Stories behind Christmas food

 

As we are full on Christmas vibes, I wanted to share with you some festive food stories and traditions.

Why we eat Turkey or Goose in Christmas?

The tradition of a roasted goose on the holiday table goes way, way back. The people of ancient Greece and Rome may have been celebrating different festivals, but they did so with the very same bird we do. From medieval days right through to the Victorian depiction in Charles Dickens, the goose has remained the ubiquitous Christmas bird throughout Europe.

Goose

The goose was a common farmyard bird and a natural forager that came in handy after the harvest. When turned loose in the stubble left from the reaper’s work, geese could find and devour all the scattered grain that would otherwise be lost. Thus, a goose was at its fattest (think tastiest) after the harvest, just in time for the coming holiday celebrations.
Geese were plentiful and cheaper than the exotic turkey (native to the New World) so made the best choice for the holiday table. Today you can join the tradition and enjoy this delectable bird at Christmas.

Turkeys where first bought into Britain in 1526, before that Goose was the traditional food. Turkeys were eating instead of the cows and chicken as they needed their cows more for their milk and the chicken for the eggs.
King Henry VIII was the first to eat Turkey on Christmas however it wasn’t until 1950’s that the turkey was a more popoular festive meal choice than the goose.
Nowadays 87% of the Brits believe that Christmas won’t be the same without a roasted turkey.

Christmas pudding 

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th century porridge called ‘frumenty’ that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities.
By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom.

Christmas Pudding

In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it.

In the UK the coin traditionally used was a silver ‘six pence’. The closest coin to that now is a five pence piece!

Mince Pies

Were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix as they are today. They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Sometimes they even had a ‘pastry baby Jesus’ on the top!

Mince Pie

During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made is different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); they fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw! They also looked like the ‘knot gardens’ that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best, and most expensive, pastry cooks.

A custom from the middle ages says that if you eat a mince pie on every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (evening of the 5th January) you will have happiness for the next 12 months!

Marzipan & Turron

The origin of Marzipan is not clear being Germany, Spain, Italy and Hungary the main countries from which could come from.
This pastries are mainly eaten in Christmas but you can find them throughout the year.
Nowadays it is a strong tradition in many different countries like England and Germany.

Marzipan

 In Germany and throughout much of northern Europe it is considered good luck to receive a marzipan pig on Christmas or New Year’s Day. The Spanish and Portuguese are big consumers of marzipan too. But perhaps the form of marzipan that Americans are most familiar with are the cute little miniature fruit shapes that pop up all over.

 Turron is a southern European nougat confection, typically made of honeysugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. It is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmasdessert in Spain and Italy as well as countries formerly under the Spanish Empire, particularly in Latin America.

All versions of the name appear to have been derived from Latin torrere (to toast). The modern confection might be derived from the Muslim recipe prevalent in parts of Islamic Spain known as turun.[2] One may also point to a similar confection named cupedia or cupeto that was marketed in Ancient Rome and noted by Roman poets.[3][4]

Turrón or Torró has been known at least since the 15th century in the city of Jijona/Xixona (formerly Sexona), north of Alicante. Turrón is commonly consumed in most of Spain, some countries of Latin America, and in Roussillon (France). The similar Torrone is typical of Cremona and Benevento in Italy. There are similar confections made in the Philippines.

Roscón de Reyes

This is a very Spanish tradition extended to some countries of Latino America and south of France.
As a Spanish myself I lived this tradition since I was a kid.
Basically the night of 5th of January we believe that the 3 Kings “wise Man” will travel to all our houses and will leave gifts for all the kids. The roscon in eaten in the morning after opening all gifts as a breakfast paired with a hot chocolate.

The Roscon have a small figure hidden inside, either of a baby Jesus or little toys for children, as well as the more traditional dry fava bean. Whoever finds the figure is crowned “king” or “queen” of the celebration, whereas whoever finds the bean has to pay for the next year’s roscón or Epiphany party.

 

Eggnog & Mulled wine

While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. By the 13th century, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs. Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health.

Eggnog became tied to the holidays when the drink hopped the pond in the 1700s. American colonies were full of farms—and chickens and cows—and cheaper rum, a soon-signature ingredient. Mexico adopted the very eggnog varietal “rompope,” and Puerto Rico enjoys the “coquito,” which adds coconut milk. The English name’s etymology however remains a mystery. Some say “nog” comes from “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” a strong beer. By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.

Mulled wine is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It is served hot or warm and is alcoholic, although there are non-alcoholic versions of mulled wine.
Glühwein (roughly translated as “glowing-wine”, from the temperature the wine is heated to) is popular in German-speaking countries and in the region of Alsace in France. It is a traditional beverage offered during the Christmas holidays. In Alsace Christmas markets, it is traditionally the only alcoholic beverage served. The oldest documented Glühwein tankard is attributed to Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen, a German nobleman who was the first grower of Riesling grapes. This gold-plated lockable silver tankard is dated to c. 1420.

Panettone & Stollen

In the early 20th century, two enterprising Milanese bakers began to produce panettone in large quantities in the rest of Italy. In 1919, Angelo Motta started producing his eponymous brand of cakes. It was also Motta who revolutionised the traditional panettone by giving it its tall domed shape by making the dough rise three times, for almost 20 hours, before cooking, giving it its now-familiar light texture. The recipe was adapted shortly after by another baker, Gioacchino Alemagna, around 1925, who also gave his name to a popular brand that still exists today. The stiff competition between the two that then ensued led to industrial production of the cake. Nestlé took over the brands together in the late 1990s, but Bauli, an Italian bakery company based in Verona, has acquired Motta and Alemagna from Nestlé.[

Panettone

By the end of World War II, panettone was cheap enough for anyone and soon became the country’s leading Christmas sweet. Lombard immigrants to ArgentinaUruguayMexicoVenezuela and Brazil also brought their love of panettone, and panettone is enjoyed for Christmas with hot cocoa or liquor during the holiday season, which became a mainstream tradition in those countries. In some places, it replaces the King cake.

As a Christmas bread stollen was baked for the first time at the Council of Trent in 1545,[8] and was made with flour, yeast, oil and water.

The Advent season was a time of fasting, and bakers were not allowed to use butter, only oil, and the cake was tasteless and hard.[ In the 15th century, in medieval Saxony (in central Germany, north of Bavaria and south of Brandenburg), the Prince Elector Ernst (1441–1486) and his brother Duke Albrecht (1443–1500) decided to remedy this by writing to the Pope in Rome. The Saxon bakers needed to use butter, as oil in Saxony was expensive, hard to come by, and had to be made from turnips.

Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455), in 1450 denied the first appeal. Five popes died before finally, Pope Innocent VIII, (1432–1492)[ in 1490 sent a letter to the Prince, known as the “Butter-Letter” which granted the use of butter (without having to pay a fine), but only for the Prince-Elector and his family and household.

Others were also permitted to use butter, but on the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden to support the building of the Freiberg Minster. The ban on butter was removed when Saxony became Protestant.

Over the centuries, the bread changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless “bread” to a sweeter bread with richer ingredients, such as marzipan, although traditional Stollen is not as sweet, light and airy as the copies made around the world.

I hope you enjoyed the article and If you are looking for a place to buy all the Christmas pastries, goodies, turkey and Goose in Dubai, I highly recommend Brothaus Bakery Bistro.
It’s a German Bistro located at Steigenberger Hotel Dubai that makes amazing freshly baked items!

Spanish Tapas, a Gastronomic Culture

ORIGIN

Though the primary meaning of tapa is cover or lid, it has in Spain also become a term for this style of food.
The origin of this new meaning is uncertain but there are several theories:

  • A commonly cited explanation is that an item, be it bread or a flat card, etc., would often be placed on top of a drink to protect it from fruit flies; at some point it became a habit to top this “cover” with a snack.
  • It is also commonly said that since one would be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, they would need to place their plates on top of their drinks to eat, making it a top.
  • Some believe the name originated sometime around the 16th century when tavern owners from Castile-La Mancha found out that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine, thus “covering” it, and started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine.
  • Among the Portuguese region of eastern Alentejo, it is claimed that shepherds used to cover jugs of fresh water or wine with bread slices to protect it from snakes while on the field. This bread was finally eaten with chorizo or morcela upon return from herding.
  • Others believe the tapas tradition began when king Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. After regaining his health, the king ordered that taverns would not be allowed to serve wine to customers unless it was accompanied by a small snack or “tapa”.[9]
  • Another popular explanation says that King Alfonso XIII stopped by a famous tavern in Cádiz (Andalusian city) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine “with the cover”.[10]
  • A final possibility surrounds Felipe III, who passed a law in an effort to curb rowdy drunken behavior, particularly among soldiers and sailors. The law stated that when one purchased a drink, the bartender was to place over the mouth of the mug or goblet a cover or lid containing some small quantity of food as part of the purchase of the beverage, the hope being that the food would slow the effects of the alcohol, and fill the stomach to prevent overimbibing.

TAPAS TODAY

Today having tapas is known as a version of eating out, this style becoming so typical that consumers have started to replace long and formal meals with informal and sociable tapas. In Spanish, to eat tapas even has its own verbs; picar means “to pick at” and is used to describe the way you would eat finger-foods, while tapear is a verb specifically meaning “to have tapas”. 

You will also find that tapas follow the gastronomic tastes and traditions of each region in Spain, but that types of olives, nuts, meats and cheeses are universal to all areas.

In addition to these typical tapas there is a world of possibilities in the form of different recipes that tapas bars across Spain have mastered, encompassing ingredients including meats, fish, vegetables, eggs and many other foods served in small forms.

Tapas are of great culinary importance in Spain. The truth is that this type of eating has become a form of national identification and of cultural importance for all.

Spanish cities are constantly competing to be known as one of the best places to have tapas and there are countless lists of best tapas bars by city available across the web.

I’m sharing couple of places in 3 big cities in Spain that I personally visited and enjoyed!

MADRID

My number one is Mareas Vivas.
This place is located near Callao (in the city center) it’s a little bar with old style decoration. I recommend you to go early or you won’t find place! It’s a great place to hang out with friend, which every drink they will give you a free big tapa!

There are 3 markets that have been rebuild and made as a tapa’s market, I recommend you all.

  1. Mercado de San Miguel, located next to Plaza Mayor, it’s the main one, it’s always busy but there is a nice selection of food & drinks (it’s expensive).
  2. Mercado de San Ildefonso, located in the city center too in the centric street of Fuencarral, it’s a smaller place with some food stations. There is some food with a fusion twist. You will find more locals there.
  3. Mercado de San Anton, in the heart of Chueca district, it’s as well a smaller market where you can buy organic products as well as tasting fresh and delicious tapas!

La Taverna de la Daniela, there are different locations all in the city center. Their canyas (small fresh beer) and tapas are amazing! You must try the croquetas.

Casa Alberto, in Huertas area. It’s one of the oldest places where famous writers and artists use to go.

There is a lot of places everywhere, the best is to start in one and walk to the next one and so on!
Sharing with you a link to Tripadvisor recommendations. 

SEVILLA

I recently visited the city and I could discover the following places:

Eslava,The place is not in the city center but is worth a visit! All the seafood and tapas were delicious! The place is small and it’s very difficult to get a spot!

Casa Ricardo, very famous for their croquetas, the decoration is cool like a old style bar.

Universal People Bar, Located in the center, it’s a new place but the food was absolutely amazing specially the Ox tail stew!

El Mercado de Triana, probably the best market in Sevilla where you can buy and try the best cold cuts, vegetables, fish & seafood. Inside the market there is a small shop where you can try the best world wide awarded Jamon Iberico. AMAZING!

All Sevilla was spectacular for tapas, just go our from your hotel and keep trying tapas in different places, tapa’s goes from 3 to 5 euros each but a good quantity.

BARCELONA

Visited in November 2018, and here my DO TO LIST:

Bar el Pla, a old traditional place located in the old area of the city. Everything was delicious! Make a booking as the place will be super full!

Xampanyet, next door to Bar El Pla is as well a classic with delicious tapas! 

Cerveceria Catalana, I discovered it walking in the street and it was AMAZING! Super good seafood and all type of tapas. They have the seasonal tapas and the speciality of the day. The place was full all the time, book in advance!

El Nacional, a new restaurant with different corners very well decorated with a chic and modern style. It’s a beautiful place to visit with friends.

Mercat del Ninot, it’s a very casual market where you will find beautiful organic and local produced products, you can as well have you breakfast, lunch or tapas there! All is delicious!

 

SPAIN it’s a culinary destination and the country with more Starred Michellin Chef’s in the world.

Tapa’s it’s only one part of the gastronomy but you will as well find amazing food destination such as: Basque Country (where pintxos are traditional too), La Rioja (known for their wineries), Asturias (known for the seafood & mountain food), Galicia (the best place for seafood and fish), All the south for the best fish, seafood and cold cuts. Valencia the mother land of the Paella.

It’s a rich country, a paradise for food lovers !

If you need any information don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

Street Art – Inspiring Happiness

THE ORIGIN OF STREET ART

Slogans of protest and political or social commentary graffitied onto public walls are the precursor to modern graffiti and street art, and continue as one aspect of the genre. Street art in the form of text or simple iconic graphics in the vein of corporate icons become well-known yet enigmatic symbols of an area or an era.

Some credit the Kilroy Was Here graffiti of the World War II era as one such early example; a simple line-drawing of a long-nosed man peering from behind a ledge.  “Kilroy” graffiti was described as “outrageous not for what it said, but where it turned up”.
Much of what can now be defined as modern street art has well-documented origins dating from New York City‘s graffiti boom, with its infancy in the 1960s, maturation in the 1970s, and peaking with the spray-painted full-car subway train murals of the 1980s centered in the Bronx.

As the 1980s progressed, a shift occurred from text-based works of early in the decade to visually conceptual street art such as Hambleton‘s shadow figures. This period coincides with Keith Haring‘s subway advertisement subversions and Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s SAMO tags.

What is now recognized as “street art” had yet to become a realistic career consideration, and offshoots such as stencil graffiti were in their infancy. Wheatpasted poster art used to promote bands and the clubs where they performed evolved into actual artwork or copy-art and became a common sight during the 1980s in cities worldwide.

Punk rock music’s subversive ideologies were also instrumental to street art’s evolution as an art form during the 1980s. Some of the anti-museum mentality can be attributed to the ideology of Marinetti who in 1909 wrote the “Manifesto of Futurism. Many street artists claim we do not live in a museum so art should be in public places with no tickets.

STREET ART IN DUBAI

Dubai’s started with street art around 2013 – 2016, but it was in 2017 when Dubai Government started a movement where varied and vast public spaces were provided to national and international artists.
There is fabulous locations that you can find from north to south in key spaces.

You can see more information here.

There is multiple fairs and initiatives happening in Dubai every year specially during winter months when the weather is good.

Dubai Canvas is one of the famous and expected 3D street art fair, that happens in different areas of the city every year.
People can enjoy real pieces of art made from the best artists in the world.

In recent years, Dubai has become a hotbed of fantastic street art, with wow-worthy walls from JBR to Satwa. And now Dubai Metro is next in line to get a splash of colour.
The Dubai Metro Murals Project will see two top international street artists transform some of the pillars of the Dubai Metro into masterpieces. The pillars that will be painted are on Sheikh Zayed Road, between Financial Centre and Emirates Towers stations.

According to Brand Dubai, which is behind the project, the themes of the murals have been chosen to “inspire creativity and spread happiness while also reflecting Dubai’s character, vision and future aspirations”.

Peruvian muralist Daniel Cortez, also known as Decertor, is one of the artists who has been chosen for the project. His colourful human portraits can be found on walls in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Morocco.

Dominican-born, Miami-based artist Elio Mercado, known as Evoca1, will also contribute to the project. You might have already seen his work at Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai Metro Murals Project is part of a beautification initiative that aims to transform Dubai into an “open-air museum”. Other beautification projects that will take place over the next three years will cover bridges, tunnels, walking tracks, bus stops and other public facilities and areas.

Brand Dubai said artists from the UAE, the Middle East and around the world would be invited to create public artworks in the city.
Credit to What’s On

I can’t wait to see the new creations!

I see Street Art as a way of expression, as a way to create feelings and memories.

What do you think about Street Art?

I leave here a great reportage of Barcelona Street Art!

Understanding the Emirati culture at SMCCU

We recently finished Eid Al Adha*, which is a big celebration for muslims.

*”Also called the “Festival of Sacrifice“, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Ibraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.”

Understanding the festivities of muslim people brings you to understand they culture.
I had the opportunity to visit and have an Emirati lunch at Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding SMCCU .

The beautiful place is located in one of my favourite areas, Al Fahidi neighbourhood in Bur Dubai. The whole area is a recreation of an old Emirati village by the Creek. But this little museum bring you to the heart of the old Emirati houses.

We started the journey inside the house in the majilis or gathering space where we were all seating in the floor, as they normally do when they gather with the family and friends.

Ms. Fathayah, a young and lovely Emirati woman walked us through the secrets of the Emirati culture starting with the coffee traditions.

It’s a lovely Arabic custom, sitting with friends and family in the evening, and over several tiny cups of steaming coffee poured from a dallah,  discussing the day’s events. It is a custom that has, for several centuries, enabled conversations within a community, with family and people from the neighbourhood. Traditionally, and even today, it’s a sign of enduring Arabic hospitality, to invite people to come sit and chat, possibly munch on dates, and have a cup or two – no one’s counting. That’s the beauty of sitting in the majlis and sipping gahwa. It’s kept Emiratis together.

Cardamom, cumin, cloves, saffron are also added to add another dimension to the already exquisite taste of fresh coffee. After preparing the coffee, it is served in small cups to the guests. The person serving the coffee to the guests or family members (muqahwi) must be a mature one, at least 15 years and above and not a child so he’s able to speak well with the guests and not risk spilling coffee onto the clothes of guests as he serves them. “The muqahwi should hold the dallah in his left hand and about three small cups with no handle on the right,” he said.

“He should serve the coffee starting from the person sitting on the right of the majlis and should not skip anyone. If there is a very important person in the majlis, like a Sheikh or a religious scholar, he should be served first. The muqahwi should then serve others starting with the person on his right.” After drinking, the guest gently shakes the small cup to show the muqahwi that he’s done. The muqahwi always remains standing until all guests have finished drinking the coffee. And it is prohibited to serve coffee while people are eating food. (More)

She explained us about the Emirati clothing.

Man wears Kandura, a long white cloak. The color of the garment originates from Bedouin culture, as it is perfect to reflect the sun’s rays. Browns and grays are also worn more in the winter months. It is common for Emirati men to own over 50 Kanduras and to change them throughout the day, in order to keep their look crease-free and fresh.

Men also wear the Guthra, a headscarf. The most common colors are white or white and red checks. The Guthra is also an item originating in Bedouin culture, as it protected men against the sand of the desert. The Guthra can be worn in different ways to indicate status and importance.

Women in the UAE traditionally wear the Abaya. This is a long flowing black gown and can be plain or decorated with impressive designs. It is worn as a sign of modesty. However, it’s common for women to wear completely Western outfits under their Abayas.

Women also wear a headscarf called the Shela, to cover their hair. This is normally black and made of very light material. Many women opt for designer scarves, such as Givenchy or Dior, which can even be matched to their handbags. For more traditional women, the Gishwa is an option. This black veil covers the entire face; it is thin enough to see out of, although nobody can see their faces. A third option is the Burqa, which only shows the eyes. Together these women’s garments are known as the Hijab, which essentially means head covering.

While taking with Fathayah we starting eating the traditional #food !
By the way she is very open, and you can ask her anything (curiosity) that you have

Emiratis, as most of the muslims eat seated in the floor and with the right hand.
We had some delicious food:

Chicken biryani: lavoured rice with lot of meat or egg or vegetables. The main ingredients of biryani are rice, spices, herbs, vegetables and non vegetarian products.

Veal Machboos: is a very popular dish cooked in a large pot. It consists of rice, onions and meat, seasoned with spices, salt and dried lemon. This dish is prepared by cooking meat, spices, dried lemon, and seasonings in boiling water until they are very tender. The meat is taken out and the rice is added to the rest of the ingredients and cooked together.

Vegetable OR chicken salona  it’s a slow cooked stew, mixed with a lot of vegetables and spices. In that case was vegetarian but chicken is as well very popular.

Lugaimat: (I think I was waiting the whole day only to eat Lugaimat!) Crunchy on the outside, soft and airy in the middle, luqaimat are often dipped in date syrup and served garnished with sesame seeds. An Arabic word that literally means ‘bite-sized’, it is a traditional dessert popular amongst ancient Bedouins for its ease of preparation; the luqaimat is a firm favourite at Iftar experiences during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

We spoke about history, about traditions, about the importance of their leaders and how the system works in United Arab Emirates.

Was a lovely morning that brought me near to the culture of the country that I call home for the last 4 years and of which I’m so grateful and happy to be!

We could as well try their traditional cloths, here I share with you a nice picture of me with Abaya and Shela!
I highly recommend you to visit the center and walk through the old Dubai.

World Art Dubai 2018

Bringing Affordable Art to The Middle East

The stage for the fourth edition of World Art Dubai has been set as the fair expands and grows, underlining the message that there is growing demand for affordable, contemporary art in the Middle East.

Spanning across 6,000 sqm of inspiring exhibition space, the fourth edition included new segments like photography and digital art, as well as dedicated spaces for galleries, solo artists and groups representing a display of art & culture from all over the world.

Part of Dubai’s Official Art Season, the fair took place from 18–21 April at Dubai World Trade Centre and showcases an impressive global collection of contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and mixedmedia ranging from $100 to $20,000.

I visited the fair on the last day and great that I did it because there was a lot of talented artists! I found amazing pieces that really inspired and transported me to other dimensions.

Here I’m sharing with you some of them:

Art as a multi sensory experience by Alex Raspberry and Silent Revolution Mia.

Alex Raspberry is painter from Miami but based in Dubai that plays with geometrical forms and abstract designs creating a very unique style.

He mixed his paints with the music of the Miami Music Curator DJ Mikel, owner of the Silent Revolution.

Was a space where you could experience Art through different senses.
The paintings were inspired by the music and viceversa creating 3 different walls.
I had to put a headphones and listen to the music designed for each piece while enjoying the paintings that were changing as there was a game of lights and colours.

The music made me disappear from where I was to get into the paints and enjoy the moment. It was an amazing experience, a great new way to enjoy art.


 Design by Mariska. Turning waste into something beautiful.

This great artist turns waste into Art, creating beautiful lamps and paints.
She Recently started a campaign to fight against the plastic so she was wearing for 30 consecutive days a jacket made by plastic waste.

I actually saw her in D3 couple of weeks before and I was so happy to see her again and understand what is she really doing.

Thanks for being part of the consciousness of recycling and being social responsible.


There was an impressive woman that was only painting woman faces, but all of them were very strong and powerful.Here I’m sharing my favourite piece that was as well nominated.


There was as well a lot of workshops, and Ripe Market has a spot outside the center where you could buy hand craft products and have a little bite in the food trucks.Overall the ambience was really nice, mixed culture of Artists from around the world and great live music.If you missed it… put it in your To Do List for 2019!To finish with this post I share some other beautiful pieces I saw in the exhibition.

Basic Spanish Traditions

I’m Spanish and I’ve been living in Dubai for the last 4 years, and only this last Christmas I went back home to celebrate this important time of the year for us with my family.

Time flies when you are living and working abroad.
We forget about our traditions and lifestyle of our home country.

I wanted to share some of our traditions that are quite similar to the Arabic:

  1. We normally have a family gathering on Sundays where we cook and spend time together. It’s tradition to eat Paella on that day, but it depends on the region you are from.  For us, it’s very important to share food with our loved ones as it’s an important part of our culture.

    For the most religious families it is a must to go to Sunday’s prayers before lunch time.

  2. We like to dine together, normally the mother decides on the meal times in the house and we all have to be punctual.

    That means we spend a lot of time in the kitchen with our mum, learning how to cook and having fun and wonderful moments!

  3. A normal family, even a wealthy one will teach the kids to clear and clean all the plates and kitchen utensils as we believe every person should be able to be independent and know the basics of cooking, doing the laundry…etc.

    If you fall in love with a Spanish man, you might be lucky! He’ll probably know how to cook and clean!

  4. We have a strong relationship with our grandparents, we call and visit them as much as we can and we celebrate together birthdays, Christmas, Easter and any special celebrations.

    The Spanish have always something to celebrate!

  5. Our weekend starts on Thursday’s! We like to have a drink with our friends on that day, specially in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona where Thursday’s are the University nights! People goes out to have some beer and tapas.
  6. Our eating times are later than in the rest of Europe, we eat around 2 or 3pm and we have dinner around 9 or 10pm, we love having a “merienda” around 5pm, which is a small snack.

    I remember eating amazing fresh bread toast with Nutella… and as well going to the bakery and buy fresh pastries!

  7. In our tradition we normally do “siesta” which means “nap time”, this is because originally all shops used to open in split shift closing between 1pm till 5pm, so all families could have lunch together and have a little rest.

    This tradition however is not happening like before, specially in the big cities where shops are open 24 hours now!

    I never liked “siesta” but most of my family and friends does!

  8. We always say hello to each other giving two kiss (one in each cheek).
    This tradition can be a bit weird if you are come from another country.

    Only in a professional level we will keep the distance until the older person will decide to have a closer contact.

  9. Birthday’s are a very important celebration of the year, and we celebrate it for few days, first with our families and then with our friends!

    I personally love my birthday, and I like to celebrate it with all the people that I love. My father always calls me more than 5 times to wish me Happy Birthday! Of course I give all the leadership to my Mum as she was the one that made it happen!

  10. In general we don’t have sense of being strictly punctual.
    In Spain it’s accepted that people arrives a bit later to social parties or appointments.

    I personally don’t do that as I like to be on time, but if you go to Spain keep it in mind!

This are only the basic traditions tips, but we have much more traditions in each celebration, I’ll talk about it later.

I hope you like my post and that will be helpful for you to understand better Spanish culture!

Sikka Art Fair 2018

This beautiful fair, takes place every year in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in the heart of Bur Dubai, Old city side by the Creek.

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‪,‬Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the contemporary, artist-led fair provides a platform for emerging UAE-based and GCC talents‪, in‬ a vibrant 10‪-‬day programme featuring exciting exhibitions, art installations, workshops, film, and music‪.‬

SIKKA complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that takes place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which runs throughout March and April 2018 and feature events such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai, DIFC Art Nights and the Middle East Film & Comic Con, among hundreds of other initiatives.

I visited Sikka twice, as it’s big and requires attention if you really want to enjoy an understand the artists.

I will mention 2 of my favourite spots but I truly enjoyed the whole fair.

  1. Tamashee Saudi House.

    Tamashee, is a high-end Arabian Gulf footwear brand based in Dubai. The brand began as a set of social goals which are now the core values for all of its work.

     

    They setup a beautiful house representing a journey of different forms of contemporary art in Saudi Arabia.
    From beautiful paints to photography and live art, the whole exhibition was in harmony with their brand and colours as their products have been inspired by research of cultural designs and patterns. Tamashee carefully studies the history, form, and function of each cultural design and revives certain key elements of the past through its products.

     


  2. Mawaheb Art Studio

    Mawaheb from Beautiful People is a Dubai-based art studio for adults with special needs, now known as ‘the determined ones’ following a directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubais).

    The students from 16 years and above bring out the best of their creativity and create beautiful pieces of art full of meaning and imagination!

    They prepared an amazing exhibition for Sikka called: Life is Beautiful !
    All the paints and sculptures had strong messages of #strength, #happiness, #freedom, #art and #culture.
    You could find small little sculpture persons all around the neigbourhood inviting you to discover them in their house!

    I’m sharing with you some of their paints, but if you really want to visit them you can do it on Weekdays from 9am to 2pm and have a great coffee from the hand of the students! Follow them in Instagram ! @mawahebdubai  

As you can see, life is beautiful and more when is full of

COLORS, ART AND FUN !