sábado, 26 de enero de 2013

A great unknown

 You are bound to know this image and yet, there is so little we know about it. The 26th of January is a red-letter day for them. Speak up magazine 329 publishes an article you might enjoy.

Straight from the horse's mouth

Many Australians, including me, have complicated feelings about Australia Day.  On the one hand, many of us feel shame at celebrating on a day that is increasingly recognised as a sad moment in history for Australia's indigenous people, the Australian Aborigines, who call it Invasion Day. In recent years, people have suggested changing the date on which Australia Day is celebrated, naming January 1st - the date of Australia's Federation - as an alternative. 

On the other hand, Australia Day for most people is a fun holiday. It's celebrated in the middle of summer, so the weather is normally hot, and many people like to celebrate by having a barbecue on the beach. Nearly 80% of Australians live close to the coast, and the beach is a part of people's lives, even in big cities. Most city beaches have public barbecue areas, but you have to get up early if you want a good location - they are normally all taken by mid-morning by groups of families and friends. My friends and I normally hold a barbecue at a beach right around the corner from where I used to live, Coogee Beach. Some people like to play games, like frisbee or beach cricket, and of course it's nice to take a swim on a hot day.

The food at Australia Day parties can be as simple throwing sausages on a barbecue, or people might cook up traditional Australian foods. This website contains a collection of recipe suggestions for Australia Day parties, including old favourites such as:
- sausage rolls and meat pies, popular types of meat pastries
pavlova, a dessert made of meringue, cream and fruit, originally created in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova
damper, a type of bread made by early settlers on an open fire
lamingtons, a traditional Australian cake

On the day before Australia Day the Australian of the Year is announced. This year's winner is Ita Buttrose, a journalist and editor, but previous winners have included sportspeople, doctors, scientists, human rights lawyers and Aboriginal Activist. 

Another very popular event on Australia Day is the countdown of the top 100 songs for the year on the national radio station, Triple J. Young people all around the country have parties to listen to the countdown, which goes right through the day. Some people place bets on which song will win the year's countdown. Last year's winning song was "Somebody I Used to Know" by the Australian singer Gotye - you have probably heard it on the radio here.

Over the years, Australia Day has become for many a celebration of multiculturalism - the idea that people from many different countries and cultures can live together in harmony. On Australia Day, Citizenship Ceremonies are held in which recent migrants pledge their loyalty to Australia and its laws. I have had several friends - from places like South Africa, India, and Scotland - take the citizenship oath, and it's always moving to see the newest Australians being officially welcomed to the country. It's a reminder that being Australian isn't just about where you were born - it's also about the thousands of people who come to Australia every year in search of a better life.

miércoles, 9 de enero de 2013

Celebrating Underground

Has any of you seen today's doodle? Well, actually, you should have. It's really neat the way the Google guys decided to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, you can read something about that on this link. However, I'll paste the image to our little blog so you can all see it, not needing to go here to do so.
Isn't it great???

Well, I'll leave you something more to read and listen: 
- The Guardian sent Stephen Moss on a journey along the  longest, busiest, reddest tube line of them all; 
- the official website of the Tube gives us a lot of info too; 
- and, of course, BBC couldn't let the day pass without showing us the celebratory stamps and helping us understand where and how everything started (in this report) or how this amazing invention changed the city.

Hope you all enjoy the trip I'm proposing to celebrate this day with the British and comment about it.

martes, 1 de enero de 2013

Happy New Year!!!!!

Midnight... The last 12 seconds of the year that ends... Some eat grapes, some swallow raisins, some watch a huge ball drop in the town where all dreams come true. Ask for 12 wishes (one for each gong) or just make hopefull new year resolutions. May you all have someone to kiss and hug and may all your wishes be fulfilled. 
I'll leave you with Lea Michelle singing Auld Lang Syne, a nice tradition of the English speaking countries.