Tuesday, February 07, 2006

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

As I was walking from my office to Daniel’s this evening, I passed a small group of children singing and clapping to a very familiar song. However, the words were different as they sung in Tetum and the words “mane” (man) and “feto” (woman) used throughout. As I walked by, I hummed along and moved my head with the rhythm. The children noticed me and enjoyed having a receptive audience.

The Mary MacKillop Sisters of Sydney came to Timor during the 1990s to collect children’s stories and songs in order to write them down in Tetum to distribute to children. They also passed on some English songs at least one of which now has a Timorese version:

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show itIf you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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