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Pic of the Week – Sports, Law, and Tradition in Hats

The following is a guest post by Peter Roudik, Director of Legal Research at the Law Library of Congress. Peter has previously written for In Custodia Legis on a number of topics related to Russia and the former Soviet Union. These include posts on Assassinations of Russian Ambassadors, A Spring Holiday for Workers, the Soviet Investigation of Nazi War Crimes, Lustration in Ukraine, Crimean History, Status and Referendum, Regulating the Winter Olympics in Russia, Soviet Law and the Assassination of JFK, and the Treaty on the Creation of the Soviet Union.

Last week, many of us were watching the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea and admired the diversity of costumes and uniforms the teams were wearing at the Parade of Nations and athletic events. Some of them were designed by the athletes themselves, others were created by famous dress makers, and some teams uniforms were proposed by the International Olympic Committee.  However, there was one team whose members were wearing clothes that soon might be mandated by the law of their home country. This is the team from Kyrgyzstan, which consists of two athletes competing in two skiing events, slalom and cross country.

Two men from Kyrgyzstan sitting with wooden dishes

Trades of the Kyrgyz. Manufacture of wooden dishes Turkestanskii al’bom, chast’ promyslovai︠a︡, 1871-1872, part 3, p. 44. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //lccn.loc.gov/2007681439.

Last month, a bill was introduced in the Kyrgyz legislature, under which a white felt hat called Ak Kalpak —a centuries-old traditional head gear of older Kyrgyz men—will be recognized as a national symbol of the country together with the flag, anthem, and the coat of arms.  Similar laws establishing a national cap can be found in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. The bill provides for this hat to become a mandatory part of attire for all Kyrgyz government officials, including the President, during official foreign visits in order to “promote and preserve Kyrgyz traditions and culture.” A special provision of the bill applies to athletes participating in sport competitions abroad. To be in compliance with the law, athletes must carry the Ak Kalpak at official ceremonies. Soon we might see this cap as a regular element of official Kyrgyz sport uniforms!

How to Boost your Medal Count in the Olympics, South Korean-Style

This following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a foreign law specialist who covers Japan and various other countries in East and Southeast Asia, and Jieun Chang, foreign law intern at the Global Legal Research Directorate. Sayuri has previously written posts for In Custodia Legis on various topics, including Two Koreas Separated by Demilitarized Zone, English Translations of Post-World […]

An Interview with Felicia Stephan, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Felicia Stephan, a foreign law intern working with Jenny Gesley on research related to the laws of Germany and other German-speaking jurisdictions at the Global Legal Research Directorate, Law Library of Congress.  Describe your background. I am originally from Tübingen, a small town in the south of Germany, where I grew up with […]

The Pyramid of Niches in an 18th Century Legal Gazette

Today, February 5th, is the 101st anniversary of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.  As I have covered the history of the Mexican constitution before, I would like to observe this holiday with another Mexican matter. I have been working on a digitization proposal, and–as I was drafting the narrative and compiling the details for it–I chanced upon this […]

The French National Library – Pic of the Week

The following is a guest post from Nicolas Boring, foreign law specialist covering French speaking jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. I recently went back to Paris for a few days and took that opportunity to visit the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), the French national library.  Specifically, I went to the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand […]

2018 Supreme Court Fellows Program Annual Lecture to Feature Justice Clarence Thomas

The Law Library of Congress and the Supreme Court Fellows Program will present A Conversation with The Honorable Clarence Thomas on Thursday, February 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. Tickets are free, but registration is required.  Please register via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conversation-with-the-honorable-clarence-thomas-tickets-41455844547 Professor Gregory E. Maggs of George Washington University Law School will […]

Nauru – 50 Years of Independence

Fifty years ago, on January 31, 1968, Nauru became an independent nation. It is the smallest island republic in the world with a land area of just 8.1 square miles (“about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC“) and a population of around 10,000 people. Prior to independence, from 1947 onward, the island was subject to a […]