White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Surrealism in action: Texans dance and sing Indonesian

Tonight, I went to a concert in my university, titled Rock Meets Islam in Indonesia. This was a rock concert by a legendary Dangdut musician Rhoma Irama. The program started with a speech by Indonesian ambassador to US, who reminded me the Eastern ritual of non-sense lecturing: random stuff about Indonesia and significance of Islam over there.... And then giving awards to some students who are research fellows (what does have to do with a concert?)....

Before Mr. Irama and his band take the stage, a Texas band with complete cowboy outfit came on stage... Actually the name of the band was Texas Cowboys. You would think they're playing some rock or country music before the Indonesian fellows start. However, they started playing some Indonesian music and to my surprise the Texas girl in boots started singing Indonesian. The scene was extended when one Texas guy (some how a red neck dude) started singing along again in Indonesian and shaking his body with the local rituals.... And finally the treat was completed with 3 white guys from the audience standing up and going to the front of the music hall, dancing Indonesian.... Later Indonesian and more White American crowd joined those 3 dudes dancing. But frankly the dancing skills of those three guys were exceptional.... It was quite a moment.

With such a start treat, Mr Irma came on stage with his 5 player band and 3 female dancers (dancing very much like shy Iranians girls) .... The Indonesian band's music was hard core rock. They really rocked the stage.... Most themes had eastern melodies, but the bass and guitar were quite rocks style and actually very good rock music... The dancing scenes continued with very large crowd (almost half of the music hall went to the front and danced).... In an medium size American city where the Indonesian population is less than 500 (for a country of 150 million that's nothing), hundreds of Americans singing and dancing in Indonesian.... That's quite a surreal treat.

And I forgot to say about the great Indonesian sweets and cookies that I discovered during the intermission. It was a night to learn about the large and important country that is not much present in the news, but apparently has quite a significance for some Americans, specially those Texan cowboys!
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