CULTURES

A few years ago Ulaanbaatar was a sleepy backwater – not anymore. Multinational corporations now sponsor star wrestlers, while amateurs often combine day jobs in the mines with training and competition. Mongolia’s national sport is changing the country’s image
In an increasingly health-conscious China, tourists are flocking to a small village in the south fabled for aged residents and life-giving natural properties
A Spanish cultural divide has been ripped open by the overturning of Catalonia’s bullfighting ban
Two islands, divided by an international border and separated by geopolitics, are on the verge of being reunited. But will fractured US-Russian relations stand in the way?
The Rio Olympic carnival kicks into action this week, but last year Brazil saw competitors gathering for a very different festival of sport
While all eyes are on the world’s best athletes in Rio this summer, Geographical looks at the equally competitive, if slightly older, veterans still competing well into their old age
Korea, insular and little-known to the Western world, was once dubbed the Hermit Kingdom. Today, given South Korea’s remarkable economic growth, it has earned another name – the land of miracles. Simon Winchester trekked the country hosting the Olympic Games
In the run up to the Rio Olympics, the legacy of the £6billion 2004 Athens Olympics has been laid bare in these revealing images
Olive oil soap from Crete was once the toast of the Mediterranean. Entrepreneurial, nature-loving Cretans are now taking the island’s soap-making tradition to new levels
Bedouin pastoralists have inhabited the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa for thousands of years. Today, however, many are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their traditional semi-nomadic way of life
Canada’s Inuit population is beginning a year-long project to amalgamate its varying written characters in order to create a common alphabet
The widely reported shaving of thousands of Muslim men in Tajikistan is the latest in a series of strict measures adopted by the country in recent years
In southwest France, Chris Fitch finds himself seduced by a unique Basque cultural identity that preserves its heritage with a stubborn yet admirable passion

Building a Republic

Isolated and battered by storms and earthquakes, the relatively new nation of Vanuatu struggles at times to survive. Marco Magrini marvels at how a land of diversity overcomes immense hardship

Austria by rail

If you want to see the ‘high hills’ or ‘lonely goatherds’ of Austria, Hazel Southam discovers there’s no better way than taking the train
Hazel Southam investigates how a 17th century practical joke in Austria, led to a 19th century water sustainability project that’s still going strong today

France’s lawless lands

Far from the Château de Versailles, indigenous people in remote French Guiana are French citizens inadvertently living outside the law
French food is formally recognised by UNESCO as World Intangible Heritage. However, the southern region of Provence is using gastronomy to bolster its own identity

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