Dhany Iskandarsyah
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Dhany Iskandarsyah

5 Reasons Why Eurovision Is Awesome (from an Indonesian Perspective) — Part 2

Indonesia on European stage?

3. Eurovision is the place with some Indonesian traces

In spite of not competing in Eurovision ever, Indonesia has still got its credit on Eurovision involvement. Chiefly thanks to Netherlands, they have sent some Indonesian figures to compete in the song contest. According to Raykoff and Tobin in their book “A Song for Eurovision: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest”, 14 of 46 total attempts by the Windmill Country from 1956 to 2005 was done by Indonesian, Afro-Suriname, or Moluccan descent performers. Some remarkable Indonesian descents of doing so are Anneke Grönloh, Sandra Reemer, and Justine Pelmelay.

Anneke Grönloh in Eurovision 1964
Anggun in Jean-Paul Gaultier, Eurovision 2012 (Courtesy: RTVE)

4. Eurovision is the place to learn about European history and politics

Eurovision has been declared as a non-political event… or so. Despite of the accentuation of the contest neutrality, political issues are still flavoring the contest; historically and geographically. Politics can affect the contest in so many ways: coup d’etat code song, a song with peace message or mocking pun in it, bad bilateral relations as reflected in bloc voting, or to the more extreme, prohibiting a specific singer to join the contest. Here I mention some beneficial and harmful bilateral relations between countries joining Eurovision and their proofs.

Iveta Mukuchyan waved Nagorno-Karabakh’s flag in 2016 contest (Courtesy: Wiwibloggs)
The diagram explaining voting bloc in Eurovision (Courtesy: Andrew Gelman)
Paulo de Carvalho sang “E depois do adeus” in Eurovision 1974

5. Eurovision is the place to indulge your European linguistic and cultural enhancement

The last reason of why Eurovision is cool because the contest itself offers diversity. Diversity in Eurovision is brooded in the variety of songs competing. They usually own English modern-pop/ballad/dance tracks, tailored with the music trend happening in that year. But several countries are brave enough to send their representatives to perform a song with ethnic elements or non-English lyrics. Greek traditional (“My Number One” by Helena Paparizou, 2005), Balkan ballad (“Lane Moje” by Zeljko Joksimovic, 2004), electronic flamenco (“Bandido” by Azucar Moreno, 1990), Celtic folk (“The Voice” by Eimar Quinn, 1996) and Turkish rhythm (“Every Way That I Can” by Sertab Erener, 2003) are some examples of traditional music offered in Eurovision; many of them gained stellar results by being the winner.

Buranovskiye Babushki sings “Party for Everybody” in mostly Udmurt language in Eurovision 2012 (Courtesy: Dailymail)
One of backing performers did churning butter with suggestive movements in Polish traditional clothing during “My Slowianie”, sung by Polish Cleo and Donatan in 2014 contest

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M. Iskandarsyah Agung Ramadhan

Medical doctor who survives asymptomatic Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Medical doctor who is also a music geek.