• December 1, 2014 /  Uncategorized

    As part of the Global Engagement Fellowship program, I was required to take a class called Understanding the Global Community. We talked about many things in that class, but my favorite part was at the very beginning, when we would watch a youtube video that had music from somewhere outside the United States. Because of that, I have learned a lot about music from different regions.

    One of my favorite songs that we listened to is calledĀ Papaoutai, by Stromae. He is a Belgian singer whose father was killed in the Rwandan genocide, in 1994. The title comes fromĀ papa, ou t’es which is French for “Father, where are you?” I looked up the translation for the song, and it turned out to be a rather depressing piece. I would not have guessed that from the catchy beat, but I suppose the strange music video helps to give that away.

    The song is very popular in France and Belgium, and not long ago the acapella group Pentatonix did a cover of it, partnering with Lindsey Stirling. I’m a big fan of Pentatonix and hearing that they had made a version of this song was very exciting! I find it interesting that even if I hadn’t heard this song in class, I likely would have come across it anyway. That is a prime example of how music is travelling across the world at faster and faster rates. Listening to music produced in another country is becoming increasingly common, as is music in other languages. As a self-proclaimed “music nut” who enjoys international sounds, this trend is a definite plus of the global community.

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  • December 1, 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Not long ago, I was arriving back at the dorms late at night when I heard music on my floor. Now, hearing music isn’t uncommon, but it wasn’t in my hallway–it was coming from the TV room on the boy’s side. Not only that, but it was Lindsey Stirling’s music. I would recognize that style of violin anywhere. I was curious as to who else on my floor is a Lindsey Stirling fan, so I entered the room and proceeded to introduce myself.

    The sole occupant of the room turned out to be a Palestinian boy whom I had never seen before. We introduced ourselves and proceeded to talk about music in general, Lindsey Stirling in particular. I have often found that people who enjoy the same style of music can talk about it for an extended period of time, and this was definitely the case here. The conversation continued into homeland and travel and classes, and I very much enjoyed myself. I went to bed that night hoping I had made a friend.

    It appears I did, because a few days later I had the same type of experience. I got back late and heard music I recognized coming from the same room, and we talked for a long while. I’m coming to appreciate my floor more and more. I learn so much from having all these different cultural perspectives under the same roof. Being in these close quarters has enabled a shy person such as myself to be better able to meet more peopled, and thereby have more friends. Between run-ins such as this one and lessons in culture from my roommate, this has been a very educational experience and will probably continue to be so.