Austria is a country of nearly 9 million people in Central Europe. The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.8 million, is Vienna. Other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955.
As one of the most glamorous and exotic destinations in Asia, Hong Kong is a special administrative region located on the southern coast of the People Republic of China. The name Hong Kong translates into “fragrant harbor” traditionally due to the natural sweet water and the incense factories that would lie on the banks.
Occupied by the British and Japanese for a long time, it officially became independent in 1997 and is nowadays considered one of the most important financial centers and expensive cities with a GDP of 412 billion dollars. Hong Kong is also one of the most densely populated places on the planet with a characteristic architecture featuring Cantonese and colonial traditions.
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen.
Often considered a dream destination, the Philippines is the nation of green rice fields, never sleeping megacities, and volcanoes.
The Philippines, located in South-East Asia, has more than 7,000 islands all preserving amazing beaches, and marine life. The land is highly populated given that it sits at the 12th most populous countries in the world with a growth rate at 2%. In 1946 the Philippines gained independence after years of strikes against the American and Spanish sovereignty.
Paraguay is one of only two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia). It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de Sudamérica ("Heart of South America").
Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe. Before becoming the country that is today the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Swabian, Visigoths and Arabs dominated and passed by the western part of the Iberic peninsula. Given the long history and developed culture, Portuguese language, people, and inventions arrived to influence many parts of the world.
For instance, the Portuguese were the first Europeans explorer to arrive in the unknown lands of America and Africa. Portugal went on to establish many colonies and create its own monopolies. Brazil was discovered in 1500 and became Portugal’s richest colony.
With Spring Break (for those of you who get the time off) about a week away, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you well with the rest of the semester and offer a few thoughts about current events and their implications for many of you. It is not my intent to make this a political commentary, but I want to be sure to express my concerns for the many of you who might be feeling insecure or vulnerable right now as things rapidly change in the national scene. Here’s what I want to say:
Duke Dining Announces West Union Restaurant Vendors
Duke Dining has announced the eight vendors that will operate the thirteen restaurants coming to the new West Union.
Director of Duke Dining, Robert Coffey said, “In keeping up with Duke’s first-class reputation the West Union Building will be one of the finest, state-of-the-art dining facilities in the country. The vendors that we have selected for this facility will be capable of producing world-class innovative food that has never been attempted in a University setting.”
Devil’s Krafthouse, offering pub fare and a wide selection of microbrew beers, will be operated by Andy Magowan of local Durham restaurants, Geer Street Garden and The Boot.
Dr. Maya Angelou delivered the convocation address to incoming Duke students for the past 24 years. With her passing, we offer A Brave and Startling Truth, which she delivered to the Class of 2016. The poem was first delivered in June 1995, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
A Brave and Startling Truth
written by Maya Angelou
Dedicated to the hope for peace, which lies, sometimes hidden, in every heart.
We, the people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth.