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The Legend of the World

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Bagpipes - Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

Bagpipes are a traditional musical instrument. This woodwind instrument holds and pushes out the air with a bag. While bagpipes once existed in many European countries, they are now mainly played in Scotland and other Commonwealth nations, and often are part of military ceremonies.

Read more about them here or listen to them here.

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Lemur - Madagascar, Africa

Lemurs are animals who live on this island off the east coast of Africa.  They are most active at night and generally live in trees. They are primates,  like apes and monkeys, but have evolved differently due to Madagascar's  unique climate. While today's lemurs are small, only 2,000 years ago some lemurs were as large as gorillas.  You can read more about lemurs here.

Torii (Gate) - Japan, Asia

Torii are gates to the Shinto shrines throughout Japan, and they mark the entrance to a sacred area. They may also be used in Buddhist shrines, and similar gates or structures are used throughout many Asian countries.  You can read more about torii here.  

Brezel - Germany, Europe

Brezel is the German word for pretzel. This tasty bread can be found throughout Germanic regions of Europe, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in northern Italy, and Alsace in eastern France. Pretzels are wonderful on their own, but may also be baked with cheese or spread with butter.  You can read more about pretzels here.

Shamrock - Ireland, Europe

The shamrock plant is a national symbol of Ireland. The three leaves stand for the Christian Holy Trinity. There are several species of shamrocks, but we think of the ones with three leaves most often.  You can read more about shamrocks here.

Rice bowl with chopsticks - many Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea, Asia

Rice is a staple food throughout Asia, where many people use two sticks (usually made of bamboo) to eat with. Have you tried chopsticks? If not, it can be a fun skill to develop. It's much easier to start practicing with sticky rice or larger pieces of food. When you consider yourself an expert, you can race your friends to see who can move the most dried peas in a minute from one bowl to another.   Here is a video that shows how to eat with chopsticks.

Taj Mahal - Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is a majestic building that was built in the 1600s to remember the wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It was built with great craftsmanship at tremendous cost. You can read more about it here.

Penguin - Argentina and Chile, South America, also Antarctica, southern Australia, South Africa, and other southernmost coasts in the Southern Hemisphere

Penguins are birds that don't fly. They live in the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere, with one species north of the equator in the Galapagos. They are great swimmers and find most of their food in the ocean.   You can read more about penguins here.

Great Sphinx of Giza - Giza, Egypt, Africa 

The sphinx is a mythical creature, primarily from ancient Egypt and Greece.  This sphinx sculpture is the largest and most famous. It is on the Giza Plateau on the western side of the Nile River. It is at least 4,500 years old (most likely dating to 2600 to 2500 BCE).   You can read more about this great ancient statue here.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa - Pisa, Italy, Europe

This famous tower has been leaning for a long time, but it hasn't fallen.  It is a bell tower (campanile) and leans to the side because it has an  unstable foundation. It began to lean when it was built in the 12th century,  but continues to stand today! Several construction projects have kept it  from leaning further.  You can read more about it here.  

The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France, Europe

More people have paid to visit the Eiffel Tower than any other monument in  the world. It was built for the 1889 World's Fair and has come to be a symbol  of France. It is the tallest structure in Paris. Until the Chrysler Building was built, it was the tallest structure in the world for a short period of time!   You can read more about the Eiffel Tower (or tour Eiffel, as it is known in French) here.

Sydney Opera House - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Opera House is well known for its unique design. It is on the  Sydney Harbor and was designed by Danish architect, Jørn Utzon. It is an important center for performing arts and you can read more about it here.

London Double-Decker Bus - London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

The red double-decker buses are both a treat to visitors and a practical way  to get around this large city. While double-decker buses exist in other countries, the most famous ones are in London and symbolize the city. When you visit London, you can take a ride with tourists in the open-top buses, or ride with  the locals on a public transit route.  To read more about them, click here

Djembe - Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, and Senegal, Africa

The djembe or jambe is a drum played with the hands. Its name means "everyone gather together in peace." It is a very versatile instrument  because it can make many different sounds.  You can read more about it here and listen to it here

Sjöbod (Fisherman Cabin) - Sweden, Europe

If you visit the coastal areas of Sweden, you are likely to see little red houses lining the waterfront. They were traditionally used to store lobster pots and other fishing gear, but are now often luxurious retreats for swimming and sunbathing. More than half of Swedes have or have access to a second home, often on or near the water. 

Maple Leaf - Canada, North America

The maple leaf is an important symbol for Canada and is even featured  on the flag. There are at least 10 different species of maple trees in Canada,  and there is at least one type in each Canadian province.  You can read more about the maple leaf and it's role in Canada here.

Blue-Footed Booby - Peru, Mexico and western coasts of Central and South America

These marine birds have bright blue feet. They can be quite large, with a wingspan up to five feet or 1.5 meters. They eat fish, and catch them by  diving and swimming.  You can read more about them here.

Sombrero - Mexico, North America

This wide brimmed hat has been very practical in the hot climate of many parts of Mexico, and has since become a symbol recognized for Mexican culture.  You can read more about it here.

Statue of Liberty - New York, United States of America, North America

This famous symbol was the first sight that many immigrants arriving to the United States by ship saw.  Given to the United States from France in 1886, the statue is well-known and recognized as an important US symbol.  You can visit the island where she is located and go up in her crown, but make sure to reserve well in advance as only a small number of people are allowed up per day.  You can read more here.

Llamas - Peru and Chile, South America

Llamas are important pack animals in Peru and Chile. They are strong,  and were used in mining until modern innovations replaced them.  Their wool is very soft and is used in traditional clothing.  You can read more about llamas here.  

Sushi - Japan, Asia

Sushi is a common food in Japan. It is made by rolling up sushi rice and  other ingredients in dried seaweed (sushi nori). Although sushi with raw  fish is common and very good, it can also be made with cooked fish or shellfish, or suitable for vegans or vegetarians.  Would you like to learn to make your own?  Check out these instructions to help you make your own.

Terracotta Army - Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

This collection of sculptures dates to the third century BCE and depicts the army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Farmers working the land found them in the 1970s, and now they are protected. As of 2007, more than 8,000 soldiers, calvary, and chariots have been found!   You can read more about them here

Moai - Easter Island, Chile, South America

Nearly 1,000 of these statues were built on a remote island in eastern Polynesia by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500. The tallest moai was about 33 feet or 10 meters tall, and weighs 82 tons. The statues depict faces and heads with little body detail, and are thought to be the faces of the Rapa Nui's ancestors.  You can read more about the moai here.   

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