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Michelle Obama's trip to Spain.

 
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 09:29 am
Did Michelle go on a tour of Spain any detail on the actual trip posted online?
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 09:52 am
@RexRed,
She went to Marbella, which is know for it beautiful beaches and a very nice old town center. It is not the heart of Spanish culture.
How much Spanish culture, language and food did they get on that trip?
80 people in the group, speaking English all the time, an expensive hotel where the personall certainly spoke English, the more expensive hotels the more international food. Kids are not that interested in culture anyway - it has to be on their level.
When we northern Scandinavians go to Marbella it is for the beach and golf and just a little bit of culture. For culture we would make a tour of Andalusien and/or other areas.
It all sounds like a all-inclusive charter flight. A lot more expensive than what we would pay.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:02 pm
@saab,
I don't know, I only dream of Spain (a lot) Smile I don't have any real experience there, perhaps Michelle should have consulted you if Spanish culture was the motivation. You seem authentically knowledgeable and thanks for the tip. Perhaps I need a geology lesson...

As for children and their interest in culture, it really depends on the love and importance their role models place on culture as to if they will be genuinely interested or not. My father being Scandinavian from Boroy (an island off Norway) also exposed all of us children to Norwegian songs and culture. We would sing them on long car trips here in the states. How I truly cherish those experiences.

I still remember the words to a Spanish song my mother taught us to sing. When I hear Spanish sung it makes me cry uncontrollably and I am not sure why. It seems to have a way into my heart like no other language. I love all languages but Spanish has that ability, like waking me up. Maybe a past life or as a career song writer, musician and vocalist maybe the Spanish words have an innate ability that speaks to a musical mind. Maybe it is just the memory of my mom singing Spanish.

One day I hope to know the Spanish language well enough to dream in Spanish. I don't say this to be insulting to other languages, by no means, it is just how I have discovered my own mind, what it likes and how it works. I rediscovered the Spanish language and ever since, it has had a profound emotional impact on my life.

You are right I am sure the staff at the hotel in Spain were Michelle stayed all spoke very good English which just shows that Europeans are much more progressive than Americans... But even broken English is beautiful to me... I may be biased... When I went to Amsterdam the Dutch there all spoke English and I not a single word of Dutch... Such a pity... As a singer it makes me feel sad that I have not learned to sing these beautiful other languages which now have such an impact on my heart and soul.

I know English is a difficult language to master also and I do very much appreciate and love English... But Spanish will always captivate me I realize. Every day I learn more Spanish words. Someday maybe I will go and stay in a place where I will be immersed in Spanish long enough to be able to learn to sing it beautifully and well. That will be a proud day in my life. I'm learning and finding it fun. I am really open to learning all languages now. It is a new sense of pride in myself and the world.

I remember then old town center in Amsterdam built if I recall in the 1400's (if I am not mistaken by the Spanish...) It was ornate and very fascinating. I walked around for hours in that section of the city just taking in the awesome beauty of the architecture.

I was also fascinated by the city gates in Amsterdam and it took me back to a time when Dutch traders ruled the open seas.... The Dutch opened their arms to the world rather than turning their backs.... I admire that...

I also saw the Church the pilgrims built in Amsterdam before they moved on to America. This touched me also I and respect so much the friendly Dutch and their sanctuary they graciously gave to the persecuted of that time. And then there was Ann Frank and how the Dutch suffered so under the tyranny of Hitler... And how they risking their own lives gave refuge to the terrorized Jews.

I aspire to be like like this, to open my arms to the world and just love all peoples and their cultures with an unfettered heart...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:15 pm
@RexRed,
RR, Spain is also fascinating for it's multi-culture background. There are differences that one can actually see and observe in the different locals of Spain.

I did a Spain-Portugal tour several decades ago, and almost immediately realized that Spain was a special country that has a rich history. Traveling from Madrid towards Portugal, and visiting places like Salamanca, Avila, Seville, Granada, and Toledo, gives one a good idea about Spain. It was many years later when I finally visited Barcelona, another jewel of a city in this world. I've been to Barcelona many times since then, because many cruises embark or disembark from their port.

You can see my travelogues on travelpod.com. Look for me as c.i.222. I've posted about 70 travelogues since mid-February, and now have over 2,500 hits.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:20 pm
@RexRed,
The way you were introduced to another culture as a child was the right way.
Music, songs, stories, fairytales - all what children like - that is the start to a new culture. Not the history - only if it is thrilling like the Norsemen and the things they did - not the cathedrals.
I grew up myself in a family with two nationalities. Just like you I got to like both by the stories and the songs. Later came all the other things.

DonĀ“t feel bad about we Europeans speak so good English. Only 35% of all Europeans speak more than one language. Think about how many coutries we are and we do happen now to have English as common language. It used to be more German and French and far back it was Latin.
The Norse Vikings left a lot of placenames in France. all looking very Frenchlatineiced but one can still see the Norse in the names.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
If you ever need a travel companion to carry your luggage, I am poorer than an old horse shoe nail but I have my bags already packed... Smile
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 01:41 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Both parties are the party of NO, if they are out of power at the time.
Surely even you must realize that.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 11:21 pm
@mysteryman,
Does that "party of NO slogan" excuse the republicans now and should we welcome a recession on a conservative partisan basis alone? Is that the logic? I thought republicans stood for integrity. I GUESS NOT! Their cheap talk of democracy during the Bush years and all... I guess it was for oil all along. Time to back up and consider their self professed religion for the most part as just lies... I no longer can identify with their menacing detriment to society. Underneath I am man of a basic faith in humanity and the republican's hypocrisy I can no longer identify with...
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2010 11:34 pm
@saab,
I think churches/cathedrals terrify children... (where nightmares are born)
Rather, kind people and their warmth, community and liberal acceptance is what fosters respect for culture and people. Parents who give of themselves in an accepting way and not (home schooling as) preaching from some black book of laws and tablets written in stone from some jealous God of wrath and hellfire. I remember communal church suppers, volunteers and gifts from the heart... and they were much more educational than preachers rigid sermons of god's desire for "obedience"... Smile
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 07:08 am
@RexRed,
Depends on how you introduce churches to children.
I went to Paris with my at that time 2 1/2 year old daughter. Every morning started in a park with either horses or a round about and a playing ground.
Then a walk around Paris and a church where she was allowed - with my help - to light a candel. That way I got to see what I wanted and she was looking forward to the candel.
The highlight for her was when I got a babysitter one evening to go out and have a nice dinner and the babysitter and she did not understand one word of what the other one said and my daughter wanted her to come back as she found it wonderful to spend the evening with someone she did not understand and they had lots of fun.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 11:23 am
@saab,
I think children raised outside the church live better lives. I am cautious even when I say grace at the supper table that I am not lending too much credence to religiosity. Religions impose their strict set of conduct on children and I am opposed to that all under the guise of some presupposed god's will as interpreted by clergy. It is the child that will have to wrestle with these cunning mythologies long after the parents have done their deed.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 02:10 pm
@RexRed,
I was lucky to grow up in the Swedish Lutheran church and I have never experienced a rigged religion. When I grew up 90% of the Swedes were members now I think it is 80%.
The churches are very beautiful, the litorgy is matching these churches, the priests take religion seriously and but life should be enjoyed.
And how could you force 90% of the children into a rigid life? Impossible......
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 02:23 pm
@RexRed,
http://www.allakartor.se/venue_images_475/55874_92665978.jpg
http://www.allakartor.se/venue_images_475/148289_91129300.jpg
http://www.allakartor.se/venue_images_475/57716_75240295.jpg
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 03:09 pm
@saab,
That is very ornately beautiful very much like the Dypvag church in Norway where my family is buried outside and our genealogy going back to the 1600's is kept inside.

My family raised me as a Lutheran but as I got older I slid down the slippery slope of religion and ended up in non denominational religions and hell raisers fanatics, mindless people with outstretched hands "touching the hand of Jesus" till our arms nearly gave out. The souls harbor of mass baptisms, people rolling on the floor, slain in the spirit frothing at the mouth and hookiep0ok psychics for pastors. My religious experience as whole, what started out as docile and stoic became in the end unruly and mentally abusive...

I am not sure my parents wanted that to eventually happen to me when they first exposed me to the Lutheran choir at five years old. Now I have left the church altogether and I am an agnostic and have never been happier in my life.

I had a dream of a Mormon church once and everything inside was red... The drapes, the carpets even the cushions on the seats...

I also had dream about a church that had a steeple that was so tall that when I stood in front and looked up at it, it towered over me so high the my legs and the pit of my stomach felt weak...

Also once I had this impression of the red church in downtown Boston, I was sitting in a park across the street and looked at the church and the sun was setting and the sky was red and the red silhouette of the red stone church stood out to me. I thought at the time it did not represent to me what a simple, earthy and light filled house of god represented but more strikingly a house of lucifer...

It had a weird twisted gothic beauty while it also had a certain uninviting evil. I know I am a man of goodness and I don't need imagery like that trying to sway me otherwise. (reminding me of mosques at ground zero too) I am so tired of religion...

I was in a university choir in Maine here that toured Montreal Canada and from the choir loft of Notre Dame (you would have to be up that high to notice them) I noticed hundreds of dragons painted on the ceiling... Again just the opposite of what one would expect to see in a house of, err... God...

I hope that what I have typed here this does not come off as disrespectful but just honest. Gargoyles and angels, peace...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 03:23 pm
@RexRed,
Most churches I have visited around the world are beautiful, architecturally. It's amazing how they were able to build such beautiful and big churches so many hundreds of years ago.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2010 03:53 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I personally prefer a simple little wooden chapel with an old tiny two foot pump organ nestled in an unmanicured forest.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 12:09 am
@RexRed,
I prefer agnostic people, who knows why they are agnostic and base it on their knowledge of religion and the good and bad sides of it.
I have little respect for the reformed churches with no symbols and no or very little knowledge about them. For the reformed a church service is nothing but words. Sit and listen and never be critical or asking questions.
The same thing is for denominational religions.
Very few atheists have taken the work to study theology to come to the conclusion that they prefer to be atheists - they have taken the easy way out.
Found a Dypvag church on internet. Very nice and the type I like too.
Is it the right one?
http://www.lokalhistoriewiki.no/index.php/Bilde:Dypvag_kirke.jpg
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 12:25 am
@cicerone imposter,
Yes there are many impressive chathedrals and churches but also a lot which are not worth looking at at all.
There is a big difference in looking at a church from architectural view point and like Red Rex a church where you know your ancestors have been coming to and where they are buried.
For me the historical interior is much more interesting. The beautiful built once Catholic church and now reformed, ripped of its beauty which was planned to match the outside. What a pity.
Or a small country church painted inside by a local painter who certainly was not very artistic, but did his best. It impresses me very much because it shows the pleasure those people had in improving their church.
A small country church where people have come over generations to share sorrow and happiness has another atmosphere than a church which is also a kind of museum and tourists march in and out.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 12:38 am
@saab,
Saab you are much more than a car but a vehicle... Smile kisses and love.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:20 am
@saab,
The reality is, no matter what religion, the citizens of the culture/country have devoted much effort and expense to build what is considered architecturally beautiful that would impress most looking at it - whether they are hundreds of years old or contemporary in style. I've visited many of them around the world, and the small churches that have people with personal attachments to them are rarely visited unless some famous personage is buried there (which is unusual). Most churches built by the community are beautiful both in and out; I've seen many of them around the world, and I'm an atheist.

Many of the churches in Japan were made in the 7th and 8th centuries; it's one of the best ways to learn about the culture of Japan. Even the Vatican in Rome is magnificent, but many people question "why" when so many catholics live in poor countries and are barely living. Most sacrifice personal comforts to build beautiful churches; that's the common thread I see in all cultures.
 

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