sábado, 30 de junho de 2012

Once upon a time...

...a long, long time ago, in the far away kingdom, there were a queen and a king... or should I say THERE IS a queen and a king!
We have already listened many fairy tales which started like this and all of them are still in our imagination. But this is very real for some countries around the world. It may have started a long, long time ago, but the queen or the king still keep on being a very important (even political) figure.
Some kingdoms and monarchies of the world include Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Kuwait, Monaco, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and others. But no one is as famous around the world as the British kingdom. The royal family is always on the news and they have a fascination which attracts everyone's attention. Why it happens? Nobody knows for sure and probably there isn't just one reason for that, but one fact may have contributed a lot greatly to approach royalty and their subjects.

In September 1939, World War II broke out and the Royal family kept on living in England during the war. That time, the two princesses, Margareth and Elizabeth (who is the queen today) were suggested going to Canada. But they’d rather stay.  Elizabeth's mother made the famous reply: "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave the country.” She couldn’t help being in England, so the Royal Family remained at the Windsor Castle. In a very difficulty moment in the nation history, his sovereign gave an example of courage and consideration for his people.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the same example...and we aren't a monarchy anymore! Of course the royal family doesn't have 100% of approval, (hardly any government has 100% approval), but the ones who like the royal family, truly like  them and show their feelings. A good example of it was the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Lots of people celebrated it (and are still celebrating it) in England and around the world. How possibly could it be explained? I really don't know, but it reminded me the famous Abraham Lincoln's quote "the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." When the ones who have the power over a nation (political, moral or any other kind of power) do their homework, the people learn not only to respect them but also to have faith and hope in the future.

Post Question: Brazil is not a monarchy anymore. Would you like that our country had kept the royal family acting until today in our country? Why?
Who is (or was) your favorite British royal family member? Why?

Tip: To learn more, visit the official website of the British Royal Family. (Just click below)

The offical website of The British Monarchy

quinta-feira, 21 de junho de 2012


We all know that a little pause in the afternoon for a cup of tea and some snacks (sweet and salty) is a nice and delicious habit. In our school, students and teachers have a 20-minute break in the morning and in the afternoon. In the morning; milk, coffee and chocolate are served in the teachers' room. But in the afternoon, at half past three (15h30m), the milk gives way to tea and between one chat and other, the teacher can enjoy a good cup of tea and whole-wheat bread with butter, jam or cream cheese.
But having tea in the afternoon is not only a habit among EG teachers. A good cup at tea, precisely at 5 o´clock, is a well-known British tradition – the famous 5 o’clock tea.
According to the site Historic UK, the afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o'clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o'clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter (some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread) and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.
As time goes by, this pause to the afternoon tea became a social event, which was considered very fashionable. Tea was served with very dainty sandwiches and special sweets and cakes, in a very exquisite silver tea pots and delicate chine cups.
Although the healthy habit of drinking tea still persists nowadays, it has changed through the decades and the afternoon tea in the suburban home in England (or at teachers' room in our school) is just a mug of hot water with a teabag (it is usually an herbal teabag, here) and some biscuit, bread or a slice of cake. For the Duchess of Bedford, it would be a sacrilege!
But if you want to have a genuine 5 o’clock tea, don’t worry, you can get it. The London’s finest hotels offer the most unforgettable afternoon tea experience you could have. Some of them are: Claridges, the Dorchester, the Ritz and the Savoy, as well as Harrods and Fortnum and Mason.
Indulge yourself!

Post Questions - Do you like to drink tea? Which one is your favorite? How often do you drink it? If you could, who would you like to invite to have a 5 o’clock tea with you in one of the London hotels or tearooms? Why?

Tip: There are some nice places around here where you can drink some tea or coffee (our most traditional beverage). It's not a 5 o'clock tea in a London's Hotel, but you can have some fun, for sure. Click here and you'll have a list of these places to visit with your friends or family (or both). 

terça-feira, 12 de junho de 2012

Celebrating LOVE in Britain!

Today, June 12th, is "Dia dos Namorados" (Valentine's Day) in Brazil. Couples usually go out to have a candle-light dinner and exchange presents, which can be whatever you imagine, from simple things, such as red roses, box of chocolate to sophisticated ones, such as, a classic perfume, gemstones earrings or diamond heart jewelry. The date is also connected to St. Anthony, whose celebration is June 13th, who is also considered the patron of people who want to get married. In Britain, people celebrate love in February and it’s the time of the year when couples show their love for each other by sending cards (mainly), flowers and chocolates. Saint Valentine is the patron of people who want to get together (married or not). Sending cards is such a great tradition among British that Christie's, the world-famous auction house, have already held an annual sale of historic Valentine cards. Since most of the cards, which date from the early nineteenth century, have had a reasonably priced, it has always been an excellent opportunity to find a truly unique gift for a Valentine (boyfriend or girlfriend).
Besides all that, girls usually dream about their "prince charming" and how romantic their lives can be. It happens because these romantic girls, although know it's a dream, they do believe that this dream can be true...because it's true in Britain. This magic love aura is also part of Britain history. a king who abdicated the throne for love (Edward and Wallis, one of the most beautiful love story I've read about), an ordinary girl who became the people's princess (Lady Di) and more recently, a common girl who became Duchess (Kate and William). They (Diana and Kate) really got married to a prince and while it happens in Britain and in other countries around the world, it will keep on nourishing this dream alive and inspiring people everywhere.
Post Question: And what about you, do you enjoy celebrating Valentine's Day. Do you prefer the British or the Brazilian way to celebrate it?
What are the most important characteristics you would like to find in your "prince charming" or your "princess"?

Tip: If you want to send a very nice virtual card to your Valentine, try to use the Build-a-Card Cupid Edition App. It's free to download and you can use your imagination to create a very beautiful and romantic card. And may love follow you wherever you go! Happy "Dia dos Namorados"!

sábado, 2 de junho de 2012

The Diamond Jubilee of H. M. Queen Elizabeth II

     There is an old saying which states that "All roads lead to Rome" but for sure there will be a slightly change in it for 2012. For this year all the roads have been leading to London! 
     The Queen's Jubilee celebration and the Olympic Games are catching people's attention all around the world. A lot of events and special occasions have been planned to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, from a very special lunch to the royals at Bucking Palace to street parties all over the UK. The jubilee event honors the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II who is the head of state of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, such as Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Jamaica. The Queen came to the throne on 6 February 1952 but her coronation took place on 2 June 1953. She also celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.
Born in 1926 in London, she is the daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and like her mother, she also became an icon of her reign and the symbol of the Royal Family, and it's include all the traditions so well kept and appreciated by English so far. 
As the one who lives, celebrate; English and all the lucky people, mainly tourists, who will be in London these days will "live" a lot! And to join to all of them, this blog will honor the Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee dedicating all the June posts to British culture.
Post Question: Although we live in a country not ruled by the Monarchy system, kings and princess are part of our history and their influence has reverberated until today. So, if you could say anything to the Queen Elizabeth, if you could send your personal message to her, what would you like to say or write?

Tip: You actually can send your message to the British Queen - click here and write it down. Don't forget to take time to read some interesting and beautiful messages that people have written to her.