Sombrero-wearing dachshunds, penguins in the desert and a fairy tale kiss turns political

Our weekly "Mish Mash" of some of the weird and wonderful things people are getting up to around the world

By Maria Balinska

Once a week we like to bring you some of the more unusual stories we’ve come across in our perusal of the world’s media, stories that highlight the weird and wonderful of what people are up to wherever they live.

Polish dog wears sombrero

Dachshunds are popular fashion icons the world over – here in Sao Paolo, Brazil. (REUTERS/Paolo Whitaker)

Did you know, for example, that dachshunds are the most popular dog in the Polish city of Krakow? So popular that there has been an annual Dachshund parade through the city for 18 years now. Needless to say, the dogs come to the party dressed up and ready to compete for awards. This year’s theme was “Dachshund Traveler” and this year’s winner was Borys.

Radio Polonia had a report from the frontline:

Borys, a native of Nowy Targ in southern Poland, conquered Krakow with his dashing Mexican outfit, complete with poncho, sombrero and guitar.He saw off competition from Riki, a dachshund bearing a map and backpack, Lady, who sported a Hawaiian costume, and Una and Zaratustra, a pair of pooches dressed as astronauts.

We don’t have video from this year’s pageant unfortunately, but here’s some footage from 2011.

In case you’re wondering, dachshunds are among the top 10 dogs in the U.S. – just. In this year’s American Kennel Club rankings, they slipped from 8th to 9th in popular affection.

Fancy frosting your sand and palm trees?

King Penguins walk in Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates (REUTERS)

Meanwhile in the one of the hottest and driest countries of the world, the United Arab Emirates, snow parties are becoming the latest craze. Weddings, banquets, nightclubs – they are all „frosting” their activities with the fake stuff which, as we read in the National, comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes from „falling snow” to „settled snow, indoor display snow and ice effect gel.”

The manager of Desert Snow told the National: “It’s a very niche market but we think there’s some growth in it. Even so, I don’t expect us to be packing our bags and going to Barbados next year.”

For those who want the real thing – and have more money than sense – turns out you can actually import real snowballs from Norway…

A fairy tale kiss

And finally a sleeping-beauty-wakes-up story from…Ukraine.

It all started with a “living exhibit” at the end of August in the country’s National Art Museum by Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko. Polataiko’s work has been described as “consistently exploring political history and memory.” In this case he arranged for five young women to wear bridal dresses and sleep for three days in makeshift beds in the gallery. The added tension or (as some commentators put it) “insanity”, came from the fact that the women all agreed that they would marry any “male suitor” who managed to wake them up with a kiss.

“Several of the beauties,” RFE/RL reports, “professed excitement at the launch of the exhibit, saying they expected ‘fate’ to unite them with their mystery ‘soul mates.'”

One of the “sleeping beauties” in the living exhibit in Ukraine’s National Art Museum (REUTERS)

The happy ending, however, was a little different than anticipated. It was a female visitor to the gallery, Jana, who woke up sleeping beauty Katya. This twist comes at a time when mainstream politicians in Ukraine are pushing for anti-gay legislation. Just last month, the TV show SpongeBob Square Pants was attacked as being “homosexual propaganda.”

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the exhibit took place in the same city where, only a few weeks earlier, a topless feminist activist from the Ukrainian group FEMEN hacked down a Christian cross in protest at the prosecution of the Russian band Pussy Riot.

As RFE/RL reporter Daisy Sindelar concludes:

“ln a season of Pussy Riot and Femen’s topless protesters, the conclusion of the “sleeping beauty” exhibit was thoroughly of the times.”

As always if you have anything to contribute to our Mish Mash let us know!