Songs are One of the Culture Gaps

This year’s YLF ended tonight, with a mad karaok until mid-night of both the Chinese and American participants. It was so fun to sing a Chinese song and an American song alternatively. This is the second time YLF went to sing together in my memory.

Music is Universal, Dance is, but Popular Songs are Not

This is my observation of this interesting event. The music is universal. When the music started, no matter it was Chinese or English song, people just started to get excited and swung, and danced with it. That is the mutual bounding between the people. We never feel we share the same humanity as much as when we are dancing with the same music.

However, there IS some major difference about the song itself. When the songs like 铁血丹心 of 射雕英雄传 was played, it suddenly became an express time traveling train to take me back to the 1980s when we were in middle school and all the memories of the middle school came out, with some details like the faces of my schoolmates. I believe the American must feel the same when the 1970’s or 1980’s American song were played.

Songs are not just songs for us. They are memories, and they are the real time capsule that preserve the feelings of our early time. Playing a song of 20 years ago is just to open the time capsule and release the old memories. People of similar age will share that feeling.

Unfortunately, that feeling is not easily shared by Chinese and American. I have no idea about many songs American picked. Well. There are some common songs, like Michael Jackson’s, however, I don’t know even the same song brings the same cultural feeling for people cross the ocean.

Photo Taken by Ron Xu. Note: Please let me know if anyone feel I should remove this photo

Songs at Childhood Makes the Gap between First Generation Immigrant Parents and their Children

I discussed with Sam Wang several years ago about the challenges first generation immigrants face about their children. The key gap between the parents and the native born kids are, the kids grew up with completely different set of songs from the parents. That difference will break the culture binding between the parents and the kids. Typical examples are Chinese first generation immigrants to US, and their kids. There are other examples, as far as I know, are the Indian expats in Shanghai, with their kids. The kids sing all the songs their Chinese classmates are singing, and ops…. a gap between the two generations.

Mixing World

We don’t need to have a solution for this. It is not a problem. It is exactly the diversity of world. We should keep it. By having more events like people from different culture to dance and sing together, we are providing a very good exchange among the cultures.

P.S. Todd shared about his experience of meditation, and Paul shared the tool of staring at one thing quietly on the bus. That was very helpful.

P.S. 2. If you are in Shanghai, you can turn to CBN (Chinese Business Network) 第一财经 on Sunday night at 9:00 PM to watch this episode of BossTown. At the theme of “Solute to Steve Jobs”, I am one of the observers to talk about the topic with Kaifu.

8 thoughts on “Songs are One of the Culture Gaps

  1. Liu Dongyang

    One thing not related to the topic:

    Jianshuo,can you tell me how do you control spams on this site?Using what?Thx!

  2. Liu Dongyang

    Can the number reach hundred?If over hundred,I do not think it’s a smart way to do it manually…What do you think,please?

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