BlumeCast

podcast This Blume Center initiative aims to capture the variety of voices and experiences in and around Trinity College. During the coming months we will be podcasting a variety of audio content in mp3 format. In some cases there will be international students highlighting some particular aspect of their culture (e.g., music, literature, painting, etc.) that they would like to share with our community. We will also ask faculty members to present cultural artifacts from the cultures they study or come from, as a way to introduce others to that world. These podcasts are not meant to be erudite expositions of a given topic but fun, casual conversations and readings that can help us discover a bit more of our world.

To subscribe to this podcast, you can visit http://blume-center.trincoll.edu/podcast_rss.xml.podcast

 


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Africa


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Ghana


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Highlife - The music

MP3: 

Created by Destin A. Dopwell (2015)
Language: English

HighlifeHighlife is a musical form that originated in Ghana around the late 1800s and early 1900s. It then spread to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other West African countries in the 1920s. It has influenced all subsequent music borne of Africa. High life is a fusion of indigenous dance rhythms and melodies with Western sounds such as brass bands, hymns, European foxtrots sprinkled with some Caribbean “kaiso” and Liberian rhythms. However, before the great influence of the Western styles, rural guitarist played high life and the genre then grew from there.

The variety of different musical styles that helped evolved high life music encouraged a vast range of instruments to be used in this multifaceted genre. African drums, Trumpets, Saxophones, Guitars, Claves and many many other instruments along with a lead singer, a group of singers or both can be all found during a performance. The rise of Congolese music in the 1960s halted highlife’s golden era, however before this, it ruled all the dance floors across much of West Africa because of its catchy groove and up tempo beat.

One of the major influences on high life was during The World War II era. This introduced American swing to the highlife mix, which was already a blend of Trinidadian calypso, military brass-band music, Cuban son and older African song forms.

MensahIn 1948, a high life pioneer, Emmanuel Tettey Mensah more commonly known as E.T Mensah, formed the a highlife band called the Tempos. Mensah was a trumpeter and played many instrumentals with his band like the one you are hearing now, however their songs, with lyrics in many different languages including English and languages of West Africa, seduced admirers as far away as England. Hundreds of bands were subsequently formed in the Tempos footsteps continuing to revolutionize highlife.

Today, highlife may not be as popular as it once was, however a lot of it lives on as a result of its strong jazz, Latin and calypso connections. In this highlife piece, you can hear a walking bass as found in Jazz, congas as found in Latin, and call and response brass lines as found in Calypso.  

Sources:
African Pages at Alisdair.com
African High Life Music Hubpages.com
High Life Music by Banning Eyre on Afropop Worldwide at afropop.org
High Life Music in West Africa by Sonny Oti

Video Citing


Image source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VQ5kqzmCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7v8CSr9_K3Q/SfIxbTxpeBI/AAAAAAAABcw/jnBLIE0OQX...


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Mauritius


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L'île Maurice

MP3: 

MauriciusBy Khurty Ramudu
Language: French

Géographie: Maurice
L'île, d’origine volcanique, est petite : 1 865 km² circonscrits dans un ovale d'environ 48 km d'est en ouest sur 65 km du nord au sud, avec 330 km de côtes. Située dans l'océan Indien, l'île Maurice appartient à l'archipel des Mascareignes (avec la Réunion et l'île Rodrigues).
 Sur les côtes, les plages sont protégées par une barrière de corail ceinturant l'île presque uniformément.
 C'est une île d'origine volcanique bien plus ancienne que la Réunion. À Maurice, le volcan est éteint depuis belle lurette. 
À l'intérieur, un grand plateau central situé entre 400 et 600 m d'altitude. Le point culminant, le piton de la rivière noire, s'élève à 828 m d'altitude.

Climat: À Maurice
On trouve une saison hivernale de juin à septembre, période pendant laquelle les températures sont au plus bas, oscillant tout de même entre 17 °C la nuit et 25 °C la journée. Les plus fortes pluies et les températures les plus élevées s'étalent sur plusieurs mois, de janvier à mars, et jouent au yo-yo entre 25 et 30 °C. 
Les précipitations prennent la forme d'un orage bienfaiteur qui rafraîchit l'atmosphère. Il pleut plus sur le plateau centrale et sur la côte est que sur la côte ouest. 
Les mois idéaux pour séjourner sont avril, mai, juin, septembre, octobre et novembre, mais aucune période n'est à proscrire. 
Il fait jour de 6 h à 18 h en hiver et de 5 h à 19 h en été.

L'île Maurice, comme les îles voisines, est sujette aux cyclones. L'été, les mers chaudes confrontées aux courants d'air frais engendrent des formations nuageuses, parcourues de vents violents et chargées en eau. La saison commence en décembre et se termine en mars. Bien souvent, ils passent juste à côté, se contentant d'arroser l'île de grosses ondées.

La faune: À Maurice
L'animal fétiche de Maurice n'existe plus. C'était le dodo, une sorte de gros canard (près de 25 kg) au bec recourbé et crochu. Il a disparu au XVIIe, victime de la chasse.
Sur la bonne cinquantaine d'espèces d'animales. qui existaient avant l'arrivée de l'homme, il n’en reste qu’une poignée. En revanche, différentes espèces de souche étrangère à l'île et importées par l'homme prospèrent à son voisinage.
Il n'y avait qu'un seul mammifère à Maurice avant l'arrivée des hommes, la chauve-souris mauricienne. Depuis, le lièvre, la mangouste, des singes et deux sortes de boas, le cochon sauvage et le cerf ont été introduits à Maurice. 
Mais le règne animal marin est certainement plus riche et plus représentatif de l'île Maurice.

La flore: À Maurice
La nature de l'île fut énormément modifiée par l'arrivée de l'homme. Autrefois, une épaisse forêt recouvrait l'île de toutes parts; aujourd’hui, elle n'en recouvre que 3 % dans les réserves naturelles, elle a été remplacée par la canne à sucre.
Deux arbres particuliers : le flamboyant et le filao. Le premier offre de novembre à janvier une floraison incroyable de petites fleurs rouges ou orange. Le filao s'avère plus modeste. Il ressemble au pin et se trouve le long des plages.
Dans les régions touristiques comme le Nord, on verra surtout des champs de canne à perte de vue.


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Image source: http://travellingboard.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/mauritius2.jpg
Article source: http://www.routard.com/guide/ile_maurice/398/geographie_et_climat.htm

Tunisia


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To the Tyrants of the World, by Aboul-Qacem Echebbi

MP3: 

Read by Haifa Gharbi
Language: Arabic

Aboul-QacemAboul-Qacem Echebbi (24 February 1909 - 9 October 1934) Arabic: أبو القاسم الشابي‎ is Tunisia's most reverenced poet. His talent was ascertained at an early age and his bewildering poems propelled him in the fore front of Arab poetry. In his poems, he coated several themes ranging from the depiction of nature to patriotism. "To the tyrants of the world" is one of his most famous and acclaimed poems. It was first used in the early uprising against the French colonizer. More than fifty years later, the same words were chanted during the period of unrest that ultimately led to the Tunisian Revolution. The poet’s verses spurred Arab protestors who followed the Tunisian model.

 

To the Tyrants of the World

Hey you, the unfair tyrants…
You the lovers of the darkness…
You the enemies of life…
You’ve made fun of innocent people’s wounds; and your palm covered with their blood
You kept walking while you were deforming the charm of existence and growing seeds of sadness in their land
Wait, don’t let the spring, the clearness of the sky and the shine of the morning light fool you…
Because the darkness, the thunder rumble and the blowing of the wind are coming toward you from the horizon
Beware because there is a fire underneath the ash
Who grows thorns will reap wounds
You’ve taken off heads of people and the flowers of hope; and watered the cure of the sand with blood and tears until it was drunk
The blood’s river will sweep you away and you will be burned by the fiery storm

 

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Aboul_Kacem_Chebbi.jpg
Text Source: http://voiceseducation.org/content/aboul-qacem-echebbi

 


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Zimbabwe


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Great Zimbabwe

MP3: 

Read by Tinashe T. Chidziva, (2015)

Great ZimbabweGreat Zimbabwe is an iron-age ruined city in the Masvingo province of Zimbabwe. The city was built atop a hill and is said to have had 12000 to 20000 inhabitants during the 11th and 15th centuries. Its economy was based on trade, mining, and Animal husbandry. Zimbabwe, the country’s namesake is from the city’s name “Dzimba Dzemabwe” which means house of stone in Shona.
The Great Zimbabwe monument is built out of granite which is the most common rock of the region. The monument was built without mortar and some of the site is built round natural rock formations, which required high levels of masonry expertise. The actual structure comprises an enclosing wall some 36 feet high and extending approximately 820 feet. There is also what is thought to be a gold workshop, and a shrine which is still regarded as sacred today (Story of Africa, 2012).
In addition to architecture, there are 8 soapstone birds that were discovered in and Soapstone Birdaround the monument. The birds are about 16 inches big and sit atop columns that are more than a yard tall. The sculptures combine both human and avian elements, substituting human features like lips for a beak and five-toed feet for claws. The birds have continued to be a national symbol; and are adorned on the national flag. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001)

Great ZimbabweGreat Zimbabwe was largely abandoned during the 15th century. With the city’s decline, its stone working and pottery-making techniques transferred southward to Khami (now also in ruins) which is near modern Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo. European explorers who visited the site in the late 1800s believed it to be the legendary city of Ophir, the site of King Solomon’s mines. Because of its stonework and further evidence of an advanced culture, the site was variously, and mistakenly, attributed to ancient civilizations such as the Phoenician, Greek, or Egyptian. In 1905 the English archaeologist David Randall-MacIver concluded that the ruins were medieval and of exclusively African origin; the English archaeologist Gertrude Caton-Thompson confirmed his findings in 1929 (Britannica, 2012)


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Sources:
Great Zimbabwe. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/243929/Great-Zimbabwe
Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. "Great Zimbabwe (11th–15th century)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved from New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/zimb/hd_zimb.htm (October 2001)
BBC world Service. The story of Africa, Central African kingdoms. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/10chapte...

Photo Credit:
Manu Ampin (2012). Retrieved from http://libtv.com/Manu/images/Zimbabwe_6.jpg
http://www.allempires.com/forum/uploads/33193/zimbabw.jpg
https://marikaintegratedproject09.wikispaces.com/file/view/dasd.jpg/6975...

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

MP3: 

Read by Tinashe T. Chidziva, (2015)

Zimbabwe is a country in the southern region of Africa, and shares its borders with South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. On the border line between Zimbabwe and Zambia lies the Zambezi river and on that river is one of seven natural wonders of the world, the Majestic Victoria Falls known by the local people of that region as Mosi oa Tunya, the smoke that thunders. The falls are an impressive 5096 feet wide and 360 feet deep (Zimbabwe Tourism, 2010).

Victoria FallsVictoria falls was named so by David Livingstone, the first European to set eyes on the falls in 1855 and called it the most beautiful sight he has ever laid eyes on. Over the years two towns have grown on either side of the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, which serve as a great tourist destination.

Some of the tourist attractions in and around Victoria Falls include the Victoria Falls Bridge; which connects Zimbabwe and Zambia (Zambezi.com, 2010). The bridge was constructed during colonial times as part of the railway, which was meant to cross the British territories in Africa from Cape Town South Africa to Cairo Egypt. Other Attractions include the Mosi oa Tunya National park in Zambia, Victoria falls national park in Zimbabwe, Hwange National park in Zimbabwe and Chobe Game reserve in Botswana which are all within a two hour commute of each other by road.

Victoria falls town in Zimbabwe is a vibrant space with many lodge Victoria Fallsresorts and is easy to navigate. Tourist police who keep local Zimbabweans trying to sell authentic products to visitors from becoming bothersome also keep the town safe. On occasion one can find a traditional song and dance performed in the streets.

Victoria Falls is an ideal holiday destination for anyone seeking a break from the everyday city life and is easy to access with an international airport near the town and a good road and rail network within Zimbabwe and between neighboring Botswana and Zambia, which also have international airports.


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Sources:
Image credit: http://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/images/victoria-falls1.jpg
Text credit:
History of the Falls. Zambezi Safari and Travel company. 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.zambezi.com/content/history_of_the_falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. 2010. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Retrieved from: www.zimbabwetourism.net
 

Mbira (Chigamba)

MP3: 

Read by Tinashe T. Chidziva, (2015)

Mbira
Mbira is a musical instrument that has metal keys attached to a wooden board and is usually placed in a resonator known as a Deze in Shona. My Family has played the instrument, specifically the Mbira Dzevadzimu (mbira for the ancestors) for many generations. This type of mbira has been around for thousands of years and popular music group Mbira Dzenharira (a local band in Zimbabwe) has played this specific instrument with my father for many years. The following narration and song is a brief history to the origins of the song Chigamba; which was played by Esdo Chidziva in 2008.

Shona Version:

Chigamba chakabva kuvashawasha, kumhuri ye Denhere Godzonge Kwatakabva isu vana Chidziva. Chigamba chainzi chinoda vakuru nokuti paive nemurume ainzi Tingindi, aive mukuru mumhuri, zvino akatodzwa nemunin’ina wake akamuti agarisa setsvimborume zvamakore apa aida kutora hushe. Zvino vakuru vemusha vakati ungatore hushe setsvimborume here? Naizvozvo Munin’ina akatsvaga mukadzi wemukoma, akati kunamukoma ndatove baba kwauri sezvo ndabvisa roora yemukadzi wako. Ndopakamuka kusawirirana pakati pavo uye nharo idzodzo ndodzakazopinza hushe mumba maChidziva.

Translation:
Chigamba is a song that was composed by the Vashawasha in the Denhere Godzonge family, which is where the Chidziva Family originates. The saying Chigamba Chinoda vakuru (Only an adult can fix a problem) came from the story of Tingindi, the oldest child in the family who was in line to take over the throne of Chiefdom, but he did not have a wife. His younger brother then sought a wife and paid the bride price for his brother for the elders in the village refused for Tingindi to take the throne without a wife. When the wife arrived, Tingindi’s younger brother then said that by Shona custom he was in a higher rank and the rightful heir of the throne because he had paid the bride price (a task meant for a father to perform) for his brother making him a father to his brother. The disagreements between the two brothers lead to the demise of the older brother and the ascension of the younger brother to the throne.

  About Chigamba and Esdo Chidziva
Esdo ChidzivaThe song that plays after the narration was played by Esdo Chidziva in 2008 over an international phone call hence the bad quality. He started playing the instrument when he was seven years old and was one of the few Gwenyambira (traditional mbira players) that remained in Zimbabwe; he continued to play with various bands in the country till his death in November 2008.
To hear more mbira music visit: www.kumatare.com, www.mbira.org and www.youtube.com/gwenaymbira

Image source: http://www.mbira.org/images/mbirahome.gif

Americas


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Trinidad and Tobago


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Parang, folk music of Trinidad & Tobago

MP3: 

Created by Destin A. Dopwell (2015)

Trinidad and Tobago is blessed with a variety of cultural riches, and Parang, is one of them. Originally brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan immigrants, parang is rooted deeply into our nation’s culture. ParangThis genre is traditionally performed around Christmas time; various parang bands either compete in national competitions for prizes or go from house to house serenading the occupants while in return getting a healthy serving of food and alcoholic beverages for the entertainment. Within parang itself lays various sub categories ranging in purpose from telling stories about the birth of baby Jesus, to more secular things like singing about parties and drunkenness. However, one thing remains the backbone of all parang, and that is the irresistible rhythmic pulses that capture even the most uptight of persons. This strong rhythmic characteristic is as a result of the instrumentation used in this musical style. The quarto, a four stringed guitar like instrument, is the symbol of parang. It is smaller than a guitar and produces a higher pitched range of accompanying chords. Other instruments used in parang are the maracas, the box bass, the toc-toc; all providing a rhythmic bass. Parang music aslo has room for lead instruments such as the violin, the mandolin and the flute. Each instrument has a specific role in a parang band and their roles change drastically when a lead vocalist is involved, however versed parang performers or parranderos as they are locally refered to, can maneuver regardless of the situation. Parang has changed over the years and has mixed with other Trinidadian cultures such as Soca music and thus Soca parang was born. Soca parang is rarely ever about anything spiritual, instead it’s usually comical and withy; perfect for Christmas parties and gatherings. Also, soca parang is all sung in English. Nevertheless, the instrumentation remains mostly unchanged and it is equally enjoyed by the masses. Now that you have a little insight into this beautiful music, what are you waiting for? Go listen to some more and enjoy!

 

Image source: http://0.tqn.com/d/gocaribbean/1/0/3/5/-/-/parang.jpg

 


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Steel Pan of Trinidad and Tobago

MP3: 

Created by Destin A. Dopwell (2015)
Many wonderful things come from my beautiful country Trinidad and Tobago, but out of all of them, the most world-Steel Panrenowned is definitely the Steel Drum, or as we Trinbagonians call it, the Steel Pan. We take a lot of pride in this percussive instrument, it being arguably the only new acoustic instrument to be created in the 20th century. In more recent years, technological advances allowed for development of an electronic version of the steel drum called the PHI, which stands for Percussive harmonic instrument. However, the original Steel Drum is still the more prevalent instrument of the two.

Pan is the center of a nationwide competition in Trinidad and Tobago called panorama. The best Steel Pan Bands, ranging in size from around thirty to one hundred members, come together to compete for money, endorsements and bragging rights, until the competition comes around a year later. To showcase our country’s culture, the bands play songs composed by local artist both young and old. These songs are usually very melodic and have simple motifs. The respective pan arrangers of the various bands then take these simple motifs and transform them into complicated works trying to best one another and lead their band to victory. For example, the song you are currently listening to is called D Hammer, composed by David Rudder. This song was arranged by Leon Edwards and it led the band Trinidad All Stars to a panorama victory. Typically, the band plays the main motif once or twice to familiarize the judges and audience with the song, then goes into the arranged sections of the song.

Len "Boogsie" SharpeMore recently, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, a virtuoso pannist and composer, composed a song called Magic Drum and collaborated with one of the Caribbean’s most famous artist, Machel Montano to foster the song’s appearance into mainstream music. This song was performed by the band Phase II Pan Groove in 2008.
Steel Pan is a truly magnificent instrument. From its brilliant yet simple construction to its smooth and warm tone, anyone will have an incredible time whether they are playing pan or listening to a pan performance. Steel Pan will forever be dear to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and as time progresses more and more people around the world will be captivated by the sweet sounds of the Steel Drum.

 

 

Source: pantrinbago.co.tt
Image sources:
http://magnumtechnologies.eu/festivalofworldcultures/wp-content/uploads/...
http://www.panontheweb.com/profiles/musicbeat1.jpg


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United States


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Oye como va

MP3: 

Created by Destin A. Dopwell (2015)
Language: English

Oye como vaOye Como Va is a song that was composed by legendary musician Tito Puente in 1963, and is still very popular today.  The song’s roots can be traced to a variety of popular latin music and dance forms spanning several hundred years.  Although Oye Como Va was originally composed in 1963, many key features have remained intact.  In the first part of this original recording, you can hear the cha-cha-cha foundation, a punctuated rhythmic break, and the popular vocal refrain.

In 1970, Latin Rock Guitarist Carlos Santana featured an updated version on his album Abraxas.  This version transforms the beginning motif to a Hammond B-3 electric organ.  Santana adapts the flute melody and the melodic phrases from the mambo section for use in an extended guitar solo.

SantanaFollowing Tito Puente’s death in May 2000, his son, Tito Puente Jr., created a remix edition as a tribute to the legendary musician.  This version features processed samples of the earlier recordings, and transforms the basic cha cha cha groove into a techno-based electronic rhythm.  Through the use of sampling technology, both Tito Puente Sr. and Jr. play the timbale drums throughout this recording. 

Oye Como Va has changed dramatically from the 1960s to the present, and continues to represent a dynamic pan Latino identity with each new generation. 

 


Image source: http://www.israbox.com/uploads/posts/2011-03/1300825260_tito-puente-350.jpg
http://www.djsaucerman.com/tommyssalsa/albumcoveroye.jpg


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Asia


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China


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Saying Good-bye to Cambridge Again, by Xu Zhimo

MP3: 

Read by Weiwei Xie (2011)Xu Xhimo

轻轻的我走了,正如我轻轻的来;
我轻轻的招手,作别西天的云彩。

那河畔的金柳,是夕阳中的新娘;
波光里的艳影,在我的心头荡漾。

软泥上的青荇,油油的在水底招摇;
在康河的柔波里,我甘心做一条水草!

那榆荫下的一潭,不是清泉,
是天上虹揉碎在浮藻间,沉淀着彩虹似的梦。

寻梦?撑一支长篙,向青草更青处漫溯,
满载一船星辉,在星辉斑斓里放歌。

但我不能放歌,悄悄是别离的笙箫;
夏虫也为我沉默,沉默是今晚的康桥。

悄悄的我走了,正如我悄悄的来;
我挥一挥衣袖,不带走一片云彩。

十一月六日中国海上
 


《再别康桥》是一首优美的抒情诗,宛如一曲优雅动听的轻音乐。1928年秋,作者再次到英国访问,旧地重游,勃发了诗兴,将自己的生活体验化作缕缕情思,融汇在所抒写的康桥美丽的景色里,也驰骋在诗人的想象之中。

     全诗以“轻轻的”“走”“来”“招手”“作别云彩”起笔,接着用虚实相间的手法,描绘了一幅幅流动的画面,构成了一处处美妙的意境,细致入微地将诗人对康桥的爱恋,对往昔生活的憧憬,对眼前的无可奈何的离愁,表现得真挚、浓郁、隽永。
     这首诗表现出诗人高度的艺术技巧。诗人将具体景物与想象糅合在一起构成诗的鲜明生动的艺术形象,巧妙地把气氛、感情、景象融汇为意境,达到景中有情,情中有景。诗的结构形式严谨整齐,错落有致。全诗7节,每节4行,组成两个平行台阶;1、3行稍短,2、4行稍长,每行6至8字不等,诗人似乎有意把格律诗与自由诗二者的形式糅合起来,使之成为一种新的诗歌形式,富有民族化,现代化的建筑美。诗的语言清新秀丽,节奏轻柔委婉,和谐自然,伴随着情感的起伏跳跃,犹如一曲悦耳徐缓的散板,轻盈婉转,拨动着读者的心弦。

Poem Source: http://www.hudie.org/wenxue/pinglun/huaijiu/kangqiao.htm
Translation: http://eastasiastudent.net/china/putonghua/xu-zhimo-goodbye-cambridge/
Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6fyaIP-cj0o/TBGV7sDFz0I/AAAAAAAAPTk/DhHl206HtDo/s400/xu+zhimo+tobe+played+by+ethan+ruan.jpg
More information at: http://www.china-window.com/china_culture/literature/xu-zhimo-chinese-famous-p.shtml
 


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India


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Soap, by Nissim Ezekiel

MP3: 

Soap, by Nissim EzekielShop in India


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Read by Anju Mary Paul
Language: English; Country: India

Some people are not having manners,
this I am always observing,
For example other day I find
I am needing soap
For ordinary washing myself purposes.
So I’m going to one small shop
nearby in my lane and I’m asking
for well-known brand soap.

That shopman he’s giving me soap
but I’m finding it defective version.
So I’m saying very politely — -
though in Hindi I’m saying it,
and my Hindi is not so good as my English,
Please to excuse me
but this is defective version of well-known brand soap.

That shopman is saying
and very rudely he is saying it,
What is wrong with soap?
Still I am keeping my temper
and repeating very smilingly
Please to note this defect in soap,
and still he is denying the truth.

So I’m getting very angry that time
and with loud voice I am saying
YOU ARE BLIND OR WHAT?
Now he is shouting
YOU ARE CALLING ME BLIND OR WHAT?
Come outside and I will show you
Then I am shouting
What you will show me
Which I haven’t got already?
It is vulgar thing to say
but I am saying it.

Now small crowd is collecting
and shopman is much bigger than me,
and I am not caring so much
for small defect in well-known brand soap.
So I’m saying
Alright OK Alright OK
this time I will take
but not next time.

Photo source: http://image14.webshots.com/15/0/30/3/167203003qbpaZz_fs.jpg

 

Nepal


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Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

MP3: 

Pashupatinah Temple By Tashi G. Genden (2012)
Language: Nepali

This podcast deals with funding issues at the holiest Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple. The temple caretakers, essentially priests who run the daily activities, wish to sell historical artifacts and jewellery stored in the temple vaults in order to meet rising temple expenses. However, the Supreme Court of the nation has ordered that the sale of items from the temple vaults to be stopped citing the cultural importance of these items. Understandably the temple caretakers are unhappy about this resolution and want an alternative means to raise funds.


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Photo source: http://www.adsnepal.com/photos/Kathmandu/pashupatinath-temple.jpg.php
Article source:
http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/gopa.detail.php?article_id=45678&cat_id=14

A sinister side of Holi, Nepal

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By Tashi G. Genden (2012)
Language: Nepali

Holi

Holi, also called the Festival of Lights, is one of the most colorful festivals celebrated by Hindus in the Indian sub-continent. It marks the end of the Winter and the beginning of Spring. The festival is characterized by use of colors and water. However, lately this seemingly joyous festival has taken a sinister turn. Boys and men, especially in urban areas like Kathmandu increasingly target and harass girls with water balloons and colors even though Holi is almost a month away. This article talks about the problem and how parents and teachers can play a pivotal role in curbing the spread of this unwanted practice.

 


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Article Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/kantipur/news/news-detail.php?news_id=238113
Image Source: http://images.travelpod.com/tripwow/photos/ta-00ce-c810-0d1b/festival-of...

Reality and Idealism in Nepal

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Read by Tashi G. Genden (2012)
Language: Nepali

NepalNepal has seen tremendous political changes in the past few years. King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah, the 14th King of Nepal, was deposed in 2008 after a popular uprising. This was followed by a tumultuous period of political uncertainty as various parties, led by the Maoist rebels who entered mainstream politics soon after, fought to fill the power vacuum. An uneasy interim government has been set up to draft a new constitution, a task that remains unaccomplished. This time period has also seen a marked rise in political satire. Debates rage about the effectiveness of political parties and their charismatic but often flawed leaders face intense scrutiny. This short story by Dilip Acharya is a critique of the idealism of politicians which appears in stark contrast to realpolitik.

Story source: http://laghukathaa.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/
Image source: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RAKcmJQWQf4/TJwKFNrUxnI/AAAAAAAACdc/fBwdtBhl2MY/Nepali%20Neta%5B15%5D.jpg

Taplejung District, Nepal

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By Tashi G. Genden (2012)Taplejung
Language: Nepali

Taplejung is the third biggest district of Nepal. It is blessed with a diverse landscape home to many rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The Nepal Tourism Board is trying to promote tourism to this district as part of its Visit Nepal 2011 initiative. This podcast talks about the history of this district, how the name "Taplejung" came about and also about some of its more prominent rivers and lakes.

 


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Information source: http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/gopa.detail.php?article_id=46005&cat_id=1
Image source: http://www.radisson.com/rad/images/hotels/NEPKATHM/Mountain_450.jpg

Europe


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Bulgaria


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Aleko Konstantinov, Bulgaria

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To Chicago and Back
Read by Dobromir G. Trifonov (2013)
Language: Bulgarian
This short story is an excerpt from a journal by a well-known Bulgarian author, Aleko Konstantinov. In the XIX century he traveled from Bulgaria to Chicago and published a book with all of his impressions from the trip. In this segment, the author’s first impressions on New York City are presented. He finds the City to be very dynamic and is shocked by the amount of stations, trains, and factories that he sees from his ship.
 

 


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Photo source: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3215/3037898045_9799cf1f10.jpg
Excerpt source: "To Chicago and Back" by Aleko Konstantinov

Antonio Krastev

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Antonio Krastev
Read by Bulgarian student
Language: Bulgarian

A recording about Antonio Krastev, a Bulgarian heavyweight weightlifter who currently holds the record for lifting 216 kilograms.

Антонио Кръстев е обявен за "най-силния човек на планетата" през 1986 г., според признанието на американското списание "Пауър лифт", дошло след феноменалните му постижения в щангите.

Antonio Krastev
Двайсет години никой не е подобрил резултата на Антонио Кръстев от 216 кг в изхвърлянето в свръхтежка категория, постигнат на световното първенство в Острава '87.

От 1991 г. се подвизава в Северна Америка. Първо работи като треньор по тежка атлетика в университета в Торонто, Канада. За три години взима местен паспорт и заминава за Щатите. Там е живял на много места - Лос Анджелис, Сан Франциско, Лас Вегас, Минеаполис, Ню Йорк.

Сега се е установил в Ленсинг - столицата на Мичиган. В Америка Кръстев работи главно като треньор, но и други неща, когато се налагало да запушва дупки.

От тази година 47-годишният шампион реши да подхване бизнес и в България. Предложи на кметската управа на Хасково да направи модерен фитнес център в града и местните първенци приеха. Ако нещата не потръгнат, ще хване обратно пътя за Америка.

Text source: http://sporta.bg/?load=Common::Champion&id=247
Image source: http://file.vustv.com/5mrZpU4sK-h_r.jpg
 

France


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Boeuf Bourgignon

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Read by Rayan Beydoun (2012)
Language: Arabic

Le bœuf bourguignon est une estouffade de bœuf cuisinée au vin rouge de Bourgogne et accompagnée en garniture de champignons, petits oignons, et lardons. Néanmoins, les variations de garniture sont multiples. Des carottes ou des pommes de terre peuvent y être ajoutées par exemple.Bouef Bourgignon
Plat dominical classique, le bœuf bourguignon est un mets originaire de Bourgogne, en France. Il tient son nom des deux produits bourguignons qui le composent : le bœuf et le vin rouge. La Bourgogne est en effet une région réputée pour la qualité de ses élevages de bovins, en particulier le charolais et la qualité de ses vignobles tels que ceux des côtes de Beaune et côtes de Nuits-Saint-Georges. Comme le pain d'épices ou les œufs en meurette, le bœuf bourguignon est un plat emblématique de la Bourgogne et de son terroir.
Présentation générale
Le bœuf bourguignon est composé de morceaux de viande de bœuf cuits à la cocotte dans du vin rouge avec une garniture aromatique composée d’oignons, d'ail, de lardons et d'un bouquet garni (qui n’est pas conservé lors de la présentation finale du plat). La cuisson est lente et à feu doux. Les aliments cuisent ainsi peu à peu en s'imprégnant de vin, lequel, lié avec un peu de farine répartie sur la viande, donnera la sauce du plat.
Il peut être servi avec des pâtes (macaroni, tagliatelles) ou avec une garniture bourguignonne, composée de champignons, lardons, et petits oignons glacés à brun. En principe, le vin utilisé doit aussi être de Bourgogne. La qualité du plat dépend essentiellement de celle de la viande et du vin. Le mets est servi et consommé chaud comme mets de résistance.
Consommation
En France, le bœuf bourguignon est un mets servi en famille pour les repas de fête ou les repas ordinaires et dans les restaurants, grands et petits, tels que les restaurants d'entreprises. Il est aussi proposé sous forme de mets préparé en conserve.

Image source: http://www.mrsmultitasker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/bourgignon_15.jpg
Article source: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C5%93uf_bourguignon


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Hungary


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Iskola a Határon, by Ottlik Géza

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Read by Orsolya NagyOrsolya Nagy
Language: Hungarian

This is a reading from the novel Iskola a határon (School at the Frontier), written by Ottlik Géza. It is about a school located at the border of Hungary and Austria at the end of the Second World War. The novel is written from the perspective of a student who talks about the harsh time he has spent there due to the military nature of the school. In this section he gives us an account of how slow time passed between the walls of the school (since they were not able to leave the school for months at a time), how monotonous their days were and how enthusiastically they counted the days they have successfully survived there.

Iskola a határon (Section 2, Chapter 5)
Lassan telt az idő. Hosszú volt a szeptember. Nem tudok rá hasonlatot, hogy milyen lassan telt és milyen hosszú volt, és nincs is kedvem felelőtlen hasonlatokhoz. Illetlenség volna. Mert ma már könnyen beszélek. Páholyban ülök, és hányavetin dobálódzom napokkal, hónapokkal meg évekkel, évtizedekkel. Mint meghódított birodalmat, nyeglén járom széltében-hosszában a letelt időt, pedig amíg múlt velünk, olyan nehezen múlt, hogy szinte önkínzás volt számon tartani a napokat, ahogy Colalto tette.
Zsoldosnak volt egy kis zsebnaptárja, s esténként kihúzta benne az elmúlt napot. Nem elégedett meg egy egyszerű vonással, hanem feketére mázolta ceruzájával az egész sort, a protestáns és izraelita naptárrovatokkal együtt. Egyrészt olvashatatlanná akarta tenni mindenestől, másrészt pedig így nagyobbnak tűnt a nyereség, mint ha csupán a keltezést húzza át. A lap másik oldalán párhuzamos kis hurkák kezdtek kidomborodni, s helyenként át is szakadt a papír, a még távoli, kihúzásra nem jogosult októberi naptároldalon; ennyit ért el vele.

Iskola a Hataron Fájdalmas volt ráeszmélni, hogy milyen nyomorúságosan kevés idő telt el, mégis számon kellett tartani valahogyan a napokat, mert a természetes időérzékünk eléggé felmondta a szolgálatot. Vakon tántorogtunk a halmazállapotát vesztett időben, s hol úgy éreztük, hogy egy helyben állunk, hol pedig mérhetetlen messzeségben láttuk magunk mögött a nemrég múlt eseményeket. Az időközök megnyúltak, vagy semmivé zsugorodtak, vagy akár visszájukra fordultak olykor, felborítva az időrendet is.
Tulajdonképpen csak kétféle napunk volt, Schulze-nap és Bognár-nap. A létezésnek ezt a tovább már alig egyszerűsíthető ütemét néha megzökkentette a vasárnapi és ünnepi szolgálatnak a hétköznapitól független beosztása, más szóval mondva, megtörtént, hogy Schulze nem ment haza délben, hanem negyvennyolc óráig maradt szolgálatban egyfolytában. Ez sokszor csak az ebéd előtti kézmosásnál derült ki, és teljesen készületlenül ért bennünket. Ilyenkor haragudtam én Szeredyre. Az embert először jeges iszonyat fogta el Schulze láttán, majd tomboló felháborodás, aztán csüggedés. A hálóteremben, kézmosáskor, még a végső csüggedés előtt voltam. Szerettem volna belerúgni a szekrényajtónkba, beleverni fejemet a falba, végigvetni magamat az ágyon, és hason fekve bőgni legalább. Természetesen nem tehettem egyiket sem; de Szeredy még csak jelét sem adta, hogy szeretne valami hasonlót elkövetni. Közönyösen vette ki a fiókból a szappanát, szótlanul akasztotta le a törülközőjét. Ilyenkor haragudtam rá a legjobban.

Ritkán történt meg ez a szolgálatcsere, de a két utolsó órán mégis figyeltük, ha lehetett, hogy megy-e el Schulze; s ha az ablak közelében ülők meglátták őt odalent hazafelé indulni, rögtön továbbadták a megnyugtató hírt. A tiszthelyettesek és a tisztek kint laktak a városban, kivéve Monsignor Hanákot, akinek a földszinten, a kis zeneszoba mellett volt két szobája, meg az iskola parancsnokát, Kovách Garibaldit, akinek az első emeleten volt rendes lakása. Kovách ezredest ennek ellenére jóformán soha nem lehetett látni sehol. Már-már rejtélyes volt, hogyan jár haza, mert a lakásához csak a mi tantermi folyosónkon át lehetett eljutni. Félévenként legfeljebb egyszer jött be pár percre hospitálni valamelyik óránkra, a keddi vagy szombati délutánokon nagy ritkán fel-feltűnt szikár alakja a gyakorlótér szélén, s egy alkalommal a főépület előtt láttuk álldogálni egy zöld ruhás, szőke hölgy társaságában.

A kedd és a szombat nehéz, átkozott nap volt, mert egész délután gyakorlatozás folyt. Szerdán a két utolsó óra, a szabadkézi rajz, jó volt. Fent, a nagy rajzteremben ráérős kávéházi életet éltünk. Kellemes volt rajzolgatni is. Az óra előtt és a tízpercekben a lépcsőház képekkel teleaggatott falait nézegettük, Amadeus Krause, Szelepcsényi meg a többi egykori növendékek bekeretezett rajzait, bent pedig a terem némi változatosságot nyújtott a hálótermünk és tantermünk egyhangúsága után, mert egészen más volt, érdekesebb, világosabb, tele gipszmintákkal, koponyákkal, mértani idomokkal. Engem talán egy életre megtévesztett mindez, s lehet, hogy azért mentem el festőnek, mert azt képzeltem, hogy a festészet ilyen kellemes kupleráj, mint a szerdai két rajzóránk volt. Ma már tudom, hogy a művészet sajnos nem kávéház, hanem akkor már inkább hasonlít egy keddi vagy szombati menetgyakorlatra, ami igazán keserves és homályos célú mesterség volt, mégis, ha keresztülvonultunk a városka utcáin, örömünket leltük benne, hogy valami fegyelmezett és egyben hetyke dolgot mutassunk a civileknek, bárha belegebedünk is.

De megint jócskán előrerúgtatok az időben, hogy a festészetről bölcselkedjem, s ismét ki kell igazítanom a szavamat. Sok az a harminc esztendő, amit átugrottam, még több az újonckiképzés hat hete. Ott még nem tartottunk. Október közepéig egyáltalán nem vonultunk ki a városon keresztül, és nemigen leltük örömünket semmiben. Legfeljebb egy kis nyugalmat találtunk abban, ha a rajzteremben, a tanteremben vagy az árnyékszéken békében hagyott bennünket Schulze. Érdeklődésünk is csak azért csillant fel az apró-cseprő, szokatlanabb dolgokra, mert együgyű módon változást reméltünk tőlük. Ha kinyitották a Netter-kaput egy társzekérnek, ha elmaradt egy kihallgatás, ha a hipermangános kanna nem volt a helyén este, ha megláttunk egy új arcot a tisztek közt vagy egy civilt a gazdasági udvarnál, vagy ha csupán annyi történt, hogy Marcell főhadnagy olvasta fel délután a napiparancsot az altiszt helyett, a lelkünk mélyén rögtön reménykedni kezdtünk, hogy talán végre lesz valami.

Link to Hungarian Text: http://mek.oszk.hu/02200/02285/02285.htm#26
Image credit: http://kiadok.lira.hu/media/thumb/kiadok/szerzok/uj/tn_200x400_32.jpg
http://muzeumantikvarium.hu/images/item_image/original/11878.jpg

Italy


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Le tre raccoglitrici di cicorie, by Italo Calvino

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Le tre raccoglitrici di cicorie, by Italo Calvino
Read by Prof. Giuliana Palma
Language: Italian

Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the Calvinoworld with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. The son of traveling botanists, Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and raised in San Remo, Italy; he fought for the Italian Resistance from 1943-45. After taking a degree in literature from the University of Turin in 1947, Calvino supported himself by contributing to a number of Communist papers and by working on the editorial staff of the publishing house Einaudi, which he remained associated with for 35 years. He first became well known in Italy for editing Einaudi's monumental collection of Italian folk tales. In 1957, deeply disappointed by events in Eastern Europe, Calvino left the Communist party; in the years that followed, his writing gradually diverged from the dominant neorealist style and assumed its own peculiar and distinctive voice. His major works include Cosmicomics (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). During his later years, Calvino became an avid film enthusiast and renowned lecturer, traveling widely to satisfy both pursuits. He died in Siena on Sept. 19, 1985, of a brain hemorrhage.

Text Source:
http://www.themodernword.com/calvino/index.html
Calvino’s picture:
http://nickgadd.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/italo_calvino.jpg

Le tre raccoglitrici di cicorie. (The three chicory pickers)

This is one of the fairy tales translated from dialect into Italian by Italo Calvino and published in two volumes with the title of Italian Folk Tales in 1956. It is a Calabrian fairy tale which tells the story of three young women who, with their mother, used to go every day to pick chicory in the fields surrounding their home.  One day, while pulling forcefully on a stubborn weed, the oldest of the three, Teresa, discovers a trapdoor. She pulls it open and there she finds a room. Sitting at a table there is a dragon. She is afraid the dragon will eat it her and promises to do all he asks of her if he saves her life. The dragon agrees and tells her that she has to eat a human hand. He will go out for the day and upon his return, that evening, if she has obeyed, he will marry her, otherwise he will decapitate her. Teresa cannot bring herself to eat the human hand and discards it. When the dragon returns, he listens to her lie but he finds out the truth and kills her. The morning after the second daughter, Concetta, goes to look for her sister, the same things happen to her. The dragon wants her to eat a human arm. She promises she will but she can’t and she is killed. The following day it is the youngest sister’s turn, Mariuzza, to go look for her sisters. Like Teresa and Concetta, Mariuzza too finds a trapdoor which is the entrance to the dragon’s dwelling. She too promises to eat a human foot in order to save her life but like her sisters, she is unable to overcome the horror of such a meal. Thanks to her intelligence, Mariuzza is able to fool the dragon and when, in order to celebrate his victory over her, he gets drunk, she finds out the secret of his immortality and the way to bring her sisters back to life. Mariuzza kills him, frees her sisters along with all the other victims who had been decapitated by the dragon and everybody goes happily back home.


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Pictures related to the story
http://www.wuz.it/mm/4119/00289411_b.jpg
http://www.wuz.it/mm/4132/00290084_b.jpg

Romania


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Constantin Brancusi, Romania

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

Constantin Brancusi is one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. His style can be uniquely identified by the elegance of forms and the use of materials, combining the simplicity of Romanian Popular Art with the Parisian Avantgarde. The famous British sculptor, Henry Moore, said that Brancusi showed the world the "pure" form. Some of his most famous works include The Endless Column, Mademoiselle Pogany, Table of Silence and Bird in space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://brancusi.1dez.com/
Picture sources: http://www.lemondedesarts.com/images/Brancusi23.jpg
http://www.forumfr.com/sujet333230-post30-voyage-en-roumanie.html

Romanian Landscape

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: RomanianRomania

This podcast refers to the Romanian landscape and its major geographical components: the Transylvanian Plateau and the Carpathian Mountains in the center of the country surrounded by hills and plains. Mountains take up approximately 31% of Romania's surface, while the plateaus take up 36% and plains 33%. The rich diversity of the Romanian geography has enabled the existence of diverse fauna and flora.



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Article source: http://www.ghidromania.ro/despre-romania.php
Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/RomanianLandscape0022...

Biserica Neagra

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Biserica NeagraBy Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

Over 500 years old, Biserica Neagra (the Black Church) is the most representative historical monument in Brasov and the greatest Gothic church in Transylvania. More than that, inside the church there is one of the greatest organs in Europe, and also the largest collection of old carpets from Asia Minor. The construction of this Gothic Evangelic church began around 1380, in the time of Vicar Thomas Sander, and initially it was named Saint Mary’s Church.


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Article Source: http://www.romanianmonasteries.org/ro/alte-manastiri/biserica-neagra
Picture Source: http://www.visiteroumanie.com/Content%20site/Orase/Brasov/Brasov%20Biserica%20Neagra%202.jpg

Castelul Peles

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

PelesPeles Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle built in Romania near Sinaia during the reign of Carol I. The castle was built between 1873 and 1914.

"Context urban: Castelul Peleş a fost construit la iniţiativa primului Rege al României, Carol I, în afara perimetrului comunei Podul Neagului, localitate cu o suprafaţă de 24 de km în anul 1874, an în care, din iniţiativa suveranului, comuna primeşte numele de Sinaia. Un an mai târziu, în centrul localităţii sunt construite primele case boiereşti, iar în 1876 începe construirea căii ferate Ploieşti – Predeal, care străbate şi Sinaia. Concomitent, între anii 1873 şi 1875 a fost edificată fundaţia castelului Peleş. Ceremonia de punere a pietrei de temelie a reşedinţei a avut loc într-un cadru festiv la 10/22 august 1875.

Peles

Epocă: 1873 – 1914, pe un teren de 1000 de hectare numit Piatra Arsă sau moşia Sinaia, achiziţionat de Regele Carol I de la Eforia Spitalelor în anul 1871.

Autori: arhitecţi: Wilhelm von Doderer (1872–1876), profesor la Technische Hochschule din Viena, Johannes Schultz (1873, diriginte de şantier, asistentul lui Doderer, iar din 1876 până în 1883, arhitect-şef), Émile André Lecomte du Noüy (1890 – 1892), Karel Liman (1896 – 1924); Jean Ernest, antreprenori, constructori şi proprietari de depozite de materiale de construcţie..." (Source)

 


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Picture Source:
http://locuri-unice.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/castelul_peles_0001.jpg
http://locuri-unice.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/castelul_peles_0007.jpg

Text Source:
http://peles.ro/category/exploreaza/istoric-peles/

Emil Cioran, un centenar prea discret

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

În România, o linişte aproape netulburată de vreun eveniment învăluie centenarul naşterii celui mai cunoscut filosof de origine română în străinătate. Pe 8 aprilie 2011, se împlinesc 100 de ani de la naşterea lui Emil Cioran. Opera lui este de importanţă majoră în cultura europeană a secolului XX, totuşi ţara natală nu s-a grăbit să organizeze nimic în memoria gânditorului care i-a adus un semnificativ capital simbolic.
Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran şi Eugen Ionescu se numără printre acele valori fundamentale ale veacului trecut prin intermediul cărora România a pătruns la nivelul cel mai înalt al culturii europene. Acceptându-le dubla identitate - una determinată de etnie, cealaltă configurată de limba în care au ales să-şi scrie mare parte din operă sau unele dintre scrierile cu cea mai mare greutate -, România postdecembristă i-a transformat într-un fel de „brand de ţară", o ţară pe care cei trei au urât-o şi au iubit-o în feluri şi în doze diferite. S-a mândrit cu opera lor şi cu originea lor, chiar dacă fiecare dintre ei a ales exilul şi limba unei culturi majore.

Însă în 2011, anul centenarului Emil Cioran, aceeaşi Românie păstrează, la ea acasă, linişte în jurul datei de 8 aprilie, dată care în alte spaţii nu ar fi trecut aproape neobservată. Institutul Cultural Român a organizat manifestări în mai multe capitale europene (printre care Paris, Madrid şi Stockholm). Ambasada Franţei în România şi Institutul Francez au iniţiat un proiect inedit. În afară de aceastea, data de 8 aprilie 2011 rămâne nemarcată. O tăcere care nu vine din dorinţa de a evita festivismul, ci din lipsa de interes învăluie centenarul Emil Cioran în ţara lui natală, ţară care i-a stârnit filosofului stări şi gânduri paradoxale, dar care n-a încetat să fie o prezenţă în opera lui. La Sibiu sau la Bucureşti, nimic despre Emil Cioran la centenar.

Ministerul Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional, care are atribuţia de a sprijini proiecte în domeniu, a primit o singură solicitare legată de această dată. Potrivit lui Radu Enache, consilier al ministrului Culturii, Kelemen Hunor, ministerul a respins, din lipsă de fonduri, o solicitare din partea Fundaţiei Mihai Eminescu din Craiova, care cerea o finanţare de 300.000 de lei pentru organizarea unui eveniment dedicat lui Emil Cioran la Luxembourg.

Sintetizând rolul jucat de filosoful născut la Răşinari pe scena culturii din secolul trecut, scriitoarea Marta Petreu, care s-a aplecat îndelung asupra operei sale şi în studiul „Cioran sau trecut deocheat" (recent reedicat la Polirom), explică:  „Emil Cioran înseamnă fondul românesc, arhaic deci văietător, pus în formă (stilistic) franceză. Şi, astfel ambalat, a ajuns la celebritate reală. Nu sunt deloc originală răspunzând astfel, ci subscriu unei mai vechi şi laconice observaţii a lui Livius Ciocârlie".

Marta Petreu îşi exprimă convingerea că „fiecare instituţie de cultură din România şi-a făcut, în mod independent, un plan" şi adaugă: „Iar dacă nu şi-a făcut, nu e niciun necaz, a trecut epoca unanimităţii şi a sărbătoririlor obligatorii...". Cât despre cum ar trebui marcat centenarul, scri itoarea afirmă că „în primul rând, citindu-i textele".


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Article source: http://www.adevarul.ro/cultura/literar_si_artistic/Emil_Cioran-un_centenar_prea_discret_0_457154804.html
Picture source: http://www.adevarul.ro/bbtcontent/clipping/ADVIMA20110405_0563/1.jpg

Maramures

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Read by Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romania

MaramuresMaramures is a northern county in Romania considered to be one of the best preserved regions in Europe in terms of its ethnography and anthropology. It is one of few regions in Romania where the folk costume has been preserved almost unaltered and people can be seen wearing it going to church on Sunday or for other important events in the community. The originality of the people of Maramures can be attested by their house decorations, architecture, customs and their day-to-day life.    
Maramures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Article Source:

http://www.romanianmonasteries.org/ro/maramures/maramures-traditii
Pictures sources:
http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/52473/maramures_20061008.jpg
http://www.sylviastuurman.nl/stories/romania/dag2/S2_9526.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tudorseulean/3566328210/in/set-72157620624034502/lightbox/

O porţie de yoga, vă rog!

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Dumitru

O porţie de yoga, vă rog!, by Toni Dumitru

Read by Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

This podcast was inspired by an article written by Toni Dumitru for his weekend column in the Romanian newspaper, Adevărul. Published on the 16th of May, 2010, the article represents a reaction to the economic crisis in Romania (after 2008) and describes the way in which people continue to be misled by politicians in a social context filled with uncertainties. Toni Dumitru's sarcasm and humor accurately depict the present sociopolitical situation in Romania and offer a realistic view of our contemporary society.
 


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Article source: http://www.adevarul.ro/magazin_de_duminica/portie-yoga-rog_0_262773983.html
Image source: http://www.adevarul.ro/bbtcontent/clipping/ADVIMA20100116_0391/1.jpg

People's Palace in Romania.

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

People's palace"Amplasata în centrul istoric si geografic al Bucurestilor o constructie atrage privirile prin stilul arhitectonic deosebit. Este Palatul Parlamentului României, un edificiu colosal ridicat în "epoca de aur" a dictaturii comuniste si nascut în mintea unui om pentru care dimensiunile aveau o alta relevanta decât o au pentru noi, oamenii obisnuiti.

Exista un capitol la care Palatul Parlamentului României ar putea figura pe locul I fara contracandidati - cladirea cea mai controversata de pe mapamond - pentru ca nici o alta constructie nu a mai beneficiat, pâna acum, de o asemenea coplesitoare avalansa de epitete, oscilând între "genial" si "monstruos".

Facuta si refacuta peste noapte, trufasa "Casa a Republicii" o înghitit zeci de miliarde de lei înainte de Revolutie si a înglobat un volum de munca urias.People's palaca

Poate de aceea, pentru ca s-a nascut si se ridica vazând cu ochii într-o perioada de mari privatiuni, la început a fost urâta de români.

Dupa decembrie 1989 cladirea, care poate fi vazuta din orice punct al Bucurestiului, a fost privita ca o cladire hidoasa, în jurul ei începând sa graviteze idei care mai de care mai originale. Unii, din prea multa exaltare revolutionara, au vrut s-o darâme, prin dinamitare, fireste, pentru ca simboliza trecutul. Altii au fost de parere ca ne lipsea un mare muzeu al comunismului si exista o cladire în plus. În fine, s-au strecurat si idei excentrice, cu fosnet de palmieri, rostogoliri zburdalnice de zar la masa verde si zgomot de ruleta. Dar n-a fost sa fie nici cazinou.

De la subiectul controversat, la curtea fara stapân, pradata de multe din valorile pe care le adaposteste, n-a fost decât un pas.

Când oamenii si-au dat seama câte milioane sunt încremenite acolo si jefuite fara discernamânt, cladirea a început sa fie privita cu mai putina ostilitate si au numit-o "Casa Poporului".

People's PalacePentru ca el, poporul, îndurase foamea si frigul, el participase direct sau indirect la înaltarea ei si avea dreptul sa-i influenteze destinele.

Constructorii si-au reluat lucrarea, edificiul si-a schimbat si el destinatia pe masura finalizarii lucrarilor, devenind "Casa Republicii", apoi "Palatul Parlamentului" - simbol al democratiei, care va gazdui Camera Deputatilor si Senatul României.

  Printr-o hotarâre a Camerei Deputatilor, în mai 1994 s-a înfiintat Centrul International de Conferinte, spatiu în care s-au desfasurat lucrarile Forumului Crans Montana.


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Article Source: http://www.cdep.ro/pls/dic/site.page?id=10
Picture Sources:
http://www.exclusivnews.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/bucuresti_palatul_...
http://kenraggio.com/RomaniaBucharest2.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4366888349_de13dd38bf_o.jpg

George Enescu, Romania

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By Nicolae Dragu
Language: Romanian

George Enescu is a famous Romanian violinist, conductor, teacher and composer. He showed a great interest in music since he was 4 years old when he started playing the piano. At the age of seven he went to the Conservatory in Vienna and by the age of 13 he graduated with a silver medal. His work is greatly influenced by Romanian Folklore and even when his music has a German or French influence, the connection between his music and the Romanian Folklore is expressed by use of popular rhythmic forms and specific musical modes. Some of his most noteworthy works include the two Romanian Rhapsodies, Poeme Roumain and the Oedip Opera.

 


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Text Source: http://www.roportal.ro/articole/george-enescu-476.htm
Music Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTqchZPPB10
Image Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/w58vfYWQsjg/0.jpg

Spain


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Cova do Carcamáns, by Castelao

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Cova dos carcamánsCastelao
Read by Eduardo Lage-Otero
Language: Galician

"Na "cova dos carcamáns" vive —según contan— unha dona encantada que vén a peitearse de mañán cedo nas pedras da beiramar, i eu gustaba de ir mata-lo tempo naquela medoñenta soedade, agardando que calquera día aparecese diante dos meus ollos a fremosura que tantos mariñeiros ollaran. I en axexo da dona encantada pasei días e días sentado no curuto da mesma pedra.

Fun esquecéndome do encanto e afíxenme á soedade medoñenta e ó bruído das ondas do mar. Aínda levo nos ouvidos o son das ondas que escachaban nas pedras e a resposta que facían no fondo da "cova dos carcamáns".

Os meus ollos poucas veces esculcaban nas lonxanías; pousábanse mellor no fondo das augas, onde eu podía avista--lo mundo que criou mitos no maxín popular.

Non sei por qué; mais eu sempre detiña o meu ollar nunha pedra redonda como un cráneo, toda cuberta de argazo verde. E as miñas visitas xa non tiñan outro ouxeto que olla-la pedra redonda.

Un día de mareas vivas tanto devalou o mar que a pedra botou fóra das augas o seu curupete e nunca tanto se asemellou a un cráneo cuberto de cabelos verdes. Cando unha onda solagaba a pedra, o pelo desfiañábase debaixo do mar, aboiando como o cabelo dunha muller afogada. No recuar das ondas a pedra saía das augas e o cabelo aplacábase i entón aparecía peiteada con raia ó médeo, talmente como unha cabeza de muller.

Moitas veces ollei como as ondas do mar xogaban co cabelo verde e os meus ollos encantados non se fartaban endexamais.

Nun serán de brétema déronme tentacións de colle-la pedra e desfacerlle os cabelos para dar acougo ó meu espírito.
Arriscándome moito puden chegar pertiño da pedra redonda e, alongando o brazo, apañei os cabelos e turrei por eles para riba.

A pedra era levián i erguina no aire como un verdugo que amostra unha cabeza cortada.
Cando me lembro, aínda sinto un arrufío nas costas. O que eu tiña pendurado polos cabelos non era unha pedra, non; era... ¡unha caveira humán!
Cicais a caveira da dona encantada, que debeu morrer, porque xa fai moito tempo que non vén peitearse de mañán cedo nas pedras da beiramar."

 


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Photo credit: http://www.galicianbooks.com/imxd/arbore_web/imx/1203414318castelao.png
Story credit: http://www.museocastelao.org/produccion.html
Music credit: Gallaecia Fulget, Milladoiro
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/musica-para-exposicion-gallaecia/id288314139

Elegía a Ramón Sijé by Miguel Hernández

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ELEGIA A RAMÓN SIJÉ by Miguel HernándezMiguel Hernandez
Read by Eduardo Lage-Otero
Language: Spanish

Translation available on this site.

(En Orihuela, su pueblo y el mío, se me ha
muerto como del rayo Ramón Sijé, con quien
tanto quería.)

Yo quiero ser llorando el hortelano
de la tierra que ocupas y estercolas,
compañero del alma, tan temprano.

Alimentando lluvias, caracoles
y órganos mi dolor sin instrumento,
a las desalentadas amapolas

daré tu corazón por alimento.
Tanto dolor se agrupa en mi costado,
que por doler me duele hasta el aliento.

Un manotazo duro, un golpe helado,
un hachazo invisible y homicida,
un empujón brutal te ha derribado.

No hay extensión más grande que mi herida,
lloro mi desventura y sus conjuntos
y siento más tu muerte que mi vida.

Ando sobre rastrojos de difuntos,
y sin calor de nadie y sin consuelo
voy de mi corazón a mis asuntos.

Temprano levantó la muerte el vuelo,
temprano madrugó la madrugada,
temprano estás rodando por el suelo.

No perdono a la muerte enamorada,
no perdono a la vida desatenta,
no perdono a la tierra ni a la nada.

En mis manos levanto una tormenta
de piedras, rayos y hachas estridentes
sedienta de catástrofe y hambrienta

Quiero escarbar la tierra con los dientes,
quiero apartar la tierra parte
a parte a dentelladas secas y calientes.

Quiero minar la tierra hasta encontrarte
y besarte la noble calavera
y desamordazarte y regresarte

Volverás a mi huerto y a mi higuera:
por los altos andamios de mis flores
pajareará tu alma colmenera

de angelicales ceras y labores.
Volverás al arrullo de las rejas
de los enamorados labradores.

Alegrarás la sombra de mis cejas,
y tu sangre se irá a cada lado
disputando tu novia y las abejas.

Tu corazón, ya terciopelo ajado,
llama a un campo de almendras espumosas
mi avariciosa voz de enamorado.

A las aladas almas de las rosas...
de almendro de nata te requiero,:
que tenemos que hablar de muchas cosas,
compañero del alma, compañero.

Photo credit: http://www.glogster.com/media/3/12/24/69/12246954.jpg
Poem credit: http://www.adelantandoelmundo.com/2008/05/elegia-ramon-sije-de-miguel-hernandez.html
Music credit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bach-concertos/id269842147

 

Ukraine


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«Мастер и Маргарита», Михаил Булгаков

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Read by Natalia Kolakowska
Language: Russian

Mikhail Bulgakov

"– Она несла в руках отвратительные, тревожные желтые цветы. Черт их знает, как их зовут, но они первые почему-то появляются в Москве. И эти цветы очень отчетливо выделялись на черном ее весеннем пальто. Она несла желтые цветы! Нехороший цвет. Она повернула с Тверской в переулок и тут обернулась. Ну, Тверскую вы знаете? По Тверской шли тысячи людей, но я вам ручаюсь, что увидела она меня одного и поглядела не то что тревожно, а даже как будто болезненно. И меня поразила не столько ее красота, сколько необыкновенное, никем не виданное одиночество в глазах!

Повинуясь этому желтому знаку, я тоже свернул в переулок и пошел по ее следам. Мы шли по кривому, скучному переулку безмолвно, я по одной стороне, а она по другой. И не было, вообразите, в переулке ни души. Я мучился, потому что мне показалось, что с нею необходимо говорить, и тревожился, что я не вымолвлю ни одного слова, а она уйдет, и я никогда ее более не увижу…

Master and Margarita

И, вообразите, внезапно заговорила она:

– Нравятся ли вам мои цветы?

Я отчетливо помню, как прозвучал ее голос, низкий довольно-таки, но со срывами, и, как это ни глупо, показалось, что эхо ударило в переулке и отразилось от желтой грязной стены. Я быстро перешел на ее сторону и, подходя к ней, ответил:

– Нет.

Она поглядела на меня удивленно, а я вдруг, и совершенно неожиданно, понял, что я всю жизнь любил именно эту женщину! Вот так штука, а?..."

"'She was carrying some of those repulsive yellow flowers. God knows what they're called, but they are somehow always the first to come out in spring. They stood out very sharply against her black dress. She was carrying yellow flowers! It's an ugly colour. She turned off Tverskaya into a side-street and turned round. You know the Tverskaya, don't you? There must have been a thousand people on it but I swear to you that she saw noone but me. She had a look of suffering and I was struck less by her beauty than by the extraordinary loneliness in her eyes. Obeying that yellow signal I too turned into the side-street and followed her. We walked in silence down that dreary, winding little street without saying a word, she on one side, I on the other. There was not another soul in the street. I was in agony because I felt I had to speak to her and was worried that I might notbe able to utter a word, she would disappear and I should never see her again. Then, if you can believe it, she said : " Do you like my flowers? " 'I remember exactly how her voice sounded. It was pitched fairly low but with a catch in it and stupid as it may sound I had the impression that it echoed across the street and reverberated from the dirty yellow wall. I quickly crossed to her side and going up to her replied : "No' She looked at me in surprise and suddenly, completely unexpectedly, I realised that I had been in love with this woman all my life. Extraordinary, isn't it?." (English translation)

 


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Image source: http://jamiewhyte.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Bulgakovs-Moscow-The-Master-and-Margarita-e1350319498182.jpg

Text source: http://readr.ru/mihail-bulgakov-master-i-margarita.html?page=52#
Book image source: http://www.galiarybitskaya.com/Images/MandM2.jpg
Additional information: http://www.enotes.com/twentieth-century-criticism/master-margarita-mikhail-bulgakov

Middle East


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Egypt


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On hearing, Egypt

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By Nour Bahgat (2012)
Language: Arabic

A new machine that is able to provide early diagnosis of hearing problems is looking to serve more patients. Less than 200 children were treated last year, far under the machines capability. Hearing problems are genetic in nature and the probability of affliction is higher if relatives intermarry, something that is not uncommon in rural parts of Egypt. This machine specializes in discovering hearing problems for children, so curative measures can be successfully taken.


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News source: http://www.ahram.org.eg/459/2011/03/02/34/60133.aspx
Image source: http://www.badgerboomers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Exam-ear-doctor-...

Visit Egypt, says Khalid El Nabawi

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By Nour Bahgat (2012)Egypt
Language: Arabic

Khalid El Nabawi invites the world to visit Egypt
El Nabawi, a famous Egyptian actor, extended an invitation to visit Egypt to the Austrian organization, Strengthening Hope. This took place at the Vienna Opera Pool musical concert which is considered one of the premier musical and art events in Europe. The concert took place at the Austria Opera House in the presence of a lot of famous personalities from all around the world. El Nabawi met Werner Faymann, the Austrian Chancellor, and Bob Geldof who is a European activist for African development.
Their talk focused on the 25th of January Egyptian Revolution after which, El Nabawi assured them, Egypt became a free and safe country. He extended a personal invitation to the Chancellor to visit the Tahrir Square in Egypt and to visit the tourist hotspots where millions work. El Nabawi expressed his optimism towards building a prosperous future for Egypt.


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article source:http://www.ahram.org.eg/465/2011/03/08/16/66302.aspx
image source: http://www.ahram.org.eg/465/2011/03/08/16/66302.aspx
 

Israel


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Hebrew

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Hebrew
by Prof. Michal Ayalon and students
Language: Hebrew

Israel


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Photo source: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/files/2010/09/photo_lg_israel.jpg

Lebanon


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American University of Beirut

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Read by Rayan Beydoun (2012)
Language: Arabic

AUBThis podcast is about the history of The American University of Beirut (AUB), which was my second choice university after Trinity. AUB has a very beautiful campus, and I actually spent 15 years in a school called International College that used to be a preparatory school to AUB, and it shares the same campus. Most of my friends study at AUB, and so whenever I am in Lebanon I spend my time there. I thought it would be an interesting article for Trinity students, as AUB is a great place to spend an exchange semester. Not only is it a top university, but it is located in the most vibrant part of the city of Beirut, and it's right by the sea!

American University of BeirutAmerican University of Beirut
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The American University of Beirut (AUB; Arabic: الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت‎) is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866.[2] The name was changed to the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 1920. The university is ranked among the 350 top universities in the world. The University is governed by a private, autonomous Board of Trustees and offers programs leading to the bachelor’s, master’s, MD, and PhD degrees. The current president is Peter F. Dorman. Although AUB’s student body is primarily Lebanese, almost one-fifth of its students attended secondary school or university outside of Lebanon before coming to AUB. The language of instruction is English.
HistoryAUB
In 1862 American missionaries in Lebanon and Syria, under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, asked Dr. Daniel Bliss to establish a college of higher learning that would include medical training. On April 24, 1863, while Dr. Daniel Bliss was raising money for the new college in the United States and England, the State of New York granted a charter for the Syrian Protestant College. The college, which was renamed the American University of Beirut in 1920, opened with a class of 16 students on December 3, 1866. Dr. Bliss served as its first president, from 1866 until 1902.

AUB alumni have had a broad and significant impact on the region and the world for many years. For example, 19 AUB alumni were delegates to the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945 — more than any other university in the world. AUB graduates continue to serve in leadership positions as presidents of their countries, prime ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, governors of central banks, presidents and deans of colleges and universities, businesspeople, engineers, doctors, teachers, and nurses. They work in governments, the private sector, and in nongovernmental organizations.

On March 21, 2008, the Board of Trustees selected Peter F. Dorman to be AUB's 15th president. He succeeded Dr. John Waterbury who was president of AUB from 1998 to 2008. Dr. Dorman is an international scholar in the field of Egyptology and formerly chaired the University of Chicago's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
As of June 2011, the total number of degrees and diplomas awarded totaled 82,032.


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University Website: http://www.aub.edu.lb/
Article Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_University_of_Beirut
Pictures: https://cgi.aub.edu.lb/about/about-photos/image001.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/02/American_University_of_Beirut_logo.svg/220px-American_University_of_Beirut_logo.svg.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/95/American-University-Beirut-NW.jpg/250px-American-University-Beirut-NW.jpg

 

Beirut Lady of the world

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Nizar Qabbani

Poem by Nizar Qabbani
Read by Nour Chamseddine (2016)
Language: Arabic

"Beirut Lady of the World" is a poem written by the famous Syrian poet Nizar Kabbani in his book "To Beirut the feminine, with my love" (1978), while Lebanon was going through a civil war. Kabbani personified Beirut as a beautiful woman, to whom he apologized on behalf on everyone who had hurt her and tore her people apart. He also urged Beirut to rise from the pain and sufferings to go back to her standing as "Lady of the World". Majida El Roumi, a renowned Lebanese singer adjusted some parts of the poem to create her famous song "Ya Beirut" which I will read its lyrics below.

بيروت يا ست الدنيا

Beirut Lady of the world

يا بيروت
يا ست الدنيا... يا بيروت
نعترف أمام الله الواحد
أنّْا كنا منك نغار
وكان جمالك يؤذينا
نعترف الآن
بأنّْا لم ننصفك ولم نرحمك
بأنّْا لم نفهمك ولم نعذرك
وأهديناك مكان الوردة سكيناً
نعترف أمام الله العادل
بأنّْا جرحناك واتعبناك
بأنّْا أحرقناك وأبكيناك
وحملناك أيا بيروت معاصينا
يا بيروت
إن الدنيا بعد ليست تكفينا
الآن عرفنا أن جذورك ضاربة فينا
الآن عرفنا ماذا إقترفت أيدينا
قومي... قومي... قومي
قومي من تحت الردم
كزهرة لوز في نيسان
قومي من حزنك قومي
إن الثورة تولد من رحم الاحزان
قومي من تحت الردم
قومي إكراماً للغابات
قومي إكراماً للأنهار
قومي إكراماً للأنهار والوديان... والإنسان
قومي إكراماً للإنسان
قومي يا بيروت... قومي
إن الثورة تولد من رحم الاحزان
يا بيروت... يا بيروت

Ya Beirut
Ya Beirut...Lady of the World
We confess to the God alone:
We were envious of you
And your beauty hurt us
We confess now:
We were not fair to you nor merciful
We did not understand you or excuse you
We presented you a knife instead of a rose
We confess to the just God:
We injured you and made you tired
We burnt you and made you cry
We burdened you oh Beirut with our sins
Ya Beirut
The world is not enough
We now know your roots are part of us
We now know what our hands had committed
Rise...Rise...Rise
Rise from under the rubble
Like an almond's rose in spring
Rise from your sorrows....Rise
Revolution is born from sorrows womb
Rise from under the rubble
Rise for the love of forests
Rise for the love of rivers
Rise for the love of rivers, valleys... and man
Rise for the love of man
Rise oh Beirut ....Rise
Revolution is born from sorrows womb
Ya Beirut....Ya Beirut

 

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Poem Source: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AA-%D9%8A%D8%A...

Pictures: http://www.starnostar.com/data/images/who-is-Nizar-Qabbani-is-star-or-no-star-Nizar-Tawfiq-Qabbani-celebrity-vote.jpg

Friendship, by Gibran Khalil Gibran

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KhalilRead by Racha Menhem (2012)
Language: Arabic

This is a poem by Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), جبران خليل جبران , a famous Lebanese poet and painter. He lived in the USA and wrote books and poems in three different languages: Arabic, French and English. This poem, titled "Friendship," is part of his book called "The Prophet."
The poem describes the value of friendship and how one should open up the secrets of your life to a good friend. The poem encourages the reader to treasure and value every moment spent with a true friend.

Friendship

And a youth said,
- Speak to us of Friendship!
  And he answered, saying:
  Your friend is your needs answered.
  He is your field which you sow with love
and reap with thanksgiving.


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And he is your board and your fireside.
  For you come to him with your hunger,
and you seek him for peace.

  When your friend speaks his mind you fear
not the "nay" in your own mind,
nor do you withhold the "ay".
  And when he is silent your heart ceases
not to listen to his heart;
  For without words, in friendship, all thoughts,
all desires, all expectations are born and shared,
with joy that is unacclaimed.
  When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
  For that which you love most
in him may be clearer in his absence,
as the mountain to the climber
is clearer from the plain.

  And let there be no purpose in friendship
save the deepening of the spirit.
  For love that seeks aught but the disclosure
of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth:
and only the unprofitable is caught.

  And let your best be for your friend
that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
  For it is his to fill your need,
but not your emptiness.
  And in the sweetness of friendship
let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
  For in the dew of little things
the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

 

Credit picture: http://www.poems.net.au/freedom-xiv-by-khalil-gibran/
Credit poem: Friendship, by Gibran Khalil Gibran
Credit translation: http://boes.org/gallery/friend.html