Previously, we’ve written about the amazingly unique world that is found in Latin America. This time around we thought that we should write about the lesser known but equally important countries in Eastern Europe. Although not nearly as well travelled as their western European cousins such as France and Spain, their culture, identity and history are hard to deny. We’ve come up with a number of fun facts that we’d like to share:
1. Although you may probably guess Paris or Berlin, the first city in Europe to have electric street lights was Timisoara in what is now Romania. It put up 731 light bulbs in 1882 and they also added an electric tram system by 1899. This made it the second city, after San Fransisco, in the world to develop an electric tram system.
2. A Georgian folk called ‘Chakrulo’ usually sung at festivals and celebrations was sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft. It was sent as part of the Golden Record which holds 116 images, different natural sounds and traditional music from various nations and spoken greetings in 59 languages. In effect, it was sent like a message in a bottle to any being that may encounter it in space.
3. Slovenia is a nation of beekeepers. There are estimated to be 10000 beekeepers for a population of just under 2 million people or 1 beekeeper for every 200 people. So much is their love for bees that the country has successfully lobbied the UN to recognise World Bee Day on May 20.
4. The Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have two independence days each unlike most other countries. Their first independence day was declared following World War I and a second was declared following the collapse of the Soviet Union which had been an occupying power.
5. Lithuania is the only country in the world to have its own scent. This doesn’t mean that the scent is what you will always smell if you visit the nation. The scent was developed try to promote a national symbol to evoke a sense of Lithuanian homes, villages, nature and cultural heritage.