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tv   Worldfocus  PBS  April 2, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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tonight, the final edition of "world focus." snapshots celebrating life around the globe. the passion for baseball in cuba. there it's about the love of the game, not the money. we will take to you brazil for, of all things, the rodeo. and to bolivia, where indigenous women still sport these bowler hats. >> to india with glass making on the west bank and wine making in lebanon. finally we will take you to prague where we met czechs following the mushroom hunting. from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the
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world. this is "worldfocus." major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- good evening. i'm daljit dhaliwal. welcome to our final edition of "worldfocus." as we prepare to end our 18-month run we want to remind you one last time about america's place in the world. the united states is the third most populous country with 310 million people. our population actually represents only 4.5% of the world. telling you about those other
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6.5 billion people, not just their politics but their customs and traditions, filling in the details about their lives has been our mission and our passion. that is exactly what we hope to do one last time tonight with a series of snapshots celebrating life around the globe. we start with the baseball season. now just days away. so what better place to start then in cuba where the so-called american past time is played and argued about with a ferociousness rarely seen in this country? "worldfocus" special correspondent peter eisner brought us this story about the love of the game from havana last spring. >> reporter: it's nearly sunset in old havana on a sunny winter afternoon. with a splinter bat and imaginary home plate, some elementary school kids are
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playing a two-on-two pick-up game of street baseball. these men are already middle aged, but they're baseball fanatics, too. no question about it. baseball is cuba's national past time. this is their version of sports talk radio. here in havana's central park many are still arguing about last night's game. the players are hometown heroes. sounds a lot like american baseball used to be. the fans look like they're ready to fight, but it's all in fun. in cuban baseball, ballplayers don't get traded very much and they play for the provinces they come from. that builds fan loyalty. they're talking about a catcher and home run hitter for the
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pinjardo rio tobacco growers. with temperatures around 40 degrees, the stadium was almost empty. >> translator: if you're seeing the ball well you hit a home run, hit a double, anything to get a run. >> reporter: ross' manager says the cuban all stars are good enough to be a major league team. >> translator: we play harder and run harder than they do. they worry about their batting averages. they worry about money. cubans don't have to think about that so they just play for the love of the game. >> translator: they all love the game, but some cuban players love the money, too. orlando hernandez and his brother levon pled the island and earned millions of dollars in the majors. enrique diaz for the metros says he and other players are con
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tentd to stay home. >> translator: it's everybody's personal sense of themselves. some people value money, but for me and many others, i prefer to play. >> reporter: cuban ballplayers earn about $20 a month. some american players earn more than that every minute. meanwhile, it costs about 5 cents to go to a baseball game. the popcorn sells for about a penny. diaz says it adds up to something he learned, money isn't everything. >> translator: my parents taught me discipline when i was a kid. i've been playing for the youth leagues. >> he's been a pro for 23 years and playing the game since he was about as old as those kids on the street. sounds like some people are getting ready for primetime. some never want to stop and others never want to grow up at all. peter eisner for "worldfocus,"
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havana. a few months earlier, special correspondent edie magnus traveled to south america's biggest and most powerful country brazil, where she and producer brian myers filed reports of weighty topics such as that country's booming offshore oil drilling program, its health care system and the rapid expansion of the pentecostal church there one night they took time out to visit the rodeo there. naturally, they couldn't resist filing a report about that, too. >> reporter: it is billed as the world's biggest rodeo. for two weeks, more than a million people dress for the west and ready to party down come here to brazil, a couple hundred miles from sao paulo.
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this is a professional bull rider from weatherford, oklahoma. >> the rodeo is great here in brazil. >> reporter: he says fans here are so hardcore, even he gets recognized. >> yeah. they televise it three times a week here in brazil. some of us are familiar faces to them. >> reporter: today, rodeo is a billion dollar a year industry in brazil. there are hundreds of them. this is the granddaddy of them all. this is, after all, a country with a cattle culture going back generations. it's home to many p of brazil's slaughter houses. in the 1950s the town fathers had an idea to start a rodeo to keep rowedy cowboys off the streets. there is a lot here to make an american feel right at home. the beer is cold, the steaks
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sizzling. and that's shania twayne on the p.a. system, but there are distinctive local touches. sweet choros for sale in the stands. outside a booth offering free vaccinations against rubella, a troublesome disease in brazil. the first event is called tanning. cowboys race into herds of cattle trying to corral the cows by number. horsemanship matters a lot. and it's easy to get carried away, or in this case, off. it will be hours before the bull riding starts, but no one's in a hurry. in the spirit of those early cowboys from years ago, this party will go on all night long. i'm edie magnus reporting for "world focus" from brazil.
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throughout our run, "worldfocus" producers regularly traveled the world in search of stories you've not seen. last fall, our producer who grew up in a spanish-speaking home travelled to bolivia to find a series of stories from that spanish-speaking country. she couldn't help but notice the indigenous women wearing shawls and multilayered skirts. what got her attention were the small felt bowler hats they wore. >> reporter: in the bolivian capital it sometimes feel like you've traveled back in time. french shawls and traditional skirts are everywhere. the thing that really catches is the unofficialal national symbol of bolivia, the bowler hats. we wanted to know about the ins and outs of indigenous fashion so we went to the resident expert.
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think of her as sort of the carrie bradshaw of bolivia. a cook during the week. on weekends she competes in fashion shows that celebrate native dress. the hat can be worn to the side, higher or lower. it's not always centered. it just depends on the woman's taste. she is what's known as a cholita, an indigenous woman who adheres to the old fashioned. this outfit goes back a hundred years. when it comes to culture, she has to carry the tradition on year after year to acknowledge her roots. but this most bolivian of customs started in, of all places, europe. the bowler hat was invented in england some 200 years ago. there are plenty of stories how
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it made its way from england to the andes mountain p. the most popular says a local merchant eager to please workers in bolivia ordered a batch only to find they were too small. determined not to lose his money he sold them to native bolivians. the style changes every year. hats in particular go in and out of style based on the of the hat and width of the brim. the hats on this here are taller, more oval shaped. this is the trendiest style in 2'0 0/9". they are colored and are a bit different, too. the dress doesn't come cheap. an outfit can run as much as $700. a huge sum for a country where the average monthly income i $200. despite the cost, graziella says it's important to keep the tradition alive. it makes her feel her most
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elegant and most special. >> translator: i call myself indigenous. not just because i wear my pojeta outfit, but how i feel in my heart. this outfit not only represents where i come from but my pride in being indigenous. this is yvette feliciano reporting from bolivia. and now to the middle east for something other than the near-daily dose about bad news between tensions of israelis and ng a trip to the west bank last year, a palestinian american looked to aspects of life there rarely seen in this country. he reported how cheap imports from china are endangering palestinian factory owners. and he produced one of our most
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popular pieces about the soaring number of somewhat racy turkish soap operas. while there he also met a gifted artisan dedicated to preserving the ancient art of glass blowing. his story is told in the artisan's own words.
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just as glass make has been going on for centuries in the middle east, so, too, has wine making. one region known for grape
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growing and wine making is the bekar valley of eastern lebanon. chances are you've heard of it because of political violence and the once drug trafficking there just with the palestinian glass blowers, the old ways endure. our report is from "worldfocus" special correspondent kristen gilespie. >> reporter: it's spring and that means pruning in the valley. it's the home of chateau bellevue, the award-winning winery. he they opened it in part to rebuild this christian village that was nearly destroyed by the lebanese civil war. they describe coming back to a village of about a thousand people. >> the trees had been cut. the buildings were empty and
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destroyed. the people had left. the valley was untended and had been left for dead. we had three pieces of land. we had a lot of goodwill. we had a love of wine. >> reporter: they spent years living in new york and london. naji says the rocky, mineral-rich soil of his family's village was always in the back of his mind. >> we think this is god's gift to humanity this land for wine making, for vine yards. this is not where she comes from. >> he means that with affection. >> yes. i mean that with affection. this is for vines and olive trees. >> reporter: they use no chemicals or fertilizer on the 60 acres of land. pruning and picking are done by hand as in centuries past.
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the annual yield so far is just 15,000 bottles. the reds count cabernet sauvignon, syrah. the thick skins of the grapes protect the fruit from the sun. they elicit the wine's deep color. restoring this village, they say, was also about restoring the past. all that was left of the famous hotel bellevue run by his grandfather was this single tile amidst a pile of rubble. the history goes back much further. it was a roman wine-producing hamlet on the road to damascus. >> we are not reinventing the wheel. we are doing something that has been part of this culture for a millennia. >> this is balanced wine. >> reporter: americans may not have heard about lebanese wine, but here and in france, it's a big deal. on this saturday afternoon, a small group gathers to learn
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about wine tasting. lebanon produces rich red wines, crisp whites and smooth, fruity roses. it seems you can't go wrong with lebanese wine. it's often priced right, too. a very good bottle can be had for $10 or less. while chateau bellevue is an up-and-coming enterprise, this is part of the grand wine-making establishment founded in 1857. today they pruce 2 million bottles every year. the jesuit monks who found it in the 19th century originally made wine for use in the church, but their techniques became the basis for lebanon's modern wine industry. it's likely a mutation of caesar's whose armies occupied this land. these tunnels date back to the roman era. it's not clear what the niches were used for or winding paths were carved under the earth, but
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the humidity and stable temperature underground are perfect for one thing, aging wine. the earliest bottled vintage rested peacefully here since 1918, but is probably not worth tasting these days. james is a french onologist who has overseen the vine yards and blended the wine for the past 15 years. >> translator: we have microclimates and there are different varieties of grapes. casara takes the highest quality grapes. this is why we have high irregularity each year. >> reporter: they don't produce enough to make a mark in the american market. charles is the director and he hopes to change that. >> three or four years our
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production will increase by 500,000 bottles. we are looking for exposure mainly and especially in the united states. >> reporter: when lebanese raise their glasses they wish you health not one, but two times. kristen gillepsie reporting from east lebanon. finally tonight, the story that ended our very first broadcast. back then, "worldfocus" special correspondent david marish traveled to the czech republic and discovered that country's passion for mushroom picking. you could hardly blame him when he sampled the goodies. >> reporter: when rain falls off the cobblestone streets of prague's old town, it makes the czech capital shine like silver. when the drops have dried in the
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czech republic surrounding fields and forest, something apumpkin to a gold rush is let loose. the czech's true national sport. mushroom hunting. out in the field, cars parked by the side of the road were a certain sign that fungiphiles are on the seen. every man carrying with him a family tradition. >> translator: i was 4 years old when i first went with my grandpa, he says. he taught me how to look for mushrooms. walk slowly, be quiet. and once you find one mushroom, look carefully because you'll usually find more nearby. i love mushrooms with eggs. several different kinds of mushrooms so it has a nice aroma. it should have more mushrooms
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than eggs. of course, there's also a mushroom sauce with dumplings. for a tasting, we went back to prague and an accommodating neighborhood restaurant. the czechs love hunting down their mushrooms in the wild. you have to admire their passion for it. but for me, frankly, the place i want to find mushrooms is right here on my plate. that mushroom omelet, you hardly need to break an egg. also almost all mushroom is the sauce generously spilled over the main cause, sliced braised beef. for me, the spotlight moment came when our prague chef in his restaurant kitchen did his version of recipes offered up by this family's mom for her mushroom soup.
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>> you have a little bit of butter and onions. then you chop the mushroom. and you put egg in it. and then sour cream, then lemon juice. >> reporter: raise your hands, i said to the children, if you like mom's mushroom soup. let me add a fervent amen. and so ends "worldfocus." we hope that you have enjoyed our broadcast and have learned at least a little about the planet we share with so many others. we thank you for spending your time with us and for all of your suggestions, your occasional criticisms and your thousands of messages of support. one last reminder to visit our website at you can comment there until april 9th. after that we will not be adding
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new content, but you'll be able to view all our signature pieces from around the world any time in the future. i'm daljit dhaliwal. for the entire "worldfocus" team, good night and good luck. -- captions by vitac -- major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters --
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