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15 Colorful Lyrics from National Anthems Around the World

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The world's national anthems are a delightful mixed bag of patriotism, poetry, and the peculiar. While some of these verses rarely receive airtimeand there’s always risk that something is lost in translationeach lyric is like a postcard, rich with details about a country's history and culture. Enjoy!

1. AUSTRIA: WE HAVE HAMMERS

Land of mountains, land by the river,
Land of fields, land of cathedrals,
Land of hammers, with a promising future!

Land of Mountains, Land by the River (Hammers are a symbol of industry.)

2. ARGENTINA: ALERT THE ZOMBIE REVOLUTIONARIES 

The Inca is roused in his tomb
and fire is rekindled in his bones,
on seeing his sons renewing
his homeland’s former splendor

Himno Nacional Argentino (Canción Patriótica)

3. GABON: NO SORCERERS ALLOWED

Yes, may the happy days dreamed by our ancestors
Come for us at last, rejoice our hearts,
And banish the sorcerers, those perfidious deceivers
Who were sowing poison and were spreading fear.

The Concord

4. COLOMBIA: METAL BAND NAME #1, "A CONSTELLATION OF CYCLOPS"

Thus the motherland is formed,
Thermopylaes are bursting forth;
a constellation of cyclops
its night brightened.
The trembling flower
finding the wind mortal,
underneath the laurels
safety sought.

Himno nacional de Colombia

5. SENEGAL: METAL BAND NAME #2, "LION'S FROTH"

Senegal, you the son of the lion's froth,
Sprung from the night to the gallop of horses.

Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons/The Red Lion

6. PARAGUAY: WE ARE ROME!

A new Rome, the Fatherland shall proudly display
Two leaders of name and valor
Who, rivals, like Romulus and Remus
Divided government and power.

Paraguayans, The Republic or Death

7. ROMANIA: NO YOU'RE NOT, WE'RE ROME!

It's now or never that we prove to the world
That in these veins still flows Roman blood
And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name
Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan.

Wake Up, Romanian!

8. BANGLADESH: LET'S PLAY IN THE DIRT

O mother! The fragrance from your mango groves makes me wild with joy,
Ah, what a thrill!

My Golden Bengal

9. HONDURAS: SHOUT OUT TO FRANCE

It was France, the free, the heroic,
Which in its dreams of centuries slept,
Awoke irate to life
At the virile protest of Danton:
It was France, who sent to the death
The head of the consecrated King,
And which built up proudly at its side,
The altar of the goddess of Reason.

National Anthem of Honduras

10. ANDORRA: WE <3 FRANCE (OR AT LEAST THE FRANKS), TOO

The great Charlemagne, my father,
liberated me from the Saracens
And from heaven he gave me life ...
I am the only remaining daughter,
of the Carolingian empire

The Great Charlemagne

11. ALGERIA: SCREW YOU, FRANCE!

O France,
Past is the time of palavers
We closed it as we close a book
O France! The day to settle the accounts has come!

The Pledge

12. FRANCE: DON'T MESS WITH US

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors
The shame of all parties,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their reward!
Everyone is a soldier to combat you
If they fall, our young heroes,
The earth will produce new ones,
Ready to fight against you!

The Song of Marseille

13. CABO VERDE: MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL TRUTH

Hope is as big as the sea
Which embraces us

Song of Freedom

14. ARMENIA: DEMOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH THIS DEPRESSING TRUTH 

Death is the same everywhere,
A man dies but once,
Blessed is the one that dies
For the freedom of his nation.

Our Fatherland

15. KIRIBATI: LET'S MAKE THIS THE ANTHEM FOR THE PLANET, PLEASE? 

Stand up, People of Kiribati!
Sing with jubilation!
Prepare to accept responsibility
And to help each other!
Be steadfastly righteous!
Love all our people!
Be steadfastly righteous!
Love all our people!

The attainment of contentment
And peace by our people
Will be achieved when all our hearts beat as one,
Love one another!
Promote happiness and unity!
Love one another!
Promote happiness and unity!

We beseech You, O God,
To protect and lead us
In the days to come.
Help us with Your loving hand.
Bless our Government
and all our people!
Bless our Government
and all our people!

Stand Up, Kiribati

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History
Beyond Board Shorts: The Rich History of Hawaii's Surf Culture
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From Australia to the Arctic Circle, adrenaline junkies around the world love catching waves—but the very first people to develop surf culture were Hawaiians. Their version of the pastime shares both similarities and differences with the one that’s commonly practiced today, according to TED-Ed’s video below.

Surfing wasn’t just a sport in Hawaii—there were social and religious elements to it, too. Hawaiians made offerings to the gods while choosing trees for boards and prayed for waves. And like a high school cafeteria, the ocean was divided by social status, with certain surf breaks reserved solely for elite Hawaiians.

The surfboards themselves used by early Hawaiians largely resembled the ones we use today, although they were fin-less and required manual turns. Learn more about surfing’s roots and evolution (and how surf culture was nearly destroyed by foreign colonizers) by watching the video below.

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Art
15 Things You Should Know About Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe’s enchanting floral still lifes are now a deeply ingrained part of American culture—so much so that they often eclipse her other colorful accomplishments. For a more complete portrait of the artist, who was born 130 years ago today, brush up on these 15 little-known facts about her.

1. FLOWER PAINTINGS MAKE UP A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF O'KEEFFE'S BODY OF WORK.

Though O'Keeffe is most famous for her lovingly rendered close-ups of flowers—like Black Iris and Oriental Poppies—these make up just about 200 of her 2000-plus paintings. The rest primarily depict landscapes, leaves, rocks, shells, and bones.

2. SHE REJECTED SEXUAL INTERPRETATIONS OF HER PAINTINGS.

For decades, critics assumed that O'Keeffe's flowers were intended as homages—or at the very least, allusions—to the female form. But in 1943, she insisted that they had it all wrong, saying, “Well—I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flowers you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower—and I don’t.” So there.

3. SHE WAS NOT A NATIVE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST.


Joe Raedle/Getty Images

O'Keeffe was actually born on a Wisconsin dairy farm. She'd go on to live in Chicago; New York City; New York’s Lake George; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Amarillo, Texas. She first visited New Mexico in 1917, and as she grew older, her trips there became more and more frequent. Following the death of her husband in 1946, she moved to New Mexico permanently.

4. HER FAVORITE STUDIO WAS THE BACKSEAT OF A MODEL-A FORD.

In an interview with C-SPAN, Carolyn Kastner, curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, explained how the artist customized her car for this use: "She would remove the driver's seat. Then she would unbolt the passenger car, turn it around to face the back seat. Then she would lay the canvas on the back seat as an easel and paint inside her Model-A Ford."

Painting inside the car allowed O'Keeffe to stay out of the unrelenting desert sun, where she painted many of her later works. The Model-A also provided a barrier from the bees that would gather as the day wore on.

5. O'KEEFFE ALSO PAINTED SKYSCRAPERS.

While nature was her main source of inspiration, the time she spent in 1920s Manhattan spurred the creation of surreal efforts like New York With Moon, City Night and The Shelton with Sunspots.

6. O'KEEFFE IMMERSED HERSELF IN NATURE ...

While in New Mexico O’Keeffe spent summers and falls at her Ghost Ranch, putting up with the region's hottest, most stifling days in order to capture its most vivid colors. (The rest of the year she stayed at her second home, located in the small town of Abiquiu.) When she wasn't painting in her Model-A, O'Keeffe often camped out in the harsh surrounding terrain, to keep close to the landscapes that inspired her.

7. …WHATEVER THE WEATHER.

The artist would rig up tents from tarps, contend with unrelenting downpours, and paint with gloves on when it got too cold. She went camping well into her 70s and enjoyed a well-documented rafting trip with photographer Todd Webb at age 74. Her camping equipment is occasionally exhibited at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.

8. SHE MARRIED THE MAN BEHIND HER FIRST GALLERY SHOW.

"At last, a woman on paper!" That’s what modernist photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz cried when he first saw O'Keeffe's abstract charcoal drawings. He was so enthusiastic about this series of sketches that he put them on display—before consulting their creator.

When O'Keeffe arrived at his gallery, she wasn't pleased, and brusquely introduced herself: "I am Georgia O'Keeffe and you will have to take these pictures down." Despite their rocky beginnings, Stieglitz and O'Keeffe quickly made amends, and went on to become partners in art and in life.

9. O'KEEFFE AND STIEGLITZ WROTE 25,000 PAGES OF LOVE LETTERS TO EACH OTHER.

When the pair met in 1916, he was famous and married; she was unknown and 23 years his junior. All the same, they began writing to each other often (sometimes two or three times a day) and at length (as many as 40 pages at a time). These preserved writings chart the progression of their romance—from flirtation to affair to their marriage in 1924—and even document their marital struggles.

10. SHE SERVED AS A MUSE TO OTHER ARTISTS.

Thanks in part to Stieglitz, O'Keeffe was one of the most photographed women of the 20th century. Stieglitz made O'Keeffe the subject of a long-term series of portraits meant to capture individuals as they aged, and she made for a striking model. Though he died in 1946, the project lived on as other photographers sought out O'Keeffe in order to capture the beloved artist against the harsh New Mexican landscapes she loved so dearly.

O'Keeffe later wrote:

When I look over the photographs Stieglitz took of me—some of them more than sixty years ago—I wonder who that person is. It is as if in my one life I have lived many lives. If the person in the photographs were living in this world today, she would be quite a different person—but it doesn't matter—Stieglitz photographed her then.

11. SHE QUIT PAINTING THREE TIMES.

The first break spanned several years (the exact number is a matter of debate), when O'Keeffe took on more stable jobs to help her family through financial troubles. In the early 1930s, a nervous breakdown led to her hospitalization, and caused her to set aside her brushes for more than a year.

In the years leading up to her death in 1986, failing eyesight forced O'Keeffe to give up painting entirely. Until then, she fought hard to keep working, enlisting assistants to prepare her canvas and mix her oil paints for pieces like 1977's Sky Above Clouds/Yellow Horizon and Clouds. She managed to use watercolors until she was 95.

12. AFTER GOING BLIND, SHE TURNED TO SCULPTING.


By Alfred Stieglitz - Phillips, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Although her vision eventually made painting impossible, O'Keeffe's desire to create was not squelched. She memorably declared, "I can see what I want to paint. The thing that makes you want to create is still there.” O'Keeffe began experimenting with clay sculpting in her late 80s, and continued with it into her 96th year.

13. SHE'S THE MOTHER OF AMERICAN MODERNISM.

Searching for what she called “the Great American Thing,” O'Keeffe was part of the Stieglitz Circle, which included such lauded early modernists as Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Paul Strand, and Edward Steichen. By the mid-1920s, she had become the first female painter to gain acclaim alongside her male contemporaries in New York's cutthroat art world. Her distinctive way of rendering nature in shapes and forms that made them seem simultaneously familiar and new earned her a reputation as a pioneer of the form.

14. SHE BLAZED NEW TRAILS FOR FEMALE ARTISTS.

In 1946, O’Keeffe became the first woman to earn a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Twenty-four years later, a Whitney Museum of American Art retrospective exhibit introduced her work to a new generation. Fifteen years after that, O'Keeffe was included in the inaugural slate of artists chosen to receive the newly founded National Medal of Arts for her contribution to American culture.

15. SHE WASN'T FEARLESS, BUT SHE REJECTED FEAR.

O'Keeffe was purported to have said, "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."

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