Couples spin to the lively tempo of Poland's mazurka folk dance in scenes reminiscent of peasant life from centuries past. To rhythmic violin and accordion, they could almost be back in the simple cottages of Mazovia, the region around the Polish capital, Warsaw, for which the dance and music were named. Taken across Europe and beyond by Polish soldiers and migrants some 200 years ago, the traditional mazurka evolved, before later almost vanishing. But now it is making a comeback and not only in Poland, putting a spring in the step of urban youngsters and getting pulses racing and hearts pumping. "It was forgotten, but when I see all these young people who come to learn from me, I forget I'm old," says fiddle player Jan Kmita, 83, one of the last surviving masters of the mazurka. He has spent hours teaching youngsters the up-tempo rhythms and steps at workshops in Warsaw. The Polish mazurka, also known as the mazur, mazurek or oberek, "doesn't really have much to do with the ones we … [Read more...] about Young urbanites help revive Poland’s mazurka folk dance
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While bilingualism has long been touted as one of Singapore's strengths, many European students are already learning many languages, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday. He recounted how his European classmates all knew at least three languages, when they took the Master of Business Administration programme from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. Mr Ong told the anecdote to show why Singapore should encourage the learning of foreign languages, during a panel discussion at the opening of a two-week project that will see European ambassadors visit local schools to give talks about the European Union. QUESTION He had been asked by a student about how to get more Singaporeans to be proficient in a foreign language. Noting there are different groups of "third languages", Mr Ong said learning a third language from a European country or the Japanese language "can give us access to good universities, jobs and therefore economic … [Read more...] about Urge Singaporeans to learn more languages: Minister
IN A ROOM at a multiuse building in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, women in maid outfits are learning English conversation from a native speaker. They are employees of maid cafe management company Infinia, a company based in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, which requires new employees who dress and talk like maids at the company’s cafes to take 10 English lessons. With an increasing number of foreign visitors coming to Japan and preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games under way, many more people have recently begun studying English. According to the Yano Research Institute, the domestic market related to learning foreign languages has expanded to reach 866.6 billion yen (Bt251 billion) in fiscal 2017, from 789.2 billion yen in fiscal 2012. It is projected to further increase to 887.3 billion yen in fiscal 2018. “Welcome home, master and princess.” Women working for a maid cafe learn English in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, which is known as a hub for … [Read more...] about Let’s speak English!
By Carola Vyhnak Special to the Star Tues., May 7, 2019 When Leisse Wilcox got married, she happily delegated household finances to her husband. “Wilfully oblivious” she calls her former self. But everything changed when her 14-year relationship ended in 2015, and the Cobourg stay-at-home mother of three suddenly had to navigate money matters. It was “frightening,” Wilcox recalls. “I had shame for being divorced and knowing nothing about money. And I was 36.” With the departure or death of a partner who oversees finances, their mate can be left floundering. Add emotional upheaval, grief and even guilt, and suddenly just paying the bills can be overwhelming. In Wilcox’s case, becoming suddenly single had an upside once she learned to “turn the ship around.” Today she’s a confident and outgoing entrepreneur, homeowner and self-described “financial nerd” who’s teaching her own … [Read more...] about How to survive and thrive financially after becoming single
By Heather Mallick Star Columnist Tues., April 30, 2019 No one will notice this one, Conservative staffers must have said as they trimmed the Ontario budget like a ham. A little on public health, a little on tree-planting, just a little slice of small-town libraries and you’ve got yourself a ham sandwich. Of course it didn’t work like that. It turns out that Ontarians quite like flood protection, infectious disease control, and dental services for children — irresistibly named the Healthy Smiles Program — but they particularly like libraries. Parents especially know the value of libraries where toddlers, from families rich and poor, are equal and can start their lives by looking at books and having them read. But that’s Toronto with its caverns of libraries packed with information and pleasure. Rural Ontario has small libraries plus couriers, who move between them filling citizens’ book requests. It’s called sharing. … [Read more...] about Libraries a lifeline in rural Ontario