Tag Archives: Culture

If they can we can.

The inspiration for bungee jumping comes from an ancient ritual practiced on Pentecost Island of Vanuatu in the Pacific. Jumpers (originally only woman, now only men) jump of high platforms with forrest vines tied to their ankles.

In the 1970s a group of thrill seekers attached to Oxford University; the  Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club made a number of experimental jumps.

The Dangerous Sports Club’s efforts inspired New Zealanders AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch and they started to develop new bungy cords with the assistance of scientists from the University of Auckland.

Hackett became the first commercial opperator and promoted the bungy jump (the NZ spelling) by making a number of jumps in Europe in the 1980s including a Jump in the Eiffel tower (for which he got arrested).

Since then millions around the world experiences the thrill rushing towards the ground at free fall speeds.

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Bungy in Taupo

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Got a Horse; you’ll need a Horse!

Jousting,  specifically ring jousting – a form of mounted skill at arms – became the official sport of the state of Maryland, USA in 1962.

Maryland was the first state to adopt an official sport.

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Skill at Arms; Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.

 

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Skill at Arms; Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.

 

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Had a bite of your national symbol lately?

At least 20 nations eat their national animal (several types of fish,  deer, elk, alpaca, camel, pheasant, oryx, bison, gazelle , rabbit, kangaroo and cattle).

From time-to-time, a Kiwi (New Zealander) would remark in rather disapproving tone, “they [Australians] are the only nation to eat their national animal”  (Kangaroo).

South Africans would know this to be untrue as eating Springbok is even captured in song “… gee my Springbok biltong, gee my boer beskuit, gee my lekker koffie …”.

From commentary on the web it looks like the “boast” of being the only nation to eat their national symbol might be of Australian origin.

Irrespective of the source, nations who eat their national animal is not in short supply.

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Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) on alert.

This photo taken at Witzenberg Game Park outside Wolseley, South Africa.

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