Learning Deutsch in Berlin

I have been thinking of sharing this stuff or not, but I thought may be this can do more good than not doing anything at all. As how the universal law says: Ask and you will be give, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.

Last week, I happened to attend an open house event from Goethi-Institut, Germany’s worldwide cultural and language institute. There were many guests, as they had baking sessions of the best and tasty German bread. They also held taster lessons of German language course, as well as level screening test.

I am currently learning German for the preparation of A1 exam, and you can read here what I know so far. It may be by chance that I went to the event, because they are giving away prices to the attendees. One of that is a free 2-weeks German language course in Berlin.

To win that price, they are running an instagram contest with my entry here . Whoever gets the most “likes/hearts” will be on his/her way to Germany for the said course. It is my desire to get that chance, and so I’m having this courage to share that intention here and to reach out to those who can give a minute of their time and a big heart for this photo here.

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Look Up – Full Transcript Available

Full Text of the ‘Poem for Online Generation’

Last week, I shared with you the spoken poetry film of Gary Turk that became viral around the web. When I posted that, the youtube video had already about 3 million viewers.

Today as I’m writing this post, I am overwhelmed to see it had gone to about 33.9 million viewers. And now, I’m back with the full text of the poem.

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A Tale of Two Cities (or Ages)

I always love how Charles Dickens opened his novel of A Tale of Two Cities with these lines:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

Our journey offers too many beginnings and endings, obstacles and aids, struggles and thrives, defeats and celebrations. And if we look towards our inner self, we juggle between love and hate, happiness and sorrow, faith and worry, hope and despair among other mixture of emotions.

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Look Up – A Spoken Word Poetry Film For Digital Generation

The National Poetry Month just concluded, and here goes a spoken poetry film that just went viral and still is after the release on 25th April – written, performed and  directed by Gary Turk.

Look Up.

It is a lesson taught to us to stop looking down through our digital screen, and switching-off the display. Instead, we lift our head up and see the surroundings to not miss any chances we can make to interact and communicate to those around us. With social media interaction, it can be the best and worst of times. When too busy looking-down:

We’re a generation of idiots, smartphones and dumb people.

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Take a Ring of Fire for Spicy Life

Can you imagine a world without salsa? Or tabasco sauce, harissa, sriracha, paprika or chili powder?

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I read that statement in a feature article from Saudi Aramco World magazine, which arrived in our mailbox this morning. Then I paused for a second, and thought about it – Do I really love hot and spicy foods? What would it be like to have no chilis to spice-up our taste buds? I know some friends who really are against anything spicy, no matter how you bribe them with lots of wonderful gifts. They have never dared to, or yet they swear for their entire life not to dare.

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Cleopatra Dhow Cruise: The Tanoura Dance

Tanoura or el-Tanoura (Arabic: التنورة‎) is an Egyptian folk dance usually performed in Egyptian Sufi festivals.

The philosophical basis for the spinning is from the Mawlawis who say that the movement in the world begins at a certain point and end at the same point, therefore the movement has to be circular. Their various roundabouts symbolize the succession of the four seasons and their anti-clockwise movement is exactly like the movement around the “Kaaba” (the holy Shrine in Mecca).

What their future holds, do you see?

Sea gypsies in Nasipit, Philippines

Sea gypsies in Nasipit, Philippines

Scorching sun. Open Sea. They are nature’s gift of abundance. Waves and splashes. Makeshift boat. They are children’s greatest delight. “All in a day’s work”, shall we say or “Children are always children. Play is what they deserve”. Either way, what do you see?

Upon looking at the photo, have it crossed your mind that they were enjoying this moment of play time? Have it dawned on you that they were courageously racing to find out who could swim fast? Have you thought how deep these children can dive? What do you see?

This sight along the sea ports is very common in our country. The sea travelers are these children’s hero. They are the ones that have been looked up to. Flipping coins toward the air, or tossing them out of the children’s way, surely you’ll see a delightful act of swimmers and divers, trained as the call of nature. The sun is their confidant. As the tossed coins landed and sunk in the water, the rays of the sunshine reflects the light as it hits the coin. And whose heart could not be touched seeing that youngest child, sitting in that makeshift boat, floating just in-front of you. It’s their way of living. How do you feel?

They belong to a tribal group called Badjao or sea gypsies. Living in houses on stilts, the Badjaos know no other source of living but the sea. With dwindling catches due to overfishing in the area, the sea gypsies are left with nothing. Once they were in the mountains, but because of development projects like large-scale mining, and agribusiness plantations, this tribe, and many others have been marginalized and are now deprived of sources for primary production, livelihood and food security. They have been deprived in using their own land. Government had done nothing much to aid these groups, but re-iterating their seem to be “fictionary” initiatives. Non-profit organizations, in connection with local missionaries are backing these tribes to get their ancestral lands back. While that belongs to an unknown future, what can they do?

These Badjao children are not playing in that beautiful sea, with their innovative idea of a makeshift boat. Their skills are developed by their need of survival. For them, it’s all in a day’s work.