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December 30, 2012 | By Sasha Vasilyuk
MOSCOW - On New Year's Eve, dining-room tables across Russia will be covered with a mosaic of glittering red caviar, piroshki, marinated mushrooms, beet salad and herring. Chilled vodka bottles and Champagne flutes will tower over the dishes, reflecting the TV screens where the president - this year, the returned Vladimir Putin - will make his annual toast before the Kremlin bells chime in the new year. In Russia, no other holiday is as beloved or celebrated. For me, New Year's Eve dinners are the brightest culinary memory of the hungry 1990s, when Russian stores sold mainly bread, milk, canned sprats and frozen chicken thighs imported from the U.S. and nicknamed "Bush's thighs.
April 21, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - For decades the Republican Party prided itself for being tough on crime, often putting Democrats on the defensive by pushing for longer, mandatory sentences for convicts. In 1988, that hard-line stance helped sink the presidential dreams of then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was blamed in Republican TV ads for having released convicted killer Willie Horton as part of a weekend furlough program. (Horton failed to return after a furlough and went on to commit robbery and rape.)
March 7, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Millennials stand out among other generations for their optimism over personal finances and America's future, according to a new national survey released Friday by the Pew Research Center. But the upbeat thinking among the 18-to-33-year-old crowd is also marked by near or at record levels of detachment and distrust of traditional institutions, the report also said. “Millennials are forging a distinctive path into adulthood. " said Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center's executive vice president for special projects and author of the new book "The Next America.
April 19, 2014 | By Victoria Looseleaf
Dancer-choreographer Danielle Agami, artistic director of Ate9 Dance Company, dislikes voice mail, cameras and mirrors. Indeed, for someone whose career is so body-centric, the mirror has been noticeably absent in her dance practice for more than a decade. But Israeli-born Agami, 29, has never been one to hew to tradition. When her eight-member troupe premieres her latest full-evening work, "Mouth to Mouth," at Los Angeles Theatre Center April 26 and May 3, expect a supremely idiosyncratic performance.
September 2, 2010 | By Phyllis Glazer, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It may be 7,536 miles away from her own kitchen in Tel Aviv, but I can just see my 95-year-old mother jotting down suggestions for what she thinks my sister in Los Angeles should serve on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year that starts at sundown Wednesday. Her selections are predictable: homemade challah; chicken soup with kneidlach ; vegetarian chopped liver (in the old days it was the real McCoy); roasted chicken (she no longer eats red meat) accompanied by a tzimmes and numerous other side dishes; and a fruit compote with her famous mandelbrot or a honey cake for dessert.
November 30, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
The performing style of the man Angel Marino calls the greatest marimba player ever may help explain why the instrument is so obscure outside the villages along Colombia's Pacific Coast mangroves. "He only played after dark and usually naked," Marino said. Marino, a virtuoso player of the xylophone-like instrument, said that until recently marimba masters kept it hidden from outsiders to preserve its mystical power to drive away evil spirits. The last time the marimba was in the international spotlight, Brian Jones was playing it on the Rolling Stones hit "Under My Thumb.
In dozens of botanicas serving immigrants from Mexico and Central America, Old World folk healers minister to clients in New World Orange County. The curanderos, or healers, use centuries-old traditions that combine mysticism, superstition, herbs, oils and their own touch to help those seeking cures for life's ills. When Jorge Ramirez, a 37-year-old immigrant from Mexico, was down on his luck, his family and friends saw only one way out: a limpia, or spiritual cleansing.
June 3, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Big-brained mammals such as humans and chimpanzees aren't the only creatures that pass on traditions to their young. Even the tiny banded mongoose can pass down learned habits to younger generations, a new study has found. The report, published online Thursday in the journal Current Biology, is the first to show experimentally in the wild that individual animals can pass on strongly held customs and that multiple traditions can coexist in a single population, said lead author Corsin Muller, now an animal cognitive scientist at the University of Vienna.
August 19, 2012 | Steve Lopez
Back when my father's life was coming to an end at an excruciatingly slow pace, my brother and I vowed not to die like that, with so much compromise and indignity. But hanging on seems to be the norm in our culture, thanks to advances in medical technology and the widely held opinion that death is optional. Lots of folks seem convinced that even aging is avoidable - if you just keep getting more work done. Is it like that in other cultures? Last week, I chatted with several people who will speak next weekend at a Claremont Lincoln University bioethics conference, discussing cultural and spiritual traditions about dying, among many other topics.
November 9, 2007
Re "What's in a name," Opinion, Nov. 5 Esther saved Persian Jews from persecution. This is a name to behold and treasure. Jews have survived as a people because of our traditions, not despite them. Marc Sedaka, whose name in Hebrew means "charity," should perhaps be more charitable to Jewish culture and himself, not just his mother. Esther is a beautiful name that symbolizes courage and righteousness. Bernard Hoffman Los Angeles
April 19, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
A votive in a glass holder, etched with the Star of David and the words "In memory," sits on the granite table. "We will remember the terrible tragedy," Ron Wolfson says, referring to the previous day's shootings at two Jewish facilities in Kansas. The three deaths seem particularly painful on this Monday night Seder, which marks the start of Passover, the eight-day Jewish celebration of the Israelites' flight from bondage in Egypt. Wolfson and his wife are gathered in their Encino home with four generations - 16 people in all, family and friends from as far as New York.
April 19, 2014 | By April Orcutt
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - "Don't dip your head into the dark chocolate," a male voice behind me said. Dark melted chocolate swirled in 2-foot-wide pots, filling the air with the scent of cocoa as our group toured the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Kailua Kona on the Big Island. During our weeklong trip to the Big Island in October, my husband, Michael, and I had decided that when we weren't snorkeling, we would explore its back roads, an investigation that soon turned into a do-it-yourself foodie tour of the Kona Coast.
April 18, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
BOSTON - There's a tense excitement running through this city as it prepares for the 118th Boston Marathon, a uniquely Bostonian event, held on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April, which celebrates the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Residents are waiting to see how much of the traditional carefree spirit of Marathon Monday will remain after officials implement security measures to make the 26.2-mile route "the safest place on the...
April 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
In balmy Southern California this week, the polar vortex is putting a chill on Simon Baitler's Passover meals. On Monday night, 21 people dined at his Santa Monica house to celebrate the Jewish holiday. Another 10 were scheduled to be there Tuesday evening. To feed them all, Baitler had to get creative because a winter of historically frigid proportions has caused a shortage of whitefish, a key ingredient in the Seder feast's traditional gefilte fish. Most of the country gets its whitefish from the Great Lakes, which this winter were so thickly caked in ice that they are just now starting to thaw.
April 14, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - E-cigarette companies are preying on young consumers by using candy flavors, social media ads and free samples at rock concerts, according to a report released Monday by Democratic legislators. A survey of nine electronic-cigarette companies found most were taking advantage of the lack of federal regulations to launch aggressive marketing campaigns targeting minors with tactics that would be illegal if used for traditional cigarettes, according to a report released by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.)
April 9, 2014 | By Richard Blanco
What does it take to be a writer: A room of one's own? A weakness for words? To celebrate the Festival of Books , we asked some celebrated authors to recall a turning point in their evolution as writers. How did I decide to become a poet? Well, that's like asking how I decided to fall in love with Mark, my partner of 14 years. I don't think anyone really makes conscious decisions when it comes to matters of love or vocation. Still, I understand the spirit of such a question, which is really asking: How did I meet and fall in love with poetry?
March 5, 2008
Ireally enjoyed your article highlighting the three new African American cookbooks ["Recipes for Remembrance," by Noelle Carter, Feb. 27]. As I'm a Southern boy, many of the ingredients you mentioned are familiar to me, although some of the combinations are different. What fascinates me is the diversity you can find whenever you investigate any food subject. These cookbooks are an excellent example of traditions from subcategories of foods that one might be tempted to lump together, until you read the anecdotes and histories.
December 29, 2013 | By Kavita Daswani
With multi-step rituals performed by Japanese geisha, a 500-year-old book on Korean medicine and an Indonesian great-grandmother's face mask made from turmeric and black tea, local beauty entrepreneurs are using the traditional principles of other cultures for a new wave of intriguing product lines. While many beauty collections are founded on the latest scientific innovations, others are reverting to centuries-old traditions embraced by people in distant lands. The result is a slew of collections with engaging pedigrees.
April 6, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
As motorists crawled along the 110 Freeway below, members of several African American ski organizations gathered for a group photo on the Wilshire Boulevard overpass to celebrate their participation in the ninth CicLAvia festival. “We've been doing this for four years. Never going to stop,” said Bryan Miles, 51, of Los Angeles. The 6.3-mile CicLAvia ride is an off-season event for the 4 Seasons West Ski Club, Winter Fox Ski Assn. and the Snow Busters Ski Club - groups that organize sports outings and raise money so that African American youth can learn to ski. “Oh, this ride is so much fun,” said Robin Shaw, 49, of Rancho Cucamonga.
March 29, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
Wearing a dark blue traditional Iranian garment, Roxanna Ameri followed the rhythm of the music as she marched with others outfitted in festive shades of red, green and purple. Ameri, 18, was among hundreds of Iranians who flocked to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last weekend for the sixth annual Iranian New Year celebration, hosted by the Farhang Foundation, a nonprofit that celebrates Iranian art and culture in Southern California. March 20 commemorates both the first day of spring and the Iranian holiday Nowruz, which translates to "new day. " The holiday, which ends Sunday in the U.S. and on Tuesday in Iran, is a time for Iranians across the globe to gather with family and friends to celebrate spring and the rebirth of nature.
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