MIGUEL DE CERVANTES CLUB INVITES EVERYBODY TO JOIN
Miguel de Cervantes Club, the first student organization in Lithuania which dedicates its activities to the promotion of the Spanish language and culture, invites new members to join it!
The club’s members can develop various skills: organize events, create advertisements, seek partners, administrate the club’s official website, take photos, design visual material, handle PR and social projects. Activities in the club also give members the opportunity to practically apply the knowledge of Spanish language by talking with each other or with students from Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries.
HISTORY OF THE CLUB
Miguel de Cervantes Club was founded in 2011 by the initiative of VMU students and lecturers of the Institute of Foreign Languages. At the time the organization was named after Pablo Neruda and organized its first event: the presentation of Spanish traditions of celebration of the Holy week (La Semana Santa). In autumn 2011, the club was renamed after the famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes and became an official club at VMU, which marked the beginning of active work in the organization. On April 18th 2012, VMU Rector confirmed the regulations of M. Cervantes Spanish Language and Culture Club and granted it the status of an official organization at Vytautas Magnus University.
Over the period of 7 active years, the club organized more than 100 successful events and social actions, attracting almost 80 fans of Spanish culture into its ranks. Its activities also received acclaim and support from the university’s community, which always welcomes them warmheartedly and has even elected the club the VMU Student Organization of the Year in the traditional V2 university awards.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
- Every spring, the club collaborates with the VMU Institute of Foreign Languages and the Spanish Embassy to organize the Spanish culture festival “Primavera en Español”. It is the biggest Spanish festival in Lithuania which takes place for several weeks and gathers visitors not only from other cities of Lithuania but from foreign countries as well. In 2014 the festival was dedicated to VMU’s 25th re-establishment anniversary and looked back at the Spanish language history and importance at the university. Traditionally, the festival ends on a high note with a fun fiesta, Spanish snacks and celebration.
- Miguel de Cervantes Club is a socially responsible organization which tries to contribute to wellbeing of the university and Kaunas city. In autumn of 2013 the club organized assistance at VMU Kaunas Botanical Garden. In spring of 2014, club members visited Kaunas public schools where they gave lively classes about Spanish language and culture. Social event entitled Letters to Gambia was organized with the goal of establishing friendly relations between students of VMU and the University of Gambia who all study the same subject: the Spanish language. The Cervantes Club also gives a high priority to helping students, volunteers or interns from Spanish-speaking countries integrate in VMU community. The club frequently organizes cultural and language exchange evenings at the university.
- In December 2012, Joan Plaza, successful writer and head coach of Kaunas basketball club Žalgiris, held a discussion titled “Spanish Regional Multiculturalism. Catalonia” at VMU.
- One of well-known events organized by Miguel de Cervantes Club is “Studies in Spain: what you should know”. This autumn the event will be held for the fourth consecutive year. More and more students want to share their impressions from their “Erasmus+” studies in Spain. Students encourage each other to go to study abroad, share a lot of useful information and give some personal insights.
PRIMAVERA EN ESPAÑOL IS BACK WITH A JUBILEE CELEBRATION
VMU festival of Spanish language and culture „Primavera en español“ is coming back to Kaunas for the fifth consecutive year to be enjoyed over a period of 20-30 April. This major festival of Spanish culture in Lithuania is celebrating its first (5-year) jubilee with a fascinating variety of events.
Given that the main focus of the current festival is friendship across cultures, special attention is paid not only to Spanish culture, but also to all Hispanic countries in Latin America, to Italy as a closely related Mediterranean neighbour of Spain and to Lithuania where more and more Spanish-speaking people find their happiness. According to VMU student Gintarė Labotakytė, who is one of the organisers of the festival, the unique offer of 30 languages at VMU creates a favourable environment for learning about various cultures and cherishing cultural diversity. For her, „Primavera en español“ is not only a two-week fiesta, but a festival of breaking stereotypes and fostering tolerance as well.
The opening of the festival will take place on 20 April when the organisers, participants and honourable guests of the event traditionally convene in VMU Aula Magna. The opening ceremony will include a greeting word by the representatives of the Spanish Embassy in Vilnius, an overview of the rich and diverse five-year history of „Primavera en español“ and a bouquet of inspiring and heart-warming Spanish songs from Giedrė Kelpšaitė. At the end of the opening event everybody will be offered some Spanish treat!
A significant novelty of this festival is a visit of a young, successful businessman Ignacio Ibarra Mendoza who is invited by the organisers of „Primavera en español“ particularly to enrich the festival events with an insider’s view to Spanish culture. Mr. Ignacio Ibarra Mendoza will reveal his secret of how to be a successful businessman even in the time of economic crises by sharing his amazing story.
At the event of friendship across cultures Spaniards who have been living in Lithuania for quite a long time will share their impressions and experience of falling in love with Lithuania – the country of enduring rain and an omnipresent passion for basketball. As usual, “Primavera en español“ will provide plenty of space for creativity and self-expression: VMU student Justė Kazbaraitytė will present her paintings which have been inspired by Spain. On the early Wednesday morning of 22 April a lecturer and doctoral student Gintarė Žukaitė will share her knowledge of Latin America. On 23 April, students will take part in the Spanish reading competition to celebrate the International Day of the Book. The first week of the festival will be completed with the contest on the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries where participants will have to really rack their brains to be the best.
At the beginning of the second week everyone will be invited to a Spanish breakfast relishing the opportunity to acquaint oneself with the marvellous cuisine of this country – bring your own home-made tortilla de patatas and join the competition! Further on agenda, a lecture of Spoken Spanish will teach the little known everyday phrases which will be useful when travelling or studying in Spain. High school students will not be forgotten as well. Rocío Cortes Gañan, who lives in Lithuania and promotes her native culture, will visit schools and teach the students some Spanish games. Differences and similarities of the apparently closely related countries – Spain and Italy – will be revealed and discussed by students who take courses of Spanish and Italian. To indulge oneself in a Mexican style rejoicing and festivity one is invited to a cheerful event at the restaurant “Agave” in Kaunas Old town.
A real Spanish fiesta will arrive at the culmination of the jubilee festival where Martynas Kavaliauskas, VMU student and a rising star of Lithuania pop stage, will present his programme of Spanish songs. A festive cake and plenty of dancing are also awaiting your attention.
The festival is organized by Miguel de Cervantes Spanish Language and Culture Club and VMU Institute of Foreign Languages in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Vilnius. Born in 2011, the idea of the Spanish festival in Kaunas has been annually returning with colourful and diverse events thanks to the effort and initiative of active students and lecturers.
FESTIVAL “PRIMAVERA EN ESPAÑOL” BROUGHT SPANISH SPIRIT BACK TO KAUNAS
For the fourth time, on 7th – 17th April Vytautas Magnus University students invited everybody to traditional Spanish culture spring festival “Primavera en español”. Citizens of Kaunas and guests was invited to a lot of events full of Spanish spirit that are united by the one theme “Spanish in the World: 25 years at VMU“.
On the first festival day in the afternoon we invited you to the official opening ceremony at VMU Aula Magna. Therepresentatives of Spain Embassy and VMU greeted the attendance while songs performed by the students of VMU Music Academy made our hearts thrill. When the beginning of the Spanish spring was announced everybody was invited to savour the regale.
During 25 years thousands of students have been learning Spanish language. For more than one, Spanish language has become the symbol of success. Therefore, the evening where former and present VMU Spanish language students were invited was almost the most important accent of the festival. During the cosy talk with VMU graduates we heard true-life and inspiring stories about how Spanish language helped them to fulfill their dreams and reach aims.
This year students and pupils showed their ingenuity while festival guests had a chance to participate in the workshop “I Draw Spain”. One more event was caricature ode to soap-operas, which let you to remember childhood and made you cry with laughter. Brand-new event in this year’s “Primavera en español” was a social friendship event “Letters to Gambia”.
At the second week of the festival we had a chance to improve our knowledge. Lecturers from Lithuania and Spain shared everything they know about Spanish language history, spread in the world and its profit. Also, it was possible to deepen the knowledge about Spanish-speaking world in the Spanish language and culture contest which included brain battle and other interesting tasks. The winners were awarded! This year’s “Primavera en español” invited not only to discover whole Spanish-speaking world but to find parallels with other cultures as well. About other cultures we discussed in the short films’ from all over the world event “Unidos en el cine”.
On the 17th of April the closing ceremony and the 3rd birthday fiesta of Miguel de Cervantes club was held. The attendance was overwhelmed with salsa dance, its dancers’ performance and even everybody had a chance to learn few salsa steps as well. 100 balloons that were launched to the air symbolized farewell to the next year’s Spanish spring.
Festival was organized by the members of Miguel de Cervantes Spanish Language and Culture Club and VMU Foreign Language Centre in collaboration with Spain Embassy in Lithuania.
FULL PROGRAMME OF “PRIMAVERA EN ESPAÑOL 2014”
Monday, 7 April, 4 p.m. VMU Aula Magna (Gimnazijos st. 7)“Primavera en español 2014” opening ceremony „Spanish in the World: 25 years at VMU“. In the solemn opening ceremony, the Spain Embassy and VMU representatives will greet the attendance. Festival programme will be presented. Songs performed by the students of VMU Music Academy will make our hearts thrill. At the end you will have a chance to savour the regale.
Tuesday, 8 April, 5 p.m. Vero cafe@VDU (S. Daukanto st. 28)Discussion evening “Spanish Language at VMU: Graduates’ Success Stories”.Former VMU Spanish language lecturers will tell about the development of this language teaching at VMU while graduates and students in whose lives Spanish language is a symbol of success will share their inspiring stories.
Wednesday, 9 April, 2 p.m. Kaunas Varpo gymnasium (Varpo st. 49)Workshop “I Draw Spain”This is an afternoon session for se pupils and students where every creative soul will find engaging activities.
Wednesday, 9 April, 5 p.m. VMU Great Hall Lobby, (S. Daukanto st. 28)Interactive show “Our Childhood Soap-Operas”.Almost every modern Spanish language student has learnt his/her first Spanish words from soap-operas. It is time not only to review those words but to remember the most interesting details from those soap-operas as well. We will travel to Latin America and it will be so funny that even growlers will laugh!
Thursday, 10 April, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. VMU III rūmai (K. Donelaičio st. 52, first floor lobby)Social Event „Letters to Gambia”Even students from the smallest African country – Gambia – learn Spanish. Everyone will have a chance to write a letter for Gambians, give their greetings and tell about Lithuania.
Monday, 14 April, 6 p.m. VMU III rūmai (K. Donelaičio st. 52-521)Lecture “Spanish Language in the World”Lecturers from Lithuania and Spain will present Spanish language history, spread, the influence of other languages on its development as well as Spanish teaching and learning in the world.
Tuesday, 15 April, 6 p.m. VMU CR (S. Daukanto st. 28-402)Competition about Spanish language and culture „¿Qué sabes del mundo hispanohablante?“Brain battle and other interesting tasks will help to select those who know the culture of Spanish speaking world best. The main prize – free language courses at VMU. Register 3-4 people team at www.ispanuklubas.lt.
Wednesday, 16 April, 5:30 p.m. VMU III rūmai (K. Donelaičio st. 52-521)Evening of world’s short films „Unidos en el cine“Various short films revealing cultural diversity (original language with English subtitles) will be displayed. During the breaks participants will have a chance to discuss and share their insights over the cup of tea and sweet snacks.
Thursday, 17 April, 5 p.m. VMU Great Hall Lobby, (S. Daukanto st. 28)3rd Birthday Fiesta of Miguel de Cervantes Club (Closing Ceremony of the Festival). Birthday cake, salsa dancers’ performance and short salsa lesson, Spanish music and other funny things are waiting for you.
HISTORY OF “PRIMAVERA EN ESPAÑOL”
The idea to organize a festival of Spanish spring was first realized in 2011. By the initiative of teachers from Vytautas Magnus University and Kaunas University of Technology, there was organized a week for the Spanish culture. Miguel de Cervantes Spanish language and culture club was founded the same year at VMU and later it became the organizer of this Spanish festival.
Right away students got interested in the events dedicated for getting to know the Spanish culture. For that reason, in 2012 this one-week long festival grew into a festivity of the Spanish culture called “Primavera en español”. The Spanish Embassy in Lithuania and teachers of the academic Institute of Foreign Languages supported the events where the Spanish national, cultural and linguistic variety was presented over two whole weeks. Moreover, or, the Spaniards who at that time studied in Kaunas significantly contributed to the festival.
In 2013 the festival was more successful than ever and received much attention from the general public. With the slogan “Descubre, conoce, enamórate” (eng. “Discover, learn, love”) all the activities even outside the university were introduced to the public, therefore, not only the students eagerly participated in the events but residents of Kaunas also joined. More than ten events were dedicated to learn more about the literature, economics, movies, cuisine, winery traditions and the art of dance of the sunny land.
This year the long-awaited festival “Primavera en español” comes back already for the fourth time. This festival of VMU students has already become a tradition without which spring at the university is impossible to imagine.