As my roommate can tell you, I have a weak spot for small children who speak foreign languages. I especially have a weakness for small children who speak French. What is it about a small child speaking such a pretentious language that makes me want to squeal?
I once told a coworker about my fascination towards foreign speaking children and how it would be sad to adopt a foreign child that would eventually lose its accent and adopt my American one. To which he responded, “So what you’re saying is, the longer they’re around you, the less cute they become.” Why yes, coworker. Any child who hangs out with me for too long is doomed!
Which now leads me to this photo montage of French children on ponies who speak French (both the children and the ponies).
These photos were taken at “Parc Georges Brassens” which was right across the street from the “Hotel Ibis” I stayed at in Paris.
This weekend was Easter…and I decided to celebrate it by going to a Ukrainian Catholic Easter service on Saturday.
You know it’s going to be good and authentically Ukrainian when the van in the parking lot has the license plates “Borsch” on it.
The service was about 3 hours long and was all in Ukrainian. Turns out….I don’t know Ukrainian. But one really cool thing that is unique to Ukrainian culture and Easter is that at the service, everyone brings a basket with a variety of food and goodies inside, and at the end of the service, the priest comes by with his swinging incense and blesses all the baskets. Really cool to witness.
Afterwards, there was a dance performance by the children in the congregation, all dressed up in authentic Ukrainian garb.
I have to say…that seeing small children all dressed up and speaking Ukrainian was one of the most adorable things I witnessed all weekend.
I guess, the point of this post is that….sometimes you don’t have to travel far to get a new cultural experience.
This is a little snippet of one of the dances I saw this past weekend by Axis Dance Company based out of Oakland. I first heard about this troupe from a professor at Stanford who taught about the integration between medicine/health and the arts. Needless to say, when I found out that physical disabilities were involved especially people with Spinal Cord Injuries, I was a fan. It’s taken me 2 years from hearing about Axis to finally get out to a local performance and let me tell you….they did not disappoint!
As someone who is fairly active and likes to push the physical limits of what one can do with one’s body, especially bodies sitting on top of wheelchairs…my mind was blown about what was humanly possible. And it all looked stunningly beautiful. Part of that had to do with my friend, Joel Brown, who I’ll give a shout out to, who basically looks like Joe from Family Guy (gigantic upper body muscles) minus the big chin. Joel is from my home state of Utah and naturally all disabled people from the same state know each other.
But back to the performance…the last piece titled “Divide” had 3 able-bodied dancers and Joel, which meshed for a crazy melange of movement from one dancer standing on top of the wheelchair at one point to Joel actually getting out of his chair and doing acrobatics on the ground in unison with the other dancers.
My favorite “dance trick” that Joel did that I still can’t get over, was when he would lean forward on the ground lifting up his back wheels and while only balancing on his front casters, moved sideways on them….
I am now going to practice this move. Probably with a lot of falling involved.
I highly recommend going to one of their performances if you happen to be in the Oakland area. Their only downfall is that they don’t have more home performances beyond the one weekend in April. So you have to plan a year ahead or else the opportunity will pass you by!
Here’s their website if you’re interested in learning more!