The first Saturday of May was the chosen date for the Dame Tu Lengua event in Medellín.
After countless events in Bogotá, and several requests around the country, the organizers chose our beloved city.
What is Dame Tu Lengua?
Dame Tu Lengua or “give me your tongue” is an alternative type of event that focuses on the exchange between people that either descend from different countries or want to practice a language they’re learning or are fluent in.
Dame Tu Lengua is also a language school that reaches our to underprivileged areas in Bogotá with volunteers from countries such as France and Germany, among others.
The idea is to bring together several nationalities, native and foreign, to have a learning circle in which everyone is both a teacher and a learner.
Exchanging languages, as we know, goes so much further than learning vocabulary from someone else.
An exchange of language is inevitably an exchange of culture. Therefore this is an entirely cultural event, more than having financial or publicity goals-its end is to encourage a cultural dynamic.
Each occasion lasts for twelve hours, takes place every two weeks and includes games, artistic exhibitions, local design and business.
I was lucky enough to attend the event that took place in Bogotá exactly one week before our first here in the city. In the capital, the venue is A Seis Manos, a French-owned bar and restaurant in La Candelaria.
There, all kinds of people arrive to sit at the tall, long tables marked with a flag to show which language is spoken. The ceiling is lined with flags to welcome everyone, and the crowd is diverse.
I was able to see several local businesses pushing forward their products. The one that caught my attention the most was the soft drink called AMA started by a French Moroccan, with a variety of citrus flavors, it made me want them to sell in Medellín.
Later in the night, the lights dim down, and the music gets progressively louder. The party is on, the dancing begins. The event pulls through with one of the most accessible events to people of any age, depending on the time.
The Event in Medellín
The venue was chosen in April. Centro Plazarte, though a lot bigger than A Seis Manos, was the perfect place.
It provided several small rooms for people to traffic through while a central area served as a common place.
It’s open patio, combined with the Medellín weather gave the evening bonfire a summer night feel that most people were happy to enjoy, even before DJ Mario Groove adapted the place to an electronic party.
While in Bogotá the event goes from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., in Medellín it was adapted to run from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Instead of tables, entire rooms or corners were designated for specific languages.
English (in both British and American accents) was in the center, and in the other rooms, German, French, and for a brief while, I saw a Brazil flag that was later taken down- supply and demand, I guess?
Apart from the people who attended the event for fun, a lot of which were Medellín Living readers, several businesses made their presence known.
When you walked in, you ran straight into Voltta Clothing exhibiting their printed t-shirts and designs. Immediately next to them, Peluqueer, providing style services such as makeup, haircuts and styles and clothing.
In the center, I ran into El Alemán Pues, serving sausages, potato salads, and other simple but tasty meals.
Finally, in the back, was Café Revolución serving cold brew coffee, teas and banana bread.
Also, the sponsors mostly had their own stands, for one, AIESEC was providing counseling services for travels and internships.
By the end of the night, people came in for mostly drinks and dancing, paying a 10,000 peso (about $4) cover after 9 o’clock and two spaces were adapted for dancing and music, the back patio-like I said- for electronic and the central section for salsa dancing with DJ Jorge Botero.
From what I could see, lots of people took well to the event, some had been there before, some were new to the concept. Everyone looked happy to be there, and the event will be back for more from Medellín soon!
Did you attend the event? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.