Popular music

Watch five and a half of the best things that happened at the 58th Grammy Awards

The music awards night had its share of hits and misses and disses

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At the 58th Grammy awards Taylor Swift became the first woman to win the award for Album of the Year twice. It needed her to point this out, though.

Lady Gaga revived Ziggy Stardust with her own flaming red hair, Adele faced issues with the sound, Kendrick Lamar won five awards, and Johnny Depp played a guitar solo.

Amongst the highest lights of this year's awards was Swift's acceptance speech, which included what sounded like a diss of rapper Kanye West.

West's recent song Famous has come under criticism for its misogynistic lyrics. Lyrics specifically targeting Swift go, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, I made that bitch famous."

Delivering a message for young women, Swift said, "As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success. Or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."

She added: "But if you just focus on the work… you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. That will be the greatest moment."

The Internet is abuzz with speculation that Swift was responding to Kanye's song.

Her hair aflame, Lady Gaga paid a tribute to David Bowie. Her creative team, the Haus of Gaga, had tied up with Intel for this performance and had the instruments on stage responding to Gaga's movements. While the tech was, well, sound, the performance felt too hectic. Beginning with Space Oddity, she moved too quickly from each song and act to the next. The last track, Heroes helped settle things a little, but mostly it felt rushed.

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One surprise of the night was Hollywood actor Johnny Depp.

Along with the heavy metal group Hollywood Vampires, Depp played a tribute to Motorhead's frontman Lemmy Kilmister who died in December 2015. Staying in the background for the most part, he took centrestage briefly to play a guitar solo and did a pretty good job of it.

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Adele's powerful voice fell inexplicably flat during her performance. Audio problems were suspected, and Adele confirmed as much on Twitter.

Everyone agreed about Kendrick Lamar's performance being fabulous. The singer took home five awards and gave one of the best performances of the night.

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Viewers were treated to a snippet from the musical Hamilton. The actors performed the opening song and then predictably won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater album, for which the musical's composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda delivered an acceptance rap.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.