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Country Fun Facts

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Several of you wrote to let me know that you enjoyed the Country fun facts Q&A last month. Michelangelo, the famous painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, once said when he was 87 years old: “I am still learning.” Why not? Let’s continue our fun-facts hunt with the questions for the month:

Q1. Why do the Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet once a month? Allegedly, they meet to swap wrongly addressed letters! There is constant confusion between the two countries because both countries have similar names, flags and histories. Slovakia calls itself Slovenská republika, while Slovenia is Republika Slovenija. Slovaks speak slovenčina, and Slovenians speak slovenščina. Ironically, the two countries are not even neighbours.

Q2. Was Rio-de-Janeiro once Portugal’s capital? Yes. In 1807, before the Napoleonic invasion, the Portuguese royal court left Lisbon for the Portuguese colony of Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro functioned as the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal until 1820.

Q3. Is Mexico a South American country? No, Mexico is part of Central America and one of the Latin American countries. Latin America is generally understood to consist of the entire continent of South America and Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean, whose inhabitants speak a Romance language.

Q4. Why is Caesar salad called a “Caesar” salad? Well, no, it is not named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. The salad was invented in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1920s, by an Italian immigrant, Caesar Cardini. Its origin is quite a distance away from Rome…

Q5. Do you know where is the world’s most remote airport? Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui. Visitors fly to the remote Chilean island to visit the famous mo’ai figures. The closest airport to Isla de Pascua Airport is 3,759km away in Santiago, the capital of Chile on the mainland.

With this new set of fun facts, perhaps you can put some smiles on the faces around you. Remember to stick to your good intention of having fun, friendly, light-hearted conversations, and not debate as an expert. Enjoy!

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