Folk festivals remain popular in modern-day Germany, the most notable being the annual Oktoberfest. Germany belongs to major international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, Group of 20, NATO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Years of regional fighting and terrorism have weighed heavily on Turkey. The country hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees fleeing that nation’s civil war. Terrorist strikes in Turkey increased in frequency in 2016, claiming hundreds of lives. On Jan. 1, 2017, a terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub left 39 dead.
Italy is a south-central European country, whose boot-shaped borders extend into the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s historical cities, world-renowned cuisine and geographic beauty make it a popular destination for more than 40 million tourists each year.
The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world’s most dominant economic and military power. Likewise, its cultural imprint spans the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television. In 2016 the country elected Donald Trump president.
France is not, however, the country with the most borders in Europe. Germany actually has nine (Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) – but has suffered from something of an image problem among British visitors for many years (a perception, incidentally, that at last seems to be shifting).
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a nation in eastern Asia with a long history of conflict that occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. Liberated from Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II, South Korea was invaded by communist forces in North Korea a few years later.
Mexico’s best known art form is the mural, which draws from the art of the Aztec, Maya and other pre-Columbian civilizations. The country’s film industry is one of the region’s largest, and many Mexican actors and filmmakers have received international recognition for their work.
Russia ranks tenth in the ratings of the most visited countries in 2015 according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the press service for the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) has reported. According to the organization, 31.6 million foreigners visited Russia last year, which is a 6.2 percent increase from 2014.
The British Empire held Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Western Samoa, India, Burma, Papa New Guinea, Malaya, Sarawak, Brunei, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Mauritius, the Maldives, South Africa, Swaziland, Nigeria, Gold Coast, and Sierra Leone, among other countries during its reign.