A break from posts on economics and identity politics: a journey from monoculturalism to multiculturalism through folk songs and poetry, ending with the only truly universal genius…

Our whanau started out monocultural, speaking New Zealand English (North Otago dialect), and now we are multi-cultural and multi-lingual.

Let us begin with The Dance Exponents, who originated in Timaru, culturally close to Oamaru, but lacking its heritage buildings.

The Dance Exponents: I’ll say goodbye even though I’m blue

The Otago sea shanty Wellerman was written in our rohe. It went viral on the Chinese TikTok service and is now a taonga that belongs to everyone in any language.

The Otago sea shanty Wellerman sung in Ukrainian

Our Te Reo taonga.  George Henare and Jennifer Ward-Lealand recite Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day in Te Reo and English

Scottish culture is alive in Otago and Southland. The famous Scottish (some would also say Irish) farewell song, The Parting Glass.

A Scottish farewell song, The Parting Glass

A Russian folk song sung around the kitchen table with accordion accompaniment.  It is about a Cossack lying in bed getting scarcely any sleep.  He dreams that his raven horse is misbehaving as he rides it, as if trying to buck him off.  He dreams that wild winds blow his hat off, and his companion then tells him that he will not live forever.

The song then finishes on an uplifting note, drawing on the indomitable Russian spirit that survives anything.

Russian folk song Oh on this evening I saw in my dreams

From the only truly universal genius, Sonnet 30. Courtesy of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, a stunning and poignant performance merging language, city scenes and music.

Sonnet 30 set to music amidst Manhatten settings

About Peter Winsley

I’ve worked in policy and economics-related fields in New Zealand for many years. With qualifications and publications in economics, management and literature, I take a multidisciplinary perspective to how people’s lives can be enhanced. I love nature, literature, music, tramping, boating and my family.
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1 Response to A break from posts on economics and identity politics: a journey from monoculturalism to multiculturalism through folk songs and poetry, ending with the only truly universal genius…

  1. David Lillis says:

    Listened to them all, Peter. They’re great, though particularly liked The Parting Glass, as an original piece for me. The Shakespeare is lovely and profound, as always.

    David

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