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Kimono – Part of the Japanese Culture


Japanese Kimono
Japanese Kimono

The kimono has, like the Mexican poncho, had a large influence on global fashion as we know it. This Japanese garment is simply one of those traditional items that has captured the imaginations of designers the world over. Thanks to that inspiration, many fashion houses produce clothing with distinctive kimono flair. However, this garment has also been coming along with the Japanese people for many centuries and is an integral part of their culture, even today in our modern times.

In the past

In the history of Japan, kimonos have been worn by men, women and children. The design, color and decoration on a kimono can denote many things from gender to age and even your marital status.

While the design of the kimono has evolved and adapted to changing times with the world, it has remained distinctly recognizable throughout. Men have always worn more conservatively colored and designed kimonos while women may be found wearing vibrant colors and even floral designs. The sash that holds the kimono closed is called an obi, tying in a simple knot at the back of the garment. The coloring of men’s kimonos includes masculine colors such as black, brown and blue.

Additions to the kimono

With the change of the seasons come a change in fabrics and indeed a change in name. The kimono worn in the summer months is made of a lighter material and is called a yukata. This summer kimono is often more cheerfully colored than its colder weather counterpart.

In addition to a kimono, men may sometimes wear pleated pants called hakama. You may have seen these pants in martial arts films before; they are worn under a man’s kimono. In addition to the hakama, there is another traditional Japanese garment worn with the kimono by the men, it is called a haori. The haori is a jacket-like garment, also worn over the kimono and often paired with the hakama. This is traditional bridegroom attire for Japanese men who are getting married. The haori is held closed by a cord of braided material that is then tied into an elaborate knot.

Unmarried Japanese women used to wear a long, flowing kimono to the ankles with large sleeves. They called this a Fulisode and it was often brightly colored. To denote her marital stated, a married Japanese woman would wear a kimono with shorter sleeves.


Folk Artistry in Romania


Traditional Romanian Eggs
Traditional Romanian Eggs

Although there are talented fine artists from Romania, the real interest is in folk art created by Romanian peasants. This folk art reveals optimism about the world and a zest for life that is even apparent in their grave markers that are both colorful and unique. This is no more evident than in Sapanta “Merry Cemetery”, situated in Northern Romania. Here you will find beautifully embellished wooden crosses marking the graves. These crosses are traditionally painted blue and some of the embellishments include sentiments about the deceased and tales of their lives.

Artisan villages

This is not an uncommon occurrence all over the world and it can be found in Romania too. Artists and artisans congregate, forming artist communities, in areas that offer aesthetic inspiration as well as economical viability. A few of the larger towns, including Bucharest, offer galleries where this folk artistry can be viewed and purchased. Select examples of the work of local artists can be found in a few smaller town museums. However, it is in the street markets near large tourist attractions that most of these artists can be found pedaling their wares.

Ceramic Artistry

Pottery has indeed been an integral part of the history of the entire world and still forms a large part of the everyday lives of Romanian artisans. Many of these artisans still make use of the old traditional method of using a kick-wheel to create their ceramic artworks. The various shapes, sizes and patterning of the ceramic pottery reflect the cultural diversity in some areas where they are made. There are as many as 30 pottery centers across Romania; each one has its own distinctive style.

Painting eggs

Painted eggs are a cheerful Romanian tradition that is especially prevalent around Easter time. This is one of the most well-known and easily recognizable examples of Romanian folk artistry and makes fantastic souvenirs. Romanians paint real, hollowed out eggs and these eggs played a vital role in their festival of renewal.

Woodworking artisans

If it is Romanian woodwork that you want to see, then Maramures is the place to go. Here you will find the Spatana “Merry Cemetery” with its beautiful grave markers. You will also find homes in this area trimmed with elaborately carved wood, and carved wooden fences and gates. Historically, the carved wooden gates in the area depicted a family’s status. The more elaborately the gate was carved, the more important the family was.

Painted Easter Eggs
Painted Easter Eggs

The Australian Ugg Boots Phenomenon

By David Malan



Ugg boots. Aussie souvenir gifts, winter sheepskin boots, fashionable Australian sheepskin footwear. Call them what you will, they’re the fashion accessory that you will never grow out of, that you’ll wear more than your trusty faded denim jeans, and that your feet will love you for.

So what are ugg boots, and why are they becoming so popular around the world? In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t got a pair, here’s a brief history of the Australian fashion phenomenon that is ugg boots.

The exact history of how these Australian winter sheepskin boots came about is lost in the mists of time. What is known is that they’ve been worn by Australians since European settlers first arrived on the huge island continent and discovered that their cold feet could best be warmed by sheepskin footwear. Whoever the first person was to don a pair, he or she started an Aussie fashion trend that would be perpetually enduring.

Australians love the outdoor lifestyle, and Aussie surfers and beach lovers have been wearing winter sheepskin footwear for well over fifty years on the beach, as a way of keeping their feet warm whilst out of the water.

The name ugg boots is derived from that famous Aussie tradition of lovingly abbreviating every common usage term, and it was only a short skip from “ugly boots” to seriously “ugg boots”. Ugly as they were perceived at the time compared to more traditional wear, there was no beating these Australian uggs boots for warmth and comfort.

Until recent times, Australian ugg boots, or “Australian uggs” as they are sometimes endearingly referred to, were one of the world’s best kept secrets, used by those in the know down under. How the rest of the world started getting in on the action is somewhat debated, but one of the most commonly held beliefs is that they were popularised by Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson, when she kept her feet warm on set by wearing a pair of Australian ugg boots. Since then, tens of thousands of people around the world have bought pairs of uggs, whether it be as Aussie souvenir gifts, fashion statement, or most commonly, for their pure comfort and enjoyment.

Whether or not ugg boots will become as synonymous with the Australian lifestyle and culture as other Australian symbols such as the kangaroo, the didgeridoo and Vegemite sandwiches is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure, this is one Australian lifestyle accessory that the rest of the world is loving as much as Australians do.

David Malan is an internet and e-commerce expert with over ten years experience in designing and developing enterprise grade online solutions for business.

He owns and runs RealmSurfer Consulting, based in Perth, Western Australia.

Website: Web Design Perth

More information about ugg boots: Ugg Boots [] Caring for your ugg boots []

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