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        Friday, February 24, 2006
        Go ahead. Stereotype me!
        So what I listen to country music? I don't listen to any cheesy country music (not anymore, at least). I listen to Keith Urban, and I went to his concert the other night. He was hot, and he rocked the house (and he's engaged to Nicole Kidman - nice catch Ms. Kidman, and eat your heart out Tom "I'm so happy with my new girl that I jump on Oprah's couch" Cruise. I told you there is a bit of gossip in this site although this one has no purpose). While Keith was performing, I was this close to fanning my face with my hands, screaming "O...h, m...y" like American girls on TV do. Just to see Keith Urban, I had to miss a school year book committee dinner/meeting, which I was supposed to host. The meeting went on in my house without me, and my husband scored big time with the school moms for covering for me while I was screaming my lungs off at a cutie country singer.

        People's reactions to my going to a country music concert is the reason for writing this. The repeated "You like country music?" question with an obvious tone of surprise made me real defensive. I felt that I had to justify my taste for Keith's music by explaining that I grew up (OK this is going to be slightly embarrassing)listening to Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, o..h m..y even Dolly Parton, Garth Brook, Mr. Willie Nelson himself and Ronnie Milsap (I am not even sure whether he's a country singer). I have got to mention government controlled TV in Ethiopia here. I also grew up on an unhealthy dose of old Russian romantic movies, which suspiciously had a common plot - the hard, and at times deadly, choice between romance and The Revolution. The Revolution always won. ALWAYS. Amharic dubbed Russian documentaries were also in when I was a child. I still remember "Natasha enjoys a bowl of soup after work. Natasha loves to work hard. Natasha loves the revolution". Third person nouns don't exist in Russian? In Amharic it is even more hilarious. At school, reciting such lines from documentary films gave us maximum entertainment. In retrospect, it is funny how the propaganda was totally wasted on us. Don't poor-you me, now. I'd prefer Natasha's revolutionary life story than watching Wife Swap or Beauty and The Geek to see pretty girls thinking hard to come up with an answer that the first American president was George Bush.

        Back to Keith. I think people's surprise that I like Keith has nothing to do with my being an Ethiopian. I think it's a race question. I'm not taking it negatively here, just making an observation. I know it's a race issue because when my 65 Spanish words/second spitting Porto Rican friend said that she was going to the concert with me, nobody said 'you guys like country music?' That's my scientific proof right there. Music in the US is one of those things where it is supposed to be either black or white - with few exceptions to this rule. I'm sure that it is also arranged on class basis. In Holland it is the other way round. Hip Hop is very popular amongst white Dutch. I went to a Hip Hop concert in Amsterdam two years ago, and Paradiso was packed with white Dutch who were rapping away with the American performers. They didn't even blink when they said the N word - the black singers were saying it, so the Dutch just joined in. One of the singers noticed this and even made a comment about it.

        I guess I'll be considered either culturally confused or suffering from identity crisis because my music profile on Yahoo music contains the strangest combination of Brian McKnight, Chiara Civello, David Gray, Eros, The Fugees, Ismael Lo, James Blunt, Keith Urban, Luther Vandross, Melissa Etheridge, Powder Finger, Rachael Yamataga, Ray Lamontagne, Ted Hawkins, Uncle Cracker.... So what does that make me?
        posted by Fikirte @ 6:39 AM   Digg!
        • name<="c114106552916813971" id="c114106552916813971">

          At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

          Hi Fikirte,

          I really enjoyed what you wrote, very entertaining. I like your attitude, hey good music is good music, why narrowly define what certain groups of people should listen to. I'm so glad you enjoyed the concert and you do have a great husband!

        • name<="c114106570302787017" id="c114106570302787017">

          At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

          Yes the concert in Orlando was amazing. I have never been to a Keith Urban concert, now whenever he is in Florida i will be there. That concert has totally made become a huge Keith Urban fan. I knew most of the songs during the concert and was excitited when Keith played "Tonight I Want to Cry." It really is worth everything to go to one of his concerts!!

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