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Get the lead out of your feet people!


La fête de la musique has come and gone. We went for a couple of hours walking and sometimes stopping to watch an interesting performance. Once the streets starting to get crowded we headed home. Last year, we learned a lesson about packed streets and strollers not to mention small children in tow. It is not fun to be in a crowd pushed this way and that all the time worrying that someone will fall on your child or your child will get lost in the wave of people. So, we were home shortly after 9 p.m. If it were not for the babies, I would have liked to have stayed late into the night listening to all the music and watching all the people…not dance.

Please, explain to me how it is possible to listen to music and not at least tap a toe? Yet, while standing swinging my hips back and forth with one baby or another swinging along…not one other person was moving. All were just standing and watching the performance as if it were a politician giving a speech.

In the States, during outdoor concerts most everyone is swaying to the music and some will really get down. I have to admit, last night, I was homesick for my dance partners back in America as I was left to sway all alone to the music. All the festivals I can remember going to in America were swarmed with dancing and swaying figures singing or humming along.

Last year, at a German festival, I saw dancing, singing and drinking people being…hmmm, festive. Yesterday and last year, the people in Strasbourg were not so very festive compared to what I am used to back in the States. In this case, I prefer the hellraising Americans who know how to have a good time. I am American deep, deep inside after all. When I hear music, my whole body wants to move. Maybe, since Germany is close by, I should attend more of the German festivals so I don’t have to dance alone? This is another reason living in Europe is great. You can enjoy the best of each country’s culture.

Other than the non-dancing, we really enjoyed the freedom of the music. I think La fête de la musique (the music festival) would be a huge hit in America. Can you image all of the Americas dancing together on the same night? Boy, that would be some party!

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  • RaleighRob June 22, 2006, 9:02 pm

    That is pretty odd. It’s either A) the type of music (for example, most people don’t “sway” or “swing” to Classical music) or it’s B) a cultural thing.

    If it’s B then I’ve learned something new about the French that I didn’t know. And since I’ve seen french music videos and scenes from nightclubs/discoteques…it seems contrary to what I’ve thought about them.

  • carra June 22, 2006, 9:56 pm

    I must admit I haven’t seen any of the Fete de la musique simply because my husband is not fit enough to go. But that non dancing thing… I don’t know I can swing and sway and tap my toe (at least!) to any music even classical, maybe they didn’t have time to have few glasses of wine or something? Anyway I can join you next year in guarding the kids and we can sway together you no longer will be alone! How’s that?

  • Pumpkin June 23, 2006, 8:42 am

    RaleighRob, It was a rock band. Later, I did see a few people dancing but in America people would have been dancing more (alot more). However, I will say that beer is sold and drank by the gallons starting from the get go and in Strasbourg a few stalls were set up to sell beer but not many were drinking it (at least before we left).

    I think that the French are a little more reserved than American (not a bad thing…just different). I think it may depend on where they are. I think because it was still light out and outdoors that may have been why. In America, people dance anywhere and at anytime. Plus, in Alsace the people are known to be more reserved. When I went through my class on French culture the gentleman told us that in Alsace the people tend to be more reserved than the rest of France. So, I really can’t tell you about anything but Strasbourg.

    Carra, that would be great! :)

  • ernestranglin June 23, 2006, 2:18 pm

    I think than the reason why you don’t have seen anybody dancing around, it’s because it was too early. Generally, in france, peoples start to do the “fiesta” after midnight. Especially the young peoples. And at 9 p.m this is mostly the family with children who enjoy the “fête de la musique” and tend to be more reserved.(Oh wait i realise than we can say “fête de la musique” mais aussi “faites de la musique”… Pretty cool…:) )
    But maybe it’s because you’r in Alsace… Every region in france tend to have very different people…

  • Pumpkin June 23, 2006, 6:37 pm

    Ernestranglin, I think you are right that it is much later at night. In Amercia, it doesn’t matter…if there is music there is dancing. Either way is ok. It was just strange for me because I am used to something different.

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