Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Halloween!

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.

The day is often associated with the colors black and orange, and is strongly associated with symbols like the jack-o'-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

History of Halloween, like any other festival's history is inspired through traditions that have transpired through ages from one generation to another. As this process goes on, much of their originality get distorted with newer additions and alterations.

Behind the name... Halloween, or the Hallow E'en as they call it in Ireland , means All Hallows Eve, or the night before the 'All Hallows', also called 'All Hallowmas', or 'All Saints', or 'All Souls' Day, observed on November 1.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Ireland and Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of show, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, in order to earn their treats.

Halloween costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. They are said to be used to scare off demons. Costumes are also based on themes other than traditional horror, such as those of characters from television shows, movies, and other pop culture icons.

Ask your local American Corner about Halloween activities!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Diversity Visa”

Consul Lauren May will discuss the process of applying for a Diversity Visa, where to look for information on US government websites.

The application is free – applicants should not be fooled by scams that ask for money.

Ms. May will also be open to questions on the diversity visa and other visa questions after the presentations.

Join us in

- American Corner Bitola on Wednesday, October 28 @ 2:00 PM

- American Corner Tetovo on Wednesday, October 28 @ 6:00 PM

- American Corner Skopje on Tuesday, November 3 @ 6:00 PM

Ask your nearest American Corner for more info.

Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced!

Overall Winner
"The Storybook Wolf"

See the story behind this photo and the other winners HERE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The Day to Celebrate Learning and Exploration"

On October 12, 1492 the Italian seaman Christopher Columbus first stepped foot on the soil of the Americas, bringing with him European culture, goods, religion and practices.

This is what happened:

Ironically, Columbus did not plan on discovering a “New World”. He left Iberia hoping to arrive in the
Indies, a series of islands in South East Asia that Spain frequently traded with through long and expensive journeys on land. His goal was to find a quicker, water-based route instead.

So when he sailed west, he didn't land in the Indies, but rather he anchored in the Bahamas at a place he named “San Salvador”. When he came ashore on San Salvador, he mistook the native people for natives of India, calling them Indians (a misnomer which stands to this day). In fact, Columbus returned to the Americas three more times over the course of 12 years without knowing that he had arrived in an uncharted land, halfway around the globe from his intended destination!

Happy Columbus Day!

In the early morning fog, a replica of one of Christopher Columbus' ships, Nina, departs Maysville, Kentucky,
where it was on tour in November 2005.
The ship, which was built by The Columbus Foundation and launched in 1991,
continues to visit ports around the United States as a floating maritime museum and to participate in tall sail events.

Activities for kids:

Columbus Day is a great time to celebrate exploration as a family. For preschoolers, it can be as simple as learning about maps or treasure hunts and exploring the backyard in a new way. For grade-schoolers, they can set out on an imaginary voyage, complete with a pretend passport, world map and discover real – or imagined – places.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tips for talking with Strangers, a 5-Step Program

You don't want to just dive into talking to strangers. You're out of practice. You need to build up those curiosity and bravery muscles. You need to thicken your skin in case they snub you. You need to plan a few exit strategies in case of social suffocation.

Sure, when you were a kid you talked to strangers all the time. But you were trained out of it. So here's a five-step 'Taking to Strangers' training program. Tailor it to your needs. Stay at any level as long as you like. Some people spend months practicing, "Hi," in front of the mirror before they will dare it with strangers.

Keep this in mind. Humans like to connect with other humans. We are social creatures. It's taken a lot of television and fear to convince us to stop doing what comes naturally. You have it in you. So have at it…

**The 5-Step Program **
(click to enlarge)

Ask your local American Corner when are they hosting a Conversation cafe, and join.

Talk to Strangers. We dare you.

October Monthly Prorgrams

These are the October monthly programs for all three American Corners Macedonia.

American Corner Skopje

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American Corner Tetovo

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American Corner Bitola

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