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Sri Lanka, ancient kingdoms and mountains covered with forests

Cultura / -

 
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©vicspacewalker _ Shutterstock.com

Sri Lanka is the cradle of ancient civilizations, a paradise of biodiversity and a fine example of growth and development. Famous for its tea plantations and spices, the country seeks to ensure food security through its rice fields and pastures that lie in the shade of coconut palms. Present at Expo Milano 2015 in the Fruits and Legumes Cluster, Sri Lanka celebrates its National Day on Thursday, October 22.

Mexico. From history, the seed of a new world

Culture / -

© NOTIMEX-Xinhua Press-Corbis

From the arid regions in the north to the lush tropical forests in the south, Mexico presents varieties of nature which reflect its varieties of lifestyle, custom and tradition and the way they have intermingled for centuries.

Mexico’s cultural roots are inseparable from the riches of its traditions and its natural resources: it boasts majestic archaeological sites transmitting memories of Pre-Columbian civilizations – Maya and Aztec above all – but Mexico no longer consists only of archaeological and natural riches: for over a decade now, backed up by its proud history, it has become a forward-looking nation, showing important progress in industry (automotive, aeronautical, biomedical) and technology (IT, nanotechnology, alternative energy).
 
The Mexican Diet: a UNESCO World Heritage treasure
Intense and highly varied flavors are a feature of Mexican cooking, which has evolved over many centuries thanks to the fruits of the earth and their traditional uses. Mexico’s geography, its natural riches and centuries of history are all expressed through the country’s gastronomic identity, which in 2010 was declared part of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco. Its dishes offer abundant flavor and protein, richly perfumed and often hot and spicy. Corn is its dominant ingredient, as it has been for centuries... it used to have important ritual uses in contacting divine powers.
 
A building inspired by corn: a millennial history flowering in today
The Mexican Pavilion is inspired by the concept of a corn cob fed by a weave of dried corn leaves: its visitors experience a journey inside a corn cob, symbol of Mexico’s gastronomic culture and foundation of its people’s diet. The concept of the Pavilion, “Pa, the seed of a new world: food, diversity and heredity” pays homage to this ingredient and its connection with the cycle of life, environmental sustainability and the food chain.
 
Explore the Mexican Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 
 

Rwanda. A country made up of a thousand hills, inhabited by a population of skilled dancers

Culture / -

cover ruanda per 2 luglio
© Wolfgang Kaehler_Corbis

Situated in the center of Africa, Rwanda is blessed by uncontaminated nature, a rich and flourishing fauna, volcanos, great lakes and soaring mountains where marvelous primates survive in their natural element, including chimpanzees and mountain gorillas.

Exactly twenty years ago, Rwanda was plunged into a horrific genocidal war which practically exterminated the Tutsi people. Today its inhabitants are gradually and with difficulty emerging from that trauma, reviving its coffee-growing economy and also its nascent international tourism, which offers visitors the opportunity to discover its unspoiled landscapes and the magnificent animals that dwell in them. It has numerous stunning and famous nature sites: the Akagera Natural Park, rich in hippopotami, antelopes and elephants, the Nguingue forest, famous for its monkeys, Lake Kiwu, with its fine beaches, the National Volcano Park and the nearby Kirunga Mountains, home to the magnificent Mountain Gorillas.
 
Cookery based on intensely tasty and simple ingredients, many of them protected and promoted as Slow Food Presidiums
Rwanda’s gastronomy – which reflects the Belgian influence from its colonial past above all in its famed fried potato chips – offers intense tastes from simple dishes. The typical ingredients of its cuisine are rice, beans, salad, freshwater sardines, couscous and tubers like sweet potatoes and manioc, both eaten with meat dishes along with ‘umutsima’, made of creamed bananas.
 
Two banana varieties in particular benefit from the protection of Slow Food, the international association founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. The first of these is the Musa Acuminata banana, used to make urwagwa, a typical Rwanda banana beer, while the second is the Kamaramasenge banana, which risks disappearing from Rwanda plantations. Other typical traditional products protected by Slow Food include traditional ikimuri butter, made from the milk of a local breed of cattle called Inyambo, considered sacred by the people of Rwanda, and ‘rukacarara’, a traditional kind of bread made from sorghum flour with a little cassava flour mixed in.
 
Nestled in the Coffee Cluster, Rwanda presents itself to the community of nations
Rwanda is present in Expo Milano 2015 in the Coffee Cluster, where it shows visitors its healthy natural food products, particularly its coffees, ecologically cultivated with the help of modern technology. Economically, coffee is its prime resource, given the perfect cultivation conditions of its high mountains, covered by volcanic soil and basking in equatorial sunshine. Inside its Pavilion, various highly colorful handcraft items are displayed, including fabrics, bags, baskets and typically African decorative jewellery. Many fascinating food products are also displayed, although most of them – except for the top quality mountain coffee varieties – are not for sale.
 
 

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