I spent a good two hours taking my Mandarin lessons today and I came to the realization that when you say ‘tomorrow’ in Mandarin, the characters literally translate to ‘bright/ clear day’; there is some sort of strange beauty in the kind of hopefulness behind the literal meaning. And that is when it suddenly hit me that there is so much art out there in this world that I’ll never truly be able to appreciate simply because I don’t know the cultural history behind it.
I read the translated versions of two novels, a couple of months ago, and I was stunned by how wonderfully these stories were written! Everything about these books has me so amazed. The best part is that there is so much to unpack even months after I’ve completed reading these books and the reason is that I am not familiar with the language they were originally written in. I keep being told by people who can read the language that certain words and phrases have a meaning that is lot deeper and that was probably lost in translation. And I can’t help but feel a little sad about it because I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to truly appreciate the story the way it is supposed to be appreciated.
Also, some time ago, my best friend got me hooked on to K-Dramas, and nothing has ever felt as good as those to me since. I’m sure that a lot got lost in translation there, as well. But it sure does feel so much better knowing that I have more art to appreciate now.
The same goes for music. Mainstream artists are all cool and hyped up because they’re so well-known. But I end up stumbling upon music by artists who aren’t as well-known and their songs are mind-blowing! It is amazing just how much there is in the world that we’re all missing out on simply because we have a bunch of opinions about them that we have formed out of hear-say and we don’t really find out just how much there is that we are yet to discover.
I get that it might not be everybody’s thing because a lot of people find sticking to one particular genre or artist very comforting. But I really do wish that more people tried to understand how richer our lives could be if we started appreciating art for what it is, instead of letting stereotypes ruin things for us.
Life is too short for us to not give beautiful things a shot, anyway! It might not be for you, but I don’t see the harm in trying to give it a go. Every single day, I keep discovering artists doing their own thing and coming up with something that is just as unique as they are. So, when you think of how many artists there are out there, you can imagine just how much it is that we’re all missing out on.
Of course, there’s no way that we’re ever going to get to all of these in a single lifetime. But it’s always better to start somewhere, isn’t it?
Just something for you guys to think about.
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