"And why is our music called world music? I think people are being polite. What they want to say is that it's third world music. Like they use to call us under developed countries, now it has changed to developing countries, it's much more polite"
- Miriam Makeba
About this Quote
This quote by Miriam Makeba speaks to the power of language and how it can be utilized to mask the reality. By describing music from establishing countries as "world music," people are being respectful and preventing the term "3rd world music," which has an unfavorable connotation. Makeba is recommending that this is a way of avoiding the reality and glossing over the fact that these countries are still in the process of establishing. She is also highlighting the power of language and how it can be used to form perceptions and attitudes. By using the term "world music," individuals have the ability to distance themselves from the reality of the scenario and produce a more favorable image. Makeba's quote is a tip of the significance of language and how it can be used to both mask and expose the fact.