Teach yourself Babylonian, and teach the Ashes to the Ashes

A couple of weeks ago, a listener to the podcast asked whether I’d ever featured the Isleños,  the Canary Island Spanish of Louisiana. The answer then was no —  but now it is yes.  It comes from the Big Show and reporter Bruce Wallace.

The piece explores the Isleños — fishermen descendents of  Canary Island immigrants — and their “lost songs”: songs dating back decades, and perhaps longer in some cases, sung in the décima form of 16th century Spain. Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill have played havoc with the Isleños’ lives:  many were evacuated in the wake of Katrina, and then their fishing waters were polluted by the spill.

There are more songs here, as well as a story told by an Isleño about exterminating bugs.

Next in the pod, an interview with Mr Ancient Babylonian, Martin Worthington. Worthington, of Cambridge University, has assembled an audio archive of Babylonian poems. He’s also written a Teach Yourself book on Babylonian.  Splendidly useless, Babylonian. Won’t get anyone into business school.

We also have a conversation with a Squamish Nation chief on the original name for Stanley Park in Vancouver. The Squamish are campaigning for the park to be re-named Xwayxway. Not going to happen any time soon.

Finally, the Ashes: a story of cricket, Twitter, and babysitting. This is how a 22-year nanny from Massachusetts nicknamed The Ashes came to attract a Twitter following of thousands of cricket fans — cricket’s fiercest rivalry, Australia vs. England is known as The Ashes. The woman, Ashley Kerekes, ended up being flown to Australia on an all-expenses-paid vacation. She went to matches, learned the rules of cricket and met the stars (and the Aussie prime minister).  You can read the highlights of her Twitter feed here.

Listen in iTunes or here.

Photos:  Los Isleños Festival, St Bernard Parish, Louisiana (Alysha Jordan/Flickr); Peter Graham (Stanley Park/Wikipedia).


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Teach yourself Babylonian, and teach the Ashes to the Ashes

  1. Michelle Nezam

    Hello! My name is Michelle Nezam I’m a student in Northern Virginia Community College this respond is for m intercultural communications class that it very delightful and you learn a lot from the class. It opens up a new way of thinking to people from different cultures. Teaching yourself Ancient Babylonian podcast had caught my attention because it was “teaching yourself” a language that has not been spoken in 2,000 years, Babylonian. Professor Worthington seemed to make it look like learning Babylonian was just as simple has picking up another language like German or Spanish. He made the language seem simple and interesting. Making a book and a website that can be located easily to learn an ancient language that has been dead for now 2,000 years. I love learning different languages and do speak 3 languages fluently, so learning a language myself seems very interesting and insightful. They should keep this part of human history more ALIVE!
    I’ve been to Canada a lot because I have a lot of family, but I have not been Vancouver. Thought I have heard a lot about the city and would love it visit! Standly Park seems like it has a lot of history behind it. They should make the park into a historic site about the Squamish and re-name the park or at least have a plague regarding they history behind it. The Squamish should be more recognized, they might even get more visitors.
    “The Ashes” twitter named seemed so eye catching due to the fact that in my culture my parents and the men in my family keep up with criket games. So this particular podcast was relevant to me! It’s interesting to see that in other countries they are having twitter fans, Even though they seemed not to get the right twitter account because it was someone who knew nothing about the game. Yet still very funny!

  2. Pingback: Book Review and Giveaway: Ashes to Water by Irene Ziegler - Man of la Book

  3. Jonathan

    It is devastating what the people in the Isleños area have faced over the years. First with Hurricane Katrina, one of the biggest hurricanes to ever hit the gulf, and also just recently the BP oil spill which affected so many who live not only in louisiana but the whole gulf region. Many who lived in the Isleños area were displaced from their homes, which is a terrible feeling im sure.
    The oil spill was also another disaster that ravaged the gulf area, causing a lot of problems ruining the tourist attractions along the coast and impacting the fishing industry which many people making a living out of down there. i believe the people when they sing their “lost songs” is a way of keeping their spirits up in a time of crisis.
    That was a very interesting pod cast, i feel like i can almost compare the babylonian language to the latin language. Both are considered dead languages but yet there is still a handful who study and teach both languages.
    The ashes twitter is very amusing. I myself am a vivid twitter users so i can relate, also recently the cricket world cup was just going on a few weeks ago so it is quite ironic that i stumbled upon this blog post. Ashley got unbelievably lucky with her whole situation. I never watched cricket before but during the world cup i did tune in and it was a very fun and exciting game to watch, im sure Ashley had the time of her life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s