The origins of Father’s Day date back 4,000 years ago to the time of Babylon, where a clay tablet was found with a message written by a son for his father. In France and the United States, father’s day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Father’s Day is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day, March 19th, in countries where there is a strong emphasis on the Roman Catholic Church. This holds true in Italy. It is called La Festa di San Guiseppe in Italian. St. Joseph’s Day began in Sicily during the Middle Ages. The people of Sicily were suffering from a drought and famine and needed rain for their crops. They prayed to St. Joseph and he answered their prayers by bringing the rain. The fava bean crops ended the famine. In return for his help, they offered St. Joseph a grand feast when he brought the rain. The fava bean often decorates altars or homes on this holiday. No matter the country, Father’s Day is a day to show appreciation and love for your father.
Hello Everyone! It is hard to believe that we are in the month of June already! This month’s newsletter will feature a special tribute to Father’s Day as it is celebrated in the United States, France and Italy. We are very happy to say that we have managed to clean up our address books for the newsletter and the announcements, so you should not be receiving doubles (or more) of any one e-mailing from us. Thank you for your patience. We have a great line-up for summer classes this year. Our Learn French Summer Camp for Kids will be held in both Clifton Park and Colonie. The Children’s Summer Camp will have two sessions in the morning. If your child, between the ages of 5 and 12, has already studied French, been in our After School Program, or speak French in the home, they will be in one class together. We will have another class for children with little or no exposure to the language. Both classes will be from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, Monday through Friday for four weeks. Additionally, we will offer an Intensive Study Program in French for children and adults. This multi-generational class will be in session for three weeks and we will offer a beginner and advanced course. We are also offering Advanced English as a Second Language intensive study as well. These classes will run Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 11:00AM Join us on June 14th on pedestrian Jay Street for the Jay Street Fest! Our staff will be there to greet and welcome any questions you may have about our programs. We will be celebrating our fourth annual Bastille Day Celebration on pedestrian Jay Street in Schenectady on July 11th. The actual holiday is on July 14th which is a Tuesday. In order to give everyone a chance to come join us we are continuing the tradition started last year, to celebrate the holiday on the weekend rather than the week day. We will be giving you a sneak preview of the celebration in this month’s letter as well as in our July 1st edition. Mark your calendars…this year’s will be bigger and better! You won’t want to miss it! We are looking forward to seeing you this summer in our programs.
To all our Dad’s – Happy Father’s Day!
Nancy Scarselletta Owner/Developer The Language Learning Institute 518-346-7096
Bastille Day is a French National Holiday which takes place on the 14th of July each year. The original Bastille day took place don July 14th, 1789, where the people stormed the Bastille and began the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison which represented the absolute power held by Louis XVI. On this day, the three ideals of France were upheld: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. This motto was reinstated in 1848 to represent the new republic. Bastille day is representative of the end of the monarchy and the beginnings of a democratic nation.
Bastille Day did not become an official national holiday until July 6, 1880. In the United States, we can find Bastille Day celebrations in major cities. For example, in Manhattan there is a celebration on 60th street on the Upper East Side; in San Francisco there is a celebration in the French quarter; and Philadelphia holds the celebration in a penitentiary, where “Marie Antoinette” throws a twinkie, representing cake, at the “Parisian militia.”
Bastille Day Links: About.com Infoplease.com Wikipedia.org WhatsOnWhen.com
We have been asked to bring our programs for children to Colonie. We would love to do that for you and we are in need of a space to rent. We would like to stay at this location year round and have our summer and winter Camps as well as our Mommy and Me classes and After School Programs. If you know of places that would like to discuss renting to The Language Learning Institute, Please e-mail us the contact information to: [email protected]
The Language Learning Institute has, at this time, three scheduled events throughout the year: Bastille Day (or as the French call it “le Quatorze”), St Nicolas Day, and now A Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese. The mission of The Language Learning Institute is to bring not only language to the community in which it has a presence, but also cultural understanding. It is through our events that we bring an experience of authenticity to you. This is the time and place in which we invite all to participate and learn something new and help enrich their lives. These events can show how things are done in different parts of the world and give a better understanding about our relationships with other countries. Bastille Day and St Nicolas Day are community and family events meant to unite the two. Our wine and cheese event is an adult over twenty-one years of age event and will be held yearly as well. It will focus on different wines and their traditional accompaniments depending on the country.
We invite all of you to come out and enjoy our events. In doing so, you also support out programs and the school. We have a very broad vision for the future that I am sure you will enjoy.
While I was living in the south of France, I often visited a nearby city, Biarritz, also known as the surfing capital of Europe. Whenever there, it wasn’t uncommon to hear residents yelling “Allez B.O.!” in local cafés, brasseries, and pubs. Of course, as an American having not yet reached my peak of cultural sensitivity, I giggled, understanding BO as an abbreviation for body odor. But as my visits to the Pays-Basque city became more frequent, I learned the Frenchies weren’t rooting for body odor, but rather their local rugby team, Biarritz Olympique.
Truth be told, the French are rooting for their local and national rugby teams all around the country. According to the International Rugby Board, France is one of the strongest European competitors in the world, ranking eighth among all official competitors. Alongside le foot, it is another sport that rallies the French national pride, particularly when competing in the Six Nations Championship, a tournament between the Western European nations of France, England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, as well as the Rugby League World Cup which extends competition internationally. The French are without doubt fierce competitors with their Anglophone neighbors; a competition one could argue stems back to the historical rivalry between France and Great Britain. Regardless of political speculations, one can conclude that any individual willing to risk a concussion because of lack of protective equipment, must really love the sport.
If you want to follow the success of Les Bleus this season, you can visit: http://www.ffr.fr/index.php/ffr/accueil__1 http://www.irb.com/rankings/index.html/
On 24th June San Giovanni, Saint John, is remembered, throughout Italy. The day is filled with beliefs, superstitions, religious elements and folklore that surrounded San Giovanni. The eve also typically falls around the summer solstice, also often surrounded by folklore and pagan celebrations. During the eve of San Giovanni, walnuts are collected to prepare a special liqueur, nocino, said to aid digestion. The liqueur is made of walnuts, noci, which is where the name “nocino” comes from. In the past every monastery used to prepare this liquor; today only a few monasteries still carry on the tradition and follow the long preparation. The preparation involves using walnuts collected on St. John’s day. After having crushed them to allow the aromatic juice to come out, they are infused with herbs, sugar and alcohol. The mixtures is then exposed this to sunlight. The exact formulas vary from region to region, but all are based on the walnuts collected on the 24th of June.
Nocino di San Giovanni 25 green walnuts, about the size of home-grown apricots 3 cloves 1 stick cinnamon Peel of 1 lemon (yellow part only; the white pith is too bitter) 1.25 liter of vodka, 100 proof 3 cups sugar 1/4 liter of inexpensive sparkling wine (example – Tott’s)
1. Soak the walnuts overnight to draw out any impurities. 2. Quarter them and put them into a large jar with all other ingredients. Place in a sunny spot, sealed, for at least 40 days; 2 months is better. Shake every few days.
3. Strain and bottle the liquid. Let it sit for another month or two, minimum. At that point it’s drinkable, but if you can, put a few bottles away to age. After two or three years it really becomes something special.
Romania is the next stop in our “Francophone World” this month. Romania is a member of the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) since 1993. Romania is the perfect land of contrasts and paradoxes, the country of Constantin Brancusi, Eugene Ionesco and Nadia Comaneci, but also of Dracula and Nicolae Ceausescu. The Old World of Romania is a vast museum of ancient heritage and still alive even if only through its famous painted churches and monasteries, its folk art, or its feudal castles in the Carpathian Mountains. The New World may be embodied by the Parliament Palace and the subway network in Bucharest the capital, or by the Western styles of life adopted by Romanians. Romania lies in South-Eastern Europe. About 55% of Romania’s inhabitants live in urban areas, and the rest in rural areas. Romanian is a Romance Language with some archaic forms and with admixtures of Slavonic, Turkish, French and Magyar words. English, French and German are the most widely spoken foreign languages in Romania. Communist rule established after the World War II, lasted 45 years, and it was ended by the December revolution of 1989. Next month, we will travel to Africa and learn more about this country named after the third longest river in Africa…
Le Gouvernement et les Nouvelles Françaises d’Amelia
After months of waiting and watching the results remain up in the air, the universities in Paris finally came to a decision. Back in February, I mentioned that many teachers and students were protesting due to inequalities in funding to the public university system. The protests against the governmental directives have been taking place since the beginning of February, and on May 19th, a vote was taken to stop the grève on courses and reschedule final exams. Classes started again on May 25th at the Université de Paris – Sorbonne IV (the original Sorbonne) when usually most universities finish up their exams by that date. There are thirteen public universities in Paris, all of which function under the establishment of the Université de Paris, with the numbers indicating different schools. These schools tend to specialize more in one area, which differentiates between all of the universities. As of right now, there are still several establishments that continue to protest, because the protests had been nation-wide. The Université de Paris – Paris III or the “New Sorbonne” plans to restart their classes June 3rd. Most of the schools were affected by the protests, some more than others. Whether classes remained in session depended entirely on each individual professor. Some chose to protest, and as a result their classes were not held for 3 months, while others continued to work throughout the grève. Most of these schools need to jump right into final exams in order to make up for lost time. These final exams should be held by the end of the month.
Luckily, the French system of schooling is much different than the American system, and the protests did not affect the students as much as one might think. In France, most of the work is done independently, so the professor will not count class work or papers throughout the semester into the final grade. Students are expected to research more into lecture topics outside of class on their own time. This is what the professors see as homework, since no concrete assignments are usually given. As a study abroad student, 100% finals were definitely a shock to me. I personally was not affected because my program was an international sector of one of the universities, and the program itself was privately conducted. However, I know that many other study abroad students did not attend all the classes for which they had signed up, and as a result had to do much more independent study. Although these protests were a long-standing issue throughout the semester and thousands of workers and students were affected, the universities finally achieved some closure. Hopefully through these protests the government will stop the inequalities in funding and courses will resume as normal in the fall so students can make the most out of their education.
http://www.lemonde.fr/cgi-bin/ACHATS/acheter.cgi?offre=ARCHIVES&type_item=ART_ARCH_30J&objet_id=1083270 Direct matin, May 20th Issue
“Planning a visit to Quebec province, I decided to attend a set of adult evening classes given by Nancy Scarselletta at a local high school. Her enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, the French language prompted me to sign up for further individual lessons. Over the last two years, I have come to appreciate Nancy’s vast experience –and infinite patience! — in teaching French with her unique emphasis on phonetics which she studied at the Sorbonne. In my opinion, French is not an easy language for English speakers given its unusual rules with multiple exceptions, potential liaisons, numerous irregular verbs, unfamiliar phonics, and plentiful idioms. I’ve appreciated Nancy’s approach and guidance throughout the course. And it’s been fun.”