Is this Latino Christmas tradition the most stupid ever?

Do you know about the most stupid Christmas tradition for kids? If you’re living in South America or Spain, I reckon you do. Let me enlighten you… Spanish O’Clock The first time I actually experienced it was in Spain. We were staying at a hotel with my Spanish in-laws and staff asked if our one year old would like to see…
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Why I’m not buying gifts for my kids’ teachers

Expaters, did you buy your kid’s teacher a present this year? What did you give? I scanned the web for teacher gifts and look what I found in The Independent, a major British newspaper: ‘A candle might be a bit of a teacher present cliché, but make it a luxury number with Jo Malone and you can’t go far wrong’. …
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Cultural tradition or cultural appropriation?

Last week my children celebrated ‘Mapuche week’ at their nursery. If like me, you’re clueless as to what Mapuche means, well I checked and according to Wikipedia they’re ‘a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia’. I went to a market seller and asked for a Mapuche costume and was handed a couple…
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Did you know the meaning behind these Christmas traditions? Clue: look to …

Unlike most British tabloid newspapers would lead you to believe, I’m proudly British and I love Germany. Why? Because I also love Christmas. I studied German at university, mostly based on its year abroad programme. Some chose to learn French in Martinique, others Spanish in Colombia, but I yearned after a winter in Bavaria. If anyone knows how to do…
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Best books for children to learn English

We’ve had a huge clear out, our stuff is packed for Chile and we’re surviving with the basics. We’ve packed away our books too, including our children’s top reads, but have been making up for our loss with extra visits to our local library. One book didn’t make it to the packing boxes however – a Spanish / English children’s dictionary…
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Top ten tips for German (and other European) Christmas markets

Contrary to what most British tabloid newspapers would lead to you believe, it is possible to be British and a Europhile. I love Germany almost as much as I love Christmas and I even chose my university degree based on Christmas market options. (I opted to spend a winter semester in Bavaria and my dissertation was fuelled by mulled wine).…
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A Christmas Shopping Weekend in York

It feels wrong to be talking about Christmas already and way to early for shopping. But if your diary is anything like mine, it’s most likely filling up and you might like to schedule in a weekend away from the madness of modern malls and generic high streets. When done right (avoiding the high street and last minute panic buying)…
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Bettys Tea Rooms, York: An English tradition with local magic

Visitors to York would be forgiven for thinking that Bettys is a tourist trap. A review by a renowned food critic mocked Bettys for its clever marketing. Walk past the horrendous queues snaking around the square, listen to the mix of languages among its diners and you might walk straight back out in search of something more authentically local. Please…
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