Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Día de Andalucía

Today (February 27th) we celebrated the "Día de Andalucía" at school!  I didn't really know what to expect; from what I heard from my private lesson students, every school celebrates a little differently!  Here's what you need to know. Día de Andalucía is a regional holiday celebrated on February 28th each year in the autonomous region of Andalucía.  It's purpose to to take time to celebrate the people, food, culture and costumes that give life to the southern culture most associated with Spain.  Because the holiday lands on a Thursday this year, we get both Thursday and Friday off.  Hence, why we celebrated the holiday a day early in the schools.

Anyone would immediately notice that it was not a normal day at school from the second you walked through the doors this morning. Many students wore traditional Andalucian clothes which meant flamenco dresses, dramatic make-up, and flowers in hair for the girls, and white shirts, black or red hats, suspenders and boots for the boys.  Needless to say, it was adorable.

My students performing a traditional flamenco dance!
In the morning, the kindergarden, 1st and 2nd grade students gathered in the "comedor" (multipurpose room) located just across the patio from the school.  There were a series of performances including a poetry reading, traditional flamenco singing, a flute ensemble, three flamenco dances, and a guitar trio, all performed by the students!  It was so inspiring to see students as young as kindergarden trying to master a dance as passionate and complicated as the flamenco at such a young age!  All of the students did a great job and their classmates seemed to like it too.  The second half of the morning, the 3rd-6th grade students watched the same show but I couldn't see it due to my teaching schedule.

At recess, a bunch of the mothers in town got together and feed the students a typical Andalucían breakfast which was a tostada (half of a toasted baguette) with either olive oil or a tomato purée on top. It sounds plain, but let me tell you, that tomato tostada is one of my favorite things here! Simple, delicious and fairly healthy.  It made me so happy to see the kids running around the patio so content and excited about their bread!  Kids ran back for seconds and thirds which we Americans might view as greedy, but considering a lot of these kids don't usually get seconds and thirds at home due to the financial hardships created by the economic "crisis," I was glad to see it.

Our art project on Día de Andalucía

Finally, in the afternoon class hours we did an art and craft project making 3-D Andalucian people, and quizzed the kids on Andalucian trivia (which I loved because I learned a lot too).  Overall, probably one of my favorite days at school so far because I got to see into the heart of the Spanish culture.  Tomorrow I'm off to Sevilla to eventually leave with a group from there to go to Morocco for the weekend!  I couldn't be more excited that it worked out that I get to go to Andalucía's captial city on the Día de Andalucía purely by coincidence!  Can't wait to see what Sevilla and Morocco have in store for me these next few days!!

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