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Students of IVCC Take Part in Christmas Festival
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Students attending the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (IVCC) in St Andrew learnt a lot about that country’s culture through its food, music, dance, dress and various traditions, at the recent annual Christmas Festival. Held under the theme ‘Christmas in Venezuela’, the Festival also encouraged students to use their Spanish as they explored the cultures of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Coordinator of the IVCC, Betza Beth, told JIS News that about 130 students, from basic to superior level, participated in the event. “They had to cook our food, they had to dress with our national outfits and they had to research about our culture, what we do at Christmas and how we do it. It was really an honour to help them to prepare this activity,” she said, adding that previous exhibitions at the Institute had highlighted Jamaica, Mexico and other countries in the Region. Miss Beth said one of the ways to learn a language “is to submerge yourself in the culture of the country”.
“That’s the reason why we do this activity every year, and we are honoured that the students participate with us,” she said.
Miss Beth pointed out that although the activity was fun, it was the final oral examinations for some students, whose presentations were evaluated by their teachers.
A student of the IVCC, Tania Chung, who was part of a group that presented on the culture and traditions of the Zulia State, one of the 23 states of Venezuela, told JIS News that her Spanish has improved since attending the Institute.
“I love Spanish, so I set out to learn more about the language. I want to speak the language much better than when I was in school,” she said.
Miss Chung, who joined the Institute at the intermediate level because of her previous knowledge of the language, said having to do the research and presentations have helped her to learn “a whole lot more about a different culture”.
Chargé d’affaires at the Venezuelan Embassy in Jamaica, Luisa Gutierrez, told JIS News that the activity will help in strengthening the ties between the people of Jamaica and Venezuela.
She noted that the Institute has been offering complimentary Spanish classes in Jamaica for more than 40 years.
“We will continue to contribute and facilitate the teaching of the language in Jamaica,” Ms. Gutierrez added.
She said the Embassy, through the Institute, will be planning more cultural activities, noting that it is an excellent strategy to get persons interested in learning the Spanish language.
The Chargé d’affaires also mentioned plans to have classes in the preparation of Venezuelan food. “We want to show how persons can prepare some of our dishes,” she said.
She is encouraging Jamaicans to attend the conversational Spanish classes at the Institute on Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.