A - H , Q - Z
I - Ireland
Diet -As an agricultural country, Ireland produces many fresh vegetables. Fresh dairy products, breads, and seafood are also widely available. Potatoes are a staple food. Apples, oranges, and pears have long been integral to the Irish diet but are now being joined by a wider variety of fruits that have become available since Ireland joined the European Union . Smoked salmon is considered an Irish specialty, as are Irish stew and Irish lamb. Tea is the most common drink. Breakfast usually are large, including such foods as bacon and eggs. The main meats eaten for dinner include chicken, pork, beef, and mutton.
Recreation-The Irish are sports oriented, and most weekends include some sporting activities for the family or individual. Popular sports include the two national pastimes: Gaelic football and hurling , Hurling is played on a soccer-type field with wooden sticks and a small leather ball. Gaelic football is played with a round ball and seems like a cross between soccer and basketball. Players can touch the ball with their hands, but they cannot pick it up from the ground. The ball is punched, not thrown, and it can be kicked. Teams score for getting the ball into a soccer-type net but can also make points for putting it over the top of the goal. Soccer, rugby, sailing, cycling, golf, and horse racing are also favorite activities. Ireland's national soccer team competed in the 1994 World Cup. Fishing is also a common recreational activity, featuring mainly trout and salmon fishing.
Ireland's music industry is flourishing and has a strong international reputation. Contemporary rock often mixes elements of tradional folk music to create a unique style popular throughout the world. When strictly tradional music is played, one or more of the following instruments is usually involved: fiddle, guitar, banjo, tin whistle, button accordion, concertina, and harp.
Health--Ireland's population is generally healthy. Well-equipped public medical clinics are located throughout Ireland. Care in public medical clinics are located throughout Ireland. Care in public hospitals is provided at government cost. Many people choose to go to private doctors and facilities to avoid the waiting lists and other inconveniences of the public system. Long-term medical services are free to persons with infectious diseases and to children suffering from certain conditions. The infant mortality rate is 7 per 1,000. Life expectancy averages between 73 and 79 years.
J - Jamica
Diet--Jamaican food is generally very spicy. Breatkast usually includes akee and salt fish, the national dish. Other favorites include rice and peas or beans, stews, and various types of fish. Fish may be eaten at least twice a week. Curries are popular. Curried goat is a common meal. Most meals are served with rice and peas (red beans) and may also include boiled green bananas or fried dumplings . A typical salad includes cabbage and carrots. Vegetables (yams, green peppers,etc,) and fruits (mangoes, bananas, papaya, pineapple, oranges ,grapefruit, tomatoes) play an important role in the diet. Fruit is plentiful and one or more types is usually in season. Jerk is a favorite of Jamaicans and visitors alike. It is a spicy hot piece of barbecued pork or chicken, roasted in open pits or on makeshift grills. Jerk is often served with a bland, harddough bread. Bammy (cassava/manioc bread) is a standard food; it is still prepared in the style of the Arawak Indians. Bammy with fried fish is a frequent combination, as is festival (fried dough) with fish. Many enjoy Indian and Chinese dishes. Drinks made from boiled roots, herbal teas, fruit juices, and a variety of alcoholic beverages are common. Coffee and tea are popular; all hot drinks are customarily called tea (coffee, cocoa, green tea, etc.) Beer and white rum are especially popular. Women usually do not drink alcohol in public.
Recreation--Cricket and football (soccer) are the most popular sports in Jamaica. Dominoes is the favorite indoor game. Many also enjoy table tennis, field hockey, tennis, and athletics (track and field). Girls play netball in school. Music of all types,theater, and dancing are popular activities. Comedies written and performed in Patois are popular. Young Jamaicans enjoy reggae, Social Calypso (SOCA), and dance hall music. The latter incorporates elements of reggae, disco, and rap. SOCA is popular during Carnival, a grand springtime festival involving parades, costumes, and parties. A frequent pastime is listening outside of rum bars to prerecorded music from stereo systems.
People attend discos, community centers, and clubs. Other leisure activities include going to movies and enjoying spectator sports, such as boxing or team competitions. Various festivals, community events, and church activities provide entertainment and recreation. Jamaicans also take advantage of the many outdoor activities their island offers
Health--Most large towns
or cities have a hospital. Medical clinics are community based
and are available across Jamaica. The public health-care system
covers basic care for all citizens at no or low cost. Fees might
be required in some cases or for more complicated care. Private
facilities are available. Kingston and resort areas have doctors
available 24 hours a day. Facilities and care are generally of
high quality. Piped water is safe to drink.. The infant mortality
rate is 16 per 1,000. Life expectancy has risen in recent years
to between 72 and 77 years.
K - Kenya
Diet--The most common meats in Kenya are goat, beef,lamb, chicken, and fish. Milk, ugali (a stiff dough made from cornmeal, millet, or sorghum), uji (porridge made from ugali ingredients), red bean stew, kitumbua (fried bread), githeri (corn and beans), and chapati (a flat bread) are staple foods. Popular fruits include pineapples, mangoes, oranges. bananas, and papaya. Also common are sweet potatoes and avocados.
Recreation--Soccer is the most popular team sport. Soccer leagues exist throughout the nation. Highly organized, although poorly equipped, leagues even operate in the poorest areas. They give urban youth a chance to develop discipline, teamwork, and physical skills. Track-and-field activities join soccer as the national sports. Kenya has produced some world-famous runners and other athletes. Many people enjoy wrestling, tug-of-war, and a tradional pebble or seed board game (sometimes called bao or ajua). The Kenyan National Theater offers drama, concerts, and dance programs. Homemade drums and guitars commonly accompany dancing in rural areas. Storytelling, riddles, and proverbs are popular.
of all Kenyans have access to basic health care. Rural Kenyans
continue to rely on traditional healing methods, but progress
has been made in providing them with medical facilities, better
sanitation, and other social services. Infant mortality rates
have dropped and life expectancy has risen since the 1980s. The
current infant mortality rate is 74 per 1,000; life expectancy
averages 52 years. The internal refugee problem and ethnic violence
threaten progress in these areas. Diseases are less prevalent
in the highlands than in low-lying areas, where the climate is
less temperate and services less available.
L - Lebanon
Diet-- The main meal of the day is eaten between noon and 3;00p.m. This meal may last two or more hours. Specialties include various meat stews and some vegetarian dishes. A traditional meal for special occasions is the meza. It can be eaten at home or in a restaurant. A large group of people gather for this four-to five-hour event. Several dishes (maybe 20 or more) are all places on the table; each person takes small portions from the dishes as often as desired. Arak, a traditional strong liquor, is served with Middle-Eastern (not European) foods, except among devout Muslims. Kibbeh is a popular beef dish that can be bakes, fried, or eaten raw.
Recreation-- Soccer is the most popular Lebanese sport. People also enjoy swimming at the beaches in the summer. Movies are well attended. Skiing is a popular winter sport. One of the most common leisure activities is simply visiting friends and relatives. This is a common practice throughout the Arab world.. Neglecting relationships by not visiting regularly constitutes improper social behavior. It is also an insult to the persons not being visited
The Lebanese enjoy the cultural arts. Before the war, Beirut was a center for cosmopolitan Arabic culture. Music, literature, and other arts and entertainment are again part of the urban lifestyle. Night clubs and restaurants are popular evening destinations.
care is generally available to all citizens, especially in urban
areas. Public facilities exist, but people usually choose to pay
more for higher quality care in private clinics and hospitals.
Houses usually have two water systems;one for the kitchen that
is chlorinated and safe to drink and one for the rest of the house
that is not potable. The infant mortality rate is 38 per 1,000.
Life expectancy averages between 67 and 73 years.
M - Mexico
Diet--While the early urban breakfast is often light, many rural people ear more substantial food (e,g, hot cereal). The main meal consists of soup, meat or fish, salad, and potatoes. Pastries or ice cream are eaten for a late-afternoon snack. Bread, dairy products, and canned fish are plentiful. Most foods are readily available. Some common dishes include pierogi (stuffed dumplings; stuffings vary); uszka (a kind of ravioli), bigos (sausage, mushrooms, pickled cabbage), braised pork and cabbage, poppy seed desserts, and cheesecake. People purchase bread several times a week, sometimes even daily. Only those who live far from a store eat bread that is more than two days old. Pork is more popular than beef. With the switch to a market economy, more food is available in greater variety, but prices are high and many families spend much of their income on food.
Recreation-- Soccer is popular, but Poles also participate in track-and-field events, cycling, table tennis, skiing, basketball, volleyball, and various individual sports. Bridge is a favorite card game. Attending cultural events and visiting friends are common recreational activities. Poland has a rich heritage in music, art, dancing (e.g., the polka), and literature. Frederic Chopin (1810-48) is Poland's best known musician. His most popular pieces include the "Mazurek" and the "Polonais." Fame also extends to other areas, such as science (Copernicus and Marie Curie were Poles) and politics (King Jan III Sobieski broke the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683).
Health--The government provides health care to all citizens. Facilities generally are accessible but are not up to Western standards. The poor economy has forces hospitals and other clinics to cut some services, to ask patients for donations, and to solicit help from family members in caring for patients. Private care in doctors' offices is better, but one must pay for it. The infant mortality rate is 12 per 1,000. Life expectancy averages 73 years.
N - Netherlands
Diet--Staple foods of Mexico include corn, beans, and chiles. They are combined with spices, vegetables, and meats or fish in the daily meals. Of course, different foods are eaten in different parts of the country, but some are common throughout the nation. For example, cornmeal or flour tortillas are eaten everywhere, either alone as bread or as part of the meal. Some common foods include frijoles refritos (refried beans), torta (hollow roll stuffed with meat or cheeses), quesadilla (tortilla baked with cheese), mole (spicy sauce), taco (folded tortilla filled with meat, cheese, and onions), and many others. Two popular soups are pozole (vegetable soup with pork) and birria (goat soup), enchiladas are tortillas with chicken inside, covered with a hot sauce. Enfrijoladas are chicken-filled tortillas covered with a bean sauce and cheese. Many names of Mexican food and Mexican restaurants are popular in the United States, but many Mexicans doubt the authenticity of U.S.produced Mexican food.
Recreation--Futbol (soccer) is the most popular sport in Mexico. Mexico's national soccer team competed in the 1994 World Cup. The sport that draws the next highest number of spectators is the bullfight. Jai alai, a fast moving type of handball, is both a spectator and participation sport. Other participation sports include baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, and volleyball. Mexicans enjoy their own form of rodeo called charreada, which is often accompanied by a fair-like atmosphere. The people's love for music and dancing is evident in the many recreational activities that involve both. Daylong fiestas and weeklong festivals nearly always include a mariachi band or other type of musical group playing for dancing or just listening. Fireworks, feasts, and bullfights are also common festival activities. Watching television is a favorite leisure activity, especially in urban areas.
are good in large cities, but facilities are limited in rural
areas. Sanitation is a problem in some regions. The infant mortality
rate is 27 per 1,000, and life expectancy ranges from 70-77 years.
O - No Country
P - Poland
Diet--Bread or toast with jelly, Dutch cheese or meats, and coffee or tea are the most common foods fir a Dutch breakfast. The most popular breads include multi-grain and dark-grain varieties. Most people, especially children , eat something sweet on their bread for breakfast or lunch. Typical are chocolate sprinkles (Hagelslag) or chocolate spread. Children often et hot cereal for breakfast. Krentebollen (raisin rolls) are also a favorite. Open-faced sandwiches are common for lunch, as is kroket (a deep -fried sausage). The main meal usually consists of potatoes and gravy with seasonal vegetables and meat or fish. Typical dishes include herring, smoked eel, pea soup, pofferjes (small puffed pancakes served on special occasions), and hutspot (mashed potatoes with carrots and onions).
Dutch pastries are world famous. Favorite snacks include fries (eaten with mayonnaise, not ketchup), stroopwafels (syrup waffles), and Dutch licorice (many varieties). Restaurants in larger towns offer a wide variety of cuisine, and Indonesian food had become an established part of the Dutch diet. Eating out is a special affair and is not as common as in the United States. Most families continue to eat most meals in the home.
popular sport is soccer. The Netherland's national soccer team
competed in the 1994 World Cup. Tennis, field hockey, swimming,
sailing, ice-skating, wind surfing, basketball, badminton, and
many other sports are also enjoyed. Many Dutch participate in
cycling; nearly every person old enough to ride a bicycle has
one. Bike paths(
Fietspaden) run throughout the country. A few Dutch ride in competition, but most ride for their health and for transportation. People ride to work, to go shopping, for fun, or just to get around town. A visitor could easily tour the entire country on a bicycle. People participate in sports through clubs. Games are organized locally, regionally, or nationally depending on the level of the players. Each sport has a national association that oversees its organization.
Some people enjoy korfbal, a sport played on a grass field (or indoors) that combines some principles of soccer and basketball. A ball must pass through a basket high above the players heads for points to be scored. Men and women play together in teams of twelve or eight. Some people in Frieslandplay Kaatsen, a team sport similar to baseball: players hit a small soft ball with the hand. Poles were traditionally used for jumping over ditches, and pole vaulting (for distance, not height) is popular in the north. It is called Fiereljeppen In years when the ice is hard enough, a day-long ice skating race takes place on a route that encompasses Friesland's 11 main towns and involves going across some parts of the sea. As many as 80,000 people participate.
The Dutch and tourists alike take advantage of sandy beaches on the North Sea, although it is windy and the water is often cold. Discos are popular gathering places for young people. Most people also enjoy drams, music, and art. There are more than six hundred museums in the Netherlands, and with good reason; some of the world's most famous artists are Dutch, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh.
Health--Medical facilities are excellent and subsidized by the government. For persons earning less than a specified amount, the government coordinates insurance and health care. Those making over the specified amount are required to have private insurance. The government also provides unemployment and disability benefits. The average life expectancy for the Dutch is 78 years. The infant mortality rate is 6 per 1,000.