2016-01-11

The Power of Music as Universal Language

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The intricate soundscapes of Buenos Aires are nearly impossible to ignore.  Take a walk down the street, or merely crack open a window at any given time or day, and you’ll be sure to hear the city’s song: a unique blend of birds chirping, cars honking, followed by the occasional profanity or echoes of a rowdy celebration in the distance. 

For the less observant, it’s not uncommon to come across the more literal form of music as well.  Your cab driver cranks up his favorite Beatles’ classic on your way to a local bar, where you’re fortunate enough to witness a couple brave gringas belt out their versions of Shakira.  Music has become a binding bridge here in Argentina, as it has throughout the rest of the world.  I came face-to-face with this notion shortly after my arrival in Buenos Aires—turns out, scoring concert tickets to the Stones’ may prove virtually impossible in both hemispheres.  While this realization begged itself more bitterly than sweet, my recent trip to one of Voluntario Global’s kindergartens in Barracas quickly restored my faith in the power of music as a universal language.

On the bus ride over, our Parisian volunteer, Elise, shared some of her experience working with the four-year-old students in Barracas: “They ask me why I talk funny,” she said smiling bashfully.  Despite the aforementioned language barrier, she’s instantly greeted by a swarm of giddy beaming children, each one fighting for their chance at a hug.  I later watch in awe as Elise and the teacher somehow manage to help nearly twenty rowdy students transcend chaos into chorus.  The class greets each other with their routine welcome song, “El Mono,” followed by a quick rehearsal for their end-of-year show—ironically enough, singing the Spanish rendition of Frozen’s “Let It Go.”  By the looks of it, both Elise and her students allowed the gift of song to supersede whatever premonitions might have stood in the way of integration.

However anecdotal this account of my trip to Barracas may have already seemed, I’ll humbly offer the following advice to any prospective volunteers, whom, at some point, may find themselves disillusioned by the cultural differences in their path, be it language barriers or sold out concerts: before you turn back in defeat, take a walk around the block with open ears, an open mind, and merely listen for your familiar song.

Read 10762 times

Related items

It's NOT a Resignation, it's a Coup!

After learning about the coup d’etat against president Evo Morales, the social organizations of Argentina stand up to defend democracy and peace in our continent.  Voluntario Global and Pacheco Community marched in solidarity with the Bolivian people who have worked hard to build a sovereign country based on social justice.

Let's Talk about Communitary Health!

This week we participated in a health workshop at one of our projects in José León Suárez where some of the members of Pacheco Community and two doctors that work in health centers of the outskirts of Buenos Aires, talked about the importance of building the concept of health from our community. 

Four-week Language Immersion Study Trip to England

This is an opportunity to maximize your English language skills by means of an immersion study trip.

Redefining Concepts in Terms of Solidarity Economy: Questions to be asked

From Pacheco Community, as well as from many social organizations, we believe that some terms and concepts must be questioned and resignified: economic growth, progress, development, just to mention a few.

The real side of La Boca: Part 2

This historical neighborhood, aside from distinguishing itself as one of the funding areas of Buenos Aires, holds in its history political activism, resistance and working class heroism. The alternative tour that Argentinian guide Nicolás Cancino does, offers a different view of the typical cheerful and tango esque side of la Boca.

The real side of La Boca: Part 1

La Boca is often known for its famous Caminito street and for having one of the most popular stadiums in the world, La Bombonera, but what many people don’t know is how this neighborhood originated and what goes beyond the couple of blocks filled with tourists and colorful houses. 

How do Community Values can Broaden your Perspective on your own Problems?

We asked our volunteers the following question: Do the values of the community that you have surrounded yourself with, broaden your perspective of your own problems?

Community Shared Values: Compassion

We asked our volunteers the following question: If  you were the founder of an NGO, what would be the main value that you would encourage your volunteers to follow?

Login to post comments

VOLUNTARIO GLOBAL

Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.
Read more...

CONTACT

Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar