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Monday, March 07, 2005
One of my favourite bands is O-zone, a Moldovan band* that sings in Romanian.
Before I go on, a little about Moldova. Moldova is a country beside Romania. According to the books, Moldovans speak Moldavian, which is suspicious. I always thought it was Romanian, only with the regionalisms so frequent in Romania. (I mean, one of my cousins from the south says bebeloş (baby), not bebeluş, and I figured she was a country hick.) The differences between Romanian and Moldavian seem dialectal, they are not different languages.
Moldova was part of the Soviet Union until the big split last century. So everyone there now speaks Russian. Or they did all along. My grandmother grew up speaking Russian. She complains that when she went to Romania, even though she is enthnically Romanian, not Russian, but a Russian-only-speaking Romanian, she got flack for her accent when she did learn Romanian.
My sister went on a couple of vacations to Moldova to meet all the cousins we never knew we had. So in a world where everyone thinks Transylvania is a fictional place, she is an authority on Moldova. My sister (who I like to believe was a minor celebrity in Moldova - she is an up-and-coming photographer in the Chişinău arts scene) always complains about meeting Moldavians of Romanian ethnicity who only speak Russian.
That's Moldova for you.
Now Moldova appears to be a hotbed of nice-looking young men. I was disappointed to discover that my cousin, Roman, was indeed a cousin and genetically off-limits. (Plus, he's getting married to some tramp.) Again, I digress. Mmm, a hot bed...
O-zone's song Dragostea din Tei (Love from a Linden Tree) - a name that is problematic in itself as it is apparently a satire on something else - was such a big hit in France and Italy** that people began whispering Macarena. Unfortunately, that lead New Jersey's Gary Brolsma to produce his own version of the video.
Unlike the Brolsma video now making the online rounds, the Japanese satires of the song are even more delightful. Now my Japanese is getting flakier by the day, but from what I got from ieT niD aetsogarD is a review of my hiragana - ha hi fu he ho!
More preferable was this Japanese spoof: substituting arrow and alone for alo (as in hello) and saru, or monkey, for salut (hi there). There were other parts where my Japanese proves inadequate but I got something about beef and sînt voinic (I am strong) became something about niku (meat). The funniest part was the bit about numa numa, which spawned that horrid Brolsma video. Stefan explained nu mă nu mă iei as as "you don't take me [away with you]"; in Japanese it became noma (to drink). I also got to practice my katakana: ha hi fu he ho!
Now if only the West would discover the O-zone self-satirical Despre Tine video.
*Ok, I admit it. It's a boy band. But I was never into New Kids on the Block.
**It was big on one radio station here in Vancouver for two whole days, when the station pitted our song against some boring English song. Plenty of with-it young Romanians across the Lower Mainland called in to vote for our song. My sister phoned in to vote for it and corrected the DJ's prononciation. It won the first day, then I lost track of what happened to it.
Update: My mother phoned from Romania yesterday with the news that O-zone broke up as lead Dan seeks a solo career.