DRC diplomat vs. Spanish princess – awkward moment of the week

This video, shown on TV last night, has been providing plenty of entertainment to Spanish social network users.

The incident ocurred during the annual reception by the King and the royal family of foreign diplomats in Spain. As it can be seen at 0:29, the Spanish princess Letizia and a DRC diplomat are about to shake hands when the diplomat moves his hand away and turns around leaving the princess visibly surprised.
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8th Iberian Congress of African Studies – call for papers

For those of us working academically on Africa in this part of the world, this year has an unmissable date with the celegration of the 8th Iberian Conference of African Studies, “Under the Palaver Tree”, in Madrid on June 14-16, 2012.
The call for papers is now open until January 31, 2012. Authors are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 400 words to any of the 49 panels – one of which is co-organised by yours truly. Abstracts for accepted papers will be available on the website on March 15. Full papers should be submitted before May 15.


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Three wise men day! – White Christmas (in Cortylandia)

Christmas is over in much of the world, but not quite in Spain, where today is a special day (as it is in many Orthodox and Coptic Christian communities), for it is the day when childred get their presents from the three wise men…
On a day like today then, I just wanted to share a detail that may not be very important but it is revealing of how some people view the world…
It is about Cortylandia (a traditional children-oriented decoration) that El Corte Inglés (a very popular department store which is something like a not-so-fancy-cousin of Harrod’s or Macy’s) sets up every Christmas season. This year, the theme was “The world of toys”, and the decoration sought to reflect the most important monuments in the world, and people from these countries wishing a Merry Christmas.
The interesting bit is the choice of monuments – five out of seven are European – as well as the demographic balance – among the fourteen people there is not a single black person, only two asians, one American indian, and the rest, as caucasian as they come.
“Eurocentric” you say?
cortylandia
Photo: Flickr