Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Independence Day in Timor Leste

Seven years ago today Timor-Leste became an independent state -- the first nation of the 21st century. The anniversary was marked with parades, speeches and concerts.Below: Members of the band, resting after a long march on a hot day!The anniversary celebration concluded with a series of performances -- including two songs by a Japanese soprano. It may have been the first time many in the audience had heard opera.

When she hit her first few high notes -- many people in the audience tried to imitate her -- it didn't appear to be in a mocking way, but in a way that suggested they'd never heard singing in that form before. After each song, she received tremendous applause.

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