Thursday, November 12, 2009

Karaoke and Meditation: Unusual Partners in World Peace

CC licensed image by flickr user fensterbme

Listening to a podcast about technology today, the topic of ethnographic studies came up and the interviewee mentioned how the study of Karaoke had revealed much about the differences of cultures in the east and west. And then it struck me. My use of Karaoke to break ice with acquaintences, was not a random co-incidence. (See Book referred to at the bottom of the post).

Karaoke is such a powerful activity when done collectively, and fails miserably when done alone (I mean REALLY alone, not recording for later distribution as many websites let you.) Over the summer we had Karaoke sessions almost once every month.

Past summer, during a long weekend, we hosted 3 families and a hoard of local friends which had more cultural diversity than one can imagine. Meditation is the activity that has traditionally brought us all together for weekend seminars. However, there were a few accompanying spouses who were not us much into meditation or were just getting their feet wet.

Like other weekends spent together, it seemed like another one where the non-meditating & newly meditating spouses would possibly feel alienated or just bored. Thankfully someone had the idea to jump start karaoke sessions and the ice was broken, melted and crushed into a smoothie. All of us, ALL - pre-teens, children, an Italian, an Irish American, a Indo-Pakistani-American, Russian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Indian and Brazilian were joined in ecstatic enjoyment of each other's company like never seen before. Participative music is the next best thing to integrate us, period.

World cultures, generations and other identities will merge by burning the candle both ways. The integration inside-out comes through meditation and outside-to-in comes through participative music.

What song would you like to sing along?

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