Behind the Scenes: Meet Franciszek

franek_matysikFebruary was spent traveling around Poland for our Country of the Month. Our Polish provider Franciszek shared with us traditional Polish food, let us experience the cold winter weather in his country, and much more!

Franciszek’s adventure started with SCOLA a few years ago when he was asked about programming in his language. With SCOLA he found that the programs broadcast in his country were of interest to viewers around the world.

Over the years, cooperation between Poland and SCOLA have grown with Franciszek sending in more and more material. He appreciates the work he does with SCOLA and all the employees. He enjoys his partnership with SCOLA that allows him to share Polish programming with people around the world.

Follow along with our next Country of the Month: Germany!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Marina

In June, SCOLA followers traveled to Belarus with our provider Marina for our Country of the Month. Marina shared traditional Belarusian recipes and a word of the month, and taught us about the climate of her home country.it's me

Marina was born on May 16, 1983, in Minsk, Belarus. From 1989 to 2000, Marina studied at school № 137 in Minsk. From 2000 till 2006, she studied at Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in the Department of Cultural Studies. From 2006 till 2009, Marina worked at the Institute of Problems of Culture as a Junior Researcher. Meanwhile, she also taught herself about video and editing and soon after became a videographer. Marina started working with SCOLA in 2012 and hopes to continue working with us for many years to come. The material she provided for our Country of the Month is just one of the many projects she has helped us work on. She also sends in material for other SCOLA services, including Savoir-Vivre, which will soon be available for SCOLA subscribers.

When Marina is not working on materials for SCOLA she enjoys traveling, cycling, watching movies and attending concerts and open air festivals. Along with our followers, we would like to thank Marina for all the wonderful and informative information she shared for our June Country of the Month!

Want to learn more about Belarus? Contact us today for your free trial and gain access to over 2,000 resources from Belarus on www.scola.org.

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Behind the Scenes: Meet James

In May, SCOLA traveled to the African country of Malawi for our Country of the Month. SCOLA is lucky to have people from around the world provide us with the material to share with you on www.scola.org and on our social media pages. This month, our provider is native Malawian James Chaponda.

James wDSC00054as born on April 24th in Malawi. Years later, James married his lovely wife, Tikondane, and had one child. James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from the University of Malawi-Polytechnic.

James started working with SCOLA in September 2012 and enjoys the task of providing content each month. James also works at Malawi Telecommunications Limited as a Transmission Engineer. James says “I love working with SCOLA to teach the people of the world different languages, especially Chewa from Malawi. Many people don’t know where Malawi is and what kind of language(s) we speak. Other countries are more well-known because of things like wars and disasters. I would like to encourage people of the world to start learning the Chewa language because it is spoken in various central African countries.”

James looks forward to working with SCOLA for the rest of his life, and would like to thank his wife for her encouragement and help in coming up with different resources and programs for SCOLA subscribers to enjoy. James would also like to thank the management and staff at SCOLA for their warm reception when he visited SCOLA in 2012.

SCOLA would like to thank James for the interesting and educational information he sent for the Country of the Month and for the material he sends for our services on www.scola.org.

So…May is over but you didn’t learn enough about Malawi? Be sure to check out www.scola.org for over 400 audio, image, text and video resources from Malawi, and then check us out online for our next Country of the Month!

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Chinese Birthday Traditions

Many people in the United States hold big celebrations for various milestone birthdays including a sweet sixteen where they can get their driver’s license, a bar crawl when they can legally drink on their 21st birthday, and smaller parties as they get older with their family and close friends. In China though, traditional birthday celebrations differ. Traditionally, Chinese people do not pay much attention to birthday celebrations until a person turns 60 years old. Sixty years is considered a cycle of life in Chinese culture, so the 60th birthday is regarded as very important and is celebrated with a big party. Chinese culture expects a person to have a big family filled with children and grandchildren by 60 years old, and therefore see it as an age to be proud of.

A person’s 61st year is seen as the beginning of a new life cycle. After the 60th birthday, celebrations are held every 10 years up until the person’s death, and generally, the older a person is the grander their birthday celebration is.

Sixtieth birthday parties can be large or small, but no matter the size the celebrations meal always includes peaches and noodles, which are the signs of a long life. When the noodles are cooked they cannot be cut short. Shortened noodles are thought to have bad implications. Although the celebrations are said to include peaches, the peaches, in fact, are not real. Steamed wheaten food with a sweet stuffing are called peaches because they are made in the same shape. Everyone at the party must eat the food as a sign of well wishes to the guest of honor.

If you’re planning on attending a traditional Chinese birthday party typical presents usually include two or four eggs, long noodles, artificial peaches, tonics, wine and money in red paper.

Besides the 60th birthday, some families in China also place importance on celebrating the third and twelfth birthdays for children. A child’s twelfth birthday celebration includes the birthday boy or girls friends and their parents. It is similar to a wedding ceremony with a delicious banquet and speeches by guests at the party.

Although many in China celebrate birthdays with the previously mentioned traditions, many Chinese people now seem to be following American birthday customs. Cakes with candles to represent how old a person is turning are becoming more common, along with making a wish when blowing out the candles. This is quickly becoming regarded as the best part of the birthday party.

What is your favorite birthday tradition? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to know more about birthday traditions around the world? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to www.scola.org!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Mercy

The years travels are off to a great start as we find our adventure in Nigeria,  our February Country of the Month, coming to a close. As our journey ends, we want to thank SCOLA provider Mercy for everything she has taught us about her home country. Mercy taught us how to say ‘love’ in four languages, shared traditional Nigerian recipes with us, and so much  more!

Mercy was born in Nigeria to a family of ten, including four brothers, three sisters and her parents. She married a loving husband, and twenty years later they have three wonderful bomy pics 110ys and a sweet daughter. Her two oldest boys are currently studying engineering at Ghanaian universities. Her daughter is fifteen years old and almost through with her secondary school education. Her youngest child (who calls himself the cutest) is currently finishing his primary school education.

In 1990, Mercy graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English (Education).  In 1992, after her compulsory one year of national service, she found a job in the media industry as an announcer with the Rivers State Television, Channel 22 UHF, Portharcourt. She later transferred to the Bayelsa State Television,  which later became Gloryland Television and is presently known as Niger Delta Television. Mercy later had to leave the Niger Delta Television to be closer to her family.

Mercy misses working in television very much, so when the opportunity for Mercy to work in media through SCOLA came along she was very happy. Her sister Azi, a Nebraska resident, got her in touch with a SCOLA employee in 1990. Mercy says “Though working for SCOLA is very demanding, it brings out the best in you. It has exposed me to many aspects of TV production as well as areas of untapped knowledge, culture and much more.”  Since Mercy joined SCOLA she has sent in material for Foreign Text, On The Street Videos, Savoir-Vivre, and World TV Online.

Next year, Mercy hopes to return back to Niger Delta Television in Bayelsa State as Deputy Director of Programs and also pursue a masters degree in Public Relations.

If you didn’t learn enough about Nigeria as our Country of the Month, make sure to check out www.scola.org to see other material Mercy has shared with us about her country. Also, be sure to check back often in March to travel with us to our new Country of the Month…China!

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Homesick? Visit SCOLA.org

In a world where long-term or permanent relocation to find the next best job, education or lifestyle is the norm, many might find that they feel out of the loop on their friends and families social lives, their countries current events and cultural celebrations and holidays. Thankfully, communication methods such as texting, e-mail and Facebook make it easy for families and friends to stay in touch and keep those away from home in the loop.  With advancements in technology it should be just as easy for those people to keep up on their home countries current news topics and cultural celebrations…and with SCOLA it is!

SCOLA prides itself on routinely receiving current authentic resources from all around the world. We want those away from home to still be able to start their day with the front page of their cities newspaper, and end their day hearing the evening news in their native language.  Foreign Text holds publications such as newspapers, magazines, and books from around the world that aren’t available anywhere else online. World TV Online routinely receives news, entertainment and other varied programming from a variety of countries around the world that SCOLA subscribers can stream live or download.

A SCOLA friend and provider recently said about SCOLA that readers can look at the website and say “It is my webpage”, familiar, interesting and easy to read.” He was especially impressed with a special project SCOLA is doing this month called 28 Days of Love, which inspired him to write the following poem:

Spring , A Season for Love

February breeze

stirs the love string of the universe

The earth awakens, stretches his body and

Desires to make love to the sky

Spring rain

falls silently with the previous spring’s memory.

Moist, sweet and happy rain

the thirsty wheat smiles,

the white-haired peasant

through the long(tabacco) pipe,

unburdens himself of a long winter’s anxiety

Spring sun

Taking off the winter muslin

Kisses the winter jasmine

And hugs the willow trees

The flowers yellow and

The twigs green

It is a season for love

The twittering sound from above

Announcing the couple swallow’s back home

“everybody is fine?”

The birds sit side by side,

telling the hostess a winter missing story.

The boy and the girl

Taking off winter coats

Run into spring fields

“You are one end and

I am  the other

No matter how high you are flying

You are sure to come back”

The kite rope pulls the promise of love

SCOLA thanks our friend for the kind words and the beautiful poem. We are always happy to hear from our friends, providers and subscribers interested in our work and mission! We hope that many of you can visit SCOLA.org and feel happiness and at home the way this person does!

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Your Upcoming Travel Itinerary

SCOLA and China Yellow River Television have been shortening the distance between McClelland and Taiyuan for 23 years, and next month, China is coming to you! If you follow our social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, you may have noticed each month SCOLA presents a “Country of the Month”. Our social media followers can learn a lot about countries around the world such as traditional recipes, typical weather conditions, and a vocabulary word in the country’s native language.

In May 2013, our journey began in the country of Morocco and this March, followers have the opportunity to visit China…from the comfort of their own home! The country has interested viewers with programming on World TV Online, readers with magazines and newspapers on Foreign Text, and learners with lessons on Insta-Class. Featuring China as our Country of the Month will give people that do not already subscribe to SCOLA a small preview of the authentic Chinese resources SCOLA has to offer.

At the end of the month, you may find yourself wanting more information about the country and not ready to move on to the next one. Our website has additional resources from every country we visit for the SCOLA Country of the Month.  Want to know more traditional recipes from Nigeria? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to www.scola.org! Want to learn more Czech vocabulary? Check out Insta-Class or Specialized Word Video Search! Come see for yourself that the Country of the Month features only a small portion of the material SCOLA offers to subscribers.

Is there a country you would like to see featured as the Country of the Month? Let us know in the comments below!

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