Sunday, 7 October 2018

Writing about global languages

   Nowadays, it is common knowledge that English is the global, worldwide-spoken language. More and more of various ages, such as adolescents and adults, strive to master it. An increasingly number of citizens of the world considers learning this language as an obligatory and beneficial part of their studies. Although a world language results in communication, peace, connection and understanding between nations, there are both positive and negative aspects of this situation.
   Adopting a foreign language which is used worldwide has plenty of strong points. Firstly, a set of grammatical rules and a new body of vocabulary, which are parts of every language, boosts intelligence, cleverness, critical thinking and skills. This means that studying new things is an ideal way of brain exercise and memory practice. Another asset is that through this kind of learning, people are able to communicate and interact with each other even if their nationalities are not the same. Thus, they accept they accept the diversity between cultures as their horizons are broadened. For instance, young children attend exchange programs more easily or teenagers make new friends and meet different customs, traditions, history and values. Apart from intercultural understanding, professional needs and travelling too requires bilingualism. In many cases, students travel abroad to graduate, get a higher education and develop a better future. Travelling overseas is a popular trend, so English is very useful for communication and pleasure from a journey or a permanent installation to a place.
   However, global languages usage has a serious consequence known as globalisation. It is very easy for unpopular languages, tranditions and generally cultures to be consumed or even vanish in the mass of the most popular cultures, leading to limited significance of cultural identity and individual history. For example, in Greece more and more American traditions and rituals are adopted or replace the Greek ones, like carnivals or Christmas trees. Not only are cultural differences eliminated but also people -especially the young ones- have similar tastes in music, clothes and films. Lack of variation is a common phenomenon, which causes conflicts between adolescents and more competition about fashion, trends and popularity. The consequences of this problem are various, because relationships are destroyed by misunderstandings or conflicts and children  adopt the mentality of criticizing based on the outer appearance, instead of character.
   On balance, I believe that worldwide-spoken languages are worthwhile, important for harmony, communication and brain exercise. For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, as a world language is the flash of the human spirit representing the connection among all the cultures.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Endangered languages and cultures

This is the video, parts of which we saw during Monday’s presentation on languages. Watch it again and write your own message about language and culture preservation, by also using some of the information we discussed. You can create a new post or leave a comment under this one.

 https://www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_endangered_cultures?language=en

Friday, 17 August 2018

Aretha Franklin: The soul of soul music

Hello, fantastic people! Since I am sure you have been listening to music these days, here is a list of links concerning the recently deceased Aretha Franklin, who sang soul music in her own unique way. She was inspired by gospel music (church music), which we talked about in our coursebook. This is an intriguing read about how a voice can empower suppressed people and spellbind the following generations. 

What is soul music? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_music

Think: One of her most popular songs https://youtu.be/Vet6AHmq3_s

I say a little prayer/ lyrics: https://youtu.be/JyLpE93lzLY

Respect / lyrics: https://youtu.be/SAI_Nv3qWto

A compilation of her greatest hits: https://youtu.be/Bmfm3JvlZIc

Article about her life on the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/aug/17/drenched-in-glory-how-aretha-gave-voice-to-embattled-black-women-and-transformed-a-nation

(Use www.dictionary.com to search the meaning of unknown words in the article above.)


Extract from the article:


...the reason we mourn her death so deeply, is that she taught us so much about the preciousness of our emotions, our inner worlds and desires. She dared to voice and make public the nuanced, emotionally heterogeneous interiority of black womanhood, becoming a conduit for articulating the beauty and sensuousness, the rage and the despair, the sadness as well as the joy of black life transduced through African American female musicianship. She turned the “vocal run” itself into a thousand miles of freedom. The intelligence of her melisma, a kind of singing in which notes upon notes are strung together into one syllable, lifted that musical gesture out of the black church and planted it firmly in the mainstream, transforming the style of popular singing. When it is used most effectively, the melisma exudes sheer visceral power and can ignite existential catharsis. It suggests limitless emotional revelation and spiritual reckoning. Franklin took it to new heights.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Fire and ashes in Greece

The last days Greek people are shocked with the final and one of the most destructive blazes in Greece’s history.This blaze killed more than 100 people and more than 300 are in hospital.In addition, this blaze not only wounded people physically but also provoked the the mental collapse of the relatives of the injured people and the whole Greece’s people,too.I have to point out that this hazardous and painful event is fortunately over.However,the point is that it's not time for blaming anyone about it,but we have to support the wounded people and find solutions like we can provide them a new home to live in.After we deal with this situation, then we 'll be ready to put the blame to the responsible one.As far as finding  τthe offender is concerned, it is obvious that the majority is going to put the blame on the government as usual.In other words,it strikes me that inhabitants have to take on their own responsibilities.Nonetheless,we have to congratulate the 300  firefighters for risking their lives fighting with flames and for their courage.All in all, Greece is still deploring for the death of the people burnt in fire but now we have to turn over a new leaf and also try to prevent the next attempt of causing such a tragic incident.

A national tragedy

   More than 80 people have been killed after Greece's worldfire hit a region in Athens called Mati.The fire broke out on the afternoon of 23rd July.There is no absolute answer to the controversial questions of how the fire started and if the authorities did their best in order to save as many as possible human lives.
  Dry and windy weather provoked favorable conditions for the fire to spread fastly.For decades, illegally built homes in wooded areas have raised concerns even as the government, which allowed owners to pay light fines to enter into regulation. The disregard for rules and regulations that has often plagued Greece may have contributed to a disaster that not everyone is convinced was natural.All in all, both government and residents should be blamed for this devastating fire.The only thing that now can be done is redesign the areas with arbitrary constructions or demolish them to prevent our country from future more destructive fires. Unfortunately,though, it is too late now to say sorry to people whose relatives and properties were burnt and became ash.






This is a sketch made by Arkas dedicated to the 2 twin girls who were burnt alive.The caption says:Have a nice trip to a better world...

How easily human negligence can become a lethal weapon.

Monday 23 July 2018.It was ought to be a normal day for the permanent and temporary residents of Mati and other regions like all the others.People woke up,went to their jobs,stayed home, went to the beach. A total boring day someone would say.But suddenly everything changed.The beautiful scenery of the dreamy sea view was now transformed into a terrestrial hell.Wherever you looked you saw fire and death. Dead animals,trees,people...The new reality for those people was worse than war. Fire was an enemy impossible to beat and the pine cones were transformed into bombs.In next to no time everything was gone: their houses,their property that they had worked all their lives for was  ashes.The only thing that they could do is run for their lives.The only place that they might have the chance to escape was the sea.But they did not know the way because no one informed them. Some managed to arrive at the beach; some others did not....
But what if all this could be prevented? What if an evacuation plan existed? How many lives could be saved? May  30 or 40 or 90.This plan was worth the effort at least if it saved one life.Also what if everything that blocked their way was legally built in order to secure public safety.So many reasons so many ways to prevent them.But in the aftermath, nothing will be done if no one tries to change.

Aerial view of the area after a wildfire, in Mati

The Wildfire that shocked the Greek Community!

Recently,a huge wildfire took place in Athens and most specifically in an area called Mati.The reason the fire started is still unknown and maybe no one will be able to find the truth behind this tragedy.This Natural Disaster claimed a lot of lives and many properties were burned.Many people claim that they couldn't find the way to the beach and that's the possible reason why so many people died.Moreover, I believe that people should accept all the consequences because by the time they decided to build in this forestry area , they knew that this could happen in time.I don't blame them but I think that they risked their lives without any reason.Almost 100 people died and more than 200 people got injured;some of them seriously and some others had minor wounds on their bodies. I am very sad to see what kind of damage a natural disaster can cause, but I am also aware and whenever a wildfire breaks out, I will know exactly what to do.So I suggest everyone should read about how to be able to survive under these conditions and how to prevent them from happening.Because once they start, they cannot be easily stopped!



              Here are some videos and pictures related to the disaster.The pictures are                                    shocking and I can only imagine the shock these poor people have experienced after all these!




The Remains of the Blazing Destruction in Greece





 In the face of these unexpected and totally detrimental events we must all take some time and contemplate about this issue seriously. It is really important that we manage to point out the causes and factors leading to this extreme destruction and all these lives being vanished in vain , in order to try and prevent another extremity such as this one . Personally , I accuse the government of not enforcing its own legislations and being totally incompetent of handling a proper rescue that wouldn't involve so many innocent lives lost due to irresponsibility. Probably , the citizens also share a piece of responsibility in building unofficial and illegal buildings without any authorization, which however could be avoided if the goverment wasn't so "flexible" and in other words indifferent .     In a nutshell , it was a tragedy of massive dimensions  caused both due to irresponsibility and bad luck , yet no matter how much we criticize the situation what's done is done . Now all that remains is ashes and mourning.

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για greece wildfires in matiΑποτέλεσμα εικόνας για greece wildfires in mati