7 days to go.

9 months has passed since we landed in this hot place, were hugged on both cheeks by people as they made kissing noises and then given hamburgers with eggs on.  
Now here we are, 273 days later. 
For every day a new experience. Sometimes small, sometimes big, sometimes bad, but most times good. I can now say, with all honesty that hamburgers with eggs are a brilliant invention and greeting people with hugs and kisses is incredibly friendly. 
I have still to miss the heat, but I am certain it will come as I am walking through a winter storm in some months’ time.
Nevertheless, this is just scratching the surface of what we have been through from here:

To here:

The beginning for me was mostly a lot of questions; “where is this”, “who is that” and most of all “how does this work”. Especially the last one had me thinking for quite some time and straggly enough it kept coming back to me. Even now, I have no clue what this guy is doing even though he has been passing our apartment twice every week since we came. 

Regardless, I did manage to sort some things out and get the hang of the Mozambican way, more or less. A big help along the way, both in term of learning the language and getting to know the city has been the “chapas”. Ohh chapa…
Let me explain. The chapas are Maputo’s main public transport. The small minibuses, which you see all over the city is marked by color and name. Strangely enough, you pay 10mt and it can take through the whole city or just to the next corner. A chapa is just like any other public transport except for what I think is the very essence: 
They are small, but never full. 

Anyway, one Sunday in October, like many before I decided to get on a new chapa. I had been seeing this green one pass by our home with the name “Museu” on it. Little did I know that we lived only a few hundred meters away from Museu. As I was sitting there trying to explain in my broken Portuguese that I did not have a destination and I just wanted to go as far as possible, something they did not understand at all, I was interrupted by the lady sitting next to me. In a chaotic mixture of English and Portuguese she managed to get me of the chapa, show me around the area; art galleries, concert locations and even taking me to eat soup. 
The experience was nice, but we never met again and that is how it often is. You make all these small relations and connections without any obligation of keeping in touch, which I assume is what makes getting in touch so easy to.

The road until now is long and I could go on and on telling about the time we went hiking to the execution rock in Eswatini, played in the weeding party of a man dressed in a marine uniform who weren’t even a marine and when we worked all through the night on a festival with no real task other then looking like we were doing something useful. I could tell about all the classes we gave and about all the classes we were supposed to give, but never did because people didn’t show up. 
I could tell about all these things, but I have heard that people prefer short texts with a lot of pictures.

Regardless, we have done a lot of things. And that is just it, it’s not me, it’s us. I came here thinking that MOVE was going to be about music, and I was right, but it was also about traveling, food, volleyball, culture, language, 40 degrees, sweating, mosquitos and meeting people on the chapa, but through everything there was one consistency: us. I couldn’t have had it any other way then to be here with this diverse group of strange people. Yes I might get pissed off by dirty things in the sink, but it is nothing compared to what they have given me. 
So thank you guys for 9 good months and I hope we all meet again. 

VIDA NO BRAZIL(life in Brazil)

My name is Darius from Malawi 23 years old currently based in Brazil.

When I first arrived in Brazil the first month I was not able to adapt the Brazilian time zone, I could fell asleep in the middle of the day it was awkward. After this month I was used to it. Every day is different from the other in the country that is not yours; you know what? I could sit down wondering if we had neighbors in our apartment because I never seen one in the first week. It was totally different from my country.

Sometimes things are not what they seemed to be, when I first held stories about Brazil from different people, to say the truth I was a bit scared of losing my life in Brazil, like maybe get shot because the way I held about it was like there are guns everywhere. To my surprise it’s different especially in Sao Jose Dos Campos it is one of the peaceful city; it is the city that everyone can dream of living in.

How would the man that made an airplane succeed without mistakes? Why am I asking this question? Does it mean I am trying to say something that I have built or made? Probably no. here is the thing I tried to explore in Brazil but all I had in return was getting lost. There was this day I took my bicycle riding around the city up and down not knowing going much deep will not do me any good so yeah I messed up I failed to find my way back home that was the first welcome in world of people who lost their way back home. The good thing was I didn’t give up as we were told in Norway always say yes, I said yes with pain in my heart. with the difficulties of language I couldn’t have ask anyone I thank God that I was able to locate home after struggles.

I have come to realize that the spirit of music will never die. Have you discovered that even those people that don’t like music when you go to their houses you will find something with music or attached to music that could be a radio, phone and computer just to mention  a few. In Brazil one of the questions that people like to ask is do you like Samba? As for me Samba is the best rhythm ever. I even asked the teacher of percussion to pass me some basics on it. Samba is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil.  

I have been learning violin though I never dream of playing this instrument to my surprise time has surprised me I guess when I go back in Malawi am going to continue. 

In the class of choir that I have been participating the teacher asked students to compose a song and we were put in groups, I was humbled when the group asked for my opinion. The funny thing was we created a song and I was the one playing piano, on top of that I added apart where we were all singing in Chichewa my original language.

In recent months we have been going to Guri`s Polo to teach rhythms, dances, songs and games from Malawi and Mozambique. The most exciting thing in all the places we went is that we were loved by everyone. Despite the difficulties they were finding in learning our stuff.

The carnival in Brazil

On 16th February Ivo and I went to Sao Luiz in Paraitinga (Bloco do Guri) with Marina our coordinator.

There was kind of preparation of Carnival, a Brazilian festival where people enjoy and have funny to infinity.

The carnival of Brazil had its origins in the colonial period and was initially strongly influenced by the intruder, a party of Portuguese origin that preceded Lent. At the beginning of the 19th century the intruder was already a very popular party throughout the Brazilian territory. However, throughout the nineteenth century, intruder began to decline year by year due to the arrival of the Portuguese court in Rio De Janeiro and the pressure from the elites to make the party more civilized.

Little by little the carnival parties were gaining new outlines and nuances. The elite imported from European countries, mainly France, dances and parades in which masks and exquisite fantasies were worn. While the less favored classes, the majority of participants of the intruder, for not having the money to attend these parties and due to the pressures were forced to occupy the public ways and to adapt the way of celebrating. Thus beginning many of the popular manifestations seen in the carnival until today as the blocks of street, maracatus and frevos.

At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century the importance and dimension of carnival as a popular manifestation became increasingly significant. The creation of numerous carnival marches, whose songs fell in the taste of the people, contributed even more to the popularization of the party.

Obrigado, Zikomo, Takk skal du ha, Thank you

ISTO É MOÇAMBIQUE

My name is Prince Banda, a young man aged 20, I am a percussionist and a Dancer (choreographer) and I am from Malawi currently living in Mozambique. It has been 7 months now since I arrived in Maputo and I had a great time of learning some new things and getting a lot of experiences. Actually I learnt a new language which is Portuguese although I understand much more than I speak. I have been working on projects with many people and I had great time with them. The most interesting moments I enjoyed here is when I was working with the kids teaching them music and dance. Anyway, that was just a glimpse of my moments, but I have more to share with you guys. During my time here I did some research concerning Mozambican culture in the area of music and dance and more or less of history of it so I want to welcome to   Mozambique.

One of the amazing things about Mozambique that makes it to be attractive and a magical destination is its rich culture and diverse way of life. An important part of Mozambican culture is music and dances many customs in Mozambique are rooted in the culture of local groups, passed down by the generations. Let’s have a look at some of these interesting tradition dances and customs which make Mozambique so unique.

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woman dancing Marrabenta 

Let’s take look at Marrabenta, one of the most popular traditional dance and musical genre in Mozambique particularly from Maputo in the southern part where it was originated in the urban environments. It was emerged in the beginning of the 2nd half of the 20th century, in the golden age of Lourenço Marques which is currently named Maputo now. In the early days Marrabenta was played by a male singer, accompanied by a chorus of woman, and played with improvised instruments made from locally materials such as oil cans, fishing threads and bits of wood. This genre arose from a fusion of European music with the traditional rhythms of Mozambique. Currently, this genre has influenced musicians of the new generation. With the passage of time, marrabenta became a national cultural symbol and a reference of the identity of Mozambique

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The Marrabenta dance, where men and women participate, consists in producing slides with the feet, in the lateral sense and in creating strong movements of the body. In the antero-posterior sense and telling stories of untold  in there dance routine. They Dance to the rhythm with their smiling faces and the dance has a unique custom which women  wears: Capulana. This is the name given in Mozambique to a cloth traditionally used by women to gird their body, and sometimes the head, also skirt, and may even cover the trunk. So they use it when they are dancing. People dance marrabenta in so many events such as weddings, parties and etc. even in the clubs when it comes to marrabenta songs you can’t even think of sitting down.

But that’s not all. I have another traditional dance that I really want you to know. I was so excited when I saw this dance because in my country Malawi we also have that type of dance which means we share. So let me explain about this traditional dance a little.

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Nhau(nyau) that’s the name it called it is also known as Gule Wamkulu(Great Dance) This is a ritual dance Originated in the Central part of Mozambique in the district of TETE which share boundaries with Malawi  and  Zambia. This dance is practiced by the Chewa, a part of the Bantu tribe which is the largest ethnic group found in some parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia and both of this countries  practice this type of dance. The Gule Wamkulu dates back to the great Chewa empire of the seventeenth century. It was danced by members of the Nyau brotherhood, a secret society of initiated men. In the traditional Nyau brotherhood was a means of creating a counterweight and solidarity among the men of various villages. Nyau members remained responsible for the initiation of young people into adult life and the representation of the Gule Wamkulu at the end of the process of initiation, celebrating the integration of young adult men into society and also they dance it when someone dies mostly important people in the village such as chiefs, elders and member of Nyau Brotherhood.

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Nhau(nyau) dance has its custom were people wear masks made from wood and straw in a variety of characters, such as wild animals, spirits of dead people, as well as more recent characters such as “Honda” or “helicopter” . Each of these characters plays the role has its meaning. These characters perform dances with extraordinary energy, entertaining and scaring the public as representatives of the world of spirits and the dead. They have traditional drums made from a wooden shape and animal skins which they play while the dancers dance following the rhymes.

That’s all. I dig you……. see you “tchau tchau”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

TIYENI TIVINE

Bho!

I’m Elise, a 20 year old girl from Norway currently living in Lilongwe, Malawi. I have been here for almost eight months, and my exchange is coming to an end. But! I still have some time left to enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer. One of the best things about Malawi is its rich and diverse ethnic culture, in my opinion. There are countless folk songs and dances! While some are well remembered, some are almost forgotten. To be here in Malawi and take part in preserving this old, traditional culture… Man, it gives me goosebumps just writing about it. I have a great interest in folk music, so I am extremely happy for being welcomed to take part in the ethnic Malawian culture. That’s why I want to dedicate this post to one of my best cultural experiences so far!

I joined the Hear Us Children quite spontaneously last month, learning traditional songs and dances. Hear Us Children is a huge group of kids/ young adults with about 150-200 members. The leader of the Hear Us children is John Duma (or Master Duma), which you can see in the two first pictures. Duma is an amazing teacher, and I’m so thankful that he gives me his time and effort to learn everything I want.

You may have noticed that us girls are wearing something around their waist, and not Master Duma. This piece of clothing is called chitenje, and needs to be worn when we dance. Chitenje is commonly used all over Malawi even to this day. The women use it when they cook, weep, dance, sing – everything! It’s easy, you just wrap it around your waist and you’re ready to do anything.

20190405_171634.jpgMy teachers in addition to Master Duma is Jackeline and Madalo. Big smiles!

Each practice has two/three parts. First everyone gathers under the tent for vocal/rhythmic practice. We go through the songs we sing, and we also practice reading rhythm and harmonising melodies etc. During the dancing practice we usually split up into groups according to the different dances. The third part is showcasing  what we have learned in front of everyone. It was really scary at first, but now I just enjoy. We practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3pm to 5pm. After this I go home and sleep like a baby, haha. Singing and dancing together is harder than it seems. Trust me. Hands down to Beyonce. Hands down.

Alright, I think that’s enough info for now. Tiyeni tivine!

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Ching’ande is the first dance I learned. It’s two dances and two songs. So what does it mean? Well. The first song talks about hard work. We are singing «let’s work extra hard so we can find some food», basically. The first song goes like this:

One: Yaunga unga mama yaunga
All: Eee!
One: Yaunga!
All: Eee! Yaunga unga

This repeats itself.

One: Mao mao
All: Eee mao
One: Mao!
All: Mwakawa dzala twali pengele

After we are done with singing and dancing this part, we move along to a new part:

One: Two by two
All: Katapila

Now we stand «two by two» and we can remove everything. The food, the cooking pans etc. As far as I understood «katapila» is a tractor which can carry everything away/to from our homes.

20190405_162507The hip movement in this dance, guys. It’s serious business. As you can see, when the tongue is out the concentration is strong

After all of the pairs has met in the middle to shake their hips, we all gather in one row and then we repeat some of the moves. That marks the end of the first dance.

Moving along to the second song/dance in Ching’ande, we are now singing about the male chicken aka tambala. I think this has to be my favourite, because the meaning is so fun. The first phrase is a question: «Tambala uyu ngwayani?» Which means «Who is this chicken screaming?»

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In the traditional dances, the percussion done on traditional drums is highly important. The drums and the dancers work together, helping each other!

Let me give you some context to better understand the meaning of Tambala. From cartoons and TV shows we often connect the screaming rooster to sunrise, right? Which here in Malawi happens around 4 AM. However, in this traditional song, the chicken is screaming around 1 AM, which is too just early!! The chief (the leader/ruler) of the village then asks: «Who is this chicken?» Every morning this strange male chicken is screaming too early. I mean, you would be quite annoyed if your neighbours dog started barking at 1 AM every day? I know for sure I would. The song goes like this:

One: Tambala uyu ngwayani? Tambala
One:Olira kusanache tambala

Then

All: Tambala uyu ngwayani? Tambala
All: Olira kusanache tambala

Now, this is probably strange and hard for most of you to read. Don’t worry! If you want to know how it actually sounds, you can check out my instagram @eliseinmalawi where I post about all the crazy stuff I do. Including my practices with the Hear Us. I’m actually having a performance this week with them, so I’m hoping to share you some cool videos!

20190405_162516Ching’ande is from Mchinji district, Central Region, Malawi.

Gwanyasa

The second dance I want to show you is Gwanyasa. It’s danced in weddings, school competitions and other public functions. It’s a celebration dance! This is traditionally for boys only, but nowadays both girls and boys can perform Gwanyasa.

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I actually took these photos the very first week here in Malawi, without knowing I would be working with these awesome, inspiring children!

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20180829_151158Gwanyasa is from Ntchisi district, Central Region, Malawi.

Nsembe

The third dance I will show you today is Nsembe, and this is a rainmaker dance. Witch doctors stopped the rains using magic, then the villagers danced Nsembe as a prayer to the gods so they would bring the rain back. Nsembe is connected to Soopa/Tchopa (the name varies from village to village). Soopa is a celebration dance, so they danced this after the rain finally came back.

In these three pictures, Madalo is the witch doctor. If you focus on her face, you can see that her eyes tells a powerful story. She is bringing the magic to the village.

20190405_161305.jpgThis dance is for both girls and boys.

20190409_223427Here she is transferring the magic to the villagers.

20190409_223445The magic is powerful, so while this is happening the villagers are shaking uncontrollably and the percussion is trying to highlight this!

That was the dance, now the songs:

In Nsembe there are three songs. Fumye, Ndikutindikuti and Namuthuthu. In Soopa, there is one song, which is Atchauya.

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The witch doctor’s powerful magic is now over, and the villagers are ready do dance Soopa to celebrate the coming rains!

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20190410_082325Nsembe and Soopa are from both Mulanje and Thyoro district, southern region, Malawi.

Let’s hope the tambala keep silent this night, or else I will be late for work tomorrow!

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That’s it,
usiku wabwino.

 

YOU HUNGRY?

My name is Maggie Kang’oma but you can call me KADRUM and I am 22 years old.  I am a MOVE (musicians organizers volunteer exchange) participant currently based in Maputo Mozambique.

Its been 7 months already, time travels so fast and I am grateful for having one of the great moments that I will remember in my life. Leaving home and out of your comfort zone is always a scary but yet an interesting adventure.  Making a new family and having good life experiences with new friends. You might travel anywhere in the world but you never should miss out the best experience. Culture. Do you want to grab something to eat? Try out new recipes, go around?

Then let’s get to it………

I usually start my day with jogging.  As I go around, I enjoy this beautiful aroma in the streets.  Every two or three blocks I pass I meet ladies sitting either under a tree or just on the sidewalk preparing the traditional breakfast and this is called Bajiyas. Sometime back it was meant for the builders who mainly start their day so early. The breakfast could prepare them for the long day ahead with a good energy, but now everyone can get it and you should try it too.

IMG-20190401-WA0007.jpgIMG-20190401-WA0011.jpgRecipe

Beans, garlic, chives, salt, fresh coriander, pepper

The beans are soaked overnight and grinded then garlic is added and finely crushed and the same goes with the other ingredients you add to the mixture and deep fried. you can eat the bajiyas with bread or without. You better not miss out the fast breakfast in Maputo.

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I cannot have breakfast only for the rest of the day…. Hahaha. there is this dish called MATAPA, made from different kinds of leaves(vegetables) of your choice but I would recommend cassava, pumpkin and bean leaves. Matapa can be eaten with rice, xima or bread.

Recipe

Cassava leaves, coconut milk, salt, tomatoes, onions, butter and peanut powder.

Firstly, the cassava leaves are pounded into a paste and boiled for about an hour. after one hour the cut tomatoes, onions and the peanut powder are put on top of the boiling leaves and covered to let the steam cook them. And then the butter and coconut milk are added and not forgetting the salt and boiled for about 15 min more and the dish is ready.

NOTE: the cassava leaves are boiled longer because if not well cooked they are poisonous but with the other leaves you won’t need more than 40 min to prepare the MATAPA.

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Mercado janet

In case you want the best place to try the Matapa, you can ask around for local restaurants that are mostly found in market squares.  You can check out MERCADO JANET just next to music crossroads. This market I love to go to called XIPAMANINI, don’t miss out this place if you stop by in Maputo.  Xipamanini has almost everything that you might need with cheap prices and you can easily get there with minibuses (SHAPA), and the good thing is that the have the name tags on them. The market is most of times clouded so it is good to also take good care of your belongings. Have a good time.

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Xipamanini

 

I got to go…………………….tchau tchau

 

A Traditional game called Bawo

Hey!

My name is Markus(but the usually call me Benjamin here in Malawi), I’m 20 years old, I’m a percussionist and I live in a small town called Nkhotakota. Life here is very different here compared to Lilongwe in my opinion. There you’ll find everything to be so stressed and rushed, while here in Nkhotakota life is a bit more relaxed.

I work at Nkhotakota Youth Organisation(NYO) where we offer different classes for youth, and we also have a Culture Center for the younger kids where we focus on music and traditional dances. While I have instrumental lessons with the students here at the center and also are planning for the Nkhotakota Music Festival (27th of April, don’t miss it if you are in Malawi at that time!!), I also have fallen for a very fun game that is quite common here in Malawi called Bawo. This post will be dedicated to Bawo, and I will try my best to explain how it works.

So, the concept of Bawo is that you have 4 rows of 8 small pits, two for you and two for your opponent. The point of the game is to steal you opponents marbles from your inner row, and protect your HOUSE(more on that later). So, the way the game works is that you always add a marble to one of the already put marbles on the board, no matter if you steal or if you don’t(more on that coming as well). Then you can choose whether to go right or left. Then you pick up the pile that you get on either side and walk inwards. You will then end up in a pit that hopefully have another marble. Then, if the pit on your opponents side have marbles you steal and start on your outer pit that you came from. Each player have 32 marbles each. Aand the point of the game is to steal all your opponents marbles from the inner row. When one of the players are out of marbles in the inner row, then you have won!

Within the pits you have a “house” where you place 8 marbles. The house is essential in the start and you always want to protect it! When you start you have 2+2 marbles next to your house. Then you add one and put the 5 marbles where ever you want to, and then the game begins. Whenever there is a marble on your opponents pit and you also have one in your pit you have(note:HAVE) to steal. If you can steal, then you shall steal. Every time you steal you take the amount and start either from left or right until it’s finished. When both of the players have finished all of the marbles the real fun begins. I mentioned that you walk around right? Oh, okay, so when you steal and start from one side and you end up in a pile of marbles buut there aren’t any marbles on your opponents side, then you continue to go around the board until you end up in a pit without any other marbles.

That’s the basics, but hold on: there is more!

No matter if it is in the start or mid-game, if you end up in one of the two pits on each side, you have to start from that particular side. Even if you come from the other side, you have(note again: HAVE) to change the direction and start from that side (see picture). This is a set rule.

Another rule is that you always have to steal if you can right? But, if you can’t steal with any of the piles or when you add one on your first move, that means that it is kutakata! This means that you have to walk around your own two rows without stealing until you stop on a pit with only one marble.

So this is the rules of Bawo explain in a (not) simple way! In a way, this game is like chess+mathematics. It’s all about counting around the board and see how you can steal as many pits from your opponent as possible. I enjoy it a lot, and when you get to know the game a bit, it can be very entertaining! (Check it out on youtube)

So cheers if you actually read all of this and let’s play some Bawo!

(Note: Bawo rules may vary, due to different game variants in different countries)

The blog piece by a young lady that’s very bad with titles.

Alright, that’s Mozambique turn!

My name is Miriam, I’m 19 years old, I’m a guitar player and I live now in Maputo. I was thinking about writing my piece about my routine, about how crazy and nice this experience is. But I know some of my friends already wrote about it (thanks Lucas and Magnus). So I’m going to write about one of the projects that I’m working on: Azgo Festival.

Azgo Festival – 18/05/2018

But keep on reading, that’s not only about a festival.

It’s amazing the opportunities and plurality that we have here. The Maputo team works teaching music to children, dancing classes, music theory classes, orchestra, building traditional instruments, playing, recording and sharing music, and I also work (a lot) to an international music festival that’s going to happen in May.

My main work is social media. But actually I’ve been doing a lot of different things like secondary design, writing journal, bio of the artists, designing the backstage, website, albums cover, forms for applications and anything else that I manage.

The first time ever that I have contact with this type of work. Haha, I had no idea. Thank you, internet.

Azgo design color guide

It’s cool that I never thought that I would use this type of skills here. I always loved to design posters for my band events, my family’s business, birthdays invitation. But I never had contact with a professional design team and that’s teaching me a lot of things!

I work everyday to Azgo, most of the days I’m at least for 4h in the office that is located in Baixa (the lowest part of the city). A lot of things happen there and I’m glad to be closer to this place that I never thought I would appreciate.

The view from my bedroom window

Time is running very, very fast. And when it happens you start to realize every little detail that you know you’re going to miss when you leave. It’s a melancholy that makes you feel good, it feeds your soul. I realized that moving around the city is the best you can do, watching houses, people, talking to them. You never know, but that’s how you find the most valuable things.

Six months. It’s scary to think about going back to Brazil. I feel the same thing I felt before leaving home. It’s almost like I miss it before leave, but it’s even worse. I knew I would come back to Brazil. Here I have a routine, friends, home, some places and my MOVE family that I love and I don’t know if I will ever see them again.

Some time ago I was very proud to shout out loud that I was a free soul, nothing could stop me. But this time I rather stability. I think my emotional part took the spotlight.