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Books, Movies, Music: Understanding The Country You Are Travelling To: Part IV

Books, Movies, Music: Understanding The Country You Are Travelling To: Part IV

access_time June 19, 2014 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 4485 views

Books, movies and music. There’s no better way to understand the culture, people and history of the countries you visit. Sarah Merchant gives you a list of what to read, see and watch before you travel.


Read Part I of  Books, Movies, Music

Read Part II of  Books, Movies, Music

Read Part III of  Books, Movies, Music

Books, Movies, Music Part- III


1. Before you travel to Turkey

Read these books on Turkey

Turkish-Family-125x200‘Birds without Wings’ by Louis de Bernières

‘The Museum of Innocence’ by Orhan Pamuk

‘Portrait of a Turkish Family’ by Irfan Orga

Watch these films on Turkey

gallipoli movie poster‘Uzak’ (Distant) (2002) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

‘Istanbul Tales’ (2005)

‘Gallipoli’ (1981) by Peter Weir

Listen to the music of Turkey

TarkanListen to Tarkan’s pop music

Anything by the famous musician Burhan Öçal

Enjoy the songs by the band Hepsi



2. Before you travel to Egypt

Read these books on Egypt

Cairo: The City Victorious ‘Cairo: The City Victorious’ by Max Rodenbeck

‘Egypt Rediscovered’ by Mohamed El Hebeishy

‘Letters from Egypt: A Journey on the Nile, 1849-1850’ by Florence Nightingale


Watch these films on Egypt

Cleopatra‘Cleopatra’ (1963) by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

‘The Ten Commandments’ (1956) by Cecil B. DeMille

‘The Nightingale Prayer’ (1959) by Henry Barkat


Listen to the music of Egypt

Umm KulthumListen to Umm Kulthum, considered the greatest female singer in Arab music history

Any songs by the female star Sherine

Listen to Abdel Halim Hafez, whose songs inspired the 2011 Egyptian Revolution



3. Before you travel to New Zealand

Read these books on New Zealand

The Whale Rider‘When the Kiwi Calls: A New Zealand Travel’ Tale by Denyse Kirsch

‘The Whale Rider’ by Witi Ihimaera

‘History of New Zealand’ by Michael King


Watch these films on New Zealand

Lord of the Rings‘Lord of the Rings’ (2001-02-03) by Peter Jackson

‘The Piano’ (1993) by Jane Campion

‘Heavenly Creatures’ (1994) by Peter Jackson


Listen to the music of New Zealand

Salmonella Dub Killer Version‘Killer Version’ by Salmonella Dub

Get charmed by the voice of the famous New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa

Listen to Al Hunter, regarded as New Zealand’s best kept secret



4. Before you travel to Canada

Read these books on Canada

In the skin of a lion‘In the skin of a lion’ by Michael Ondaatje

‘How to be a Canadian’ by Will Ferguson and Ian Ferguson

‘Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak: One Woman’s Journey Through the Northwest Passage’ by Victoria Jason


Watch these films on Canada

Dance Me Outside‘Dance Me Outside’ (1994) by Bruce Macdonald

‘One Week’ (2008) by Michael McGowan

‘Fly Away Home’ (1994) by Carroll Ballard


Listen to the music of Canada

Shania TwainaListen to the sounds of Neil Young

Tap your feet to the songs of the Canadian country music artist Shaina Twain

Groove to the tunes of Avril Lavinge


5. Before you travel to India

Read these books on India

A Fine Balance‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry

‘The Argumentative Indian’ by Amartya Sen

‘India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy’ by Ramachandra Guha

‘Midnight’s Children’ by Salman Rushdie


 Watch these films on India

Rang De Basanti‘Sholay’ (1975) by Ramesh Sippy

‘Harishchandrachi Factory’ (Harishchandra’s Factory) (2009) by Paresh Mokashi

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (2008) by Danny Boyle

‘Rang De Basati’ (2006) by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra


Listen to the music of India

Kishore KumarAnything by the Oscar winning musician A.R. Rehman

Songs by Lata Mangeshkar

Any of the old hits by Kishore Kumar



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About author


Tall, lanky and slightly kookie in the head, Sarah Merchant loves travel, music, blogging, reading, talking (a lot) and history. Sarah has a flair for dramatics and dreams of clicking selfies in every part of the world. You can find her on Instagram @saarah030895

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