Monthly Archives: January 2012

Souq Waqif – Tourist Destination . . .

The government, encouraged by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, has embarked on a multifaceted approach to preserving the culture and heritage of the country.

The bustle and vitality of the old souqs has been recreated in Souq Waqif amidst buildings featuring traditional architecture. There you will find handicrafts on display as well as traditional foods, fabrics and art. Young Qataris are being encouraged to set up businesses promoting old crafts and traditions.

Souq Waqif (Arabic: سوق واقف) is an important souq in Doha, in the state of Qatar. Literally translated to “the standing market,” this shopping destination is renowned for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It is also home to dozens of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, as well as Shisha lounges. Although this market dates back at least a hundred years, it has been recently restored back to its original glory. It is now considered one of the top tourist destinations within Doha.

Here are some photos of the Souq :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Scottish Castles!

 

Scotland’s turbulent history has left an enduring mark on the landscape in shape of the many castles, fortresses and tower houses that pepper the countryside. Some – such as Edinburgh castles – rank amongst Europe’s most impressive structures while other less grand examples provide a stark insight into darker times.

All Scottish castles, however, have the power to capture the imagination which explains why they regularly top the list of ‘must-see’ attractions for visitors.

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Edinburgh Castle – World famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Here are a selection of Edinburgh castle from the inside . . .

Fountain and Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street.

 Castle’s Mons Meg.

 Castle Entrance

 Statue of Sir William Wallace by sculptor Alexander Carrick.

The Fireplace of the Great Hall

Painted Panels in the Royal Residence

Royal Residence

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History of the Kilt . .

What is a Kilt? 

The Kilt is a knee-lenght type of male skirt, which became an essential part of the Scottish national dress since the 18th century and was re-introduced in the rest of the Celtic nations as part of the Celtic revival of the 20th century.

The Kilt is internationally renowned as Scotland’s national dress and therefore most people believe that the garment was originally created in Scotland. However, male skirts were common fashion in Atlantic Europe from ancient times up until the introduction of the trousers in the 16th century.

In Galicia, male skirts were worn up until the 18th century. In much earlier times, dated from the 3rd century BC, archaeologists have found several statues of Galician kings wearing a primitive kilt which shows clearly a tartan pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands.

However today men only wear these at weddings or dances they are not normally worn on a day to day basis.

National Day Of Scotland – St. Andrew’s Day !

When is Saint Andrew’s Day ?

St Andrew’s Day is celebrated in Scotland on 30 November, in honour of  St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.

Who was Saint Andrew ?

St. Andrew was one of Christ’s twelve apostles. Some of his bones are said to have been brought to what is now St. Andrews in Fife during the 4th century. Since medieval times the X-shaped saltire cross upon which St. Andrew was supposedly crucified has been the Scottish national symbol.

What is the national emblems of Scotland ?

The national emblem and  national flower of Scotland is the Thistle, a prickly-leaved purple flower which was first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence. The Scottish Bluebell is also seen as the flower of Scotland.

               

THISTLE                                                BLUEBELL

What is the National Day of Scotland ?

The national dress of Scotland is a kilt with shirt, waistcoat and tweed jacket, stockings with garter flashes, brogue shoes and a sporran.

TRADITIONAL KILT

Bagpipes, Haggis and kilts

Everybody knows the cliché of the piper on the shortbread tin. But have you experienced the breathtaking reality of a hundred pipers skirling in deafening unison? This isn’t an image from Scotland’s past: it happens every August at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo or on Glasgow Green.

Or take food. We all know the stereotypical notions of traditional Scottish fare: haggis and porridge and the legendary deep fried Mars Bar. Not anymore: Scotland’s new elite of super-chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Nick Nairn and Andrew Fairlie are taking the country’s incredible natural produce – our beef, venison and seafood – and elevating them to Michelin starred levels.

Or that the kilt is making a comeback on the catwalk as designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Glasgow’s own Jonathan Saunders take traditional Scottish dress to places the clan chiefs never dreamed of?

Climate – When to visit Scotland ?

A couple in a snowy forest in Glenmore; two children play in the sea near Fort William

The summer months of June, July and August are regarded as high season, with local school holidays making July and early August the busiest period.While the locals celebrate a single day of bright sunshine asglorious, the weather at this time is, at best, unpredictable.

Scotland has a very changeable climate. One minute the sun could be splitting the stones, the next minute it could be lashing rain. Throughout the day, there are often wide variations in the climate. There are also wide variations over small distances. Although Scotland just touches on the Arctic Circle, the Gulf Stream winds manage to keep the temperatures relatively mild. In the Highlands, the weather can turn extreme at any time – and very quickly too.

Scotland East Coast tends to be cool and dry. In winter the temperature rarely drops below freezing. On the West Coast, it’s a lot milder and wetter with average highest summer temperatures of around 19°C (66°F), in summer. Scotlands driest months are May and June; the warmest are July and August. In northern Scotlandthe summer sun barely sets while during the winter months it hardly rises at all.

Scottish History & Traditions

History is not ‘just one thing after another’, as one of the characters in Alan Bennett’s ‘The History Boys’ puts it. It plays a fundamental role in shaping the nature of the present and the possibilities of the future. It’s a collection of stories. And the history of Scotland is filled with incredible stories: romances, tragedies, mysteries and thrillers. The survival of these stories depends very much on ‘the way we tell them’ to future generations.

Today their museums and visitor centers employ the skills and techniques of a myriad of designers, architects, curators, academics, writers, artists, model makers, digital animators and actors to bring our past to life. Scotland has been handing down its traditions for close to a thousand years now, since the earliest days of the clans in the twelfth century. But every generation adds the thumbprint of its own culture to the whole. Scottish traditions are not something sterile under glass and steel in a cold museum. They are vibrant, living things, constantly growing and evolving.

First Thoughts . . .

Before starting any of our research and investigations we had some ideas and thoughts in mind about Scotland. Although we haven’t been to Scotland we have traveled to different countries in Europe and experienced a variety of cultures. By that we kind of have known briefly how the western life, values and principle are. However I’m sure there are differences and variations between them all. We are looking forward to meet our fellow Scottish partners.

Hello world!

We will be working collaboratively with DJCAD students. For this project we are assigned to design a retail/information kiosk that represents elements from each other’s country and culture.This blog will be used to update our process work and use it as a way of communication with DJCAD.