четверг, 19 февраля 2015 г.

Quotation of the week

Choose the quotation you like most and comment on it

Nelson Mandela: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."

Frank Smith: "One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way."

Ludwig Wittgenstein: "The limits of my language are the limits of my world."

понедельник, 9 февраля 2015 г.

Window on Belarus

It is obvious that people abroad know almost nothing about Belarus. It is quite surprising to hear Europeans saying that Belarus is small and far. But by far the most shocking is the label of a sad and grey country hanging on it. Famous Belarusian hospitality and warm-heartedness are not mentioned. Nevertheless many foreigners indicate the desire to get to know the country, its history, originality. Most of them express a will to find out about the Belarusian culture, from the language to the food and the history. Particularly interesting is the origin of the country name “Belarus” and the difference of the nation compared to Russia.
What can you advise foreigners to visit in Belarus?

воскресенье, 25 января 2015 г.

Chocolate Cake Day

The International Chocolate Cake Day is celebrated on the 27th of January. Maybe, it was created by a baker or, perhaps, a food company or likely, a chocolate cake...eater!
This day people make and eat chocolate cakes, chocolate ice-cream, chocolate cocktails. This day is a great day for all chocolate lovers. There are at least three things to do on the Chocolate Cake Day:
1) to bake a chocolate cake;
2) to decorate a chocolate cake;
3) and finally, to eat a chocolate cake and share it with friends.

Can you propose any other ideas to celebrate this day?

понедельник, 22 декабря 2014 г.

Christmas time

         Different countries have different Christmas traditions. The celebration or activity is the earliest history  for each country and may not represent the current Christmas celebrations of today. Visit  the site below and see how people celebrate Christmas!
Choose three countries you would like to visit at Christmas and comment on your choice.

пятница, 12 декабря 2014 г.

December 15, the International Tea Day

Since 2005 the International Tea Day has been observed in many tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania. International Tea Day is to draw global attention of governments and citizens on the impact of global tea trade on workers, small growers and consumers. The first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi on 15th December 2005.
Since the 18th century the United Kingdom has been one of the largest per capita tea consumers in the world, with average per capita supply at 1.9 kg per year. The popularity of tea occasioned the furtive export of slips, a small shoot for planting or twig for grafting to tea plants, from China to British India and its commercial culture there, beginning in 1840; British interests controlled tea production in the subcontinent. Tea, which was an upper-class drink in Europe, became the infusion of every class in Great Britain in the course of the 18th century and has remained so.
In Britain, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is quite hard to generalise. While it is usually served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea served with milk (and usually one or two teaspoons of sugar) in a mug is commonly referred to as builder's tea.
Before it became Britain's number one drink, China tea was introduced in the coffeehouses of London shortly before the Stuart Restoration (1660); about that time Thomas Garraway, a coffeehouse owner in London, had to explain the new beverage in pamphlet and an advertisement in Mercurius Politicus for 30 September 1658 offered "That Excellent, and by all Physicians approved, China drink, called by the Chinese, Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee, ...sold at the Sultaness-head, ye Cophee-house in Sweetings-Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London".  In London "Coffee, chocolate and a kind of drink called tee" were "sold in almost every street in 1659", according to Thomas Rugge's Diurnall. Tea was mainly consumed by the fashionably rich". Two pounds, two ounces were formally presented to Charles II by the British East India Company that same year. The tea had been imported to Portugal from its possessions in Asia as well as through the trade merchants maintained with China and Japan. In 1662 Charles II's Portuguese queen, Catherine of Braganza, introduced the act of drinking tea, which quickly spread throughout court and country and to the English bourgeoisie. The British East India company, which had been supplied with tea at the Dutch factory of Batavia imported it directly from China from 1669. In 1672, a servant of Baron Herbert in London sent his instructions for tea making, and warming the delicate cups, to Shropshire;
The earliest English equipages for making tea date to the 1660s. Small porcelain tea bowls were used by the fashionable; they were occasionally shipped with the tea itself. Tea-drinking spurred the search for a European imitation of Chinese porcelain, first successfully produced in England at the Chelsea porcelain manufactory, established around 1743-45 and quickly imitated.
Between 1872 and 1884 the supply of tea to the British Empire increased with the expansion of the railway to the east. The demand however was not proportional, which caused the prices to rise. Nevertheless, from 1884 onward due to new innovation in tea preparation the price of tea dropped and remained relatively low throughout the first half of the 20th century. Soon afterwards London became the centre of the international tea trade. With high tea imports also came a large increase in the demand for porcelain. The demand for tea cups, pots and dishes increased to go along with this popular new drink. Now, people in Britain drink tea multiple times a day. As the years passed it became a drink less associated with high society as people of all classes drink tea today which can be enjoyed in many different flavours and ways.
Tea is not only the name of the beverage, but of a late afternoon light meal at four o'clock, irrespective of the beverage consumed. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford is credited with the creation of the meal circa 1800. She thought of the idea to ward off hunger between luncheon and dinner, which was served later and later. The tradition continues to this day. There used to be a tradition of tea rooms in the UK which provided the traditional fare of cream and jam on scones, a combination commonly known as cream tea. However, these establishments have declined in popularity since World War II. In Devon and Cornwall particularly, cream teas are a speciality. A.B.C. tea shops and Lyons Corner Houses were a successful chain of such establishments. In Yorkshire the company Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, run their own Tearooms. Café Tearooms, established in 1919, is now classed as a British Institution. In America it is a common misconception that cream tea refers to tea served with cream (as opposed to milk). This is certainly not the case. It simply means that tea is served with a scone with clotted cream and jam.
Do you like to drink tea?
Explain the reasons for the popularity of this beverage.

воскресенье, 30 ноября 2014 г.

December 1, 2014 - Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a Shop.org press release entitled "'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year". Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Japan, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The term was first used within the ecommerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined based on 2004 research showing "one of the biggest online shopping days of the year" was the Monday after Thanksgiving (12th-biggest day historically).Retailers also noted the biggest period was December 5 through 15 of the previous year. In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: "The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked." The idea for having such a holiday was created by Tony Valado, in 2003 while working at 1800Flowers.com, and coined White Wednesday to be the day before Thanksgiving for online retailers.
Think about the reasons for celebrating it.

вторник, 11 ноября 2014 г.

November 11 - International Energy Saving Day

International Energy Saving Day is held each year on 11 November since 2008, when the international SPARE network initiated it to draw attention to the importance of saving energy.
Energy saving is very important for improving the environment in the place where we live, and on the whole planet. Energy saving allows us to obtain the necessary energy services and to conserve natural resources that are permanently burned for heat and electricity, polluting the environment. Saving energy saves money because we pay a lot for energy and saving helps to reduce the contribution of mankind in climate change. Energy efficiency plays an important role in the preservation of natural resources. Every year in many countries, on 11th of November there are practical actions on saving electricity, insulation of houses, seminars on energy saving technologies, information campaigns, exhibitions and much more. This year the International Day for energy saving will be a variety of activities - from the practical measures for insulation classes to street protests, which will bring together students, educators, environmental organizations, government officials and experts from research institutes. This holiday is a great opportunity to talk about energy saving and renewable energy sources. 
Why is it so important to save energy? Do you have any ideas about the activities to be held today?