We should all do our best to improve our world to create a better future 

Tania Pantoja, Director of AMDIE Mexico, who have taken part in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork, talks about her hobbies, family and love of Hispanic culture and language
We should all do our best to improve our world to create a better future 

Tania Pantoja of AMDIE Mexico.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a creative person that loves art in every sense, most of my free time goes on painting, drawing, dancing and creating new choreographies for AMDIE (Mexican Dance Ireland, Group based in Cork).

I am professional folk dancer and also studied the bachelor in Graphic Design, a Master degree in linguistics, and Cervantes Certificate to teach Spanish. I teach Spanish to kids and adults which I enjoy very much.

During the Covid pandemic, I decided to launch online classes with Cali Cultural Centre, which is a centre that I founded whose aim to promote Hispanic culture and language. 

It is important to me to share my knowledge and have a positive impact in the community. 

I believe that we all should do our best to improve our world and add good values to our day to day life to create a better future for the children.

Where were you born?

I was born in Mexico City.

Where do you live?

I moved to Cork with my family eight years ago.

Family?

Yes, I have one son.

Best friend?

I am fortunate to say that my best friend is my husband who I know for 20 years now.

Earliest childhood memory?

Playing with my siblings in the garden of our home in Mexico City. Probably spending our holidays in Acapulco.

Person you most admire?

My mother and all women that stay strong and close to their beliefs and raise kind and honest human beings who will ensure hope in the world.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Travelling in Budapest and Prague. The palaces, old streets and culture amazed me. All the magic in the alleys of these two cities is something that marked my life. How many stories that were told and still are alive in those great places.

Favourite TV programme?

Friends, a bit old but never too old.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Mole poblano, a traditional dish from Mexico, is a dark red-brown sauce usually served with turkey or chicken. It contains approximately 25 ingredients and can be prepared in a nearly infinite numbers of ways. Of the many different ingredients found in the dish, the main ones are chilli peppers, chocolate, plantains, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon sticks, anise, and cloves. These eight ingredients are among the most interesting ingredients found in Mole Poblano, not only because they are essential to the dish, but because they have long, complex histories that date back to the ancient, pre-Columbian empires of Mesoamerica.

Favourite restaurant?

I love cooking, I would say my favourite place to eat is at home with my family however, I also enjoy going out with my friends for dinner to Tequila Jacks restaurant and we usually stay a bit longer to enjoy the Latin party. I would say that this great place is my favourite restaurant in Cork city.

Last book you read?

Ireland’s Wild Plants — Myths Legends and Folklore by Niall Mac Coitir. One of my hobbies is learning about herbalism and herbal medicine. 

It is amazing to me how plants can be linked to the heart of the Irish heritage.

 Learning their traditional use and old beliefs gave me a nice picture of Ireland.

Best book you read?

My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk. Turkey is my second country and Istanbul my second city and while reading this novel I was able to smell and see the places and stories that the writer described.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Wellermen (Sea Shanty), by Nathan Evans. I came across Evans in Tittok and love the way he mastered a folk fisherman song and updated it.

Favourite song?

Jerusalema, it is a song that gives you such a nice energy! It is contagious and also has a great message.

One person you’d like to see in concert?

Michael Bublé. One of my favourite singers.

Do you have a pet?

Yes, a golden retriever. Her name is DJ.

Morning person or night owl?

Yes, I usually wake up full of energy.

Your proudest moment?

Becoming a mom. 

It is a feeling that I cannot describe and I wish everyone has the opportunity to experience it.

Spendthrift or saver?

Spendthrift.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Parks and malls. To bring more life to my area, I think it would be nice to have cinemas, restaurant and coffee shops.

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my family, painting and dancing. Doing something creative.

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to draw a smile in the faces of my loved ones when they remember me.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Being more present in life, living day by day and enjoying the tranquillity of my home.

MORE ABOUT AMDIE

AMDIE is a group based in Cork that was formed in 2014 to let people enjoy Mexican traditional dance and music. AMDIE are a community from different diverse cultures who come together to learn Latin American Choreography. The group is open to everyone with interest in dance. You don’t need previous dance experience. See www.amdie.org

AMDIE take part in festivals such as the Cork St Patrick’s Festival and have danced in the Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade. This year the Cork St Patrick’s Festival is taking place from March 13 to 17. There is no parade on St Patrick’s Day but a wide range of online events will take place in Cork as part of the festival.

See https://www.corkcity.ie/en/cork-st-patricks-festival/

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