Monday, October 13, 2008

The Sound of Music

In my Literature and Human Rights class, we are reading Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things (great novel and widely available btw). In the novel, the film The Sound of Music figures prominently, which implicitly highlights its international popularity (something I have occasionally encountered elsewhere). So I asked my students if they knew it and all of them, except one, had seen it and loved it. Ironically the lone exception is a student who, I just learned, grew up in Vienna. She told our class about how whenever she tells someone that she is from Austria, they ask her about the film. The best example she shared was from this past summer. She was riding a taxi cab in New York City and was chatting with the female driver who asked her where she was from (perhaps trying to reconcile the German-inflected English accent with the young Arab woman in the backseat). When my student replied Austria, not only did the driver bring up The Sound of Music, but she took out her cassette of the soundtrack and put it on the taxi stereo.

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