Posts Tagged ‘group: euro vox’

Promoting European movies

In Too lazy to assign a category on July 9, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Justifying Marital Violence: A German Judge Cites Koran in Divorce Case

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 24, 2007 at 1:46 pm

A German judge has caused outrage by refusing an accelerated divorce for a Morrocan woman living in Germany, whose husband was violent and threatened to kill her. The grounds for the refusal: a controversial passage in the Koran which some interpret to mean that a husband has the right to beat his wife.

The judgement has caused a scandal in Germany – not least because by invoking the Koran, the German judge is assigning precedence to Islamic law over German law.

The woman's lawyer is quoted as saying: "Apparently the judge deems it unchaste when my client adapts a Western lifestyle."

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The pain of love and sea

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 25, 2007 at 12:02 pm


Those who spend their lives at sea
think there is no pain in the world
as great as their pain, and no fate worse
than a seaman’s fate, but consider me:
the pain of love made me forget
the pain of sea, so cruel and yet

As nothing next to that greatest pain,
the pain of love that God ordains.
The pain of sea is a pain unto death,
but I discovered it can’t compare
to the pain of love, which made me forget
my seaman’s pain, terrible and yet

As nothing next to the greatest of all
the pains that are, were or will come.
Those who have never been in love
can’t know the pain I feel, because
the pain of love makes one forget
all other pains, cruel and yet

As nothing next to the pain that exceeds
even the deathly pain of sea.

© Translation: 1995, Richard Zenith


Quantos oj’andan eno mar aqui
cuidan que coita no mundo non á
se non do mar, nen an outro mal ja;
mais d’outra guisa contece oge a mi:
coita d’amor me faz escaecer
a mui gran coita do mar, e teer

Pola mayor coita de quantas son,
coita d’amor, a que’-na Deus quer dar.
E é gran coita de mort’ a do mar,
mais non é tal; e por esta razon
coita d’amor me faz escaecer
a mui gran coita do mar, e teer

Pola mayor coita, per bõa fé,
de quantas foron, nen son, nen seran.
E estes outros que amor non an,
dizen que non; mais eu direi qual é:
coita d’amor me faz escaecer
a mui gran coita do mar, e teer

Por mayor coita a que faz perder
coita do mar, que faz muitos morrer!

© Pai Gomez Charinho

While the poetry of the Provençal troubadours has been widely translated and justly appreciated, many readers are scarcely if at all aware of the trovador tradition on the Iberian Peninsula. Some 1680 cantigas (songs), written in Galician-Portuguese between the 12th and 14th centuries, have survived in a handful of cancioneiros (song books), the most important of which were discovered in the 18th and 19th centuries. The language of the cantigas reflects the vernacular spoken north and south of the Minho River, which divides Galicia from Portugal, and, for reasons that are still obscure, was the preferred idiom of lyric poets in every Peninsular region except Catalonia. ( source )

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Simone de Beauvoir

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 25, 2007 at 11:58 am

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Bridge Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986) was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.

Beauvoir is buried next to Sartre at the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. Since her death, her reputation has grown, not only because she is seen as the mother of post-1968 feminism, especially in academia, but also because of a growing awareness of her as a major French thinker, existentialist philosopher and otherwise.

There is much contemporary discussion about the influences of Beauvoir and Sartre on one another. She is seen as having influenced Sartre's masterpiece, Being and Nothingness, while also having written much on philosophy that is independent of Sartrean existentialism. Some scholars have explored the influences of her earlier philosophical essays and treatises upon Sartre's later thought. She is studied by many respected academics both within and outside of philosophy circles, including Margaret A. Simmons and Sally Scholtz. Beauvoir's life has also inspired numerous biographies.

The architect Dietmar Feichtinger designed a sophisticated footbridge, which was named after Beauvoir. The bridge features feminine curves and leads to the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which Beauvoir frequented throughout her life.

Wikipedia: Simone de Beauvoir

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In Too lazy to assign a category on February 25, 2007 at 11:53 am

François Mitterrand Library

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 25, 2007 at 11:41 am

This library, known as the “Trés Grande Bibliothèque” (Very Large Library) was built in 1996 in an industrial area of Paris by the river Seine. Four towers, shaped to recall four opened books were designed to house the Bibliothèque Nationale de France collection of books and manuscripts.

More than 10 millions of books are store behind these glasses, protected from the light by wooden boards.

Image and text by Spirit of Paris

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Brief history of the Netherlands – part 1

In Too lazy to assign a category on January 26, 2007 at 8:44 pm

For 18,000 years, human beings inhabited the land that is now called the Netherlands. Archeologists have discovered crude stone weapons and tools as proof. These early people did not settle in one place however, but continually moved around in search of food and shelter. Evidence of the first settled tribes can still be seen along the eastern border with Germany, where these people heaped up huge piles of large rocks as memorials to the dead. These memorials, known as “Hunnebedden”, date back 4,000 years. The English term for these memorials is Dolmen.

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(Example of a Dolmen)

Other remnants of the past, that date back 2,500 years, can be seen in the province of Friesland. There, tremendous mounds of earth and clay, called “terpen” stand out in the Frisian landscape.

(Example of a terp)

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(Example of a terp, seen from the air)

The Frisians built these islands in an attempt to deal with the North Sea. Other tribes, including Celtic people from central Europe and Germanic tribes from northern Europe, settled in the Netherlands. The Frisian, Celtic, and Germanic tribes each had their own appearance, customs, dialects, and way of life.

In the 1st century BC, the Romans, whose empire was expanding throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region, overpowered the Netherlands. The people of the Low Countries were no match for the massive, well-organized army of Julius Caesar. Around 50 BC the Romans conquered the areas that consist today of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The conquest was a mixed blessing for the Dutch. Although the people no longer had their independence, the Roman invaders taught them how to build highways, towns, and more effective dikes. For the majority of the Roman occupation, the boundary of the Roman Empire lay along the Rhine. Romans built the first cities in the Netherlands, most importantly Utrecht, Nijmegen, and Maastricht.

(sarcophagus found in Nijmegen, next to the main road of the Roman city that once was there)

All was not peaceful under Roman rule, however, and the Dutch revolted from time to time. These uprisings were unsuccessful until the Roman Empire began to crumble. A Germanic people called the Franks drove out the Romans in the early 5th century AD and overcame their neighbours, the Saxons, and laid claim to a kingdom that included the present-day countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, France and part of Germany, during the reign of Charlemagne (Charles the Great). The Frankish empire divided and re-united several times, in the end giving rise to two major powers, France and the Holy Roman Empire in Germany. The Netherlands formed part of the latter.

The Dutch faced tremendous difficulties at that point – not only had they lost their independence, but they continued to struggle against the sea. To make matters worse, they faced a new threat: the Vikings. Vikings were Scandinavian seafarers who plundered and terrorized the coasts of northern and western Europe. For 200 years, the Dutch were subject to vicious, unpredictable raids by these fierce Norwegians and Danes.

During the 10th century, a number of feudal semi-autonomous vassal states, owing allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire, emerged as the rulers of the Low Countries. Local vassals made their countships and duchies into private kingdoms and felt not much obliged to the emperor, who over large parts of the nation governed only in name. Large parts of what now comprise the Netherlands were governed by the count of Holland, the duke of Gelre, the duke of Brabant and the bishop of Utrecht, but Friesland and Groningen in the north kept their independence, being governed by the lower nobility. Most of what is now the Netherlands and Belgium was united by the duke of Burgundy. This period was known as the Burgundian Dynasty.

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