Great Blue Hole off Belize yields new clues to fall of Mayan civilisation

Research supports theory that drought and climate conditions reduced Mayans from a regional power to survivors abandoning cities to virtual extinction.

A massive underwater sinkhole surrounded by reefs, caves and sharks has provided archaeologists with clues in the mystery of the fall of the Mayan civilization, according to new research.

Scientists from Rice University and Louisiana State University found evidence in Belize’s Great Blue Hole, a 400ft-deep cave in a barrier reef, that supports the theory that drought and climate conditions pushed the Mayans from a regional power to a smattering of rival survivors and finally a virtually lost civilization.

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Belize International Film Festival

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The Belize International Film Festival is an international film festival held annually in Belize City, Belize since 2003.

It focuses on Central American and Caribbean films. In 2005 a presentation was given on Nicaraguan cinema. In 2012, for the first time in its history a Belizean feature film (2012: Kurse a di Xtabai) was presented as the opening night movie.

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The Garifuna in Belize

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The Black Carib culture known, as the Garifuna were reminded of their ancestors’ resilient struggle to overcome the brutal racism put forth by the European settlers in the New World. This day marked the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Garifuna on the shores of Central America after being forcibly removed by the British from the island of St. Vincent located in the Caribbean. Though this culpable relocation of their entire culture by the British was meant to circumscribe the Garifuna, they have survived like members of their ancestry did when they were enslaved and brought from Africa during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Today the Garifuna populations can be found in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and many have migrated to the United States.

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Sprog i Belize

Det officielle sprog er engelsk, som også tales i mere eller mindre kreoliseret form. Belize domineres af spansktalende; man har med spanskundervisning i folkeskolen sat aktiv ind for at opnå spansk-engelsk tosprogethed på landsbasis.

Der findes tillige tysktalende mindretal. Desuden taler en lille del af den indianske befolkning maya, kekchi og garifuna.

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Folket: Den «engelske» befolkningsgruppe, af afrikansk afstamning, som rent historisk udgjorde flertallet er nu reduceret til at indtage andenpladsen med 29,8% af befolkningen, mens befolkningstilvæksten blandt de spansktalende har resulteret i at de nu repræsenterer 43,6%. Maya-indianere udgør 11%; garifunas 6,7%; den europæiske minoritetsgruppe 3,9%, indere 11%, samt en del kinesere og arabere.

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Andy Palacio - Cultural Ambassador

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Andy Vivian Palacio (December 2, 1960 – January 19, 2008) was a Belizean Punta musician and government official. He was also a leading activist for the Garínagu and their culture. Palacio was born and raised in the coastal village of Barranco and worked briefly as a teacher before turning to music. He sang mainly in Garifuna, an Arawakan language with a large number of words borrowed from Carib, French, and Spanish, but also composed English-only songs. He was the first musical artist from Belize to have a music video on international television. He received the award for "Best New Artist" at the Caribbean Music Awards in 1991, and was posthumously awarded the BBC3 Awards for World Music award in the Americas Category, in 2008.

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Culture of Belize

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The Belizean culture is made up of influences and people from Kriol, Maya, Garinagu (also known as Garifuna), Mestizo (a mixture of Spanish and Native Americans), Mennonites who are of German descent, with a blend of many other cultures from Chinese to Lebanese. It is a unique blend that emerged through the country's long and occasionally violent history.

Courtesy is important to most Belizeans. It is not uncommon for Belizeans to greet each other on the street even if they have never seen each other before, or for acquaintances to spend minutes at a time chatting, oblivious to what is happening around them. Another aspect of the culture is the idea of the mystical healing and Obeah. However, there is still talk of evil shaman practices like putting "Obeah" on certain houses. This is known to be done by burying a bottle with the 'evil' under a tree close by the house.

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9. marts: Baron Bliss Dag, til minde om en britisk adelsmand, der forelskede sig i Belize og gav millioner af dollars til gode formål.

10. september: Belize Nationaldag, der fejrer slaget i St. Georges Caye.

21. september: Uafhængighedsdagen. Alle dagene mellem d. 10.-21. september er festdage.

12. oktober er Columbus dag. Årsdagen for Columbus' ankomst.

19. november er Garífuna Bosættelsesdag, der fejrer ankomsten af garinagus (sorte caribiere) i kanoer fra Honduras i 1823. Har du mulighed for det, er Dangriga byen, hvor det er sjovt at opleve festivalen, da der sker en masse.

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