World Visionaries • Spiritual Practices
Language and Legend
The need to be heard and feel understood are part of our shared, universal human condition. A common understanding of how units of sounds and symbols are organized, written and spoken facilitate understanding and effective social interaction--such as the ability to cooperate, negotiate and compromise.Language and culture are closely intertwined--in many cases, people's nationalities are identified by the tongue in which they speak. Within communities that share a given language, dialects reveal subtle distinctions and connections. With a common basis for communicating thoughts and ideas, cultures create and pass on folklore--stories that articulate shared history, values, beliefs, practices, offering context and texture for the group's collective wisdom.
All cultures have a social code, even if the code hasnt been given a formal name. 'Jante's Law' is Scandinavia's term for a set of cultural mores that values the community ahead of the individual. Its original meaning, adopted from a 1933 novel, related to no-one being anonymous in a small community. Over time, Jante's Law evolved into a derogatory reference to individualism and an attitude that it is safer to blend in with the crowd than stand out from it. Find out what six local Scandinavians think this term really means and their views on its relevance today.
Adventure through the traditional neighborhoods of Cartagena, Colombia, home of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'Magical Realism' literary genre! Meet local Iliana Restrepo Hernandez, who describes magical realism as when 'daily events are coated with the awe of the unbelievable.' Cartagena's colorful palenqueras in Plaza Santa Domingo are just one example of the city's magic.
3 Beannachdan! Interested in languages? BCD explores the re-emergence of popularity of two indigenous Scottish languages that had been scorned for centuries: Scots & Gaelic. Meet Scottish writer Gilbert Summers & Glasgow Gaelic School head teacher Donalda McComb, who recount changes in attitude toward the Scots and Gaelic languages in their lifetimes. Let BCD's access to and relationships with local people inform your travels & ensure authentic encounters.
Discover Casa de Mascaras, or “House of Masks,” in Guatemalan Highland town of Chichicastenango, where carvings have been created for more than forty years. Learn about the connection of this folk art to another cultural tradition--the“Conquest Dance” a festival held in Guatemala’s Highland’s Mayan villages. Be wowed by colorful Mayan textiles for sale at Chi Chi’s renowned market! Let BCD offer you a unique encounter with Guatemala’s' cultural heritage before you travel!
Meet Michael Krauss, a decorated linguist and founding director of the Alaskan Native Language center. Read this fascinating Q&A and find out about the work this man is doing to protect and teach some of the worlds forgotten tongues.
Follow along the 400-mile round trip journey from Reykjavik to Vik and learn why Iceland's folklore is inspired by its gorgeous landscape. Enjoy a virtual visit to the Skogar Folk Museum which chronicles storytelling as a way of life among Icelanders. Experience the mystery and unpredictability of Iceland's weather and landscape, which are recurring themes in the country's folklore. Head for Hekla Volcano & see why ancient legends called it the Gateway to Hell. End your tour with a stop at Thingvellir National Park, home of Iceland's Parliament & site of huge historic significance and natural beauty.
Are you a fan of storytelling? Then sit back and let Donald Smith regale you with colorful and thought-provoking anecdotes that illustrate the power of one of mankind’s most ancient traditions. Donald is the Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre located in Edinburgh; in this lively Q&A, he discusses themes of memory, identity and connecting with ourselves, others and the environment. Donald delves into how Scottish identity is linked to landscape & the power of place, and looks at what two preeminent Scottish storytellers, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Knox, teach us about the duality of human nature.