South America inherited Christianity from its European colonizers, but each country has its own profane/sacred approach to it. Kids reenact the birth of Jesus at schools and churches celebrate Mass, but there’s also dancing, fires, and chants that very much echo pagan traditions.
The Brazilian countryside celebration of Folia de Reis happens between Christmas Eve and early January. It’s a tradition inherited from the Portuguese, honoring the three wise men who visited baby Jesus when he was born. It happens in all five Brazilian regions and, although each city and village possesses its own traditions, there’s always a choir, dancing clowns, a ceremony master, a trio representing the magi, and a flag-man carrying the group banner.
In the city of La Plata (one hour from Buenos Aires), another tradition with mixed origins was created. Locals spend a lot of time building huge paper and cardboard dolls that they set on fire on New Years. People compete to have the best, the funniest, the most controversial paper puppets — it can get very political too, with representations pro and against governments.
Nativity scenesNativity scenes are very common, on the streets and inside houses — with both great and horrible results, of course. In Quito, Ecuador, for instance, there are pesebre competitions and a giant nativity scene is held over the Panecillo. In small cities all over Brazil, the central praça will have its version set inside a bandstand, often created by children (sometimes using recycled material).
“Santa should wear flip flops.” Poor crazy uncle, sweating inside his heavy red Christmas suit. It’s high summer in South America, and very hot. Many cities will host festivities on the streets, and people like to enjoy the fireworks, sing villancicos, and host neighborhood parties after midnight. December 25 and Jan 1 are often spent at the houses of those with swimming pools.
Nativity scenes are very common, on the streets and inside houses — with both great and horrible results, of course. In Quito, Ecuador, for instance, there are pesebre competitions and a giant nativity scene is held over the Panecillo. In small cities all over Brazil, the central praça will have its version set inside a bandstand, often created by children (sometimes using recycled material).
The Missa do Galo or Misa de Gallo is a traditional Christmas Mass celebrated in all Catholic countries, but it becomes a huge event in South America. It starts right after Christmas Eve dinner, and it’s not uncommon for Catholic families to watch it together on television. The Portuguese/Spanish name derives from the fact that the Mass is so long that people don’t get home until the roosters are crowing. There’s candle lighting, chanting, and after Mass it’s time to put baby Jesus in the nativity scene.
Every year, Buñol hosts La Tomatina, the world's largest food fight. Well connected by motorway and rail to Madrid and Valencia, this charming town erupts into a fiery blaze of tomato-hurling on the last Wednesday of every August. The batalla takes place during a week-long celebration filled with non-stop festivities and the ever present anticipation of the monstrous tomato battle that serves as the culmination of the week's events.The Tomatina started during the annual town festival in hour of their patrons San Luis Bertran and the Our Lady of the Forsaken. One parade that takes place during the town fiesta is the parade of the giant heads. As just so happened one year back in the 1940’s some youngsters wanted to participate in this parade but the participants didn’t let them join. In a moment of youthful impulse the kids barged into the parade knocking down one of the participants. When this person got back on his feet, furious with what had occurred, he went to the nearest stall and grabbed the first thing he could find—some tomatoes. I think you can imagine the rest. From that moment on, this festival has grown in popularity year after year.
During the week leading up to this epic battle, the 9000 inhabitants of Buñol watch as their town doubles in size. A whole week of parades, fireworks, food and street parties make this town the center of attention in Spain. The night before La Tomatina, the narrow streets beneath the town's medieval bell tower begin to fill with the smell of tomatoes. You will find giant pans of delectable paella simmering, as is tradition, over wood-burning fires each one trying to win the paella contest. After the contest, wine flows and more food is eaten all over the small town until the early hours of the morning.
Perífrasis formada con el presente del verbo estar + gerundio:
(Structure formed by the present of Estar + gerund.)
viviendo(* )(* ) Formación del gerundio:
(How to form the gerund)
Verbos Regulares (regular verbs):
– Verbos de la primera conjugación: –AR = –ando (cantar = cantando )
– Verbos de la segunda o tercera conjugación: –ER/–IR = –iendo (beber = bebiendo; vivir = viviendo )
Irregulares (irregular verbs):
Los verbos en -ir con cambio vocálico en el presente, cambian también en el gerundio la e>i y la o>u. (Verbs ending in -ir with vowel change in the present tense, also change in the gerund: e>i and o>u)
Preferir: prefiriendoDormir: durmiendo
Poder: pudiendoSi la raíz del verbo acaba en vocal, el gerundio toma la terminación -yendo.
(If the root verb ends in a vowel, the gerund takes the form -yendo)
Ir: yendoLeer: leyendo
Traer: trayendoUsamos estar + gerundio para hacer referencia a la actividad que realizamos en el momento de hablar o en un período concreto de tiempo.
(We use estar + gerundio to talk about the activity we are doing in the moment of the conversation or in a concrete period of time)
Esta perífrasis puede ir acompañada de ciertas expresiones temporales como (It may be followed by some time expressions ): ahora, en este momento, en estos momentos, esta semana, este mes, este año...
Perdona, no puedo atenderte, en este momento estoy termiando un informe muy importate.
Podemos usar esta perífrasis con el presente de indicativo para diferenciar esas acciones concretas de otras más generales (con las que utilizamos el presente)
(Together with the present tense we can show the difference between concrete actions –estar+gerundio– and general actions –present tense–)
Siempre voy a trabajar en mi coche, pero esta semana estoy yendo en autobús.
("Siempre voy": General. "Esta semana estoy yendo": Acción concreta) (concrete action)
Colombian culture is very similar to a lot of other Latin American countries, with a few special elements that make it unique. Looking at Colombian history for example, the Spanish colonial era has left a lasting influence throughout the country, with a high rate of Roman Catholics in Colombian society. The Spanish decimated the indigenous population here, yet many elements live on in Colombian customs, music and language.
The geographical make up of Colombia, with its treacherousness of the terrain and sheer variety of climates made communication and travel very difficult, and therefore helped foster regionalism. Football however, is a uniting factor in Colombian society, despite the large rift between economic classes. Long ago in Colombian history, carnivals became an opportunity for the whole population to congregate and enjoy la fiesta, which is an important aspect of Colombian culture.
Music is a very important part of Colombian culture, with Cumbia and Vallenato enjoyed country-wide. Shakira is famously from this Latin American country, as is Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a famous figure in Colombian literature. Colombian art is often synonymous with Fernando Botero.
Department of Education release a new National Curriculum draft 07/02/2013The Department of Education have released a draft of the new National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. For languages at Key Stage 2 Teaching should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin or Ancient Greek. read more > (DfE website)