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MFL Week: gateway to a new world

March 28, 2014

Modern Foreign Languages Week was celebrated with sheer enthusiasm with the Department of Modern Foreign Languages playing host to an array of events held throughout the week to present students with a small glimpse of the big-wide world.

The week started of with “Heritage Speakers Speak,” which was presented by Professors Tim Gaster and Carina Olaru along with other community members. Tuesday, March 25, was an open house in the Lower Level of Stockdale where students made presentations on Latin American countries.

The next day also shared a similar idea as the day before with visual presentations on off campus study opportunities offered to students. Students who studied off campus in Spanish-speaking countries shared their experiences, fears and personal changes.

Thursday, March 27 saw a whole new perspective with the program when a performance was given by Teatro Luno, a Chicago based Pan-Latino Theater Company, in the Wells Theater where the actresses brought forth different concerns and issues which are ongoing in our community in the form of a quick skits. The performance was different from most other theater productions as the skits were audience tailored, and the audience was asked to react to emotions depicted in the skits. The various scenes performed were based on personal accounts of people the production staff has met or moments from their own travel experiences. The main topic of discussion was immigration and issues that emerge from it. Talking to the students about their experiences, the widespread response was the situations depicted had a serious impact on them, and they caught a glimpse of the actual situation in the form of an act and were able to understand it better than just sit back in the comfort of media and obtain information.

Yet another student commented on the stereotypical categorization that our community tends to use for certain people and how the same could be done to Americans as well, which was depicted by the “cheeseburger” analogy in the act called “Passport, Please!”

The production brought different situations to life and left the audience to have a final verdict on those situations.

The MFL week continues today with a student showcase and will finish with two movie presentations on Sunday, March 30. The films to be screened are “Aqui` y Alla,” a Spanish movie and then “Ne` quelque part,” a french movie.

The movie “Aqui` y Alla” meaning “Here and There” is about a Mexican immigrant who returns to his family after years of working in the States and finds that his family is more distant than he had imagined.

The second movie in the series, “Ne` quelque part” meaning “Homeland” talks about Farid, a young French man whose parents are from Algeria, who must return to the village of his father to settle an administrative problem. First off to a world he does not know, he fell gradually in love with the cast of characters in his village whose simplicity and warmth will deeply touch. This trip will be for Farid, one full of humor and humanity, an adventure, an experience that will totally mess up the image he had made of his family and get them to take a fresh look at its own identity.

Sujith Santhosh
Contributing Writer

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