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12 posts from April 2013

04/29/2013

La cultura sevillana a través de los dichos

This post is by Rachel Enwright, an English and Spanish major and Women's and Gender Studies minor student at St. Olaf College. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

Mis padres españoles utilizan muchos dichos, algo que me confundía constantemente al principio de mis dias en Sevilla. Pensaba que mi nivel de español sería suficiente para mantener una conversación, pero no podía entender aquellas frases extrañas que mi nueva familia usaba con frecuencia. Me limitaba a asentir con la cabeza y a sonreír, con la esperanza de que no me preguntaran la otra cosa que dicen con frecuencia: “¿Entiendes?”

Después de un tiempo, dejé de ser tan tímida y empecé a preguntarles sobre las palabras y los dichos que no entendía. Algunos eran más o menos fáciles de comprender. “A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda”, por ejemplo, se parece a un dicho que ya conocía: “The early bird gets the worm”. “Más vale un pájaro en la mano que cien volando” es otro que tiene un equivalente estadounidense: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Estos dichos expresan valores familiares para mí: la importancia de madrugar o los beneficios de la seguridad. Sin embargo, he aprendido algunos dichos que son totalmente diferentes de los dichos que ya conocía – y también he aprendido que estos dichos a veces expresan aspectos de la cultura sevillana.

Después de un día de procesiones durante Semana Santa, les dije a mis padres españoles que admiraba la paciencia de la gente en Sevilla. Había descubierto que muchas personas llegan temprano a un sitio para ver una procesión y se quedan allí durante horas para verla. Aguantan el sol, las bullas y el cansancio de estar de pie todo el día para ver una sola procesión, y después lo hacen todo de nuevo para ver otras procesiones. ¡Yo solo había visto dos procesiones ese día y estaba absolutamente agotada! La respuesta de mi padre español era simple: “Pero Rachel, sarna con gusto no pica.”

“¿Qué? Sarna… ¿Qué es?”

(Muchas veces aprender los dichos también ayuda con el vocabulario – sarna es un sarpullido que pica mucho).

Mi padre español me explicó el dicho con mucha paciencia. “Si te gusta mucho la Semana Santa, no hay duda que vas a aguantar mucho para verla. Te duelen los pies, estás cansado, estás en una bulla de gente… pero todo eso no te importa porque tu devoción a la Semana Santa es muy grande. Cuando ves la procesión que te gusta más, te olvidas de todo lo desagradable. Sarna con gusto no pica.”

¡Quién hubiera pensado que un dicho un poco gracioso sobre la sarna me podría ayudar a entender un aspecto de la cultura sevillana! Aquel día, descubrí que los dichos pueden ser una manera valiosa de aprender un poco más sobre una cultura. Los dichos son dichos por alguna razón, ¿no? Los dichos que enseñan los padres sevillanos a sus hijos suelen expresar un valor o una idea prevalente en su cultura. Y ahora mis “padres” sevillanos están enseñándome, poco a poco, la cultura sevillana a través de los dichos.

Aunque los dichos pueden tener significados profundos, mi madre española me recordó que los dichos no siempre reflejan la realidad. “Entre el dicho y el hecho, hay un trecho,” me dijo. Y ambos reímos, dándonos cuenta de que ella había usado un dicho para advertirme de los dichos. 


04/26/2013

Culturally Sound

This post is by Erin Kondrat, a Marketing and International Business major and Spanish minor student at Indiana University-Bloomington. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Business and Society program.

When I get into an argument, my voice tends to rise.  My face gets a Little red.  My hands fly enthusiastically around my face and I tend to sigh with the exaggeration of a 13-year-old who just wants to go to the mall with her friends. All of this, in addition to some wildly animated facial expressions, can also be said for a Spanish discussion over lunch about the proper use of a frying pan.

Since I only live with one señora, lunches with her sister and sister’s family or outings with my Spanish friends sometimes catch me off guard.  Where in the United States interrupting someone could be considered rude, here it simply leads to a louder, more interesting conversation.

And louder, I’ve come to realize, is always more fun.

Continue reading "Culturally Sound" »

04/23/2013

Morocco with CIEE

This post is by Pearl Steinberg, a Communications major and Spanish and Business minor student at Ursinus College. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Communication, New Media and Journalism program.

Seville has been particularly rainy lately, and so, a trip to Morocco was a welcome distraction! The Communications program got up bright and early (7:15AM bus) to embark on a journey to Chefchaouen, Morocco. While CIEE makes sure to plan trips ensuring everyone gets a chance to see a little bit of the area surrounding Sevilla, I remember being shocked when I saw that Morocco was on the itinerary! Many people spend their whole lives dreaming of traveling—wanting nothing more than to browse through a little African market and haggle down a vendor for a hand-painted piece of pottery. To be given the opportunity to actually live this dream was beyond exciting and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Upon being greeted by our guide, we were immediately taken to a restaurant that, with a hearty 3 course meal, set the precedent for what the majority of our meals would look like while in Chefchaouen—couscous, vegetables, and of course, some nice dessert. To put it simply, I was never hungry while in Morocco. In fact, I was often overly full. It was wonderful! After lunch, we hopped back on the bus and headed into town to meet our host families!

Continue reading "Morocco with CIEE" »

04/22/2013

Culture Shock: What Does It Really Mean?

This post is by Elizabeth Templin, a Marketing major student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Business and Society program.

Before arriving in Spain, friends, teachers and family advised me that I would experience culture shock living abroad and again upon re-entering the United States.  When I asked what exactly “culture shock” meant, there were diverse and varied answers, making me realize that there is not one single definition. 

Culture shock means different things to different people.  For example, for my friend Reyna:“My biggest culture shock was seeing Spanish families together doing family bonding things, like going to church, eating out at a restaurant, etc. It makes me very sad.  At college in Madison, I get to see my family once a month, so it feels strange not being able to do that here.  It really makes me appreciate my family in a different way because I know what it’s like now to not have a "family" when everyone else does.  I’ll be so excited when I get home and have my first big reunion with all my extended family for a birthday or party at some point over the summer.”

Continue reading "Culture Shock: What Does It Really Mean?" »

04/20/2013

Sevilla, mi amor.

This post is by Maria Heath, a Comparative Literature major student at Beloit College. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

Para mí, el horario del lunes es ridículo. Tengo todas mis clases y, además, una clase de baile, así que cada lunes por la noche estoy agotada. Pero cada lunes, durante mi camino de media hora andando para mi casa, no puedo evitar sonreír.

Sevilla es una ciudad bellísima, mezcla perfecta de modernidad e historia. Aunque las calles serpenteantes del Centro pueden resultar confusas durante las primeras semanas, muy fácilmente se es capaz de orientarse y disfrutar de pasear porque siempre hay algo interesante que encontrar. Hay plazas ocultas, tiendas llenas de cositas chulas y edificios viejos de estilos mudejares y moriscos. En particular, me encanta pasear durante la noche (justo antes de la cena) porque con toda la gente andando por las calles, todos los artistas tocando música en las plazas, y todas las luces cálidas brillando en el Río Guadalquivir, cada noche es de película. Y el tiempo siempre es buenísimo, incluso la lluvia, que convierte las calles en espejos y hace que bailen las palmeras.

Continue reading "Sevilla, mi amor." »

Cambio de mentalidad

This post is by Amanda Miller, a Writing Seminars major student at the Johns Hopkins University. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Language and Society program.

After spending a week gallivanting around Italy, I have returned to Sevilla with fresh eyes. The flowers have bloomed and the scent of orange tree blossoms permeates the air. The church on my block suddenly appears stunning to me. This is a church that I walk by every single day, multiple times a day. In the past I have resented it for the large mobs of people it attracts during holidays like Semana Santa—mobs so serious and still that it can take twenty minutes to sidle through. But against the backdrop of the cloudless sky, it is giant and magnificent. I pause to take a picture of it.

The long stretch of garden and park that I walk through twice a day suddenly, too, gives me pause. Although I am running late to class, it compels to me to stop—to capture it in a picture. The lilac colored flowers against the garden's wall have appeared for the first time and, although my eyes tear from allergies, I joke with my friends that I am crying out of the sheer beauty of it. Perhaps it is the fogginess caused by said allergies that has caused my elated state, but I like to believe the it is simply the reaction that Sevilla in full bloom incites.

Continue reading "Cambio de mentalidad" »

TDP en Marruecos

This post is by Talia Boyer, an English and Spanish major student at Fordham University. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Teaching Development program.

 

04/10/2013

Derbi de las aficiones

Kelsey Mullen, estudiante del programa de Liberal Arts, ganó en la categoría femenina del "Derbi de las aficiones" una carrera de 5 km entre los estadios del Betis y el Sevilla. Kelsey, de St. Olaf College se impuso con un tiempo de 20:33. En tercer lugar quedó Danielle Politano, de Penn State University.

¡Enhorabuena a ambas!

Danielle_Podium_02

 

Más información sobre la carrera: Derbi de las Aficiones

04/08/2013

Excursiones con CIEE

This post is by Meg Lappe, a Communications major and Spanish minor student at Villanova University. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Communication, New Media and Journalism program.

Before I left for Spain I was convinced I was going to have loads of free time. No more meetings, babysitting or lifeguarding, perhaps even no more homework. One of the first things that I realized here, following orientation, was that I could choose to have all that free time and watch TV with my family or go shopping during siesta or just lounge around, or I could take advantage of the many different ‘excursions’ that CIEE offers. Once orientation was over, I was a little concerned that I would have too much free time. As a person who claims to love to be busy, I was a little like a fish out of water. About 1.5 days after orientation, we received our calendars of activities. I was thrilled.

I quickly realized that the activities CIEE offers are enough to keep you busy your whole time here. Basically every day there is an activity and they are all free! You don’t even have to worry about planning trips for the weekends, as there are also day trips. Each activity is with fabulous guides.  P1240269

Continue reading "Excursiones con CIEE" »

04/05/2013

Save it for America.

This post is by Amber Johnson, an International Affairs major and Spanish and Sociocultural Anthropology minor student at George Washington University. During the spring 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program.

When I arrived in Spain, along with my 2 over-50 pound suitcases and 2 carry-ons, I brought a lot of reservations with me.  I was worried about how the Sevillanos would treat me because of my race.  I did a lot of "research" online, reading about the perception of black people in Spain, and I spoke with some black students who had traveled to Spain before.  A lot of what I read said that there is a lot of animosity directed towards African immigrants because they are viewed by a lot of Spaniards pretty much how Mexicans immigrants are viewed by a lot of Americans.  However, I found very little information about the perception of Black Americans in Spain.  But now that I have been here in Seville for nearly two months and have had a few incidences, I feel like I have some right to comment on my perspective of the black experience in Seville.

Continue reading "Save it for America." »