Ctripper: Karaoke—East vs. West… The Ultimate Showdown

by Intern Diaries
Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Updated: July 25th, 2012 | Comments
Ctrip Ctripper posts come to us directly from the good folks at Ctrip, China's top online travel agency (and proud sponsor of ChinaTravel.net). Stay tuned for Ctrip special offers, travel tips, news on new travel deals, tours and activities, and slices of life-in-China from Ctrip staff and interns. Here at Ctrip, we love comparing opposite sides of the world. In this round, we have... Karaoke! If you ever plan to karaoke the night away in China, here's all you need to know .... >>> Microphone in hand, lights in your eyes, music rising in the background, cheers from your adoring fans ascending to the rafters. No, you didn’t magically turn into the lead singer of your favorite band, you’re about to rock some karaoke! Back in the US… Back in the US… Back in the US of A In the states people do karaoke for a couple reasons. 1: As a way to go have fun with their friends (usually involving a drink or two…); and 2: To make a fool of themselves in front of a bunch of people they don’t know. Getting up there and belting out some “Dream On” with your best buds is a great time, despite the fact that no matter how much you may think you sound like Steven Tyler, there is a reason he is the real voice of Aerosmith. The truth is, no matter how terrible they sound there will always be singers who give it all they got, and what they have can only be described as true comedy! The Wonders of a KTV In China, you don’t always have the pleasure of getting a good chuckle from a complete stranger. The only people you get to see make fools of themselves are your friends who venture onto the mic. When you go to a KTV (karaoke clubs) in China, you reserve a private room that is usually composed of a semi-circle of couches and a bar on one side. It begins like most karaoke sessions - where the people who think they have the vocal chords of an angel step up and sing some unenthusiastic songs (that’s probably why real bands have openers, to lower the ceiling so they set the roof on fire). Surprisingly, the selection of western music is very extensive. Pretty much any style of music you could think of, from country to reggae, is available for your vocal pleasures. I personally prefer rock and rap, so after several songs of Carrie Underwood and Lady Gaga, the girls’ choices (Editor’s note: Suuuure …), “Forgot about Dre” bumps through the sound system followed by a phenomenal encore of Guns ‘N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”. The screen displaying your glowing lyrics usually shows the music video of the song being played, but if they do not have the real music video, they play a hilarious video in its place. It is usually a musician singing in front of a large orchestra. It usually doesn’t fit very well with your song of choice. Even though different cultures perform the ritual differently; at its heart karaoke is still a place for friends to enjoy each others company, even if you all carry a tune as well as William Hung. - Chris
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