Spotlight on: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival

July 9, 2013 / by Mango Languages

Here at Mango, we’re not just about language-learning. Rather, our mission is to enrich lives with BOTH language and culture.

We believe that if students focus solely on the mechanics of learning a foreign language, they miss out on a big part of what it means to travel to a foreign country, engage with others, and immerse themselves among the locals. This is the why we incorporate a cultural learning component into every one of our products. It’s also the reason why we were proud to sponsor the recent Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C.


The festival, which takes place for two weeks every summer, is an exposition that brings together more than 23,000 musicians, artists, craftspeople, performers and storytellers from around the world to demonstrate and share the knowledge of their vibrant cultural traditions. Daily programs include music, song, and dance performances, cooking demonstrations, storytelling and narrative sessions to discuss key cultural issues.

We were excited that one of Mango’s founders, Mike Goulas, was able to attend the event on behalf of Mango and share his experiences with our team. Check out photos from the festival:

Festival Photo Daily Dozen: June 26, 2013

Festival Photo Daily Dozen: June 27, 2013

Festival Photo Daily Dozen: June 28, 2013

Festival Photo Daily Dozen: June 29, 2013

Festival Photo Daily Dozen: June 30, 2013

Also featured at the festival was the “One World, Many Voices” program, curated by Dr. K. David Harrison. The program focuses on drawing attention to lesser-spoken and dying languages, bringing native speakers of these languages to Washington from around the globe, so that they can shine a light on the linguistic challenges faced by their communities. Among the guests were eight musicians and craftsmen from the Republic of Tuva, located in south-central Siberia. Mango created a Tuvan course earlier this year in collaboration with Dr. Harrison, in order to draw attention to the importance of lesser-spoken and endangered languages. Click here to check it out.

Have you ever attended the Smithsonian Folklife Festival or a similar event? What did you learn?

Topics: Language Learning and Culture

Mango Languages

Written by Mango Languages

Deliciously simple language and culture learning.

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