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Zuid-Beveland

Zuid-Beveland is part of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands north of the Western Scheldt and south of the Eastern Scheldt. It is a former island, now peninsula, crossed by the Canal through Zuid-Beveland on the west and the Scheldt–Rhine Canal on the east, it consists of four municipalities: Borsele Goes Kapelle ReimerswaalGoes is Zuid-Beveland's principal urban center. Zuid-Beveland is a former island, joined to the mainland by a railway embankment in 1903 and to Noord-Beveland by the Delta Works. A shipping canal connecting the Belgian port of Antwerp with the Rhine River traverses Zuid-Beveland; this was the period. The area was and for several centuries would remain unpeopled. During the eleventh century the area began to be drained, as little by little polders and channels were developed to protect the fields between them. Once drained, salt levels began to reduce and the soil became fertile. Agriculture developed and prosperity grew. In the thirteenth century villages and towns began to appear.

People lived chiefly from fishing. The commercial centre of Zuid-Beveland was Goes, but Reimerswaal to the east, which would be destroyed by floods played an important role at this time; as a result of the St. Felix's flood in November 1530, much of the island disappeared under water. Towns and villages were lost to; the island was again badly impacted forty years in November 1570 by the All Saints' Day Flood. Between 1568 and 1648, during the course of what by its weary end had become the Eighty Years' War, the surviving lands of Zuid-Beveland were in the military theatre of operations. During most of this period the economy of the Netherlands slowed or contracted, with the exception of the agricultural sector. However, the region benefited from advances in transportation, connected in 1868 to Roosendaal by railroad with the inauguration of the Zeeland Line, the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway. In 1850 work began on the Zuid-Beveland Canal which linked the Western Scheldt and the Eastern Scheldt across a narrow neck of land in the east of the province.

The construction in 1871 of the Sloedam, topped off with a roadway and a railway track, across the old Sloe Channel, connected Zuid-Beveland with Walcheren. On 16 May 1940, heavy fighting occurred near Kapelle between German and French motorised troops, who came to the rescue of the Dutch; the next day 65 French soldiers were buried by the local people. After World War II every French soldier, killed in the Netherlands during the war was brought to Kapelle. On 16 May 1950, the military cemetery on the edge of town was opened. 217 French soldiers, 20 Moroccan soldiers in French service and 1 Belgian soldier were buried there. The area was liberated by British and Canadians during the Battle of the Scheldt in November 1944. In the night of 31 January and the morning of 1 February 1953 a heavy flood occurred in the southwest of the Netherlands, resulting in 1,836 deaths; because of the relative high altitude, the most part of Zuid-Beveland was safe. In particular the eastern part of the peninsula suffered from floods.

To prevent future floods, the Delta Works were started in 1950. As a side-effect, the connection with the rest of the country improved too; the soil consists of clay. The landscape is dominated by dikes surrounding polders, due to recurring periods of floods and land reclamation; the main land-use is agricultural, of which consists of crop cultivation and fruit orchards. Urban land-use is limited to several smaller towns and villages. Industrial activities are concentrated in the west of the peninsula. Agriculture, in particular crop cultivation, livestock breeding and fruit orchards are the economic mainstays. South Beveland specializes in the growing of wheat, sugar beets, fruits and is known for its fisheries and oyster culture. Zuid-Beveland is home to Europe's largest greenhouse, located near Kapelle; the Zak van Zuid-Beveland is Zuid-Beveland's main touristic attraction. In spring the blooming trees and the small-scale landscape make for a popular place for outdoor activities; the historic steam train from Goes to Borssele crosses this area.

The many waters surrounding Zuid-Beveland are a popular place for water sports, in particular the Veerse Meer. The main road in Zuid-Beveland is the motorway A58, connecting Eindhoven; the highway A256/N256 connects the peninsula to the north. The highway N62 is the connection to the south, by means of the Western Scheldt Tunnel: a 6.6 kilometres tunnel under the Western Scheldt estuary between Ellewoutsdijk and Terneuzen. It is the longest tunnel for highway traffic in The Netherlands and replaced the former ferry between Kruiningen and Perkpolder 2003. More or less parallel to the motorway, a railroad connects Zuid-Beveland to Roosendaal, the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway, with stations in Goes, Kapelle-Biezelinge, Kruiningen-Yerseke, Rilland-Bath and Krabbendijke. A cargo railroad connects the main railway with the industrial area Sloe, near Flushing. A historical steam train connects Goes and Hoedekenskerke, but this railroad nowadays only serves touristic purposes; the Western Scheldt is an important shipping route to the Port of Antwerp.

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Festival Músicas do Mundo

Festival Músicas do Mundo known as FMM Sines is a yearly music festival in Portugal that takes place every July in Sines, in the Alentejo region of Portugal, since 1999. It is organised by the city council, is regarded as the biggest "world music" event organized in Portugal, dedicated to folk and traditional music, while encompassing many other genres. FMM was created in 1999 with the intent of giving a fresh use to the town's castle; the monument was the birthplace of Vasco da Gama, the festival, showing the diversity of musical expressions in the world and remembers the intercultural revolution brought about by the navigator's travels. Today, the festival goes beyond its original physical boundaries and way beyond any kind of historical justification; the philosophy is to bring people together through the emotion of discovering new music from other cultures. The festival is focused on the circuit of world music, which implies a eclectic programming, with genres including jazz, blues, reggae, classical music, fado, klezmer, avant-garde, Tuvan throat singing, electronic dance music, rock music.

The festival takes place in Sines’ historical centre and the village of Porto Covo, 13km south of Sines. All the venues are outdoors, except for the Arts Centre; the Castle holds a maximum of 6,500 people, Porto Covo 8,000 and the Beach Stage 15,000. Since 1999, the total audience of FMM amounts to 240,000 people. Artists featured throughout the years include Shemekia Copeland, Omar Sosa, Taraf de Haïdouks, Black Uhuru feat. Sly & Robbie, Cui Jian, Céu, Tinariwen, Sa Dingding, Kronos Quartet, The Skatalites, Gaiteiros de Lisboa, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Tom Zé, Femi Kuti, Hermeto Pascoal, Marc Ribot, KTU, Master Musicians of Jajouka, Konono Nº1, Staff Benda Bilili, Señor Coconut, Trilok Gurtu, Toumani Diabaté, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Mahmoud Ahmed, Salif Keita, Gogol Bordello, Seun Kuti, Nortec Collective and Alamaailman Vasarat. FMM has received abundant praise from the artists alike. In 2000, Jacques Dénis, from French daily Libération, wrote: "In Sines, it's world music in the move". In 2001, L’Humanité's Patrick Koan said: "An impeccable programme for the quality of its concerts and its balance".

In 2005, FMM was considered "one of the best festivals in Europe" on Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen's website. The Bad Plus American jazz trio wrote in their blog: "The festival seems to be one of the most serious parties around"; the same year Iraqi singer Farida said that FMM was "one of the five best festivals" she had taken part. In 2007, Malian singer Oumou Sangaré called it "the festival of joy". Official website

Mokumokuren

Mokumokuren are yōkai in Japanese mythology. The Mokumokuren live in torn shoji, although they can be found in tatami floor mats and in walls; the name "Mokumokuren" means "many eyes" or "continuous eyes". The Mokumokuren is considered by the Japanese to be one of the traditional inhabitants of haunted houses; the only way to remove the spirit from the wall is to patch up the holes in it. Mokumokuren are said to be an invention of Toriyama Sekien. A stingy traveling merchant once tried to save money by sleeping in an abandoned house rather than sleeping in an inn. Waking in the middle of the night, he was confronted by an entire shoji screen staring down at him. Instead of becoming scared, he removed the eyeballs from the screen and sold them to a local eye surgeon. In another story, a traveler was determined to remain in the same house as a Mokumokuren, attempting to ignore it by wrapping the blanket he had been sleeping beneath around his head; when he awoke, he discovered that his eyeballs had been removed, were nowhere to be found.

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō