The Mexican Mariachis of Malawi

I often encourage Georgina, our housekeeper, to put on some music while she is working. At first her selections were not too surprising like the Power of One, a movie soundtrack full of beautiful African singing. Then there were weeks when it was nothing but the Lion King. Lately though, I have been surprised. First it was Evita. I would hear her singing Don't Cry for Me Argentina, and she would play it over and over again. But the most surprising was the Mariachi CD Claudia brought back from Los Angeles. The CD is great to put on when we are eating enchiladas wrapped in Indian Chapatis, and we need a bit of imagination to make it feel like real Mexican food. A lot of the classic Mariachi songs are on it and there is plenty of Mariachi whooping and crying which makes me laugh every time I hear it. Needless to say it is pretty different than Malawian music. But Georgina couldn't get enough of it! I asked her what she liked about the CD, and she said that she knew a lot of the songs. I was surprised, but then she explained that they are the same songs as the ringtones from the mobile phones. I had never realized it before, but it is true, a lot of the popular ringtones are from Mexican Mariachis. Who would have guessed that a bit of Mexican culture was spreading through Africa via ringtones?

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