Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Music competition for European minority languages

Leeuwarden, Netherlands (CNN) — “This is the outfit our parents wore when they used to go out to dance. It’s a traditional outfit,” jokes Riemelmeester Malde.

Malde is addressing a theater audience in Friesland in the northern Netherlands where he and his bandmates are about to perform in their native Low German dialect at Liet International, a song contest for European minority languages.

But Malde’s band is a rap trio rather than a folk troupe and their outfits are anything but traditional: boiler suits adorned with yellow and black hazard tape and garish hip hop baseball caps. Their instruments are laptops, microphones and loudhailers and, as their name suggests, De fofftig Penns owe more to 50 Cent than their Lower Saxony origins.

“We try not to have anything too middle of the road. Our contest is about new songs. The variety and originality are important,” Liet coordinator Onno Falkena told CNN ahead of Saturday night’s final in Leeuwarden, the Frisian capital.


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