Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I don't want to forget: Language and Music

Now that we've been back in America for almost a month my Things I don't want to forget posts are winding  down. I miss Cambodia a lot and posting these memories has allowed me to remember some great experiences of our time in Cambodia. Today I'm writing about learning the language and music.

my language group in training
-How every Khmer person grunts in conversation as a form of agreement
-When you tell Cambodians that you're on your way to your Khmer lesson and they tell you you don't need lessons, you can already speak Khmer.
-How you'll say something to someone in khmer and they'll just stare at you with a blank look and ask someone else what you just said, that person will then repeat also in khmer what you just said, and they'll understand them.
-That one time we were in another market and were telling the lady selling noodles the name of our town. She didn't understand and said "what", we started repeating it, but there was a chorus of probably 5 women in the surrounding stalls who called our the name of our town.
-When you say hello in Khmer, and they proceed to tell you how amazing you are at Khmer, and then bust out in a whole bunch of Khmer you don't understand while you nod and repeat the last few words they said while 90% of the time.
-How close the word yellow is to the word penis
-How close the word corn is to the word vagina.
-Hearing stories of volunteers mixing the two up :)
The wonderful family who taught us khmer in our village

-How your house will rattle from the music going on at a wedding anywhere within 5 houses of you.
-When you get seated at a table right next to the speakers and your entire body vibrates from how loud the music is.
-How you can hear wedding music halfway across the village.
-The cacophony of two weddings both blasting music at the same time.
-Khmer music....oh khmer music, and a slightly tone deaf Moto Accident singing it all day long
-How Moto Accident watches TV while wearing head phones plugged into her phone that's playing music.
-The people that warm up for pop stars are cross dressing men...trying to sing like women. It involves a lot of voice cracking.
-The epic 8 music video series of very dramatic stories.
-How music videos almost always involve a death.
-How music videos almost always involve a car accident
-How the audio from those car accidents are still played in the audio of the regular song.
-Dancing around the pole in my living room to some sweet dance music.
-How you can just make up dance moves to songs and still look like you know what you're doing.
Here's an example of a Khmer pop song my host sister would listen to.


Kell said...

I am so far behind.. I didn't know you were back! I'm terrible.
I could help but laugh at the Khmer song, and the video really didn't help! It sounds like a hard language though.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Love that you are documenting it all girl. I think I said that before. It's your diary and I think it's a great way to remember everything and everyone. :)

Liked the video!!! :)
Not that I understood anything but it's soooo interesting!


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