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South Africans get their tongues round Gqeberha, the new name for Port Elizabeth

Many South Africans have embraced the change, although acquiring mastery in pronouncing ‘Gqeberha’ hasn’t come easy for non-speakers of Xhosa.
“It will take a while for the majority of South Africans to learn how to pronounce the new name, especially white South Africans,” Kwena Moabelo, 46, told CNN Thursday.
“But it’s a good move in order to keep the indigenous names and languages of South Africa alive,” Moabelo added.

South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the name change Wednesday, along with other changes to names of towns and public infrastructure.

In a statement Thursday, Mthethwa said: “There was a need for the name changes as this is part of a Government Programme to transform South Africa’s Heritage landscape. The names of places we live in reflect the identity and cultural heritage of the people of South Africa.”

Lwazi Monyetsane, 33, told CNN that the name change was necessary to make the country more inclusive.
“The country needs to have historical significance and relevance that does not glorify a past of oppression… So change the names — as many as you can, so the black majority of our country can finally feel included,” she said.
Reacting to concerns that Gqeberha was difficult to pronounce, Monyetsane said: “The beauty of education will solve that. If you allow yourself to learn while being tolerant and respectful — no name should be impossible to say.”

Zanele Mahatle, a resident of Johannesburg, suggested that the name South Africa should also be reviewed.
“Maybe at some point they have to rename South Africa,” she said. “There are so many things that need to change and be decolonized, from apartheid leaders and enablers’ statues being removed to renaming streets,” Mahatle said.
“Having English street names and buildings keep our colonizers’ names and legacies alive. So step by step let’s have a country that represents us,” she added.

South Africa endured decades of forced racial segregation known as apartheid, where laws were created dividing the population by race, reserving the best public facilities for whites and creating a separate, and inferior, education system for blacks.
Apartheid ended in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president.

'Firefall' 2021 lights up in orange glory — and Yosemite has extended the viewing

(CNN) — For all the world, it looks like dangerous hot lava streaming down the side of a cliff. But no, that’s not volcanic activity in Yosemite National Park in California.
It’s water — a benign and beautiful waterfall experience known as “firefall.”

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the dramatically growing popularity of firefall, the National Park Service was concerned about crowding around viewing points this year. So it set up travel restrictions and an online reservations system that you need if you want to drive into the popular park.
Originally, the firefall “season” was due to end on Wednesday, but because of the high interest, the park has extended the viewing arrangement until Sunday, February 28. Viewing hours are daily from noon to 7 p.m.

So how does ‘firefall’ happen?

The rays of the setting sun create a pinkish-orange hue at firefall in Yosemite on Wednesday, February 24.
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Firefall occurs at Horsetail Fall, which flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, according to the National Park Service.

It’s a small waterfall, and it normally flows only during winter. The Park Service said it’s actually easy to miss.
But on some days during mid- to late February, it might glow an enchanting and magical orange when it’s backlit by sunset. That gives it that lavalike look.

The Park Service says the dazzling effect happens only on evenings with a clear sky when the waterfall is flowing. Even some haze or a bit of cloudiness can ruin the effect. Mother Nature provides no guarantees.
Firefall is naturally a high-interest topic on Twitter and other social media. Even the US Department of the Interior has gotten in on the excitement posting about it.

Keeping things pristine

It’s about a 1.5-mile walk each way from the closest parking to the viewpoint near the El Capitan picnic area.
The park is very serious about crowd control and parking in the ecologically sensitive area, which has been trampled and trashed in the past. The website posts explicit instructions on parking and warns violators could be towed.

The 20 best soups around the world

(CNN) — If a steaming bowl of soup strikes you as the ultimate in old-fashioned comfort, you’ve got plenty of company. Soup is one of the world’s oldest and most universal foods, said Janet Clarkson, author of the book “Soup: A Global History.”
“Every culture has some kind of soup,” she said. “It’s got very ancient roots.” Early people simmered everything from turtle shells to lengths of bamboo in soup, she writes in the book, turning out metal soup pots starting in the Bronze Age.

Boiling food made it possible to subsist on stable grains, with herbs and other ingredients added for nourishment or medicinal purposes.
Each time you deliver a pot of soup to a friend with the sniffles, Clarkson said you’re in fact carrying on an age-old tradition. “Separating food and medicine — that’s not how ancient people thought of it,” she said. “I think in every country in the world, historically, some soups were seen as restorative.”
That’s true no matter what you call it. Today, soup leans brothy while stews are more substantial, but the world’s spoonable foods have never fit neatly into the two English-language categories.
While Clarkson dove into centuries of etymology to trace the history of soup, potage and broth, she settled on a generously broad take. “Just some stuff cooked in water,” she wrote, “with the flavored water becoming a crucial part of the dish.”

It’s a definition that leaves room for the world’s astonishing culinary diversity. These are CNN’s nominations for 20 of the best soups around the world:

Banga | Nigeria

Banga is so popular in Nigeria that shops sell ready-mixed packets of spice.
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It’s so popular that packets of ready-mixed banga spice are sold in shops. Most blends include African nutmeg, castor seed, orima, jansa and beletete leaves.
The spices infuse a rich, red sauce that’s the soup’s main draw: Soak it up with eba or a ball of starch, two Nigerian staples both made from cassava prepared with different methods.

Beef pho (phở bò) | Vietnam

A bowl of beef pho is sure to cure what ails you.
Leisa Tyler/LightRocket/Getty Images

Broth is simmered for hours with cinnamon, star anise and other warm spices to create a wonderfully aromatic base for this rice noodle soup.

And while today’s pho restaurants serve a wide range of flavors, beef is the original. By 1930, Nguyen explained, the soup was served with slices of raw beef cooked gently in the broth.

Today, beef pho remains the most beloved version in Vietnam, with options that include the original raw beef, a mix of raw and cooked beef, brisket and tendon.

Borscht | Ukraine

Tender beets are just the start of borscht’s tangy delights.
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Chunks of tender beets swim in brilliant red broth for a soup that’s beloved in Ukraine and across Eastern Europe. Often topped with a rich dollop of sour cream, borscht is anything but basic beet soup. It gets a tangy kick from kvass, a lacto-fermented beet juice that’s another regional specialty.

Bouillabaisse | France

Bouillabaisse is synonymous with Marseille, France.
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A fisherman’s stew turned culinary icon, bouillabaisse distills classic Mediterranean flavors into a dish synonymous with the coastal city of Marseille. Saffron, olive oil, fennel, garlic and tomatoes blend with fish fresh from the sea.
At one time, that fish would reflect each day’s catch, but things have gotten a bit stricter.
According to signatories of the 1980 Bouillabaisse Charter — a collective attempt by local chefs to ensure the quality of the French soup — the most authentic recipe must include at least four kinds of seafood chosen from a list that includes monkfish and crab.

Caldo verde | Portugal

This hearty soup hails from Portugal’s wine country.
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Thinly sliced greens meld with potatoes and onions in this homey soup from Portugal’s wine-producing Minho region. Now, the soup is a culinary star from upscale cafes to rural kitchens, the definition of down-home comfort food.
In many versions, tender Portuguese chouriço sausage adds an undercurrent of smoky, salty flavor that makes the soup even heartier. Enjoy alongside a glass of Minho’s famed vinho verde wine.

Chorba frik | Algeria, Libya and Tunisia

Chorba frik is popular in North Africa after the sun sets during Ramadan.
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Durum wheat harvested while green, called freekeh, adds satisfying heft and nourishment to this North African soup, which is especially beloved during the holy time of Ramadan.
The tender grains absorb a tomato broth and aromatic spices, their flavor melding with chickpeas plus stewed chicken, beef, mutton or lamb. Serve with lemon wedges and a hunk of kesra bread.

Chupe de camarones | Peru

Shrimp lovers will want to try the Peruvian soup known as chupe de camarones.
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

This creamy shrimp chowder is a specialty of Arequipa, a historic city surrounded by towering volcanoes. Cold nights in the mountains are perfect for the hearty dish: Tender shrimp swim alongside chunks of Andean potatoes and corn.
It’s got a kick, too. The addition of ají amarillo, a chili pepper with a lilting, fruity flavor, adds satisfying spice to balance out the rich and creamy ingredients. Maybe that explains the soup’s reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac.

Gazpacho | Spain

Gazpacho is a great way to enjoy a cold treat on a hot day.
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Summer in Andalusia brings searing weather, ideal for cooling down with a bowl of this chilled vegetable soup. Today’s most classic version includes tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and olive oil, with a handful of stale breadcrumbs added for body.
Arabs brought the dish to the Iberian Peninsula centuries before Spaniards tasted tomatoes, a New World ingredient. The original was a blend of bread, garlic and olive oil, pounded in a mortar and seasoned with vinegar.

Groundnut soup | West Africa

Sweet potatoes and okra are stars in this particular version of groundnut soup, popular throughout West Africa.
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As with so many culinary treats, groundnut soup ignores international boundaries: Meat, fish or chicken simmered into a thick peanut soup is pure comfort food in countries across West Africa. Versions range from Gambian domoda — the national dish — to a Nigerian take cooked with bitter, leafy greens.
No matter the country, such soups and stews are creamy, rich and salty, a satisfying combination that often gets a fiery jolt from the addition of Scotch bonnet peppers.

Gumbo | United States

Chicken, sausage and shrimp festoon this gumbo.
Tom McCorkle/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Cultures and flavors meld in a hearty soup that’s a star of Louisiana cuisine, influenced by West African, Native Choctaw and French cuisines. Versions made with seafood, chicken and sausage are among the most popular today, but there are myriad ways to make this Southern specialty.
Ground, dried sassafras leaves — called filé and long harvested by the Choctaw people — give many gumbo recipes a distinctive spice. Some cooks thicken their soup with a cooked flour paste called roux, while others swear by sautéed slices of okra.
Every possible version is on display each year at the World Champion Gumbo Cookoff in New Iberia, Louisiana, where cooks battle for some serious soup-master bragging rights.

Harira | Morocco

Moroccan harira uses chickpeas in a savory tomato broth to superb effect.
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When the sun sets during the month of Ramadan, many Moroccans break their fasts with a hot bowl of this comforting chickpea stew. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and pepper lend warming spice to the savory tomato broth, which soaks into tender chickpeas.
While vegetarian recipes are popular, the most classic version is simmered with tender chunks of lamb or other meat. It’s not just fasting fare for Muslims; some North African Jews also prepare harira to break the annual fast of Yom Kippur.

Kharcho | Georgia

A plum sauce gives kharcho its zesty flavor.
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Tart plum sauce called tkemali adds bright, zesty flavor to this traditional soup, which is one of Georgia’s most beloved dishes.
It’s made with unripe plums, whose sour note balances the richness of fatty beef and ground walnuts cooked into the soup. The aromatic kick, though, comes from the spice mix khmeli suneli, a blend of coriander, savory, fenugreek, black pepper, marigold and more.

Lanzhou beef noodle soup | China

Of course a Chinese soup makes the best 20 list — one taste of lanzhou beef noodle soup will tell you whyl
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Shaping — or pulling — la mian noodles by hand for this traditional soup is an art in itself. Artisans use a finely milled, high-gluten flour and alkaline powder to mix a stretchy dough, then pull and fold a single piece of dough to make enough noodles for a bowl of soup.
Slip them into a bowl of beef broth for a world-class soup that includes tender beef, pale slices of radish, chili oil and fresh herbs. (At some shops, diners may even ask for noodles of a preferred thickness and shape.)

Mohinga | Myanmar

This version of mohinga features catfish, rice noodles, chicken eggs and lime.
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Soup is what’s for breakfast in much of Myanmar, where sidewalk vendors and tea shops hawk steaming bowls of mohinga out of enormous vats. The soul of this noodle soup is the aromatic broth, which is simmered with herbs and thickened with toasted rice powder.
Fish lends added richness, while the thin rice noodles are perfect for slurping. Mohinga is so beloved that it’s gone from breakfast dish to anytime snack, and each region has its own twist on the classic soup.

Menudo | Mexico

Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup made with tripe and hominy. It’s touted for its curative effects for hangovers.
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Tripe simmered for hours in a piquant, garlicky broth is the ultimate Mexican hangover cure, but menudo goes far beyond morning-after remedies. It’s a favorite at weddings and big occasions, too, when an enormous pot of the traditional soup can feed dozens of guests.
It’s sheer comfort food, with kernels of hominy that get fresh bite from a garnish of raw onions, chiles and cilantro. Choose from one of two main varieties: Menudo rojo turns a deep red from chiles in the broth, while Sonoran-style Menudo blanco is a milder alternative.

Moqueca de camarão | Brazil

Shrimp floating in a coconut broth? Count us in for moqueca de camarão.
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Palm oil and tomatoes tint coconut broth a warm, orangey red in this specialty from the Bahia region of Brazil, where locals eat steaming bowls on even the hottest days.
This soup’s real draw is sweet, tender shrimp floating in the broth, however. Traditionally, moqueca de camarão is cooked in a handmade pot made from black clay and the sap of mangrove trees, then brought to the table in the same authentic vessel.

Soto ayam | Indonesia

This is chicken noodle soup with an indulgent Indonesian twist.
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Chicken noodle soup may reach its culinary pinnacle in this piquant Indonesian dish. Spices such as fresh turmeric, star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass and lime leaves combine for deeply layered aroma and flavor, with the jammy yolks of soft-boiled eggs to add extra richness.
Every part of Indonesia has a local twist, and the soup is also beloved in Singapore, Malaysia and in faraway Suriname in South America, where the recipe arrived with Javanese immigrants.
Eat topped with fried shallots, fresh limes and a fiery scattering of sliced red chiles.

Tom yum goong | Thailand

Shiitake mushrooms and prawns are the stars of this version of tom yum soup.
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Sweet, sour, spicy and salty, this soup’s magnificent broth is the ideal foil for sweet, tender shrimp. Aromatic ingredients include galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves, while slivers of bright red bird’s eye chilis add additional heat.
Tom yum goong is just one of many varieties of tom yum soup in Thailand — this version comes enriched with fat prawns, and is a favorite with many diners.

Tonkotsu ramen | Japan

This classic ramen soup is flavored with pork bones.
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Long-simmered pork bones impart intense flavor to this classic ramen, whose broth is cloudy with marrow and fat. It’s a signature of Fukuoka Prefecture on the southerly island of Kyushu, but the rich soup is now served in ramen shops across the country (and world).
While the indulgent broth is the star of tonkotsu ramen, a bowl isn’t complete without slices of pork belly and a tangle of noodles that are hard in the center. Eat with a pair of chopsticks and a flat-bottomed spoon, and don’t forget to slurp — it’s believed to enhance the flavor.

Yayla çorbasi | Turkey

Yayla çorbasi speaks to a time when soup and medicine weren’t considered such separate things.
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Boiled rice or barley adds grainy sweetness to this creamy yogurt soup. It’s believed to ward off colds during winter; some Turkish hospitals even serve yogurt soup to recovering patients.
A crumble of dried mint helps balance the yogurt’s slight tang. Serve with a pillowy round of fresh pita bread.