The Key to International Diplomacy? Karaoke! (duh.)

A Dutch contractor,  a Japanese surgeon, a Russian diplomat, a few Beninese locals , and four Americans walk into a bar….

No, it’s not a bad joke, it’s just your average Saturday night in Cotonou.. ;)

Last weekend, my friend Claire , Will, Wesley (also Embassy folks) and I joined with our local Beninese crew to revive such classics as Grease’s ” You’re The One that I Want..” and R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly..” as we serenaded the locals and other expats at a local karaoke bar in the hot summer night air.

We tried to encourage the other bar goers to join in, but they skeptically declined, song after song, smiling but shying away from the microphone. But, dear readers, we discovered that there is ONE song, that internationally, people around the world, cannot help but sing along to… and the winner is…


That’s right, friends.. “My Heart Will Go On” can apparently turn any wallflower into, well, this:

And that, my friends, is how you bring people of all nations together…(except the Russians, apparently.They remained seated quietly and observed this whole process from afar, though one promised to join in next time…)

Is it any coincidence that Claire is the Public Diplomacy intern for the Embassy and instigated all this coming together? I think not.


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  1. maggy says:

    Girl, you had me at “Karaoke bar” in the title. I think you should write to whoever is in charge of Israel & Palestine (I don’t keep track of this story anymore; it’s always the same thing, different year) and suggest it.


  2. Manu says:

    That’s awesome : )

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