There's going to be a change of vernacular in our All Abroad! Bus communications! So far it's very often been about foreign-language and foreign-flavoured stuff, which has come about from languages teaching, which, in schools anyway, is the teaching of (modern) foreign languages. Indeed the National Curriculum for languages study opens with the rather poignant "Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures."
"Foreign" is defined (by Oxford Dictionary) as 'of, from, in, or characteristic of a country or language other than one's own' which certainly offers exciting connotations of 'exotic', 'otherly' and difference that serve to pique curiosity for many of us who want to know more about non-English lands, cultures and languages. However, the same f-word can also trigger associations of 'alien', 'outsider' and discrimination which can serve to build invisible barriers of 'us' vs 'them', the very antithesis of what language-learning should be about, at a time when, possibly more than ever, we need to be breaking down barriers and opening our arms to those from outside, thinking specifically of Ukraine at this time, and then there's Brexit...
So, what's our alternative? Replace 'foreign' with 'international', 'global' or 'world? That would potentially include everyone, every language, everywhere, but that's English and the English language too - all the more so given the role and reputation of English as the global language - which is neither the focus nor mission of All Abroad! Bus. To borrow some inspiration and validation from the film world... the Oscars renamed their 'foreign-language' film category to 'Best International Film' in 2020, the year when Parasite's win was something of a watershed moment in terms of popularity and acceptability of films (and TV series) with subtitles, whilst the BAFTAs has the category 'Best Film Not In The English Language' (results from the 2022 edition last weekend here, FYI!), so perhaps some variations of International and 'not in the English language' could work best? Using the term 'from abroad' is surely also quite acceptable and accurate, although not in every context.
We may well be living in a lovely rural part of East Sussex, which on the outside can seem fairly monolingual and not very multicultural, but we do have lots of natives and speakers of languages other than English amongst us and it would be wrong to make anyone feel 'foreign' in a place they call home, or even if they are just passing through. We also have lots of people who are interested in culture from abroad and there really are plenty of places, initiatives, activities, products, services and events with an international flavour going on every week i our area, as this weekly round-up hopes to show and share, and let's hope it doesn't seem too foreign to be changing our vernacular a little, in the name of peace, hope and happiness. What do you think?
All Abroad! Bus local round-up #6:::
Go Around The World in 80 Days at All Saints Centre on Sunday 20/3, 2.15pm c/o Lewes Drama Collective whose students will be performing Laura Eason’s adaptation of Jules Verne's classic.
Travel around Europe, watching the 6 Nations rugby on Saturday, 19/3,1.30-10pm, at Bedlam Brewery. Wales vs Italy / Ireland vs Scotland / England vs France. £5 entry includes your first pint. More info here.
Walk your way into the first of the two weekends (also on 26/27th March) offering you the chance "explore a different side to the Lewes District and delve into our history, folklore and landscapes with a free festival of walks led by local experts". Book up the limited (free) tickets as soon as you can including for the "Seaford Cemetery" walk on 20/3, in which you will visit "one of the largest War Graves in the South of England with nearly 300 war graves ranging from local men to West Indian and Canadian servicemen" with local historian Kevin Gordon.
And from the comfort of your own home...
Get your kids travelling around the world of language and culture with stamps! StampIT (the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies) offers a youth programme where children can discover a world of stamps through interactive games and activities, plus they are running a competition for kids aged 5-15 to create a written or video presentation linked to postage stamps, in which kids should also show off a bit of writing in a second language to their own: "Around the world with stamps 2022". Deadline for entries 8th April. More info here.
>>BOOK NOW, DO SOON...
We're excited to share news of our All Abroad! Bus Easter holiday clubs! These clubs aim to ‘transport’ children and young people abroad to French-, German- and Spanish-language countries and cultures across the world, through the languages, tastes, cultures and celebrations of food - all from the lovely indoor/outdoor location that is Glynde Reading Room, just minutes away from Glynde station. As well as fun and games, participants will enjoy preparing, cooking and feasting on snacks and lunches inspired by recipes from abroad and immerse themselves in arts, crafts and music in workshops collaborations with local artists Emily Warren @thestealthyrabbit, Clare O'Leary @clareolearyart and local multilingual musician Pam Hewitt of Pam and de Femmes. More info and bookings here. Fully-funded places available for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals and/or who meet a few other criteria. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Do something more to help Ukraine.
££ Donations: Red Cross, DEC, UNCHR etc or via supermarkets such as Tesco, Morrisons etc, also to fuel initiatives such as Sussex Removals & Sussex Aid driving weekly vans to Poland to aid Ukranian refugees;
Donations of essential items - keep your eye on local news pages, Facebook groups etc for details of these.
Support local fundraisers: CRAFTBEER4UKRAINE @ Beak Brewery on Friday 18/3; Funkin' for Ukraine with band Supernatural Thing at the Royal Oak in Lewes on 19/3; massage, therapy, classes at The Unity Centre on Sunday 20/3; also that day, Sacred Rebels fundraiser with children's activities, dance, sound healing and a dove release for peace at 4pm in Cooksbridge and last few tickets remaining for Ukrainian film "OLGA" at Lewes Depot, 7.30pm followed by a Q&A about the Ukraine crisis with Emily Thornberry MP. And that's just a selection... but please share any future fundraising events by email to @email@example.com. Дякую!
UPCOMING FESTIVALS - OPEN FOR BOOKINGS
Locally-showing international films, mostly not in the English language, from 18th March... Iranian anthology drama "There is No Evil" (15) shows at All Saints c/o Lewes Film Club on Friday18/3; there's another Japanese Studio Ghibli film for kids, "The Cat Returns" (U), at Lewes Depot this weekend; documentary "Final Account" (15) with its interviews of the last living generation from Hitler's Third Reich at Uckfield is on Sunday 20/3, whilst "Belfast" (12A) continues there all week; French romantic drama "Paris, 13th District" (15) and Italian drama "Three Floors" (18) will run all week at the Depot. Plus, NT Live "Leopoldstadt" (12A) will be screening Uckfield Picture House and Seaford Community Cinema plus some upcoming films.. Full local round-up of films here.
WATCH - AT HOME
Do watch this: Channel 4 are airing "Servant of The People": the "fictional comedy about an honest teacher who becomes president, that launched the real-life political career of creator Volodymyr Zelensky". It's really good even though it does twang the heartstrings. In Ukrainian with English subtitles.
Also, for French learners, speakers and all others interested in the French language, Sunday 20th March is International Francophonie [French-language] Day French TV channel TV5 Monde Plus is making some great French-language cinema from Africa available on its streaming platform, here.
For a comprehensive and ever-evolving selection of French-language, German-language and Spanish-language films & TV series to watch at home, for adults as well as separate selections for children/family-friendly, on terrestrial channels as well as streaming and one-off rental services, browse here.
In Seaford, La Squadra della Pizza serve wood-fired Neapolitan pizza from their trailer, on Wednesdays-Saturdays, 5-9pm - and it's delicioso by all accounts!
Local takeaway & home delivery service, The Feature Kitchen, continue with their mouth-watering array of Cameroonian dishes every weekend throughout March. Order in advance from the menu here for delivery on Friday and Saturday evenings (between 6pm-8pm).
Worth the trip a little further afield... "European style, artisan bakery" To The Rise is opening a shop at 236 Terminus Road in Eastbourne on Saturday 19/3. If their Instagram account is anything to go by, it will be more than worth the journey to Eastbourne to taste the flavours of Europe.
From Greek Islands, Lidl have hopped back to the mainland to offer 'Greek' as its Flavour of the week, from 17th March. Nóstimo!
**We'll be compiling a directory of all the in-house, takeaway, delivery, pop-up, online and otherwise made and sold international cuisine in the area. If you'd like to be included or have someone/somewhere to recommend, please get in touch!**
On Friday 25/3, Lewes Concert Orchestra are holding their March concert at Lewes Town Hall, 7.30pm, with soloist Iain Gibbs performing the works of the great European composers: Beethoven, Sibelius and Dvorak. Tickets in advance only.
At Home, on Sunday mornings from 10am you can listen to Cerys Matthews on BBS Radio 6 as she plays 3 hours of "eclectic global tunes", "from blues to beats with poetry and the best live music sessions". Gracias Sophie ;-)
>>BOOK NOW, LISTEN SOON...
On 9th April, classical meets folk in a recital of Spanish, French and English song, at Cliffe Hall, Lewes, with special guest artist Maria Josefina Baez (@autanaart), an internationally acclaimed Venezuelan artist currently residing in France.
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