culture

Japan Bathhouse Offers “Naked School” to Lure Bathers

By Hyun Oh TOKYO, May 29 – A Tokyo bathhouse is offering classes on topics ranging from comedy to gaming in hopes of luring younger bathers and reversing Japan’s dying tradition of communal baths. During one recent session of the “Naked School” at the Hinodeyu bath house, nine men sat around the bath, listening to

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This all-girl “boy band” is shaking up gender norms in China

Acrush is China’s first all-girl “boy band” which released its debut single last week, but already, the it hasĀ a huge fan-following. “Our fathers’ generation still holds the idea that girls should dress in a feminine manner, something I was never comfortable with,” band member Min Junqian told Reuters. “I just like to dress in a

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After Taliban Music Ban, Songbook Teaches Afghan Children to Sing Again

By Magdalena Mis LONDON, June 14 – When Louise Pascale, an American music teacher, pulled a three-decade-old Afghan children’s songbook from her bookcase, she realised she was likely holding a treasure lost to Afghan children following a music ban imposed by the Taliban. Playing instruments was banned during the period of Taliban rule in late-1990s

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From Cars to Bags, Artist Brightens Up Gaza Streets with Calligraphy

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA, April 25 – With a thick black marker pen in hand, Palestinian graffiti artist Belal Khaled carefully draws an intricate Arabic calligraphic design on a silver Skoda. The art work decorates the sides of the car, running along the windows and down its doors, the latest in the 24-year-old’s mission to

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Daesh Nets Millions from Antiquities: Russia

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS, April 6 -Daesh militants in Syria and Iraq are netting between $150 million and $200 million a year from illicit trade in plundered antiquities, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said in a letter released on Wednesday. “Around 100,000 cultural objects of global importance, including 4,500 archaeological sites, nine of

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Classical Indian Dance Helps Trafficking Victims to Heal, Study Shows

By Rina Chandran MUMBAI, Feb 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Classical Indian dance could be an effective form of therapy for victims of human trafficking and sexual violence, helping them to overcome their traumatic experiences and gain confidence, a pilot study has shown. The six-month study of 50 female survivors in Kolkata and Mumbai found

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