Afghans Enjoy Rock Music Festival

November 29, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. brainchild (n.) – a product of one’s creative work or thought
    Example: The new proposal was the brainchild of the computer expert.

2. underground (adj.) – (something) done in secret
    Example: Unknown but talented bands commonly play in underground music scenes.   

3. genre (n.) – a particular type or category of literature or art
    Example: Teenagers like to listen to songs from the pop music genre.  

4. thrust (v.) – to push with force or sudden strength
    Example: He thrust his way through the crowd so he could get near the stage.

5. taunt (v.) – to insult or say unpleasant things to (a person) in a rude way
    Example: He was taunted for his strange sense of fashion.

Read the text below.

Three decades after the music ban in Afghanistan, rock bands came together on October 1 to perform in a rock music festival coined as Sound Central, amid loud cheers from young Afghans.

The event was the brainchild of Travis Beard, an Australian photojournalist who joined a band after moving to Kabul. Inspired by the talent and dedication of the local musicians, he held music workshops and underground concerts to help local musical talents prepare for the event.

Despite the date and venue being kept secret until the last moment, Sound Central made a buzz that led to an unexpected audience of more than 450 people.

Bands from Australia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan joined together for the six-hour concert. They played various genres—from blues, indie, electronica to death metal. Many of the fans, who had never experienced live music before, danced, jumped and thrust their arms up in the air to the sound of the music. Even the security guards nodded their heads and stomped their feet.

Despite the excitement, organizers of the festival observed some Afghan rules. Alcohol was banned, and the event went to a pause twice in the afternoon to allow the Muslim call for prayer.

As Afghanistan is a conservative Muslim country, Sound Central was something new. Music in Afghanistan was banned under the Taliban regime, and until now musicians are taunted for their different clothes and hairstyles.

However, guitarist Nikita Makapenko notes how historic the event was. Rock and roll will change Afghanistan just as much as rock music has changed the world, he says.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         How do you think music affects society? Explain your answer.
·         Can you imagine what it would be like if music was banned in your country? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think about rock music?
·         What music genres are popular with young people in your country?

November 29, 2011