Feb 19, 2012

It's Carnival time!
Culture, languages and ICT

Carnival Queen 2012 (picture by www.listas/20minutes.es)
Carnival is one of the most popular festivities in The Canaries. Even though it is celebrated in all municipalities, the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria might be the most flamboyant and eye catching of all because of its richness and number of participants. It is followed by Maspalomas Carnival, the most cosmopolitan since we have participants and visitors from all over the world. People enjoy all kind of shows and activities in the open air during three weeks of fun. Among the most popular shows we have The Queen Gala (video) and The Drag Queen Gala (video). The contestants for the Queen's throne wear very heavy dresses (called fantasies which weigh up to 100 kilos) which prove the designers' creativity and skills. On the other hand, Drag Queens are characterised by wearing high platform shoes with which they have to perform on stage in front of nearly 5,000 people who had previously queued for three days in order to get a ticket for the show.

Carnival Drag Queen 2012 (picure by www.eldia.es)
The Cabalgata (the big parade) is also one of the craziest events, with more than a hundred decked coaches followed by thousands (usually more than 250,000) of citizens and visitors in disguises and official groups like murgas (group of singers with ironic and funny lyrics) and comparsas (group of dancers). Every night (but specially at the weekends) there are free parties on the streets (called mogollón) and the Carnival finishes with the Burial of the Sardine: the Sardine fish represents carnival, so its burial means that the party is over; this is an allegorical party, and everybody dresses in black costumes and pretends being in a funeral (a hilarious funeral). And the best of all: safety! Even though the number of participants may sound scary, the truth is that the rate of criminality and delinquency is practically non-existent. So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up, the party is coming to an end!

Carnival is a great opportunity to create motivating activities for language learning, and thanks to the vicarious experience offered by the Net, there is no need to travel physically to different parts of the world in order to get to know this festivity. Here you have some online ideas for Carnival activities (by courtesy of Oxford University Press).

Feb 16, 2012

Hi everyone, hope you're doing good. Just booked my air ticket and got excited about the study visit as it's approaching. I wish you all the best and melting, it's still freezing here, temperature's gone up to minus 3 :-) though. Looking forward to meet you all. Cheers