Balagtasan is a verse-based discussion in the Philippines. The phrase is taken from Francisco Balagtas' surname. Filipino authors and poets utilized the balagtasan to communicate the most progressive and current political ideals of the period, as well as to remark on current social concerns. Today, it is still used for similar purposes.
The balagtasan began during the Spanish era in the Philippines. At that time, literature was popular among the educated class. Poets and authors would often use their works to criticize government officials or other topics of interest. These poems were usually written in rhyme and consisted of 14 lines each.
One such poet was Francisco Balagtas. He was a lawyer by profession but had also served as an officer under Spain's military governor. His poems focused on politics and social issues such as poverty, corruption, and injustice. Many of his poems are still widely read today, especially those that comment on current events.
After the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, they promoted the indigenous language over Latin because it was believed that this would make the country more independent. However, after a few decades, many people started to forget the original language and instead learned Spanish. This made it difficult for authors to express themselves freely without worrying about whether others understood what they were saying. So, they started writing in English instead.
Balafon is a mixture of two words in the Malinke language: "Balan," the name of the instrument, and "fon," which means to play. As a result, the word balafon refers to the act of playing the instrument, Bala. In the Bobo Dioulasso and Kolokani areas, the word "bala" is also used to refer to the huge bass balafon.
In the Bobo Dioulasso area of Burkina Faso, people usually say "balahfan" when they speak about the instrument. But in other regions of Burkina Faso, people call it "ba-la-fon."
Unlike many other African musicians, who often play multiple instruments, Balafon musicians are usually devoted to one single instrument. The bass balafon is played by moving your hand along the body of the instrument while plucking the strings with your fingernails.
In Africa, many traditional instruments have been passed down through the generations by oral tradition only. There are no written manuals or instructions for how to play them. So it's normal for several people to be involved in creating new music using these instruments.
Balagan is the Hebrew term for "mess," and it can refer to anything from a disorganized desk to geopolitical problems. Israelis are quite familiar with this notion and utilize it frequently. When something goes wrong or someone is upset, they say that everything is a balagan.
Israel was founded in 1948 by refugees who had just escaped communism-inspired chaos in Europe. Since then, Israel has functioned as a country where everyone is expected to be responsible for themselves; there are no handouts or lollipops. Those who cannot take care of themselves are left behind so that others can go on living their lives in peace.
As far as I know, this concept was first used by Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld in his novel I Love Lenin's Dream.
Here's how he defines it: "A balagan is an event that upsets your plans or interferes with your activities - a fire in the forest, for example, or an earthquake - and which causes you worry because you haven't made arrangements for any of its possible consequences."
Nowadays, the word is commonly used by Israelis of all political stripes. Whether you're a leftist, a rightist, or somewhere in between, if you ask anyone here what ails them, they will almost always answer "a balagan".
The term "balalaika" first appears in a Russian text in 1688. From the 18th century, the term "balabaika" was used in Ukrainian language writings. According to one interpretation, the name was borrowed to Russian, where it first appeared in literary language in V. Maykov's 1771 poem "Elysei." The eponymous hero of the poem is said to have been presented with a balalaika by his lover on their wedding day.
The modern word "ballet" comes from French and originally meant "little ball". In Russia, there is a folk story that the term arose when a monk at a monastery near Moscow saw some children playing with a ball made of dough stuffed with sheep's wool and feathers. Believing they were performing a religious ritual, he asked the adults in the community for permission to put on a show for them. To his surprise, they agreed, so he had a ballet performed before them using those items as props. The word "ballerina" translates as "dancer who does little balls."
The balalaika has been popular among Western musicians since the 1950s, when it became associated with the New York City jazz scene. The instrument was previously known as the Siberian kotava or Ukrainian criollo.
There are two main types of balalaikas: the electric and the acoustic.