Around the World for Abaisse

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Little Cozelma
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Little Cozelma » Tue May 07, 2013 5:34 pm

Rachelle wrote:
Acaila wrote:
Scotland is a part of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", aka the UK. *Not* England, and while people do in practice get away with saying "Great Britain", you might not want to do it in hearing of any Northern Irish people (who often don't call themselves Northern Irish, but that's a whole other issue!).

:D

Acaila wrote:I tend to get mistaken for Irish when I visit America I've found, that's a lot less offensive!


An shopkeeper in Rome thought I was French.


You don't know how many times this has happened to me! I'm Greek, but I've also spent 4 years in Germany. That was a long time ago, yet the people here keep mistaking me for a foreigner. Girls are usually the worst: "Oh my God, your accent is so cute"! The sad (?) thing is, I never got what makes them say that. I asked a friend of mine if it's true and she told me this: "It's like with mad men, they don't realise they're mad". Yeah, my friend is so lovely. And the Germans think I'm French.

About Greece: I think there is not much to add to Liv's post. That's pretty much how I feel about my country, too. I'm sure you all know that 21C Greeks have nothing to do with this: Image
but to have an accurate image you must actually live here.. which I don't wish for you.

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IBelieveInYou
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby IBelieveInYou » Tue May 07, 2013 5:37 pm

It's a great pity that we have the opportunity to be taught Ancient Greek, when people from other countries try to learn it as well, but we don't make good use of it because the way Ancient Greek is taught in Greece is absurd. The class is obligatory for five years, yet all the system cares for is grammar and syntax, they don't try to make you interested in the great classical pieces when you're young, and that's the reason many students, including me, abandon that class and not really care about studying such a lesson. I've regretted it so much.
Then I saw their trembling features warp and, gradually,
Their foreheads turn pale and dissolve in front of me,
And everyone, like a stream that flows into a sea,
Became completely lost in a dark immensity.

Victor Hugo, The Slope of Reverie

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Marianne
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Marianne » Tue May 07, 2013 10:32 pm

If it makes you feel any better, abysmal teaching of Ancient Greek definitely isn't limited to Greece--I quit after one year because the teacher was completely disorganized, didn't present anything coherently, and expected us to figure out irregular grammar intuitively and without having it explained to us. It's a shame; I would have enjoyed it a lot with a better teacher, but I don't think I've ever emerged from a language class with so little actual understanding of the language.

(No wait. That's a lie. Seven years ago I was the only person in my Arabic class who hadn't either been to Hebrew school or grown up speaking Persian. The fact that my command of Ancient Greek is almost as bad as my pathetic seven-year-old Arabic is a sign of really, really poor teaching.)
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Rachel » Wed May 08, 2013 12:36 am

I'm from Toronto, Canada.

I think the very unfortunate thing about the Americas and Africa is that there is so much brilliant and fascinating history that was destroyed by the European settlers who thought nothing of the countries that were not their own. The native peoples were a fascinating and highly developed series of tribes, and the history of their cultures was destroyed for the most part. There are, of course, some histories that remain through oral storytelling and totem poles, most famously, but most of the history is lost because of Europeans. those goddamn Europeans, ruining everything

But either than the fact I don't like the fact almost all of the history from before Canada was a colony has been wiped out, I really love living here. The government is not perfect, of course, but it's pretty damn good. Our systems of election are pretty great, and WE DON'T HAVE A CONGRESS. MEANING STUFF ACTUALLY GETS DONE.

Ahem. Anyway, I think the thing about Canada that really fascinates me is that it is not Northern America, nor is it Western Britain. I spell like a Brit. I use cheque, colour, neighbour, etc., but to be honest I don't even know who the current Prime Minister of Britain is. Most of our television and radio is American, but our system of government is based very very heavily on the British one (I mean, besides the Queen's existence, but she has a representative called the Governor General).

Furthermore, I live in the world's most culturally diverse city (well, there's debate about that, but one of them). Half the population isn't from Canada. Only a little more than half of the people in Toronto speak English as their first language. I don't live in one of the more diverse parts of the city, but when I go downtown it's fun to see what languages I can spot. This isn't just in Toronto, but everywhere in Canada everything is in both English and French. The ingredients on my Mars Bar are in both French and English, as are the street signs, everything. It's awesome.

Toronto, though it is not terribly old, does have some fantastic architecture. One of my personal favourites are Casaloma, a castle that this crazy old lunatic starting building for his wife but died before he could finish. It's close-ish to my house and I've been there a few times. The CN tower is pretty much only a tourist thing. I've never even been in it, but there's some wonderful modern architecture as well. The big art museum here is called the ROM, and I believe it's gone now, but it had a King Tut exhibit, which was fascinating. It's got lots of modern art and I really really recommend going there if you're ever in Toronto.

Another one of my favourite things is called the Science Museum, and though designed mostly for kids, it's an interactive museum on tons of fascinating things and I drag my friends to it every once in a while and it's great.

Toronto is such a green city as well. Parks and parkettes are literally everywhere. And the city parks are great. I adore them, actually.

Of course, we're like an hour away from the Horseshoe falls (the Canadian side of Niagara Falls). If you ever get the chance to go to Niagara Falls, a) take the ferry under it, it's awesome and b) if you can only see one, make sure it's Horseshoe Falls. The Canadian one is one of the seven wonders of the world, and the American one, while still cool, isn't.

For reference, this is Horseshoe falls: http://www.richard-seaman.com/USA/State ... mNorth.jpg

And the American ones: http://www.elcivics.com/images/city_of_ ... a_side.jpg

Both are cool, but ours are better.

Also, the Canadian stereotype about hockey? Not untrue. Currently, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the playoffs, and everyone is insane. The Leafs suck so much, it's not even funny, and this is the first time it's happened in YEARS. I'm not a hockey fan myself, but oh my God, is my city ever.

I sound like a tour guide, so I'll shut up now [:
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Acaila
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Acaila » Wed May 08, 2013 12:43 am

Rachel wrote: but to be honest I don't even know who the current Prime Minister of Britain is.


David Cameron. He's.......not a very nice person.
(look! I'm being *fantastically* diplomatic.....and understated :lol:)
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Gigi
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Gigi » Wed May 08, 2013 6:30 pm

I love this thread and would like to contribute something about Finland, but I don't know what you'd be interested to hear :D

Ok I'll start by correcting some weird ideas that people actually think about Finland.
- Finland is not Scandinavian, and especially the Finnish language is not Scandinavian. Swedes, Norwegians and Danes can pretty much understand each other, but only a Finn, or someone who's studied our language, can understand Finnish. It's related to Estonian, Sami, some dying languages in Russia, and very distantly to Hungarian.
- There are NO POLAR BEARS. Or igloos.
- Finland isn't a territory in Canada. There was an American exchange student who actually applied for an exchange place in Finland thinking it was in Canada.
- Not all of us go around Nordic walking with horrible track suits from the sixties.

I'm very careful with talking about Finnish history, because I've had some bad experiences about it in other forums. So I'll just say that Finland was a part of Sweden until 1808, then passed to Russia, and got independent in 1917. Our independence day is December 6th and I think we have a very beautiful, if a little melancholy way of celebrating it. The Finns tend to give everything a bit of a sad mood, so even when we're celebrating independence we're not jovial and party-party. We light candles on our window sills and listen to Jean Sibelius' greatest composition, Finlandia.

The political situation nowadays... well, it's mostly pretty good. Finland's a safe place to live in general and there isn't much political restlessness or extreme leftist/rightist/anything stuff going on. The last time we had the election for president, one of the final two candidates was an openly gay man, which was quite a big thing here. He didn't get elected though.

Things I appreciate about Finland: women's position, democracy, good level of language teaching (because we can't expect anyone to understand Finnish)
Things I don't like about FInland: people being so gloomy and unsocial (generalizing a bit here, but it's mostly true), the politicians' attitude of doing whatever the EU wants even though some conditions in Finland are totally different than in Central Europe, and most of all, the Finns' national habit of getting. Drunk. Freakin'. All. The. Time. Finns drink themselves stupid on New Year's Eve, on May the 1st (that's a holiday in Finland and, I think, in at least some Scandinavian countries), on Midsummer, and at Christmas, though that's not so widely publicized.

Okay, I feel like I'm giving such a crappy image of Finland. I'm just a bit bored with the place right now, but I'll happily answer any questions. :)
"Un incendie peut faire une aurore sans doute, mais pourquoi ne pas attendre le lever du jour?"

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Rachelle
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Rachelle » Wed May 08, 2013 6:55 pm

Acaila wrote:
Rachel wrote: but to be honest I don't even know who the current Prime Minister of Britain is.


David Cameron. He's.......not a very nice person.
(look! I'm being *fantastically* diplomatic.....and understated :lol:)


*Applause*
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"Cure your Cholera with boiled water and bananas"

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Acaila
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Acaila » Wed May 08, 2013 8:27 pm

Applause for the sentiment or for the miracle of me being understated?

Very interesting Gigi! I'm probably guilty of having considered it a Scandinavian country before :oops:
Also, I love Finlandia, that was a favourite piece to play in my euphonium lessons in school :D
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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Rachelle
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Rachelle » Wed May 08, 2013 8:54 pm

Acaila wrote:Applause for the sentiment or for the miracle of me being understated?


Both :D
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Rachel » Wed May 08, 2013 9:04 pm

As a Canadian, I feel your pain about people thinking you live in igloos and have polar bears.


You're all from such interesting places!
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Acaila
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Acaila » Wed May 08, 2013 9:13 pm

I've exaggerated a tiny bit when I tell people about how far north I live and joke that I'm from where the polar bears roam free....and then they believe me. :shock:
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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saminana
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby saminana » Thu May 09, 2013 12:17 pm

During the exchange week the italians asked me if we have snow here the whole year....
-Who's there?
-French Revolution!

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 pm

This post idea occurred to me today:

'Extended Family' scenarios

It's not really a joke when Filipinos say that they are related to everyone. Everyone finds a way to be connected, even in the most far off ways; being the cousin of the brother-in-law of the aunt of one's second cousin still counts as being 'family'.

For starters, Filipino households aren't of the 'nuclear' sort: not limited to the usual dad, mom, and kids set up. There are usually grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and other assorted relatives thrown into the mix. Traditionally one lives with one's parents until marriage (and even then sometimes after). The youngest child or a spinster daughter is usually given the task of caring for aged parents. This is why retirement homes are rare in the Philippines; for the most part caring for the most vulnerable members of the clan is an extended family affair.

Kinship terms get a little confusing at times here. The terms 'kuya' (big brother) and 'ate' (big sister) don't just apply to one's siblings, but even to one's older cousins if they are all living in the same household or of the same generation.

To complicate family matters is the fact that in the Philippines, a couple doesn't just marry each other; they marry the entire family so to speak. Therefore the two once separate families become somewhat lumped together, with people on both sides expected to treat and refer to each other with at least the same cordiality and respect as one's own blood relatives.

Adding an extra layer is the general practice of calling the friends of one's parents, the parents of one's friends, or even some figures in the workplace as "Tito" (uncle) or "Tita" (aunt). The terms 'Lolo' (grandfather), and "Lola' (grandmother) extend to even other senior citizens. The terms"kuya" and "ate" can even be applied to one's older friends!

It can get very confusing to listen to a Filipino telling a long and involved story about multiple family members, friends, and contacts; one never knows who is really related to who. For instance: I am the eldest child, and I have two younger siblings. However I also grew up with my cousins, and I refer to the eldest of them as my 'big sister'. One of my close friends was 2 years ahead of me in school, and I also fell into the habit of calling her my big sister. At the same time I also have a bunch of kids I mentored, and they ALL call me their big sister. My eldest cousin got married last year, and so I also refer to her in-laws and some of their relatives as my uncles and aunts. Throwing in all my parents' friends in the mix makes it seem like I am the middle child of 10 siblings, and that I have maybe twenty grandparents as well as a hundred uncles and aunts.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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SpiritOfDawn
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby SpiritOfDawn » Sun May 12, 2013 3:31 pm

Reminds me a bit of my romanian in-law family... (ok not married but you know what I mean)
Very confusing to all but marry into that for a freedom-above-all-person like me.
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Around the World for Abaisse

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun May 12, 2013 3:33 pm

I think I get what you mean. Sometimes having a huge extended family scenario is great, but there are times when I wish I could dissociate just a little. Like when politics gets involved. If I was to draw a map of my relatives' political leanings, it would be multicolored.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."


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