Monday, February 18, 2008

Complaints, Choirs, and Accepting Winter

In my ongoing quest for self-improvement, I decided a few years ago that I should stop complaining about the weather, and even to go beyond not complaining to accepting the weather, as in having "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change". The weather this winter has been a challenge, but as I was clearing snow off a car last week I found my miserable thoughts interupted by the thought that among the millions of tiny snowflakes I was sweeping onto the driveway, no two were the same. It made me sort of like the snow.

I've waited this long to blog this because I don't want to annoy the other bloggers with my Pollyanna I'm not complaining about winter attitude.

But don't worry, just because I'm not complaining here, doesn't mean I don't have complaints. It's just they're mostly about things I can change and if I blogged them, you'd say, well, duh, stop blogging and do something.

In Finland, they have an expression for when a bunch of people are complaining, valituskuoro or "complaints choir". Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen got the brilliant idea of creating a real complaints choir. They did it first in Birmingham. They came up with a stirring complaint song, but I'm giving you the song from the second Complaints Choir in Helsinki because it is magnificent:

There have been Complaint Choir performances all over the place.

If you want more complaints, but without singing, I suggest you go to this site.

If you want more choir singing, check out this church choir in the village of Zolokere, Malawi:

Or you could try:

I don't know what the words mean to the songs from the African choirs, but I do not believe they are complaints. Of course, most or all of the singers never experienced February in Canada.


Anonymous said...

I liked the Malawi choir, but the complaints choir - like winter in Ottawa - was too long.

Anonymous said...

I love winter... my one complaint... I didn't get to skate enough!

Pearl said...

Bah, I shoulda watched the complaints choir this morning when I first came. It's gone already.

(btw, Your paragraph 3 resonates.)

David Scrimshaw said...

Zoom, good one!

Manoushka, only one complaint? Not bad. I do want to note: I feel no need to love something in order to accept it.

Pearl, I think the video is still there. It was probably a temporary glitch.