I have been meaning to post about the SLS Fair that occurred, oh, maybe a month ago, but I just kept forgetting to get permission from my teachers & classmate to post pics. One of my friends in Hindi posted a video about their class cultural experience, which inspired me to get off my ass and make this post! The SLS Fair gives our FSI instructors an opportunity to share their different cultures with each other. Students don't usually participate, but the Tagalog section is so tiny that our instructors asked if we might help out. First they taught us about two different Philippine holidays, the Flores de Mayo and the Ati-Atihan Festival, that we would be representing. Then we got all Imeldific! L & I got to rock some sparkly gowns, heels, tiaras, and sashes as Philippine beauty queens, but the real fun came when we learned and then got the chance to to teach people how to dance the Tinikling. My teachers made it look incredibly easy and graceful, but, to me, it was like jumping double dutch for two straight hours. I was so gross and sweaty by the end of it! On the plus side, we were by far the most popular booth at the fair. L & I posed for pictures, enticed people to come dance the Tinikling and try on traditional costumes, we played music, and generally had a blast. There was a booth next to us from a different part of the world (we'll be ultra-diplomatic and leave out said country's name) and man were they pissed! They kept complaining about how noisy we were being, and how we kept getting in their space, blah blah blah. As they sat there stone-faced and pouting, I couldn't help thinking how happy I am that we are headed to the Philippines! After having spent so many years not being represented (for a long time the Tagalog section only had 1 teacher, so there was no opportunity for her to participate), my teachers were so proud to have the Philippines be represented so well. Plus it was a total blast (and I got a good workout in!).
Teacher G and Language Supervisor M show off the traditional Ati-Atihan costume
L posing in front of the Philippines booth
Teacher G & I in front of our booth
Teacher S strikes a mean Tinikling
Three lovely Philippine ladies taking a break from dancing
This last week we did something on the opposite end of the spectrum and attended the first night of Simbang Gabi with my teacher. The Mass ended up being in English since the priest was not Philippino, but all of the songs were in Tagalog and we got to converse with people after the service while eating a traditional Philippine breakfast (lost of simple carbs and chicken soup!). The only negative was that we had to get up at 4am to make the 5am service. Mercifully, our teachers took pity on us and let us out of class early to make up for the fact that we started our day so early. This was a big plus for me since the other item on my agenda for the day was to get off my ass and haul the family downtown to get our diplomatic passports. I will post about this journey separately since it was truly its own adventure!