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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Unesco has given Portugal an intangible, world cultural heritage award in recognition of its musical tradition, Fado.


Fado, Lisbon’s mournful song and the Portuguese most traditional music genre, was added Sunday to UNESCO’s list of World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. According to UNESCO, intangible heritage includes traditions and skills passed on within cultures.
The UNESCO’s committee of experts, meeting on Bali island of Indonesia, unanimously praised Fado as an “example of good practices” that should be followed by other countries.
On its website, UNESCO describes Fado as the”urband popular song of Portugal,” stating
Fado is a performance genre incorporating music and poetry widely practised by various communities in Lisbon. It represents a Portuguese multicultural synthesis of Afro-Brazilian sung dances, local traditional genres of song and dance, musical traditions from rural areas of the country brought by successive waves of internal immigration, and the cosmopolitan urban song patterns of the early nineteenth century. Fado songs are usually performed by a solo singer, male or female, traditionally accompanied by a wire-strung acoustic guitar and the Portuguese guitarra – a pear-shaped lute with twelve wire strings, unique to Portugal, which also has an extensive solo repertoire. The past few decades have witnessed this instrumental accompaniment expanded to two Portuguese guitars, a guitar and a bass guitar. Fado is performed professionally on the concert circuit and in small ‘Fado houses’, and by amateurs in numerous grass-root associations located throughout older neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Informal tuition by older, respected exponents takes place in traditional performance spaces and often over successive generations within the same families. The dissemination of Fado through emigration and the world music circuit has reinforced its image as a symbol of Portuguese identity, leading to a process of cross-cultural exchange involving other musical traditions.
More than 80 nominations were considered for inclusion of UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the 6th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Recently, the Portuguese Parliament had endorsed the initiative in Portugal to promote Fado as UNESCO’s World’s Heritage Cultural Patrimony. The city of Lisbon had submitted its request to UNESCO on July 2010.
In 2009 former Lisbon mayor Pedro Santana Lopes came up with the idea that fado should be considered as a cultural heritage. The initiative was then lead by fado singers Mariza and Carlos do Carmo ambassators representing Fado’s candidacy.
Mariza, a leading contemporary performer, multiple award winner and the ambassador of Fado’s UNESCO candidacy said that should Fado be honored “perhaps we Portuguese may take greater pride in who we are, especially in the so very grey times we currently live in.”
“People shall have a far greater desire to care for, understand and nourish (Fado) as they begin to understand that this is not some lesser culture, but rich and deep and able to be performed anywhere in the world,” the singer explained.
Fado was one of the candidates to get official backing alongside the knowledge about jaguars held by the indigenous Yurupari people (Colombia), the Mariachi musical style (Mexico), the Nijemo Kolo dances of Dalmatia (Croatia), Tsiattista music and dance (Cyprus) and the royal mounted horse parade of Moravia (Czech Republic).
The deciding committee, chaired by the Ambassador of Indonesia to UNESCO, Aman Wirakartakusumah, consisted of 24 countries, including Spain, Kenya, Japan and Venezuela.
While its origin is unknown, historians believe Fado is a multicultural blending of songs by Portuguese homesick sailors, African slave songs and ancient Moorish ballads.
Recently, the Fado Museum was created in Lisbon to preserve Fado’s heritage.



Friday, 25 November 2011

Clothes Interactive Game

Put on your clothes before it starts raining! 
A game to practise clothes vocabulary: 
trousers, jeans, shoes, sweater, raincoat, gloves, underpants, socks, T-shirt, boots, hat, cap, belt, shirt, tie, jacket...



Verb to Have got - affirmative



Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thanksgiving

      Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the USA. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving  is  now   primarily   identified  as  a  secular holiday and a time for family reunions.

The first Thanksgiving Story

video

The story of the first Thanksgiving.

Around 400 years ago, many people in England were unhappy because their king would not let them pray to God as they liked. The king said they must use the same prayers that he did, and if they refused, they were persecuted, imprisoned or even killed.

These English men left their homes and went far off to a country called Holland. In Holland they were happy but they were very poor. And when the children began to grow they became less godlike and did not want to pray anymore. After much talking and thinking, these English people decided to embark on a pilgrimage to the new world. America.

They set out on a small ship called the Mayflower to take them across the sea. There were about 100 people on board the tiny ship. It was crowded, cold and uncomfortable. The sea was rough. They were two months sailing over the Atlantic Ocean. At last the Mayflower came in sight of land.

The month was November and it was cold. There was nothing to be seen but snow, rocks and hard bare ground. They were tired and cold from their long journey, and hungry too. No one had enough food to eat. Many of them became sick and by springtime almost half of the people died.

In spring the sun shone brightly. The snow melted and the leaves and flowers began to emerge. Some friendly Indians have visited the pilgrims during the winter. One of the kind Indians was named Squanto. He stayed with the pilgrims and taught them how to plant their corn, peas, wheat and barley.



The summer came and the days were long and bright. The pilgrim children were very happy in their new home, Plymouth Rock. When it was autumn the fathers gathered the barley, wheat and corn that they had planted and found that it had grown so well that they would have quite enough for a long winter that was coming.

“Let us thank God for it all” they said. Then they decided to have a grand Thanksgiving party and invite the friendly Indians. They prepared wild ducks and geese and great wild turkeys. There was deer meet, bread and cakes. They had fish and clams from the sea nearby. The friendly Indians all came with their chief. They were dressed in deer skins and some of them had the furry coat of a wild cat hanging on their arm. Their long black hair fell loose on their shoulders and was trimmed with feathers or fox tails.

Before they ate, the pilgrims and the Indians thanked God together for all his goodness. And so the story goes of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Plymouth colony nearly 400 years ago. As you sit down with your friends and family this Thanksgiving, remember this original tale and give thanks for all of Gods abundant blessings.

Friday, 18 November 2011