Immigrants Preserve Songs from their Homeland

hongflagI was recently corresponding with my friend Ray Lee who came to the U.S. from Hong Kong back in the 1980’s. We were discussing how sometimes immigrants preserve songs that have been forgotten in their homeland. I’ve noticed this several times in my work with songs from around the globe. Ray’s response was very interesting…

"Oh totally. Especially in the old days when there was no internet and it was considerably more difficult to keep yourself up-to-date on what’s going on in whatever country you came from. A society is constantly evolving. When you are part of that society, you are always experiencing the ‘current version’ of the society. When you leave the society, you stop receiving updates and you’re left with a snap shot of the way things are when you leave.

For example … me. When I was growing up in Hong Kong, I paid a lot of attention to Chinese songs (Cantopop). I knew about what new songs were coming out by what singer. So my knowledge of the singers and the songs was constantly being updated.  To this day, I still remember the lyrics of many, many of the Chinese songs that I used to listen to. In the case of my few favorite singers, to a large extent, I even remember what album came out in what year, and what songs were on them. But I know nothing about any songs (even those by my favorite singers) or any new singers that came out after 1984. A snap shot of the Cantopop culture is preserved in my brain. On the other hand, my friends can’t remember the pre-1984 singers and songs as much as I can, since they have continued to fill their heads with new songs and singers after 1984.

Similarly, I remember in great detail about Hong Kong soccer up to 1984. After 1984? It is a complete blank.

But soccer is an interesting case. It’s a global sport. There’s the World Cup once every 4 years. And even in this country, even in the late 80’s and early 90’s, there was coverage of the World Cup, and I was able to watch the matches and follow the World Cup every time. So, my accumulation of data regarding the World Cup is completely unaffected by our migration to the U.S.."


Thanks for sharing that with us Ray!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 6:33 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Hong Kong, Music, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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