Since my book’s out soon, the Guardian asked me to write their ‘A great little place I know…‘ column this week about somewhere memorable from my travels researching anthems.
I did think about using it to plug the great Coffeedelia in Almaty, one of the few places in Kazakhstan that didn’t make me ill. But instead went for the amazing Museo del Barro in Asuncion, which you all should visit as soon as you can.
The best part of getting to write about it, though, was learning that the article has made it to Paraguay, as it turns out there are now Paraguayans writing about me writing about them. So if you’d like to learn exactly why you should go to the Museo del Barro, I suggest you don’t head to the Guardian, but instead visit La Nacion newspaper and use Google Translate!
Meanwhile, to all the Paraguayans suddenly visiting this site, ¡Gracias por su visita! Su país es bonito y su himno es fascinante! Y compre mi libro! ; )
I recently visited Paraguay to research its amazing, and amazingly named, national anthem, Republic or Death. While there, I also forced some poor people to sing it for me. The results are astounding, I’m sure you’ll agree.
That clip only features the anthem’s chorus as the full song lasts three minutes and I wasn’t going to make people sing for that long. I’m not a sadist! Fortunately, one of the country’s leading orchestras did play it in its entirety for me. The start and ending are brilliant.
Thanks to everyone involved, especially Maesto Haase’s National Congress Symphony Orchestra and the staff of the Santa Maria de Fe Hotel in Misiones (a place I recommend you all stay at).
To anyone from Uruguay reading, a clip of people singing your anthem’s coming soon, don’t worry (or do if you know you’re in it!).