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Author: Sara Kilian

Literature review: Nervous Conditions

It’s been almost 30 years since the novel ‘Nervous Conditions’ was published in 1988. Written by Zimbabwean author, Tsitsi Dangarembga, it was her third novel and to date is one of only four novels the author has published (a sequel to ‘Nervous Conditions’ was published in 2006). Set in the late 1960s and 70s in Rhodesia, which was an unrecognised state from 1965 to 1979, and is now Zimbabwe. The recent coup of the national party, Zanu PF and the forced resignation of revolutionary turned dictator, Robert Mugabe who ruled the country for 37 years prompted a look back...

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Top 10 Podcasts

  ‘Blanguage’: Co-hosts, Janelle and Daniel are best friends and Black Londoners who discuss music and Black British culture. They’re fun to listen to because of their friendship, and their black British perspective is much needed in the podcast landscape. ‘The Bugle’: ‘The Bugle’ was created 10 years ago, and was originally hosted by Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver. John Oliver left ‘The Bugle’ in 2016 with the success of HBO satire show ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’. Since its relaunch in 2016, ‘The Bugle’ has remained one of the most essential political satire podcasts, still hosted by...

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At the Gulbenkian: ROH: ‘The Nutcracker’

The Gulbenkian will be screening ‘The Nutcracker’ live from the stage of the Royal Opera House on Tuesday the 5th of December. The beautiful classical ballet is performed to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score. The story is set on Christmas Eve, and the Stahlbaums are hosting a fantastic party. Young Clara receives a special present that night, from her mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer –an enchanted wooden Nutcracker doll. At night, Clara wanders downstairs, and as the clock strikes midnight, she is taken on a magical journey –through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. ‘The original ballet was created by...

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Christmas in Asia

It’s that time of the year. Lights, decorations, mulled wine, cinnamon, carolling and last but not least, big family gathering for Christmas dinner. Despite the Christian roots of the day itself, these are the images we can relate to when thinking of Christmas. While the festiveness is universal, most of those traditions and conventions come from Europe and North America. Christmas in Asia is different. It does not involve pigs in blankets, or eggnog, or John Lewis adverts. It is, however, unique and equally as festive. Christmas in Asian countries is not normally considered a holiday, nor is it...

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Christmas in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Have you ever spent Christmas in a place where none of the stereotypes are true? No? Well, let me tell you, it’s both amazing and tragic. Traditions and celebrations will always be different depending on where you come from, your parents’ backgrounds, or how religious you are, etc. I grew up in a tropical country; my Santa would wear swimming shorts, sandals and sunglasses, looking ready for the beach, but definitely not snow. Brazil has one of the highest Catholic populations in the world, which explains why Christmas is such a serious holiday. We actually celebrate the birth of...

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