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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Experience of Being Sung To

Some time ago we had a party in the house. Many friends came along, including an old friend from West Papua.

People drank and chatted. I played with one of my little bands a couple of songs. My son drummed along with one of the songs.

Just before our Papuan friend had to leave, he asked for attention. He announced that he would sing a song, especially for my drumming son. Then he sang the song. I can't remember the melody, nor the meaning of the words. I think it was a song which had something to do with the old and the new generation. When the song finished, everybody applauded and cheered.

Next day I remarked to my wife that this was a remarkable event - how many people are sung to in Papuan during their lifetime? My wife, wiser then me as usual, answered that maybe the event was not thát remarkable, as she suspected that our Papuan friend simply did what he would do at any party as any other West Papuan: sing a song for the hosts.

She was right, of course. And I wonder: at what time have I begun to see the occasion of being sung a song to as remarkable?

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