Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do You Like American Culture? (91/100)

This picture is the Staff Photographer pushing his bargain-basement Nokia cell phone camera to the limits of its low-light performance at a concert in Riga last week. As part of American Culture Month, the Embassy Public Affairs section brought the Pine Leaf Boys, a Cajun band of no small renown, to play a few shows in Latvia. The audience definitely enjoyed the show, but there was some culture clash involved. The Pine Leaf Boys probably play smoky clubs more often than concert halls with gilt details and a trompe l'oeil painting on the ceiling of Romanesque arches stretching toward the skies. In addition, they begged and pleaded for the audience to dance, but other than a few brave embassy employees, the typically reserved Latvian crowd stayed in their seats.

Of course those kind of differences are part of the reason Embassies do cultural exchanges in the first place. The band was great, and I think all the Latvians in the audience enjoyed the music in their slightly less-rambunctious-than-Lafayette style.

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