Category: Sabias Que?

¿Quién fue Salvador Dalí? ¿Qué hizo?

Nació un 11 de mayo de 1904 en el número 20 de la calle Monturiol de Figueras (Gerona; España).

Se adentraría en el mundo de la pintura con tan solo 12 años de la mano de unos amigos de sus padres, los Pichot. Gracias a esta familia de artistas y especialmente a la figura de Ramón Pichot, Dalí descubrió el impresionismo.

A los 18 se trasladó a la Residencia de Estudiantes de Madrid para estudiar en la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Allí conoció y estableció fuertes lazos con algunas futuras celebridades del arte español como Federico García Lorca o Luis Buñuel. Uno de los hechos más curiosos y que más se recuerdan de esta época fue su segunda y definitiva expulsión de la Academia en 1926. El propio artista contó en una entrevista que, un día de examen, en una prueba oral de historia del arte para ser más exactos, se negó a hablar del artista Rafael en frente del tribunal que lo examinaba, alegando que los evaluadores presentes no estaban capacitados para examinarle, puesto que él había leído y sabía mucho más que ellos tres juntos sobre el famoso renacentista italiano.

Dali_Salvador_-_Rhinocerotic_Figure_of_Ilissos_of_Phidias_6f0990b3-5117-4c16-b6d9-aa2cb5b8fcd7Un año más tarde, en 1927, viajó a París, donde conocería a uno de las pocas personas que llegó idolatrar en su vida: Pablo Picasso. Esa ciudad, además, vería florecer el surrealismo de Dalí así como ese característico bigote inspirado en Velázquez que le acompañaría el resto de su vida.

En 1929 conoció a la que sería su gran amor y musa, una inmigrante rusa 11 años mayor que él conocida con el nombre de Gala.

En 1931 pintaría uno de sus cuadros más famosos: “la persistencia de la memoria” (también conocido como “los relojes blandos“) inspirado, según el propio autor, en trozos de queso Cambembert derritiéndose al sol.

En 1941 él y Gala se mudaron a Estados Unidos. Allí pasaron 8 años hasta que en 1949 decidieran volver a Cataluña, tierra donde permanecieron hasta sus últimos días. Este último período de su vida y su trabajo artístico estuvo especialmente relacionado con la ciencia [* Si os interesa, este documentalexplica la influencia de la ciencia en sus obras], la religión y otras actividades creativas (creó el logo actual de la compañía Chupa Chups, realizó un anuncio televisivo para la marca de chocolate Lanvin y participó en la campaña publicitaria de Eurovisión, … entre otras). Finalmente fallecería el 23 de enero de 1989 por una parada cardiorrespiratoria a los 84 años de edad.

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Aida Miro presenta “De Ibiza a New York”

Contenido original por SER

La artista ibicenca Aída Miró expone del 17 de marzo al 13 de abril en la sala Art Lines Gallery de Nueva Jersey (Estados Unidos) su muestra ‘From Eivissa to New York’. Con un total de 45 pinturas, Miró quiere exhibir ‘el espíritu cosmopolita de Eivissa, su folclore, misticismo y espiritualidad’, además de su pasión por la música y la danza.

 

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Los cuadros, pintados al óleo, muestran la evolución de su obra y contrastan los creados bajo el ritmo frenético de una gran urbe como Nueva York, donde su trabajo ha adquirido un toque más urbano, combinando el espray y el óleo. Algunas de las obras han sido creadas en acontecimientos de arte en vivo, durante actuaciones de músicos, disyóquey y bailarines.

Retratos de Frida Kalho, Basquiat, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Sade, Stevie Wonder o Bob Marley forman un conjunto de obras de un estilo más pop y urbano situado en la primera sala de la galería. Una segunda estancia contiene pinturas de mayor formato con retratos de diosas mitológicas, autorretratos bailando butoh o geishas, donde destacan unas labradoras emprendadas y “ball pagés”.

Nacida en Eivissa y residente en Nueva York, Aída Miró empezó a pintar en las calles a principios de los años 90. Miró es licenciada en Bellas artes en la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, con un posgrado en Diseño Teatral de la Universidad de Bristol, en Reino Unido, y un doctorado en Educación Artística en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Su trabajo -fuertemente influenciado por la música y la danza- ha sido expuesto internacionalmente, en ciudades como París, México DF, Oaxaca, Nápoles, Hamburgo, Bristol, Nueva York, Barcelona o Madrid. El año pasado ganó la 15a edición del NYC Art Battle.

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    La Danza Chovena

    La danza Chovena es una danza de la zona chiquitana de Bolivia. En sus fiestas la danza acompaña normalmente la música con instrumentos de viento, percusión, violín y acordeón. Los danzantes muestran plumas y lanzas con vestimenta tradicional. Tiene su origen en la época precolombina pero se incluyeron elementos europeos en el siglo XVI.

     

     

     

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    All You Need To Know About Semana Santa in Seville

    Content courtesy of Devour Sevilla

    Semana Santa in Seville is one of our most iconic celebrations, and the week leading up to Easter is a fascinating time to be in the city. But what exactly does Holy Week in Seville involve?

    Spring in Seville means two things, Semana Santa (Holy Week in English) and our similarly extravagant April Fair celebration. While the fair is all about traditional dance, delicious food, and ice-cold sherry, Semana Santa takes a very different tone.

    Huge statues representing various images from the Passion of Jesus Christ take the streets in processions that last up to 12 hours. Schools shut, certain workplaces close and the whole city bands together in appreciation of the spectacle. But, what makes Semana Santa in Seville so special? Read on to find out!

    One of Seville's most loved traditions takes place during Holy Week, but what exactly happens during Semana Santa in Seville? Learn more here!

    Before we dive into the ins and out of Seville’s well-loved Holy Week celebration, have a look at this great introductory video from our expert guide, Sara. Semana Santa 101 from a passionate local expert, check it out!

    What exactly is Semana Santa?

    Semana Santa takes place the week leading up to Easter and is a celebration that locals spend all year preparing for. In 2017, it takes place from the 9th to the 16th of April. It is celebrated all over Spain and many people say it dates as far back as the 12th Century. The Seville celebration has existed since at least the 16th Century but is believed to have existed even earlier.

    From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, processions take over the streets of Spain as a tribute to the Passion of Jesus Christ. The enormous statues (pasos) you see during the celebration originally had an educational function and put an image to the passages of The Bible. The people who walk the processions with the float are performing an act of penance, repenting their sins.

    Intricate details are commonly seen on the floats from Semana Santa in Seville - striking statues!
    A typical float making its way through the streets of Seville. Photo Credit: Cosas de Sevilla

    Semana Santa in Seville

    There are parts of the Semana Santa tradition that are common across the whole country. However, certain cities have their own unique way to celebrate Holy Week. Here is an explanation of some of the most important parts of the tradition of Semana in Santa Seville!

    Hermandad

    Each of the 115 plus churches in Seville has a brotherhood (hermandad) associated with it. These locals are in charge of the social calendar of the church, especially the organization of the major Holy Week procession. Being part of a brotherhood isn’t a profession, just a sign of the extreme dedication of the locals to the tradition itself.

    El Paso

    The enormous pasos (floats that make up the procession) make a pilgrimage through the city. Each paso is an artistic representation of some part of the story of The Passion. Leaving their church, these statues, some of which are over 300 years old, wander through the narrow streets to the Cathedral. Having passed through the cathedral itself, they then turn for home. This results in certain processions lasting upwards of 12 hours. And what’s even more incredible, is that the floats are actually carried by devoted locals!

    Groups of men wear white protective neckwear and take the weight of the float as they carry it through Seville in Semana Santa
    A fascinating image of the costaleros practicing in the lead up to Holy Week Photo Credit: Tio Spanish

    Costaleros

    Costaleros, so named because of the white protective garment (el costal) they wear on their heads, take the weight of the float and carry it through the city. These locals are members of the church’s brotherhood. There are between 20 to 40 costaleros per float and they practice all year round, even in the extreme heat of August. Believe it or not, each year a special section of the hospital opens up to treat costalero injuries. Understandable given the floats can weigh up to a ton! While some processions are very long, costaleros will switch out every hour or two to take a bit of a break.

    Nazarenos

    Other participants in the processions include the nazarenos, wearing perhaps the most controversial dress of the celebration. The robe worn by these penitents doesn’t draw much attention. The same can not be said for the conical hood (capirote) which bears a striking resemblance to the dress worn by the K.K.K. Rest assured, no connection exists between the two traditions.

    The unique dress was born from a desire to repent sins without revealing your identity, as the hood leaves only the wearer’s eyes on display. There can be up to a whopping 3,000 nazarenos participating in some of the bigger processions. Given their mysterious look, many nazarenos will carry bags of sweets and give them to kids as they go by so they know they’re friendly!

    Locals in white hooded capes line the streets of Seville in Semana Santa, but it is all part of the iconic celebration
    The striking dress of the nazarenos may be off-putting for some, but its a huge part of the tradition. Photo Credit: Brave Lemming

    La Mantilla

    Women wear this intricate headpiece towards the end of Semana Santa in Seville. These beautifully woven lace veils are exceptionally detailed. Women often seek professional help to fit them in place, as you have to weave your hair around the comb to keep it in place – not easy!

    La Saeta

    La Saeta is a traditional religious song you will hear at a certain point during the procession. This emotive, acapella performance is a highlight of Semana Santa in Seville for many locals. To sing the saeta is an honor, and only the best local performers get the sought-after opportunity. However, to witness it should be appreciated just as much. Hearing the angst of the performer in the presence of the paso as the entire crowd stands in complete silence is spectacular.

    Beautiful lace veils drape the heads of local women during Semana Santa in Seville - a beautiful traditional head piece
    The stunning mantilla headpiece is a must among local women in Seville. Photo Credit: Te Interesa

    La Madrugá

    The most significant night of the Semana Santa tradition is Holy Thursday leading into Good Friday. Madrugá coms from the Spanish word madrugada meaning early morning. Appropriate given processions run all night long through to the next day. One of the most important processions during this night is the Macarena, which also happens to be one of the biggest and most-watched of the whole celebration

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    Fanesca ecuatoriana: Ecuadorian Easter soup

    All Content provided by Laylita

    Author: Layla Pujol

    Yield: For 20-25 people

    Fanesca or Ecuadorian Easter soup

    Recipe for fanesca, an Ecuadorian soup or stew made only during Lent and Easter. This soup is made with bacalao or salted cod, squash, fava beans, chochos, corn, peas, porotos or fresh beans, rice, onions, garlic, cumin, achiote, peanuts, milk, cream and cheese.

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs bacalao seco or dried salt cod
    • 6 cups of diced sambo or fresh squash (zucchini), about 2 ½ lbs
    • 6 cups of diced zapallo or squash, about a small sized squash butternut squash or a large kabocha squash
    • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
    • 4 cups of cooked and peeled fava beans
    • 4 cups of cooked corn kernels
    • 3 cups of cooked green peas
    • 2 cups of cooked lima beans
    • 2 cups of cooked alubias or cannellini beans
    • 2 cups of chochos or lupini beans, peeled
    • 2 cups of cooked rice (cooked in abundant water and very tender)
    • 8 tbs butter
    • 1 tsp of achiote or annatto powder
    • 1 cup of diced white onion
    • 1 cup of diced red onion
    • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 tbs of ground cumin
    • 1 tbs of dry oregano
    • 1 tsp of ground pepper
    • 2 cups of roasted peanuts
    • 10-12 cups of milk, you can also use less milk and replace it with the broth where the veggies were cooked for a lighter version
    • 1 cup of heavy cream
    • 8-12 oz of cream cheese, adjust to taste
    • 1 cup of crumbled queso fresco (can use feta cheese as a replacement)
    • ½ bunch of cilantro or parsley, finely chopped, about 6 tablespoons
    • Salt to taste

     

    Other additional ingredients (optional and added if you like them or have them available):

     

    • Garbanzos or chickpeas, mellocos (an Andean small tuber), lentils, hominy corn, other types of beans – all ingredients should be previously cooked

     

    Serve with:

     

    Instructions

    1. Soak the salt cod in water for 24 hours (or even up to 48 hours if you want a very mild salt cod flavor), changing the water every 6-8 hours. Each time the water should be less and less salty, at the end cut the cod into medium sized pieces (if it doesn’t come already cut).
    2. Cook the diced butternut squash (or kabocha) and fresh squash/zucchini separately, with a just enough water to cover them, cook until they are very tender. Save the water from cooking the squash and other veggies if you would like to use it (in place or in addition to the milk in the recipe)
    3. Boil the shredded cabbage with a small amount of water for about 3 minutes.
    4. In a food processor or blender, add the cooked squashes, the cooked rice, and the cooked cabbage. Blend until you have a thick puree, you can add some of veggie broth or water from cooking them, if it’s very thick.
    5. In a sauce pan, bring 6 cups of milk to boil, add the pieces of soaked and desalted cod, and cook on a low/medium boil for about 8-10 minutes.
    6. Blend the roasted peanuts with 2 cups of milk, save until ready to add to the soup.
    7. To begin cooking the soup, in a large stock pot or soup pot, heat the butter over medium heat to make a refrito or base for the soup. Add the onions, garlic, achiote, cumin, oregano and pepper and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
    8. Add the squash, rice and cabbage puree and mix well.
    9. Add 2 to 4 cups of milk and mix well.
    10. Add the fava beans, corn, green peas, lima beans and cannellini beans (and any of the other optional ingredients: cooked lentils, garbanzos, mellocos, etc)
    11. Mix well and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stir frequently to avoid the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
    12. Add the milk where you cooked the cod to soup. You can also add all the cod, lightly shredded (for a full flavor cod fanesca) or just a small amount for a more mild fanesca. If just adding a little bit of the cod, save the rest for later, then sauté it and serve a little with each bowl of soup.
    13. At this point you want to taste the soup and add salt if needed, how much you need will depend on the whether you add the salt cod to the soup or not (as well as how well you soaked and rinsed the cod). Keep in mind that you will be adding queso fresco (or feta) at the end so don’t oversalt the soup.
    14. Add the blended milk and peanut mix to the fanesca soup, cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
    15. About 5 to 10 minutes before serving, add the chochos or lupini beans, the cream and the cheeses, stir to help the cheeses dissolve.
    16. Add the chopped cilantro or parsley and stir well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
    17. Serve the fanesca with the shredded or small pieces of fried salt cod (unless they were already added to the soup), hardboiled egg slices, lime marinated white onions, fried ripe plantains, slices of queso fresco, fried cheese empanadas, avocado slices or cubes, and Ecuadorian hot sauce or slices of hot peppers. These can be added on top of the soup or on the side.

    Notes

    The quantities used in the video were reduced by half and served 10-12 people.

    Ecuadorian fanesca soup with toppings

    Fanesca can be made with a lot of different types of beans, habas or fava beans are used pretty consistently for this dish. I used a combination of lima beans and alubias or cannellini beans, but the other choices are limitless. Some people prefer to use red beans or a combination of red and white beans, some people add all the grains they can find. I have seen this prepared with lentils, garbanzos, split peas, mote or hominy, among others, so it really varies from one home to another.

    Ecuadorian Easter soup or fanesca

    Sometimes mellocos, which are small and very starchy type of Andean potatoes, are also added to this dish. Another key ingredient are chochos, also known as tremoco or lupini beans, these used to be very hard to find but now you can find them either in jars in brine or dried. They have a thick skin and need to be peeled (similar to fava beans, but the skin is a lot tougher). All the grains are cooked separately, except for the chochos or lupini beans, which are added during the last 5 minutes. The rice should be cooked in a lot of water, so that it comes out very tender, it needs to be soft and moist enough to make a puree by mashing or blending it. In recent years, I’ve also made variations where I add quinoa to the fanesca. Considering the importance of quinoa to Andean people, I’m surprised that it wasn’t included before, and hopefully will be part of the modern versions of this dish.

    Chochos, lupini beans, tarwi or altramuz

    Lupini beans with the skin on Peeled chochos

    A key ingredient to fanesca is the bacalao seco or dried salt cod. It needs to be soaked for 24 hours and doing this properly is very important. You don’t want the salt cod flavor to overwhelm and make the soup bitter. The cod is cooked in milk and then based on how much taste of it you want “infused” in the soup, you can either add the milk and the cod to the soup, or you can drain the cod and add only the milk. You then fry the fish and serve on the side or on top of the soup. My personal preference is to have the most subtle taste of salt cod in the soup, so I fry it separately. If you are trying this soup for the first time or are serving this to fanesca virgins then you might want to do this as well. Of course I know some super hard core fanesca fans that not only add the cod, but also add some of the water it was soaked in and add that to the soup.

    Fanesca or Ecuadorian Easter soup

    This soup can be quite complex to make as it involves several different steps. The good thing is that quite a lot of the preparation can be made in advance as most of the ingredients are cooked separately and added together (and you only make it once a year). It’s also a great dish to make with a group of friend or family, this way you divide up the work, but also get to bond over making a delicious meal togeher. The very traditional fanesca is only made with milk, no water should be added, but for a lighter version you can also reserve the broth where the vegetables where cooked and add that in place of some of the milk. Also the soup should be very thick, but if you feel it is too thick you can adjust by adding more milk (or broth).

    Traditional Ecuadorian Fanesca

    And of course, side dishes are very important and this soup must be served with slices of hardboiled eggs, fried ripe plantains, slices of queso fresco, slices of hot peppers or a good Ecuadorian hot sauce, white onions marinated in lime juice, and empanadas de viento or fried empanadas. These last empanadas are sometimes replaced by masitas or just the empanada dough shaped into small balls and fried. Fanesca is usually followed a dish of Ecuadorian mashed potatoes called molo. Finally, the proportions I have below are for enough soup to feed at least 25 people.

    Fanesca recipe

    Step by step preparation photos for Ecuadorian fanesca

    Ingredients for the Ecuadorian fanesca soup or Easter stew

    Squash for fanesca Grains for fanesca preparation

    Preparing Ecuadorian fanesca Fanesca

    Fanesca Fanesca sides

    Fanesca with side dishes

    Ecuadorian fanesca soup

    Ecuadorian fanesca or Easter soup

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    7 Tricks To Learn Languages… When You’re Bad At Languages

    Having trouble with your Spanish? Check out these easy and useful tricks from Babbel:

    1) Memory:

    Create connections between topics that interest you and the language you’re learning. How are you going to use the subjunctive in Spanish to express your desire to see your team avoid relegation? “¡Deseo que mi equipo no baje a la segunda liga!”

    2) Pronunciation:

    Perfect pronunciation isn’t fundamental to communicating in a language, but people will understand you more easily if you can train yourself to avoid the most common pronunciation errors. […] Fortunately, there are always tricks to elevate you from pronunciation purgatory to enunciation ecstasy. There are specific tricks for every sound — I picked up the German r by gargling progressively smaller amounts of water while saying trinken — but it’s most important to pay attention to the way native speakers talk, and then imitate them.

    3) Speak, speak and… you guessed it, speak!:

    Get speaking and get familiar with the music of the language. Have you ever noticed how people who speak more than one language seem to have more than one voice? Sometimes they even seem to have a whole different personality. Don’t be afraid of playing with the sounds and intonations of your new language. Imitate the music of Italian, the conspicuous consonants of German, and the gentle lisps of Spanish or Danish

    4) Face your fears:

    Take a deep breath, remember that empathy exists and […] afford you the time necessary to collect your thoughts and deliver your response. Recognize also that learning a language is a humbling experience. Learn to laugh at yourself now and again, and you’ll learn even more quickly.

    5) Apply your skills from other fields:

    Are you good at math? Programming? Cooking? Craft work? Now’s the time to identify your strengths and apply them to the world of languages. Personalize your learning techniques. For example, if you’re good at math, you may want to focus on grammar. […] More in favor of learning by doing? Write out your shopping list in your learning language, head to the supermarket, and follow your foreign language recipe. Verbalize the steps as you execute them.

    6) Read and understand, and concentrate!

    If you read a Spanish novel in bed, you’ll probably find it especially taxing in the morning and detrimental to staying awake in the evening. When starting out, it’s important to set aside some quiet time — free of distractions and at a time of day when you’re alert — to read. Select a topic which interests you, or an author you like, and read.

    7) Don’t fret!

    There’s no need to impose pressure upon yourself, nor rush toward unreachable goals. Accept from the beginning that you’re in it for the long haul, and organize your learning so that it can become as integrated into your daily routine […]Be sure to recognize and reward your progress, and you’ll soon see what you thought was impossible becoming possible.

    Source: Babbel Magazine

    To read the full article, click here.

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    La historia de la arroba

    ¿Cuál es el origen de la arroba? ¿La informática? No. ¿Las matemáticas? No.  ¿La ingeniería? Tampoco. Vamos a investigar.La palabra, viene del árabe y significa “cuarta parte”.El símbolo, viene del latín.

    Imagina un monasterio. Imagina muchos monjes. Estos monjes están copiando libros. Estos monjes están copiando libros una y otra vez, una y otra vez. Estos libros son en latín. El latín tiene una preposición con dos letras, la letra a y la letra d. Es la preposición “ad” y significa “hasta” o “hacia”. Imagina copiar la preposición “ad” una y otra vez, una y otra vez. Para ahorrar tiempo, las dos letras se unen y forman la “arroba”.

    Este signo se empezó a usar en los siglos XV y XVI en diferentes lugares. Por ejemplo, Italia, España y Francia. La arroba se usó como unidad de medida. Los comerciantes la usaron hasta que en el siglo XX alguien decidió utilizarla en el correo electrónico.

    ¿Saben cuando nació el correo electrónico? En 1971. El ingeniero estadounidense RayTomlinson decidió que la arroba era el mejor símbolo para las direcciones de e-mail. No se equivocó. Veamos, info@easyespanol.org. Suena bien.

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    Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

    Hablar dos idiomas es útil, práctico y a veces puede ser un reto, pero ¿sabías que también hace que seas más inteligente? Lee este interesante artículo del New York Times para saber cómo es posible.

    Here are some key excerpts:

    But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

    This view of bilingualism is remarkably different from the understanding of bilingualism through much of the 20th century. Researchers, educators and policy makers long considered a second language to be an interference, cognitively speaking, that hindered a child’s academic and intellectual development.

    They were not wrong about the interference: there is ample evidence that in a bilingual’s brain both language systems are active even when he is using only one language, thus creating situations in which one system obstructs the other. But this interference, researchers are finding out, isn’t so much a handicap as a blessing in disguise. It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict, giving the mind a workout that strengthens its cognitive muscles.

    […]

    “Bilinguals have to switch languages quite often — you may talk to your father in one language and to your mother in another language,” says Albert Costa, a researcher at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain. “It requires keeping track of changes around you in the same way that we monitor our surroundings when driving.” In a study comparing German-Italian bilinguals with Italian monolinguals on monitoring tasks, Mr. Costa and his colleagues found that the bilingual subjects not only performed better, but they also did so with less activity in parts of the brain involved in monitoring, indicating that they were more efficient at it.

    And the benefits are not only for young people, since recent studies have shown that bilinguals “were more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease: the higher the degree of bilingualism, the later the age of onset.”

    Lee el artículo completo aquí: Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

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    Origen de la palabra “Navidad”

    La Navidad, la fiesta más universal de Occidente, obtuvo su nombre al aplicarse una contracción a la palabra ‘Natividad’. Este término proviene directamente del latín Nativitate, cuyo significado podemos analizar de esta forma:

    Nati = ‘nacimiento’,

    vita = ‘de la vida’,

    te = ‘para ti’.

    Por lo tanto, ‘Navidad’ significa en español: «Nacimiento de la vida para ti».

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    Argentine Slang Essentials: Che

    The Wondrous Origin of the Word CHE

    Slang words are often tethered to other ideas and attitudes that simply cannot be expressed as succinctly without them, and the slang word “che” commonly used in Argentina, Uruguay and in the Spanish autonomous community of Valencia is no different. With its colorful history, it has already made inroads to non-Spanish speaking cultures and gained an “official status” with its entry into the famous Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary.

    If you were to casually mention the word “che” to an English speaker in the United States, they would almost certainly associate it with Che Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary. His image has been plastered on t-shirts all over the Americas and appropriated for innumerable causes relating to counterculture, but many still don’t know this is simply his nickname. It has been said that Guevara earned the moniker for his frequent use the word che,” among the “barbudos” (the bearded revolutionaries. The term was coined to describe the rebel forces of the Cuban Revolution) as a casual speech filler used to call someone’s attention similarly to “hey” (more about that later.) As a result, Guevara was popularly known as “el Che” in Cuba and in many Latin American countries and simply “Che” elsewhere. However, it is important to note the uses of this word that stretch back far beyond Che Guevara.

    There are several theories about the origin of the word “che,” but some scholars link it to the Mapuche language. Spoken natively in the areas in Chile and Argentina, the Mapuche language dates back thousands of years. When Spanish colonizers encountered the Mapuche there was some inevitable word borrowing and one that stuck was “che” which simply translates as “man”. Fast forward hundreds of years and Spanish speakers continue to use this word today, the same way English speakers use the words “pal” and “man”. For example, the colloquial expression “¡Hola, che! ¿Cómo te va?” translates into “Hey, man! How’s it going?”.

    According to the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary, it functions as a different kind of usage altogether: the role of attention-getter. Here’s where Che Guevara’s story comes back into play! Similar to the way English speakers use the informal vocative “psst,” Spanish speakers might use “che.” For example, when living abroad in Argentina, one might hear this expression spoken at a dinner table, “Che, ¿me pasás la sal?” which translates to “Hey, would you pass me the salt?” And yet another use employs it as an exclamation to emphasize an idea. For example, one may exclaim about the weather, “qué calor, che!” which translates to “wow, it’s so hot!”

    Hopefully learning about this Spanish slang word makes you a little more comfortable with the language and one day a native speaker from Argentina might say to you: ¡Che, pero qué bien que hablás español!

     

    Comeback often to keep refreshed on the latest and most popular slang from the world’s many Spanish speaking cultures!

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