Walk this way, talk this way

For American anthropologist Clifford Geertz, our “cultural particularities” reveal what it is to be “generically human”. Put another way, human cultures are similarly different. Language and culture – our ways of speaking, our ways of doing things, our way of making things – offer the best proof of this belief, of how the world is a rich and diverse place. But when we look very closely, we discover just how similar we all really are.

  • A day in the life of a Colombian cowboy, Colombia
  • The sensorial secrets of perfume, Morocco
  • Learn Kung Fu from a Shaolin master, China
  • A meeting with the hill tribes, Thailand
  • Celebrate the sport of kings, USA
  • Take a turn at Japanese ceramics, Japan
  • Discover the secrets of Capoeira, Brazil
  • Cabers, hammers, sheafs and clans, Scotland

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

PLAN MY FIELD TRIP

Language & Culture About image
Horse riding class

Experience the Llanero lifeway in remote Colombia

For future cowboys, cowgirls, and anthropologists
Location: Los Llanos, Colombia
Fast facts: 12+ | November – April | Full day

Out on the remote plains and wetlands of Colombia, the traditional Llanero way of life has been defiantly preserved across five tumultuous centuries. Passed down through generations, these proud semi-nomadic Colombian cowboys expertly tame their horses and care for their cattle. It is a proud and noble existence that has withstood the tests and trials of great historic upheavals.

In this first-hand cultural interaction, you’ll immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of Colombia’s Llaneros, participating in their horse-riding and herding duties. Later, you’ll join an intimate community gathering; tapping your feet to joropo music played on the harp and cuatro guitar while share a meal hot off the traditional mamona barbeque with the locals.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Colombia. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
Horse riding class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Horse ride barefoot alongside experienced Llaneros and try your hand at the lasso
  • Learn the traditional melodies used to call and ease cattle herds
  • Discover Llanero culture, joining in with community gatherings
  • Share a fireside meal with the locals and experience traditional music and dancing

After saddling up and riding out, you’ll leave with a newfound understanding of one of the world’s most fascinating living cultures.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

perfume class

Create your own scent in Morocco’s premiere perfume atelier

For future perfumiers and craftspeople
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Fast facts: Age 10+ | June – September | Half day

The Musee du Parfum is a small and sensorial institution that celebrates all things smell. More than a space for exhibition, it’s also an atelier – and a space for olfactory creation. In Morocco, this is an art that’s led by moods and feelings, where each creation stems from the combination of scents that ‘speak’ to you on that day and in that moment.

During this arresting experience, you’ll meet Amina – your dedicated perfumier – with whom you’ll embark on a sensory journey to create your own perfume masterpiece. The entire day is also a chance to practice your conversational French, be you a beginner or an expert; regaling stories and sharing your experiences. From scents to base notes and on to your own personal perfume, this is a history lesson and a French lesson, all wrapped into one unforgettable memory.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Morocco. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
perfume class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Practice your French throughout the day, from your first encounter to your journey back to your hotel
  • Learn about the Moroccan approach to making perfumes
  • Try your hand at creating your own bespoke scent with a master perfumier as your guide and mentor

Full of ideas and inspiration, you’ll leave with an embodied understanding of the art of perfume – as well as a bottle of your own personal scent.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

kung fu class

Practice the disciplines and stratagems of a 1,500-year-old martial art

For future martial artists, monks and sociologists
Location: Luoyang, China
Fast facts: 12+ | All year round | Half day

Not just a martial art but a spiritual practice, Shaolin Kung Fu dates as far back as the 6th century. The place of its genesis, Shaolin Temple, is also the birthplace of Chan Buddhism and home to the learned monks who live and study there. It takes decades to reach the exceptionally high level of skill and technique that Kung Fu requires, where motion and stillness must find balance in equal measure.

On this unique and flowing experience, you’ll explore the history of Kung Fu on a tour of Shaolin Temple, before trying it out for yourself in a private lesson. Will you have the strength, balance and concentration to master the ways of wushu?

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in China. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
kung fu class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Enjoy a tour of Shaolin Temple, discovering its history and the culture it is attached to
  • Practice the art of Shaolin Kung Fu yourselves, participating in a private class with a local master
  • Watch the classes of other accomplished students

After leaving Shaolin Temple, you’ll have acquired a first-hand understanding of Kung Fu’s methods and its history.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

thailand culture class

An anthropological encounter through food, language and culture

For future anthropologists, documentarians, and linguists
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Fast facts: Age 14+ | December – March | Full day

The tribes of northern Thailand have occupied the uplands and hills for countless centuries. Rather than a single, monolithic entity, the tribes – whose territory spreads across the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Burma – represent diverse ethnic groups with their languages, traditions and customs. However, all make use of using ‘slash and burn’ agricultural techniques to subsist in their densely forested homeland. In recent years, however, political pressure and forced relocations have put this way of life at risk. This is a critical time for the tribes.

On this enlivening ethnographic encounter, you’ll head into the hills with your expert local guide. Together, you’ll visit the main village of the Lahu tribe in Mae Ai district, meeting community leaders and learning about their practices, architecture, spiritual beliefs, music, and daily life. From there, you’ll head into the jungles – and its orchards and crops – to learn for yourself about the tribe’s generations-old agricultural and subsistence practices.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Thailand. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
thailand class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Join members of the Lahu tribe on a walking tour around their village, getting a chance to discuss language, music, food, spiritual beliefs, and culture
  • Learn more about everyday life in this idyllic corner of mountainous Thailand
  • Set off into the jungle to visit the tribe’s orchards, crops, and surrounding landscapes
  • Cool off with a swim beneath a beautiful jungle waterfall

Leave with a rare, insider’s insight into the way of life of one of the world’s fascinating communities.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

Hawaii surfing class

Hit the waves with a Hawaiian grand master

For future surfers, sociologists and anthropologists
Location: Kauai, USA
Fast facts: All ages | All year round | Half day

Known locally at the ‘sport of kings’, Hawaiian surfing is really so much more than a sport – it’s a way of life. For centuries, this was called he’e nalu, or ‘wave sliding’, and its artistry was closely woven into the Hawaiian way of life. Today, surfing continues to shape the identity of these idyllic Pacific islands. To understand Hawaii is to get to grips with its waves.

And this is exactly what you’ll do on this outrageously energetic day, hitting Hawaii’s iconic surf with a grand master as your tutor and guide. Get stoked, for this is a history lesson with a huge dose of adrenaline thrown in.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in America. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
Hawaii surfing class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Learn about Hawaii’s history and the importance of surfing to its identity, past and present
  • Hit the waves with a grand master as your tutor and guide
  • Better understand the relationship between sport and culture in the modern world

You’ll leave – elated – with a deep appreciation for surfing’s historic heritage, and with a few tidy tricks up your sleeve.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

Japan pottery class

A master teaches the art of Raku-Yaki pottery

For future anthropologists, makers and potters
Where: Kyoto, Japan
Fast facts: 14+ | Mar – May, Oct – Nov | Half day

Raku-Yaki (or Raku ware) is an earthy variety of Japanese ceramic traditionally used in tea ceremonies. Hand-shaped, kiln-fired and air-dried, these pots hold immense cultural value in Japanese society, and master potters spend many years perfecting the techniques to fully realize them – in all their sinuous and robust beauty. With curious lead glazes and undulating shapes, they are a surprising and beautiful work of art in their own right (and long before the tea).

During this hands-on experience, you’ll head to a famous Raku atelier to discover more about this form of pottery for yourself, learning to make your very own sake cup in the process.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Japan. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
Japan pottery class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Learn about the cultural significance of Raku ware from the potters who produce it
  • Understand the forms and varieties that these pots take
  • Create your own piece of Raku Yaki under the guidance of the master potters themselves

Clay-marked and fired up, you’ll leave with a practical knowledge of ceramics and an insider’s perspective on their importance to Japanese society.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

Capoeira class

Master the moves of Brazil’s historic martial art

For future martial artists, musicians and philosophers
Location: Salvador, Brazil
Fast facts: 14+ | Oct – April | Half day

Angolan Capoeira is a martial art which originated in the 16th century, first practiced by enslaved African peoples in Brazil. Drawing on elements of dance, music and acrobatics, it is marked by flowing movements each accompanied by music that sets the tempo of the games. ‘Ginga’ – the fundamental footwork required of its practitioners – takes years of dedication to learn, and a commitment to the philosophy and way of life that its masters follow.

This afternoon experience involves an exclusive visit to FICA (the International Federation of Angolan Capoeira). There, you’ll have the opportunity to understand the philosophy and history of Capoeira from esteemed Capoeiristas, while trying your hands – and your feet – at some of its most rhythmic moves.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Brazil. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
Capoeira class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Meet respected Capoeiristas and have the chance to ask them questions
  • Learn about the history and philosophy behind this time-honoured martial art
  • Witness the gathering of students and teachers to the Roda for an impressive display of Capoeira techniques
  • Be taught the fundamental movements and try playing the instruments that accompany it

Leave with a practical understanding of Capoeira, its history, and its techniques.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.

highland games class

Throw your own Highland games in Cairngorms National Park

For future athletes, adventurers and clanspeople
Location: Cairngorms, Scotland
Fast facts: All ages | June – Sept | Full day

Each year, the Highland Games are hosted in the mountains of Cairngorms National Park, just as they do across Scotland. Part of the country’s culture for many hundreds of years, the first known historical reference to the Games was made in the 11th century. Clans would gather in their masses to compete in events such as the caber toss and ‘weight throw’, all accompanied by the music of pipe bands and jigging dancers. Now, the Games are an important part of celebrating Scottish culture – at home and across the world -, keeping the Celtic tradition alive and kicking.

Be ready for plenty of fun in this boisterous activity, digging deep to find your competitive streak as you host your very own Highland Games in the heart of the Cairngorms.

This class can be added to any Black Tomato experience in Scotland. We can also build your trip entirely around it.

Take this class
highland games class

Class Highlights

During this class, you’ll:

  • Discover the history and cultural significance of the Highland Games
  • Witness demonstrations by your private tutors before trying your own hand, playing and competing yourselves in traditional Scottish games and sports

You’ll leave with a newfound understanding of Celtic history and its modern lifeways.

Looking for something else?
We can create a bespoke trip or experience to suit any mood – educational or not. Just ask.