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Diana's View: A Musical Language (8/24/2001)

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I've been to East Africa quite a few times, for both vacations and for filming documentaries. It's one of my favorite areas of the world. The magical elephants and giraffes, the friendliest people in the world. But I never made much progress in Swahili. Jambo, Habari. Misouri Sana. Hakunamatata (all meaning hi, how are you, isn't life great?!) were the five words guaranteed to get me a smile--and sometimes an orange juice.

But once I started going to the evening tribal songfests and dances, my friendships grew. Matching steps with each other, dancing with open joy to the drum driven music, brought us close together. I still only had my five-word vocabulary but a shared rhythm had built a bridge between us. They say music is the universal communicator - I've experienced that concept all over the world: in Kenya and Vietnam and Borneo. With no language in common, you can feel the same things, laugh at the same moments, and finally sense that you've connected.

Today, we span the globe on a musical journey, hearing how the non-verbal communication of music connects different generations, different cultures, and different points of view. Yes, we open your ears to the world, here on The Savvy Traveler.

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