miércoles, 18 de noviembre de 2015

Talking point: Living traditions

This week's talking point is living traditions. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • Describe traditional dress from your country or region.
  • Are there different costumes for different occasions?
  • What festivals, events, traditions are there in your country or region?
  • Do you think they are relevant to the modern world? Why (not)?
  • Should we work hard to maintain our traditions or should we allow them to change or disappear over time? Give reasons.
  • Are/Were there any traditions or rituals at your school or college?
  • Why do you think some organisations have initiation rituals?
  • What personal rituals do you follow in your daily life (while doing sports, before exams, when cooking or having meals, when shopping)?
  • What traditions does your family have?
To illustrate the point you can watch this video about the celebration of 'Batalla del Vino' or Battle of Wine in the Rioja region in Spain.

Haro is the capital of northern Spain’s famous La Rioja wine region and boasts a viticultural tradition that dates all the way back to the Roman era. Spain has more land planted in grades than any other country and Haro is home to some of its busiest wineries.
Every June Haro's hard-working grape-growers let down their hair for a day and go berserk at a traditional festival in the foothills of nearby Mount Bilivio. The ‘batalla del vino’ or battle of wine is a raucous celebration where the dress code is white and the weapon of choice is ‘vino’. The locals load up their weapons with wine and attack with abandonment.
There’s a march of clean pristine white people going up the hill and an exodus of destroyed but joyous purple people wandering down. Outsiders and foreigners are favorite targets but everyone gets drenched in these hedonistic free for all.
The ‘batalla del vino’ is based loosely on a 10th century land dispute between Haro and a neighboring village but it's also the celebration of the catholic festivals of Saint John, St Peter and St Felix, mashed into one fiesta of bacchanalian debauchery. It’s a carnal release of energy and excess guaranteed to leave a smile on your face and a stain on your shirt.