"Highly Recommended. This series compares cultural differences in a way that is both lively and interesting." -NAMTC/NMM Review
"Highly Recommended This is an excellent series, which is packed with information about countries and cultures all around the world." -CITC Review
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A combined version of 1. Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, Greece; 2. Thailand, China, Germany; 3. Belgium, Ghana, India and 4. Western Samoa, United Kingdom, Israel is available.
1. Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, Greece
Here we join the Hat Family on their first three stops of a year-long educational journey around the world. They learn that modern day Bolivia is strongly influenced by its Incan heritage, and that almost one-half of Bolivia's inhabitants still speak the ancestral Incan language known as Quechua. Viewers participate in the Andes Mountain traditional Alacitas Fair, called the Festival of Ekeko (the god of abundance), filling Ekeko's knapsack with miniature gifts in hopes that they themselves will be blessed with similar "presents" throughout the year. The Hat Family then junkets to the ethnically diverse Caribbean island country of Trinidad and Tobago, where they dress in colorful purple flower costumes and exotic masks, drink cocoa, listen to steel drums, and dance in the streets in an ancient celebration intended to ensure a bountiful harvest. The Hat Family then leaps several thousand miles to the 437-island nation of Greece, the world's first democracy and the "Cradle of Western Civilization." Strumming their bouzouki lutes while dressed in ancestral foustanella shepherd's garb, the Hat Family twins revel in the handkerchief dance, celebrating Greece's Independence Day and realizing that freedom and peace are revered by all of the world's citizens.
2. Thailand, China, Germany
In this program viewers join The Hat Family in their year long educational journey around the world. They start in Bangkok, the capital of the "fairy tale Kingdom" of Thailand in Southeast Asia, where they see the pervasive Buddhist influence on customs and day-to-day life. Viewers watch The Hat Family celebrate the beginning of the Buddhist New Year and the end of a the dry season during the Songkran (The Water Festival), dancing the Khon, setting animals free, and spraying everyone with water to wash away all the bad things that happened during the previous year. Next stop for The Hat Family is the 5,000 year old People's Republic of China, the third largest and most heavily populated country in the world. Here they don their finest clothes and join in the friendly competition of the Dragon Boat Festival, protesting the harshness of war and seeking luck, strength, and goodness for the coming year. The Hat Family then jumps to The Federal Republic of Germany, where they munch on pretzels, listen to the music of Beethoven, Handel, and Wagner, read Grimm Brother's fairy tales, and re-enact the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, once again sampling the rich gifts and traditions of another of the world's cultures.
3. Belgium, Ghana, India
In this program viewers continue with the Hat Family on their year long educational journey around the world. They start by visiting the grand castles, quaint towns, and lush and fertile landscapes of storybook Brussels, Belgium, in central Europe. They sample Mites (French fried potatoes), Belgian waffles, and Brussels sprouts, and march with the trumpeters, flag throwers, and papier-mache stilt giants called Gilles, in the Ommegang Festival in the central market square. The Hat Family then springs to the southern coast of West Africa, where they dress in their Kente hand woven cloth robes, throw palm leaf tassels called Odos, and celebrate an abundant harvest of maize and sweet potatoes in Ghana's ancient tribal ritual called the Yam Festival. Their final stop in this leg of their journey is in geographically and culturally diverse India, where they walk through lush forests and fertile plains, and view the majestic towering peaks of the Himalayan Mountains. Dressed in colorful silk-wrap Saris and white cloth turbans, the Hat Family join in the mythological Ram Lila Hindu pageant of the ten day Dussehra festival, where good triumphs over evil. Once again viewers will revel in the sights, sounds, and symbolism of different world cultures.
4. Western Samoa, United Kingdom, Israel
In this program viewers join the Hat Family on the final three stops of their year long journey around the world. They begin in the tiny tropical island country of Western Samoa, where they drink plant root Kava, eat plentiful ocean fish and Ufi (a type of yam), and enjoy the frivolity of White Sunday, an annual celebration when parents and children reverse their traditional roles. Next stop is England, another island country and the home of the "Crown Jewels" and William Shakespeare. The Hat Family moves from the winding Thames River and the Tower of London into England's rolling hills and pastoral countryside, where they join in the Guy Fawkes Day celebration, eating English toffee and Parkin cookies and building a huge patriotic bonfire. The last stop for the Hat Family is Israel, a geographical "land bridge" joining three continents and a sacred land revered by three major world religions. Here the Hat Family celebrates Hanukkah, "The Festival of Lights," exchanging gifts and lighting candles on the Menorah, symbolically commemorating a 2,000-year-old biblical miracle. The Hat Family ends its year long journey with fond memories of traditional celebrations, shared human values, and the wonderful gift of cultural diversity. 98/11DE PI 60 min.
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