Date:  Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Campus, 515 West Hastings Street (between Seymour and Richards Streets) in the Diamond Alumni Lounge on the second floor
Speaker: Marja Karelia
Topic:  Tango, Malbec and Chocolate on the Way to the End of the World

Brief Biography:

Marja Karelia has a BA (2005) in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of British Columbia (UBC) specializing in Mesoamerican Music Archaeology followed by Archaeology and Art and Culture studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Currently Marja is an MA candidate in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SFU with a focus on the interaction of music and culture from interdisciplinary perspectives, such as philosophy, history and psychology.


Argentina had been on my travel “bucket-list” for more than twenty years. About a year ago, I decided to make the trip a reality and on December 10th 2019 I finally flew to Buenos Aires. I had a wonderful trip and am happy to share my experiences with all of you.

Since I have been referred to as a traveler instead of a tourist, my initial sixteen days in Buenos Aires were taken up by walking along the sidewalks observing my surroundings, sitting at “cafes notables”, such as Café Tortoni, that opened for business in 1858, sipping thick dark chocolate and munching churros, snapping photos, and chatting with “portenos” giving me opportunities to practice my Spanish.

My presentation will begin with a musical introduction followed by a brief history of Argentina and of the City of Buenos Aires. I will provide photos of La Boca (the birthplace of tango), fabulous bookstores (one used to be a theatre), my experiences at Teatro Colon (one of world’s foremost opera houses), visit to an estancia in San Antonio de Areco with gaucho games and folk dancing, walks through San Telmo, observing people at Plaza de Mayo, tango shows and more.

Then on December 27th I flew to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city at the end of the world in Tierra del Fuego to experience a catamaran journey along the Beagle Channel to observe cormorants, sea lions and penguins in their natural habitat and to visit the oldest estancia on Tierra del Fuego. I will also provide a brief history of Tierra del Fuego with a pictorial presentation that will be accompanied by my commentary providing details based on my observations and my enjoyment of Antarctic seafood and Beagle Ale (and more Malbec).

Three more days in Buenos Aires before returning home convinced me to return for another visit soon!

Last Meeting:

We were lucky to have Michael Ledger-Lomas be able to present to us. He is presently in Vancouver finishing a book on Queen Victoria and her religion and that was the basis of his talk. The presentation was very well attended and Michael gave a precise and clear thesis about how Victoria’s sense of religion and its place in her life and the lives of her subjects gradually changed during her life. He was able to give the context of her life and he supported his thesis by ample illustrations and quotes. It looks to be a fine book. Finally, Michael dealt with all of the questions with substantial erudition.

Additional Information:

A list of upcoming meetings:

April 16, 2020
May 21, 2020

Any questions, please contact me:
Mark Dwor

Categories: Event