Place Quote: Gypsies & Communism

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

'Most Gypsies liked communism because it gave them houses, paid them to have children,' adds Henry, who grew up in East Germany. 'They don't see the faults in the communist system as we do. Censorship never affected them as they had no desire to read Western literature or talk of politics. And when the revolution came Gypsies were the first to lose their jobs in the factories'.
  • Garth Cartwright, Princes amongst men, p.209

Place Quote: Yugoslav immigrants in New Zealand

Many Yugoslav immigrants shared my West Auckland suburb, relieved at escaping a nation that had known so much grief during the first half of the twentieth century. Yet they surely missed things - cafés, markets, farm smells, local humour, weary blues, old buildings, the ruins of history, messy everyday stuff that knits a community's soul. And the Gypsies. I bet, tucked up in their suburban comfort, hearing the sound of lawnmowers and sprinklers, radios and TVs, they missed the chatter and music and nuisance of the Gypsies.
  • Garth Cartwright, Princes amongst men, p.146-147

Place Quote: Corruption in ex-communist countries

...the corruption continues. Maybe for people in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, life is better now communism has ended. But in Bulgaria, we have never had good government and life is so much more difficult. OK, we have more freedom and it's much easier to buy things. You used to have contacts to get certain things. But beyond that, everything is worse. Before, Sofia was a clean city. They had lots of people employed to keep the city clean. Now, well, someone has a contract to keep the city clean but the money vanishes rather than is spent on employing cleaners. And before you never worried if you could feed your children, what you would provide for dinner that night. Now, it can be so tough. Before, life was very easy. We used to take two holidays a year. One on the Black Sea and one in the mountains. Now we can't afford to take holidays.

  • Garth Cartwright, Princes amongst men, p. 274-275

No Walk in New York

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Protests were staged at New York's St Patrick's Day parade yesterday to highlight, yet again, the parade organisers' refusal to allow Irish and Irish-American gay groups participate in the parade.

In amongst all the shouting and chanting in the US, however, are a much smaller group - the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association who picket offices and the American Embassy in London.

NIGRA president PA MagLochlainn told reporters, "Gay women and men can take part in St. Patrick's Day Parades in Dublin, Cork and Belfast - but they cannot in New York. This bigoted ban is long since out of date."

Most people see St Patrick's Day as a celebration, but New York's goodwill does not extend to all men and women.

Name that tune

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is one of the few unidentified songs I have in my collection. I think it's Swedish, but there's nothing to suggest this. So, if you know it, please let me know in the comments.

Also: Click here for a list of CDs I have on offer. Let's do a swap, swapping is always fun.


Friday, March 07, 2008

A compilation album of the best Polish music is released next week in the UK - evidence of the growing market for all things Polish in the UK, due to recent arrivals, but hopefully the songs will gather some British fans also.

This is fantastic: part geography, part europop.

The album has a whopping 76 songs, with many Polish Eurovision acts appearing - Edyta Gorniak features multiply, as well as Blue Café, Kasia Kowalska & Justyna.

One song title jumped out at me - Natalia Kukulska's Sexi Flexi. It turns out to be a slice of funky pop, with a simple but ace video. This song is from her tenth album - how many UK popstars achieve such an accolade?

Let's get quizzical: the answers

We have a winners: International pop blogging sensations PopPosterGirl & RobbingTheDead. Well done! & thanks to all who replied!

The answers are:

Song 1 - Netherlands - Jim Bakkum - Altijd
Song 2 - Spain - dancetastic Rosa Lopez - Más
Song 3 - Poland - Gosia Andrzejewicz - Nidgy Juz
Song 4 - France - the legend Mylène Farmer - Libertine
Song 5 - Finland - Antti Tuisku - Levoton
Song 6 - Ukraine - Ruslana - Kolomyika
Song 7 - Sweden - Amazing Lena Philipsson - Stopp! Nej! Gå Härifrån!*

(*Amazing pop song name. It means Stop! No! Go Away!)

Let's Get Quizzical

Monday, March 03, 2008

Every week, in my office, we have a quiz. The quizzes usually have a geography theme (we're nerdy like that). This week I provided the EuroPopQuiz!

Now I'd like to offer the quiz to the dear readers of acediscovery. I may make this a regular occurance as quizzes are the ace fun.

So - listen to or download the mp3 and reply. The mp3 has 7 sound clips - each from a different country. The task is to identify which country the songs come from - hint: all the countries are in Europe.

I'll select a winner, and there will be a prize! (most likely a CD)