13 February, 2016

Valentine's Day Traditions in USA

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (at Window on America Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) started with a pleasant ceremony. The club members handed a gift of chocolate candies in a heart shaped box to our American volunteer Mr. Jason who had his birthday on Friday. The “Happy Birthday” song and a round of applause was also added to congratulate our American friend whose time and effort is highly appreciated by the WOA staff and the Gabfest club members.
The official topic of the session was “Valentine's Day Traditions in USA”. The first activity offered to the group was new vocabulary and new meanings of the well-known words. The image that introduced the new vocabulary presented numerous objects associated with Valentine’s Day celebration in USA.
Talking about the symbolism of the popular Valentine Day’s images allowed us to introduce films and books from the WOA’s collection. For example, “City Lights” with Charlie Chaplin starring. Chaplin’s character is a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl. The group was introduced to several new elements of the American Valetine’s Day tradition.
We focused on the introduction of the “kissing booths” and the question «Will you be my Valentine?». A kissing booth is a holiday attraction where the person running the booth kisses customers for money, often to raise funds for charity. Domestic animals (dogs, cats) are often used for comedic purposes.
The group was interested in the Valentine’s Day message of President Obama to his wife. The video triggered a heated discussion. It was a good illustration to the difficulties in perception and cross-cultural differences. The Michelle Obama’s book about healthy life style was introduced to the group.
To wrap up the topic we listened and translated the lyrics of the wonderful song “My funny Valentine” performed by Frank Sinatra.
Number of participants – 29 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

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