli Rayonu,
Gadabay Rayonu,
Goranboy Rayonu,
Goycay Rayonu,
Haciqabul Rayonu,
Imisli Rayonu,
Ismayilli Rayonu,
Kalbacar Rayonu,
Kurdamir Rayonu,
Lacin Rayonu,
Lankaran Rayonu,
Lerik Rayonu,
Masalli Rayonu,
Neftcala Rayonu,
Oguz Rayonu,
Qabala Rayonu,
Qax Rayonu,
Qazax Rayonu,
Qobustan Rayonu,
Quba Rayonu,
Qubadli Rayonu,
Qusar Rayonu,
Saatli Rayonu,
Sabirabad Rayonu,
Saki Rayonu,
Salyan Rayonu,
Samaxi Rayonu,
Samkir Rayonu,
Samux Rayonu,
Siyazan Rayonu,
Susa Rayonu,
Tartar Rayonu,
Tovuz Rayonu,
Ucar Rayonu,
Xacmaz Rayonu,
Xanlar Rayonu,
Xizi Rayonu,
Xocali Rayonu,
Xocavand Rayonu,
Yardimli Rayonu,
Yevlax Rayonu,
Zangilan Rayonu,
Zaqatala Rayonu,
Zardab Rayonu

Ali Bayramli
Baki Sahari,
Ganca Sahari,
Lankaran Sahari,
Mingacevir Sahari,
Naftalan Sahari,
Saki Sahari,
Sumqayit Sahari,
Susa Sahari,
Xankandi Sahari,
Yevlax Sahari

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Indian caste system

The Indian caste system is related to social stratification and social restrictions in India, in which social classes are defined by hereditary groups often termed as jātis or castes. Within a jāti there exist exogamous groups known as gotras, the lineage or clan of a person, although in a handful of sub-castes like Shakadvipi endogamy within a gotra is permitted and alternative mechanisms of restricting endogamy are used.

Although generally identified with Hinduism, the caste system was also observed among followers of other religions in the Indian subcontinent, including some groups of Muslims and Christians. The Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, in keeping with the socialist, secular, democratic principles that founded the nation. Caste barriers have mostly broken down in large cities, though persist in rural areas of the country. The caste system, in various forms, does continue to play a major role in the Indian society and politics.

According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, there are five "varnas”:
The Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests);
The Kshatriyas (kings and warriors);
The Vaishyas (traders);
The Sudras (agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups). Offspring of different varnas belong to different Jātis;The Dalits, another group excluded from the main society was called Parjanya or Antyaja. This group of former "untouchables" (now called Dalits) was considered either the lower section of Shudras or outside the caste system altogether.

World´s cultural diversity

In 1908 Israel Zangwill first staged his play which depicts the life of a Russian-Jewish immigrant family, the Quixanos. David Quixano has survived a pogrom (form of riot directed against a particular group), which killed his mother and sister, and he wishes to forget this horrible event. He composes an "American Symphony" and wants to look forward to a society free of ethnic divisions and hatred, rather than backward at his traumatic past. The name of the play is Melting Pot. It did great when opened, and was even praised by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The idea of "melting" as a metaphor for ethnic assimilation had been used before but Zangwill was the first to use the term "melting pot" as a symbol for this occurrence in American society.

The melting pot refers to the way in which homogeneous societies interacts, in which the ingredients in the pot (people of different cultures, races and religions) are combined so as to develop a multi-ethnic society.

The diversity of human culture is infinite; Ethnologue, a web encyclopedia that plans to catalogue all worlds’ living languages has already data of 6,912 different languages. Cultures and races fall into a comparable number.

Cultural diversity undoubtedly is what makes our society successful! It is what brought Europe into the Renaissance. It brings new ideas and ways of blending thoughts and ideas into something greater than the original. Great art, literature and science all came when cultures melted in the Pot.

Since humans emerged in Africa about two million years ago we have spread throughout the world, adapting to widely differing conditions and to periodic cataclysmic changes in local and global climate. The many separate societies that emerged around the globe differed markedly from each other, and many of these differences persist to this day.

In that sense UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted by 185 Member States in 2001, represents the first international standard-setting instrument aimed at preserving and promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

The Declaration puts in the first article that “Cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature” and goes on to assure policies for the inclusion and participation of all citizens and guarantees social cohesion, in order to increase the vitality of world society and world peace.We are not only members of the human species. We also belong to states, nations or ethnic groups. Ethnic identity and the feeling of belonging to a particular group of people should be maintained and valued in a peaceful and harmonious fashion.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Marco Polo & Blemyas

“Signori imperadori, re e duci e tutte altre genti che volete sa-pere le diverse generazioni delle genti e le diversità delle regionidel mondo, leggete questo libro dove le troverrete tutte le gran-dissime maraviglie e gran diversitadi delle genti d'Erminia, diPersia e di Tarteria, d'India e di molte altre province। E questovi conterà il libro ordinatamente siccome messere Marco Polo,savio e nobile cittadino di Vinegia, le conta in questo libro e eglimedesimo le vide. Ma ancora v'à di quelle cose le quali elli nonvide, ma udille da persone degne di fede, e però le cose vedutedirà di veduta e l'altre per udita, acciò che 'l nostro libro sia ve-ritieri e sanza niuna menzogna.”

“Emperors and kings, dukes and marquises, counts, knights, and townsfolk, and all people who wish to know the various races of men and the peculiarities of the various regions of the world, take this book and have it read to you. Here you will find all the great wonders and curiosities of Greater Armenia and Persia, of the Tartars and of India, and of many other territories. Our book will relate them to you plainly in due order, as they were related by Messer Marco Polo, a wise and noble citizen of Venice, who has seen them with his own eyes. There is also much here that he has not seen but has heard from men of credit and veracity. We will set down things seen as seen, things heard as heard, so that our book may be an accurate record, free from any sort of fabrication.”

Marco Polo, Description of the World - Descrizione del mondo.

Marco Polo was born in Venetian Republic in September 15, 1254 died in his home on January 9, 1324, was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione ("The Million" or The Travels of Marco Polo).

Polo, together with his father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo, was one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk Road to China and visit the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan. At Khan’s service Marco went to Tartaria, China and Indochina. On their return to Venice, Marco spent the few months commanding a ship in a war against Genoa, ending up as prisoner. During the imprisonment he dictated to a fellow prisoner, Rustichello da Pisa, a detailed account of his travels in the then-unknown parts of China, further translated to Latin by Franciscan friar Francesco Pipino. Printed in 1485 in many other idioms.

His travel histories have inhabited the reader's mind all over the world and the richness of details and emotion of the wonderful and even fantastic narrative have always caused commotion.

Marco Polo's travels may have been the starting point of the integration consumer market among different cultures of the world.

But what really fascinate me in his narratives are the different legendary creatures founded, such as from Tanguibar Islands, where giant people use to live side by side with cynocephalus. The enormous serpent from Caragian region, the Sciapodes - Men with a single, large foot extending from one thick leg centered in the middle of their body and Salamander “Salamander is neither beastes nor Serpent, and from thence they doe gather that whiche is called Salamandra, which is a threede they doe make cloth of” and finally – Blemyas.

Blemyas are the perfect synthesis of the bizarre, something that causes extreme fear and at the same time curiosity, strangeness, fascination and wander of traveling.
On the process for deciding the name of this blog and choosing the name of the main character, I wanted to show that business travel won’t have to be mechanical, cold and non-interesting, that we should not regard our attitude towards globalized world as a strange afternoon watching CNN reports on terrorist attacks and death.
It is more like Body Shop’s Anita Roddick ecological militancy, or Richard Branson’s radical leadership and passion for his company or even a Brazilian dressmaker that exports using easy mail export “Exporta Fácil” .

As well as an interconnected meteorological system, where butterfly's wings air movements in Japan might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a storm in Europe, the attitude of leaving home to a nearby newsstand in order to buy a newspaper might create big changes in Times Warner shares.

Be part of it; try to narrate your travel experiences and even the Blemyas that may cross your ways.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year Celebrations Around the World - 2008

AFRIKAANS gelukkige nuwejaar 2008
ALBANIAN Gëzuar vitin e ri 2008
ALSATIAN e glëckliches nëies / güets nëies johr 2008
ARABIC عام سعيد (aam saiid) / sana saiida 2008
ARMENIAN shnorhavor nor tari 2008
AZERI yeni iliniz mubarek 2008
BAMBARA bonne année 2008
BASQUE urte berri on 2008
BELARUSIAN З новым годам (Z novym hodam) 2008
BENGALI subho nababarsho 2008
BERBER asgwas amegas 2008
BETI mbembe mbu 2008
BOBO bonne année 2008
BOSNIAN sretna nova godina 2008
BRETON bloavezh mat / bloavez mad 2008
BULGARIAN честита нова година (chestita nova godina) 2008
BURMESE hnit thit ku mingalar pa 2008
CANTONESE sun lin fi lok / kung hé fat tsoi 2008
CATALAN bon any nou 2008
CHINESE xin nian kuai le / xin nian hao 2008
CORSICAN pace e salute 2008
CROATIAN sretna nova godina2008
CZECH šťastný nový rok 2008
DANISH godt nytår 2008
DARI sale naw tabrik 2008
DUTCH gelukkig Nieuwjaar 2008
ESPERANTO felicxan novan jaron 2008
feliæan novan jaron (Times SudEuro font) 2008
ESTONIAN head uut aastat 2008
FAROESE gott nýggjár 2008
FINNISH onnellista uutta vuotta 2008
FLEMISH gelukkig Nieuwjaar 2008
FRENCH bonne année 2008
FRISIAN lokkich neijier 2008
FRIULAN bon an 2008
GALICIAN feliz aninovo 2008
GEORGIAN გილოცავთ ახალ წელს (gilocavt akhal tsels) 2008
GERMAN ein gutes neues Jahr / prost Neujahr 2008
GREEK kali chronia / kali xronia 2008
eutichismenos o kainourgios chronos (we wish you a happy new year) 2008
GUJARATI sal mubarak / nootan varshabhinandan 2008
GUARANÍ rogüerohory año nuévo-re 2008
HAITIAN CREOLE bònn ané 2008
HAWAIIAN hauoli makahiki hou 2008
HEBREW shana tova 2008
HINDI nav varsh ki subhkamna 2008
HMONG nyob zoo xyoo tshiab 2008
HUNGARIAN boldog új évet 2008
ICELANDIC farsælt komandi ár 2008
INDONESIAN selamat tahun baru 2008
IRISH GAELIC ath bhliain faoi mhaise 2008
ITALIAN felice anno nuovo, buon anno 2008
JAVANESE sugeng warsa enggal 2008
JAPANESE akemashite omedetô 2008
KABYLIAN asseguèsse-ameguèsse 2008
KANNADA hosa varshada shubhaashayagalu 2008
KAZAKH zhana zhiliniz kutti bolsin 2008
KHMER sur sdei chhnam thmei 2008
KIRUNDI umwaka mwiza 2008
KOREAN seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo 2008
KURDE sala we ya nû pîroz be 2008
LAO sabai di pi mai 2008
LATIN felix sit annus novus 2008
LATVIAN laimīgu Jauno gadu 2008
LIGURIAN feliçe annu nœvu / feliçe anno nêuvo 2008
LINGALA bonana / mbula ya sika elamu na tonbeli yo 2008
LITHUANIAN laimingų Naujųjų Metų 2008
LOW SAXON gelükkig nyjaar 2008
LUXEMBOURGEOIS e gudd neit Joër 2008
MACEDONIAN Среќна Нова Година (srekna nova godina) 2008
MALAGASY arahaba tratry ny taona2008
MALAY selamat tahun baru 2008
MALTESE is-sena t-tajba 2008
MAORI kia hari te tau hou 2008
MARATHI navin varshaachya hardik shubbheccha 2008
MONGOLIAN shine jiliin bayariin mend hurgeye (Шинэ жилийн баярын мэнд хvргэе) 2008
MORÉ wênd na kô-d yuum-songo 2008
NDEBELE umyaka omucha omuhle 2008
NORWEGIAN godt nyttår 2008
OCCITAN bon annada 2008
PASHTO nawe kaalmo mobarak sha 2008
PERSIAN sâle no mobârak 2008
POLISH szczęśliwego nowego roku 2008
PORTUGUESE feliz ano novo 2008
ROMANCHE bun di bun onn 2008
ROMANI baxtalo nevo bersh 2008
ROMANIAN un an nou fericit / la mulţi ani 2008
RUSSIAN С Новым Годом (S novim godom) 2008
SAMOAN ia manuia le tausaga fou 2008
SANGO nzoni fini ngou 2008
SARDINIAN bonu annu nou 2008
SCOTTISH GAELIC bliadhna mhath ur 2008
SERBIAN srećna nova godina 2008
SHIMAORE mwaha mwema 2008
SHONA goredzwa rakanaka 2008
SINDHI nain saal joon wadhayoon 2008
SINHALA suba aluth avuruddak vewa 2008
SLOVAK stastlivy novy rok 2008
SLOVENIAN srečno novo leto 2008
SOBOTA dobir leto 2008
SPANISH feliz año nuevo 2008
SRANAN wan bun nyun yari 2008
SWAHILI mwaka mzuri / heri ya mwaka mpya 2008
SWEDISH gott nytt år 2008
SWISS-GERMAN es guets Nöis 2008
TAGALOG manigong bagong taon 2008
TAHITIAN ia orana i te matahiti api 2008
TAMIL iniya puthandu nalVazhthukkal 2008
TATAR yaña yıl belän 2008
TELUGU nuthana samvathsara subhakankshalu 2008
THAI สวัสดีปีใหม่ (sawatdii pimaï) 2008
TIBETAN tashi délek 2008
TURKISH yeni yiliniz kutlu olsun 2008
UDMURT Vyľ Aren 2008
UKRAINIAN Z novym rokom 2008
URDU naya saal mubarik 2008
UZBEK yangi yilingiz qutlug' bo'lsin 2008
VIETNAMESE Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới / Cung Chúc Tân Niên / Cung Chúc Tân Xuân 2008
WALOON ("betchfessîs" spelling) bone annéye / bone annéye èt bone santéye 2008
WELSH blwyddyn newydd dda 2008
WEST INDIAN CREOLE bon lanné 2008
WOLOF dewenati 2008
YIDDISH a gut yohr2008

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