Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Articles about 'Traveling'
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I recently posted a song about Mt. Fuji and a haiku poem about a snail climbing Mt. Fuji. While I was working on them, I came across mention of there being a tradition in Japan of people wanting to climb Mt. Fuji during their lifetime.  I asked Sadao Mazuka who’s from Japan about this tradition....
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Monique Palomares wrote about a recent trip she took to Berlin, Germany.  While there she visited the outdoors East Side Gallery created on parts of the old Berlin Wall.  Here’s what she wrote: "The East Side Gallery is an open air gallery which was painted in 1990 on the East side of a section of the...
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James Knight wrote about how his dad, William James Knight, would go to Little Italy when he was younger and bring back some culinary treats: My dad made a weekly jaunt to Little Italy to buy bread and other provisions. My mom would wrap the bread and freeze it, and he would pull one loaf out...
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By Monique Palomares I went to Berlin for the first time this Summer and discovered special crossing signs for pedestrians at traffic lights.  These crossing lights are originally from former East Germany.  There are male and female versions of these lights.  The male ones are called "Ampelmännchen" (single ones are called "Ampelmann").  The green ones with...
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This summer we brought our kids to see "The Art of the Brick" at Discovery Times Square in New York City. It features Nathan Sawaya’s Lego artwork.   Here’s my 12 year old daughter’s assessment of the show… Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures are truly works of art. They are well built and neatly sculpted brick by brick...
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Here’s a short color film of New York city taken in 1939.  What’s interesting is how much it looks like today, though the city wasn’t as "tall".  Everyone was also more dressed up.  A lot of people wore hats in those days.  Enjoy! Mama Lisa Hattip: Kotke Photo: Wikipedia
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My family and I took a trip to Washington DC last weekend.  It’s the first time we’d been there in many years and there have been a lot of changes.  Several new major monuments have opened. One of the most impressive is the FDR Monument.  It’s a particularly great destination if anyone in your party...
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"La nuit porte conseil" is French for "sleep on it".  It means, think about it overnight and don’t make a decision until tomorrow… often good advice! The photo is this saying on the door of a Broom closet in Herald Square (New York). –Mama Lisa
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Debbie wrote from Japan about cherry blossoms, which are called sakura in Japanese.  Spring is a favorite time to view the sakura and have picnics.  Here’s what Debbie wrote: Everything comes in sakura colors right now. Doughnuts. Noodles. Even the exercise ladies in my morning exercise show were wearing sakura-colored t-shirts. Never mind that the cherry...
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All kids should watch this video below for inspiration… it’s a good answer the question, "Why should I do well in school?"
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It’s a tradition in the US and the UK to tip people at the end of the year who perform services.  Some of the people who are tipped are: Mail Couriers, Sanitation Workers, Hairdressers,  Milkmen, House Cleaners, Nanny’s, Music Instructors, Dog Groomers, Teachers, etc.  Many people wonder if they’re tipping the right amount.  This seems...
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MoMA Unadulterated is an unofficial audio tour created by kids about modern art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Each piece of art is analyzed by experts aged 3-10, as they share their unique, unfiltered perspective on such things as composition, the art’s deeper meaning, and why some stuff’s so weird looking." Here’s...
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Jeremy Shatan wrote from New York: "It’s the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. Around this time of the year, my mom would always say: ‘Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, the boid is on the wing.’ Yes, just like that." This saying is all in "New Yorkese", a New York accent.  It...
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MP3 of Broadway Broadway by Sarah Teasdale       THIS is the quiet hour; the theaters           Have gathered in their crowds, and steadily           The million lights blaze on for few to see,       Robbing the sky of stars that should be hers....
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Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is home to about 1600 people who live in floating houses.  Most of them make their living through fishing. Here’s a photo of Fruit vendors in the floating village on Ha long Bay. Thanks to Purabi Khisa Tandra for sharing these photos! Mama Lisa
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This fantastic photo was taken in Jamaa el Fna Square in Morocco by Monique Palomares on a visit to the city of Marrakech last year.  The square looks like a market, but it’s actually filled with outdoor restaurants.  The tall tower in the background, with the light on top, is the Koutoubia Mosque. The name of...
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Adult humpback whales are 39 – 52 feet long and weigh approximately 79,000 pounds!  If you visit Hawaii during breeding season, you can help count them in an effort to maintain their future health and safety. Stephanie Spengler Batzer wrote to me about how she’s involved in counting humpback whales in Hawaii. Here’s what she wrote… Hawaiian...
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This is the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese Zodiac is followed in China, as well as Japan. Ayako wrote to me from Japan about the Year of the Rabbit… We have twelve different signs (animals) in Chinese lunar calender called “干支”. We call the men of the year “toshi otoko –...
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In Japan, people traditionally make displays in their houses for special holidays.  The displays often include flowers, branches of trees and symbolic food. My friend Ayako Egawa in Japan sent the photo below of a floral arrangement she made for the New Year.  She wrote, "The berries are ’senryo’, lucky plants for the New Year in...
Here’s a video of Julia Child showing how to make a French Tarte Tatin (upside down apple tarte).  We posted a recipe for tarte tatin in the past.  It’s interesting to see Julia’s version.   Watch the full episode. See more Julia Child. Julia served her Tarte Tatin with creme fraiche in the video.  Creme fraiche is...
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