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Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

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State Library Victoria, Australia

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other Weekly Photo Challenge photos:

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Pekanbaru, Traditional Market

Gallery

Travel Theme: Doorways

Zhujiayu Village

Zhujiayu Village

Chicago

Chicago

Bangkok

Bangkok

Every week Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack offers a wonderful challenge for bloggers, a theme to challenge photographers.

If you’re ready to open some doors and would like to join in this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Doorways
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Ink Landscape

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I love these ink paintings.

From the National China Museum of Art

Harmony in Diversity

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Till the 21st the National Art Museum has an exhibit of modern, yet traditional ink paintings by Four Professors Dai Shunzhi, Fan Yang, Han Jingwei and Yuan Wusi. The exhibit’s called Harmony in Diversity.


The exhibit is free if you bring a passport or government i.d. No entry after 4 pm.

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Out in the Snow

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A wood block print by Hiroshige

Today’s Walk

Clear skies and warm temperatures made this the perfect day for a morning walk. I took bus 45 to Daming Lake and then walked around the lake and over by an area along a small canal with lots of shops and cafes. It’s like a smaller version of Suzhou or the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto.

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The alleyway ends up all the way down by food street.

Daming Lake at Night

DSCN2093 My new favorite time to walk is at night. The parks are gorgeous and cool after sundown. You’ll see hundreds of people exercising, dancing and walking. I love the lights on the buildings and bridges.

Lyric’s Hansel und Gretel

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The Lyric Opera of Chicago is presenting Engelbert Humperdink’s (the original Humperdink, not the pop singer) Hansel und Gretel. As you’d expect the music was heavenly and the story was compelling. This version emphasized the hunger and poverty this family experienced. The first act portrays how this family has no food other than a small jug of milk, probably 2 cups full, hardly enough for a family of four. The children lament how they’re starving and long for food. During the pre-opera lecture, we were reminded  that before a neighbor gave Hansel and Gretel‘s family the milk, the probably hadn’t eaten breakfast or dinner the night before. Yet when they get rambunctious and are cavorting around the kitchen they break the milk jug losing the only food the family has.

The mother returns and is furious when she learns that the milk’s gone. She sends Hansel and Gretel into the forest to get a large bowl full of berries. After they leave, their father returns and fortunately, he’s sold all his goods, the brooms he makes, and has bought a large bag of food. Their problems are over. When father learns that the children are off in the woods, he’s alarmed. The forest is dangerous. A terrible witch who preys on children lives there. What was mother thinking?

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The second act is set in the forest, done with a minimal naturalistic style, with dark, foreboding visuals. Again the music is moving and the visuals compel. The highlight of the act was when the children say their prayers singing to the 14 angels who protect them.

Opera newcomers would appreciate this performance as the story is so familiar and the music is beautifully sung. There are some differences from the cozier versions of the story we usually hear. The mother is not a stepmother. The scenes with the bread crumbs aren’t here and we don’t see a colorful candy house. So the artistry of the sets isn’t what you’d expect, but the visuals do express the theme of hunger and hard times well.

All in all, this production of Hansel und Gretel pulls us in from start to finish.

Sunday’s Walk

We’ve been blessed with sunny warm days. Today all the American English teachers went on a walk over to the traditional market. Here’s a few things I saw on the way.

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Disclaimer

Dear Fellows, The State Department has requested that any Fellows who maintain their own blog or website please post the following disclaimer on your site: "This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellows' own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State." We appreciate your cooperation. Site Meter
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