Friday, 27 March 2020

Venezuela Folklore


Venezuela folk music and dances have been greatly influenced by the customs, traditions, and religious beliefs of the three races: White, Indians and Black, which constitute Venezuela's population as a whole.

Popular dances of Venezuela are to a great extent the product of creole (criollo) culture. Nevertheless, typical Indian dances and other signs of almost pure African origins may still be found in some areas.

The origin of Venezuela's musical instruments can be traced back to the indigenous, European and African cultures. All three of them have influenced our popular music. Before the arrival of the Spaniards the indians used such things as carved bone flutes, clay whistles, sea shell trumpets and jingles, and maracas.

During the colonization process and the arrival of the African slaves, several different instruments were incorporated into the popular musical tradition such as cuatro, violin, guitar and drums.*
   
The Joropo

As the national dance of Venezuela, joropo is performed anywhere throughout the country, Lively, merry and syncopated it is Spanish in origin and Venezuelan in feeling.

On hearing the rattling maracas and the rythmic plucking of the "cuatro" (a four string guitar) counterpointed by the melodious harp, any Venezuelan will feel the urge to tap and whirl.

The dance is for couples and has as many as thirty-six variants of the basic step. There are half a dozen different types of joropo, such as Corrido Tuyero and Golpe Aragueño. Today the joropo has become so popular that no ball dance would be complete without it. Wherever Venezuelans congregate, they dance joropo.

The most famous joropo of our days is "Alma Llanera" (soul of the plains) by the late composer Pedro Elías Gutiérrez.*

Red devils of Yare

The red dancing devils of Yare being their traditional and annual battle against the forces of righteousness on Corpus Christi Day, is one of the most unique and colorful religious ceremonies of the Christian World.

There is, of course, no need for alarm because the outcome of the battle is also traditional. The forces of righteousness will triumph, but not until after a full day of strenuous opposition on the part of Satan's henchmen.

The scene of this momentous struggle will be the little town of San Francisco de Yare, about 35 miles south of Caracas, which is a magnet for visitors from all over the world on that day.

No one is sure when this ritual originated, but it has been an annual event in San Francisco de Yare. Probably it dates from long before the giant bell in the village church was cast, in 1711, two hundred and fifty-seven years ago.*


* Source: Permanent Mission of Venezuela to the OAS.

•culled from www.oas.org

The Music of Uruguay


The colonization process in Uruguay started in the 16th century although colonial music only flourished in the 18th century where European composers started writing several musical scores, which today one can find at the music archives of San Francisco where 215 compositions exist.

Uruguay borders Argentina and Brazil. It is situated in the southeast region of the Latin American continent. Uruguay remained largely uninhabited until the establishment of Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, by the Portuguese in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, raising competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a struggle between Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil.

Uruguayan music draws on 3 cultural sources the indigenous, the western European and the black African. The indigenous were the Chaná-Charrúa who had their own music but very few survived to be able to influence greatly Uruguayan music. African heritage is one of the most influential, the slaves came mainly from Mozambique and Angola, the most conserved genres are the llamada and the Candombe which are typical of carnival.

Murga is a form of popular musical theatre performed in Uruguay during the Carnival season. Uruguayan murga has a counterpart in Cadiz, Spain from which it is derived, the chirigota, but over time the two have diverged into distinct forms. The Murga is performed by a group of a maximum of 17 people, usually men. In the months prior to Carnival, which takes place from late January to early March in Uruguay, each group will prepare a musical play consisting of a suite of songs and recitative (heightened speech) lasting around 45 minutes. This suite will be performed on popular stages in the various neighbourhoods, known as tablados, throughout the Carnival period. Groups also vie against one another in a prestigious official competition.

Traditional music in Uruguay contains several types of instruments some which are derived from European influences like the guitar, the violin, the piano, and the accordion particularly the Bandaneon which are mainly used in the Tango and Milonga. In the northern parts of Uruguay close to Brazil one can also find the cavaquinho which is a type of small four stringed guitar. The Tamboril is a typical instrument of African origin found in Uruguay. There are three different types of Tamboril, the chico, repique and Piano. This is played by hand and also a stick

The Payada

The Payada is a performance of improvised ten-line verse called Décimas usually accompanied by guitar. The performer is called a "payador", and in performances two or more payadores will compete to produce the most eloquent verse, each answering questions posed by the other spontaneously. This is still traditional in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and other Latin American countries. In Uruguay it is barely surviving because few people remain as professional payadores.

The Milonga

European classical music influenced greatly the musical genres of Uruguay. One of which is the Milonga which originated in the Rio de la Plata region between Uruguay and Argentina. The milonga was derived from an earlier style of singing known as the payada de contrapunto.The song was set to a lively 2/4 tempo, and often included musical improvisation. Over time, dance steps and other musical influences were added, eventually giving rise to the tango. Milonga music is still used for dancing, but the milonga dancing of today is derivative of tango.

The Uruguayan Tango

Uruguayan tango is a form of dance that originated in the neighborhoods of Montevideo, Uruguay towards the beginnings of the 20th century a few months before than Argentine tango. It consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions of Argentina and Uruguay. The dance is often accompanied by several musical forms such as: Tango, Milonga and Vals.

•By Luke Attard

•culled from www.prezi.com

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Various Popular Surinamese Music Styles

Aleke

Aleke(ah-lih-kih) is basically traditional Aukansi with faster rhythm. It was inspired by a city worker and musician, Alexander in the fifties, who wanted to make the music more danceable. From this time the Aleke kept being developed and now one of the most popular music forms in Suriname. The name Aleke is in fact a direct reference to Alexander, who was called Aleke by the locals

Here is a remix from “Kan Kan mang”(Kan Kan is a term used to indicate more pure African in the New World, It’s sort of similar to the sentiment “Say it loud I’m black And I’m proud”) :

KasKawi

Kaskawi(kahs-kah-wee) is mix between traditional city music Kaseko and traditional Aukansi music Kawina with some pop and R&B influences.

For the most part it is played with the traditional Kawina instruments.

kawina drum – double sided drum, played horizontally from both sides; Kwakwa bangi(kwah kwah bah ngee) – small bench; Skraki(skrah chee) drum – big round bass drum with cymbals on top; Apinti(Ah peentee) drum – traditional upright drum(sometimes substituted with congas) in addition to keyboards, guitar, bass and sometimes brass instruments.

The popular group “La Rouge” are the premier pioneers of this genre and are in my opinion the best at it.

Here is their most recent live appearance in Suriname:

Kaseko

Kaseko(kah-sih-koh) is the first style that became popular after Emancipation of Slavery. The former slaves learned to play instruments and used those instruments to interpret traditional music they knew. Kaseko is arguably still the most popular of all the Surinamese styles:

Here is a popular band called IK Ben Lekker:

Kawina

Kawina(Kah wee nah) is as roots as it gets for popular Surinamese music. Traditionally it is song and drum only music. The lyrics are oftentimes interwoven with religious themes, love themes, life experience themes and sometimes even tid bits of slavery times.  If you are at a soccer game Suriname you may see some impromptu Kawina performances in the stands.

Kawina is where all popular Surinamese music has it’s roots in. It is played with typical Surinamese drums.

kawina drum – double sided drum, played horizontally from both sides; Kwakwa bangi(kwah kwah bah ngee) – small bench; Skraki(skrah chee) drum – big round bass drum with cymbals on top; Apinti(Ah peentee) drum – traditional upright drum(sometimes substituted with congas)

Orhestral Intrepretation Of Kaseko

The following was recorded during a show honoring the late Kaseko great “Lieve Hugo” aka “Iko”. It was recorded in Holland. The singer is Surinamese as is the main rhythm section.

•culled from www.surinameafricanheritage.wordpress.com

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Peruvian Traditional Music

Peruvian panpipes. © Google
Panpipes, known by the Aymara as siku, by the Quechna as antara and by the Spanish as zampoña, are ancient instruments and archeologists have unearthed panpipes tuned to a variety of scales. While modern panpipes – played in the city or in groups with other instruments – may offer a complete scale allowing solo performance, traditional models are played in pairs, as described by sixteenth-century chroniclers. The pipes share the melody, each with alternate notes of a whole scale so that two or more players are needed to pick out a single tune using a hocket technique. Usually one player leads and the other follows. While symbolically this demonstrates reciprocity within the community, practically it enables players to play for a long time without getting too “high” from dizziness caused by over-breathing.

Played by blowing (or breathing out hard) across the top of a tube, panpipes come in various sizes, those with a deep bass having very long tubes. Several tubes made of bamboo reed of different length are bound together to produce a sound that can be jaunty, but also has a melancholic edge depending on tune and playing style. Many tunes have a minor, descending shape to them. Playing is often described as “breathy” as overblowing is popular to produce harmonics. In general those who play panpipes love dense overlapping textures and often syncopated rhythms.

Simple notched-end flutes , or quenas , are another independent innovation of the Andean highlands found in both rural and urban areas. The most important pre-Hispanic instrument, they were traditionally made of fragile bamboo (though often these days from plumbers’ PVC water pipes) and played in the dry season, with tarkas (vertical flutes -like a shrill recorder) taking over in the wet. Quenas are played solo or in ritual groups and remain tremendously popular today, with many virtuoso techniques.

Large marching bands of drums and panpipes , playing in the co-operative “back-and-forth” leader/follower style captivated the Spanish in the 1500s can still be seen and heard today. The drums are deep-sounding, double-headed instruments known as bombos or wankaras. These bands exist for parades at life-cycle fiestas, weddings and dances in the regions surrounding the Peruvian-Bolivian frontier and around Lake Titicaca. Apart from their use at fiestas, panpipes are played mainly in the dry season, from April to October.

There is something quite amazing about the sound of a fifty-man panpipe band approaching, especially after they’ve been playing for a few hours and have had a few well-earned drinks. It is perfectly normal for a whole village to come together to play as an orchestra for important events and fiestas. Andean villages are usually composed of ayllus (extended families) whose land is often divided up so that everyone gets a share of various pastures, but with everyone working together at key times such as harvest and when caring for communal areas. Music is an integral part of all communal celebrations and symbolically represents that sharing and inter-dependence: drinks are drunk from communal glasses which everyone will empty in turn. The organisation and values of each community are reflected in the very instrument an individual plays, down to the position of players within circles and groups.

Folk music festivals to attract and entertain the tourist trade are a quite different experience to music in the village context. While positively disseminating the music, they have introduced the notion of judging and the concept of “best” musicianship – ideas totally at odds with rural community values of diversity in musical repertoire, style and dress.

•culled from www.peru-explorer.com

Is Jersey Part of the UK? Is Jersey Part of the EU?

A view of Saint Aubin, Jersey.
The island is regarded as a dependent of the British Crown, and as a result, it is guarded and well catered for by the UK government.

Jersey is part of the British Isles, which is a cluster of islands found in the North Atlantic Ocean covering an area of 121,684 square miles. The island is regarded as a dependent of the British Crown, and as a result, it is guarded and well catered for by the UK government. The Island of Jersey is located at just 22 kilometers off the coast of France and 137 kilometers south from the English coast. Jersey is not technically part of the EU, but the free trade of goods is allowed between Jersey and the European Union.

Formation of the Isles

The British Isles were formed due to the movement and collision of tectonic plates. Mountains were formed as a result, and they are found in Ireland and Britain, especially in the north. The islands took their distinct shape after years of being exposed to glaciations and Great Britain, and Ireland became the largest by size. Concerning population, the two islands had the highest number of people living in them. Jersey Island is certainly not the largest since it is only 8 kilometers long and 14.5 kilometers wide. There are twelve parishes found in Jersey.

Governance of Jersey

Jersey has a lieutenant governor who is in charge of the island as the representative of the Queen. Jersey has a government headed by a Prime Minister and a legislature comprised of 49 representatives who are elected by the eligible voting population. The government of Jersey has the powers to issue driving licenses, enforce tax policies and other laws enshrined in the Jersey constitution. The legal system of Jersey has a similarity to that of the United Kingdom when you look at the Royal Court. The court is equal to that of the Crown Court and High Court because it handles both civil and criminal matters.

History of Jersey

The path to becoming a self-governing island was not easy. After the war of 1204 in which King James’ army was defeated by the King Philippe-Augustine’s of France at the battle of Roune, King James worked hard to convince the neighboring isles not to align themselves with the victorious French King. He did this by making promises and threats of war if his persuasion failed. Among his promises was giving the islands the right to govern themselves. By self-governance, the islands would have their government and legislature to make their laws, and the UK would handle the defense of the island against possible French aggression. The Islanders would also pick twelve of their best men to be jurats and sit with the bailiff to form the royal court, and a warden would be appointed by King George to be governor on his behalf.

Jersey Island today

English is widely spoken followed by French, Portuguese, Polish, and Jerriais. The tax laws of the islands are among the best in the world for  business because no VAT tax is charged. However, income tax and other taxes are collected to raise the revenue needed to run the government. The climate is temperate meaning that it is warmer with more sunshine experienced.

•By Vic Lang'at Junior

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Which States Border New Jersey?

Boundary line between New Jersey and Pennsylvania 
on a bridge spanning the Delaware River.
New York borders New Jersey.

New Jersey is a US state located in the northern part of the country where it covers an area of 8,723 square miles. Native American communities have lived within the present-day region of New Jersey since 13,000 BCE after the melting of the Wisconsin Glacier. Some of the Native American communities which lived in the area are the Lenape, Munsee, and Powhatan. Although human societies have lived in the region of the present-day New Jersey for a long time, its boundaries only began taking shape after the arrival of the Europeans into the area. The first European that explored New Jersey was Giovanni da Verrazano who arrived in the area in 1524. The Dutch and the Swedes were among the first to settle in the area, but it later fell into the hands of the British who added it to their colony. Currently, New Jersey shares its borders with three other states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York.

The Border with Pennsylvania

The boundary that separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania is New Jersey's longest boundary and is located on its western part. The Delaware River forms a significant portion of the boundary between the two states. The Delaware River flows for about 419 miles and drains an area of approximately 14,119 square miles wide. During the pre-colonial era, Native American communities referred to the river as Lenapewihittuk. The Delaware River is particularly famous as George Washington, the first President of the United States, crossed it before the Battle of Trenton. Other rivers situated close to the boundary between the two states include the Paulinskill River and the Musconetcong River, both of which are tributaries of the Delaware River. The Musconetcong River flows for roughly 46 miles from Lake Hopatcong to the Delaware River. The residents of the region believe that the river got its name from a mythical creature believed to have roamed the area.

Some of the major cities located on the Pennsylvania side of the border include Bethlehem, Milford, and Philadelphia. The major towns located on the New Jersey side of the border include Belvidere, Frenchtown, and Lambertville. Bethlehem is one of the unique cities in the US because it is located in two counties: Northampton and Lehigh. In 2016, it was estimated that Bethlehem was home to 75,293 people most of who live in the part of the town located in Northampton County. In 2006, Bethlehem was ranked among the best areas to live by the Money Magazine. Belvidere is one of New Jersey's small towns and it covers an area of 1.5 square miles and was home to 2,602 people in 2016. Belvidere was incorporated during the mid-19th century after the residents voted in a referendum.

The Border with New York

New York and New Jersey is separated by a border that is located on the northern part of New Jersey. The boundary between the two states dates back to an agreement signed in the mid 17th century that was later acknowledged in 1719. During the 18th century, the border between New Jersey and New York was a significant issue between the two states.

From 1701 to 1765 there were several conflicts along the border that were referred to as the New York-New Jersey Line War. Although the border agreement between the two states had been acknowledged by their respective governments, the agreement was not respected by the residents. Settlers from New York moved to New Jersey's territory which caused conflict between them and the residents of New Jersey. The final fight between the residents of the two states occurred in 1765 after the residents of New Jersey tried to capture the leaders of the New York group. The fights took place on the Sabbath, and as a result, neither side used weapons. The leaders of the New York group were captured and imprisoned in the Sussex County jail. The issue was finally resolved after King George appointed commissioners to survey and establish the border.

New York and New Jersey also had a dispute over the ownership of Ellis Island. The dispute dated back to the mid-19th century and the two states had signed a compact granting New York control over all the islands in the Hudson River. The agreement also allowed New Jersey to use half the water in the river. From 1890 to 1934, the territory of the Ellis Island was expanded through land reclamation, and New Jersey claimed it had a right to the territory. The Supreme Court ruled in New Jersey's favor and granted the state control over the reclaimed territory.

Several rivers cross the boundary between New York and New Jersey with the Wallkill River being the most well-known. The river flows for roughly 88 miles and drains an area of about 785 square miles. The Wallkill River is unique for several reasons including the fact that it is one of the few rivers that drain into a creek. The river is also unique because it flows north while it is sandwiched between two major rivers that flow to the south.

The Border with Delaware

New Jersey and Delaware are separated by a border located on New Jersey's southwestern part. The Delaware River forms a significant portion of the border between Delaware and New Jersey. The boundary between the two states is located on the easternmost edge of the river instead of being at the center of the river like in most cases. The position of the boundary means that some of the lands on the New Jersey side of the river are actually under the control of Delaware. A grant of King Charles II caused the unique shape of the border. The grant extended the northern portion of Delaware's northern boundaries by a circular arc with a radius of 12 miles. Fully extending the circle would have resulted in taking land from New Jersey which was unacceptable because the King had already granted the land. Delaware and New Jersey have been involved in several Supreme Court cases over their shared boundary.

•By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

The Most Populated Cities In New Jersey

Newark boasted a population of 277,140 in 2010.
Newark is the most populated city in New Jersey.

Nicknamed the Garden State, New Jersey is in the Northeastern United States’ Mid-Atlantic region. The state borders New York to the north and east, while the Atlantic Ocean borders to the east all the way to the south. The Delaware River and Pennsylvania border the state to the west, with the southwest having Delaware and Delaware Bay. Having a population of over nine million as of 2017, the State of New Jersey is the 11th most populous state in the US. The state covers a total area of 8,722.58 square miles with Trenton City being its capital.

The Three Most Populous Cities of New Jersey

Newark City

The City of Newark is the most populous in New Jersey. The 2010 census placed its population at 277,140, while a 2016 estimate placed the population at 281,764. The city’s location is at approximately 8 miles west of lower Manhattan. According to the 2010 census, the city’s population consisted of 52.4% African Americans and 26.3% of Whites. The Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 93,746, about 33.8% of the population, while Asians took up 1.6%. A third of the city’s residents were impoverished, with poverty remaining a consistent problem. The median age stood at 32.3 years with 25.6% of the population being under 18 years and 8.6% being 65 or more years.

Jersey City

Jersey City has the second largest population in New Jersey. The total area of the city is 21.080 square miles with a population of 247,597 according to the 2010 census. The city’s racial makeup had Whites being the largest proportion of 32.67% while African Americans were 64,002 representing 25.85% of the population. Another large racial group was Asians at 23.67% numbering 58,595. The City of Jersey City had a median age of 33.2 years with the largest proportion being people aged 25 to 44 years at 37.6%, whereas 9.0% of the population was 65 year or more.

Paterson City

Paterson has the third largest population in New Jersey. The city’s Muslim population is the second largest by percentage in the United States with Paterson being a dominant haven for immigrants from Hispanic and Muslim worlds. The city of Paterson had a population of 146,199 as of the 2010 census. Nicknamed the “Silk City,” Paterson has a total area of 8.704 square miles. The 2010 census showed 34.68% of the population as White, and 31.68% were African Americans. The city’s median age was 32.1 years with 27.9% of the population was below 18 years.

New Jersey’s Demographics

According to the census of 2010, 68.6% of the population in New Jersey was White Americans with 13.7% was African Americans. The most spoken language at home in the state was English at 71.31%, with Spanish coming in second at 14.59%. New Jersey’s most significant denomination was the Roman Catholic Church at 34% with 3,235,290 people followed by the United Methodist Church with 138,052. Approximately 18% of the population had no religion while the Muslim and Hindu religions both took up 3%. The state’s most populous county was Bergen followed by Middlesex and Essex.

•By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

The Paraguayan Folk Harp

The Paraguayan Harp is a traditional folk instrument. In the 17th and 18th century, missionaries from Spain brought the classical harp along with them  to South America. The natives were intrigued with this instrument, made some changes to it and claimed it as part of their own culture.

The harp is made with a diatonic scale and has no foot pedals. It has only five octaves which makes playing it somewhat limiting. It is made of thin wood (cedar and pine) and so is much lighter than the classical harp. Because of the design, the sound is produced in two areas, the vibration of the chords and from the vibration of the wide instrument. The harp is known in most of the South American countries. Each country adapts its own design, style and rhythms.

It stands about 1.5 metres (5 ft) high and is played either in a sitting position, or standing up when it is fitted with extending legs. The harp has 37 strings, which go into the centre of the neck making it identical from either side, this being a unique characteristic of the Paraguayan harp.

Arpeggios, glissandi, chords in octaves, thirds, sixths, etc are readily executed on these harps. There are sounds unique to the Paraguayan harp, which are produced by damping the strings in different ways or sometimes almost strumming them like a guitar. Also, the beautiful trino technique is often played using the fingernails of the dominant hand to bring out the melody.


•culled from www.eduardklassen.com

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

What Is the Capital of New Hampshire?

The state flag of New Hampshire.
The capital city of New Hampshire is Concord.

Description  Concord

New Hampshire is a state located on the north-eastern part of the United States, specifically in the New England region. The state of Massachusetts borders it to the south, Vermont to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. The state of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean are located on the eastern side of New Hampshire. The Governor of New Hampshire is Chris Sununu. Concord is the capital city of New Hampshire State. It is the county seat of Merrimack County, and it is surrounded by the villages of Penacook, East Concord, and West Concord. As of 2010, the city had a population of 42,695 people. Jim Bauley is the mayor of Concord, while Thomas Aspell, Jr. is the city manager.

History of Concord

The earliest inhabitants of Concord were the Abeki Native Americans, known as the Pennacook. Fishing was the means of livelihood for Pennacook at the time, and locals fished for migrating sturgeon and alewives. In addition, the Pennacook practised farming along the fertile river valley. They grew maize, beans, pumpkins and melons. Captain Ebenezer and others from Haverhill, Massachusetts started settling in Concord in 1727. In 1735, Concord was incorporated as Rumford, but was renamed Concord by Governor Benning Wentworth in 1765. The city’s new name portrayed the city as filled with peace and harmony. In 1808, Concord officially became the seat of state government. Its 1819 State House is currently used for meetings held by the state’s legislative branches. In the 19th century, Concord was a railroad transport hub. Today it is the center for healthcare and many insurance companies.

Economy of Concord

Concord is a major distribution, industrial, and transportation hub. It is well connected by railways and highways, which makes Concord a perfect spot for distribution. Furthermore, it has well established healthcare facilities and hospitals. Carolina International Medicine and the Concord Hospital are top hospitals in Concord. Besides the provision of excellent healthcare services, the health sector also provides employment for over 5,000 people. In fact, the service industry in Concord grows every single day. It is mainly focused on education, finance, and insurance. For instance, six insurance companies have their headquarters in Concord and numerous banks have operational offices in the city, too. The per capita income for Concord between 2009 and 2011 was $29,296.

Notable Persons

Some of the notable persons are associated with Concord include the artist George Condo, professional poker player Annie Duke, and Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stony Field Farm. Styles Bridges, former United States senator and the 63rd Governor of New Hampshire, was also from Concord.

Tourist Attractions

Tourism is an integral part of the growth of Concord. One of the major tourist attractions in Concord is the New Hampshire State House that was built between 1815 and 1818. The Eagle Hotel, Phoenix Hall, and Pierce Manse are also great tourist attraction sites.

•By Sharon Omondi

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Monday, 23 March 2020

The 10 Biggest Cities In New Hampshire

The city of Manchester, New Hampshire,
on the Merrimack River.
Manchester is the most populous city in the US state New Hampshire.

The US state of New Hampshire is located in the northeastern part of the country, within the New England region. With an area of only 24,214 square km and an estimated population of 1,342,795 people (2017), it is the 5th smallest US state by area and the 9th least populated. New Hampshire is subdivided into 10 counties, 221 towns, and 13 cities. Manchester is the largest city in the state by population, followed by Nashua, Concord, Derry, and Dover.

The Five Most Populated Cities in New Hampshire

1. Manchester

Manchester is the most populated city in New Hampshire, with a population of 109,565. It is northern New England’s biggest city and serves as one of the two county seats of Hillsborough County. Manchester is located along the banks of the Merrimack River and is included in the northern portion of the Northeast megalopolis, which has a population of more than 50 million and encompasses cities such as New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore. The city has been considered one of the most liveable and affordable cities in the US.

2. Nashua

With a population of 86,494, Nashua is the second biggest city in the state. It is located in the southern part of Hillsborough County, which is the state’s most populous county. Nashua was initially founded during the expansion of the region's textile industry and is currently regarded as one of the most liveable cities in the nation. Money magazine ranked Nashua as the "Best Place to Live in America” in 1987 and 1998, making it the country’s only city to top this list on two occasions.

3. Concord

Concord has a population of 42,695, ranking as New Hampshire’s third largest city. Additionally, Concord serves as both the state capital and the county seat of Merrimack County. Several institutions of higher learning, such as the University of New Hampshire's School of Law and NHTI, Concord's Community College, are based in the city.

4. Derry

With a population of 33,109, Derry is the fourth most populated municipality in the state. Located in Rockingham County, Derry is classified as a town rather than a city. Derry is nicknamed "Spacetown" since it was the birthplace Alan Shepard, who was the first US astronaut to travel to space in 1961, and later walked on the Moon in 1971. The service industry forms the backbone of Derry’s economy.

5. Dover

Located in Strafford County, Dover is the fifth biggest city in New Hampshire, with a population of 29,987. It is the most populated city in the Seacoast region of the state.

Governance of New Hampshire’s Municipalities

Both towns and cities in New Hampshire are subject to the same state laws. Prior to 1979, towns were often governed through a town meeting form of rule, while cities were governed by either a council-manager or council-mayor form of government. However, towns and cities can now create a new charter, and if approved by voters, change the form of government.

List of the 10 Biggest Municipalities in New Hampshire by Population

Rank City County Population (2010)
1 Manchester Hillsborough 109,565
2 Nashua Hillsborough 86,494
3 Concord Merrimack 42,695
4 Derry Rockingham 33,109
5 Dover Strafford 29,987
6 Rochester Strafford 29,752
7 Salem Rockingham 28,776
8 Merrimack Hillsborough 25,494
9 Hudson Hillsborough 24,467
10 Londonderry Rockingham 24,129

•By Oishimaya Sen Nag

•culled from www.worldatlas.com



Sunday, 22 March 2020

Keeping Indigenous Music Alive Over The Years

A cultural group from Guyana.
It was February 20, 1976, when Neville Calistro, an Amerindian village leader of Kabakaburi, first appeared on stage in Sophia, Georgetown, to sing at a birthday celebration for the now, late Prime Minister Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham.

“I was not the ‘Mighty Chief’ then when I sang at Sophia, and people just saw me as an Amerindian man and kept shouting “Sing, buckman Sing.” So, I sang then as a ‘buck man’,” Calistro recalled. At the time, he was a member of the People’s Cultural Corps, through which he gained exposure at performances throughout Guyana. He eventually catapulted to fame and his name and music became recognised in and outside of the country.

He is Guyana’s first indigenous calypsonian, the man who fused the Arawak style mari-mari with calypso to generate his own musical ‘cali-mari’ genre and who performed for the Queen. The ‘Mighty Chief’ has written and produced numerous songs over the years featuring Arawak and Carib cultures, and he is also versed in the Akawaio language.

Calistro is among a group of popular indigenous musicians who have worked aggressively over the years to preserve the native Amerindian culture, including the language and music.

During the 1980s to 1992, he worked as cultural coordinator in the Pomeroon/Supenaam region fostering and exposing the indigenous culture through songs, dances and the traditional language. He established cultural groups in Manawarin, Akawini, Wakapoa, Mainstay, Tapakuma, St Monica and Kabakaburi. In 1986, he led the Kabakaburi group on indigenous performances in London, Jamaica, Barbados, Holland and Brussels.

In 2003, he guided his five sons and one daughter along with their cousin, to form the ‘Calibro Band,’ which has gained its own popularity as an indigenous musical group.

However, today the ‘Mighty Chief’ is saddened by the fading indigenous music and recalled his memories of the ‘Kayap’, once a tool of social cohesion among Amerindians. His view is shared by several other Amerindian musicians, including Arawak calypsonian Julian ‘The Mighty Pakuri’ Kattow.

Kattow created quite an amusement in the musical landscape with his 2005 release of the song ‘Matapee.’ Whether it’s the hyped mari-mari beats or the catchy Arawak lyrics, the song is noted to quickly stimulate any dance floor.

But while the ‘Matapee’ has heralded its own fame, the Amerindian musicians are worried that indigenous music in its most native form is rapidly fading and may soon become a thing of the past.

Apart from the declining dialects in the lyrics, the beats are becoming more integrated into modern and popular rhythms such as Reggae, Soca and Spanish to match the entertainment demands of the younger generation.

‘Matapee’ and the Arawak composer
It has been observed too that a majority of the younger Amerindians are leaving their villages for the city in search of education and employment opportunities, and have been overlooking their culture and beliefs.

However, the local musicians remain determined to preserve their culture and music and are employing various means to do so.

Originally of St Cuthbert’s Mission, Kattow continues to produce and record his patriotic songs featuring the various indigenous beats combined with the Arawak lyrics. His songs are inspired by the Amerindian’s way of life, culture, beliefs, experiences and relationship to the environment. He has however integrated English translations into the songs along with the native language to make it more appealing to the wider audience. And so far, his method had been proving successful, as his music serves as very popular dance tunes at various cultural and entertainment events around Guyana.

‘Matapee,’ ‘Shifoda’ and ‘Arawak Man’ are widely known across diverse cultures and ethnicities. The calypsonian has already released one album with 10 songs written and recorded over the years and is currently working to record the second volume.

“Now that most of the old musicians have passed away, so have the instruments that they used to make the music and I have noticed that a lot of the bands and singers now are using more of the English beat. You find some of the songs become reggae and rap, which is creative but I think we need to maintain some of the original forms of Amerindian music and this is what I have been doing, using the original beats and just adding different lyrics,” Kattow indicated.

Recalling his childhood in the Pakuri village, he described how the Amerindians celebrated ‘Kayap,’ better known today by the wider population as Mashramani, a celebration after hard work.

“In those days, we had self-help work and everyone would get together to go to the farm to do some community work or help someone in the village. At the end, there was cooking and drinking the piwari and there you had the music and dancing,” Kattow said. The natives used violins, banjos, Kwatro, maracas and flutes to make their music, while the audience danced in various native styles. Kattow started performing at these events and during birthdays, weddings and the festive season. He has since gained exposure across the country, performing at various events including Amerindian Heritage Month observances.

Currently, Kattow is working with a team of other indigenous musicians from various areas to produce a jingle in observance of this year’s Amerindian Heritage Month observances to be staged in September. St Cuthbert’s has been earmarked as this year’s Heritage Village.

Surama preserving its Makushi culture
In Surama, there exists one of Guyana’s largest indigenous cultural groups that feature a wide array of talents including the native Makushi language, songs, dances, drama, designs, and art and craft among others. The group, led by Glendon Allicock and his wife, Jean, have been using music to preserve their culture. The couple writes and composes indigenous songs in the Makushi dialect with native rhythms using traditional instruments such as the shak-shak, drums and flutes. The songs are inspired by traditional stories to which the Amerindians can relate.

“We actually listen to the stories told by our elders in the community and we put these into songs; my wife focuses on the lyrics, while I compose the beats…in addition to the instruments, we use the keyboard to add the sounds of the violin and flutes,” Allicock explained. The couple has been using these songs to verbally teach the Makushi language to the younger ones. Along with the songs, they are taught the use of the instruments and the dance moves.

Allicock noted that some of the costumes are designed with shells and this adds to the creation of the native music, which he said is based merely on chants combined with various sounds. One of the couple’s most popular songs has been “Our way” done in the Shaman chant. To date, the couple has produced over 20 songs and they usually perform these at various events in and out of Guyana. Last December, the Surama Culture Group showcased their talents and culture to Prince Harry on his visit to the North Rupununi community.

Over the years, these and other performers such as Manoel ‘King Perai’ Ferreira and the Couchman Family have represented Amerindians, showcasing their indigenous culture in various musical forms. ‘King Perai’ originally of the Pomeroon River was crowned Calypso King in 2015 and has produced several songs over the years.

He acquired the name ‘Perai’ from a song he sang about the Piranha fish which was composed by a friend from Bartica. Since then, he has performed with many of Guyana’s top bands which included the Melody Makers, the Originals, the Sheriff Deputies, Pete’s Caribbean Fusion and El Sadiek.

•By Ravena Gildharie

•culled from www.guyanachronicle.com

Saturday, 21 March 2020

What Is the Capital of Nevada?

The Supreme Court of Nevada in Carson City.
The capital city of Nevada is Carson City.

What Is the Capital of Nevada?

Nevada is the 7th largest and the 34th most populous state of the United States of America. It joined the Union on October 31, 1864. It was annexed by the United States in 1848 during the Mexican–American War and became part of Utah in 1850 before it became the State of Nevada in 1864. After the construction of the Hoover Dam and the stock market crash of 1931, the state of Nevada legalized gambling through Assembly Bill 98 with the intention of increasing the state revenue. The city of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert is the 28th most populous city in the US and is famous for gambling including 24-hour casinos and vibrant nightlife. However, Carson City outwits Las Vegas as the capital city of the state of Nevada.

Carson City Overview

The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. It covers an area of about 157 sq mi, and has a population of approximately 57, 000. The city is named after Kit Carson, an American Mountain man who explored the area between 1843–44. In 1966 the state through a referendum approved the merger of Ormsby County and Carson City to form the Municipality of Carson City. In 1991 the city council passed a master plan that prohibits the construction of buildings taller than the State Capitol building within 500 ft.

Climate

Much of Nevada has a desert environment, including Carson City. Carson City experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cool and cold winters. It experiences four seasons which are fairly mind compared to other parts of the country. During the winter moderate snowfall of about 8.9 inches is experienced. Precipitation occurs during winter and spring, but the summer is much drier than the neighboring state of California.

Economy

Carson City exhibits a diverse and growing economy. It acts as the regional and commercial and retail hub for Northwestern Nevada which is known for its irrigated farms, mining of silver and other minerals, and livestock farming. The service industry accounts for 30% of the workforce while the manufacturing industry employs 14%. After gambling was legalized in 1931, the number of tourists visiting the city has also been on a steady increase. The public sector employs 25% of the work force since the city acts as the center for federal and state governments.

Governance

After the merger of Ormsby County with Carson City the county dissolved and is currently governed as part of the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City. A five-member board consisting four supervisors and a mayor is responsible for governing the city. Each of the four supervisors represents a ward of which they must be residents of that particular ward. The supervisors and the mayor serve a four-year term. The mayor and the supervisors from Ward 2 and for are elected during the general elections in the US while representatives from Ward 1 and three are elected during the even years in between the presidential elections i.e. the same year gubernatorial elections are held.

•By Victor Kiprop

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

The 10 Biggest Cities In Nevada

View of downtown Las Vegas flanked by mountain.
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the US state of Nevada.

The US state of Nevada is located in the western part of the country. Nevada occupies an area of 286,382 square km and has a population of 3,060,150, which ranks as the 7th most extensive state in the country and the 33rd most populous. Accordingly, given its large area and relatively small population, Nevada is the 9th least densely populated state in the US. Nevada is subdivided into 17 counties and contains 19 incorporated municipalities. Clark County is home to nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. Similarly, the state's 19 municipalities cover only about 1% of the state’s total area, but house 56.7% of the population. In terms of population, the largest city in Nevada is Las Vegas (583,756), while Caliente is the smallest (1,130). The largest city in the state by area is Boulder City (540.1 square km), while Lovelock (2.2 square km) is the smallest.

The Most Populated Cities in Nevada

1. Las Vegas

With a population of 583,756 individuals, Las Vegas is Nevada’s most populated city. It is the country’s 28th most populous city and the seat of Clark County. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned resort city that is often nicknamed "The Entertainment Capital of the World." It is also referred to as "Sin City" because of its tolerance for adult entertainment. Las Vegas is synonymous with gambling, shopping, and nightlife, and also serves as the state's hub of commerce and culture. Additionally, it is one of the world’s most visited cities and has been featured in numerous films, music videos, television serials, and books. Settlement in the area began in 1905, and the city was officially incorporated in 1911.

2. Henderson

Henderson is Nevada’s second most populated city, with a population of 175,381. It is located in Clark County, about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The city is situated in the Mojave Desert at an elevation of around 1,864 feet, and is surrounded by mountains, gentle slopes, and features flora and fauna typical of the desert.

3. Reno

Reno is the third biggest city in Nevada and the county seat of Washoe County. The city has a population of 225,221 and is home to numerous casinos and hotels. Reno is located in western Nevada, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and is only 22 km from Lake Tahoe.

4. North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas has a population of 216,961, which ranks as the fourth most populated city in Nevada. The city is located in Clark County and has a relatively short history given that it was incorporated in 1946. The economy of North Las Vegas is driven by the manufacturing, warehouse distribution, and industrial sectors.

5. Sparks

Sparks is Nevada's fifth most populous city, with a population of 90,264 individuals. Founded in 1904, the city is located in Washoe County and was officially incorporated in 1905.

The Capital City of Nevada

Carson City is the capital of Nevada and an independent city, meaning that is not part of any county. With a population of 55,274, the city ranks as the sixth most populous in the state. Carson City was named after American frontiersman Kit Carson.

The 10 Biggest Cities in Nevada by Population

Rank City County Population (2010 Census) Land Area (2010) Population Density
1 Las Vegas Clark 583,756351.7 km 21,659.6/km2
2 Henderson Clark 257,729279.0 km  2923.7/km2
3 Reno Washoe 225,221266.8 km  2844.2/km2
4 North Las Vegas Clark 216,961262.5 km 2826.5/km2
5 Sparks Washoe 90,26492.6 km  2974.6/km2
6 Carson City None 55,274374.7km  2147.5/km2
7 Fernley [a] Lyon 19,368316.3km 261.2/km2
8 Elko Elko 18,29745.7km  2400.5/km2
9 Mesquite Clark 15,27682.6 km. 2185.0/km2

•By Oishimaya Sen Nag

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Protest songs: Marching to the beat of dissent

Billy Bragg in 1985, composed a song to
back up the "crusade".
The Falklands War inspired a wealth of protest songs. But in today’s multi-media world, they’re becoming an outdated art.

On 23 May 1982, Mori conducted a survey of just over 1,000 British adults regarding the then Conservative Government's handling of the Falklands War for the BBC's Panorama programme. Seventy-five per cent of those polled expressed approval at Margaret Thatcher's handling of affairs and a remarkable 80 per cent felt that the Government was just in its initial decision to land on the South Atlantic islands. Statistically at least, the chances of hearing a dissenting voice were small and while British pop music had thrown up plenty of anti-Thatcher feeling in her first three years in office, there seemed to be few speaking out on this issue. "On the face of it, the war seemed like a pretty straightforward argument at the time," remembers Billy Bragg, 30 years on. "To me, it seemed as though there were these fascists in Argentina who were repressing their own people and now wanted to do the same to the people on this island."

But following the surrender of Argentine forces on 14 June, the victory party faded into a national hangover consisting of distasteful jingoism, traumatised troops, fractured families and the realities of a second term in office for Thatcher – something that seemed distinctly unlikely before the conflict. It was a shift in mood first captured on vinyl by the release of the song "Shipbuilding" in August 1982. Written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer but sung in its first incarnation by former Soft Machine singer Robert Wyatt, the track lamented the tragic ironies of a naval war bringing life back to the forgotten shipbuilding industry of northern England, but also requiring those revitalised communities to send their sons off to battle aboard the very same vessels.

Wyatt later referred to the track "as punk on Valium, punk without the energy" but at the opposite end of the scale, anarchist outfit Crass were offering more than enough zeal to make up for "Shipbuilding"'s shortcomings. Their song "How Does It Feel (To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead)?" had been written towards the conclusion of the conflict but was recorded and released in the months after. Singer Steve Ignorant sounded perilously close to coughing up a lung on the single, such was his fury with the commander-in-chief. "What made me so angry was I knew there were people of my age or younger, saying goodbye to their wives and families and probably never coming back," he remembers. Although they were a fringe concern for the wider public, Crass' apoplectic release caught the attention of both major political organisations. Conservative MP Tim Eggar attempted to have the band prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act while they simultaneously received letters of support from the Labour Party. "I was really scared at that point," adds Ignorant. "Firstly, I didn't want to be involved in party politics, but I also felt that if I was becoming too much of a nuisance for the Government, it wouldn't take too much for me to just disappear one night." Nevertheless, the single still topped the indie charts in November of 1982 and the similarly indignant offering "Sheep Farming In The Falklands" repeated that success the following year.

With the Prime Minister using her success in orchestrating the war effort to leverage herself into a position of political power, the hollow feeling of victory in the Falklands intensified. Wyatt's "Shipbuilding" earned a re-release in May of 1983 and became the Rough Trade label's first ever Top 40 success. Costello also thought the song to be relevant enough to re-record it himself and include it on his landmark Punch The Clock album with a mournful Chet Baker trumpet solo thrown in for good measure. Meanwhile, Roger Waters seized artistic control of Pink Floyd for their album The Final Cut in order to voice his disaffection with the legacy of the conflict. Frustrated at the lack of diplomacy shown by the British Government following the Argentine invasion, the bass player devised a complex narrative for the album, featuring a cast of often emotionally disturbed British servicemen, who combined to create a requiem for the post-war dream of peace and prosperity. It would be Waters' last contribution to Pink Floyd, as his determination to pay homage to the troops drove a creative wedge between him and Dave Gilmour, and resulted in Waters leaving the band.

The post-war atmosphere had also sparked a change of heart from Bragg who, by the release of his 1984 album Brewing Up With Billy Bragg, had become one of the prominent voices of political pop music in Britain. That album contained "Island Of No Return"- a sad and harrowing tale of life on the frontline in the South Atlantic, as told through the first-person perspective of a distraught squaddie. "I don't think I would have written that during the war," adds the singer who himself had once enlisted in the British Army in 1981 before buying himself out. "During the war, it was more about General Galtieri but after, it was more about Thatcher. He was doing what he did to avoid political trouble at home but the shock to me was subsequently realising that Thatcher had done the same."

It may have been a small number of songs that emerged around the time of the conflict but according to Bragg, the chances are it would be an even smaller number should a similar conflict arise today. "For someone like me, writing a song was the only way to broadcast myself back then," he reflects. "Now, with such a myriad of media options that you can participate in, writing a song isn't the first thing that occurs to people." For Ignorant, just the idea of being in an explicitly political band seems like a dated concept in the technological age. "We thought we were an information bureau in a way because we wrote songs about anarchism and pacifism, which introduced people to these ideas for the first time. I'm not saying technology is a bad thing, but you can Google all that information now. If that technology hadn't existed back then, would there have been a band like Crass? I don't think there would." It thankfully didn't turn out to be Britain's Vietnam as some had initially feared but nevertheless, the Falklands War (eventually) threw up a powerful body of protest songs, the likes of which may never be heard again.

The Falklands War may have only lasted for two-and-a-half months, but numerous songs would make reference to it for years after. Bradford post-punks New Model Army included "Spirit Of The Falklands"– a seething critique of the nationalistic atmosphere whipped up by media during the conflict – on their 1984 debut album Vengeance. Two years later, with the memory of the Falklands fading, Joe Jackson reflected on the continuing injuries being suffered due to unexploded landmines on the islands on his track "Tango Atlantico". On their 1991 song "Another Man's Cause", folk-rockers The Levellers combined mentions of the Falklands with the more recent memory of the Gulf War to tell the story of a family of soldiers decimated by frontline deaths. And as recently as 1998, metallers Iron Maiden offered an elegy for both sets of soldiers through their power-ballad "Como Estais Amigos".

But of all the songs connected with the Falklands War, arguably the most successful and enduring has turned out to be "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits. Although written at the time of the conflict (and subsequently released on the multi-million selling 1985 album of the same name), frontman Mark Knopfler has stopped short of connecting the song with the war explicitly. Despite that, its obvious lyrical references to warfare and the video's grainy animations of terrain that seemed remarkably similar to that of the disputed islands, an inseparable connection has developed. The track was even re-recorded and re-released in 2007 for the benefit of the South Atlantic Medal Association – a charity designed to help soldiers struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder travel back to the Falklands as part of their treatment.

•By Hardeep Phull

•culled from www.independent.co.uk

Major Religions of Nebraska

Trinity Cathedral is seen in Omaha, Nebraska.
75% of Nebraska's population are Christians.

Religion can be described as a set of beliefs on a supernatural being and cultural practices shared by human beings. It includes transcendental beliefs that have been passed on from the believers to the converts that the followers held as actively meaningful and they are founded on documented doctrines, as in a case of an organized religion or they could be based on established cultural practices as in a case of folk religion. Religion may include some aspects such as texts, worldviews, ethics, prophecies, and behaviors. The word religion may have been coined from the Latin word religo which translates to good faith or ritual.

There are about 10,000 religions in the world but the primary five include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, folk religion, and Buddhism. Folk religion is based on cultural practices while the other four are based on established doctrines. A poll done in 57 countries in 2015 indicated that 63% of the world’s population was religious, 22% were not religious, and 11% were atheists. According to Pew Research Center, approximately 70.6% of adults in the US identified themselves as Christians in 2014. According to Gallup Poll, 2016, Mississippi was the most religious state in the US and New Hampshire was the least religious state. Nebraska is a triple landlocked state in the US, and the state's population was estimated at 1.907 million in 2016. Lincoln is the capital of the state while Omaha is the largest city.

Religious Demographics In Nebraska

Christians make up for a majority of the adult population in Nebraska. About 75% of the adults in Nebraska identify as Christians. 25% of these adults are evangelical Protestants. There are several denominations under the evangelical Protestants. The denominations include Baptist Family which account for 4%, the nondenominational family makes up 4%, Lutheran Family makes up 7%, Presbyterian 1%, Pentecostal family 4%, restorationist family 2%, holiness family, Congregationalist family, reformed family, and Adventist family make up for less than 1% each. Some of the evangelical Protestant churches include the Southern Baptist convention, Free Will Baptist, nondenominational charismatic, Assemblies of God, Community Church, Lutheran Church Missouri-synod, Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). There are also the Pentecostal Church of God, Community Church, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostal Holiness Church, Wesleyan Church, Churches of Christ, and Calvary Chapel.

Mainstream Protestants

Mainstream Protestants account for 24% of the total Christian population. Denominations under Protestants include Baptist family 2%, Methodist family 8%, non-denominational family 2%, Lutheran family 8%, Presbyterian family 3%, Episcopalian/Anglican family 1%, restorationist family, Congregationalist family, and reformed family account for less than 1% of the total mainline Protestants. Some of the mainland protestant churches include; American Baptist Churches USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Anglican Church, Disciple of Christ, United Church of Christ, Reformed Church in America, Anabaptist Family and Friends Family.

Non-Christian Faiths

The non-Christian faiths account for 4% of the total adult population in Nebraska. The Non-Christian faiths include the Buddhists, Hindus, while other faiths make up 1% each, Jewish, Muslim and other world religions account for less than 1% each. The other faiths include Unitarian, deist, humanist, eclectic, spiritual but not religious, pagan/Wiccan, new age, and Native American religions. Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings and philosophies of the Buddha. The Jewish religion, also known as Judaism, is a religion based on the culture and teachings of the Jewish people. Hinduism is an Indian way of life, and it is said to be the oldest religion in the world. The major Native American religions included Earth Lodge Religion, Indian shaker religion, ghost dances, longhouse religion, mexicyotl, Native American church, and waashat religion. Deists practice deism, and it is a religion whereby the followers link the existence of nature to prove that there is God, they do not believe in miracles.

Unaffiliated

The unaffiliated, also known as religious nones make up 20% of the population of the state. The unaffiliated include atheists 1%, agnostic 4%, and those who subscribe to nothing in particular, making up 15%. Atheists do not believe in any divine or sacred supernatural being while agnostics are of the belief that the existence of God is not known. Agnosticism is usually referred to a set of beliefs and not a religion.

Don’t Know

There are also a group of people who are undecided on what religion they follow and they make up 1% of the population of Nebraska. These people are not sure whether they subscribe to any religious beliefs or not.

Religious Beliefs

According to research carried out on a sample population in 2014, about 66% of the adult population in Nebraska was sure they believe in God while 9% did not believe in God. 54% found religion to be important in their lives, and 39% attended religious service at least once a week. 52% of the population prayed daily, 21% weekly and 18% rarely prayed or did not pray at all. 34% of the select population said they look to religion for guidance on right and wrong, 10% said they look to philosophy or reason and the highest number, 46%, said they use common sense. A more substantial percentage, 52%, rarely read scriptures with 30% reported reading scriptures at least once a week.

What Is The Religious Composition Of The Adult Population Of Nebraska?

Religion % of adherents in total population

Christian 75%
Non Christian Faiths 4%
Unaffiliated 20%
Don’t Know 1%

•By Joseph Kiprop

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

What Is the Capital of Nebraska?

The state flag of Nebraska.
The capital city of Nebraska is Lincoln.

Nebraska is the 16th largest state in the US, with an area of approximately 77,347.81 square miles. It is a landlocked state that joined the Union on March 1, 1867, as the 38th state of the United states of America. As at 2016, the state’s population was estimated at 1.907 million. Omaha is the largest city in the state, while Lincoln is its capital and the second largest city.

Overview of the Capital City of Nebraska

Lincoln covers an area of approximately 93.46 square miles. Lancaster County and Seward County are the two metropolitan areas of the city. The United States Census Bureau estimated the population of Lincoln at 280,364 in 2016, and a population density of about 2,999.8/square mile.

Climate of Lincoln

Lincoln is located on the Great Plains, and its climate is rarely influenced by large water bodies or mountains. It experiences a humid continental climate characterized by cold but dry winters and hot, humid summers. Thunderstorms that produce tornadoes characterize the warmer months. The winter season occurs from early October through late April, with an average snow level of about 25.9 inches. The daily temperature averages 4.6 °F in January, but rises to 77.6 °F in July.

How Did Lincoln Become the Capital of Nebraska?

After the creation of Nebraska Territory in 1854, Omaha served as its capital city, although a large part of the population lived south of the Platte River. After Kansas threatened to annex part of its southern territory, Nebraska considered moving the capital south of the river. Senators voted in favor of the action and the Removal Act of 1867, which advocated for the formation of a commission that would identify public land where the city would be located. The commission chose the village of Lancaster due to its flat terrain and low population. Lancaster was later renamed Lincoln on September 6, 1867. On December 1, 1868, the Nebraska State Capitol was completed.

Economy of Lincoln

The capital city of Nebraska is a categorized as a mid-sized American city. Its economy largely depends on the manufacturing and service sectors. The telecommunication, transport, pharmaceutical, insurance, and technology industries also play significant roles in the economy. The Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) estimated the unemployment rate of the city’s metropolitan area at 2.6%. Hourly wages have increased by 11% since 2014 for both the private and public sectors. The healthcare and medical sectors are among the largest employers in the city, employing about 14,000 people, including medical support staff.

Government of Lincoln

The city is governed by a mayor-council government. The city council consists of a mayor and seven members, four elected in a nonpartisan election from the districts and three members at-large. The state and federal government offices are located within the city, including the Fire and Rescue Department and other emergency services.

Landmarks in Nebraska's Capital City

The Nebraska State Capitol in downtown Lincoln is home to the judicial and executive offices of the state, and is among the most recognized buildings in the US. The William Jennings Bryan House, built between 1902 and 1903, is a historic house that has been declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963. The Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle, and the Medieval Bishop's Palace are also major landmarks.

•By Victor Kiprop

•culled from www.worldatlas.com


The 10 Biggest Cities In Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska.
Omaha is the most populated city in Nebraska.

The US state of Nebraska is located in the Midwestern region of the country. The state’s population was estimated to be 1,920,076 individuals in 2017 which made it the country’s 37th most populous state. It is America’s 16th largest state and spans an area of 200,356 square km. 89% of Nebraska’s cities have less than 3,000 residents. The state also has hundreds of towns with a population below 1,000 individuals. The state has 93 counties.

The municipalities of Nebraska are divided into several classes. Those with a population of 300,000 or more are called metropolitan class city. Only Omaha qualifies for this label. Municipalities with a population ranging from 100,000 to 299,999 are called primary class cities. Again, only one city, Lincoln, is part of this class. Cities with a population ranging from 5,000 to 99,000 are called first class cities. Second class cities and villages have populations of 800 to 4,999 and 100 to 800, respectively. Nebraska has 30 first-class and 116 second-class cities. It has 382 villages.

The Five Largest Cities In Nebraska

1. Omaha

With a population of 408,958 individuals, Omaha, the county seat of Douglas County, is the most populated city in Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River. The Omaha Metropolitan Area is the country’s 59th largest metropolitan area. Omaha was founded in 1854. Today, the city houses the headquarters of four Fortune 500 and five Fortune 1000 companies. The offices of other major firms like the Gallup Organization, DLR Group, HDR, Inc., etc., are also present in this city. Omaha also receives a large number of tourists. The Henry Doorly Zoo of the city was ranked as the world’s best zoo by Trip Advisor in 2014.

2. Lincoln

Lincoln is the second biggest city in Nebraska. It is home to a population of around 258,379 individuals. Lincoln is also the state capital and the county seat of Lancaster County. It is the country’s 71st largest city. Lincoln’s history began in 1856 as the village of Lancaster. It was renamed Lincoln in 1867 when it became the capital of the state. The city hosts the country’s second tallest capitol building. The national and state governments are the city’s biggest employers. The University of Nebraska is also situated in Lincoln.

3. Bellevue

With a population of 50,137 individuals, Bellevue is Nebraska’s third biggest city. It is a southern suburb of Omaha and is located in Sarpy County. Settlement in the area began in the 1830s and the city was incorporated in 1855 as a town. It is the oldest continuous town in the state today.

4. Grand Island

The city of Grand Island is located in Hall County where it is the county seat. It is also the main city of the Grand Island metropolitan area. The city is home to a population of 48,520 individuals that makes it the fourth most populated city in Nebraska. Grand Island is the three-time recipient of the All-America City Award given out by the National Civic League.

5. Kearney

The fifth most populous city of Nebraska, Kearny hosts a population of 30,787 individuals. It is the county seat of the Buffalo County. It is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The 10 Biggest Cities In Nebraska

Rank City Population (2010 census) County

1. Omaha 408,958. Douglas
2. Lincoln 258,379. Lancaster
3. Bellevue 50,137. Sarpy
4. Grand Island. 48,520 Hall
5. Kearney 30,787. Buffalo
6. Fremont26,397.  Dodge
7. Hastings24,907. Adams
8. North Platte 24,733.  Lincoln
9. Norfolk 24,210.  Madison
10. Columbus 22,111.  Platte

•By Oishimaya Sen Nag

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Religious Beliefs In Montana

Christianity is popular through Montana state. 
Christianity is by far the largest religion in Montana.

The state of Montana is situated in the North Western region of US. Montana is one of the least populous states in the United States. The state is home to approximately one million residents. Montana accommodates diverse religions within its population. Christianity is the dominant religion in Montana with 65% of the adult religious population professing Christianity, while 30% of the state’s adult population has no religious affiliation. Other minority religious groups are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and others who make up approximately 5% of the adult population.

Largest Religions in Montana

Christianity

Christians are the majority religious community in the state of Montana. The first missionaries to arrive in Montana came in 1847 and they established the St. Mary’s Mission. The group comprised of Catholic missionaries who introduced Christianity in the area. Other Christian groups immigrated into Montana in the 19th and 20th centuries in search of work along the railroads and in the mines. Currently, Protestants make up the largest Christian group in Montana taking 44% of the adult religious population. Catholics make up 17% of the Christians while other minority Christian groups such as Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Orthodox only make up 3% of the adult population.

Judaism

Judaism was once a thriving religion in Montana in the late 19th century. The first Jews to settle in Helena area in Montana arrived from Germany. The Jewish people came to work in the gold mines of Montana during the Gold rush era. The Jewish community largely contributed to the economic growth of Helena town doing business and working in the gold mines. Temple Emanu-El was the first Jewish temple in the region established in 1891. The temple was sold to the state of Montana after the Jews in the area declined. Today, the structure is classified as a National Historic site which is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Helena. The Jewish community in Montana has significantly declined to make up less than 1% of the adult population.

Islam

Muslims are a minority community in Montana. They make up less than 1% of the adult population in the state. The first Muslims to settle in Montana came in the 20th century. Most of them relocated from Islamic regions to Montana seeking work and education. The Muslims in Montana have numerous Islamic centers spread throughout the state where they offer support to fellow Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

Buddhism

Buddhists are a minority religious group in Montana making up approximately 1% of the state’s adult population. However, in the past few years, the community of Buddhist worshippers throughout Montana has been steadily growing. The growth has been attributed to increasing popularity of Buddhism in the West. Montana is home to numerous Buddhist centers where people gather to learn about the religion.

Religious Diversity in Montana

Montana is a place of diverse religious beliefs. The state has countless religious centers that are managed by different faith groups. Montana grants the freedom of worship to all its residents. Additionally, Montana has created laws that protect minority religious groups from discrimination. Nonetheless, some religious minorities such as Jews and Muslims still suffer harassment from conservative members of the society.

•By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com


Biggest Cities In Montana

Downtown Billings, the biggest city in Montana.
Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana, and hosts a population of 166,855 people.

The State Of Montana

Montana is located in the western region of the US. This state shares a border with Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming. It encompasses an area of 147,040 square miles which contain both prairies and mountain ranges. The population of Montana is 1,032,949. Many people live in rural areas of the state, although some large populations can be found in the cities and towns. This article inspects some of the most populated cities in Montana.

The Biggest Cities In Montana

Billings

Billings is the largest city in Montana with a population of 104,170, although the entire metropolitan area has approximately 166,855 people. This city is the county seat of Yellowstone County and is located in the southern part of the state. The racial demographics of Billings are White (89.6%), Hispanic or Latino (5.2%), Native American (4.4%), African American (.8%), and Asian (.7%).

The first European explorers to this area arrived in 1806 followed by settlers in 1877. Billings was officially founded in 1882. Because of its close proximity to the Northern Pacific Railway, the city quickly grew. In the early 1900’s, oil, natural gas, and coal reserves were discovered here, promoting continued growth. After World War II, Billings became a major center for financial and medical services. Today, Billings hosts corporate headquarters and is a major shopping center for residents from nearby states due to no state sales tax.

Missoula

Missoula is second on the list of the biggest cities in Montana with a population size of 66,788. The racial makeup of this city is 92.1% White, 2.9% Hispanic or Latino, 2.8% Native American, 1.2% Asian, and .5% African American. The average age is 30.9 years and women slightly outnumber men.

This city was originally established in 1860 as a trading post. It began to grow significantly after the Northern Pacific Railway was finished in 1883. After this, Missoula’s lumber industry thrived until the late 1990’s. Today, the economy centers around the University of Montana, the largest employer in the city. The second and third largest employers are the two hospitals located here. Tourism also plays a large part in the economy as over 4 million visitors come to Missoula every year.

Great Falls

With a population of 58,505, Great Falls is the third biggest city in Montana. This city is the county seat of Cascade County, and its entire metropolitan area has a population of approximately 82,278. The average age of the residents is 39 years, and the racial demographics are White (88.5%), Native American (5%), Hispanic or Latino (3.4%), African American (1.1%), and Asian (.9%).

The first European explorers to the area arrived in 1805, and by the 1820’s, this site was a fur-trapping destination. Settlers began establishing homes here in 1855 and in 1883, Great Falls was founded and began to grow slowly. For the better part of the 20th century, this city was an industrial and supply center. From 1950 until 1970, it was the largest city in Montana, surpassed by Billings. In the latter years of the 20th century, the economy and population size began to decline. Great Falls was the second most populated city in Montana until 2000 when Missoula took its place. The nearby waterfalls were developed with hydroelectric dams. Additionally, the Malmstrom Air Force Base and 341st Missile Wing are located in this city.

Other urban areas can be seen in the chart published below.

Environmental Problems In Montana

The state of Montana is currently experiencing significant temperature increases, particularly in the cities where concrete holds in solar heat. Glacier National Park is located here and has lost a large percentage of its glacier coverage in the last few decades. The US Environmental Protection Agency has predicted that air pollution will increase by 80% in this state.

The Biggest Cities In Montana

Rank Name County Population (2010)

1. Billings Yellowstone. 104,170
2. Missoula Missoula. 66,788
3. Great Falls Cascade. 58,505
4. Bozeman Gallatin. 37,280
5. Butte Silver Bow. 33,525
6. Helena Lewis and Clark. 28,190
7. Kalispell Flathead. 19,927
8. Havre Hill. 9,310
9. Anaconda Deer Lodge. 9,298
10. Miles City Custer. 8,410
11. Belgrade Gallatin. 7,389
12. Livingston Park. 7,044
13. Laurel Yellow stone. 6,718
14. Whitefish Flat head. 6,357
15. Lewistown Fergus.  5,901
16. Sidney Richland. 5,191
17. Glendive Dawson.  4,935
18. Columbia Falls Flathead.  4,688
19. Polson Lake. 4,488
20. Hamilton Ravalli. 4,348
21. Dillon Beaverhead. 4,134
22. Hardin Big Horn. 3,505
23. Shelby Toole. 3,376
24. Glasgow Valley.  3,250
25. Deer Lodge Powell. 3,111
26. Cut Bank Glacier.  2,869
27  Libby Lincoln. 2,628
28. Wolf Point Roosevelt. 2,621
29. Conrad Pondera.  2,570
30.  Colstrip Rosebud. 2,214
31. Red Lodge Carbon. 2,125
32. Malta Phillips. 1,997
33.  East Helena Lewis and Clark. 1,984
34. Columbus Stillwater. 1,893
35. Townsend Broadwater. 1,878
36. Ronan Lake. 1,871
37. Three Forks Gallatin. 1,869
38. Stevensville Ravalli. 1,809
39. Roundup Musselshell. 1,788
40. Forsyth Rosebud. 1,777
41. Baker Fallon. 1,741
42. Plentywood Sheridan. 1,734
43. Choteau Teton. 1,684
44. Big Timber Sweet Grass. 1,641
45. Manhattan Gallatin. 1,520
46. Fort Benton Chouteau. 1,464
47. Thompson Falls Sanders. 1,313
48. West Yellowstone Gallatin. 1,271
49.  Chinook Blaine. 1,203
50. Boulder Jefferson. 1,183
51. Plains Sanders. 1,048
52. Whitehall Jefferson. 1,038
53. Eureka Lincoln. 1,037
54. Scobey Daniels. 1,017
55. Browning Glacier. 1,016
56  Harlowton Wheatland. 997
57. White Sulphur Springs Meagher. 939
58.  Troy Lincoln. 938

•By Amber Pariona

•culled from www.worldatlas.com


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