culture

Homenaje a España en Miami International Book Fair

Nos encontramos en el año de conmemoración de la llegada de Juan Ponce de León a Florida hace 500 años como primer explorador oficial de la corona española en 1513. Desde aquel año hasta nuestros días, la herencia española no solo ha estado presente en estas tierras sino que se ha ido extendiendo por todo el territorio Norteamericano. Estados Unidos se ha convertido en el país de habla no española que más influencia ha tenido de nuestra cultura y Juan Ponce de León junto con otros exploradores españoles como Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca fueron responsables de este hecho desde el comienzo de la expansión anglo-española en el continente Americano.

Este insigne vallisoletano, al cual se le deben los topónimos de Puerto Rico (siendo gobernador de la Isla bajo el gobierno de Carlos V) y Florida, consiguió permiso del Rey Fernando para recorrer las tierras del norte de las isla Lucayas donde se situaba el río Biminí cuyas aguas se conocían como milagrosas por proporcionar la eterna Juventud: The Fountain of Youth. De la cual yo mismo he tenido la oportunidad de beber 500 años después y que espero me mantenga joven por muchos años. Bromas aparte, el legendario lugar se encuentra en los alrededores de la actual ciudad de San Agustín. Conocida como la ciudad más antigua de Estados Unidos y en la cual se respira el legado español en cada rincón, desde el nombre de sus calles (Avilés, cambados, etc) hasta su arquitectura (incluyendo su fortaleza pentagonal muy al uso en aquellas alturas y de herencia hispana).

La feria del libro más importante de Estados Unidos celebrada en Miami está teniendo lugar en estos días en la que es ya su trigésima edición. Debido […]

Por |noviembre 18th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios

Very Spanish wines. Drinking the culture… an experience for the senses

Yes, I said drinking the culture. The Spanish culture can be drunk-learned by enjoying its fantastic wines on location. When I say on location I mean in the wineyard, in the cellar, direct from the barrel, sulfites or chemical free, in the very heart of the smell of several types of wines and guided by the owner and maker of the golden treasures of his production. A very unique activity that still can be enjoyed with Global Language Training.

If there is something representative from Spain, this is definitely its fantastic wines. From Rioja to Ribera del Duero, Penedés, Albariño, etc. But there exists a unique wine in the world that is brewed in the south of the península: SHERRY WINE. Brewed from “Palomino fino” and “Pedro Ximénez” grapes (mainly). Everybody knows and recognise the quality and uniqueness of this wineries which offer the summum of wine culture exported from Cádiz province to the resto of the world. Wines that are more than wines, halfway between wines and spirits…

 

Taken to England By Drake (among others), which only increased the steem of its people to this wines. Laureated, celebrated and personified in love affection by William Shakespeare in some of his works (i.e. Henry IV).  We find ourselves immersed in the most liquid expression of the character of its inhabitants and the history of this rich piece of land at the southernmost corner of Europe heading to Africa.

Last week, James, Stephanie, Xavier (the baby) McNeely and me went to pay a visit to Jose Luis Muñoz. He is the owner of a private bodega located near the river beds of Guadalquivir (Halfway between Jerez and Sanlucar, next to Doñana natural reserve), and spend his days taking care […]

Por |noviembre 14th, 2013|culture, Spanish gastronomy|0 comentarios

Sevilla: the best Spanish language lab. The city

Learning Spanish language in Sevilla normally becomes a unique experience. Just ask your friends who had the opportunity of coming here and enjoying the interaction with people, its fantastic weather, the beauty and magic of its streets, plazas and monuments. Every moment of the day offers an output of culture in a city that encompasses daily life with strong values and tradition in a quite subtle way.

Imagine that you are at the university and, after your Spanish lessons, your teacher recommend you to go and practice your listening and speaking abilities in the language laboratory. All of us know what a language lab is. I have been working in some of them during my period in Florida International University. It is a very useful place in which you normally find material to practice and a teacher to get guided conversation if want to; or just listen to tapes, watch movies, videos, etc. But all this is off-setting.

What if you just go to the setting for a month and use a bigger lab: Sevilla? Why not? Where you can talk with locals, learn their costumes, participate in the output of the everyday life in a city which has witnessed so much hispanic history through its streets and old gates. Let’s say that instead of listening to a taped conversation, you just sit down in any of the beautiful cafes in the historic center of the city, or the Jewish quarter, or any little town in the Aljarafe, and listen to people’s conversations (it’s already known that Spaniards talk very loud so it wouldn’t represent a problem). What if instead of watching a Spanish movie and participate in a debate with your peeps, you have the […]

Por |octubre 17th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios

DÌA DE LA HISPANIDAD, DE LA RAZA, COLUMBUS DAY… SPANISH LANGUAGE DAY

Today is our duty to pay attention to Día de la Hispanidad:

521 years back from today, an important event occurred to definitely change the minds of the whole population of the world. A group of Spaniards commanded by Christopher Columbus arrived to the coast of what they thought were the East Indies but what actually was America. More than 400 years later, by the beginning of XX century, Some Spanish authorities and the Iberoamerican Union decided to commemorate the discovery of the new continent in an attempt of drawing up Spanish speaking countries and Spain with the intention of sharing their cultural origin as an act of racial and cultural pride cleaning differences that they had after the independences  of most of these countries from the Spanish rule.

This date is celebrated in different ways in every country. In Spain, The King (as the major authority of the Spanish Army) presides a military show with still some imperial reminiscences and also coincides with the Virgen del Pilar Day, which entails some religious connotations to the commemorative ceremony. In other Spanish speaking countries, many cultural activities and different events are also celebrated. Besides, the USA also celebrates this day but they call it Columbus Day and centre their commemorations on the fact of the discovery which, for them, undergoes the origin of the American Dream philosophy. They see in this the challenging search what those brave men did in the pursuit of their dreams encouraging all Americans to make their own dreams true. Moreover, the Hispanic population in the USA is increasingly growing very fast so the celebration is turning into a kind of commemoration of the union of cultures and fraternity under the Hispanic culture […]

Por |octubre 12th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios