The Token Americana

I have to admit, one thing I never expected to learn about Paraguayans is that they have an undying love of KARAOKE! I think I have sang more karaoke in the last month than EVER before in my life! (Which might have included three times over the last 25 years.) We’ve been to at least 3 different “singing bars” and then recently had a Karaoke party at one of our coworkers homes for her birthday.

Now here’s the thing about being the only American at these events, I speak English. I “know” the English songs, so everyone wants to hear me sing them. Of course if I knew the songs they all got excited about I’d happily join in, (and with so much practice these last few weeks I am learning!) but when a Paraguayan is struggling through “No Woman no Cry” or “Mamma Mia” Amanda is called on to jump in to save the day.

What am I learning about myself in these instances? a) I can’t really sing b) I don’t know the words!!! How many times have I picked an American song that I “know,” take U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day” for example, only to realize that I really only know the chorus! You try putting on the music and singing along to all of the words. And then try to sound good doing it!

How to make it better in the future: Sit at home on cold, rainy weekends and practice, practice, practice, for the next time my heritage is called into play at a night of karaoke!

3 responses to “The Token Americana

  1. Hilarious! I wish I were there with you to witness this…

  2. Any chance you can visit the Yakye Axa and/or the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous communities and find out if their lands have been returned to them ?
    Amnesty Int’l highlighted them for the Nov/Dec 2009 Greeting card campaign ; inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled their land should be returned to them in 2005 and 2006 but neither community has yet had their land returned to them as of July 2008 and May 19, 2009 .

    • amandasperspective

      Hey Barbara,

      Thanks for your comment! I wanted to ask you what your interest is in this group, and also where they are located. I am here with a Conservation group so I am not sure how the interests of the WWF interact with the interests of this indigenous group, but I am interested in learning more.


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