A Music Tribute: Fire, Lemons, Ozomatli, and the Beatles


I’ve been spending most of my evenings at home, alone.  When I write it out like that, it sounds very depressive, but what should a single, young lady do when she doesn’t speak the native language of the country she is in.  However, when my Vietnamese/Mongolian friends told me that Ozomatli was coming to Mongolia, I was ecstatic.  1) I had something to do, for a change, at night.  2) The concert was free! 3) I have actually heard of the band and have some of their music on my IPOD!

So after a delicious salad, which I have a no appreciation for since I moved to a country whose growing season is only two months, I walked over to Sukhbaatar Square, dutifully at the designated 7:00 p.m.  After listening to “Fire” and “Lemons”, two Mongolian bands, my Vietnamese/Mongolian friends text me saying Ozomatli (like every musical group) will be coming on around 9 p.m.  Although my friends from Australia and Slovakia departed before Ozomalti came on, I was fortunate to run into a young Mongolian who is studying environmental studies.


We danced underneath fireworks, standing in a crowd of easily thousands of people listening to the latino-hip-hop-rap sensation, Ozomatli.  The best part, the Mongolian guy approached me after my Caucasian friends left because he thought I was their interpreter.  It’s very strange to actually look like everyone else for a strange.  I look more like a foreigner in my home country than I do in Mongolia.  He was very chivalrous and walked me home after the concert was over.

What do I love more than live music?  I love have an amazing day so unexpectedly because of the generosity and kindness of others.  Human decency exists everywhere, but it is easy for a journalist to become jaded about the world – until you have an awesome day like this one. Dinner with new friends, delicious food, making new friends, listening to live music, a good night’s rest, and a good story to tell afterwards.

This musical evening was then followed by a later trip to see the local monument to the Beatles.  Nara, a co-worker at MNB, had been singing “Yesterday” and it made me smile to see the iconic music of the Beatles reaching across countries, to little known cities like UB.  It’s funny how one can’t escape American pop music.  When I walk down the streets of UB, I can still hear Lady Ga Ga and Miley Cyrus tunes blaring out the car windows.  I wouldn’t mind hearing Beatle songs blaring from window, but the monument is still a testament that good music is good music everywhere in the world.

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