Archive for October, 2013

Switzerland: Herdsman Wrestling, Stone Throwing and Alphorn Blowing Festival

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Federal Wrestling and Alpine Festival

Schwingen – the Swiss form of wrestling – is very popular in Switzerland. In fact, it developed from herdsman’s pastime to elite sport. Schwingen is fought as a duel between two physically powerful competitors and has its own rules, grips and throws.

The champion wrestler is chosen at the Federal Wrestling and Alpine Festival held every 3 years. Over 250,000 visitors are expected this year in the Emmental arena. The spectacle will be accompanied by other Swiss traditions like yodeling and alphorn blowing.

Around 50,000 individuals will follow the events of the traditional Swiss sports of Schwingen (Swiss wrestling), Hornussen (a traditional team sport, which involves throwing and catching a type of puck called Hornuss) and Steinstossen (stone throw).

Location: Bern
Dates: Aug 30 -Sept 1

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Belgium: Museum of Immigration to the New World

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

When you hear the words “Ellis Island“, you think of the immigrants pouring in from Europe yearning for a new life. The flip side of the North American tale of immigration is now on display at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The brand-new museum presents the experience of the over two million people who emigrated from Europe between 1873 and 1934 aboard the ships of the Belgian-American company Red Star Line.
Immigrant Family

Visitors of the Red Star Line Museum get a glimpse of what an immigrant’s journey was like – from the docks of Europe, across the churning waters of the Atlantic, to starting a whole new life in North America.  You can read personal tales of present and past immigration as well as view the plates used on the ships, smell the scent of the disinfecting showers, and try your hands at a puzzle once used to assess newcomers’ intelligence. Anyone can search the genealogical database, or even add personal comments and family history.

Among them were famous passengers such as Albert Einstein and Golda Meir. The museum lets you trace their travel across the ocean. When you sing “God Bless America” or “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” you’re paying tribute to a Red Star Line immigrant named Israel Baline (better by his Americanized name, Irving Berlin). By the time of his death, his songwriting included 1,500 songs, 19 musicals and 18 feature films.

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