16 Dec German-Myanmar relations celebrated

Written by Mizzima Business Weekly Published in Art & Culture Read 3156 times

Rocking Kandawgyi park

People enjoy during 'A Somewhat Different Anniversary' punk rock concert in Yangon, Myanmar, 06 December 2014. German punk band Die Toten Hosen and three Myanmar punk rock bands participated in 'A Somewhat Different Anniversary' music concert to mark 60th anniversary of Germany-Myanmar diplomatic relations. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
People enjoy during 'A Somewhat Different Anniversary' punk rock concert in Yangon, Myanmar, 06 December 2014. German punk band Die Toten Hosen and three Myanmar punk rock bands participated in 'A Somewhat Different Anniversary' music concert to mark 60th anniversary of Germany-Myanmar diplomatic relations. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Punk band Die toten Hosen kept the neighbourhood awake with its show on Hmaw Sin Kyun island in Kandawgyi Park on December 6. The German band topped the bill at a concert that celebrated 60 years of German-Myanmar diplomatic relations.

Die Totenhosen was not the first Western act to perform in Myanmar.

World renowned crooner Engelbert Humperdinck almost made it to the former capital. The British singer was due to perform at the National Theatre in Yangon in July 2012 in a performance promoted as “the first oncert of a Western star in Myanmar.”

The claim led to widespread criticism after which the show was cancelled due to “health reasons” involving relatives of the British singer, who one-a-half-months earlier had represented the UK at the Eurovision Song contest in Baku.

A few months later, in December, American Jason Mraz performed in Yangon during a free concert at People’s Park aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking in Myanmar. About 50,000 fans watched his show.

Mraz said he was honoured by the invitation to perform in the former dictatorship. “I think the country is, at this time, downloading lots of new information from all around the world,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted my music to be here, (for) hope and celebration, peace, love and happiness. And so I’m delighted that my music can be a part of this big download that Burma is experiencing right now.”

The Myanmar punkers who thronged the Kandawgyi Park concert seemed to have other things on their mind than contemplating past history. They enjoyed the energetic show, the slightly unconventional brainchild of the German embassy.

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 11:07