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Dimitrije Bužarovski and Trena Jordanoska

The Republic of Macedonia is a state in the central Balkans. It occupies the northern part of historical Macedonia, a wider region that also includes territories of the Hellenic Republic (the Republic of Greece), the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Serbia, and the Republic of Albania. As a crossroads of the Balkans, and on a transit route for the southern Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia has been inhabited since the earliest periods of human civilization in south-eastern Europe. The migrations of the tribes from the Russian steppes, the Pontic basin, and the Lower Danube created a rich cultural heritage, evident in the archeological sites from the Neolithic and Eneolithic periods. The ancient Macedonian kingdom expanded eastwards from about 700 ...

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Moldova  

Vladimir Axionov and Yaroslav Mironenko

Country in south-eastern Europe bordered by the Ukraine to the north, east and south and by Romania to the west. The capital city is Chişinău, and the population numbers c4.5 million, 75% of whom speak Romanian. In 1990 the country gained its independence and became known as Moldova....

Article

Monaco  

Marcel Frémiot and Charles Pitt

Country in Europe. It is an independent European principality in an enclave on the French Mediterranean coast. At the end of the 12th century it came under Genoese control, and from the 13th century the Grimaldis (Guelphs) fought for its independence; but they were successively dominated or protected by the counts of Provence, the dukes of Milan, the Genoese, the Spanish, the dukes of Savoy and the French. There were consequently many influences on Monaco’s cultural life. Some surviving folksong texts indicate Provençal influence in the 18th century; sea songs show Italian, Spanish and French features....

Article

Carole Pegg

Independent country in Inner Asia and landlocked between the Russian Federation to the north and China to the east, west and south. It covers an area of 1,565,088 km² (606,250 miles²) and has a population of 2·74 million (2000 estimate) of which an estimated 78·8% are classified as Khalkha [Halh] Mongols. Other Mongol groups include Altai Urianghais, Bargas, Baits, Buryats, Chahars, Darhats, Darigangas, Dörbets, Hamnigans, Harchins, Horchins, Hoshuts, Hotogoids, Mingats, Ölöts, Sünits, Torguts, Üzemchins and Zakchins. Turkic minorities within Mongolia include Kazakhs (5·9% of the population) and small numbers of Tuvans, Üzbeks (Chantous), Uighur and Soyot Urianghais, Tsaatans and Hotons....

Article

Andrew Tracey

Country in south-east Africa. It has an area of 799,380 km² and a population of 19·56 million (UN est. 2000, before severe floods of Feb 2000). After about four centuries of Arab influence and settlement on coastal islands such as Moçambique and Ibo, the first Portuguese, Pero da Covilhã, reached Moçambique Island and Sofala in ...

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Myanmar  

Robert Garfias, Judith Becker and Muriel C. Williamson

Country in South-east Asia, formerly known as the Union of Burma, occupying the westernmost part of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. The peoples of Myanmar include the Burmese proper, that is the Burmese-speaking people who live in the central and lowland areas of the country; their linguistic and cultural neighbours, the Arakanese (Burmese, Yahkaing), who occupy south-western Myanmar; and various peoples living in the hills, each with a unique language, culture, music and dance tradition....

Article

T.M. Scruggs

Country in Central America. It is the largest of the Central American republics (130,000 sq. km) and encompasses two broad cultural areas, the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts. It is bounded in the north by Honduras, east by the Caribbean, south by Costa Rica and west by the Pacific. 90% of the estimated population of four and a half million live on the western, Pacific Coast region....

Article

Irma Ruiz

Country in South America. It has an area of 406,752km² and a population of 5·5 million (2000 estimate). The river Paraguay marks the divide between two geographically and culturally distinct areas, populated since ancient times by indigenous peoples. To the east is sub-tropical jungle, inhabited by horticulturalists belonging to the Tupí-Guaraní linguistic group. To the west is the northern Chaco, whose inhabitants are hunter-gatherers belonging to the Maskoy, Mataco-Mak′á, Guaycurú and Zamuco groups. The population of both regions also includes peasants of creole and foreign descent. The only common link between the indigenous cultures of the two areas is that they exist in the same country, where Guaraní-Spanish bilingualism is well established both in practice and, since ...

Article

José Maceda, Ramón Santos, Lucrecia R. Kasilag, Della G. Besa and Leonor Orosa Goquingco

Country in South-east Asia comprising a complex archipelago on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean to the north-east of Indonesia.

The Philippine islands have become isolated from centres of cultural change in insular and continental South-east Asia. A strong Hindu influence in Java and Bali and a Buddhist mission in Thailand made scarcely any impression on the Philippines: there are no temples like those of Borobudur or Angkor Wat, stories of the ...

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Poland  

Katarzyna Morawska, Zygmunt M. Szweykowski, Zofia Chechlińska, Adrian Thomas, Jan Stęszewski and Krzystof Ćwiżewicz

Country in eastern Europe. Christianity was introduced in the late 10th century, and in 1025 Bolesław I became the country’s first king. With the death of Bolesław III (1138) the kingdom was divided into principalities and was threatened by outside powers, but it was reunited in the 14th century by Wladisław I and his son Kasimir the Great. By the Union of Lublin (...

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Qatar  

Independent state on the south coast of the Arabian Gulf.

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Romania  

Speranta Radulescu, Valentina -Sandu-Dediu, Adriana Şirli and Costin Moisil

[Roumania, Rumania] (Rom. România)

Country in South-East Europe. Modern Romania is roughly situated in the ex-Roman province of Dacia (106–271 ce), and its people are of Latin heritage. After the withdrawal of the Romans the area was successively overrun by Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Slavs, and, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Turks. Romania was formed as a state in 1859 through the unification of Wallachia and Moldavia, to which Transylvania, formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was added in 1918. It became a people’s republic in 1947 and a socialist republic in 1965. An uprising in 1989 led to the establishment of a non-communist administration.

Valentina -Sandu-Dediu

Until the 19th century, musical culture in Wallachia and Moldavia was primarily made of folkloric and Byzantine layers. The beginning of lay composition, in the form of ‘worldly’ and court songs written by some boyars at the end of the 18th century, showed Oriental and Turkish influences. In Transylvania, contacts with Western European musical styles were strengthened through the presence of German and Austrian court musicians (for example, Michael Haydn or Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf). About ...

Article

Marina Frolova-Walker, Jonathan Powell, Rosamund Bartlett, Izaly Zemtsovsky, Mark Slobin, Jarkko Niemi and Yuri Sheikin

Country largely in Asia, with its capital at Moscow. It is the world's largest country in area, reaching from the Gulf of Finland to the Pacific, and from the Arctic to the Black and Caspian seas, covering 11 time zones.

During the three centuries of Romanov rule (from ...

Article

Tong Soon Lee

Island state situated between peninsular Malaysia and the archipelago of Indonesia. Founded in 1819, it served as an important port of call for the British Empire in South-east Asia, gaining independence on 9 August 1965. The country has approximately three million people, who are largely descendants of immigrants from the Malay peninsula, Indonesia, China, South Asia and Sri Lanka. The ethnic make-up consists mainly of Chinese (77·4%), Malay (14·2%), Indian (7·1%) and Eurasian (0·4%), with other peoples, including Arabs, Japanese, Jews, Armenians and Europeans, making up the remainder. With a largely Asian population in a post-colonial setting, Singapore boasts a mixture of cultural attributes, reflected in its diverse musical culture....

Article

Jurij Snoj, Leon Stefanija and Svanibor Pettan

(Slov. Republika Slovenija)

Country in southern Central Europe, bordered by Austria in the north, Hungary in the northeast, Croatia in the south and southwest, and Italy in the west. Following centuries of Habsburg rule, the current territory of Slovenia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918, and into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945. Slovenia became an independent republic in 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. The population of roughly 2 million is composed of the Slovenian majority (over 80%) and several minorities, including those from former Yugoslav republics: Hungarians, Italians, and Roma. The official language, Slovene, belongs to the Slavic branch of the Indo-European linguistic family and is particularly rich in dialects. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, while Lutheranism is of major historical importance. The political and cultural capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.

In the Middle Ages, the great majority of the territory inhabited by Slovenians made up part of the Holy Roman Empire. More exactly, Slovenians lived in Carniola (Ger. Krain), southern Carinthia (Ger. Kärnten), southern Styria (Ger. Steiermark), the County of Gorizia, and some other adjoining political formations. All these lands passed in the later Middle Ages to the House of Habsburg, and were still later united as Inner Austria with the capital Graz. The coastal belt of the modern Slovenia belonged, until the beginning of the 19th century, to the Republic of Venice, and the easternmost regions to the kingdom of Hungary. In the later Middle Ages the most important Slovenian town became Ljubljana (Ger. Laibach), the capital of Carniola. In ...

Article

Somalia  

John William Johnson

[Somali Democratic Republic] (Som. Jamhuriyadda Dimugradiga ee Soomaaliya). Country in the Horn of East Africa. It has an area of 637,657 km² and a population estimated at 11·53 million (2000). The Somali Democratic Republic collapsed in a revolution in 1991, and no political state has been formed to replace it, although the Somali National Movement declared the secession of an independent country called the Somaliland Republic in the north-western region. Somalis are the primary ethnic group and inhabit neighbouring parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. These peripheral populations have been separated from the main population since the colonial partition of Africa. A small number of other Bantu-speaking ethnic groups live among the Somalis. Islam, language and ethnic identity unite all Somalis, but there are internal divisions into clan families, lineages and other subgroupings based on an agnatic genealogy. There are also three main linguistic divisions. Most Somalis are nomadic herders of camels, cattle, sheep and goats or small-scale subsistence farmers. The growing urbanization of the country was curtailed considerably by the civil war, which began in ...

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Spain  

Robert Stevenson, Louise K. Stein, Albert Recasens, Belen Perez Castillo, Josep i Martí i Perez, Martin Cunningham, Ramón Pelinski, Jaume Aiats, Sílvia Martínez García and Arcadio de Larrea Palacín

revised by Maricarmen Gómez

Country in Europe. Its territory covers an area of 504,750 km², comprising most of the Iberian peninsula, the Canary and Balearic Islands and the towns of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast. It shares borders with Portugal to the west, and France and Andorra to the north. Its population of approximately 39·8 million (...