Thursday, May 17, 2007


The kids here sing. In the spirit of transparency I should add that I didn’t spend much time around children when I was in the states, but I think I spent enough to be able to make a proper comparison with Armenian youth. The young people here don’t feel self-conscious at all about busting out into song in any situation. The wonderful thing is that nearly every time this happens many others join in. There seems to be this vast pool of well-known traditional songs (mostly about the capital city Yerevan or Mt. Ararat) that everyone knows the words to.
I was recently on a bus with a bunch of young orphans that I’m involved in a project with currently, and what would be a normally mundane bus ride in the states was instantly converted to a revelrous celebration of singing. It began with one kid singing to himself and then his neighbor hearing him and joining in. In no time, we (I was humming along only) were all singing song after song after song. There were no pauses between songs. As soon as one would end someone from the opposite end of the bus would begin with another. We were clapping and whooping it up like crazy. There were kids dancing in the aisles, hanging from the ceiling. Frankly it was a zoo (another difference here is the acceptance of a lack of order). The Bus Driver was on board too, singing and dancing in his seat, while paying a disturbingly small amount of attention to the mountainous road.
The ride was a long one and we began rehashing previously sung songs. I was surprised at how the 2nd time around they were just as excited to sing the song as before. I guess that’s the cool thing that I haven’t witnessed with youth in the states, is this freedom to enjoy the mere act of singing. The songs only serving as the vehicle. There seems to me to be a lack of self-consciousness among the youth here that I find refreshing and awesome.


Sarah said...

Question: Do you find the lack of self-consciousness of my host sister singing karaoke refreshing and awesome?

Anonymous said...

You never sang the jingles from toy ads on the bus on school trips in the US with selfless abandon?

Colleen H