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Carnival Culture from Around the World on Display

The revelry of the Mardi Gras celebrations are not exclusive to New Orleans. Mardi Gras is part of the tradition of Carnival, a festival of excess which began in 12th century Rome. The word "Carnival" literally means "flesh farewell." Eating, drinking, and overall merry-making lead up to the fasting and self-sacrifice of Lent in the Christian Calendar.

The Museum of International Folk Art has compiled an audio-visual history of carnival celebrations around the world. It highlights their pageantry and history, and offers a glimpse of their future. The exhibition is currently on display through late April at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

NPR's Farai Chideya joined Betsy Quick, director of education at the Fowler Museum, for a tour. After Los Angeles, the exhibit will travel to San Diego, New Orleans and Dallas.

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Farai Chideya
Farai Chideya is a multimedia journalist who has worked in print, television, online, and radio. Prior to joining NPR's News & Notes, Chideya hosted Your Call, a daily news and cultural call-in show on San Francisco's KALW 91.7 FM. Chideya has also been a correspondent for ABC News, anchored the prime time program Pure Oxygen on the Oxygen women's channel, and contributed commentaries to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and BET. She got her start as a researcher and reporter at Newsweek magazine. In 1997 Newsweek named her to its "Century Club" of 100 people to watch.
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