Archive for November 7, 2010

“Letting off some Steam” Part II

Friday night was an important milestone for 500 first year students at our new university in Astana. Amazing to see the Talent Show with all the potential of the future of this country in the capital of Kazakhstan. They had just finished a swearing in ceremony about the honor code and some students sung an anthem in Latin. (See New Challenge and Wizard of KZ to read their perspective on the entire evening.)

I’m just reporting on the the talent show that I wrote about yesterday. The students sang their hearts out, danced their feet away, made moves that they mimicked from professional artists. Seriously, they were all pretty good. Unfortunately for me, some rock stars are those I have never heard of before. I know, I know, hard to believe, right?  But most all of the songs were well known by the cheering audience, from Bollywood, or American or British artists.  As a teacher from the U.S. I am clueless as to who Evanescence and Linkin Park are.  However,  I AM aware of Lady Gaga!!! How can one NOT know about her with her outlandish outfits.  Fortunately no one was on stage copying her designer fashions.  Maybe there was a Miley Cyrus song or two sung, I don’t know.  I clearly have settled into the ever-widening generation gap.

I’m in a culture gap too where I don’t know my own American pop culture but the Kazakh culture I’m living in know it better than I do.  What a fix that puts me in?  Admittedly not all was wholesome in the gyrations or perhaps in the words.  One of the rockers with a skull cap could be understood clearly, in fact, most all singers had very good diction in English. So I fear for the one singer that he will wreck his voice imitating rockers who grind away with their vocal cords.  However, I know that the rap lyrics can be a LOT worse.

So, this was actually a fairly clean show compared to what is OUT THERE!  My favorite was one of the last singers who wore a beautiful, long sleek dress.  What a lovely voice she had.  So it is obvious to me we not only have smart students but we have talented ones as well.  Maybe we need to start a Liberal Arts branch to this university where the fine arts (and I DO mean fine arts) can be appreciated.  I’m sure there are violinists and pianists in this group that just didn’t perform, perhaps deemed too classical.  Perhaps there are some ballet dancers in the student body as well.  We shall see when the next talent show rolls around.  Here are a few more photos I captured.  Not the best, I know, but I didn’t have a good vantage point off to the side and half way through all the students were standing around the stage.  We all need to let off steam once in a while and so the other night was the student body’s chance.

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