I have to thank my parents for hiring my childhood babysitter Anju Sharma from Kathmandu, Nepal.Â More than a few great things came out of that.Â My sister and I made fast friends with her daughters, Ekata and Ujala (Sinju) Sharma who were both willing to make mischief with us which was great.
We learned about Bindis (a red dot forehead decoration worn by Indian women), Saris (the decorative wrap worn by Indian women), and about Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali.)Â And we also learned to love spicy food…i.e. Indian spices like curry which I still love today.Â There was nothing like Anju’s curry chicken.
Another bonus was opening my second-grade ears to music from around the world.Â Â Which brings me present day to Natacha Atlas.Â Atlas is a Belgian-born Arabic singer and is pretty much the middle-east version of Mariah Carey or Cher.Â She infuses the traditional sounds of Arabic music wit hip-hop-type beats.Â She is wildly popular over there and you will hear why below if you have never heard of her.
Her most popular song, “Kidda” was made famous recently because it was on the soundtrack to the Sex And The City 2 movie (which I thought was disappointing but that is another blog post.) I actually first learned of Atlas and “Kidda” on 2001′s Arabic Groove album and the subsequently on a Natacha Atlas CD that my pal Tuen burned for me.Â Great stuff.Â Hopefully these sounds from the desert will warm you up on this frigid day.
Lyrics in translation:
Oh Why, my love
My love, why
My Love why are you like that (cruel) when I love you so?