Cultural Events 28/11/2012


When? December, 1 | 21h30
Where? Teatro Loucomotiva
How much? 5€
This play by Brazilian theatre company CIA TEATRAL PROCÊNIO is about the life in Sertao, a region in the north-east of Brazil and its traditions, art and popular culture.

Com o Maestro Virgílio Caseiro
When? December, 1 | 17h
Where? Pavilhão Centro de Portugal

When? December, 1 to January, 6 2013
Where? various public places, streets and squares
Who? TC – Turismo de Coimbra, E.M.



When? December | 21h30
Where? Mosteiro Santa Clara-a-Velha
How much? 1€
What? Movie selection shown in the monestary's auditorium,
in cooperation with "Fila K - Cineclube de Coimbra"

December, 4 | A Minha Bela Lavandaria (1985) Stephen Frears

December, 11 | Lisboetas (2004) Sergio Trefaut
December, 18 | O Segredo de um Cuscuz (2007) Abdellatif Kechiche
December, 25 | Do Outro Lado (2007) Fatih Akin

Where to look for cultural events all over Coimbra?

Our advice: "like" this list and stay tuned on Babel!
Facebook list "Events Coimbra"

New travelling routes

Coimbra is a great place to spend your Erasmus life...especially if you are considering to travel, thanks to its position, well linked to many different destinations!
If you have already been visiting Porto, Lisboa, Braga and the other major sites in Portugal and are willing of adventure, you need just to buy a ticket, ride for 40 km by bus from Coimbra and start the adventure in Talasnal.

This tiny cute village is placed up on a mountain that stands on the territory of Lousã. Known as one of the aldeias do xisto in that area, from the name of a kind of stone used to build its houses, has become a nice attractiveness for the ones who love to spend weekends into the wild, relax and...walks! Indeed, it hosts the “club de montanha e caravanismo de Coimbra” and offers paths in the middle of the wood that link Talasnal to the other rural villages, like Vaqueirinho e Cataredor. After walking 4 km among the trees on a path all covered by leaves with the colours of the Autumn, you’ll be surrounded by the hippie’s atmosphere of the Fim do Mundo, a little, very simple bar in the middle of nowhere, but really cozy, thanks to the hospitality of Pedro (its ooold hippie owner) and his great reserve of beers! ;)

After the break and full of new energies, you can complete your walk to Cataredor (other 3 km more or less), where of course you’ll need another stop! Ask to the few people who still live into the homes made of xisto for Fantasia, the hippie disco-pub of the village...if it’s on weekend, it will be easy to find a concert or a party going on in the night!



Current affairs 21/11/2012

Colombia's left-wing FARC rebels have declared a unilateral two-month ceasefire as they start peace talks with government negotiators.
The announcement was made by the FARC delegates in Cuba's capital Havana, the venue of the landmark talks.The first face-to-face meeting is aimed at ending five decades of conflict in which some 600,000 people have died. The top government negotiator earlier said the army would continue fighting the FARC until it signed a peace contract.

Rwanda-backed DRC rebels in the streets of Goma
Rebels in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo claimed they had captured the key, mineral rich eastern city of Goma, as witnesses described seeing columns of troops advancing unopposed through the streets of Goma. Scores of heavily armed rebels were walking through the city unchallenged as United Nations peacekeepers watched and small groups of residents greeted them. The claims and counter-claims came as both mortal fire and small arms clashes erupted around Goma on Sunday, and fighting continued between M23 rebels and the Congolese government army. Rwanda's invasion of Congo in 1996 sparked a decade of conflict that killed about five million people, mostly from hunger and disease.

Spain plans to offer foreigners residency permits if they buy houses worth more than 160,000€, in a desperate attempt to reduce the nation's glut of unsold property. The plan, aimed principally at the Chinese and Russian market, was announced on Sunday by the secretary of state for trade, who insisted it was necessary to reduce Spain's housing stock in a stagnant market. Although the details are yet to be agreed, the measure is expected to imitate agreements established in Portugal and Ireland earlier this year where residency papers are issued in return for property investments of 400,000€ and 500,000€ respectively. Hungary last month offered permanent residence to non-EU nationals if they bought at least 250,000€ worth of a special issue bond.

In a bus bombing last week, over 29 people were killed and injured in Tel Aviv. This lead to armed conflicts in the Israel/Gaza region. Althugh a ceasefire has been reached, the country is still on alert and real stability won't be reached so soon. 

Cultural Agenda 21/11/2012

When: 25, 26 november at 22:30 p.m
Where: Salão Brasil
 Price: About 5€
Website info: http://www.coimbra-b.tarrafo.pt
Roda de Choro de Lisboa is a Portuguese-French-Brazilian quintet characterized by interpreting themes "Chorinho. Choro is a kind of music born in 19th century in Rio de Janeiro. In spite of the name, the style often has a fast and happy rhythm, characterized by virtuosity, improvisation, subtle modulations . Choro is considered the first urban popular music typical of Brazil. Brazilian in a creative and unique way.

When: 22 and 26 november at 21:30h p.m
Where: Teatro Academico Gil Vicente 
 Price: normal price 4€ and for students 3€
Website info: tagv.pt
Operação outono is a political thriller about the operation that led to the murder of Humberto Delgado by PIDE in February 1965. The film is inspired by a true story. The action runs from Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, France and Italy, in the period between 1964 and the 1980s.

Stand up comedy
CICLO E AS FORMAS DO RISO- Salvador Martinha
When: 27 november at 21:30h p.m
Where: Teatro Academico Gil Vicente (see above image)
Price: normal price 8€ and for students 7€
Website info: tagv.pt
This week Coimbra will host an important event: the “Semana da ciência e tecnologia” (Sciences and technology week). It takes place in different areas of the University of Coimbra. Activities will start from 19 November to 1 December. You can get more infos and find the full events' program on their website cienciaviva.pt.

International Cinema

As Erasmus students we have a great interest in discovering European cultural values, so we decided to do a feature on cinema apart from Hollywood. Some team members gave their recommendations on lesser known movies that are highly acclaimed in their countries and definitely worth watching.
You can find their reviews and the respective trailers by clicking on the links below:

Argentinian movies

Belgian Movies

Brazilian Movies

German Movies

Do you agree with our writers? Are any movies missing that are far more important? Which movies are the most important in your home country? 
Share your thoughts on cinema with us!


Caminhos do Cinema Português

This sunday ended the Portuguese Film Festival „Caminhos do Cinema Português“ which turns our beautiful host city into the capital of Portuguese cinema, every year around this time.
The CCP is not only a great opportunity for young and upcoming Portuguese cineasts to reach a larger audience, it's also the only festival that has its focus on Portuguese cinema, compared to Lisboa&Estoril festival, eg, where fewer Portuguese and more international movies are displayed. With only one exception at CCP, the section „Cinema mundial“ where a guest country is chosen and movies that are linked to the evolution of Portuguese cinema are shown. This year, the guest country was Ireland.

But the CCP has a lot more sections, well, first of all, there's the „Seccao competitiva“, where all competing movies are shown, from short short films to long „normal“ movies. They can be documentaries or fictional stories or even trying to mix genres as „A ultima vez que vi Macau“ was this year. The prizes are distributed by a jury made up from cultural experts that have gained their expertise in various fields, there are anthropologists, directos, actors,... and many more professions and there are also special prizes like the audience's favourite movie, where you could cast a vote after each movie you'd seen.
Then there's the „Ensaios visuais“ section where students from schools and universities in Portugal have the possibility to subscribe their movies and get chosen, which helps developing a really active scene for young cinema here.
Just another fact, nearly every famous or less famous Portuguese director has been present with at least one movie at CCP which ran its 19th edition this year. Quite impressive, huh?
And there's also a special programm for kids, with adequate films and animations that lead them towards the 6th art using baby steps and thereby gradually creates a conscient audience that understands cinema as communication and a starting point for social and cultural discussions.

Social and cultural discussions have been a huge topic this edition, not only because the festival had been on quite a financial shortage caused by the crisis but also, the enlightening „Master's sessions“ that featured directors and other experts on different topics in public debates. They had various topics from the links between cinema and literature up to erotics in portuguese cinema. And of course, the linked movies where shown to give an insight and a possibilities for spectators to get their own ideas and maybe discuss them on their own or by asking questions to the present professionals.

And, what topped this program was actually the art exhibitions, maybe you've seen the cinema posters at the academic museum, or the „rolleux du cinema“ at TAGV where miniature scenes linked to Coimbra and/or cinema where cut out of paper and glued into empty rolls of toilet paper. Definitely a creative and cute way to combine art and cinema.

Some of you might even have wondered why I said that the cinema finished on sunday, as the program said 17th. This was also due to the huge uproar Portugal's currently in, because exactly one week ago, on the greve geral, TAGV stayed closed in solidarity to all the other demonstrating workers. Positively speaking we had the luck to enjoy CCP one day longer than previsted!

Check out their Facebook page or the official homepage to discover the winners and more information:




A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things, but that belief may or may not accurately reflect reality.
(Definition by Wikipedia)

We all know some stereotypes, don't we? And wouldn't it be interesting to finally find out whether it's true or not that all Spanish people eat Paella and drink Sangria or that Polish steal cars?

We at Babel thought definitely, and so we made a great potpourri of stereotypes that came to our mind and investigated about the truth contained by asking our experts from these respective countries.

Check it out:

  • All Argentinian boys play football and do it very well.“ And dream of being Maradona or Messi? Our spy tells us: NO! Argentinian boys have interests as diverse as boys in any other country. Maybe even ballett?

  • Every Argentinian dances well.“ Sadly, that's also a myth. But: Tango is part of Argentinian folklore. Maybe not everybody can do it, but everybody knows it.

  • Argentinian meat is probably the best in the world and it's the most important part of nutrition there.“ The reliable source confirms that, and did you know, that the average Argentinian eats 55kg of beef per year? That'd equal a slender girl!

  • Argentina was the Nazi’s shelter after the end of Word War II.“ Now we get some serious stuff going on: truth somehow, still our Brazilian insider adds that most of South America has a history with exiled Nazis. To sum it up, Argentinians are not more Nazi than most of the other countries but they do have some skeletons in their closet.

  • They have the best chocolate and beer in the whole world.“ Depends on your taste, but after trying what our spy recommended? No doubt about it! And truffles, and... check for yourself.

  • They eat mayonnaise with everything.“ Not everything. But with...

  • You can buy chips aka French fries on every single corner of every single street.“ ...exactly that stuff. And it's true as chips were actually invented in Belgium, so don't be fooled by the name „French fries“ next time! (Maybe, to battle stereotypes, order some „Belgian fries“ and coin a new expression.)

  • Chinese eat dogs, and all kinds of things. Or at least they use any kind of meat to cook in their restaurant.“ Well. In some cities they do. But actually that is not a typically Chinese thing. Let's quote our expert: „Myth and fact. But more myth than fact!“

  • Chinese can only have one baby.“ Naturally they can have more, and a lot of them do. But they are heavily fined. Talking about free family planning...

  • Kids study a lot and are very stressed. Their parents are very strict and have high expectations.“ Get scared European students, that is actually TRUE!

  • Communism makes the people too conservative and narrow-minded.“ Here we might intervene: concerning our spy we can only object! And she confirms it with a smirk.

  • Chinese people copy everything. They fake brand products.“ To Nike's, adidas's, Gucci's, LV's and all the others's anger that is a fact... But you haven't noticed that yet, have you...?

  • Whenever they speak, whatever they say, they use their hands.“ Good observers can't deny this but our expert is clarifying that there are some exceptions when you don't do any gesturing.

  • Italians eat pizza and pasta every day.“ I feel like wanting to move to Italy forever if that's true, maybe. Sadly it's only partially right, they do eat a lot of pasta and pizza and probably the best in the whole wide world, on the other hand side many Italians don't even like pasta. Expert, you crushed my day-dreaming! 
  • Italians are very emotional: they cry, hug and kiss more than any other European nation.“ Our spy clashed that, too. According to her, Italians are more passionate, not more emotional. Don't you remember Romeo&Juliet?

  • Italians speak loud amongst their own people.“ That sounds (!) true. But our expert adds that Spanish are even louder, if you check a decibel-o-meter.

  • Madonna used to say 'Italians do it better'.“ What? Pizza? Pasta? Ice cream? Fashion? Keeping their friends close but their enemies closer? Whatever Madonna wanted to allude to, the Italian spy says with a hardly hidden grin, it surely depends.

  • Germans are very cold and they don’t express their feelings.“ Considering the Youtube videos making fun of Germans saying „I love you“ in German, they'd better be, but it's not true. Germans just don't rub everything in your face says our „Fräulein“ and adds that the relation inbetween rational and emotional parts of a German mind usually is quite balanced.

  • Germans are very punctual and always strict to the rules.“ Considering trains that's definitely a lie. They're always delayed. And rules are not that strictly and literally applied, usually in context. Although, as our expert confirms, concerning times and rules, Germany is probably the most reliable country in Europe.

  • Germans are all Nazis.“ This level is far to low. I guess we don't need to comment on this. Just for the morons among us (but no Babel listener would be one, right?): NO!

  • Germans drink beer all the time.“ Maybe, baby... our expert says she's not doing so, and from how we know her, that appears to be true. But Germany might have the best beers in the world and it definitely has an enormous range of different types of beer.

  • Polish steal cars from Western Europe.“ Do you know the joke with the little midget...? Nevermind, it's not true. Actually our spy tells us, Poland is only a transit country, the cars are transported to the farther East.

  • The Polish drink a lot of Vodka.“ Call it maybe. Some like it vodka, some don't, as everywhere. But when you're meeting friends (secret advice from our expert), you should drink together and you shouldn't be the one to stop first.

  • In Poland people speak Russian.“ Ever heard of the Polish language? Yep, it exists and although it's closely related to Russian, it's not the same!

  • It's very cold in Poland and they have polar bears.“ Our spy laughs and enlightens us about the climate in Poland: it's usually cold in winter, but during summer they have very comfortable 20 to 25°C. So no polar bears, sadly...

  • Portuguese are always complaining about their luck and remembering better times when Portugal was one of the world powerful countries.“ Ah, saudade... Our local spy admits that this stereotype is entirely true. According to her Portuguese are always complaining and evoking „the good old days“. This results from Portuguese national identity being based on their achievements during the discoveries, a courageous people from a small country with ties all over the world. And also Fado with its moaning about the mentioned saudade and the terrible, terrible sadness of life. Or, as she resumes the positive point of view, Portuguese are a romantic, dark people facing tragedies and hardship with a religious sense of patriotism and sacrifice...

  • Portuguese are always late.“ Ever waited for a Portuguese person to arrive? Well. You can notice from your experience that this is also true as true can be. But why is that so? As our informer suspects that's because Portuguese are very tolerant and can easily put them in other people's shoes: lots can happen on the way to the meeting point, so they might as expect some delays... It might sound negative, but aren't Portuguese just about to be the most relaxed people in the world?
  • Portuguese don't like Spain and are very nervous when you mix portuguese language with Spanish.“ Portugnhol at its best can be an easy way to communicate, but why are some people quite unhappy about that? Maybe we have to clarify first, Portuguese don't hate Spain. But. Gaining their independence from Spain was rather hard and they simply don't like to be confused as the same country or for speaking the same language, our historically well-informed expert enlightens us. That Portuguese and Spanish aren't the same is something we already noticed, for sure!

  • Every Spanish knows how to dance Flamenco.“ It's quite common, our expert confirms, but usually more in the South. Olé!

  • Spanish are lazy and have a nap (siesta) every day.“ Now we're pulling the numbers out: Spain has the longest working hours and days in the European Union! Doesn't sound like siesta-ing that much...

  • Spain is the country of sangria and paella.“ It is known (and who wouldn't know our friend Don Simón?) but regarding sangria, it's more common with tourists. Paella is from the south, quite common, too, but also mainly among tourists. Luckily we have so clever spies all over the world!

Who would've thought that? Ok, some are obvious, but others? Crazy!

What are the strangest stereotypes you've ever heard and what do you think of these ones? We're curious about your opinion!


Compact news 14/11/2012

Our first feature about what's going on in the world. Of course, we can't report as often as any other information show would but we're giving you an insight in our view of the world's current affairs.

Last Friday (09/11) here in Coimbra the Reitor of UC, João Gabriel Silva, called all workers and students for a meeting in Teatro Gil Vicente. He explained that in 2013 the government plans to provide Portuguese universities 37% less than in 2011, in line with the austerity measures and cuts that are being negotiated with the European Comission, the European Central Bank and the IMF: these 3 institutions are the famous “troika” we hear about on the news all the time. In the meeting, the Reitor read a declaration by the Conference of Reitores of Portuguese universities. In fact, all universities in Portugal organized a meeting like this one at the same time, showing that they are together in the fight against these huge cuts.
This Friday the Conference of Reitores will meet in Sala dos Capelos, here in the UC. Once again to say “Chega” (“enough”).

Today, Wednesday 14th, the entire Country is on a general strike. All main public services stopped, from trains, to buses, airports, and the university itself! This was a claim for basic social rights that Portuguese people deserve and are being progressively reformed. Other European countries, like Spain, Greece and Italy are also on strike, making it an transnational protest. 
And this wave of demonstrations against austerity measures and the financial crisis didn’t start today, as we all know. For example, when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Lisbon last Monday, there were thousands of protesters on the streets showing their discontent with the situation. A similar scenario was also seen when the Italian Minister of Labor and Social Policies, Elsa Fornero met with the German Minister of Labour...

The giant of world news, the BBC (as you know, it’s a British public corporation) has been through some seriously difficult moments… Last Saturday (10/11) its General-Director, George Entwistle, resigned himself after the Corporation made several mistakes with pedophilia cases in the news. One of their late main presenters had been accused of severe cases of pedophilia and instead of reporting about this in a documentary, they falsely accused another (innocent) person in another feature.
Now the British people are asking themselves: do we really need a public corporation that does this kind of bad service for the news since it costs to the citizens 230M pounds per year?


All about new beginnings

So here we are with a totally different new look, totally different team, everything totally different.
But still the same Babel!

We want to provide you on this blog with everything further from the show and our Facebook page: background information for research we've done, the recipes our amazing cooks prepare for Caçarola, a complete list of the featured cultural events and useful information from and for Erasmus students in Coimbra and much more.
Of course, we'll also feature music or not broadcast themes linked to you and your time abroad.

If you might be looking for some of the old content, we linked the old shows from Podomatic on our Show Archive, and you can indulge in some saudades listening to them.

 Let's get it started!

PS: Due to technical problems, the blog's new outfit was delayed in comparison to the show, but now we're all in.

Sports in Coimbra

It's been some time, but maybe you remember our GPS about doing sports in Coimbra?
If you haven't got up yet, now's the time to find your club, team, gymn or pool!

The Academica offers many possibilities to participate in different sports, you find information on their website (www.academica.pt) or you can contact Aylton Rita via desportouniversitario@academica.pt or +919000340

The other student organisation for sports is at IPC's Social Services, for detailed information check out their website on
http://portal.ipc.pt/portal/portal/SAS/servicos_sas/desporto_sas and you can contact them via +351 239 802350 or sas.politec.cbr@mail.ipc.pt

A full list of all private or public associations and public sports centres concerning and special offers can be found on the site of the Camera Municipal de Coimbra
http://www.cm-coimbra.pt/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=151&Itemid=346 and they're also present on Facebook under www.facebook.com/desportocoimbra

For private gymns, you can google, we heard the cheapest (or most "economic" ones) are Nelson Gym, Ginasio do HUC, and Faculdades do Corpo, which are all around 30€/month, some more, some less but most gymns have a student discount, so just ask for that.


Have you ever tried any Polish dish? 

Now you have a chance to try excellent Polish cuisine in your own residence!
As we promised during the last show, we are glad to present you the recipe for RACUCHY- kind of pancakes with apples. Really easy and quick dish and you will have no trouble finding ingredients in Portugal! Perfect for International Dinners with your Erasmus friends…


• 2 cups of flour
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 2 glasses of milk
• (1 teaspoon of salt, if you want)
• Oil
• Powdered sugar
• 1 kilo of apples (the best in this case will be 'Renete')

Separate yellow yolks and white parts of eggs. Mix yolks and sugar, adding carefully milk and flour, alternately. Stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the white parts of eggs and then add to the batter. In the end, add thinly sliced (or diced, if you prefer), peeled apples. Fry “racuchy” on a hot, well greased pan. They should be browned lightly both sides. Put on a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.