Mariachis delight quarantined Colombians with jolts of street music
By Javier Andres Rojas BOGOTA (Reuters) - The boisterous music - usually heard at family celebrations and raucous birthdays - bursts through the eerily quiet streets of Colombia's capital, Bogota. The mariachis have arrived. As the Andean country waits out two months of a national coronavirus quarantine, musicians playing the traditionally Mexican genre are lugging guitars, trumpets, violins, speakers and microphones to street corners, accepting tips from delighted residents who dance on their balconies.
By Javier Andres Rojas
BOGOTA (Reuters) - The boisterous music - usually heard at family celebrations and raucous birthdays - bursts through the eerily quiet streets of Colombia's capital, Bogota. The mariachis have arrived.
As the Andean country waits out two months of a national coronavirus quarantine, musicians playing the traditionally Mexican genre are lugging guitars, trumpets, violins, speakers and microphones to street corners, accepting tips from delighted residents who dance on their balconies.
The pandemic and accompanying shutdowns have cut the musicians off from their usual work, band leader Hubert Ramirez said, as his group set up on a new street.
"The poor mariachis are shut in," said the father of five. "So we decided to go out, we'll make people happy and they can support us and that's how we'll get through this situation."
"There isn't money left to buy food, let alone pay rent," said Ramirez, adding the street playing has helped allay some costs. "It's gone better than we expected."
Surprised residents often record the serenades on their cell phones and some sing along.
"I think it's a breath of fresh air during this situation and it takes people out of their houses, their social isolation," said resident Maria Elena Mondragon. "They make us smile so we have to support them, help them because they don't have a way to offer their services."
"I think it's marvelous," she said.
The nation of 50 million people has more than 16,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and just under 600 deaths.
It has been in obligatory lockdown since late March.
(Reporting by Javier Andres Rojas in Bogota; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.