Freitag, 27. Juni 2008

Miriam Mathabane - Miriam's Song

From the South African–born Mathabane (Kaffir Boy, 1986; African Women, 1994, etc.) comes this unsparingly graphic account of his sister's growing up in the last days of apartheid--when violence turned black townships into killing fields and schooling ceased as young Comrades insisted on liberation before education. The story told by Miriam, now studying in the US, is a searing indictment of the violence to women engendered both by apartheid and by traditional African attitudes. Both quashed human potential and aspirations, and good daughters and students like Miriam were as penalized as their more recalcitrant sisters. Born in 1969 and raised in Alexandria, a sprawling black township to the north of Johannesburg, Miriam offers vivid details of township life: the food eaten (a whole chicken was an undreamed-of luxury), the small houses (spotless despite the number of people living in them), and the ubiquitous scrawny dogs picking over the uncollected trash. She describes growing up as the middle daughter in a family made dysfunctional by circumstance. Her illiterate father, unable to find better-paying jobs, is often unemployed, drinks, gambles away their food money, and beats the children; her mother, a devout Christian, lacks the proper documentation and also has employment problems; and her elder brother steals Miriam's savings. The black schools are poorly equipped, the teachers are sadistic, and Miriam (who wants to become a nurse) soon finds her ambition thwarted by the times and by custom.

This wonderful written biography really touched my heart.
Miriam is such a strong woman. I really hope she has now found her luck and is able to live a happier life!

Mittwoch, 25. Juni 2008

EM - Soccer-Fun or (online) War of Nations?

First: Sorry, if this soccer dress really exist
. This entry won't be any offence against any team of the world. I just choosed this pic because it fits according to the topic.

Second: First I really thought to write this all in German, because it seemed to be an Austria - Germany problem. But probably it is not, so this should be written in English to compass more people.

I am not really interested in soccer. It is great that there are so many fans. It must be cool to have a favourite soccer team, to watch every game excitedly.

In my opinion simply the best team should win, no matter where the players are from and also no matter for which country they are playing. Although I can not really comprehend why people stick to a team just because it is the team of their home countries, I can understand this behavior.

But what I can't understand and what makes me really thoughtfully is that many people seem to forget that soccer is just a GAME and nothing more than that.

I do not write about hooligans (they are worth to start an own topic). I write about the many people in different online forums for example, who abuse and deride whole nations just because of soccer games.

Best example: Austria and Germany.
Did anybody really think that the Austrian team could win? I did not and it was 100% okay for me.
But many of such online forums are full of words of hate.
It reminds me of some comments at youtube, where people from all over the world fight in written form.

The obscenities are personal and inmature. People call others dumb, bad, ugly, retarded (seems to be word No. 1 at youtube...), etc.

Why is there so much hate? Are these people so bored? Don't they have any friends and family?

It seems to me that many people use the internet just to unload their frustration and anger about the cruel real world anonymously...

Like Austrians and Germans are often called Nazis at youtube (just because they dare to upload a dubbed video for example - what a crime!), they fight against each other at soccer forums (also at other forums of course).

Has this to be?

Can't we all just have fun with soccer and celebrate commonly, no matter who won?

Don't forget: If a team wins, the team has won, not the whole nation!

So do not make sport to war of nations!

The personal obscenities are just immature. There is no better or more clever nation!

We are all individuals, so there are people of each character, intelligence, etc. in each country of the whole world!

So stop this hate and enjoy soccer, youtube, etc. again as what it has meant to be: Fun for each person of the world!

The problem with war of nations occur also with the media. So Austria is the country of looking away people for example and world wide forums discuss about our bad, bad nation.

Hello? Crimes like the case Amstetten can happen in each country of the whole world and probably has already happened everywhere.
There are good and bad people in any nation of this world!
It is sad and terrible enough that such things even happen, it does not matter where they happened!

So stop nationalism, patriotism, racism and understand: we are all children of this world. The "good ones" should stick together, no matter where they are from!

Summer music V

Chiki Chaka Girls, Carribbean Storms & Pio Leiva - Chiki Chaka

Monchy & Alexandra - No es una Novela

Los Pinguos - Tierra Santa

Conny & Mauro - Vacileo

Mustafa Sandal & Gentleman - Isyankar

Panjabi MC - Mundian to Bach Ke

Gibson Brothers - Que sera mi vida

Gary Low - La Colegiala

Summer music IV

Ibrahím Ferrer - Chan Chan (one of the best songs ever!)

Ibrahím Ferrer - Candela

Gipsy Kings - Bamboleo

Gipsy Kings - Baila me

Jermaine Jackson & Pia Zadora - When the Rain begins to fall

Irene Cara - Fame

Kiss - Lick it up

Kiss - I was made for loving you

Kiss - Rock'n Roll all Night

Kiss - Shout it out loud

Javier Moro - Passion India

The Maharaja of Kapurthala, a fair and educated governor, fell in love with a young Spanish girl called Anita Delgado and made her the princess of his kingdom. Anita was scorned and alienated by the English and the Maharaja’s own family who never accepted her because her humble origins. Through photographs that she brought from India in 1925, the author reconstructs the love story that became one of the biggest scandals in English society at the time.

A very interesting book telling about the life of Anita Delgado.
There are discussions if some things did really happen. I think we can never know for sure. So it is best to see this book as a novel based on true facts, but not as biography.

Summer music III

Alphaville - Forever young

Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle

Styx - Boat on the River

Bruce Springsteen - I am going down

Guns'n' Roses - Sweet Child of mine

Guns'n' Roses - Paradise City

Rocky Sharpe and the Replays - Rama Lama Ding Dong

The Crystals - Da Doo Doo Ron Ron

Dreamgirls - Cadillac Car (of course just until 1:53!)

Dreamgirls - Steppin' to the bad Side

Dreamgirls - Move

Aretha Franklin - Respect

Midnight Oil - Beds are burning

Summer music II

REM - The Sidewinder sleeps tonight

REM - Losing my Religion

REM - It's the End of the World

Nirvana - Smells like Teen Spirit

Elton John - Spirit in the Sky (the reason I drived a little bit too fast last Friday)

Elton John - Tiny Dancer

Chubby Checker - The Twist

Chubby Checker - Let's Twist again

Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

David Dundas - Jeans on

Olivia Newton John & John Travolta - You are the one that I want

Bee Gees - Stayin' alive

Bee Gees - Tragedy

Eddy Grant - Gimme hope Jo'anna

Alphaville - Sounds like a Melody

Summer music I

Okay, this entry (and the following entries) does not have something to do with music you commonly listen to in the summertime (by the way I have always loved to listen to Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime also on very cold days).

I am going to post some links to songs I love listening to at the moment and/or I have always loved listening to. It's summer, it is going to be a really hot summer, so the titles of this entries are Summer music.

At these times of stress and studies, music is even more important to me than in lazier times.

First I wanted to order the songs in "always loved", "make me smile", "make me think", "make me dance", genre, etc. but I found out that this is not so easy, because some songs would fit in more than one category.

So I finally decided to give you a number of my favourite alltime songs and songs, I love listening to at the moment.

Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime

Hoku - Perfect Day

George Harrison - What is Life

ABBA - Waterloo

ABBA - Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

ABBA - Does your Mother know

ABBA - Lay all your Love on me

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen - I want it all

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Around the World

Vikram Seth - A suitable Boy

Set in the post-colonial India of the 1950s, this sprawling saga involves four families--the Mehras, the Kapoors, the Chatterjis and the Khans--whose domestic crises illuminate the historical and social events of the era. Like an old-fashioned soap opera (or a Bombay talkie), the multi-charactered plot pits mothers against daughters, fathers against sons, Hindus against Muslims and small farmers against greedy landowners facing government-ordered dispossession. The story revolves around independent-minded Lata Mehra: Will she defy the stern order of her widowed upper-caste Hindu mother by marrying the Muslim youth she loves? The search for Lata's husband expands into a richly detailed and exotically vivid narrative that crisscrosses the fabric of India. Seth's panoramic scenes take the reader into law courts, religious processions, bloody riots, academia--even the shoe trade. Portraits of actual figures are incisive; the cameo of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, for example, captures his high-minded, well-meaning indecision.

With more than 1900 pages this was the greatest tome I have ever read.
Because of my studies I was not able to read it within a short time (this is really possible, I am sure). This wonderful novel, the many interesting and authentic characters accompanied me through months. When I finally finished the book, I really started missing the persons.
Seth's novel is unique written. I became curious about it, and finally bought it, because wonderful author Sharon Maas (Of Marriageable Age) told at her homepage that she loves Seth's book.
I have to say, this is not just a novel. It is a journey. The characters not only accompanied me, I also accompanied them. It was interesting to see them grow in such an authentic way. First I could not understand Lata's decision in the end, but after thinking about it, it was the right decision for her.
I have never read a book telling about the lifes of so many people. It was such a great experience. Each person was described wonderful and I was looking forward to each storyline.
The novel not only tells about realistic characters, also about the Indian culture, history and politics. The last one was maybe a bit too much presented, but that is a matter of taste. Politics were so important to understand the background of some of the storylines, so they could not have missed.
After writing so much I only have to say: If you love authentic family sagas and India you really have to read this novel. Let Mrs. Rupa Mehra, Maan, Lata, Malati, Firoz and the many others in your life!