Thursday 10 April 2014

Sant Jordi: love, roses and books!

I am very lucky to have spent a few years in Barcelona, a city that will stay in my heart forever! I went there to learn Spanish a long time ago, but at that time I didn't realise how wrong I was because they were all speaking Catalan around me. I soon fell in love with the language though, went on courses on Thursday nights (they were free:-) and got to meet lovely people. After going back to university in Hungary, I always had Catalan lessons and enjoyed them a lot.
When we learn Spanish in the KS2 classroom, I like promoting the Catalan language .The boys love Barça, the football team, so as a treat we listen to their anthem in Catalan and shout "Barça, Barça, Barça". I tell them that I had the chance to listen to it in Camp Nou a few times and it was an amazing experience.

Around the 23rd of April we celebrate "el dia de Sant Jordi", the Catalan Valentine's day, when the men give the ladies a rose, and the ladies give the men a book! The rose comes from the legend of Saint George and the dragon, and we celebrate Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare by giving books as a gift, they both died on the same day on 23 April 1616 (or very close anyway...). I tell them about Cervantes, I show them one of my favourite books: Don Quijote, which is about 900 pages but makes me laugh out loud a lot , so it is well worth reading.

It is such a special day in Barcelona, the city is full of bookstalls and rose sellers:

In the past few years I took a bouquet of roses in and we did counting, plurals, and colour agreements with them, we played our big favourites: the hiding (hot/cold) game and the secret signal.
This year we will focus more on the books and because it is going to be the first week of the half term, we will have a minibook competition with the following 2 categories:
1, a book about why it is good to learn Spanish or a language,
2, a dictionary of a favourite topic.
The deadline will be sometime in the middle of May and I will get our penpals to choose the best one which will get a prize. All the entrances will be rewarded with my special certificates I got at Language World 2014:-). I will post a photo of the children's work in May.

¡Feliç Sant Jordi!

I wrote this post in memory of my Catalan teacher, Eloi Castelló.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm attending a spanish course in Barcelona and yesterday was Sant Jordi. What a wonderful tradition, very special and cultural. I love it!