Afghanistan, an accordion, ‘Elvis’ and Johnny Cash

Some people travel to shop in different stores, or to eat different food, or to drink different beers. Jeff White traveled to immerse himself in a different culture. He believed so strongly in immersion, in fact, that he moved to Germany to live and work. This post of Jeff’s, republished in his honor, demonstrates Jeff’s interest in immersion and passion for connecting with people while traveling. Thanks, Jeff, for reminding us of the most important reason for travel.

A friend of mine just sent me this video from the start-up Web site GlobalPost, and it’s fantastic.

Gregory Warner, a freelance foreign correspondent living in Afghanistan, is an avid accordion player, and he tries to use the instrument as a means to connect with the people he’s covering.

The way Afghans respond to his accordion music is somewhat unexpected and reveals some truths about the country’s development during the last quarter century.

What does Warner do when asked to perform at a concert and realizing he doesn’t know any tunes by Afghanistan’s own pop icon? Well, Johnny Cash to the rescue. Watch and see what I mean…

(Thanks, Ed)