Music is a vital part of any culture. The appreciation for another culture’s music can be a great signifier of truly understanding another people. This is one of the reasons why Russian Club is putting on a big semester concert on April 28th.
Since the end of April is approaching and the concert with it, this past Wednesday, the Russian club meeting was spent mostly practicing songs for the concert. Not as many students were able to come this week, as it is exam season, but there were still around seven of us, including Rachick, one of the Russian professors, and his dog Тигр (Tiger).
Aaron, our current Russian Club president, practiced his song first, an old Georgian song that Rachick knew all the words to. He played the guitar along the way, and here and there, Rachick corrected the words or the pronunciation. A couple of late comers showed up soon after, and they practiced their songs as well. One of them was a Russian patriotic folk song from World War II called Катюша. It has a jaunty beat and quick lyrics, and even Braden, a second semester Russian student, knew some of the words. It looks like the concert is shaping up to a really good showcase of Russian music and culture.
Music has the inexplicable ability to unite people, to go beyond words. It is at once a great definer of cultures and a great uniter of cultures. I think music can really contain a piece of our soul, and so when you take the time to learn the music of another culture, you are allowing yourself to be changed and learning to see the world through new eyes.