3 surprising cultural facts from National Geographic Family Journeys

February 20, 2020

There are some things you just can’t learn in a classroom. Luckily, National Geographic Family Journeys lets you take learning on the road with immersive travel experiences that get families up close and personal with some of the planet’s most historic locations and incredible cultures. Here, a look at some of the cultural lessons you’ll learn on National Geographic Family Journeys:

Leonardo Da Vinci wasn’t just a painter

The famed Italian Renaissance artist may be best known for his work in oil paint — like the Mona Lisa, on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris — but Da Vinci was also a talented and intrepid sculptor, architect, and inventor. In France, travel to the Château du Clos Lucé — Da Vinci’s last home — to learn more about the Italian master’s genius, and try to use some of his tips and tricks to invent a machine of your own.

Check out our National Geographic Family Journeys Italy Family Journey here


Sumo has religious roots

The ancient Japanese sport of sumo, a form of full-contact wrestling performed by high-weight athletes, has its roots in the Shinto religion. Although Shinto — which is often classified as Japan’s indigenous religion — is no longer widely practised in Japan, most of the population still observe some Shinto rituals. This includes sumo wrestlers, who sprinkle salt around the ring to purify it — purification by salt being a Shinto rite — before wrestling. On our National Geographic Family Journeys tour to Japan, young travellers will get the chance to try on traditional sumo garb, and even learn a few moves from the pros!

Check out our National Geographic Family Journeys Japan Family Journey here


Tanzania’s most famous style of art is only a few decades old

While there are centuries-old carving and artisan traditions among Tanzania’s Indigenous tribes, the country’s most famous art form, known as Tingatinga painting, was pioneered in the late 1960s by artist Edward Said Tingatinga. The bright, flat, Pop Art-reminiscent art — often depicting the country’s famous safari wildlife and landscapes — is available for purchase in various marketplaces, and visitors can learn more about the country’s art forms (and even try their hands at painting a piece) at the Mto wa Mbu cultural centre in the Rift Valley.

Check out our National Geographic Family Journeys Tanzania tour here

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