Faces of the World: Laos
Our Laotian faces are a man and woman in traditional Laotian dress.
Laos is home to many ethnic groups, the dominate ones being Lao, Khmu, and Hmong. Loas was once colonized by the French, but they gained their independence in 1953. Laos is mainly Buddhist.
Faces of the World: Lebanon
Our Lebanese faces are, Lebanon born and raised American Actor, Haaz Sleiman, and Lebanese singer/actress, May Hariri.
Haaz has been in all kinds of American TV series and movies.
Historically, Lebanon was home to the Canaanite-Phoenicians, then followed the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans Turks, and finally the French. Lebanon is ethnically diverse place with a very enriched/fused culture. Lebanon officially gained its independence from France in 1943. Lebanon is nearly equally Muslim and Christian, but Muslims do have the majority.
Face of the World: Germany
Our German faces are actor Ken Duken, from Heidelberg, and actress Josefine Preuss, from Brandenburg.
Historically speaking, Germany was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, which consisted at times of modern day Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, as well as parts of eastern France, northern Italy, Slovenia, and western Poland. Naturally a lot of cultural fusion has taken place between in Germany and all these countries in general. Germany is mainly Christian and has been called “Das Land der Dichter und Denker” (The land of poets and thinkers), because of the major role its writers and philosophers have played in the development of Western thought.
Faces of the World: Guatemala
Our Guatemalan faces are a young man and woman of Indigenous Mayan origin.
A lot of people in Guatemala came from the Ancient Meso-American Civilization of the Mayan Empire. Although Spanish Conquistadors explored, settled, and colonized in the region, the distinct Mayan people and culture still exists there. The two Guatemalan ethnic groups today are the Mestizo (48%), though 41% are various indigenous peoples. The main religion today is Christianity. In addition to colonization of the Spanish, Guatemala was also colonized by Mexico. They gained their independence in 1823.
Faces of the World: Trinidad and Tobago
Our Trinidadian faces are a carnival goer from Port of Spain, and the famous Nikki Minaj, who was born in St. James. Both are mixed with African and East Indian ancestry.
Trinidad and Tobago is a twin Island country and though closer to South America, is culturally much like the Caribbean. Trinidad especially is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. It has changed hands between many colonist, such as the Spaniards, the British, French, and even the Dutch. Some of the colonist brought slaves and indentured servants from Africa and India. Over time, people culturally diffused and intermarried. Tobago remains more distinctly African, but Trinidad is so diverse that Trinidadians are known to claim they are not African, or Indian (which are the largest ethnic groups of the island), but they are Trinidadian.
The main ethnic groups of Trinidad are: Indian, African, Carib and Arawak (Amerindian), Spanish and Portuguese. The main religions of Trinidad are: Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.
Faces of the World: New Zealand
Our New Zealander faces are a young Maori man and woman. Before British colonization of the Island, this lush fertile wonderland was inhabited by the Indigenous Polynesian Maori since around the 13th Century ACE. The Island was isolated until about the mid 1600s, when Dutch explorers happened upon the Island. There was a fight and no one visited again until the British about 100 years later. The Maori developed a distinct and unique culture with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts and performing arts.
New Zealand is an “Independent Dominion” of the so called British Empire and the main religion is Christianity.
Faces of the World: Estonia
Our Estonian faces are Johann Urb, an Actor from Tallinn, and Kerli (Kerli Kõiv), a famous singer/songwriter, from Elva.
*She is one of my favorite singers actually. Love her!
Although Estonia is home to several European Ethnic groups, the two main ones are Estonians and Russians. In the early parts of Estonian History, the region was much influenced by the Nordic peoples. Eventually Estonia was almost absorbed by the Russian Empire, but the Estonian people resisted and held onto to their cultural identity. However, when the Russian Empire fell and the Soviet Union rose, and after being occupied by Germany and Soviet Russia, Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union.
Estonia became independent in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. Many Estonians have been culturally fused and ethnically mixed with Norse/Germanic and Russian people. 28% of Estonians are Christian. Also, Estonia has a large Agnostic population of 22%, and 15% is Atheist. This is pretty common in a lot of former Soviet and even Communist countries. In communist countries, Nationalism takes precedence to religion. Some communist governments had/have banned or outlawed religion.