Cultural Reads 26: Rabbit Hole, Congolese Music & Prostitute Army

Happy Tuesday All, And welcome to the Cultural Reads Newsletter! 

A bi-weekly book, music, and movie recommendation from different countries all around the world. 

Last weekend I visited Down The Rabbit Hole. The festival has rock, pop, hip hop, and electronic music. 

Some highlights were Loyle GarnerJarreau VandalLittle Simz, and The War On Drugs. You can find the entire playlist here

Let’s move on to this week’s newsletter featuring: Korea, Congo DRC, Peru & African News.

🎞️ Oldboy (Korean)

Oldboy is a Korean classic from 2003. It’s been high on the top IMDb list with an impressive 8.4 since its release.

The protagonist, Oh Dae-Su, often misbehaves. One day, someone kidnaps and imprisons him when he’s out drunk. He’s not sure why he’s there and for how long until he’s suddenly released 15 years later. He only gets five days to find out what happened to him and by whom.

Oldboy is a great movie, full of action, humor, and intriguing plots. You can watch it here for $5.

🪘 Koffi Olomide (Congo DRC)

Koffi is a Congolese Soukous singer who won the Kora Award for Best African Artist of The Decade.

The music type stems from Congolese rumba, a dance genre from Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville. It’s known for its fast dance rhythms and guitar improvisations and feels like a wall of sound.

Olomide is one of the best artists in the genre, with one of my favorite songs being Etoile D’Etat.

📰 Get The Truth About Africa | The Continent Newspaper

Last week I mentioned The Continent, a free digital newspaper about Africa by Africans.

This week, I was lucky enough to get an interview with the Editorial Director, Sipho Kings, who previously worked for Mail & Guardian.

We discussed The Continent’s mission, Sipho’s role in managing the newspaper, the beauty and risk of journalism, and advice for young writers.

You can read the full interview here!

📘 Captain Pantoja – Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

In 2010, Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is known for novels like The Bad Girl and The Feast of the Goat.

One of my personal favorites is Captain Pantoja and the Special Service.

Pantoja is a man of principles who takes his job extremely seriously. When his mission ends, he’s assigned a rather unusual new task: satisfying the Peruvian army’s sexual needs by managing a group of prostitutes.

Vargas Llosa said the novel is an example of a man drowned by the solidity of his principles and based on facts.

You can find the book here.

✈️ Need Travel Tips for Lisbon, Barcelona & Amsterdam?

Last week I got quite some new subscribers from Nomadico (a newsletter for digital nomads).

Especially for those readers (and anyone interested, of course), I’m sharing some city trip recommendations for BarcelonaLisbon & Amsterdam.

If you’re in a Spanish-speaking country and want to learn the language, check out my post on how to go from 0 to native in Spanish.

📚 One Sentence Book Takeaways

“If you inspire special treatment, it’s because others believe in and appreciate you. 

If you demand respect, you’re looking for something you haven’t earned.” 

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

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