Thursday, September 18, 2014

American Corner

This afternoon, Dan and I had the pleasure of going to an event at the American Corner in Budapest. It is one of 5 locations in Hungary. Here is a description about what they do from their website:

The American Corners (AC) program is a United States Department of State-sponsored initiative inaugurated worldwide more than 10 years ago. There are almost 400 Corners in 60 countries all around the world under the program. The fundamental function of American Corners is to make information about the United States available to foreign publics at large. They provide access to current and reliable information about the U.S. via book, video, and DVD collections, the Internet, and through local programming to general public. They serve as regional resource centers for information and programs highlighting American culture, history, current events, and government.

The event this afternoon was called MUSE: Music Unites Us in Song. Once a month they have this event, each time with a new topic. Today's topic was Labor Day and songs about working. Our leader was André Goodfriend, the Chargé d'Affaires from the U.S. Embassy.

He told us a little about each song and then lead us in singing.  We had a lot of fun learning about the music and singing it. I was surprised to learn so many new songs. Here are the songs we sang:

I've Been Working on the Railroad (We knew this one!!)
Sixteen Tons
Keep Your Hands on the Plow
Joe Hill
Casey Jones - Union Scab

It was fun to learn about American music and history in Budapest. We also enjoyed meeting the people who attended the event. We met a girl from Algeria who is here studying in Budapest. Earlier this week we met someone from Iowa and now we're meeting people from places we've never been. How fun!

My favorite song of the event was Sixteen Tons. We learned that the Hungarians have a version as well. We sang it in both languages! Here is the American version:

Here is the Hungarian version:

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