In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, children who lose their milk teeth are not visited by the tooth fairy, but by the “tooth mouse”, which takes away their teeth in exchange for gifts.
The first colour television was created in Mexico by 17-year-old inventor Guillermo González Camarena. He made his first colour transmission in Mexico City in 1946.
Japan is one of the world’s great baseball-playing nations. The game was introduced to the country during the Meiji Period (1868-1912, when Japan industrialised and established closer contact with the rest of the developed world) and gained in popularity after the Second World War, when many American soldiers were based in Japan. There are two professional baseball leagues in the country.
Pizza was invented in Naples, Italy in the mid-nineteenth century using simple, inexpensive ingredients. Pizza is still a delicacy of Naples and the Campania area in general, and it has also gone on to conquer the world, becoming one of the most widely consumed convenience foods.
Haiti has two official languages: Creole and French. They are mutually comprehensible to some extent, but Creole has a different grammar structure and influences from various languages, and is the language mostly spoken at home and in informal settings, while French is the language of commerce, business and education. Creole is a special type of language that starts when speakers of a language adopt a simplified version of another language, often in the context of conquest. This simplified language, called “pidgin”, becomes a “creole” when it establishes grammar rules of its own and is spoken and taught as a native language to children. Haitian Creole is in fact originally based on French.
Belarus has two official languages, Belarusian and Russian. However, most communication takes place in Russian, while Belarusian is primarily an academic language taught at school. In some border areas, however, people speak Trasyanka, a blend of Belarusian and Russian, with influences from the languages of neighbouring countries.
Australia is home to the world’s largest Greek population outside Greece. Melbourne has a large Greek Precinct, as well as a Hellenic Museum and a Foundation for Hellenic Culture.
Watermelon is an extremely popular snack in Azerbaijan, where it is usually eaten in combination with cottage cheese.
Many Indonesians travel by motorcycle; in fact, motorcycles make up more than 82% of the vehicles registered in the country and navigating Indonesia’s city streets as a pedestrian can be quite a challenge because of all the motorcycle traffic.
Romania is a former member state of the USSR, but Romanians do not speak Russian or a Slavic language, but Romanian, which is a Romance language closely related to Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French.