The Beat

Jan 24, 2002

The Beat Rain again tonight, but it feels so good. I’m just back from a dynamite concert at Duke University’s Page Auditorium, where I saw the Senegalese singer Baaba Maal and his entourage in an acoustic performance. Baaba Maal’s singing is electric, and the rhythms of the guitars and the kora had everyone in the auditorium movin’ and groovin’. The warm-up act was Ethiopian vocalist Gigi Shibabaw, whose voice ranged over so many notes that I felt as I were walking the hills and mountains of Ethiopia with her. One of her songs was about a battle in 1896, when Ethiopian forces repelled European colonists. Ethiopia is one of the few (if not the only) African lands to never be colonized, even though the Italians occupied the country during WWII (I used the Statesman’s Yearbook to check the history of Ethiopia—thanks to Sean Socha for giving me this valuable reference book). There’s more international music to come, at Duke and other venues around the Triangle, as the Raleigh-Durham area is known. Stay tuned.

Readings Two articles about religion fascinated me this week: in The Atlantic, the cover story is about new religious movements (NRMs) around the world, and how many Evangelical Christian churches are spreading and new religious groups are sprouting up in America and many Southern Hemisphere countries. Read it if you’re interested in how NRMs get their start, grow, and most often die out. Christianity, remember, was once one of these NRMs. In the New Yorker, a long piece delves into the history and latter-day times of the Mormon church, just in time for a preview of the Winter Olympics. Both of these articles reinforced my own ideas about the rationality of religion, but I did come away with a reminder that community is a crucial need in my life. So thanks for being part of the Zuiker Chronicles Online community.

Anton Zuiker

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