Student - June 7, 2007

‘Are you laughing me out?’

Saturday 2 June, the Wageningen Student Choir and Orchestra gave a concert in the university Aula. The theme was internationalisation, with songs about spring and love in nine different languages.

The WSKOV performed songs of spring and love in the Aula on Saturday 2 June.
The concert gets off to a hesitant start with a piece for a small orchestra and choir. Once the choir starts singing unaccompanied, however, they settle down into their repertoire. Joyful songs pour out one after the other, including a Hungarian gypsy song and a frog song. In the back row, two frog headmen with wide open eyes, lead the choir with frog noises. The Italian song includes a line ‘Mi ficcar tutta notte, urtar come monton’. ‘I will make love to you all night long, I shall thrust like a ram’ and helps to confirm the reputation of Italian men. The men in the audience are attentive, even if it’s only because of the girl in the front row who is wearing a very short skirt.

After the concert, the chairman of the WSKOV, Olivier op ten Noort, talks about the orchestra and choir. ‘The number of international members has grown enormously in the last year. They contribute a lot to our choir because they have considerable musical experience. We worked really hard on our pronunciation for this concert. Swedish, Chinese, Polish and Hungarian are not so easy to learn and we laughed a lot during practices.’ The conductor was also the cause of much laughter during rehearsals. ‘He’s doing his best to improve his broken English and has a knack for translating Dutch expressions literally like ‘Are you laughing me out?’ ‘It must klink dramatic’ and ‘We will see where the ship strands’. The funny thing is that the international students now use these expressions.’

Darlene Sijing Liu has been a member of the WSKOV for two years. ‘I play the piano and I also sang in a choir for several years in China. When I came to Wageningen, I looked on the internet and found the WSKOV.’ Sijing is learning Dutch and has a Dutch boyfriend, but not all Chinese integrate so easily in Dutch clubs, she says. ‘I think that the problem with the Chinese and integration is that they have a fear of being a part of a new community. There are a lot of science students here who are generally not that good at social interaction. I see fewer problems with the students doing Communication and Leisure and Tourism.

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