On October 7 this year, I attended a pop concert for Houston’s silk festival. The event was breathtaking as Rafet El Roman, a popular Turkic pop musician, was performing at the concert. Rafet El Roman was born in the year 1968 in Turkey. This artist was and remains important even today because of his success in the music industry as well as the teachings that can be obtained from the pop concert, which relate to gender, empire, and globalization.
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Up to date, he plays pop music and ranks as a top star in Turkey (Karahasanoğlu and Skoog 67). The instruments employed by musicians who performed at the festival indicate how modernity has influenced many aspects of human life.
Globalization has played a major role in spreading pop music across the globe. Though I expected to hear something very different at the concert, I found great familiarity with the instruments and musical rhythm. Globalization has unified music styles and instruments such that every style and instrument used in this concert was familiar to me. I am very familiar with the bass and acoustic guitars used at the concert.
Moreover, the drums and wind instruments like Saxophones are not new to me as I have seen them in different other performances. Moreover, even though I could not understand a thing because the music was in Turkic, the rhythm was the same as that of English or Spanish pop music. Thus, I enjoyed the flow of the music altogether. Therefore, I now understand the role of globalization in the contemporary world.
For gender, unlike in Sea of Poppies and Season of Migration to the North where women are treated as objects with little freedom, the Turkic women at the concert were not reserved for men as they laughed, had fun, and hung around with people of all genders from different places of the world. In the Season of Immigration to the North, Mustafa wanted to liberate Africa with his penis (Salih 120). It clearly shows that he was inclined to a school of thought that women should be objects of sex. Moreover, in Sea of Poppies, on her wedding night, Deeti’s mother kin law drugged her with opium so that her brother in law could consummate the marriage in case her infertile husband to be failed to do so (Ghosh 200), which underscored the place of women in the Indian society.
At one time or another, we hold orientalists perspectives. For instance, I anticipated the Turkic women in the concert to put on traditional clothing and scarves on their heads. Even though a number of them wore the scarves, the majority did not. The dress code in this concert was liberal.
Women sported trendy jeans and scanty tops, which did not present any conventional culture. Moreover, most women in this concert were secular as I could see them sipping wine and intermingling with men in a way that diverted from the conventional culture. Therefore, my orientalist’s perspectives and expectations were quashed by what I saw. I now appreciate the changes that have occurred in society.
Concerning empires, Sea of Poppies shows the presence of the British Empire in India, while Season of Immigration to the North shows the British Empire in Sudan. However, the Turkic Countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have also been part of huge empires. It has contributed to their shared history coupled with a shared language. In the concert, the element of the shared empire came out clearly for people from the Turkic bloc communicated efficiently due to shared language even though they came from different countries.
Ultimately, I realized that cultures shared many elements because I experienced a different culture through the element of music. Even though I could not understand the language used at the concert, I read the Turkic culture through other elements, for instance, by looking at people’s attires, the way they behaved, the food they ate, and the sound and rhythm of the music. Initially, I was ambivalent in terms of how one culture related to another. However, this concert was a revelation that cultures are different in many aspects. They are interconnected not by language but by other elements like music.
I shared a lot with some people at the concert who could speak in English or Spanish for we could speak in the same language. I now concur with Edgar AntístenesVesga-Arias, the director of International and Signature Services at the Memorial Hermann Medical Center, that knowledge in cultural practices of the target consumers may help businesses enhance their relationship with consumers. For instance, I realized that if I were selling something at the concert, I would need a thorough understanding of the Turkic culture and language to make any significant progress with my sales.
Ghosh, Umitav. Sea of Poppies. Delhi: John Murray, 2008. Print.
Karahasanoğlu, Songül, and Gabriel Skoog. “Synthesizing Identity: Gestures of Filiation and Affiliation in Turkish Popular Music.” Asian Music 40.2 (2009): 52-71. Print.
Salih, Tayeb. Season of Migration to the North. Oxford: Heinemann Press, 1969. Print.