Saturday, May 09, 2015


What does Tartan signify? Originally, it was a cloth made by interweaving black, brown and white stripes of wool both horizontally and vertically. It comes from the Highlands, a region in Scotland. later, people developed more motifs involving many colours obtained from leaves, berries, tree bark and lichens. The methods were passed on from generation to generation.

 Tartan has an ancient history. The earliest Scottish tartan was found in the third or fourth century AD, but tartan was also found in other parts of the world, dating back to ca. 3000 BC. The sophisticated Egyptians, the Chinese in Asian sites (Quizilchoqa, not far from the town of Hami), the ancestors of the Celts in the Alps (above Zalzburg), the Gaelic-speaking Scots created tartan designs everywhere where there was a possibility to make handwoven clothes. But only in Scotland was tartan established as a part of its national identification. 

It spread among communities of the Scottish diaspora all around the world. Americans, for example, celebrate Tartan Day to remember the historical ties between Scotland and the Scottish descendants established in North America and in several other Commonwealth countries. The weaving of tartan was very laborious at first and consisted of six main stages.

After many centuries, tartan still remains a symbol of national pride, of the independence of the Scots and of the country's national costume. The tartan that is mostly used today is a modern version of the ancient cloth which is more attractive and eye-catching.
Gradually, this process was replaced by the spinning wheel, and finally by modern machines. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the firms of William Wilsons and Sons of Bannockburn and J. & D. Paton provided the Highlands army with tartan and also exported tartan all over the world. Tartan achieved the highest popularity in the Scottish Highlands and became a symbolic part of the Highland dress as of the 17th and 18th centuries. Kilt, Plaid and Tartan were essential elements of the Scottish national costume. 250 different plaids were collected from all over Scotland and described in Wilson’s “Key Pattern book” in 1819. Each tartan design (out of around 100) had its own, specific name.

Initially, tartan patterns did not have any names or symbolic meaning, though certain motifs already belonged to certain regions. The idea of giving names to tartan motifs was born in the early 19th century to protect Highland culture and to be able to distinguish one tartan pattern from another. 
According to one of the versions, many new tartan names were created on the occasion of King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scot suggested that the clan chiefs come greet the king dressed up in their “proper clan tartan“.
There is a continued affection for tartan in many various domains and beyond Scotland. Tartan is, for example, continuing to develop through the fashion industry. For instance, Burberry, a British brand, uses that pattern a lot. With this design, they have made some scarfs, shirts, shoes, etc. 

This shows the impact that tartan has had, from Scotland to England, to other British countries and finally to the entire world. Such an impact can also be seen in museums, because the guides talk about clothes which were made with this pattern designs. It is a good way to develop our knowledge about this topic. Tartan remains one of the most iconic symbols of the Scotland and reflects the development of Scottish Highlands dress as well as the core values and features of the Scottish.

 Derya Koku, Patricia Legrand, Liudmyla Shapovalova


Friday, May 08, 2015

The Kiwi Bach


The Kiwi bach is a type of beach house in New Zealand. “Bach” is pronounced /bætʃ/ and comes from the phrase “bachelor pad”, although in the south of New Zealand it is rather called a “crib”. “Bach” originally means “small” in Welsh. This type of house belongs to New Zealand’s history and culture, but mostly became increasingly popular in the 20th century, when baches started to become more accessible to the middle class, who appreciated spending their holidays next to the beach. A bach is also a good and self-contained accommodation to enjoy holidays with two nice advantages, the cost and the location: you can discover new places and be adventurous. Different activities are proposed: during the winter, one can go skiing and snowboarding, while during the summer, one can go swimming, fishing and biking or have a barbecue.

The success of kiwi baches:
Unfortunately, in 2000, the Kiwi bach seemed to be approaching its end, because the Resource Management Act and the Coastal Policy Statement wanted to protect the beach areas and prevent new baches from being built, arguing that such baches could harm the environment. But because of the increasing success they had, baches subsisted. They were promoted in magazines and books which attracted some other New Zealanders wishing to buy those holiday homes. In fact, a lot of well-known New Zealanders celebrities are owners of baches, such as Lorde, Richie McCaw, Rhys Darby and many more. These baches take over the luxury villa. Their value is indecent -between 350 000€ and 5 millions €- due to their size -between 300 and 800 m²- and their location.

Baches have various impacts in different areas as television and literature. For example, in 2009, Toyota made an advertising campaign called 'We believe in working together'. Their special bond with New Zealand gives them the idea of creating a cause that both believe which is having faith that your dream can come true if you work for it. In this campaign filmed at Buckleton Beach, we can see a young boy telling his father that his friend claimed having a better bach than them. They decide to work on a plan to make advantage of their place by using a Toyota Hilux and a rubber tire. This remains how important the Kiwi bach is to New Zealanders. The kiwi baches are also mentioned in the book “Under the Bridge and Over the Moon” wrote by Kevin Ireland, a New Zealander. He talks about his story as a young boy living in a family bach in Takapuna.

To conclude, we think that the kiwi bach is important for the Anglophone culture because it is a part of New Zealanders' life. For them, spending their holidays near to the beach is more than just holidays, it's a ritual. Some parents even promise to let their kiwi bach to their children as a legacy. The kiwi bach is the custodian of many memories of time spent together for the families.

Maxime Collet, Marigona Latifi, and Laura Lemarque



A ceilidh is an informal social gathering. Traditionally, at this kind of evening, people listen to Irish or Scottish folk music, dance and tell stories about their culture.
The word ceilidh is a Gaelic word and originally simply means “visit”. But it can also be understood as a “house party”, a “concert” or an evening of “informal Scottish or Irish traditional dancing to informal music”.

History of ceilidh dancing
Ceilidh was mentioned the first time in 1413 in Baltimore. Back then, it was not known as ceilidh but as “carolling ”. Carolling was a combination of singing and dancing. In 1540 the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Anthony St. Leger saw a carolling dance performance and brought it back to England.
In the early part of the 16th century different group dances developed from the original “carolling”. These seem to have been the prototype of what would nowadays be described as ceilidh dancing.
In the late 17th century, when England introduced new laws, Irish cultural activities were suppressed. All dancing and musical activities had to take place in secret. This period of repression lasted until 1829 and had as a consequence a decline of the Irish language, customs and music.
In the middle of the 18th century the so-called “Dancing Master” appeared for the first time. These dancing masters usually came from England and traveled from village to village to teach set dances to the Irish people. The latter were usually very cooperative with them and offered them a room in their houses. Moreover a big problem for the pupils was that they could not distinguish between their left and their right foot. To solve this problem the teachers tied a hay rope on one foot and a straw rope on the other. Instead of screaming left or right foot, the dancing masters used now the terms “hay” foot and “straw” foot.

Moreover, in the 18th century, most Irish people started to rebel against the English presence and increasingly attempted to revive their own popular culture. As a result, they abandoned the set dances and introduced the Irish form of these dances: the ceilidh, which is slightly different. Another reason for the decline of set dances was that the Irish church refused them because of a wide association with drinking and improper behavior, but the ceilidh dances were generally accepted.
The first official ceilidh was held in October 1897 and in the 1920´s official dance schools were built.
Ceilidh dancing began to decline in the 1960´s because at these schools the emphasis had moved on competition and especially the students therefore started to say that the enjoyment factor had been lost. Furthermore the younger generation started to be increasingly influenced by popular music rather than by traditional music.
Nowadays, ceilidhs are not as present as they used to be. In particular cases, they are organised to maintain the tradition: for example, they are held once a year in some schools. The tradition of ceilidhs has spread all over the world: even Korean or Russian dancing schools now teach this dance.
Today, most Irish people know how to dance the ceilidhs and they are a part of their culture.
When you go to a ceilidh it is important to wear comfortable clothes that are not too tight or restrictive. You must be able to move because probably you will get hot and sweat. Best shoes are soft, without heels and have plenty of grip. At each ceilidh there are professional dancers who wear occasionally traditional Scottish or Irish clothes such as kilts, white socks and highland dance shoes.  The advantage of these professionals is that they scream instructions, to guide the laymen. So it is easy for everyone to participate on a ceilidh.

You can check out a lot of videos on youtube.

Julie Broichhausen, Julia Fatzaun, Catalina Vossenkaul

Gay Byrne

Gay Byrne, also known as “Uncle Gay” or “Gaybo”, is an Irish presenter of radio and television. He was born on 5 August 1935. He is the last of six children. His father fought in World War I with the Irish volunteers and later fought in the Irish War of Independence. Byrne grew up in Dublin and attended Rialto National School as well as some others for short periods of time. He was then educated by the Irish Christian Brothers at Synge Street CBS. He began his career working at the North Strand cinema, and subsequently became a clerk in an insurance company. He also worked as a sales representative.

Byrne has always been inspired by Eamonn Andrews, a famous broadcaster. In 1958 he started his career as a broadcaster by presenting jazz music every Monday evening on the RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), the Irish public television and Radio Company.  From 1972 he presented The Gay Byrne Hour which was later renamed The Gay Byrne Show. It was a morning show presented everyday of the week. This show was well-known as being famous among the Irish Housewives. Though he retired in 1999 he still presents the Sunday Serenade on the RTÉ. Every Sunday he presents a music show during the afternoon and so playing jazz music again as he used to when he started his broadcaster career.

Byrne also presented TV shows. He started on the 5 July 1962 on Irish television with The Late Late Show. The programme became a forum in which controversial and interesting taboo topics were openly discussed such as contraception, abortion, homosexuality, AIDS, divorce or unemployment. A great number of celebrities were invited to take part in the debates such as The Boomtown Rats, U2, Sinéad O'Connor, Noel Gallagher. He also hosted famous politicians including the president of Ireland and minor members of the Royal Family. At the begin of the broadcast, in the 60's, The Late Late Show had a lot of influence on people, however his point was not to be a social reformer. On 21 May 1999, it was the last broadcasting of the show with Byrne as presenter. In September 1999, Byrne was succeeded by Pat Kenny to present the show. It is the world's longest running chat show because it has been broadcasted from 1962 until today.

Even if it was a turning point in his life, it did not mean that his career was over yet.  Gay Byrne has continued to appear on screen regularly.

In 1966 and 67 he compered the finals of the Castlebar Song Contest. He then presented The Rose of Tralee festival from 1967 until 1994. During several years, between 1988 and 2001, he has been the presenter of the Telethon. He presented a show called 'Lets Dance' for Granada Television which enabled him to become the first person presenting The Beatles on screen. In 2009 he began to present another show called The meaning of life in which he interviews some famous people, such as Stephen Fry, about issues related to the meaning of life. Byrne has always aimed to stay neutral and he never pretended to have the truth about the topic under discussion which created a good sphere to debate. After his retirement, Byrne has continued to feature occasionally on television presenting Who wants to be a millionaire? and For One Night Only in 2011, which was his last show.

Byrne has now been married to Kathleen Watkins for more than fifty years. They have two adopted daughters, Suzy and Crone. Today Gay Byrne is still very busy and in very good shape. He said: “For the month of October I have had to put walking into my diary to ensure I actually make time to go for one”.

Estelle Crusnaire, Antoine Pauwels, Caroline Laurent


The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Moutains are probably the most imposing mountain range in North America and one of the main symbols of the American Wild West. It features a great deal of beautiful, well-known landscapes, is home to a diverse amount of rare and less rare wild animals and can also be considered as a linguistic bareer in terms of differences between accents and dialects from the West and the East of America.

Geography and Biology 

The Rockies are located in the Northern part of America, going through the counties of British Columbia and Alberta in Canada and through the states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah in the USA and result from the tectonic activity and erosion of glaciers 80 million years ago. The Rocky Moutains are 4828 km long and 480 m wide at the widest with their highest peak located on Mount Elbert in Colorado, reaching 4398,26 m. As mentioned before, they feature a great deal of uncommon animals such as the grizzly, black bear, rare lynx, mountain lion or the pika but also some more common such as the moose, the caribou and the deer. They also have a rather diverse flora with plants and flowers such as the alberta white rose, Canadian goldenrod, buttercup or the alfalfa.

Lakes and parks

Minnewanka Lake
In such a large area, there are many places and activities to discover which are not to be missed. First of all, the lakes. The Rockies contain a little more than 80 lakes. Some of these are more known than others such as The Moraine, Minnewanka, Peyto and Maligne lakes. However the lake Louise situated in the national park of Banff remains the one that has been nominated as a must-see destination in the world. The landscape over there can just keep you amazed for hours. Secondly several great parks such as the Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains National Park. The former is the oldest national park of Canada incorporating 10000 hot springs and geysers and the latter is prized to go hiking right in the middle of the most beautiful wildflowers and animals. Rightly, most of the mountain range is now protected by the National Park status.

Activities, sports and events

Colorado Ice Festival
After visiting the most beautiful places in the site, there is no shortage of activities to keep you occupied. In the winter you can skating on the frozen lake, skiing, snowshoeing enjoy a dog sledding tour, playing hokey or to take part in a snowball battle. In the summer canoeing, fishing, mountain hiking, river rafting, swimming and so on. The Canada is also well-known to be a place that brings together fans of extreme sports. To do Bungee jumping or sky diving in the Rockies can only be a unforgettable experience ! At last if you are not fond of sport to appreciate ice sculptures at the Colorado Ice Festival in January or to go to the Kaslo Jazz summer festival in July to dance and drink coktails the whole night can be suitable for you.

Adeline's personal experience 

If you want to go there have a look like I did at the ESL club which is an organisation that coordinates a lot of different trips such as the Christmas Tour or the New Year, Winter, Summer and Ultimate Tours. For example the classical one which is the one that I did: You will start by taking a bus from Vancouver that will bring you to Alberta, a province of British Columbia. I was with some friends from my international school of Vancouver so I was not alone, I also met a lot of people there, it was amazing to discover some new culture. There Esl offers 5 days on-site for the price of 335 dollars which is equivalent to 223 euros. It includes 4 nights accommodation incorporating 1 night right in the town of Banff which is one of the most famous town of the Rocky Mountains and 4 breakfasts. You will for sure discover some of the most amazing places through the most beautiful parts of Canada and never forget it. You will doubtlessly benefit of the knowledgeable and friendly Canadian guide who will make this trip one of your best ever. I have seen some beautiful places in the rocky mountains and some were the most fabulous that I have ever seen. If you don't know where to go for your holidays you really should go there because visiting The Rockies was a breathtaking experience.

Adeline Adam, Jenifer Calis, Eloïse Schacht

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Tower of London

A brief survey of its history

The Normans, headed by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, defeated the English at Hastings in 1066, which led to the founding of many castles at strategic sites as a way to keep England under control. One of the most important of those was the Tower of London.

The construction of the White Tower began in 1078 with Gundulf and probably ended by 1100. Several extensions have been added along the time, especially during the 12th and 13th centuries throughout the reigns of Richard the Lionheart, Henry III and Edward I. In 1841, a fire destroyed most of the Tower and renovations had to be carried out, mainly with the financial help of the Duke of Wellington. The Tower was restored between 1870 and 1880 by Antony Salvin and John Taylor. It was also damaged during the World Wars but then repaired which allowed its reopening.

Purposes along time

At the beginning, it was used as a royal residence. After 1100 it also became a prison guarding famous prisoners during the 16th and 17th century. In the 13th century, the Royal Menagerie opened until 1832 and the Royal Mint (which achieved the production of coins) until 1968. It was also the place of the Record Office, which has held government documents from the 13th onwards until 1997. For nearly 600 years, the Tower has kept the arms and armours of the army as well as valuable goods (The Office of Ordnance) and the Crown Jewels were stored there from the late 14th onwards. Many of these goods have now been displaced, except for the Crown Jewels. Nowadays, the function of the Tower of London is purely touristic.

Famous prisoners

1) Ranulf Flambard (1060-1128): In 1100, he becomes the 1st prisoner entering the White Tower but also the 1st to escape.

2) The Princes of the Tower: Edward 5 (12) and his brother Richard (9) were imprisoned there by their uncle Richard who then usurped the crown. They were probably murdered and their skeletons were found in a staircase of the White Tower in 1614.

3) Sir Thomas More (1478-1534) refused to agree with the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne Boleyn and to see him as Supreme Head of the Church of England. He was accused of treason and beheaded. He is buried in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula and venerated by the Catholics as “Saint Thomas More”

4) Anne Boleyn (1500–1536) was the mistress and later the 2nd wife of Henry VIII and has been Queen of England for 3 years. She was beheaded on Tower Green in 1536. Her body is also buried in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter and Vincula

5) Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was believed to be implicated in “the Wyatt Rebellion” and other Protestant rebellions to overthrow Mary I. She was released after 3 months and became Queen of England 4 years later.

6) Guy Fawkes (1570-1606): Leader of the Gunpowder plot (1605). He planned to assassinate James I and destroy the houses of Parliament with explosives. He was finally executed in 1606.

Célia Amand, Elodie Feron, Maxime Job


Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the first national parks worldwide and also one of the biggest. It is located in the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This park of 8,983 km² is reputed for its exceptional wildlife, lakes and for its many other natural features. 

The first written evidence of the park’s existence appeared in 1795. However, it was only officially recognized a hundred years later. Two years after the recognition, President Grant signed “The Act of Dedication “, which gave the park the status of national park. In 1886, the US army arrived and developed its own policy to protect the nature and the animals. Thanks to the government’s funding and labour, the area now counts a lot of campgrounds and other public facilities.

Yellowstone National Park, which is surrounded by mountains, is 2.400 meters above sea level. It is also located on a land prone to earthquakes. Forests cover 80 % of the Yellowstone area whereas water only covers 5 %. As such, it contains four types of thermal features: geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots. A fumarole is an opening in the earth, often near volcanoes, which emits steam or gases. Mud pots are fumaroles but acidic. The acid that they emit decomposes rock into clay and mud. Besides those thermal sources, the park counts hundreds of waterfalls; their height ranges from 4 to 370 meters. Due to the weather and the number of trees, almost thirty-five fires occur each year because of lightning. Some fires have been very destructive but few animals were killed. There never was any serious damage. As for the temperature, it varies depending on the altitude and the time of the day. In winter, it snows a lot and the temperature drops to -20°C, whereas summers are hot and storms can suddenly break during the day. 

Located in the northern temperate zone, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is seen as the largest intact one, with its fauna and flora. The flora of the park counts more than 1,300 native plant species, and about 220 non-natives, called “exotic species”. Bacteria are also part of Yellowstone’s flora, and are mostly found in hot waters. Regarding the park’s fauna, we can distinguish 67 different species of mammals, 28 of fish, reptiles and amphibians and 300 of birds. Wolves were eliminated from Yellowstone in the 1920s, because they were dangerous to humans and agriculture. However, grey wolves, being on the Endangered Species List, were reintroduced in 1995. Black bears can also be found in the park and are one of its symbols. Visitors should not feed them, though, to avoid any accident. 

Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, with at least 2 million visitors every year. Camping, fishing, cycling, boating or skiing are popular activities.

To conclude, we think that the Yellowstone National Park has now become an icon of Anglophone culture for many reasons. First of all, it is a really big park with a surprising history. Then, despite all the troubles due to natural disasters, it has a wonderful ecosystem. Finally, the park is very popular.

Marie Helas, Amandine Marlier and Marie Sevrin


Jay Leno

James Douglas Muir Leno, known professionally as Jay Leno, was born in New Rochelle, New York, on 28 April 1950. He is mostly famous for being the host of the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Leno was raised in Andover and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech therapy from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He married Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson Leno in 1980. They agreed not to have any children.

He first performed at a comedy club in Los Angeles, where he met his wife. In the 1970s he wrote jokes for the television show Good Times. In 1977, Leno appeared for the first time on The Tonight Show and later became its permanent guest host, in 1987. When in 1992 Johnny Carson retired from the show, Leno became the only guest host. In 2009, NBC announced that Jay Leno would be succeeded by Conan O’Brien. Jay Leno then began his own show, i.e. The Jay Leno show in September 2009.

In 2010, Jay Leno held his own show before The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, but the NBC decided to change the shows’ time slots and from then on to broadcast them thirty minutes later. This decision was not well received by O’Brien who considered that the ratings at midnight were too poor. He eventually left The Tonight Show and was replaced by his predecessor, namely Jay Leno. Surprisingly, Leno’s return was less successful than expected and the show posted its lowest ratings since its beginning in 1992. On 6 February 2014, Jay Leno presented his last show. Jimmy Fallon took over on 17 February  2014 with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Having a hobby of collecting antique motorcycles and antique cars, he began his Jay Leno’s Garage show which he still currently hosts. He now counts more than 100 antique and luxurious cars and 90 bikes in his private garage, which spans two centuries of automotive history.

He has written several books such as “How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (or Just in Your Class)” or the autobiographical “Leading with My Chin” (the title being a reference to the complexion of his face).

Needless to say, his funniness has allowed him to has made him a lot of money. Forbes magazine estimated that he had earned $32 million within the year 2007. But he has not kept all his wealth for himself. Leno also has a great sense of generosity. This philanthropist has indeed donated $100,000 to an organization that fights gender apartheid in Afghanistan.

Jay Leno is very famous and has played his own role in a lot of popular shows including Friends or Hannah Montana. Moreover, he has hosted a great number of celebrities such as Robin Williams and Jean Dujardin in The Tonight Show. His obvious talent has also won him several prizes, the latest one being the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour.

To sum up, Jay Leno has become an icon in the American culture for his outspokenness, his directness, even if his comments are sometimes blunt, which doesn't please everybody. Even though, Jay Leno has millions of fans worldwide, and he has been chosen as one of the nicest people in show business and undeniably the hardest-working. For years he booked more than 3 hundred appearances annually.

Justine Martin, Pauline Sine, Florence Drapier

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


Songs such as “Highway to Hell “, “ Back in Black “, “ TNT “ are legendary songs of a mythical hard rock band : AC/DC. Lead guitarist Angus Young and his brother Malcom formed the band in November 1973. They are regarded as the first Australian rock band to have had success both in America and United Kingdom. The Young brothers were born in Scotland and moved to Sydney in 1963. While some fans argue that AC/DC plays hard rock, blues rock or metal music, the members of the group have always said that their music is “simply Rock’n’Roll”. The name of the band means "alternating current/direct current" which is a reference to electricity and the name is a symbol for the energy of the band, especially their very dynamic live performances. Even though AC/DC as a band experienced different lineups through the years, the Young brothers have always been in.

Even when the lead singer, Bon Scott, died in February 1980 due to heavy drinking, they considered disbanding but eventually kept producing music for the sake of Rock’n’Roll and as a tribute to Bon Scott. Auditions were organised to find a new singer and eventually Brian Johnson was selected.

Two major songs of the group are worth mentioning: “Highway to Hell” (1979) and “Back in Black” (1980). In 1979, their sixth album was released, which included “Highway to Hell”. It is their first album to enter the top 100 in the US and after the release of this song the band became known as one of the best hard rock bands.            

After the death of Bon Scott the group released its seventh and best album in 1980 “Back in Black”.It is the second largest-selling album in the world (50 million copies) after Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. The album is a tribute to Bon Scott in multiple ways: the cover is simply black with the group’s name and the title in white letters (instead of the usual coloured and fussy covers) and the lyrics of "Back in Black" pay tribute to the former singer, implying he will live forever through his music (e.g."Forget the hearse 'cause I never die", “Yes, I'm back, Well, I'm back, back”).

In total, the group has gone on twenty tours. Their first one, Australian Clubs, took place in Australia in 1974-1975 and their first time performing abroad was in 1976 with their fourth tour, Lock Up Your Daughters Tour. Their twenty-first tour, Rock Or Bust World Tour, planned for this year (2015), will begin on 10 April in California, USA. For this international tour, they will go on stage forty-three times and travel across eighteen different countries, including Belgium on 6 of July in Dessel. AC/DC has won several awards and was honoured a lot of times, for example in several films like Iron Man or Percy Jackson. 

The group was nominated twenty-four times in their whole career and has won twelve awards, which is one of the best rates in the musical world. The best award they have ever received was certainly the one for the “Best Hard Rock Performance” in 2010, given by the Grammy Awards.

To conclude, AC/DC is considered as an Anglophone icon because they are pioneers of hard rock, they come from English-speaking countries and they have influenced lots of famous bands like Guns 'n' roses and Megadeath. The most important point is the fact that their album "Back in Black", being the second largest-selling album in the world, has had a huge succes, bringing them fame all over the world.

Lionel Dehart, Robin Despeghel and Valentin Luz 


The Famous Five

Almost every child in the world has already heard of The Famous Five or read one of those stories or even seen them on a screen. This group of adventurous children is known in French under the name Le Club des cinq and has probably won many hearts, be they young or old.

The series initially comes from books. The books were written by an English novelist, Enid Blyton (1897-1968). She often used a pen name, Mary Pollock, and wrote some novels under it. From 1942 to 1963, she wrote one “Famous Five” story per year.

With her complete name, Enid Mary Blyton, she wrote exclusively for children, with the illustrator Eileen Soper’s help. Her career began with her first published book, a collection of poems, in 1922. She then wrote other books that also became bestsellers all around the world, and wrote a few pieces for magazines and newspapers as well.

She inaugurated her own eponymous society in 1995. Unfortunately, years later, many libraries and schools banned her novels because they considered that the nature of her writings was inappropriate. She received lots of negative reviews, in which she was accused of being elitist, sexist, racist and xenophobic.

The Famous Five is actually the name of a series of children’s books. Enid Blyton wrote twenty-one complete stories about the adventures of four children and a dog. They were translated in more than ninety languages. The stories are different from one book to another but the internal structure is always the same: Julian, Dick, Anne, Georgina (who prefers to be called George) and Timmy, the dog, meet each other during the holidays, when Georgina goes to the house of her aunt (Aunt Frances) and her uncle (Uncle Quentin). They go camping or have a picnic and they get caught in an adventure when exploring the different places around which they live. the books relate everything they undertake to get out of trouble. At the end, “all’s well that ends well”. Those books were very successful and known by almost all the children in the world.
Indeed two TV series, both called The Famous Five, were based on the children’s books written by Enid Blyton. The first one was first broadcast in July 1978 and was produced by Don Leaver and Sidney Hayers. The second one, produced by John Price and Peter Murphy, first aired in September 1995. The characters of the most recent one were interpreted by Jemima Rooper (as George), Marco Williamson (as Julian), Paul Child (as Dick), Laura Petela (as Anne), Christopher Good (as Uncle Quentin) and Mary Waterhouse (as Aunt Frances). Both series were made up of twenty-six episodes in two series.

Thanks to the success The Famous Five met, the books have been adapted into various films, series, audio dramas, theatre (in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s birth, a musical was created), video games, comics and other creations.

Eventually we can see that the series The Famous Five has had a huge impact on children: it is a real icon of Anglophone culture which is known by at least every child in England but also by the entire world.

Written by Juliette Fossion, Laure Himmer, and Melissa Machurot.

The Aussie ocker

Who is the famous “Aussie ocker”? What characterizes him? Throughout this summary we will clarify those two questions by giving two definitions illustrated by stereotypes, taking as examples two films and a show that give an image of the Aussie ocker and finally talking about typical sentences and Australian values.

Definition and stereotypes

On the one hand, we have the OALD’s definition, which is strictly negative: “ocker” is a rude or aggressive Australian man. This ocker is, according to the Urban Dictionary, the rough and uncultivated working man, often boorish, aggressive and strongly nationalistic. We can find the stereotypical ocker leaning against the bar, drinking heavily and wearing a singlet, shorts, thongs and a bush hat. He often speaks with a broad accent and uses a lot of slang words.
On the other hand, the Aussie ocker is friendly and helpful, the kind of man who gives you a hand in harsh situations.

Famous Australian films about ockers

Great examples of ockers can be found in many Australian films or series from the 20th century onwards. Here are the most important ones:

Origin of the word: The Mavis Bramston Show (1965-1968)
 “Ocker” was originally the name of a character played by the Australian comedian Ron Frazer in the television series The Mavis Bramston Show in the 1960’s. “Ocker” was then used to describe an ill-mannered man.

Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)
This film gives a fine example of the Australian ocker. It also shows the differences between British manners and Australian culture.
The principal character is uncultivated, aggressive in his speech and attitudes and drinks and swears a lot. Moreover, he has a sexist and racist language. He does not want to admit that women and natives are also important in his country. This is seen as exaggerated Australian nationalism.

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

All the characters are stereotypical ockers, especially the one played by Paul Hogan, an Australian actor who won a Golden Globe award for this performance.

They appear ill-mannered, aggressive and actively nationalistic by cracking jokes in order to prove that they have a good sense of humour.

Famous slang phrases

o G’day mate! = Pleased to make your acquaintance.
o You pong= Dear me, we do smell don’t we.
o Don’t get your knickers in a knot= Don’t upset yourself.
o Wanna come to our piss up? = You are invited to our party.
o Nationalistic slogan during the Olympic games in 2000 : Aussie, aussie, aussie. Oi, oi, oi!

Australian values

However, today, all Australians have the same values: mateship, hard work and pride in their country. They do not want to be associated with the stereotypical, rude and uncultivated Australian. These slang phrases are not even used in their everyday life anymore and they do not wear singlets and thongs all the time or eat barbecues on every occasion.


The Aussie ocker is changing, but is still an icon of Australian culture. It is simply expressed in different ways. Some are negative and others are positive. The negative stereotype of the ocker will always cling to them, even though the helpful and friendly one is closer to their actual mentality and way of life.
In cinema, the use of such characters is now out of style. Australians want to get rid of those stereotypes and prefer to be seen as cultivated rather than being like Paul Hogan’s character.

Emmanuel Clamot, Lise Courtois, and Justine Wasterlain

Wounded Knee

“Wounded Knee” was named after a brutal conflict, which took place in South Dakota in 1890. It resulted in the deaths of over 350 Native Americans as well as 25 soldiers from the U.S Army’s 7th Cavalry.
The root cause of the massacre harks back to the mid-19th century when more and more white men started to settle down on Sioux lands.
In 1868 Red Cloud, one of the Sioux leaders, signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which ensured that the Lakotas were the owners of the Black Hills, straddling Wyoming and Montana. In addition, all those living on the reservations would be legally protected and would be able to farm as they saw fit.
A few years later gold was struck in the Black Hills. The ruling white Americans broke the treaty and invaded those promising territories, which eventually led to the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The clash opposed the federal troops headed by Colonel Custer and Sioux warriors, whose leaders were Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. The U.S Armies were quickly overwhelmed and Custer and his soldiers fell victim of merciless attacks.
The so-called Ghost Dance was thought up by Wovoka, a spiritual leader who claimed to be a messiah. The tradition was passed down till 1890. As the government became increasingly worried about a growing uprising, the reservation police received orders to put Chief Sitting Bull under arrest on the Standing Rock Reservation. On that very day he was assassinated.
On 29th December 1890, a detachment of the U.S.’S 7th Cavalry Regiment, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth, surrounded Big Foot and his people in a camp near Wounded Knee Creek. A fight broke out, resulting in a massacre of more than three hundred and fifty Indians, half of whom were women and children. Some died on the spot while others froze to death in the snow. The cavalry lost only twenty-five men.

This battle cannot be considered to have been fair since Big Foot, surrounded as he was by armed troops, most likely did not launch an attack without any chance of overcoming. He nevertheless was shot cold blood.
This massacre is believed to have been the last showdown between Native Americans and the United States Army. In December 1890 A United States census declared the frontier officially closed.
In 1973 another watershed event occurred when Native Americans stood up against governmental atrocities.
The insurgents reclaimed Wounded Knee in the name of the Lakota Nation, demanding more independence from the Federal Government.
According to the 1868 Sioux treaty, which was still in effect, the Black Hills had never ceased to belong to the Sioux. Their leaders consequently pressured the Federal Government to abide by the treaty.
The Wounded Knee occupation lasted for seventy-one days, during which time two Sioux men were shot by federal agents and an agent ended up paralyzed.

A museum was built in the valley to preserve the memory of those who gave their lives so as to assert their right of living on their own lands.

 ©Fanny Voisin - Jasmine Léonard - Martin Denis