It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

Minimalism

minimalism picJulia Feldmann, Germany

Smalls steps to resist increasing consumption

A common misunderstanding of minimalism is that it is just all about having the smallest number of items in your life as possible. But when you take a closer look at the point of minimalism, it is actually about having items which you really appreciate and which add value to your life. Knowing that you don’t need material belongings in order to be happy and enjoy life will increase your mental health and emotional stability.

Having more and more things is not making people happier and more fulfilled. Mindless shopping has become a problematic trend.  There is a risk to developing an addiction to material items, especially clothing that creates a feeling of being weighed down by clutter. Clearly, it is human nature to always long for more and to progress in life in all aspects, like experiences, careers and relationships. On the other hand, it is essential to be grateful for everything that you already have and, in general, to be grateful for being alive. The clue is to find balance between both of these things.

 

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A good start to becoming a minimalist is to go through your home with a box and fill it with random items you find standing around with no obvious use. Put the box out of sight for 30 days. If you don’t need to open it, or if you don’t even remember what is in the box, donate or sell it. Start in one place in your home, which could be a wardrobe drawer, your desk or underneath your bed.

Another important aspect minimalism includes gratefulness. There are a lot of things people take for granted that are actually really special to others. This goes from having food on the table to simply owning a bed and a blanket. Often people forget how many people on earth don’t have access to these things that seem so natural to others.

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Apart from belongings like clothing and furniture, minimalism also affects wastfulness, especially of food. It’s a fact that there’s more than enough food to feed the planet, but still large amounts of people suffer from malnutrition. As a minimalist, people can try to become aware of how much they throw away every day. Next time you are shopping for groceries, try to only buy what you will actually eat.

Most recently, the textile industry has gone crazy on their sales prices. T-shirts for less than 5$ and jeans for less than 20$ are no rarity anymore. This development is the reason why we tend to buy more and more clothes just because of the bargain price. However, the majority of people only wear a small amount of their wardrobe on a daily basis. Some pieces even end up never being worn. On the way to becoming a minimalist, you have to think logically. What do I actually need? How can I simplify my wardrobe? Which pieces are unnecessary?

4 first little steps into your minimalism journey:

  1. Travel lightly and focus on the things that are necessary
  2. Only buy new things when your old stuff is used up or broken.
  3. Write down your plans and your achievements in a diary
  4. Try to find multifunctional items

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Remember that it is not a contest or a race, but about your personal comfort. There is no specific rule to start a minimalistic lifestyle, just follow what comforts you and what feels right to you.

 

 

A New “Lifestyle”



Federica Capuzzoni, Italy

The Zen philosophy is more than a simple religion, it is a life style near Buddhism. The “Zen” is a philosophy of life that helps the individual to find happiness and serenity, and it helps to remove a negative thoughts and stressful things. To understand, and to catch the real meaning of this religion, it is not necessary to become a real follower of it, but it is only necessary to open our hearts and live with broad minds.

The most important teachings of Zen are:

  1. the JOY IS NOW: Often people concentrate more about their past actions or think about a future instead to live in the moment but, it’s wrong. We need to learn to live every moment of our lives and to appreciate every thing. For the Zen’s philosophy the individual’s joy depends only on himself and how he lives in the world. So how can we be happy ? We need to remove negative thinking. We should’t get swayed by external factors and also every human has the conditions to be happy.bbb
  2.  LIVE WITH A BROAD MIND: Living with serenity without any stress means living with a broad mind. We need to always stay ready for the changes that happen in our lives, because if you have a narrow mind this prevents you from understanding what is happening in your life. If we want to see life from another view, you must forget the rules that the society requires of us. To understand better what is meaning we can use this quotes:

“In the sky there is no difference between east or west, but the people create this difference in their minds and after they start to think that it is real.”

3.     PAIN IS UNAVOIDABLE, SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL: People can only be hurt by what they decide to give importance to, so that means that is possible to avoid the suffering in vain; in fact, if you decide to emotionally break away, you can see the problem from another point of view. This teaching takes time and diligence, but it is  important for your life.ddddd

Simplicity in the Buddhist lifestyle is essential. Simplicity as way of life focuses attention on the really important thing. How can you practice simplicity?

First, you must examine your life to see what stressful habits clutter your life. Are you running around too much? Are you trying to do too many things at once? Once you ask yourself these types of questions and make an inventory of habits, then you can change to simplify your life. Simplicity is the way of life that helps us put more attention on what is happening in our lives every day, and helps us to search all the positive things that are happening every day.

After this you must realize that you have choices. Every person is the writer of his/her own life. You are 100 percent unique in your own special way. You have the right to spend your life doing the things you love to do, and experiencing things that bring you massive joy.You-have-a-choice

 

The trick is to enjoy your life. Don’t waste away your days, waiting for better ones ahead. You must give the possibility of every day to be the best day of your life.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

When the day is finished and you are in your bed, close your eyes and think about the whole day and search all the “happy moments” and reflect about all the good things that  happened. It helps you to appreciate your life more! 

Real life vs Social media

Serena Brassesco, Italy

Are we really the same person on social media as we are in real life? I ask myself this question everytime I scroll down my IG home page, looking at photos of my friends and internet influencers. It seems that everyone is living their best lives. And I wonder: “would people think the same looking at my profile?”

Maybe we hide ourselves behind a screen, deciding to share just our best traits, trying to be liked and appreciated by people we don’t know, or perhaps we post the memories we love the most, to have them imprinted into the web forever.

It’s obvious that everybody tries their best to show their followers how fun or exciting their daily lives are, and even if I do the same, I always make an attempt to be as consistent in my real and private life as in my on line life, because it’s useless to show ourselves as people we’re not, with the risk of meeting people thanks to our fake selves.

In conclusion, the desire, and maybe the need, to be appreciated by strangers can lead us to be the best version of ourselves, without all the aspects of our lives that we would like to erase.

I used to act like this, convincing myself that I could have been my best self in front of the public eye, but now I don’t care at all. Why should I be someone I am not?

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Does the Street Art have a place in Galleries ?

Post graffiti, murals, frescoes or Urban Art, the Universe of the Street Art is known under many appelations. But where does it come from ? What were the changes ?

These different kind of appellations have evolved over time and with the artists in this movement. At the beginning the Street Art was known as “Graffiti” which was an act of vandalism during the 1960/1980s decades. 2018-06-24 11.52.31Nowadays, this form of Art which is exhibited in the international galleries, festivals or fairs like the “Urban Art Fair” in Paris, “District13 Art Fair” in Paris [which is coming soon in September 2018], “Beyond The Streets in Los Angeles” a huge showcase of graffiti and street art or the different festival of POW ! WOW ! in Hawaii, Long Beach, Washington and many other countries in the world.

This big change about Street Art in our time period evolved the attitudes and beliefs in this Art movement. Now, this kind of Art is perceived as cool and “in”, Artists don’t really need to hide anymore. Some of them became famous and can live on the income from their Art. Companies, city halls, associations and different kind of institutions call on these artists to beautify their buildings and facades. Artists are not perceived as “delinquent” like in the past when they could be arrested and go to jail for vandalism, but this fact depends as well on many aspects (location where the artists “graff” and if it can be legal or not).

Street Artists now are reconignized and some of them have their exhibits in Galleries because they deserve to be famous and well-known and live off their passion for their art. Their passion became their profession. However, if Street Art tends to be exhibited in galleries and only in galleries the movement will lose its meaning/value. If Artists forget the space that gave them their reputation, their birth as an Artist and they will expose/exhibit in Galleries, the fact that they wanted and desired to make Art accessible to the street, to people who don’t go on or are used to going in galleries will be lost and the debate on this accessibility and about money and business can be questioned.

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In other words, Artists should continue to do murals on the street and for free when they can/want and they have the right, as well if they wish to show and exhibit their Art in Galleries, Fairs, Festivals etc. Both can be combined for the well-being of each Artists.
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Photography, a Breakthrough Technology In Art

Angele Dubos, France.

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

 

Photography is one of the most incredible breakthroughs in technology, in society and in art movements. As a mirror to the world, photography explores human emotions. It captures or marks a passage of time. Developed over the past 200 years, it enhances faster than any other visual art, plainly because it’s a blend between technology and art,  science and abstraction, reality and imagination, techniques and inspiration. Generally speaking, photography aims to capture the reality of everyday life, in parallel, it’s a fine art which requires time and attention.

This discipline, which has helped us to understand of our world, is widespread, omnipresent, everywhere: in our smartphones, advertising, social media, streets… Then how did photography become so renowned and appreciated by everyone?

Photography took shape when a Chinese photographer created the Camera Obscura, the first camera.  The main principle occurs when the image is projected through a screen which is a kind of mirror where the image is upside down.

Camera-obscura

Then, a lot of cameras, which I’m not going to list for the reason that it’ll be so long, have risen in popularity in our societies. Cameras have been examined through scientists’ hands and professionals in order to become more effective and obtain higher performance. Some well-known brands are Nikon and Canon.

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Regarding photography as an art, this discipline navigates around genres, artists, themes, works and techniques. Sometimes similar to the art of painting, photography has followed mostly the art movement: avant-garde, propaganda, contemporary art,  modernism, pointillism… On one hand, works are really carefully thought through by the artists focusing on lighting, the subject, the background, the meaning. On the other hand, some artist’s photographs are snapshots and have been captured in the right amazing moment.

However, some works are misleading, such as the The Kiss by the Hotel de Ville. Photographed by Robert Doisneau in Paris, this work is one of the most iconic of the 20th century. It reveals the love and romantic aspect that photography may have. Whereas, this photograph was actually all planned, all organized and everything you see was set up, even the extras behind, the cars, and included the blurred background.

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Photography also addresses fashion, photojournalism, war, advertising, death, nature, nudes, paparazzi and even more. That’s why I strongly suggest that you buy and read this book: The short story of Photography, which reviews in an enjoyable and pleasant way, the history of photography from the first movement until today.

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Appenzell

Raphaela Vogel, Switzerland

Appenzell is a region in the northeast of Switzerland. I will show you some of the places you have to see:

Mountains: Alpstein

In Appenzell, there are a lot of mountains. Altogether they are called Alpstein. The biggest mountain in Alpstein is called Saentis, which is 8,216 feet (2,504 m).  In the summer, there are a lot of hiking trails. In the winter you can go skiing and go for a winter walk in the snow.

Appenzellerland   Appenzellerland

One of the most popular mountains in Appenzell is called Ebenalp. It became very popular because of a restaurant on the way up. The restaurant is called Aescher and it was built precariously into the face of the rock.

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Cheese factory

Another typical thing for Appenzell is the cheese. We have our own cheese called “Appenzeller cheese”. In a little village called Stein, we have our cheese factory. Overthere you can look over the shoulders of the cheesemaker and you will see how they produce their cheese. And if you like, you have the possibility to make your own cheese. Of course, there is also a restaurant and a shop where you can eat something or buy some cheese or a souvenir.

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Appenzell (City)

The capital of Appenzell has the same name as the region. In this city, you can see some typical houses for this area. And, of course, you can spend some time in this cute city. If you would like to learn something about the culture of this region you can go to the museum. There they will show you all about their lifestyle and their culture.

Appenzell

Silversterchlausen

There is something that only exists in Appenzell. It is called Silversterchlausen. Each year at New Year’s Eve, some groups of six men (Silversterchlauese) go from house to house. First, they will sing together. After that, they will wish you a lucky New Year!

There are two different kinds of Silversterchlaeuse. We called them “The Beautiful Ones” (picture on the left) and “The Ugly Ones” (picture on the right).

Image result for Silvesterchlausen   Image result for Silvesterchlausen

 

Wallis

Kevin Oliver Theler, Switzerland

I want to introduce you to my home canton in Switzerland. Here are some facts:

-The location is on the south of Switzerland on the border of Italy.

-Wallis joined Switzerland in 1815

-Population: 339.060

-Area: 5’224km2

Wallis has a lot of mountains and activities. In the winter you can go skiing, snowboarding, free riding, ice climbing and much more. It’s a big nature adventure park, especially for adrenalin freaks. For example in Zermatt, their ski slopes are  360km long. You can ride with your skis over the border to Italy, and go eat a original Italian pizza.

In the summer, you can do big hiking tours, and get up to the top of the mountains. When you are searching for action you can go skydiving, downhilling and paragliding. The views from the mountains are amazing, and to get there is really easy. From the main train station you only need about 45 minutes, and 15min with the cable car. Then the world of the mountains are open for you.

My favorite ski resort is Saas-Fee, because there is a big freestyle park for skis and snowboards because it  is near my hometown. I just have to go to the bus, ride it for an half hour and the I arrive already. I love to ski and do some flips in the park.

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Traditional dish

Cholera

Yes you read it right, we have a dish that has the same name like the bacterial infection. The dish got the name when the cholera broke out in 1830 in Wallis, because the risk of infection the people would’t leave the house. That’s why the people have to make the food with the ingredients they have in the pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Puff pastry
  • 40 g Butter
  • 200 g Potatos
  • 200 g Apple
  • 200 g Leek
  • 200 g Onions
  • 250 g Swiss Raclette Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

-Cut the onions in to thin slice and stew in the pan with butter

-Cut the leek lengthwise and wash under the cold water. Then cut the halves into strips of 2 to 3 cm and blanch them for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes in lightly boiling salted water. Drain and quench under running cold water to stop the cooking process.

-Cut the apples into small cubes and fry in a frying pan with butter. Increase and season the onions, leeks and apples.

-Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 25 minutes.Then cut the potatoes in small cubes of 2 cm. Add this to the Apple and Leek onion mixture.

-Rub the cheese in to the mixture.

-Lay out a deep dish with puff pastry and spread the mixture on it. Cover with puff pastry. Bake in the oven for one hour at 170 ° C.

 

Gold’s Gym

Baptiste Ostertag, Switzerland

Niklas Wykrota, Germany

 

Hey, Niklas and me decided to talk about the Gold’s Gym, because it’s one of the most famous Gym in the world. We went there during our trip to Santa Barbara, and people there are really kind. There is a lot of things to do, as you can see in the presentation. So enjoy your trip there and go train now !!

 

A World Without Blogging and Influencers

Stéphanie Portmann, Switzerland

Blogging about food, vacation or daily life is nowadays totally normal. Not just celebrities post their breakfast each day, also unknown teenagers and students upload all kinds of useless information on Instagram or YouTube and try to influence people.

Firstly, blogging in general means to update followers with each movement a blogger makes. Eat an acai bowl for breakfast, run to the gym for a workout in the afternoon and visit a gala in the evening is a normal day, but the most important job is reporting everything for the fans online. The more followers they can get, the more goodies they receive. Furthermore, visiting foreign countries without spending money or wearing gratuitous designer clothes is not possible without sponsors.

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People are influenced to buy the same clothes or food as the celebrity. The reason influencers do that is very simple, to get money. When they promote, for example, a watch from Daniel Wallington, the company of the watch pays the influencer for the promotion. Another way would be doing advertising with the face of an influencer. However, it is more effective to advertise on social media these days.

Secondly, blogging is different in various countries or regions. In America, Chiara Ferragni runs the throne with 13 million Instagram followers. She recently became a mommy and almost every day posts a picture of her son on Instagram. He even has his own hashtag #LeoncinoMio. In Germany, the twins Lisa and Lena or BibisBeautyPalace are influencing a lot of fans. The became famous through musical.ly or YouTube. All influencers post the same things like food, beauty, fashion or health. Almost all bloggers are influencers, but not all influencers are bloggers.

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Thirdly, since we have social media people have changed. The girls would like to look like Kylie Jenner or Ariana Grande, the boys, on the other hand, like Christiano Ronaldo. The ideal of beauty today is using as much makeup as you can, wearing the most expensive clothes as possible and living just with protein shakes, fitness, and vegan food. Young teenagers focus more on their appearances and how to become prettier or getting more likes than others on Instagram. Instead of focussing on that they definitely should like how they really are without the opinion of someone else.

From my point of view, I do not like that world. It is all about looking fabulous and being skinny, but still having a huge butt and money. The opinions of fans and potential followers are more important than their own. This unreal world would be better without wanna-be-youtube-stars or influencers-doppelganger who want to become like their idols. This illusion should be turned into reality to help third states or doing good deeds for the community.

Credits to:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS704US704&tbm=isch&q=influencer+on+vacation&chips=q:influencer+on+vacation,online_chips:instagram&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZy7iq17DbAhVJr1QKHaBrDVgQ4lYIKCgC&biw=1920&bih=974&dpr=1#imgrc=0bHypcsIY2-KcM:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS704US704&biw=1920&bih=925&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=e04QW_P0BpG90wKkvbv4BQ&q=chiara+fergagni&oq=chiara+fergagni&gs_l=img.3…2644.3434.0.4138.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0….0…1c.1.64.img..0.0.0….0.n2BSc8DvbEM#imgrc=cNVaV_1Of6OpbM:

https://fashionista.com/2016/09/influencer-versus-blogger